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Freshmen Guide to Greek Life
Freshmen Guide to Greek Life
As you prepare to attend Bloomsburg University, you have many options to become involved in campus life. Becoming a member of the largest campus community is one of them! BU's Office of Greek Affairs works with 28 organizations made up of almost 1,000 students. Chances are there is a fraternity or sorority that is right for you!
What will I get out of Greek Life?
Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your student will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority can help make the transition easier. Developing life long friendships with the members in their chapter helps make the campus smaller and more manageable. For many members, these chapters become their home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter promotes the values of enhancing leadership, service scholarship, philanthropy/service and financial responsibility in their members.
How will Greek Life benefit me?
The life long friendships you will make through your chapter can last into post-college years. Membership in a chapter can be a life-long experience. Joining now is really an investment in your future. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are he/she will be able to find an alumni chapter or other members of their fraternity or sorority in the area. In addition, Greeks have national networks for its members that could be helpful in finding jobs or internships.
Will my academics be compromised if they join a Greek chapter?
Academics are a priority in the Greek community. When students join, they become part of a larger group of students who value their academic goals at BU. This group understands what the new member is facing and can provide support in many areas. Each chapter on campus has a scholarship officer who initiates programs within the chapter to encourage high academic achievement. There are various resources for members on campus, such as, The Career Center, time management workshops, Academic Counselors, etc. In addition The Office of Greek Affairs provides the opportunity for members to join three honorary societies: The Order of Omega, Gamma Sigma Alpha, and Rho Lambda which recognizes our members’ achievements.
What is a Philanthropy or Service Project?
Greek members take it as part of their mission to support their national philanthropies (non-for-profit causes) financially and physically. Throughout the year, each the chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help their particular philanthropy. Some of the philanthropies that can be found on the Bloomsburg campus are: Breast Cancer Research, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, Empty Bowls. Service events have benefited the campus and the Bloomsburg community. Some of the service opportunities are: Adopt-A-Highway, Score Conference, Food Bank, and Kids Fun. The time spent together on these events is one of the many times that fraternity brothers and sorority sisters can bond, while making a difference in someone’s life.
How much time does a chapter take up?
The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter but the first semester is most time intensive as the new member goes through the chapter’s education program. The time spent in this program will give your student the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships, and allow them to become involved with other organizations. After the initiation into the chapter, expectations will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropies, service, and initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. In addition to the weekly meeting, the more your student puts in to the chapter the more they will get out of being a member!
What does it cost to be a member?
The Greek Experience is an investment in your student’s future. The leadership skills, the academic assistance, and friendships will benefit your student beyond their college days. The perception that fraternities and sororities are only an option for “rich” students is widespread and false. Greek organizations are quite affordable and fees go to services that will positively impact your student. To assist members, chapters may offer scholarships and grants. We encourage all interested students to ask for financial information prior to joining.
Are fraternities/sororities primarily social in nature?
There is a social aspect to the Greek community and these “social” events include educational programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, Parents Days, Homecoming Parade and dinner exchanges in addition to parties and socials. Today’s Greek communities across the nation have adopted a stringent approach to socializing thereby creating a safer, more beneficial environment for members. Each governing councils has a risk management and alcohol policy. In addition, each organization may have national rules to follow regarding the hosting of social events. All organizations sponsor education on alcohol misuse and abuse.
What about hazing?
A holistic definition of hazing is located in University’s Code of Conduct, and can also be found on this website. All chapters are reminded of policies each semester and required to sign documentation that they have reviewed them with their members. In addition training is provided to executive boards and new members to ensure compliance with campus policies.
When is recruitment?
Recruitment takes place the first two weeks of each semester. Students that wish to participate must have completed 12 credits and maintained at least a 2.5 GPA. Some organizations have additional requirements.