Family Frequently Asked Questions
There are five core values to the fraternal experience at BGSU each of which complement the mission of the University:
- Academic Excellence- Members to strive and commit to behaviors that will aid in educational achievement.
- Personal Responsibility- Members commit to harm reduction behaviors, safe organizational practices and uphold standards and accountability processes.
- Public Good- Community leaders address community concerns through service and philanthropy for the greater public good.
- Positive Relationships- Members provide environments where students can cultivate close bonds with their chapters and the larger BGSU community.
- Membership Development- Community leaders, positively contribute to the holistic development (mental, physical, and emotional) of chapter members throughout their membership experience.
The University clearly communicates its expectations that all individuals participating in Fraternity and Sorority Life Programs conduct themselves responsibly and in accordance with BGSU’s Code of Student Conduct, BGSU polices and applicable law.
It is important that our families also be educated about participation in Fraternity and Sorority Life Programs. Below are answers to common questions and general information about Fraternity and Sorority Life at BGSU, including ways you can stay involved with your student’s experience.
What is being involved in a fraternity or sorority all about?
The fraternal experience at BGSU offers opportunities for members to grow as leaders, serve the community, excel academically, and prepare themselves for a career. Membership in a fraternity or sorority at BGSU can offer a home-away-from home and make the large University setting feel a bit smaller. At BGSU, recognized chapters encourage members to maintain a high GPA, perform community service, become involved in student organizations, and ultimately become a campus leader.
My student is considering joining a fraternity or sorority, how should I advise them?
When done correctly, the fraternity and sorority experience can be a transformative experience for students. Through individual and group advising, educational offerings, collaborative partnerships, and connection points with new members, the Fraternity and Sorority Office intentionally work to create an experience where all members can contribute to the community in meaningful ways.
It is important for you to be involved in helping your student make the right choice when it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority. Since joining a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment that continues well after graduating college, consider sitting down with your student to research all of the organizations that are available to join. Utilizing local chapter and national websites are a great, convenient way to gather information.
Consider asking your student the following questions before your student joins a fraternity or sorority:
- How is the chapter supported? Do they have support from the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office and University?
- How does the chapter assist you with your academics?
- What are the chapter's values, and why do you support them?
- What is the alcohol and risk management policy for the chapter?
- How is your identity celebrated and embraced within the chapter?
- What is the new member experience like?
- What is something you are excited about during your new member experience?
- Is there anything that you are nervous, hesitant, or unsure about?
- Do they encourage you to be involved on campus outside of the chapter?
- Does the chapter have a discipline history on campus? And if so, what is that history? How has the chapter talked to you about it?
- If you were in a situation that makes you uncomfortable or unsafe, do you know the resources to get help? What are those resources?
- What is the cost of membership? Time commitment? Live-in requirement?
Will my student be hazed in order to join a fraternity or sorority?
BGSU seeks to promote a safe environment so members of our learning community may participate in experiences and activities without compromising their health, well-being, dignity and/or rights. Hazing can cause irreparable harm to victims, victims’ families and the University community. Hazing is against Ohio law, and BGSU has zero tolerance for any form of hazing. We encourage students and their families to visit the BGSU Hazing Prevention and Education page to learn more about BGSU’s Anti-Hazing Policy and Procedures, anti-hazing initiatives, accountability processes, resources, and reporting mechanisms.
Families are encouraged to have frank conversations with their students about activities that may occur in a group situation that make them uncomfortable or put them or others at risk. There are many avenues for reporting misconduct. Be sure to discuss the importance of bystander intervention with your student. If you have a concern about hazing activities or behaviors of concern, report it through one of the following options:
- Report to law enforcement: Call 911 or 419-372-2346.
- Report to the 24/7 hazing reporting line: Call 419-372-HAZE (4293).
- Report through See it. Hear it. Report it.
- Report in person to the Office of the Dean of Students: Bowen-Thompson Student Union 301
- Report to Human Resources: Call 419-372-8421.
- Report to Office of Parent, Family and New Student Connections: Call 419-372-0438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the university’s policy concerning alcohol?
BGSU’s alcohol policy applies to all registered student organizations, its members and any BGSU student. This policy applies to both on and off campus students. All students and families are encouraged to review the Code of Student Conduct.
I never joined a fraternity or sorority, How can I learn more about it?
Check out the websites of the national umbrella organizations that govern our fraternities and sororities:
Additionally, check out BGSU’s how to join page. We also ask that families engage in conversations with their student regarding fraternity and sorority life. Discuss with your student the importance of only participating in registered, active organizations. You can find a list of currently recognized organizations here.
Will my student need to live in the fraternity or sorority house?
Each fraternity and sorority establish their own live-in requirements. This is an important question for students to ask chapters during the joining process. Learn more about living in the Greek Village.
What kind of financial commitment can my student/family expect?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is an investment in a student’s development. Fees required by fraternity and sorority organizations support chapter operational expenses, chapter functions, and national organizations dues.
We encourage students to ask questions about finances during the recruitment processes. Each chapter is responsible for determined dues, as well as one-time new member and initiation fees. Costs will vary by organization.
What kind of time commitment can my student/family expect?
Each chapter differs in what it requires of members. There are time commitments and obligations of each fraternity and sorority member. For general members, chapters typically have a weekly chapter meeting. Additionally, chapters host philanthropy, community service, social, and chapter events throughout the semester. However, new members will have specific new member meeting to learn about their new organization. Families should ask their student for their new member education schedules if they are joining a fraternity or sorority. During the joining process students should ask each chapter about their specific requirements.
Updated: 07/20/2022 11:44AM