Congratulations on successfully transitioning your student to James Madison University! As your student begins to explore campus involvement at JMU, we are excited that they are considering membership in a fraternity or sorority. JMU boasts a vibrant and dynamic fraternity/sorority community, with over 4,000 students in 31 organizations, totaling 20% of the student population. Whether you’re a member of a Greek-lettered organization yourself or are just looking for information to help your student make a decision about joining, we are dedicated to assisting you in this process.
Friends and Family Often Ask…
What benefits will my student receive from joining a fraternity/sorority?
The benefits of membership in a fraternity or sorority are many, and each member enjoys their experience for different reasons. Perhaps the most common and widely-experienced benefit is the large community and support system that members become a part of upon joining. They will certainly be joining an organization made up of members with broad academic and personal interests, however membership fosters deep connections among members who may not otherwise have met. Because of the leadership education and support members receive, they are encouraged to join other organizations on campus – in fact, most fraternities and sororities require members to be involved in another organization. Also, most fraternities and sororities were born out of academic circles, and the commitment to scholarly excellence thrives today. Our organizations routinely best the non-affiliated all-male/female grade-point averages, and they are more likely to participate in community service than non-affiliated students. Last but certainly not least, members are connected with thousands of living alumni who provide opportunities for networking both before and after graduation.
How much does it cost?
As is the case with many organizations on campus, there is a monetary commitment to joining a fraternity or sorority. Dues vary based on the organization, so we suggest that you encourage your student to inquire about membership dues during the recruitment process. Dues help the chapter provide a variety of opportunities for members ranging from inter/national headquarter conferences to leadership conferences and regional meetings. Also, membership dues help the chapter provide interesting and engaging opportunities for academic and personal enrichment. Last but certainly not least, membership dues help the chapter provide social opportunities for members, such as member development events and semi/formals.
What is the time commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is the equivalent of adding another class to the course load. In general, new members can expect: regular meetings with their new member classes to learn about the history of the organization and how it currently operates, study sessions, opportunities to participate in philanthropic events, and brotherhood/sisterhood dates with other members of the organization. The new member process lasts up to 8 weeks, but varies by organization.
Are members expected to live in sorority or fraternity facilities?
There are opportunities for members in many of our organizations to live in facilities with other members of their organization. 13 of our sororities and 2 of our fraternities have on- campus houses and many members in each of our organizations live off campus with each other. We encourage you to tell your student to ask about any housing requirements that organizations may have.
Is fraternity and sorority life like what I have seen in the media?
The media does not accurately reflect holistic membership in a fraternity or sorority. In today’s world, fraternities and sororities are committed to social responsibility and to providing safe, affirming opportunities for members to develop into better people. The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, in conjunction with member organizations, has developed a comprehensive list of expectations and policies that govern everything from social events to new member education. Fraternities and sororities are also expected to abide by James Madison University policy as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. JMU has a no-tolerance policy for hazing and follows up on all reports of inappropriate activity by its organizations.
Where can I go for more information?
You’ve made it to our website, which is a great start! Still have concerns? Our staff members are eager to honestly answer any questions you have about membership in a fraternity or sorority at James Madison University. If you’re on campus, stop by our office in Madison Union 420. You can also call us at (540) 568-4195, or send us an email at email@example.com.