A Greek organization is a group of individuals of similar interest bonded together by common goals and aspirations. These bonds are created through rituals in which members participate. Rituals are based on common principles such as honor, friendship, truth, and knowledge. Each group works to instill and support these ideals in their members through their everyday activities. It is referred to as a Greek organization because the name consists of Greek letters that serve as a reminder of the values of the group. Fraternity is a name applied to all Greek organizations, but specifically men's groups, while sorority is the name applied to only women's organizations.
Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son or daughter as they meet people through the recruitment or rush process. Greeks will be more than happy to tell him or her (and you) about their organizations. If you have questions, please feel free to contact our Greek Director, Matt Kurz. He has both the experience of being in a Greek organization and being a professional in charge of the same. Matt can answer your questions or direct you to individual organization advisers, students within organizations, or student officers within the Councils that organize Rush and Recruitment.
Fraternities and sororities organize a process of meeting people and making friends; this process is called recruitment. Recruitment introduces prospective members to the Greek community and gives unaffiliated students the chance to learn what makes fraternities and sororities unique organizations. Participating in recruitment provides students with the opportunity to meet members of the chapter as well as some alumni. Students who wish to participate in the recruitment process are not required to join any organization.
New members all experience a period of orientation. During this time your son/daughter will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and the chapter they have joined. Other events included leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new and the older members of the chapter. New member programs often mirror the operations of the active chapter. A pledge class may be expected to plan a social or philanthropic event. Often, fraternity pledge classes will complete a house project involving raising money or building something for a chapter house.
All fraternities and sororities oppose hazing on a local and national level and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son or daughter in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college. Hazing is against the policies of the University, local and national offices, and the Greek Councils that govern Idaho Greeks.
Research at the University of Idaho has shown that Greek affiliated students graduate with a higher grade point average than their peers. Greek members also report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one's time. Participating in a Greek organization is like any co-curricular activity; it requires a time investment. In addition, students in the Greek community at the University of Idaho have the opportunity for a well-rounded college experience that includes learning how to balance academics, work, campus involvement and social commitments.
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedom of college. Greek membership assists in that transition by offering scholarship programs that may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops. Your student can also access the network of chapter members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills center, computer labs and academic advisors. Nothing, however, can take the place of a disciplined and academically focused student to ensure success in college.
Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After the initial payments are made, your son or daughter's only expenses will be their regular chapter dues. Greek living costs include lodging and meals, internet, cable, phone service, study and recreation areas, and a great community! The costs of Greek Life are incredibly competitive to other housing options on campus. with the average cost to Greek living $2,800 per semester for fraternities and $3,200 for sororities in one all-inclusive cost structure .
- Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals.
- Learning leadership skills and hands-on opportunities to practice those skills.
- Encouragement to get involved on campus, the community, and to exercise their fullest potential.
- Opportunities to give of oneself through active participation in community service projects.
- Exposure to career opportunities through interaction with Greek alumni.
Yes, your student is required to live in the fraternity or sorority their first year. As soon as formal recruitment is over new members are assigned rooms and given time to get their belongings moved in. Each chapter has a different "live-out" policy and there is no magic number of years that a person is required to live in the house. Therefore we suggest assuming that your student will be asked to live-in all 4 years of their college career.
Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, after the showing of movies and television shows, fraternity and sorority members have been categorized as partiers who are irresponsible, arrogant, and abusive. In reality, fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendships. Organizations have public standards regarding academics, behavior, and community which are enforced at local and national levels.