Fraternity and sorority membership has different phases. When a student is seeking to join an organization, they are considered a potential new member, commonly referred to as a PNM. This is a person who is seeking to participate in the recruitment process. Should the potential new member complete the recruitment process and receives and invitation to membership that they would like to accept, they become a new member.
New Member Period
As a new member, a student can expect to attend at least one meeting a week with the organization in which they will learn about the history of the organization, the organization’s values, expectations of new and initiated members, and the structure and function of various organization officers and advisors. In addition to these meetings, new members may also experience a weekly chapter meeting with the entire organization, chapter-planned social events with members and non-members, study halls in the chapter house or on-campus library, and impromptu gatherings with other members. The new member period at James Madison University lasts no longer than eight weeks.
Additionally, students will be introduced to the dues structure of the organization. Dues are a fee that each member is required to pay per semester in order to fund the chapter’s programming and activities.
The average new member dues in our community are as follows:
Fraternity: $450.00 per semester
Sorority: $650.00 per semester
Once the new member has successfully fulfilled all of the requirements necessary to become a member, they will be initiated into the organization. In the week leading up to initiation, new members participate in small ceremonies or activities that assist them in reflecting upon the new member process. Initiation ceremonies are special times when the organization will share with its new members all of the most cherished and secret rituals and rites of passage. After the new member has completed Initiation, they are considered an initiated member of the organization and have access to the rights and privileges of all initiated members.
As an initiated member of the organization, the student’s obligations to the organization will look differently than those of the new member period. Not only are initiated members expected to participate in weekly chapter meetings, chapter-sponsored study hours, community philanthropic events, and social gatherings between the organization and other groups within the University, but they can also decide to take on additional responsibilities within the organization. For instance, a member can decide to run for a committee chair or chapter officer position. Within these positions, students can lead the organization in its various aspects such as finance, community service, or new member education. The more that a student engages within the fraternity/sorority, the more time they will spend on activities involving the organization.
The average initiated member dues in our community are as follows:
Fraternity: $350.00 per semester
Sorority: $336.00 per semester
Upon commencement from the University, the initiated member becomes an alumnus member. As an alum, obligations to the organization change. The member is no longer required to maintain a weekly commitment to the organization, but can pursue multiple options for continued involvement including joining alumni clubs, becoming a chapter advisor for the chapter or another chapter of the organization, or volunteering with the organization on an inter/national level.