How will being a member of a Greek organization contribute to and/or hinder my son's or daughter's educational experience?
Greek Life at Washington University provides students with a variety of opportunities to get involved in their campus community. With 25-30% of the campus population being Greek, these enthusiastic students plan philanthropy events, serve as student leaders for campus organizations, host social events and participate in Washington University intramurals.
The expectations associated with being a member of a fraternity or sorority do place demands on a student’s time. However, these are not only social and philanthropic. Our Greek organizations place a high emphasis on successful academics. In fact, most organizations offer scholarship programs for new members to follow. However demanding a new member program can be, there is always room for flexibility. The key concept for parents to be aware of is communication! Just as Washington University students are expected to communicate their difficulties to their professors, it is no different within a fraternity or sorority. If your son or daughter experiences being overextended or overwhelmed, encourage him to talk the New Member Educator or Chapter President. Once those difficulties have been communicated, the chapter should make every effort to assist their member. If the problem persists after discussing it with the New Member Educator or Chapter President, please have your son or daughter contact Student Involvement & Leadership at 314-935-5994.
Washington University sororities do not have houses. Instead, each chapter has a “suite” in the Ann Olin Women’s Building. These suites are designed similarly to a living room and are non-residential. The suite provides a place on the main campus for members to hang out, conduct study groups, and hold chapter business meetings.
Ten of the twelve IFC fraternities have houses on campus, which are located in The Village and in the area commonly referred to as the “Fraternity Upper Row.” At some point in your son’s college career, the University expects members to live in the chapter house. The University believes that living in the fraternity house can be a unique and rewarding experience. Fraternity room charges (except for the off-campus fraternity house, ZBT) are billed through your son’s Washington University student account. Pricing information is located under the Housing tab on this website. Fraternity residents are billed for their room based on how the room is being utilized (e.g. single, double, triple) so your son’s room rate may change depending upon room occupancy per semester.
- Be happy and supportive with your son’s or daughter’s choice of fraternity or sorority.
- Encourage your son or daughter to attend programs sponsored by Student Involvement & Leadership.
- Know the name and phone number of the chapter president, new member educator, and chapter advisor.
- Ask for details about the financial aspect of membership. If you are paying, you have the right to know. Many one time dues are paid during the first year, so expect the first year to be the most expensive.
- Initiation is an important time for the new initiates. Be supportive and respectful of this time for your student.
- Talk with your son or daughter. Stay in touch with phone calls, letters, and care packages.
- Attend Parents’ Weekend as well as special events sponsored by the chapter.
- Expect to see numerous new t-shirts, photos and Greek paraphernalia.
- Encourage your son or daughter to be a part of the University community and to take advantage of its many resources.