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 life long 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. More
information on specific recruitment policies, procedures, and dates can
be found on How to Join.
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. For more
information you can check out Myths and Facts about Hazing as well as review Shippensburg's Hazing Policy.
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
- 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 one time
dues are paid during the first year, so expect the first year to be the
- 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.