Frequently Asked Questions-Fraternity and Sorority Life - Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I get from Greek Life that I would not get out of any other college organization?

Coming to college is one of the major life changes that you will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority chapter will help make the transition easier. Developing life long friendships with the members in the chapters helps make the campus seem smaller. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy/community service.

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How will joining fraternity or sorority benefit me after college?

The lifelong friendships you will make by being a member of a fraternity or sorority chapter will last into post-college years. Greek students have national networks for their member to use for careers and job re-locations. Membership in a chapter can be a life long experience that is an investment in your future. Wherever you end up after college, chances are you will be able to find an alumni chapter or members from your fraternity or sorority in the area.

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Will my academics be comprised if I join a Greek chapter?

Academic achievement is a number one priority for students in fraternities and sororities. When students join a Greek –letter organization they become part of a larger group of students who value their academic goals at Carnegie Mellon University. In order to join each chapter individuals are required to have a minimum grade point average. Additionally, every fraternity and sorority has a scholarship officer initiates programs within the chapter to encourage high academic achievement. The scholarship officers of each chapter provide various resources for members, such as, tutoring, education programs, and awards and recognition.

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What kind of community service and philanthropies do Greek organizations participate in?

One of the most gratifying aspects of Greek life at Carnegie Mellon University is the sense of satisfaction and pride which comes with involvement in community service. Fundraising events of many kinds are organized each year by fraternities and sororities in order to benefit worthwhile charities. Such projects help build moral character through the realization of needs of people who are less fortunate. Each year, individual chapters participate in community service projects ranging from Greek Sing, to Quarter Mile of Quarters, to volunteering at local shelters and soup kitchens, to food and clothing drives. Helping others will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences a student in a fraternity or sorority will have in college.

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

The Greek experience is an investment in your future. The leadership skills, the academic assistance and the friendships will benefit you beyond your college days. Joining a fraternity or sorority does carry a financial commitment. Each chapter is self-supporting through the dues paid by their members. Most chapters offer members payment plans to assist in paying for dues. Membership dues go to services that directly support the betterment of the chapter and the national organization. To assist members, chapters may offer various scholarships and grants.

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How time consuming is joining a fraternity or sorority?

The amount of time involved in joining a fraternity or sorority will vary from chapter to chapter. For first year students, the semester in which you decide to become a member will be the most time intensive period for you, as this is the time that the members will go through the chapter’s education period. The time spent in this program will give you the opportunity to develop leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships with others in their new member class, as well as the rest of the chapter, and allow you to become involved with other organizations. After initiation into the chapter, expectation will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (community service events, study hours and initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. In addition to the weekly meeting, the more you put into the chapter the more you will get out of being a member!

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Are fraternities and sororities primarily social in nature?

There is a social aspect to the Greek community, but these “social” events include education programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, Family Weekend, Greek Sing, Carnival, Buggy, and dinner exchanges in addition to parties and socials. Today’s Greek communities across the nation have adopted a stringent approach to socializing thereby creating safer, more beneficial environments for their members.

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What is the Hazing Policy?

Physical and mental hazing is prohibited by Carnegie Mellon University, as well as by the national organizations, and by the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. Carnegie Mellon University’s groups recognize that hazing has no place in their organizations and have eliminated it. Carnegie Mellon University does not tolerate any form of hazing whether intentional or unintentional and works with alumni and chapter members in an effort to provide members with a positive and rewarding Greek experience. Most “pledge” or new member periods are a fun way to learn the history of the chapter and national organizations, and a great way to make new friends.

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What is recruitment?

In the beginning of the Fall semester fraternities and sororities at Carnegie Mellon University will host a wide array of recruitment events. The sororities offer a formalized recruitment process (FMR) in the month of the September and is planned for minimal interference with class schedules. The fraternities host recruitment events at their chapter houses and off campus the first three weeks of classes. First year students are highly encouraged to attend recruitment events at various houses in order to better familiarize their selves with the Carnegie Mellon Greek community.

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How do I join a fraternity or sorority at Carnegie Mellon?

You will receive information about recruitment/intake in the mail. During orientation, there will be three Greek Life Information Sessions for any students who want to attend. There will be recruitment events during the Fall semester and any first year students who are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority or encouraged to attend the recruitment events.

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