UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Parents and Family

We are excited to welcome you and your student to UW-River Falls. Entering college is an exciting time in a student's life. College provides amazing opportunities for learning, personal growth, and relationship building. The challenge and rewards of this new life can be enhanced through the fraternity or sorority experience. Fraternities and sororities have been on campus since the 1960s, and today UWRF is the home to eight Greek-letter organizations.

Fraternity and sorority life provides opportunities for leadership, scholastic support, networking, community service, and philanthropy. Fraternity men and sorority women are some of the most active leaders on campus, and can introduce your student to a multitude of other student organizations and leadership opportunities. Participation in fraternity and sorority life is a great way to ensure a well-rounded undergraduate experience.

Your student is about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of his or her lifetime. We hope that the fraternity and sorority experience will be a part of that journey.  

Your Role as a Parent

  • Take the time to find more out about the Fraternity and Sorority Community at UW-River Falls. You can visit chapters' inter/national and local websites to find more out about individual chapters.

  • Ask questions about what the organizations will offer your student and allow your student to make the best decision for himself/herself. Fraternities and sororities are different at every campus, so allow your student to choose the chapter with whom he/she feels most comfortable.

  • Keep an open mind. Fraternity and sorority membership varies based on engagement in the organization. Provide support to your student and encourage them to ask questions and get involved.

  • Discuss the financial obligation with your student. Determine who will pay for what and the limits.

  • If your student chooses to join a chapter, there will be opportunities for parent involvement. Take advantage of those opportunities.

Reasons Why Your Student Should "Go Greek"

  • Academic support

    Greek organizations at UWRF promote academic achievement through activities such as study hours, awards, honor societies, academic mentors, speakers, networking, and alumni career advising. Greek life also boasts a high retention rate for its members. Studies indicate that more students in sororities and fraternities stay in school through graduation than do unaffiliated students.

     

  • Leadership and Personal Development

    Fraternities and sororities offer a wealth of leadership opportunities. Each member is encouraged to participate actively in his or her chapter, as well as in the Greek governance community and other campus-wide leadership activities.

     

  • Lifelong Friends and Community Building

    Members of Greek organizations often feel a sense of belonging in their chapters and have numerous opportunities to form lasting friendships among fellow members. In addition, being Greek allows students to form relationships and to network with chapter alumni. Greeks also help and support the UWRF community through various service and philanthropic projects. Community service promotes unity among individual members and between members and their chapters, and develops responsibility, appreciation for differences, empathy, and other critical skills students will need for future success.

Parents Often Ask...

What are the advantages of joining a fraternity or sorority?  

Attending college is a major life change creating a big transition period for many students. Fraternities and sororities enable students to meet many people through social events, service projects, recruitment, and leadership programming. These organizations are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student involvement, community service, and life-long friendships. Greek organizations are groups of men and women who come together to form a personal network of individuals with similar ideas, interests, and a mutual pursuit of a well-rounded college education. Advantages include:  

  • A support group to help make the adjustment to college easier.

  • Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals.

  • Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.

  • Encouragement to get involved and maximize their potential on campus.

  • Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.

Does being in a fraternity or sorority take a lot of time?  

The time commitments vary from chapter to chapter. During their first semester, new members attend a variety of activities to meet other chapter members, learn about the organization's history and values, and develop leadership skills. Each chapter has a weekly chapter meeting, fundraising events, community service projects, educational programs, and other events that members are expected to attend. These events are planned in advance to allow members time for studying, involvement in other organizations, work, and other activities. Time spent at chapter events ensures he or she is getting the most out of the organization.  

Overall, Greek membership can be best described as organizations that emphasize that you will get out of it that which you put into it.

How will being Greek affect my student's grades?  

The Greek community realizes the importance of a quality education and academic excellence is a priority. All fraternity and sorority members are expected to fulfill their academic potential. Academic standards have been established and resources are available for students who do not meet these standards. In addition, chapters have both faculty and alumnus advisors who focuses on the scholastic achievement of each member. Often chapters organize incentives and awards for members who have excelled academically.  

How much does it cost to be a member of a fraternity or sorority?  

Membership in a fraternity or sorority does carry a financial commitment. Each chapter is self supporting through dues paid by all members each semester. These dues cover insurance, National/International dues, chapter operating expense and social functions. Financial obligations will vary from chapter to chapter so encourage your student to ask questions during the recruitment processes about the financial commitments associated with each chapter.  

Who is in charge of the Greek community?  

Each chapter is governed by a council or committee of officers (i.e. president, vice president, treasurer, committee chairs, etc.). These members give the organization direction, plan events, and help to formulate organizational goals. Outside guidance generally comes from three sources: fraternity and sorority headquarters, local area volunteers and the university. Fraternity and sorority headquarters employ paid professional staff who provide educational resources, guidance and ensure members are upholding the standards and expectations of the organization. The headquarters also recruit regional or local alumni volunteers to advise chapters in all aspects of chapter operations. The Office of Student Life employs a full-time professional staff member who advises, mentors, and provides programming for personal and organizational development.

Can I be assured my student will be safe in the Greek community?  

UW-River Falls is dedicated to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment for our students. In addition, UWRF is committed to promoting an environment that fosters respect for the dignity and rights of all its community members. As such, the university will not tolerate hazing activities by any individuals, groups, teams, or recognized student organizations. All chapters are expected to uphold all federal, state and local laws as well as university policies regarding alcohol consumption and use.  

How does my student get involved in a fraternity or sorority?  

IFC fraternities and Panhellenic sororities take in new members through a process called recruitment. Recruitment is a mutual selection processes with the hope that there is a place for all. Recruitment takes place at the beginning of each new semester. Encourage your student to check out the Prospective Members page for the most up to date information about recruitment each semester.

For more information, please contact us at studentlife@uwrf.edumail

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Access our parent handbookdocument online.