Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life is responsible for advising social Greek organizations and their respective governing councils at Shippensburg University. In essence, we aim to help our Greek students be an active part of the University and surrounding community while reinforcing the ideals and expectations set forth by their individual organizations and the University.
Joining a fraternity or sorority is much more than just a social outlet. Fraternities and sororities were founded upon and promote the highest ideals in scholarship, service, leadership, and friendship. Associating with, or joining, a fraternity or sorority gives a student an instant "home away from home" and a family of hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of brothers or sisters around the country, who also can serve as a great network when traveling or looking for a job after graduation.
Membership in a Greek organization should be complimentary to the educational mission of the University, and the skills learned from being a part of an active chapter can be utilized in the classroom setting and beyond. This part of our website is designed to help you learn more about Fraternity & Sorority Life at Shippensburg University. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you'll find some frequently asked questions parents have when their son or daughter is thinking about joining a fraternity or sorority. If you should have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office.
How will being a member of an organization contribute to and/or hinder my son's or daughter's educational experience?
Making the decision to join a fraternity or sorority is a significant one. It is a lifelong commitment that extends beyond a student's college career. Fraternity & Sorority Life at Shippensburg University provides students with a variety of opportunities to get involved in their campus community. The expectations associated with being a member of a fraternity or sorority do place demands on a student's time. However, these are not only social and philanthropic. Our organizations place a high emphasis on successful academics. However demanding "pledging" can be, there is always room for flexibility within one's pledge program. The key concept for parents to be aware of is communication! Just as Shippensburg University students are expected to communicate their difficulties to their professors, it is no different within a fraternity or sorority. If your son or daughter experiences being overextended or overwhelmed, encourage him to talk the New Member Educator or Chapter President. Once those difficulties have been communicated, the chapter should make every effort to assist their member. If the problem persists after discussing it with the New Member Educator or Chapter President, please have your son or daughter contact the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office at 717-477-1279.
What requirements are there to join a fraternity or sorority?
First-year students are not allowed to join a fraternity or sorority until the spring semester. Upperclassmen may join during the fall semester if chapters are taking new members at that time as long as they are an undergraduate student attending Shippensburg University, have at least the chapter minimum GPA, have taken at least 12 credit hours, and are in good judicial standing with the university. Men and women who are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority must sign grade releases and register with the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office while attending any recruitment events.
Will my son or daughter have to worry about hazing as a part of their Greek experience?
Hazing is perhaps the biggest disgrace of the American fraternity system. Popular movies and television shows have created the impression that all chapters include hazing activities as a step in becoming an active member of the organization. This is not true. Hazing is forbidden amongst all the National Fraternities and Sororities and not to mention in the state of Pennsylvania and on the campus of Shippensburg University. As a conscientious parent of the SU Greek community, it is imperative that you help us to eliminate any potential hazing. That includes an obligation to report hazing if you see it or hear about it through your son or daughter. If your son or daughter needs to report a hazing incident they should contact the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office.
Do you have any helpful hints for me as a parent?
The following is a list of suggestions that may help ease your student's transition to both the University and the Greek community.
- Be happy and supportive with your son's or daughter's choice of fraternity or sorority.
- Encourage your son or daughter to attend programs sponsored by Fraternity & Sorority Life Office.
- Ask for details about the financial aspect of membership. If you are paying, you have the right to know. Many onetime dues are paid during the first year, so expect the first year to be the most expensive.
- Initiation is an important time for the new initiates. Be supportive and respectful of this time for your student.
- Talk with your son or daughter. Stay in touch with phone calls, letters, and care packages.
- Encourage your son or daughter to be a part of the University community and to take advantage of its many resources.