Information for Parents
FAQ's for Parents
What is a Greek Organization?
At Binghamton University, a university recognized organization has met university criteria for recognition and is in good standing with the university. These university recognized organizations are consists of students who share common goals and aspirations and live by the motto of their organizations. Their bond is created through rituals which are based on common values such as scholarship, service, friendship, and leadership. Each university recognized organization is a part of one of the seven governance councils.
These university recognized organizations are known as Greek organizations because their organization name and chapter name consists of Greek letters. There are also chapters that do not use Greek letters or use both Greek letters and another language such as Spanish. While men’s groups are traditionally known as fraternities and women’s groups are referred to as sororities, Binghamton also has co-ed organizations in the Professional Fraternity Council.
Being a member of a Greek organization can be one of the most rewarding college experiences. Be advised that there are Greek organizations that are not recognized by the university. We strongly discourage students from affiliating with unrecognized groups since these groups do not follow college policies and may never be recognized by the college and in some circumstances by the group’s national headquarters. These student groups cannot participate in campus events, use campus facilities, or participate in Greek Life sponsored events.
What is the Office of Greek Life?
Our office is here to answer your questions and provide support while students “Go Greek.” In addition, our office advises organizations and chapter leaders. The Office of Greek Life also communicates with other student services offices to coordinate programming and collaboratively address issues. Our office is part of the Dean of the Students division and is located in the University Union.
Why should my student “Go Greek”?
Becoming Greek is a personal decision and not an option for every student. For those students that “Go Greek”, it can be a life-changing experience. In addition to finding a home away from home, chapters foster peer support to excel academically and personally and provide access to alumni who broaden students’ perspective on service and professional development.
What are the long term benefits?
Becoming a member of a Greek letter organization is a life-long commitment. Some of the organizations offer scholarships for students to pursue graduate study. Students are able to tap into a network of alumni in a variety of different fields to learn about different career fields and career opportunities. As alumni, these students can participate in leadership and community service opportunities on a local and national level.What does membership in a Greek letter organization mean for my son or daughter’s undergraduate career?The Greek Life community prides itself on academic excellence and scholarship. All students interested in becoming Greek, must meet a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) requirement. As members, chapters strive to attain a high academic GPA by using formal and informal strategies to encourage academic success.
Can my student participate in any other activities/ organizations if they are Greek?
For many students becoming a Greek member, leads to involvement with other campus groups and student organizations. Greek members develop strong leadership skills which leads to Greeks becoming involved in the Student Association, Orientation, and Residence Life. Greek chapters also collaborate with other student organizations and off-campus nonprofits.
How much will this cost me?
Each chapter and their national headquarters collect dues and membership fees from its members. Most groups have one-time pledge and initiation fees along with dues which may be on annual or semester basis.When students are researching the different organizations, students should ask about fees. Aside from pledging and initiation fees, once students are members they will pay dues which are used for chapter programming such as community service, and parent and alumni events, operating expenses, and insurance. Fees also vary since some chapters have off-campus housing.
Who is in charge of the fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities are self-governing entities. As a result, this is a great experience for students to develop their leadership skills and learn to be a part of a team. Students elect officers who develop their own system of accountability in order to reach their established goals and objectives. These student leaders report to their local alumni advisor and/or international/national headquarters. Binghamton’s Office of Greek Life provides support and advising in the areas of programming, risk management, and leadership development. In addition to following the policies of their inter/national organization, chapters must also adhere to the policies of the University such as the Student Code of Conduct, goals and standards of the University, and the Fraternity/Sorority Recognition and Governance document.
What is Recruitment?
Recruitment also known as Rush in some of the councils is a period of time when Greek organizations meet students and vice versa. Students that go through formal recruitment or an information session are under no obligation to join and are not guaranteed membership. Some councils have a formal recruitment period which consists of a series of events such as AGC, IFC, PC, and PFC. The recruitment process in PC requires advanced registration. Other councils such as NPHC, LGC, and MGFC host informational sessions.
Is Hazing a part of tradition?
Physical, emotional, and mental hazing is prohibited by Binghamton University and New York State Law. If you feel that your son or daughter is being hazed, you should contact the Office of Greek Life at 607-777-2797 or the Dean of Students office at 607-777-2804. Although reports of hazing can be made anonymously, it is very important to be specific with information in order to ensure the safety of students.
As a parent what should I do?
Parents should seek out information in order to be informed and be able to support their son or daughter’s decision. Parents can be informed by visiting the chapter and inter/national websites of the organization. Parents can request contact information from a chapter alumni or chapter advisor to learn about his or her involvement with the chapter. Some questions parents can ask their son or daughter to ask are:
What is your intake period like? What is the purpose?
What are the time and financial commitments involved in joining your fraternity or sorority?
What makes your fraternity unique?
Parents may also call the Office of Greek Life to get their questions answered.
Last Updated: 10/16/12