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Greek Life

Greek Life

Parent Resources

 
 

Parents and studentThis is a very exciting time for your son or daughter by choosing to attend Florida Gulf Coast University. As a part of the college experience, students are encouraged to become involved with co-curricular activities, which will help them to become increasingly acclimated to the campus environment. We know that you want your student to receive the best education possible here at FGCU and only a part of that education is received in the classroom. The other major part of your student’s education will take place through his/her involvement on campus. Greek Life at Florida Gulf Coast University provides an exciting environment that is focused on Scholarship, Leadership, Community Service, and Sisterhood/Brotherhood.

For many parents, the thought of Greek Life brings to mind images from the movie “Animal House,” however this is not the norm or expectation for Greeks at FGCU. These men and women are committed to academics, service to others, strengthening leadership skills, and expanding their social networks. There is no faster way for your student to get connected to the campus than to go Greek.

This page is designed to help answer questions that a parent might have. If there is a question that is not answered here, do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Involvement at (239) 590-7739.

Parents often ask…

How will my student benefit from joining a fraternity or a sorority?

Fraternities and sororities are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student leadership, community service, and life-long friendships. Greek organizations are comprised of students who have common interests and values who form a network of support for one another during their college years. Advantages 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?

Fraternities and Sororities pride themselves on being a “step above the rest” in terms of academics. Each chapter maintains a certain grade point average that members must strive attain during their college experience. Most chapters require a high GPA for initial membership into the organization, and them utilize resources such as study hours and tutoring programs to keep members above the minimum standard. For a detailed Academic Report click here.

What are the social aspects of fraternity or sorority membership?

The Greek Community at FGCU strives to maintain a safe and responsible environment in terms of social activities sponsored by its chapters. All fraternities and sororities have strict guidelines that must be followed in order to hold social functions, both on and off campus. All Greek organizations are held accountable to the Student Code of Conduct and Florida State Laws.

What is the financial obligation?

Like joining other campus clubs and organizations, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a Greek organization. These fees go towards operating costs for the chapters, International fees, and social activities sponsored by the chapters. Financial obligations differ by chapter. Be sure that your son or daughter checks with chapter officers while going through the Recruitment process in terms of the financial obligations of membership.

Is hazing a part of the Greek culture at FGCU?

Absolutely not. Hazing is not tolerated under any circumstances. The hazing policy at FGCU coincides with Florida state law. Fraternities and sororities are required to sign Anti-hazing compliance forms as a part of keeping their recognition at the University. Hazing includes any activity that subjects members, or prospective members, to harassment, ridicule, intimidation, physical exhaustion, abuse, or mental distress. Hazing is contrary to the purposes of the Greek community and the University. 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 Student Involvement at (239) 590-7739. Calls will be handled in a discreet manner. Additionally, reports can be made at the following site: http://fraternallaw.com/contact/anti-hazing-hotline/

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 a faculty or staff member who serves as an advisor. Each chapter is also responsible to their national headquarters, which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. At FGCU, Travis Smith is the professional staff member who serves as the primary contact for the Greek community and advises both the Multicultural and Interfraternity Councils, the Greek Programming Council, and the Order of Omega National Honor Society. Torrie Jackson, Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life, advises both the Panhellenic Association and National Pan-Hellenic Council, and co-advises the Greek Programming Council.

What is my role as a parent?

  • Encourage your son or daughter to attend as many campus events as possible during the fall semester. 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 and new member education. Be supportive and learn as much as you can about Greek life by asking questions of your student as he/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 son or daughter.
  • 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 Florida Gulf Coast University. Let your son or daughter choose the group that he or she feels the most comfortable joining.
  • Talk to your son or daughter beforehand about the financial obligation. Determine who will pay for what and where the limits are.
  • Parents are often uncomfortable allowing their students to take responsibility for making their own decisions and responding to the consequences of those decisions when mistakes are made. However, in doing so, it helps the student to mature and take ownership over their experiences and lives. Be involved, but don't take the responsibility away from your student. Hold them accountable and help them to learn from their mistakes.