Parents and Family

A Letter for Parents

Sending a child to college can be a challenging and stressful time in a parent's life. While at the University of North Florida, your student will encounter many opportunities to become involved outside of their classroom experience. In fact, research has shown that 60% of all learning happens outside the classroom. One major way that students choose to be involved at UNF is through joining a fraternity or sorority. 

  

Fraternities and sororities were originally founded to enhance students’ academic experiences and to broaden their horizons more than was typical in the classroom. Today, the mission is nothing different. Our fraternities and sororities pride themselves on excellence in the four pillars of Greek life: scholarship, service, leadership, and fellowship.  

  

If your student is looking for a community where they will grow personally and intellectually, we encourage you to look into fraternity and sorority life here at UNF.  

 

What does involvement in a Fraternity or Sorority entail?

Forget what you’ve seen in the movies or on TV; those are distorted views of fraternity and sorority life. Although those behaviors sometimes happen, they are not endorsed and certainly not what you would see if you caught a glimpse into day-to-day fraternity or sorority life. 

  

What you would see are students becoming leaders, helping each other with their classwork, encouraging each other to become better men and women, serving the campus and community, and making life-long friends. At UNF, our fraternity and sorority members are involved in all aspects of campus, from Student Government to Athletics to Residence Life and work with and for a large variety of non-profit organizations in the community and nationally. 

  

On a weekly basis, your student can expect to attend a meeting where they will be exposed to how business is conducted in a professional setting; they might attend a philanthropy event and eat cupcakes/play dodgeball/walk a 5-k; and they may hang out with their new-found brothers and sisters. As an officer, they will learn how to lead an organization and work with staff and administrators, perfect preparation for future career goals. 

  

Fraternity and sorority members do keep busy, but they quickly learn, with help from the chapter, how to manage their time to make the most out of their college experience. 

 

Your Role as a Parent

Your role as a parent is important as your student decides whether to join a fraternity or sorority. Encourage your student to find out more information about the UNF Fraternity & Sorority Community. They can do this at Orientation, on the internet, by talking with members of fraternities and sororities, and by going through recruitment and intake processes.

 

Ask questions about the group(s) your student is considering, but trust that they will make the best decision for themselves. If your student joins a fraternity or sorority, University staff and chapter advisors are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have and to provide you with additional information. Call the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at (904) 620-2526 for more information and a detailed listing of contact information for chapter advisors.

 

Most importantly, be as supportive as you can. The decision to join a fraternity or sorority is an exciting, life-changing commitment with benefits extending far beyond one's college years. Here are several ways to ensure that you are being an active and informed supporter of your student as they become involved in a fraternity or sorority:

  • Learn about the fraternity/sorority by visiting the chapter’s website and the official website of the fraternity/sorority (inter)national headquarters. Review the fraternity/sorority mission, values, and tenants of membership
  • Encourage your student to take advantage of chapter services, leadership opportunities, and scholarships
  • Encourage your student to attend the educational programs of the chapter and through the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life
  • Know the contact information for the chapter, big brother/big sister, fraternity/sorority headquarters, and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Find out the details of the financial obligations of the organization
  • Encourage your student to take a leadership role in his or her chapter
  • Stay involved with them by attending Parents' Day functions, mother/daughter + father/son outings, or by attending community service projects with them
  • Encourage your student to get involved in other campus organizations and volunteer organizations
  • Know the grade requirements for new and active members

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will my student's academics be compromised by joining a Greek organization?  

A: On the contrary, a central mission of all fraternity and sorority organizations is academic excellence. Fraternities and sororities understand that their members are students first and foremost. All chapters have scholarship requirements and programs that may include study hours, tutoring, academic mentoring, scholarships, and other recognitions for academic success.  


Q: Is hazing considered a tradition among UNF fraternities and sororities? 

A: Hazing has no place in any fraternity or sorority organization. UNF will not tolerate hazing in any student organization. In addition, hazing is against the law in the State of Florida. All fraternity and sorority members know that hazing is against their national policies, university policy, and the law. 


Q: Does it cost a lot to be Greek? 

A: Joining a fraternity or sorority does carry a financial commitment. Each chapter is self-supporting with revenue coming from dues paying members. When students join a Greek organization, they agree to pay dues and fees while enrolled at UNF in order to maintain membership. Scholarship money (often in the thousands) is widely available for members in fraternities and sororities who excel academically. In addition, many chapters are able to make accommodations for special circumstances (payment plans, etc.). While fraternity and sorority membership is affordable, students should discuss the financial obligations with you before they join. The cost of membership within each organization varies greatly, and specific questions should be directed toward each individual fraternity or sorority chapter. 


Q: Does being a member of a Greek-letter organization have benefits after graduation? 

A: Absolutely. Fraternity and sorority membership is a life-long commitment. Once you are an initiated member, you remain a member for life. As such, each national organization has an extensive alumni network. As you know, in today's job market it is not only important what you know, but who you know. Being a fraternity or sorority member means having an immediate connection with tens of thousands of other members. There are many successful fraternity and sorority alumni across the globe who are always looking to hire the best and the brightest that our Community has to offer. In addition, there are alumni groups or graduate chapters that operate in most cities and metropolitan areas across the country. If you find yourself in a new city, you can start your networking with your brothers or sisters in a local alumni group. 


Q: How does my student get involved? 

A: Recruitment/Intake occurs during different times of the year, but mainly in the beginning weeks of the fall and spring semester.