Frequently Asked Questions

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What's the benefit of my student joining a fraternity or sorority?

Fraternity and Sorority Life at NIU fosters academic excellence, civic engagement, siblinghood, leadership development, and social responsibility. FSL organizations are groups of Huskies who come together to form a personal network of individuals with similar ideas, interests, and a mutual pursuit of a well-rounded college education. Advantages include:

  • A support group and friendships to help make the adjustment to college easier.
  • Academic resources to help student achieve their academic goals.
  • Leadership skills acquired through experiences within committees and positions.
  • Encouragement to get involved and maximize their potential on campus.
  • Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
How will a fraternity or sorority affect my student academically?

Fraternity and Sorority Life serves as a great resource for students academically. Most chapters require a high GPA for initial membership into the organization, and FSL has additional requirements. The minimum GPA required to participate in FSL recruitment or intake is a 2.0 per NIU policies.

Each organization may have their own minimum GPA for membership, which can be higher than the 2.0 university requirement. Our FSL staff works to support chapters that may be struggling academically.

How much does a fraternity or sorority cost?

Like any opportunity for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward organizational fees, chapter operating expenses, and social functions. Financial obligations differ among individual chapters.

New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester because of one-time fees including but not limited to membership badges, potential insurance costs, and initiation fees. Dues range from $400 to $3,000 depending on the organization and semester.

Your student may also have residential expenses if their organization offers living facilities. Additional costs throughout the semester will go toward chapter pictures, gifts, t-shirts, etc.

While your student is participating in the recruitment process, make sure they ask about the financial obligations of membership.

Is my student guaranteed membership?

Fraternity and Sorority Life here at NIU is competitive, which means not everyone will receive an invitation of membership. Not every chapter hosts intake or recruitment regularly.

If you student doesn't receive an invitation of membership one semester, they are able to try and join again during the next recruitment cycle if they wish.

Does my student have to live in the chapter house?

Some chapters have living facilities; all are off campus and privately owned. Typically, rent ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 a month, which covers living in the facility, chef-prepared meal plans, upkeep of the facility, and additional expenses.

While the university does not have oversight of these facilities, we do communicate with the chapter's advisory board and housing corporation. Each chapter may have their own live-in requirements. Encourage your student to reach out to the chapter leadership to find out more about their specific policies.

Does NIU have a policy to prevent hazing?

Hazing is not only against Illinois state law, it is also a violation of NIU's Student Code of Conduct. We educate chapters and new members on the psychological and physical harms of hazing throughout the year. We take hazing allegations very seriously and investigate each report we receive.

If you believe your student is being hazed by any student group on campus, please visit our reporting page to tell us what is going on. The university defines hazing as:

“Acts of hazing include participation in any act or activity by an organization or group or by a member of the organization or group in which a member(s) or prospective member(s) may be subjected to an activity that might cause or create a substantial risk to one’s physical or mental health. Hazing includes any act or activity that might cause but is not limited to the following: fear or intimidation, embarrassment or ridicule, physical exhaustion, endangerment, harm, mutilation or alteration of any part(s) of the body, mental fatigue, harassment, or duress, and defacement, damage, or destruction of property. The intent of the act or the consent or cooperation of the hazing recipient shall not constitute a defense of hazing. The university or the hazing recipient may charge an individual and/or the recognized student organization with responsibility for the hazing act(s) committed either on or off campus.” (NIU Student Code of Conduct)
What is new member education or intake?

All fraternity and sorority members experience a period of membership orientation that lasts up to eight weeks. During this time, your student and other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and fraternity/sorority history, be part of leadership retreats, community service projects and activities designed to build friendships among new members (pledges/associates/candidates) and the initiated members.

We encourage students to ask questions of the person responsible for their education to better understand the process of joining.

What is recruitment and intake?

Fraternities and sororities at NIU participate in intake or recruitment. Watch for flyers on campus or check the social media pages of the chapter you’re interested in joining.

Our NPHC and MGC chapters participate in membership intake processes at various times throughout the year at the discretion of each organization. It is heavily encouraged that students do extensive research into the organizations by visiting their national organization websites prior to contacting the respective organization.

There are two forms of recruitment: formal and informal. Formal recruitment is often held early in the fall semester each year for IFC and PHA groups, and early in the spring semester for IFC. The formal process allows students to explore the full range of organizations before committing to one. However, throughout the remainder of the academic year, students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with fraternity and sorority members. Some chapters will continue to recruit after the formal recruitment process, but this is not guaranteed.

How much time should a member expect to devote to their fraternity and sorority?

Typically, chapters host an all-member meeting once a week. If you are part of the executive team for your chapter, time commitments will increase.

Fraternities and sororities also usually offer study hours and leadership development opportunities, and your student may be expected to participate in community service, fundraising, new-member intake and recruitment and social events.

Contact Us

Fraternity and Sorority Life
Holmes Student Center
Organization and Student Involvement Suite
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