Parents New To Greek Life

If this is the first student in your family to join a Greek organization or first child to go to college and join a Greek organization we here to provide you with a resource as time has change and we are promote that we are not the stereotype that you see in movies. First we provide you with a list of questions about activities specific to a certain chapter (i.e. move-in dates or other housing issues, parents’ weekend, chapter bills, etc.) should be directed to the fraternity or sorority itself. You can find contact information for fraternity and sorority presidents on the council's page. If you are uncomfortable discussing an issue with a student, the staff at the Office of Greek Life can direct you to an alumni advisor or the inter/national headquarters.

Once your student joins and organization

Once students have chosen their fraternity or sorority, a period of new member education often referred to as "pledging" follows. This usually lasts six to eight weeks and is a time for students to further contemplate their choices. Hopefully, their experience will be positive, and “initiation” will begin lifelong membership. If, however, students feel membership has not met their expectations, they may choose not to be initiated.
If you have a concern about activities that are taking place in your son or daughter’s organization, please contact a staff member in the Office of Greek Life. The State of Nebraska, The University of Nebraska, and The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has strong anti-hazing stances. To speak to a staff member in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, just call (402) 472-2582 we would be happy to talk with you.

If you are a parent new to Greek Life, you may want to discuss the following questions with your son or daughter about the organization he/she has joined:

  • How does the chapter’s grade point average compare to the All-Greek and All-University averages?
  • What does the chapter do to promote scholastic achievement?
  • How much time is spent on Greek-related activities? Is this time mandatory or optional?
  • Are new members (pledges) treated the same as active (initiated) members? Do they have the same privileges? If they don’t what is different?
  • What are the financial obligations, and what is included?
  • Is there a special weekend for parents or other activities to which parents are invited?
  • If the chapter has a house, what features does it offer, and how is it maintained?
  • How long is a member expected to live in the chapter house?
  • Are there alumni who are actively involved in chapter and house management?
  • In what ways does the chapter contribute to the larger Greek Community?
  • What type of programming does the chapter offer (i.e. career networking, alcohol and other drug education)?
  • What risk management procedures does the chapter implement to ensure safety at social events?
  • What opportunities are there for leadership development? Do members participate in other campus organizations?
  • Is the chapter part of an inter/national organization that provides oversight?
  • Has the chapter been sanctioned by its council or inter/national organization for misconduct? Is it on a probationary or other special status?
  • Is the chapter a member of one of the four Greek councils? If not, why not?
  • Is the chapter registered with the University? (see Maize Pages )

Parent Benefits to Greek Life

Why should my student join a Greek organization?

At the University of Nebraska, we take great pride in our Greek organizations and all that they stand for. College can be so much more than just classes and homework; it is also a time for growth and development. Greek Life can foster the education of the whole person. Having your student be a part of a Greek organization means several things.

Academics are important in Greek Life, and are consistently promoted by chapters from recruitment to graduation. The resources that Greeks can provide include scholarship awards, study sessions and tutoring assistance. Many chapters and inter/national Greek organizations recognize and reward their members' scholastic excellence. Additionally, according to retention data, members of Greek organizations are more likely to complete their college degree than their non-Greek counterparts.

Leadership & Campus Involvement
Membership in a Greek organization is one of the best ways to become involved at the University of Nebraska. Many of the ASUN leaders and officers of numerous other organizations on campus are involved with the Greek community. Those members already involved in campus activities can assist fellow Greeks in taking an active leadership role on the University of Nebraska campus. Not only can members participate in campus-wide activities, but also in many other leadership opportunities within each chapter and the respective Greek councils. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and report greater satisfaction with their overall college experience. All Greek organizations are working examples of a democracy in action. This is often the first time that members are responsible for their own activities and living within their means. This provides an excellent opportunity to experience leadership and the responsibility of membership. Greeks are also involved in campus wide organizations such as career-oriented clubs, honor societies, religious groups, and intramural sports.

Community Service & Philanthropic Participation
Greeks take pride in giving their time to local and national philanthropies and completing numerous community service projects in the local Lincoln Community. Service and philanthropy provide chapter members with the opportunity to support many causes. Greeks work together on projects not only to serve the community but also to foster personal growth and greater unity among the Greek community. The University of Nebraska Greek community raises over $200,000 (ESTIMATE) and donates some 20,000 hours of Community service benefiting the Nebraska communities as well as their own inter/national organizations.

Long Lasting Friendships
One of the most mentioned aspects of Greek Life is the friendship that exists between members of a chapter: undergraduate and alumni/ae. Greek Life promotes the development of close ties between members through living, studying, working, competing and having fun together. These lifetime relationships go beyond ordinary friendships to become like that of a family. Going Greek gives your student the opportunity to meet people and make special friendships that will last a lifetime.

Social Events
While academic achievement is the primary reason to attend the UNL, there is a time for social interaction. UNL’s Greek Community always provides fun activities for its members. Social and recreational activities give you the opportunity to meet a variety of people and to strengthen the bonds of friendship at the same time. Formals, theme parties, and Greek sponsored events bring fraternities and sororities together in a fun and relaxed environment. Participation in traditional events, such as Homecoming, Greek Week and philanthropic events, demonstrates Greek unity and spirit. In that spirit we ask you to have honest conversations around the use and consumption of alcohol. While the majority of the formal events in a Chapter do not involve there are some that do and your expectation of student should be discussed.

Family Support

The following is a list of suggestions that may ease your student’s transition to fraternity/sorority membership:

  • Be happy and supportive with your student’s choice to join a fraternity or sorority and the organization he/she chooses
  • Remember that this is your student’s choice, and he/she should choose the chapter that feels right, regardless of legacies or family history!
  • If you have a question about fraternity or sorority life, go to the source and ask the staff. Don’t buy into gossip or hearsay.
  • Know the names and phone numbers of the chapter president, new member educator, big brother/big sister, chapter advisor, and house director (if applicable).
  • Ask for details about the financial aspects of membership. Each chapter governs its finances individually. Many one-time fees are paid in the first semester, so expect the first semester to be the most expensive.
  • Initiation is an important time for the new initiates. Be supportive and respectful of this time for your student. New member programs can range from 1 day to a semester long. However, most programs are 6-8 weeks. Initiation dates should be made public to the new members, so please ask your student when initiation will occur.
  • Talk with your student! Phone calls, e-mails, letters and care packages are always appreciated.
  • Attend UNL Parents Weekend
  • Expect to see new t-shirts, photos, and other Greek paraphernalia.
  • Encourage your student to be a part of the UNL community and take advantage of our numerous clubs and resources on campus

If you have questions about your student's participation in a fraternity or sorority in regards to disability please contact the office at 402.472.2582.