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
classroom. One way that students choose
to be involved at UNF is through joining a fraternity or sorority.
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 five values of Fraternity & Sorority Life
at UNF: Scholarship, Integrity, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Community
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
What does involvement in a Fraternity or
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 friendships. 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
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 perform a routine/play dodgeball/walk a 5-k; and they may hang out
with their newfound 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 the recruitment or 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 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
On the contrary, a central mission of all fraternity and sorority
organizations is academic excellence.
Fraternities and sororities understand that their members are students primarily. All chapters have GPA minimums to join and
remain an active member of the organization.
In addition, there are requirements and programs that may include study
hours, tutoring, academic mentoring, scholarships, and other recognition for
academic success. Consistently, the cumulative GPAs of fraternity and
sorority members are higher than the non-affiliated average at the University.
As stated above, fraternities and sororities were born out of literary
societies in the late 1700’s.
students were unhappy with what was being taught in the classroom and wanted to
have deeper conversations about social issues and other academic pursuits.
These organizations operated in secrecy to
avoid the potential of being expelled by their institution.
The early 1800’s saw the formation of what we
know consider social fraternities.
foundation of these organizations has always been about academics and expanding
the social aspects of the college environment.
Over time, these organizations took on philanthropic and service initiatives to
use their gifts and privileges to assist others in the community. Some philanthropic partnerships our
organizations have at UNF include March of Dimes, Court Appointed Special
Advocates (CASA), Girls Scouts of America, Huntsman Cancer Foundation,
Children’s Miracle Network, Breast Cancer Awareness and Education, Mothers
Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.), and the Heart to Heart Cardiac Care
grant. Chapters also provide hands-on
service to local organizations such as, HabiJax, Wolfson Children’s Hospital,
Second Harvest Food Bank, Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, Sulzbacher
Center, and local high schools and middle schools. Involvement in the community has led to
students exploring non-profit careers, acquiring internships, and applying
information learned in the classroom to real-world situations. Not to mention, these students are
contributing to a cause bigger than they are and are making a difference in
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. Not only can an
organization be found responsible for hazing, but the individuals involved can
also be found responsible through the conduct process. This includes members who knew hazing was
occurring but did nothing to stop it from happening.
Hazing allegations are investigated by University Police Department to
determine if a violation of law took place.
From there, the University Conduct Office will investigate if a
violation of the Code of Student Conduct transpired. At the same time, the headquarters of the
organization may also conduct an investigation to discover if their policies
were broken. As you can see, these
issues are taken seriously. All
allegations are investigated.
Organizations being investigated are put on a Cease and Desist order
with the University until the investigation has concluded.
If someone you know has
been hazed, click HERE to report it. All reports are anonymous. If you would
like for a University official to follow-up with you, please leave your contact
information in the form.
Affairs Hazing Prevention Website
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 first semester in a chapter is always the most expensive. There are additional fees and costs to cover educational materials and badges. The cost of membership within each organization varies greatly, and specific questions should be directed toward each individual fraternity or sorority chapter.
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
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
Meetings are conducted on campus either in the
Student Union or in an academic building.
Fraternities and sororities are recognized student organizations and are
able to reserve on campus space at no cost (with a few exceptions). Most chapter meetings are held on Sunday
evenings. Chapters may have additional
weekly meetings for various committees.
All of our chapters have a dedicated webpage
through UNF. The chapters can be found
. Currently, 24 organizations are recognized at
UNF. Alpha Phi
will be joining the
Panhellenic Council in Fall 2015. We are
anticipating the addition of more chapters over the next few years, so check
back to see as new ones join the community.
occurs during different times of the year, but mainly in the beginning weeks of
the fall and spring semester. For more specifics about joining an
organization, please refer to the specific council webpage.
Each council has a different process for adding members. At the end of the day, students who go through recruitment are not guaranteed the opportunity to join a chapter. Each organization has minimum standards and selection criteria it uses to determine who they would like to join. These factors are determined by the headquarters of the organization. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has a minimum GPA standard of 2.25 to be considered to join a chapter. Almost all chapters have standards significantly higher than a 2.25 GPA.
GPA, community service, and extra-curricular involvement are typically factors that contribute to being selected into an organization. Some chapters have a minimum number of credits needed to be completed to be considered. It is important for your student to ask these questions when learning more about the chapters.