Welcome, parents, and congratulations on successfully transitioning your son or daughter into James Madison University! As your child begins to explore campus involvement at JMU, we are excited that he or she is considering membership in a fraternity or sorority. JMU boasts a vibrant and dynamic fraternity/sorority community, with almost 3,900 students in 28 organizations. Whether you’re a member of a Greek-lettered organization yourself or are just looking for information to help your son or daughter a decision about joining, we are dedicated to assisting you in this process.
Parents Often Ask…
What benefits will my son/daughter receive from joining a fraternity/sorority?
The benefits of membership in a fraternity or sorority are many, and each member enjoys his or her 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 amongst 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, some fraternities and sororities require members to be involved in another organization. Also, most fraternities and sororities were born out of academic circles, and that 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 hundreds of thousands of living alumni, providing 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 son or daughter to inquire about membership dues during the recruitment process. Dues help the chapter provide a variety of leadership 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 speakers and other opportunities for academic and personal enrichment. Last but certainly not least, membership dues help the chapter provide social opportunities for members, such as brother and sisterhood development events and semi/formals.
I’ve seen Animal House. Is it anything like that?
While Animal House is certainly entertaining, it is not an accurate reflection of membership in a fraternity or sorority. In today’s world, fraternities and sororities are more committed than ever to social responsibility, social justice, and to providing safe, affirming opportunities for members. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.