Parents and Families from the Greek Community
Welcome to Greek Life at Pace!
Your student has embarked upon a great adventure by choosing to attend Pace University. By joining a fraternity or sorority, he or she is joining hundreds of other new members in their search for a sense of community at the University. Pace University has a very prominent Greek community. The University administration works diligently with collegiate, alumni, and national offices to assure the highest quality of experience for each student. As a parent or family member, you are undoubtedly concerned about your student’s college experience and the choices they make. If you have any questions about Greek Life please contact us at 914.773.3767.
For many parents, the Greek community conjures up images of Animal House and/or School Daze. That is simply not the reality. There are many myths about the Greek 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 Greeks.
Parents Often Ask . . .
How will my student benefit from joining a sorority or a fraternity?
Sororities and fraternities have been on college campuses since 1776. These organizations are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student involvement, community service, and life-long friendships. Greek organizations are groups of men and women who come together to form a personal network of individuals with similar ideas, interests, and a mutual pursuit of a well-rounded college education. Some advantages of membership include:
- A support group to help make the adjustment to college easier.
- Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals.
- Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.
- Encouragement to get involved and maximize their potential on campus.
- Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
How will joining a Greek organization affect my student's academic pursuits?
Sororities and fraternities serve as a great resource for students academically, through study hours and tutoring programs. Most chapters require a high GPA for initial membership into the organization as well as to remain active within the organization; the minimum GPA to participate in Greek recruitment is a 2.5.
What are the social aspects of fraternity or sorority membership?
Because the Greek community at Pace University contributes to the social activity on campus, it has taken great strides toward creating a responsible and safe environment for its members. All fraternities and sororities have strict policies regulating the management of social events on and off campus. Organizations work closely with the Greek Life staff and security to conduct safe social activities. All Greek organizations are held accountable to the Pace University Alcohol Policy and New York State Law.
What is the financial obligation?
Like any opportunity for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward Inter/national fees, chapter operating expenses and social functions. Financial obligations differ for men and women and among individual chapters. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester. Dues range from $200-$700 per semester. Additional costs throughout the semester will go to meals, formals, trips, pictures, gifts, social events, T-shirts, etc. In addition, the local fraternity and sororities have to maintain liability insurance at all times. There are payment plans available for students, as well as scholarships within the individual chapters. While your son or daughter is participating in the recruitment process, make sure that he or she asks about the financial obligations of membership specifically for new member education.
Is hazing a part of the Greek culture at Pace University?
Pace University has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing that is consistent with New York state law. Hazing includes any activity that subjects members to harassment, ridicule, intimidation, physical exhaustion, abuse, or mental distress. Hazing is contrary to the purposes of the Greek community and the University. Hazing is not tolerated. If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, you should contact the Office of Greek Life. All calls will be handled in a discreet manner.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternities and sororities?
Individual chapters elect officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by alumni who serve as advisors. Each chapter is also responsible to their Inter/national organization, which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. At Pace, the Assistant Director for Greek Life is on staff in the Center for Student Development and Campus Activities and serves as the primary contact for the Greek community.
What is Recrtuiment//Intake?
At Pace, we have what's called a Deferred Recruitment process for traditional new member education. Deferred recruitment delays or defers the joining process for all entering freshmen until their second semester. Incoming freshman may not join a Greek organization their first semester. This allows your student to explore the full range of student organizations and activities. However, throughout the fall semester, both men and women will have the opportunity to meet and interact with fraternity and sorority members. Although these events are not considered a part of "formal" recruitment, they serve as opportunities for new students to informally get to know Greek members. The Membership Intake process to join an NPHC Organization happens at various times during the year at the discretion of each group. It is heavily encouraged that students do extensive research into the NPHC organizations by visiting their web sites and reading historical documents about each group.
What is my role as a parent/family member?
Encourage your student to attend as many campus events as possible. Being involved is the best way to meet active Greek members and learn about their chapters. Involvement in other student organizations is looked favorably upon during the membership selection process.
Students need support throughout the process of recruitment/intake and new member education. Be supportive and learn as much as you can about Greek life by asking questions of your student as he or she meets members in fraternities and sororities.
Keep an open mind . . . Greek life is not for everyone. Just because you may have been a fraternity or sorority member doesn't mean that it is the right choice for your student. Fraternities and sororities are different on every campus. Groups that may have been strong on the campus where you attended school may not have the same reputation at Pace. Let your student choose the group that he or she feels the most comfortable joining.
Talk to your student beforehand about the financial obligation. Determine who will pay for what and establish how much you intend to pay.
Know that the system of fraternity/sorority recruitment at Pace is competitive. Not everyone who wants to be Greek will receive a bid.
Too often, parents do not allow their students to "fight their own battles." It helps the student mature and gain some assertiveness when allowed to call various offices if they have questions or concerns about their decision to go Greek. Encourage your student to stop by SDCA to chat with the Assistant Director for Greek Life. Keep the Office of Greek Life contact information on hand if you have any questions or concerns about Greek Life on Pace's campus. 914-773-3767.