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Frequently Asked Questions - Fraternities

Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to have a minimum GPA to join? Are there other requirements?
How much does it cost to be in a fraternity? Isn't it just buying your friends?
What are the benefits of joining a fraternity?
What is the time commitment?
Why are only men permitted to join fraternities? Isn't that discrimination?
Don't fraternities haze and drink a lot?
Do I have to live in the chapter house? Why don't all the chapters have houses?

Why do I have to have a minimum GPA to join?  Are there other requirements?
Academic excellence is important to all our fraternities. A fraternity is a major time commitment and our chapter value academic excellence, so it is important that potential members are prepared to take on additional commitments in addition to their academic pursuits. Members are required to maintain a minimum GPA in order to remain in good standing and to hold office in the fraternity; potential members should strive to succeed academically before joining so they will stay in good standing and be eligible to hold office. In addition to academics, most fraternities have other standards for membership. These may include participation in community service activities, involvement or leadership in other organizations, and in some cases, a personal reference.

Eligibility Standards
Our sorority and fraternity chapters have voted to require an eligibility standard for membership.  Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority must have completed 12-15 credit hours with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA, or have completed 16 or more credit hours with a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA. Some chapters have set a higher academic standard (and in some cases, other non-academic standards) to be eligible for membership.

We hope you will come visit all the chapters at your earliest opportunity in order to make the best decision for YOU.

Disclaimer: Registration or participation in Wittenberg Fraternity or Sorority Recruitment is NOT an offer nor a guarantee of membership.  Membership selection is at the sole discretion of each chapter and its members and is not influenced or controlled by the Wittenberg Interfraternity Council, Wittenberg Panhellenic Council, nor Wittenberg Office of Student Involvement.

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How much does it cost to be in a fraternity? Isn't it just buying your friends?
You may have heard the cliche about fraternity members "buying their friends." Nothing is farther from the truth. Like any national organization, there are bills to pay and costs of membership. When you become a new member, there is usually a fee paid to the national/international organization. There also are semester dues and fees. When it is time to become a full member, there is usually a one-time fee to be paid to the inter/national organization that covers the cost of your badge, certificate and certain other items. Dues and other fees go to keep the house and inter/national organization running. Without them, the chapters could not function.

If you live in a fraternity house, there are room and board fees which are comparable to and most often less than residence hall or off-campus housing costs. These costs vary for each chapter but the total cost is comparable to what room, board, utility, and entertainment costs are for non-Greek students. You are strongly encouraged to ask about the specific costs when you go through recruitment and the fraternities are expected to share financial obligations with you before joining and each semester you are a member. Every chapter uses a different dues structure and some also use third-party agencies for billing; be sure you ask about the mechanics of dues and billing upon joining.

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What are the benefits of joining a fraternity?
Becoming a member of a fraternity will provide you with skills and experiences that will help prepare you for not only a career, but for life. Benefits include:

  • Leadership skills: learned through offices in the chapter, through governing Greek councils, and educational programs offered on campus and by the (inter) national organizations.
  • Academic success: provided through planned study sessions, mentorships with older members of the chapter, guest speakers at meetings, and faculty collaborations.
  • Educational programming: each chapter hosts a number of guest lectures on topics ranging from alcohol awareness and personal safety, to study skills and financial management.
  • Enduring friendships and alumni contacts: Being in a fraternity does not stop at graduation. When someone joins, they are a lifelong member. As such, they develop contacts and acquaintances that can help them when looking for a job or when they need advice. With over 150 years of history on our campus Wittenberg fraternity alumni are there to help.
  • Life skill development and career networking: Greek life is the premier college opportunity for developing life skills. Members learn to work with people who have a variety of personality traits, to live together and manage a home, to mediate conflict, and to effectively communicate through interviews and career situations as well as informal settings. In addition, all chapters have networking systems in place to help members connect to others in their career path. Local alumni associations are great contacts for internships, references, and prospective job interviews.
  • Developing a sense of civic responsibility: In the past three years, Wittenberg’s fraternity/sorority members have worked over 14,500 volunteer hours and donated over $74,000 for local and national organizations. From tutoring children in the Springfield Promise Neighborhood, to assisting the Second Harvest Food Bank, to supporting a Girl Scout Troop, or being a Big Brother our members are giving back to the community. Greek members use this experience to become active members of their churches, schools and local governments later in life.
  • It's fun!: The most immediate benefit is the activities and social events sponsored by each sorority. Whether it is a chapter event, or a Greek Week event, you will be around a group of students who know how to enjoy themselves responsibly.

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What is the time commitment?
The time commitment varies by organization and by what level of involvement you choose to have. Members can expect to attend a chapter meeting each week as well as committee meetings or executive board meetings if taking on a leadership role. Organizations host service events and participate in social events at least once a month. Most members are involved in a number of other activities around campus, jobs, and more, but it is up to you to learn to manage your time.

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Why are only men permitted to join fraternities?  Isn't that discrimination?
Title IX allows social fraternities and sororities to have single-sex memberships. Individual fraternities and sororities are permitted to implement their own membership selection procedures.

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Don't fraternities haze and drink a lot?
This is a common concern for students and families. Hazing and illegal activities are prohibited by all of the fraternities (and sororities) represented at Wittenberg. Open parties at organization social events and hazing activities are illegal and all members are educated on how to report inappropriate activities. Wittenberg's fraternities and sororities promote responsible use of alcohol. Each chapter holds seminars on responsible alcohol use and hazing prevention. Our organizations participate in safe social hosting workshops each semester and are held accountable to the university's alcohol and hazing policies in addition to governing council and inter/national organization policies. If you ever suspect you or someone else may have been hazed (or harassed), please call 937-327-7820 or click here for more information on how to report hazing. Additional information can be found online here.

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Do you have to live in the chapter house?  Why don't all the chapters have houses?
Currently only two Wittenberg fraternities have chapter houses. Most of our unhoused fraternities are working on obtaining properties to convert into a chapter house and this takes a lot of time, resources, and involvement from alumni and the inter/national fraternity.

If your fraternity has a chapter house, you will likely be expected to live in it for at least one year. Junior and senior members are typically eligible to live in the houses and receive a special release to live there from Wittenberg. Fraternity houses are homes. Each house has a living room, or common area, multiple bathrooms, kitchen and dining room. Most have computer facilities, wireless or wired internet access, laundry facilities, and cable or satellite. Chapters offer meal plans in the house which is a great alternative to the campus dining hall. If you anticipate living in the chapter house will be a concern for you, it is strongly suggested that you work with the fraternity's leadership and house corporation as soon as you join.

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