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Dear Parents and Families-
Welcome to Fraternity & Sorority Life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis! In joining a fraternity or sorority, your student will meet many new people and become involved in a variety of different organizations – each one adding to his or her development as an adult. The fundamental principles of our organizations include brotherhood/sisterhood, academics, service and citizenship. As students strive to achieve their academic goals, the fraternal community supports and encourages leadership and service within the St. Louis community and beyond.
Each fraternity and sorority includes members who participate in UMSL orientation, Welcome Week activities, intramural sports, Student Government, honor societies, Homecoming and philanthropic events. All of these activities will allow your student to work with others in the campus community. Becoming a part of a fraternity or sorority at UMSL will enable your student to succeed academically, become adjusted to college life, enjoy his or her college career and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
Joining a fraternity or sorority is an important decision for each student. As with any important decision, it helps to have the support of family and friends. If they join, we hope that you will view the choice as a positive aspect of your student’s college experience. If you should have any questions or concerns, please call or email. Also, please feel free to browse the website for additional information.
Fraternity & Sorority Life Coordinator
How much does it cost to be in a fraternity or sorority?
Each chapter at UMSL costs an average of $300 per semester. Other costs include pledging and initiation fees, which are one-time only fees to be paid before you initiate. These fees are mandated by and paid to the national headquarters of the individual chapter. All fraternities and sororities at UMSL have finance plans that will help cater to your financial needs.
Will my student’s academics suffer because he/she joins a fraternity or sorority?
Absolutely not! Each chapter has its own scholastic program and mandates that each member maintain a minimum grade point average to remain active in the chapter. Older members are willing to help younger members in any subject that they may need assistance and most chapters have awards they give out to the members with the highest GPA. Scholastic excellence is one of the pillars of Fraternity & Sorority Life and the chapters do everything that they can to support each other and their members.
What are the advantages of being in a fraternity or sorority?
Along with the benefits of support, encouragement, and friendships that last a lifetime, fraternity and sorority membership offers many practical benefits to its members. All groups offer scholarships, loans, and other financial aid to members. Members of fraternities and sororities have numerous opportunities to develop leadership skills by attending seminars, holding officer and committee positions within the chapter, and serving as a role model for younger members. Through volunteering in the community and on campus, members of fraternities and sororities develop the self-worth that comes from serving others. They also offer a lifetime of networking opportunities with alumni.
What will I get from Fraternity & Sorority Life that I would not get out of any other college organization?
Coming to college is one of the major life changes that you will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority chapter will help make the transition easier. Developing life-long friendships with the members in the chapters helps make the campus seem smaller. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy/community service.
How time-consuming is joining a fraternity or sorority?
The amount of time involved in joining a fraternity or sorority will vary from chapter to chapter. For first year students, the semester in which you decide to become a member will be the most time intensive period for you, as this is the time that the members will go through the chapter’s education period. The time spent in this program will give you the opportunity to develop leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships with others in their new member class, as well as the rest of the chapter, and allow you to become involved with other organizations. After initiation into the chapter, expectation will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (community service events, study hours and initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. In addition to the weekly meeting, the more you put into the chapter the more you will get out of being a member!
How will joining fraternity or sorority benefit me after college?
The lifelong friendships you will make by being a member of a fraternity or sorority chapter will last into post-college years. Fraternity and sorority students have national networks for their member to use for careers and job re-locations. Membership in a chapter can be a life-long experience that is an investment in your future. Wherever you end up after college, chances are you will be able to find an alumni chapter or members from your fraternity or sorority in the area.
Can my son or daughter be a part of a chapter if they live at home?
Fraternity/sorority membership can be a valuable experience, regardless of whether the student is living at home, in a residence hall, or in a fraternity or sorority chapter house. As a commuter, your son or daughter would be responsible for paying his or her chapter dues, but would not be responsible for paying room and board. Most chapters offer a certain number of meals per week as well a “townie room” where chapter members who live out of the house can stay if they decide to spend the night on campus. Off-campus students find Greek membership provides them with a place to hang out between classes, a place to study, and a support group of friends.
Fraternities and sororities are Greek-letter societies for men and women that encourage high academic standards, community service, and assisted young people with character and leadership development. These organizations have existed on college and university campuses since 1824. Hundreds of thousands of college students choose to join a fraternity or sorority for a variety of reasons including hands on leadership experience, interacting with faculty and administrators, academic support systems, and the chance to be a part of something larger than themselves.
If you have questions or concerns about your student’s collegiate experience, please do not hesitate to contact the University:
Colleen Pace, Fraternity & Sorority Life and Student Organizations Coordinator
Office of Student Life, 366 MSC