Information for parents
Provided below are questions frequently asked by parents and family members. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at (775) 682-6846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is fraternity and sorority life?
Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations that provide lifelong friendship, academic support, networking, civic engagement, and leadership development for their members. Fraternities and sororities have been a part of Nevada's student life since 1913 and the fraternity and sorority community continues to grow today.
My student is considering joining a fraternity or sorority, what advice should I give them?
Encourage your student(s) to do research on all of the organizations that are available to join, specifically because not only is joining is a lifelong commitment, but there are expenses associated with membership. Council officers often table during new student and transfer orientation and students are encouraged to ask them questions about their fraternity and sorority experience. Your student(s) can also use local chapter and inter/national fraternity and sorority websites, as well as our site, to gather information. Lastly, we have two professional staff members that work directly with our fraternities and sororities on campus that can answer any question you or your student(s) may have.
How can a student join a fraternity or sorority?
Students must participate in a recruitment or intake process in order to join a fraternity or sorority. These processes will look different for each council and organization. For more information you can read about each council's recruitment or intake process in the Recruitment section.
What are the financial commitments for fraternity/sorority members?
The financial obligations that accompany membership differ from chapter to chapter. Each organization is self-supporting, functioning from dues paid by its members. The first year of membership is generally higher due to one-time inter/national organization membership fees.
Depending on the organization that your student joins, dues and other fees can be used to cover expenses associated with membership, including room, board, operating expenses (e.g., gas, electricity, water, cable, cleaning supplies, etc.), socials, insurance, composite pictures, leadership programs, alumni functions, and new member recruitment.
Fraternity and sorority facilities offer a "home away from home." Living within a chapter facility has the ability to further student growth and development and provides much of the comfort and support of a family environment. The cost of room and board in fraternity and sorority facilities are competitive with, if not below, university rates. Each chapter will be able to provide your student with specific financial information during recruitment or whenever they happen to visit.
What is the time commitment of a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternity and sorority membership can be a significant time commitment. If members choose to take on leadership roles that require further time commitments, they may be asked to go to conferences and retreats on behalf of the chapter. Other commitments that members can have outside of leadership roles are attending weekly chapter meetings, as well as several special events each year, including recruitment/intake, community service and philanthropy events, and initiation ceremonies. However, education is the top priority for fraternity and sorority members and will always take precedence over organization events. Many chapters require members to complete study hours each semester. Outside of their fraternity and sorority experience, many of our members also work and participate in other student organizations.
Will membership in a fraternity or sorority hinder my student academically?
The fraternity and sorority community at the University of Nevada, Reno strives for academic excellence and improved scholastic achievement. Each chapter has established a required grade point average that each member must maintain in order to remain in good standing with the organization. Chapters also offer academic assistance to their members, providing study areas and peer tutoring. Every chapter understands that its members are students first and provide recognition to those who excel and improve their academic standing. Our community also has two honorary societies, Gamma Sigma Alpha and Order of Omega, for both fraternity and sorority members that excel in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and civic engagement on campus.
Should alcohol or other substances be of concern?
The social aspect of fraternity and sorority life is one of the many reasons that students get involved in the community, however, alcohol and substance abuse is not tolerated. All chapters are expected to uphold city, county, state, and federal laws, as well as the University of Nevada, Reno's policies regarding alcohol and substance use.
All fraternities and sororities have strict policies that address alcohol and substance use at chapter-sponsored events. These risk management guidelines are established by each organization's local and/or inter/national governing body and must adhere to the University of Nevada, Reno's policies. Additionally, alcohol and other substances are often addressed through educational programs offered to chapters and individual members, often times through a partnership with the Office of Student Conduct on campus.
If you believe alcohol or other substances are a problem in your student's chapter, please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at (775) 682-6846.
What about hazing?
When your child joins a fraternity or sorority, they will participate in a new member education period that usually lasts anywhere from 6-12 weeks. Throughout this time, they attend weekly meetings and learn about the history and values of the organization and the University.
Hazing is contrary to the missions and values of fraternities and sororities and a violation of University of Nevada, Reno policy. The State of Nevada, University of Nevada, Reno, and all inter/national fraternities and sororities have policies against hazing. See the University of Nevada, Reno's policy against hazing.
Additionally, the University of Nevada, Reno Office of Student Conduct publishes the conduct history of the fraternities and sororities for the past 7 years.
If you are concerned that hazing may be occurring or you believe that your child is being hazed, please report it. To report an allegation of hazing, please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at (775) 682-6846 or the Office of Student Conduct at (775) 784-4388.