Information for Family Members
Getting involved in college is the first step to a successful undergraduate experience. There are many ways to get involved, including fraternity and sorority life. The many benefits of fraternity or sorority membership include:
- Lifelong friendships and unwavering support.
- Academic support during college.
- Community service and civic engagement.
- Leadership opportunities.
- Career-related experience (event planning, marketing, etc.).
Students who are members of Greek letter organizations have been shown to graduate at a higher rate and with higher GPAs than students who don't join Greek life. At NIU, 23 percent of Greek students earned a 3.50 GPA or higher in spring 2016, and 50 percent earned a GPA of at least 3.00.
A fraternity or sorority can help personalize your student's college experience by providing a scholastic support system, experience leading committees, and exposure to potential careers. They'll receive the chance to give back to the community through service projects. They'll also make close friends who will support them through college and the rest of their lives. With so many opportunities available to them, it's no wonder fraternity and sorority members tend to graduate from college at a higher rate, and with higher GPAs, than those not involved in fraternities or sororities.
We're committed to ensuring that fraternity and sorority life at NIU remains a positive and healthy component of the student experience. We encourage you to talk with your student about their interest in joining a fraternity or sorority. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns you might have about fraternity and sorority life. We look forward to your partnership in support of student success.
- A support group to help make the adjustment to college easier.
- A sense of belonging on campus - a home away from home.
- A powerful support network.
Graduation and Retention
- National research has shown that involvement in sororities and fraternities increases students' chances of completing a bachelor's degree.
- Students who join Greek life are more likely to return to school each semester and graduate on time.
Support for Academics
- Scholastic resources to help achieve academic goals.
- Commitment to academic success.
- Study groups, class buddies, etc.
Community Service and Philanthropy
- Recognize the importance of volunteering.
- Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
- Event planning and fundraising for local and national charity organizations.
Alumni Involvement and Mentoring
- Large support system all over the nation and the world.
- Possible opportunities for internships and jobs.
- Volunteer opportunities after college (chapter advisory board team).
- Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.
- Involvement in the campus and the community.
- Event planning.
- Time management.
- Public speaking.
- Ability to organize and run meetings.
If your student is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority, we encourage you to be an active participant in helping them reach a final decision. Since fraternity and sorority membership is a lifelong commitment, it's not a decision to be made lightly. Consider asking your son or daughter some of these questions:
- What is expected of fraternity/sorority members?
- How will membership affect your academics?
- What leadership opportunities are available to you as a new member and an active member?
- Does the chapter perform hands-on community service? If so, how often?
- What are the expenses associated with membership? How does this vary for new members?
- What type of member is the chapter looking for?
- What values does the organization promote?
- Is the organization officially recognized by the university? If not, why?
- What is the time commitment?
Here are some tips for helping your student through the process of joining a fraternity or sorority:
- Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your student as they meet people through the recruitment process. Fraternity and sorority members will be more than happy to tell them (and you) about their group.
- Encourage your student to attend as many campus events as possible during the fall semester. Being involved is the best way to meet active Greek members and learn about their chapters. Involvement in other student organizations is looked upon favorably during the membership selection process.
- Students need support throughout the process of recruitment/rush and new member education. Be supportive and learn as much as you can about Greek life by asking questions of your student as they meet members of fraternities and sororities.
- Keep an open mind. Fraternity/sorority life is not for everyone. Just because you may have been a fraternity or sorority member doesn't mean that it's the right choice for your student.
- Fraternities and sororities are different on every campus. Groups that may have been strong on the campus where you attended school may not have the same reputation at NIU. Let your student choose the group that they feel the most comfortable joining.
- Talk to your student beforehand about the financial obligation. Determine who will pay for what and set limits.
- Don't get too involved in the fraternity or sorority recruitment/rush process. This is your student's decision.
- If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, contact Fraternity and Sorority Life at 815-753-6505 or the Department of Police and Public Safety at 815-753-1212. Calls will be handled in a discreet manner.