Parent & Family FAQs
Perceptions of Fraternities and Sororities differ widely among parents and students. This information seeks to explain many of the areas of Fraternity and Sorority Life specifically concerning parents. Social fraternities and sororities are almost as old as Stockton University. Today, over a thousand Stockton students are members of our fraternity and sorority community.
Many stereotypes exist about fraternities and sororities but when one inquires into their fundamental intent, action, and purpose one will see a very different representation. Fraternities and sororities are organizations made up of groups of students that have bonded together and agreed to live out the values espoused by their founders, their creed, and the national organization. Fraternities and sororities are values-based social organizations; meaning, that the organizations subscribe to a specific set of core values and beliefs that incorporate the concepts of brotherhood / sisterhood, service, tradition, scholarship, leadership and building relationships into their ideals and traditions. Regular activities of fraternities and sororities include philanthropic events, service projects, leadership and personal development training, and social activities.
Research before, and active participation during the recruitment period are the best strategies for finding a fraternity or sorority. Most students who join a fraternity or sorority do so in the second semester of their first year. During the first semester, students are encouraged to attend fraternity and sorority events and meet the members. During this time, it is important for your student to ask questions so they can begin to differentiate one chapter from another. Students can also review each chapter's page on the website to learn more.
- How much are dues and fees?
- What exactly happens during the intake or new member process?
- What kind of scholarship program does the chapter offer?
- What activities is the chapter involved with on campus?
- What is the time commitment?
- What are the service projects this chapter conducts?
- How will membership in this specific fraternity/sorority benefit me?
- What is the chapter’s policy on hazing?
It is important to know a great deal about the chapter before deciding to join. Recruitment events provide a time for mutual learning, a time when chapters learn about the new students and the new students learn about the chapters. All chapters are different and by asking questions and noting the differences, your student will narrow their selection to the most appropriate chapter.
Stockton recognized fraternities and sororities work closely with the Office of Student Development and are held accountable to University policies and procedures. Recognized fraternities and sororities are able to participate in University sponsored programs, reserve space on campus, and gain all the benefits of being a member of a inter/national organization.
Unrecognized groups are not fraternities or sororities, even if they refer to themselves as such. These groups of students are not subject to University policy nor are they monitored by the University. Groups that appear on the Unrecognized list do not meet the University's standards for recognition and/or have lost recognition for failure to adhere to University policies. Students who join these groups are not actually members of inter/national organizations and do not gain the benefits of that membership. We strongly discourage students from joining these groups.
In order for your student to join a fraternity or sorority, they must first be deemed eligible by the Office of Student Development. Information on the elgibility process can be found here. Once a student is eligible, they remain eligible throughout their time at Stockton, unless they no longer meet the requirements.
Students are encouraged to attend fraternity and sorority programs and recruitment events to learn more about each chapter. Each semester, the fraternities and sororities host a "Meet the Greeks" event to introduce themselves to all students.
Once eligible, your student may accept an invitation to join.
Once your student has decided to join, they will be known as a “new member “ (or associate, pledge, probate, etc.) of the organization. The new member period is a time of learning – learning about how the organization is run, learning about the history of the organization, learning how to work within the larger membership, learning about yourself. It is designed to be a period of orientation.
The new member program (or intake, pledge period, etc.) is designed by the national fraternity/sorority and typically new members learn this information at a weekly meeting. You’ll likely hear your child talk about their “pledge sisters or line brothers” meaning those they havejoined with, the “initiates” those who are already members and the New Member Educator (or Pledgemaster, Intake Coordinator, etc.) – the student in charge of running the new member or intake program.
Typically at the first new member meeting of the semester the organization will supply your student with all of the information they need to know – a calendar of events, contact information for the student officers and alumni/ae advisors, a financial contract to sign and a list of expectations for they must meet before becoming a fully initiated member of the organization.)
All of this information can (and should) be shared with parents/guardians. In addition, your student should be able to direct you to the national and local websites so that you can begin to learn more about the organization your student is joining.
