What does fraternity and sorority life look like at UNF?
The University of North Florida is proud to have over 30 recognized fraternities and sororities, making us one of the largest Greek communities in the state. Approximately 10% of the undergraduate student population are members of our organizations, and our community has seen significant growth over the last five years.
What are the financial commitments associated with joining?
Fraternities and sororities are not funded by the University of North Florida. Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first semester of membership, new members are assessed several one-time fees (pledge fee, initiation fee, badge fee). After the initial fees are paid, your student's only required expenses will be their regular chapter dues.
Will my student's grades be compromised by joining a fraternity or sorority?
Historically, fraternities and sororities were founded on the principles of academic success, and this continues today. Our members recognize that academic achievement is their main priority and usually, each individual chapter has an elected official who is responsible for keeping track of members and their academic performance. Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study sessions, which can assist the entire chapter in excelling academically.
Does UNF have Greek Housing? If not, where do members gather on campus?
Currently, no chapter at UNF has a recognized house or place of residence, and often, meetings are conducted on campus, either in the Student Union or in an academic building. Fraternities and sororities are recognized student organizations and can reserve on campus space at no cost (with a few exceptions). Additionally, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life prides itself on being a space for our members to come to in-between classes. Our space is equipped with study areas, a living room, and offices for our councils and leadership organizations.
What's the difference between recognized and unrecognized chapters?
University recognized fraternities and sororities work closely with the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and are held accountable to University policies. These chapters remain in good standing and are chartered to be affiliated with the institution. Unrecognized fraternities and sororities are organizations that are not monitored by the University and, often, their (Inter)National Headquarters. Additionally, organizations that are considered unrecognized do not meet the University's standards for recognition and/or have lost recognition for failure to adhere to University policies. We strongly discourage students from joining these organizations.
Who can my student talk to if they have a problem while they are a new member or after they've been initiated?
There are several people your student can speak with if they have problems or questions:
- Chapter Advisor (an adult advisor to the organization)
- Chapter President (the student elected by the organization to lead the membership)
- New Member Educator (the student elected to administer the new member program)
- Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life staff
Contact info for the Advisor, President and New Member Educator should be given to the new members at the first meeting of the new member program. This info can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life at OFSL@unf.edu.
What if my student wants to quit their fraternity or sorority?
On occasion, students feel it necessary to quit their fraternity or sorority. It may be that the time commitment proves to be challenging, the financial obligation is too expensive, or the student believes they made the wrong choice in organizations. If the student has made a choice to quit, they can do so by submitting a written resignation and speaking with the Chapter Advisor, Chapter President or New Member Educator. The student can leave the organization but should understand that any money that has been paid to the group cannot be refunded and that the organization will likely ask for certain items to be returned, like a pin or membership certificate.
Who oversees the fraternities and sororities?
Individual chapters elect student officers to manage the day to day operations of the chapter. These officers are assisted by alumni who act as advisors. Each chapter is also responsible to report to their (inter)national organization, which offers support, advice and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. The University of North Florida operates the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and employs two professional staff members to advise and support the recognized fraternities and sororities at UNF. You can contact the OFSL staff at OFSL@unf.edu.
What are the requirements to join a fraternity or sorority at UNF?
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life requires the following to be eligible for membership in any of UNF's fraternities and sororities:
- Minimum overall Cumulative GPA, including a transfer GPA, of a 2.5. If the student does not have a college GPA, they must have a minimum high school GPA of a 3.0.
- Be a fully matriculated student at the University of North Florida.
- Be currently enrolled in classes at the University of North Florida.
If I am an alumnus of an organization, does that organization have to offer my student an invitation to join?
Every fraternity and sorority differs in its policy regarding this matter. Check with your organization's headquarters for information and an accurate answer to this question. You may discover that the organization you belong to may not be the best fit, on this campus, for your student. We kindly ask our Greek-affiliated parents to allow their student to make the best decision for themselves as membership is a lifelong commitment.
My student participated in recruitment or intake but wasn't asked to join. Why? Now what?
Our fraternities and sororities are private membership organizations and are under no obligation to explain why a student wasn't offered an invitation to membership, so our office staff will not know the reason why a student wasn't asked to join. In some cases, the reason is clear - i.e. the student didn't meet the academic requirement. We suggest that parents and students consider this to be similar to what happens in a job interview. An applicant might have a great resume, but the interview might not go well. Or, the candidate could have a great interview but not have the right credentials. If your student wishes to keep looking for a fraternity or sorority experience, we encourage them to explore their options to do so. If not, we hope that they will consider joining one of UNF's 200+ clubs and organizations.
Are letters of recommendation required to be invited to join a fraternity or sorority?
For our IFC and Panhellenic organizations, letters of recommendation are not required; however, they are helpful in allowing the chapter to learn more about your student. For our MGC and NPHC chapters, it may be required of your student to obtain letters of recommendation as part of their application or interest packet. If your student is interested in joining an MGC or NPHC organization, we recommend having them ask if letters are required and who may write them.
Safety & Risk Reduction Questions
What are the safety risks associated with fraternity or sorority membership?
Stereotypes suggest that fraternity or sorority membership may compromise a student's safety and well-being. At the University of North Florida, we pride ourselves on being proactive in educating our chapter and council leaders on our hazing prevention and risk management policies. Our OFSL policies are in accordance with the state law of Florida and are enforced by both UNF administrators and members of fraternities and sororities themselves.
What does the "pledge" process look like?
Formerly referred to as "pledging," all fraternity and sorority members experience a period of "new member education". During this time, your student and other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the organization's history, participate in community service projects, and activities designed to build deep and trustworthy friendships among new members and initiated members. The (inter)national organizations mandate that each of their chapters utilize their guidelines and resources for how to execute the new member process successfully and safely. A new member process should never include activities or experiences that are harmful, uncomfortable, disgraceful, or unsafe.
Is hazing a part of the UNF fraternity and sorority community culture?
The UNF fraternity and sorority community, its governing councils, and its member organizations do not tolerate hazing in any form. Hazing is against the law in the state of Florida and is a violation of the UNF Student Code of Conduct. Any chapter who violates this policy will be given due process and if found responsible may be subjected to organizational and/or individual sanctions and discipline.
Is there anything my student cannot tell me about their fraternity or sorority?
No. The only secret information is that which is learned at the official initiation ceremony held at the end of the new member education period. All other information should be easily obtainable by your student and shared with you. In addition, most national fraternities/sororities include information for Parents/Families on their websites.
What is the policy on alcohol use in the fraternity and sorority community?
Every fraternity and sorority has a policy or position statement regarding the use of alcohol or the presence of alcohol at chapter events. In addition to this, UNF expects all organizations to adhere to federal, state, and local laws and the Code of Student Conduct as it pertains to alcohol. Chapters and/or members failing to do so may be subject to sanctions imposed by the city or state, (inter)national organizations, the University, the chapter's governing council, or the individual chapter's judicial board.