Greek Life At SU Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 'Greek' organization?
There are several different types of fraternities and sororities, sometimes referred to as Greek-letter organizations; social, honorary, service, and pre-professional are all examples. Fraternities and sororities may be defined as a group of individuals joined together by common goals and aspirations. Fraternities and sororities were founded on, among many things, sisterhood/brotherhood, loyalty, and service. The Greek letters that represent these organizations' names are meant to remind members of their founding ideals. All of Syracuse University’s fraternities and sororities are chapters of national or international organizations.
What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities provide multiple opportunities for personal and professional development on a regional and national level. Fraternity or sorority students develop leadership skills, achieve academically, and make a difference through philanthropic events or community service. Membership offers a sense of belonging and provides students with a home away from home.
While each organization has its own unique offerings, there are some generally agreed upon benefits, including:
- Develop leadership skills with hands-on opportunities to practice and lead
- Serve the community through active participation in community service projects
- Enjoy the camaraderie of brotherhood, sisterhood, or siblinghood
- Bond with others through shared interests, goals, or identities
- Cultivate friendships that will last a lifetime
- Access resources to help encourage and achieve academic goals
- Maximize involvement on campus and in the community
- Network with alumni to develop priceless career opportunities
- Maximize the college experience while having a lot of fun!
How can I find out more information about the different fraternities and sororities at Syracuse University?
Syracuse University is home to over 45 Greek letter organizations. Each Greek letter organization is part of a wider council or organization:
- Interfraternity Council (IFC)
- Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)
- National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO)
- National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
- Panhellenic Council (PHC)
- Professional Fraternity Council (PFC)
- Unrecognized Organizations
All Syracuse University, recognized fraternities and sororities, are a part of one of these councils and are held accountable to their policies, rules, and regulations.
Be sure to do your research... read about the resources provided for our organizations, the FAQs for prospective students, and descriptions of each organization on our campus. You can also review the status of our organizations. If your student is interested in a particular organization, go to that organization’s website to learn its history, activities, and goals.
Will joining a Greek organization affect my student’s academics?
Academic achievement is a priority for Syracuse University’s Greek students and a key component to fraternity and sorority life. Fraternities and sororities can help your student achieve academic success as long as they work hard and commit themselves to being successful in the classroom.
Most Greek organizations not only have a minimum GPA requirement to join but also to remain a member. Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study hours, which can assist the entire chapter in excelling academically. Students who take advantage of the academic support available and properly balance their time between academic and extracurricular pursuits find that membership enhances academic performance.
Ultimately, the responsibility for succeeding in the classroom falls on the student but chapters provide programs designed to assist members in their academic pursuits, such as GPA requirements, study hours, and tutors to help members achieve scholastic success.
More information on Syracuse University’s Fraternity and Sorority Grade Reporting can be found on our Grade Report Page.
What is the time commitment of joining?
Many students in fraternity and sorority life are able to balance their academics, jobs, internships and other involvement on campus while being actively involved with their chapter. The time commitment involved with being an active member in a chapter varies, but most chapters have weekly meetings and other mandatory events throughout the course of the academic year that are planned in advance. Optional activities such as holding an office, attending social and community events, or participating in various projects will vary within each individual chapter.
Aside from mandatory events, students can expect the time commitment to be as large or small as they want it to be, depending on their schedule and commitment to the organization. The best advice Greek students give to each other is "You get out of Greek life and your chapter what you put into it." Advise your student to ask questions regarding time commitments during their recruitment/intake process.
Who is in charge of my student’s fraternity/sorority?
Individual chapters elect officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors to the officers and general chapter members. The houses of each fraternity are owned by a "House Corporation" that manages monies, collects rent, and pays bills.
Each group is governed by a national/international headquarters, which establishes chapter regulations, offers support, advice, and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers.
Professional staff from the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs also assist and monitor the activities of Greek organizations.
What is the role of chapter and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (“FASA”)?
Our office is responsible for many aspects of Greek Life: we advise the leaders of our chapters and governing councils; create educational, risk management, and leadership programming opportunities; and work with the inter/national headquarters of each organization to reduce risk, enhance programs, and ensure the advancement of fraternity and sorority life on the Syracuse University campus. We are however NOT responsible for fraternity/sorority housing which is privately run. NONE of the fraternity/sorority houses are owned or operated by the university.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs is staffed by an Assistant Dean, Associate Director, Assistant Director, a Senior Program Coordinator, Program Coordinator, Office Coordinator, Budget Analyst, and two Graduate Assistants.
Are Greek members involved in other activities?
In general, students at SU are very involved in co-curricular activities. They participate in clubs, organizations, and athletics. Many do research in their field of study or hold down campus jobs. Fraternities and sororities can assist a student in getting acclimated to campus and involved in other activities.
What if I still have questions?
Please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 315-443-2214, or stop by Suite 138, Women’s Building and Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm.