GREEK LIFE FAMILIES & CAREGIVERS
Going Greek at UMD is an important decision for your student and one that you need to be comfortable with as well. Your student will be part of a self-governing community that provides a multitude of opportunities for both personal and professional development, all of which will help lead your student to a bright and successful future.
For many parents, the Fraternity & Sorority Community conjures up images of the movie "Animal House." That's simply not the reality! There are many myths about the Fraternity & Sorority Community, but the reality is that men and women in fraternities and sororities are committed to their academics, volunteer time in the community, develop and strengthen their leadership skills, and form a campus network with other students!
Here are a few suggestions to help with your student's fraternity/sorority experience:
- Allow your student to make their own decision about which Greek organization is right for them.
- Be happy and supportive of their Greek-lettered organization choice.
- Learn as much as you can about Greek Life and the membership experience.
- Know the name and contact information for the chapter president, new member educator and chapter advisor.
- If you are providing financial assistance, ask for details about the financial aspect of membership.
- Encourage your student to attend programs sponsored by their new chapter.
- Stay in touch with phone calls, emails and text messages.
- Advocate for your student to take advantage of the University's many resources
Bulldog Connect Pages:
Umbrella Organizations and Professional Organizations:
Additionally, the University of Minnesota Duluth has a number of different resources for parents and guardians; more information can be found on the Parent and Family Program page. Resources regarding Orientation programming for Family and Guests can be found on the Bulldog Resource Center's page.
Parent & Family FAQ's
HOW WILL MY STUDENT BENEFIT FROM JOINING A FRATERNITY OR SORORITY?
Fraternities and sororities are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student involvement, community service, and life-long friendships. Advantages include:
- A supportive group of peers to help ease the adjustment to college.
- Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals.
- Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.
- Encouragement to get involved, stay involved, and maximize their potential on campus.
- Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
National studies conducted annually consistently indicate that students who choose to join Greek-letter organizations experience many positive benefits, including the following:
- Greek students are more likely to stay in college than non-Greek students.
- College graduates who belong to a sorority or fraternity tend to be more financially successful than other college graduates.
- Greek alumni contribute more, both financially and in terms of volunteering time, to their alma maters than non-Greek alumni.
- Greek students are more active on campus and in community activities. Upon graduation, these members are also more likely to get involved in volunteer and charitable organizations.
WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
Chapters collect dues and membership fees from members. Most Greek-lettered organizations have higher one time fees to help cover the cost of initiation and the new member process. Dues help cover the cost of programming and vary depending on the organization. The financial obligation tends to range from $0 to $450/semester. All chapters offer payment plans and some offer scholarships to help members meet their financial obligations.
HOW IS HAZING MANAGED IN GREEK LIFE?
The University of Minnesota Duluth has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing. Greek Life shares the University's definition of hazing, "Hazing means any act taken on University property or in connection with any University-related group or activity that endangers the physical and/or mental health or safety of an individual (including, without limitation, an act intended to cause personal degradation or humiliation), or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation in, admission to, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization".
Hazing can be reported to Kirby Student Center, the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, or the UMD Police Department.
HOW DO I CONTACT THE GREEK LIFE STAFF?
WHAT CAN I DO AS A PARENT OR FAMILY MEMBER?
Be supportive, and learn as much as you can by asking your student questions before they join. Many groups will provide written statements concerning activities, finances, and policies. Your student should be encouraged to obtain and read this information. In addition, allow your student to make their own choice (especially if you, yourself, are Greek). Your support should not end after the recruitment period, but should continue throughout your student's years in school. Once your student joins a chapter, take advantage of the Mom's and Dad's weekend activities and, during the Fall, participate in UMD’s Family Weekend. These are great opportunities for you to see your student interacting with their chapter members, and one more way for you to spend time with your student.