Fraternity and Sorority Life FAQ's
Commonly Asked Questions
Why should I (my child) join a fraternity or sorority?
Leadership/Involvement: Greek men and women are involved in an array of campus activities, are often the most visible campus leaders, and are the most enthusiastic supporters of University events like Homecoming, fraternity/sorority life events, and community service. Through the techniques of self-government, every fraternity/sorority member acquires experience in public speaking, decision making, rules of conduct, parliamentary procedure, committee work, assumption of individual and group responsibilities, self-confidence, budgeting, and maintenance of individuality while supporting majority patterns.
Social: Formal events, costume/theme parties, cookouts, seminars, philanthropy events, Greek Week, picnics, socials, and various other events offer inexpensive means to becoming a well-rounded individual and are a great way to have fun. Besides giving the opportunity to meet new people and have new experiences, fraternity/sorority chapters also aid in the development of skills to be comfortable in these performances.
Networking/Real-World : Fraternity men and sorority women are afforded networking opportunities through Greek Alumni for job assistance and advice, internships, exposure, and experience, and general direction through chapter activities during college.
Support: Fraternity and sorority houses offer a "home away from home." Living within a chapter house furthers student growth and development and provides much of the comfort and support of a family environment. Many students say that this support group makes the adjustment to college life easier. Chapters also support students academically through study programs and mentoring. Beyond all else, each chapter offers a warm, congenial association with others of like interests. Each chapter member, individuals with their own backgrounds, share experiences, hopes, successes, and failures. As a member grows in the chapter they experience a sense of "belonging" leading to friendships that develop and last beyond a semester and surpass college life.
How can membership assist my student in succeeding academically?
Every chapter understands that its members are students first and provide recognition to those who excel and improve their academic standing. Each chapter has a minimum GPA their members need to maintain in order to stay on active status in the chapter. If a student falls below that required GPA, study programs and other resources are offered to that student to help get their grades back to where they need to be. All chapters at William Woods have a faculty or staff advisor that helps to make sure the chapter is putting the necessary emphasis on academics. On average, the all-sorority and fraternity GPA consistently exceeds that of the campus average. See Spring 2012 academic report.
What about hazing and the "pledging" process?
William Woods University has a strict anti-hazing policy that goes in accordance with Missouri State Law. If a member of one of William Woods fraternities/sororities suspects hazing, they are required to report it to the Office of Student Life immediately. When new members join a fraternity/sorority at William Woods, they receive education of William Woods anti-hazing policy. Hazing is opposed by all fraternities and sororities on the University campus and is not tolerated at the Woods, plain and simple. No student should ever be asked to do anything they do not want to do.
When a student joins a chapter, they will participate in new member education meetings (a kind of orientation to the chapter) where they learn will about the history and values of the organization and the University, as well as attend weekly business meetings (also referred to as "chapter meetings").
What about alcohol?
All sororities at William Woods University are nationally dry according to their national headquarters' rules and by the National Panhellenic Conference (governing body of all sororities) so alcohol is not allowed in any of them. The fraternities at William Woods University follow the University policy on alcohol, "Both residents of the room must be 21, alcohol will be allowed in the privacy of rooms only, and parties will not be permitted".
Chapters host socials at off-campus locations, and are taken by bus to those off-campus locations to help ensure members' safety. All socials are registered with the Center for Student Involvement. All fraternities and sororities have national/international risk management plans (and chapter leaders to enforce them) which include strict polices regulating the consumption of alcohol at social functions. Feel free to ask individual chapters about their risk management policies. All chapters are expected to uphold state, county and city laws. Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternity or sorority?
Each chapter has elected officers that run the day to day chapter operations. Those officers report to alumni and faculty advisors, and to the Director of Student Involvement at William Woods University. Each chapter has at least one faculty or staff member on campus who advises the chapter as well as at least one (many times multiple) alumni/ae. These alumni advise the chapter with everything from planning an event to enforcing grade requirements. In addition to efficient chapter management they also provide networking and resources to chapter members (during college and beyond). Each chapter also corresponds with a national/international organization and reports to a headquarters office.
What is the cost of membership?
Since the beginning of Greek-Letter societies, they have been self-sufficient. Each chapter and subsequent national office collects dues and membership fees from every member. Membership dues provide the operating budgets for the chapters. . The first semester of joining is usually the most expensive semester: new member fees, initiation fees, and active badges are usually purchased during this semester. Fees vary from chapter to chapter. These costs will be addressed very early in the Recruitment process, and will never be kept a secret from the members. Payment plans and scholarships are available in most cases to work out what works best. The first semester a member joins tends to be the most expensive.
For housing, William Woods fraternities and sororities are housed in University residence halls. The Office of Residential Life website can be consulted for the different options and prices in University housing.
Where will students live if they join a fraternity or sorority?
William Woods University is unique that the fraternities and sororities are housed in University residence halls. The chapters are able to make updates and changes, making it feel more "homey", but are still required to follow the same university policies as other non-Greek residence halls.
When will students move into the chapter house?
With Recruitment occurring during Orientation, all new students are placed in temporary housing. When a student decides to go through Recruitment and accept a bid to join a fraternity or sorority, they will move immediately into the chapter house the Sunday before classes start. Current members of the chapter they have joined will help them move! New students that do not join a chapter will most likely also move to consolidate rooms and make space for returning students. They will have the help of fellow students in that moving process.
My child is participating in LEAD, is an athlete, and is majoring in Equestrian Science. Will they be able to do it all?
Yes! William Woods University supports students getting involved on campus and doing what interests them! Fraternities and sororities provide excellent support networks for students. Chapter members have the same classes and are able to study together, chapters promote LEAD events and attend together, and chapters will support their athlete members at their events. Again ask the chapters this question! You are sure to meet lots of students that are doing all of this and more.
Aren't fraternities and sororities just like the one's shown in the media (e.g. "Animal House", "Old School", and "Greek")?
Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, fraternity and sorority members have been categorized as elitist, spoiled, partiers, irresponsible and abusive since the screening of these shows and others.
In reality, fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendships. As a college student it is important for you to make your own informed decision as to what Fraternity/sorority life at William Wood's is all about.
What is a Recommendation and do I need one?
A recommendation or a "rec" is just that, a letter of recommendation typically written by an alumna of a particular sorority "recommending" you to that organization.
These are entirely optional and definitely not required at William Woods. If you happen to have someone wanting to provide a letter for you they can be sent to Name of Chapter, One University Ave., Fulton MO 65251.
How does Recruitment work?
Recruitment is a time of mutual selection between students and chapters. Not only do the fraternities/sororities select new members, but students select a chapter with which they wish to be affiliated. Recruitment events for men and women at WWU are alcohol-free and are held during orientation week. Students who choose to participate in recruitment activities are under no obligation to join fraternity/sorority life. At the end of recruitment activities, the chapters extend formal written invitations (bids). If a student chooses to accept the bid, then he/she is affiliated with the chapter. More information on sorority recruitment. More information on fraternity recruitment.