Fraternity and Sorority Life FAQS

What is a fraternity or sorority?

A fraternity or sorority/women's fraternity is an organized society associated together in an environment of companionship and brotherhood or sisterhood, dedicated to the intellectual, physical, and social development of its members. They are located on accredited college and university campuses across the United States and Canada.

I have heard being in a fraternity or sorority takes a lot of time.

Participating in any worthwhile activity will require an investment of time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through Greek Life, you will learn to balance academic, work, campus, and social commitments.

Doesn't it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity or sorority?

Each fraternity and sorority is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After those initial payments are made, your primary expense will be regular dues. A variety of payment plans are usually offered. During recruitment events, active members will explain the costs to help you make a good financial decision.

What are the practical benefits of membership?

Fraternity and sorority life offer many practical benefits. Many groups provide scholarship opportunities, loans and other financial aid to members. There are numerous chances to develop leadership and interpersonal skills through attending seminars and holding officer and committee positions within the chapter. Volunteering within the community sets a pattern of lifelong service to others. On top of that, sororities and fraternities offer a lifetime of networking with members of all ages.

I am attending college to earn a degree. What impact will fraternity/sorority membership have on my academics?

Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedom of college. Joining a fraternity/sorority offers some benefits to this transition. Sororities and fraternities offer scholarship programs which might include study partners, test taking skill development, and time management workshops. However, it is important to acknowledge that academic priorities should always come first, and this may require you to make tough choices from time to time.

What about pledging or hazing?

Virginia Wesleyan University and all national sororities and fraternities oppose hazing and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in a new member. New members all experience a period of orientation. During this time you and the others will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the organization, attend leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the members. These activities should never degrade you , and you should never be asked to engage in activities that are harmful, psychologically or physically.

Who is actually in charge of the fraternity or sorority?

Fraternities and sororities elect officers who manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and alumni who act as advisors. The Office of Student Activities, led by Director Kate Griffin, oversees fraternities and sororities at Virginia Wesleyan University.

What about the use of alcohol and controlled substances?

Every fraternity and sorority expects its members to obey all local, state, and federal laws and to abide by the organization's policies, guidelines, and standards. Each group allocates significant resources to educate its members about alcohol and substance abuse.


  • Alcohol is not allowed in any sorority chapter facility, house, lodge or suite.

  • Sorority and Fraternity chapter funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.

  • The illegal use and abuse of alcohol and controlled substances is not tolerated.

Virginia Wesleyan University provides extensive guidelines for hosting social events, and chapters are expected to provide a safe environment for their members and any visitors. If an incident occurs where policies are violated, both the University and the national organization intervene with disciplinary measures and further education to achieve a heightened level of safety at events.

I will make friends in residence hall and classes. What would be different about friends made through fraternity or sorority involvement?

Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a living and learning experience for people who share values and objectives. Chapter members develop a special bond. These friendships last beyond the college years and are nurtured by alumnae activities and networking programs that provide opportunities for continued camaraderie, service, and personal development.