Fraternities/sororities are NOT funded by the University. Each fraternity and sorority is a seperate entity from the University, recognized by a inter/national organization as one of their chapters. Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first semester of membership, new members are assessed a number of one-time fees (new member fee, initiation fee, badge fee, etc,). After the initial fees are paid, your student's only required expenses will be their regular chapter dues (which include national dues), which are determined by the chapter each semester. They can range from $90/semester to $500/semester, so your student should do their research.
Take the time to find out more about the Greek community at Stockton. Ask questions about what the organizations will offer your student and allow them to make the best decision for themselves.
Once your student joins, continue to be observant and ask questions. Here are a few suggestions to help ease your student's transition to both the University and their new fraternity or sorority:
- Be happy and supportive of your student's choice of fraternity/sorority.
- Encourage them to attend programs sponsored by their new chapter and the Office of Student Development.
- Know the name and contact information for the chapter president, new member educator and chapter advisor.
- Stay in touch with your student about their membership.
- Attend Parent/Family weekend activities as well as other special events sponsored by the chapter.
- Expect to see numerous new t-shirts, photos and Greek paraphernalia.
- Encourage your student to be a part of the University community and to take advantage of its many resources.
- Ask for details about the financial aspect of membership. If you are providing financial assistance, you have the right to know. Many one-time fees are paid during the first semester of membership, so expect the first few months to be the most expensive.
Individual chapters elect officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the chapter. These officers are assisted by alumni or faculty/staff who act as advisors. Each chapter is also responsible to report to their inter/national organization, which offers support, advise and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers.
Stockton University employs a professional staff member in the Office of Student Development to advise and support the recognized fraternities/sororities. Contact for this individual can be found here.
In some cases the reason is clear – i.e. the student didn’t meet the academic requirement of that chapter or the student had not met enough of the members yet for the chapter to make a decision to give him/her membership. We suggest that parents/guardians 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 be a great interview but not have the right credentials. If your student wishes to keep looking for a fraternity/sorority experience he or she can participate in recruitment during the next semester. If not, but they’d still like to be involved in campus in some way, you might want to encourage them to think about any of the other 150+ student organizations and clubs on campus.
The new member process can take no longer then eight (8) weeks as per Stockton University
policy. Your child should receive a calendar of events from the chapter at their
Typically you can expect your student to have a weekly meeting with the rest of the students who are joining. At these meetings students usually participate in team-builders, learn fraternity/sorority history, organizational structure, talk about the requirements they must meet in order to become an initiated member, etc. Nothing in these meetings are secret.
Most new members participate in an academic program through the organization (tutoring with an older member, attending study hours at the library, submitting copies of their grades throughout the semester). They are also doing community service, attending some sort of leadership programming (a retreat, workshops, and educational speakers) and are likely attending social events.
Again, none of these things are secret, no meetings or events should run past midnight or be held before 7am and all events should be talked about well in advance with the students so that they can adjust their schedule accordingly.
Hazing is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, Fraternity & Sorority Life regulations, and inter/national organization policy. Any chapter who violates these policies will be given due process and if found responsible may be subjected to organizational and/or individual sanctions and discipline, which could include suspension or loss of recognition for the chapter.
Prior to membership acceptance, all Stockton students must complete an eligibility
process that includes education on hazing and how to report it.
If you believe your student is the victim of hazing, we urge you to contact the Office of Student Development immediately.
There are several people your student can speak with if they have problems or questions:
- Chapter Advisor
- Chapter President
- New Member Educator/Intake Coordinator
- Assistant Director of Student Development
Contact info (phone and email) 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 Student Development.
No. The only secret information is that which is learned at the official initiation ceremony held at the end of the new member or intake period. All other information should be easily obtainable by your child and shared with you.
On occasion, students feel it necessary to quit their new 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 have made the wrong choice in organizations,
etc. If the student has made a choice to quit, they can do so by speaking with the
Chapter Advisor, Chapter President or New Member Educator.
Some organizations hold an “exit interview” to find out why the student is leaving, others may have paperwork for the organization that the departing new member must complete. Either way, the student can leave the organization, but should understand that in most cases 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 new member manual of information or the new member pin.
The Office of Student Development requires any student dropping out of the new member process to complete this form.
If you still have questions about fraternity and sorority life, please feel free to contact Assistant Director of Student Development, Joseph Thompson, at 609-652-4211 / Joseph.Thompson@stockton.edu.