Information for Parents
A Parents' Guide to Sororities and Fraternities
As a parent/guardian, it's a good idea for you to learn about sororities and fraternities so you can help your student make the best decision about whether or not they should be part of Greek life. Educate yourself by checking out this parents' guide to fraternities and sororities.
Keep in mind that while sorority and fraternity life is great for some students, it's not for everyone. You should discuss with your student what they would like to do and then support their decision. If your student decides that joining an organization is the right decision, make sure they do their research.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact Greeklife@luc.edu.
Sorority and Fraternity Life (SFL) is committed to student success by supporting fraternities and sororities that provide members with opportunities to enhance academic success. A core value of the LUC Sorority and Fraternity Life community is academic excellence which aligns with the Student Affair’s mission.
To achieve academic excellence, the standards set forth in this policy are designed to set the minimum expectations for SFL organizations and members. This policy drives the pursuit of academic excellence and ensures organizations and their members align with the mission, vision, and core values of the community. The SFL Academic Policy should be observed as the minimum academic requirement for all SFL members; each fraternity, sorority, governing council, and inter/national fraternal organization may set their own heightened academic requirement or policy above the set SFL standard. SFL encourages each fraternity, sorority, and governing council to provide academic support to all members.
Your student will have financial responsibilities when it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority. At Loyola, there is a one-time new member/initiation fee as well as semester membership dues. The organization your student wants to join will determine the amount of dues to pay each semester. If your student is really interested in becoming a member of the sorority/fraternity life, you need to sit down with him or her and work out a college budget to determine whether or not joining a fraternity or sorority is affordable. Advise your student to ask questions regarding financial responsibility during recruitment.
Hazing Resources and Information
It is the responsibility of all students, staff, faculty, and members of the University community to ensure an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity. This is achieved by providing positive influences and constructive development for current and aspiring members or participants of any group or organization at Loyola University Chicago. Hazing is counterproductive to the positive learning environment the University seeks to create.
Hazing, as defined in §101(21) is expressly prohibited by the University under §201(14). Hazing is a Category C violation, the most serious category.
For the purposes of this section, “associate” means any potential new member, new member, new teammate, new initiate, neophyte, pledge, etc.; “member” means any team member, organizational member, or other initiates; “organization” means any team, association, RSO, or other groups where Loyola students are affiliated.
Loyola’s prohibition on hazing applies to individual students as well as any student group or student organization including, but not limited to, club sports teams and NCAA athletic teams. Acts of hazing may include but are not limited to:
- All forms of strenuous physical activity that might reasonably endanger the health or safety of an associate and that is not part of an organized voluntary athletic contest or specifically directed toward constructive work
- Paddling, beating, pushing, or otherwise permitting anyone to strike an associate
- Activities that interfere with an associate’s academic effort by causing an unreasonable loss of sleep or study time (associate activities may not exceed four hours in one day or 15 hours in one school week)
- Forcing or coercing an associate to eat or drink any substance
- Abductions, road trips, etc., conducted in a manner which might reasonably endanger the health or safety of an associate
- Subjecting an associate to cruel psychological conditions
- Servitude of any kind asked or required of an associate
- Any requirement which forces an associate to participate in any activity which is illegal, indecent, morally degrading, or contrary to the Community Standards
In response to complaints or reports of hazing, it is not a defense that
- The associate gave consent to the conduct
- The conduct was not part of an official organizational event or sanctioned or approved by the organization
- The conduct was not done as a condition of membership in the organization
Responsibility of Officers, Organizations, and Members
- This policy is distributed annually to all executive officers (typically presidents and/or captains) of organizations that are known to engage in pre-membership initiation. Each officer, in turn, is responsible for communicating this policy to all members and associates and for ensuring that the entire organization strictly adheres to this policy. Organizations and their members should understand that not only is the organization responsible for preventing hazing in any form, but any and all members involved in any hazing violation are personally accountable for their own actions and may be subject to individual disciplinary action.
- Students wishing to report incidents of alleged hazing are encouraged to submit a report on the OSCCR reporting form online at luc.edu/osccr. Reports may be submitted anonymously, but anonymous reports are more difficult for the University to address.
- Complaints and Investigations Loyola University Chicago
All reports of hazing are taken seriously, and no one who makes a good faith report of hazing will suffer retaliation or reprisal from the University. Any act of retaliation taken against another in response to such good faith reporting of hazing is a serious violation subject to disciplinary action, (see §201(20) Retaliation). The privacy of all parties involved will be respected as much as possible, considering the need to conduct a thorough investigation and to take corrective action.
Hazing investigations vary depending on the nature of the reported incident, but often involve interviews and collection of other information, and usually result in a formal board hearing. Following the investigation and adjudication (if applicable) of a hazing incident, effective corrective action will be taken to eliminate the hazing behavior and to reasonably ensure that it does not reoccur.
Hazing may be divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violence:
- Subtle hazing includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group. Termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle Hazing to feel like part of the group or team. (Some types of subtle hazing may also be considered harassment hazing).
- Harassment hazing includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. (Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violence hazing).
- Violence hazing includes, but is not limited to, behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.
On average, your student should expect to contribute two to four hours per week for meetings and required programs. If your student has the time, they can also choose to participate in optional activities, such as holding an office, attending social events, helping out with various projects, etc. Some organizations require more time than others. Advise your student to ask questions regarding time commitments during recruitment.
Fraternities and sororities participate in many different activities. The kind of activities your student may participate in will vary depending on which chapter they join. Possible activities may include:
- Fundraising for charities
- Tutoring elementary school students
- Conducting environmental and neighborhood cleanups
- Organizing clothing and book collections
- Volunteering at shelters or soup kitchens
- Participating in intramural athletics
- Attending social mixers
If your student decides to go Greek, you should stress how important it is to balance social activities and academics. If their grades start to slip, they may want to cut back on the additional activities.