A Parent’s Guide to Fraternity and Sorority Life at Carnegie Mellon University
As your son or daughter transitions into life at Carnegie Mellon, many challenges and opportunities await. Along with rigorous coursework, your child will have the chance to be involved in a vast array of campus activities and groups. We encourage your son or daughter to become involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life at Carnegie Mellon. This community of 25 active organizations creates a welcoming and inclusive environment in which students from all walks of life can succeed.
Fraternity and Sorority Life provides excellent opportunities for college students to find a home away from home, develop leadership skills, enhance academics and create a foundation for the future by joining an international network of alumni. Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations, challenging their members to grow and live daily in congruence with principles of excellence, ethics, loyalty and service. The Greek experience encourages members to become highly involved in campus activities and student organizations, both as participants and leaders. In addition, the Greek commitment to local and national philanthropy and community service inspires students to reach beyond the Carnegie Mellon campus to the needs of their community and their world.
Being Greek Through the Eyes of a Tartan
In a single semester ...
- 18% of the student population are members of a Greek fraternity or sorority.
- 45% of the Greek organizations earned chapter QPAs at or above the all-University average
- 7,452 hours of community service were contributed by fraternities and sororities.
- $9,421 was raised for local, national and international charities by individual chapters.
- 55% of Greeks were involved in other campus organizations, of these 26% serve in leadership roles
Frequently Asked Questions by Parents Regarding Fraternity and Sorority Life at Carnegie Mellon
What will my son or daughter get out of Fraternity and Sorority Life that they would not get out of any other college organization?
Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your son or daughter will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority chapter will help make the transition easier. Developing lifelong friendships with the members in their chapter 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. These ideals form the foundation of the fraternity and sorority experience, and are upheld within a culture of support and growth through academic support programs, leadership training and hands-on experience, educational workshops, social events and projects for community service and philanthropy.
How will joining a fraternity or sorority benefit my child after college?
The lifelong friendships your child will make be being a member of a fraternity or sorority will last into post-college years. Membership in a chapter can be a life long experience that is an investment in your child’s future, as Greek organizations have strong networks for their members to use for careers and job relocations. Wherever your son or daughter ends up after college, chance are he/she will be able to find an alumni chapter or members from their fraternity or sorority in the area for professional networking and social support.
What is the Hazing Policy?
Physical and mental hazing is prohibited by Carnegie Mellon, the national organizations of each chapter and by the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. 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 and lifelong connections.
What is my role as a parent?
Engage your child's decision by learning more about the fraternity and sorority community at Carnegie Mellon University. Ask questions about what each organization can offer your child and allow your son or daughter to make the best decisions for themselves. Once your son or daughter has made the decision to join a fraternity or sorority, be supportive and ask questions about their fraternal experience. Parent’s Weekend and many other planned chapter events will offer you the opportunity to experience the fraternity and sorority community firsthand.
How does my son or daughter join a fraternity or sorority at Carnegie Mellon?
Your son or daughter will receive information about recruitment through campus announcements and fliers, helpful information sessions and personal invitations from members. Each September, the Panhellenic sororities host Formal Membership Recruitment, a fun and informative system to guide women to the best sorority fit for them, and continue to accept additional new members through Continuous Open Bidding through the academic year. Interfraternity Council fraternities and the Asian American chapters host their recruitment during two week periods at the beginning of each semester. Pan-Hellenic (traditionally African American) chapters observe their own individual processes for welcoming new members during the academic year.
Fraternity and Sorority Housing
Most fraternities and sororities at Carnegie Mellon lease a housing facility from our housing and dining services office (please make this a hyperlink to http://www.housing.cmu.edu/ or they enter into a special interest housing agreement with the university. Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding fraternity and sorority housing are included below though specific questions may need to be directed to the chapter, a chapter advisor or a representative from housing services.
What is the room rate for fraternity/sorority housing and how does that compare to campus housing prices?
Each chapter sets their own room rates and fees depending on chapter size, number of people occupying the facility or other considerations. Information regarding specific rates and fees must be obtained directly from the chapter and should be provided to all potential new members. Generally room rates in fraternity/sorority housing are less than campus housing rates though this may not always be the case.
My son is considering joining a fraternity but was told that he will need to join the fraternity sponsored meal plan. How does that affect the meal plan that he already has through University Dining Services?
Students who are joining a Greek organization and are remaining in non-Greek housing may reduce their dining plan to the yellow plan and receive a prorated refund to their student account. Students who are joining a Greek organization and moving into Greek housing that has a mandatory dining plan may cancel their current dining plan and receive a prorated refund on their student account. To change to the yellow plan or cancel a plan, students must return a completed Dining Plan Change Form during the dining plan change period with the signed documentation of their membership on their organization's letterhead. This information will be verified before the plan will be changed or canceled.
More information regarding applicable dates, fees and procedures can be found on the Housing and Dining Services web site (hyperlink this to http://www.cmu.edu/dining/undergraduate/diningplaninfo_u/dining-plan-changes.html) or on the back of the dining agreement form. (hyperlink to http://www.cmu.edu/dining/undergraduate/diningplaninfo_u/how-to-choose-your-plan.html.
How can I have my membership, housing, dining or other fraternity/sorority related fees billed to my University account?
We utilize a form called the Greek Financial Signover Form to allow students to charge fees related to fraternity or sorority membership directly to their student account. The form must be filled out each semester and must identify specific fee amounts to be charged. The form must be signed by the student and turned in to the housing and dining services office. Typically chapter Treasurers or Presidents are responsible for orchestrating these processes and can answer student questions.
Where do I go to learn more?
Fraternity and Sorority Life at Carnegie Mellon is advised by the individuals in the Student Life Office. A breakdown of the advisement can be found here. For general information, please contact the Student Life Office at 412.268.2142.
CMU Student Life Office
1060 Morewood Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213