Frequently Asked Questions

Will my student's academics be compromised if they join a sorority or fraternity chapter?

  • Sorority and fraternity students promote scholarship by providing academic resources for their members including tutoring, academic advisors, study groups, scholarships, and awards.
  • Sorority and fraternity member GPAs are traditionally higher than their non-Greek peers.

How much time does chapter membership take?

  • The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter.
  • The first semester is generally a weekly meeting as your student goes through the chapter's member education program.
  • Majority of the chapter new member programs are 6-8 weeks; these programs allow your student the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships, and become more involved. Some chapter have mentorship programs to help the transition to college and/or into the chapter.
  • Each chapter has a weekly chapter meeting and other required events including initiation, recruitment, and philanthropies throughout the year.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in activities outside of the fraternity and sorority, including learning communities. 

Are fraternities/sororities primarily social in nature?

  • Social events include educational programs, community service events, intramural sports, Homecoming activities,Varieties, dinner exchanges, parties and other socials.
  • Each governing council has risk management and alcohol policies. In addition, each organization may have national rules to follow regarding the hosting of social events.

How is alcohol use managed in sorority and fraternity chapters? Will my son or daughter be pressured or forced to drink?

  • The university, Office of Sorority and Fraternity Engagement, sorority and fraternity governing councils and national organizations, have worked towards the creation of a responsible and safe social environment.
  • All fraternities and sororities have strict policies regarding the consumption of alcohol by underage members and guests.
  • All sorority and fraternity organizations are held accountable to local, state, federal, university, governing council and national policies.
  • The use of alcohol is a personal choice that your student will need to make.

What about hazing?

  • Iowa State University has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing.
  • The sorority and fraternity community shares the university definition of hazing, "Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless action, request, or creation of circumstances that: endangers the health or safety of any individual, causes or presents a substantial risk of physical injury, serious mental distress, or personal humiliation to any individual, or involves the destruction or removal of public or private property in connection with initiation or admission into, or continued membership in, any group affiliated with the university, including but not limited to, any student, campus, fraternal, academic, honorary, athletic, or military organization. It is not a defense to the violation of this section that the hazing participant provided explicit or implied consent. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations."
  • Your student will sign that he/she understands this policy when they sign their membership acceptance card (bid card) with the chapter that they join.
  • Hazing may be reported to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Engagement, the Office of Student Conduct, Iowa State Police Department or the Dean of Students.

How are chapters managed? Are there staff members responsible for the chapters?

  • Individual chapters elect officers to manage the daily operations of the organization. Officers are assisted by alumni advisors.
  • Chapters at Iowa State University are required to have a university advisor that is a staff or faculty member working on campus.
  • Each chapter is also responsible to report to their inter/national organization; which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers.
  • The majority of chapters with houses at Iowa State University employ a full-time live-in house director that provides much of the same support as a hall director in the Department of Residence.
  • Chapters with houses also have a corporation board that provides fiscal responsibility, maintains insurance and facilitates annual and long-term capital maintenance.

What are financial obligations? 

  • You can learn more about finances here.