Office of Residence Life

Benefits of joining

What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?

Leadership

All Greek organizations are working examples of a democracy in action. This is often the first time that members are responsible for managing their own activities and living within their means, so joining a fraternity or sorority provides an excellent opportunity to experience leadership and the responsibility of membership. In addition, the chapters are more than clubs; they are corporations often with large budgets managed by the members.

Friendship

One of the most mentioned aspects of Fraternity and Sorority life is the friendship that exists between members of a chapter, among both its undergraduates and alumni/ae. Fraternity and Sorority life promotes the development of close ties between members through living, studying, working, competing and having fun...together. These lifetime relationships go beyond ordinary friendship to become like that of a family.

Financial Responsibility

Greek letter organizations are self-sufficient, with each chapter collecting dues and membership fees to support their own activities and programs. For chapters with houses, charges include room, board, and fees which may vary depending on whether the member lives in or out of the chapter house. While students should ask about a chapter's fees while going through recruitment, Greek living is generally comparable to non-Greek on-campus living costs, and in many cases is less expensive.

Social Life

The social aspects of Greek letter social organizations help to make college more than just a school! Greeks often organize various social activities including events such as picnics and barbecues, faculty dinners, formals, parties, and trips to local attractions.All chapters have risk management procedures for social events, that help to provide a safe environment for members and guests during chapter functions.

Greek housing

Chapter housing facilities vary greatly in both size and the types of amenities that are provided to students. Some groups live in Rensselaer residence halls or renovated apartments, others in houses owned and operated by the chapters themselves. Actual living arrangements vary from chapter to chapter as to how many members reside in the house and share bedrooms. Chapters with their own houses commonly run their own meal plans, either with a paid cook or members themselves preparing meals. All chapters that provide housing facilities for students are inspected twice a year to ensure compliance with fire and building codes.

Effects on academics

Academics are important in Greek Life, and are stressed by chapters from rush to graduation. The resources that Greeks can provide include items such as scholarship awards, study sessions, files of materials, and tutoring assistance. Many chapters and national Greek organizations recognize and reward their members' scholastic excellence. According to Institute retention data, members of Greek organizations are more likely to complete their Rensselaer degree than their non-Greek counterparts.

What is Recruitment?

Recruitment is a time of mutual selection between students and chapters. Not only do the 33 Greek currently recognized organizations select new members, but the potential new members select the chapter with which they wish to be affiliated. Recruitment for fraternities and sororities at Rensselaer is alcohol-free (dry) and is held in September. Students who choose to participate in recruitment activities are under no obligation to join the Greek community. At the end of recruitment, the chapters extend formal written invitations (bids). If a student chooses to accept the bid, then he/she is affiliated with that chapter.

Joining

Once a student decides to accept a bid from a Greek chapter, he or she is oriented to the chapter through meetings; philanthropic, work, social events, and study sessions. Programs should be structured so as to not interfere with academic responsibilities. During this period, chapters designate new members differently. Terms include pledge, associate or new member. New member education should be informative and fun, therefore physical and mental hazing are not tolerated at Rensselaer. Rensselaer, national Greek organizations, and New York State prohibit hazing.

What kind of involvement do the Greeks have with the community?

Community Service

Philanthropy is part of Rensselaer Fraternity and Sorority community. Each semester, the Greeks at Rensselaer raise thousands of dollars for and donate hundreds of hours to worthy causes. Chapters donate blood, raise money for various charitable causes, serve as Big Brothers and Sisters to Troy children, and help Neighborhood Associations clean and beautify their streets, to name a few.

Alumni/Alumnae; Involvement

Greek alumni/ae; play a major role in advising chapters. Each chapter has at least one advisor,but often many more, and housing corporation members to help with day-to-day operations. They meet regularly as members of the Alumni Inter-Greek Council, which provides networking and resources for efficient chapter management.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2016