Frequently Asked Questions
How do I determine which organization is best for me?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a large commitment, and individuals should be sure that they are receiving all of the information on each organization before choosing which to join. Some examples of questions to ask include:
- Can you share with me what the new member process will consist of?
- What is the cost of membership per semester? What types of payment plans do you offer?
- What types of benefits will I receive from membership in your organization?
- What would a non-Greek student say about your organization if I asked?
- How many hours a week will I need to dedicate towards being an active member of your organization?
- What is your organization's cause? What do you do to help support your cause?
Does Greek life inhibit academic performance?
Greek organizations were originally founded as literary societies and, while the social aspect of fraternities and sororities is important, academic excellence remains a primary value of every organization. Here at Murray State University, the All-Greek GPA has been higher than the All-Campus GPA for the past 12 semesters. Individual organizations compete yearly for the President's Cup, an award presented to the fraternity and sorority with the highest chapter GPA. Organizations have developed programming to help support all members, but specifically those who fall beneath the organization's GPA requirement. Since it is imperative to a student's collegiate success that they succeed academically, both organizations and the Office of Greek Life provide assistance to help support Greek members who are struggling academically.
How much time does fraternity or sorority membership require?
Like most other extra-curricular activities, how much you get out of your Greek membership is related to how much you put in. On average, expect to contribute four hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. Optional activities such as holding an office, attending social events, playing on an intramural sports team, or helping out with various projects will of course take additional time. With good time management, your Greek activities will easily fit into your weekly schedule and allow plenty of time for classes, studying, work, and participation in other campus activities.
How much does it cost?
Each organization has a different cost associated with membership, and each has different payment cycles and plans for its members. Some examples of what payments (dues) go towards are:
- Inter/national membership fee and lifetime membership
- Organization magazine
- Leadership development and programs
- Risk management fee
- Housing/meeting space
What about alcohol?
Alcohol has become a part of the culture of American colleges and universities, and fraternities and sororities are not exempt from this fact. Murray State University has adopted a Social Event Policy to help ensure the safety of individuals and chapters when hosting events that containg alcohol. Each organization hosts presentations with a representative of Public Safety on risk management procedures annually, and the Office of Greek Life hosts seminars each semester for new members, chapter officers and advisors on Social Event Policy procedures and how to host a safe event. To learn more about risk management initiatives that Murray State University Greek Life is taking, be sure to visit the Resources page.
Is hazing is part of initiation into Greek life?
Hazing is a very real concern for many fraternities and sororities, and this is true at Murray State as well. The Office of Greek Life and Division of Student Affairs is constantly working to eliminate any and all hazing within our organizations, and treats all reports of hazing with seriousness. Hazing is a violation of Kentucky laws, Murray State University policies and the policies of each of our fraternities and sororities. For more information on these policies, please visit the Resources or the Student Life Handbook pages.
What are the advantages of becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority?
Becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority will provide you with a number of experiences that will help prepare you for not only a career, but for life. These advantages include:
- Leadership Skills: learned through offices within the organization, through the Greek Governing Councils, or workshops and seminars put on by Murray State University or the organization.
- Educational Programming: every semester, Murray State and individual organizationss host guest speakers and programs ranging from alcohol awareness and personal safety, to study skills, resume workshops and time management for Greek members.
- Enduring Friendships and Alumni Contacts: being in a fraternity or sorority does not stop at graduation. When someone joins a fraternity or sorority they become a life member. As such, they develop contacts and acquaintances that can help them when looking for a job or when they need advice.
- Developing a Sense of Civic Responsibility: believing in giving back to the community, students will have numerous opportunities to participate in helping various organizations such as the American Heart Association, Special Olympics, and March of Dimes, among others.
- It is Fun: the most immediate benefit for your student is the activities and social events sponsored by each organization. Whether it is a organization event or Homecoming, students will be around more students who know how to enjoy themselves responsibly.