The Office of Student Engagment is a resource for parents and family members.
Parents and family members of Monmouth University students, play a vital role in students’ success on campus. Whether individuals have a preconceived notion of the fraternity and sorority experience or no opinion at all, it is important for families to have insight into the fraternity and sorority experience, especially the community at Monmouth University. Fraternities and sororities are values-centered organizations striving for academic excellence, giving back to the community through philanthropic efforts and community service, and developing fellowship among members.
As student enters college, they will be encouraged to get involved outside of the classroom, while continuing to put their academics first. Whether a club, job or a fraternal organization, getting involved is a great way for students to get to know and interact with their peers, and be connected with the institution, including staff and resources. Of the undergraduate population at Monmouth University, less than 15% is part of the fraternity and sorority community. This shows that while the fraternal experience is a great way to get involved, it is not the only way. Monmouth University offers many great ways for students to connect with the school and its community.
Should a student want to get involved at Monmouth by being a member of the fraternity/sorority community, it is important parents and family members have resources to better understand what the experience encompasses.
Joining a Fraternity or Sorority
There are several eligibility requirements students must meet before being able to join a fraternal organization at Monmouth University.
- Earned 12 credits at Monmouth University or another institution of higher education (for transfer students). AP Credits do not count toward this requirement.
- Achieved a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA or higher (Please note this GPA has been put into effect for the spring 2023 semester on a trial basis only (At the conclusion of the spring 2023 term, the Office of Student Engagement will review the overall GPA’s of individual chapters and its members to determine the academic requirements for the FSL community).
- Attended a FSL101 Session presented by a staff member from the Office of Student Engagement in conjunction with an officer from the Greek Senate.
- Registered their interest with the Office of Student Engagement via web form. The Panhellenic Council has a separate web form for Panhellenic Sorority Primary Recruitment.
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a big time commitment. In addition to weekly chapter meetings, members are expected to attend events, complete community service hours, support other organizations, and meet high academic standards. As a new member, students may have additional hours added to learn about the history of their organization and get to know members of the local chapter.
Family members are encouraged to talk with students about joining a fraternity or sorority and encourage them to know the time commitment, requirements, financial obligation, and some of the history of the chapters at Monmouth. While it is important to know the positive things our groups are doing, it is also important to know the challenges each group has faced.
It is critical for students to have support in making their own decision about which organization to join. While legacy connections, opinions of friends and family, and external reputation can be things students consider when making a choice about which organization to join, the most important thing to consider is whether the student feels a strong connection and fit with the organization, its values, and its members.
The following questions are helpful to reflect on as students are weighing their options regarding fraternity/sorority involvement:
- What values does this organization promote?
- What is expected of initiated members? What is expected of new members?
- How will membership affect academics? What is the current academic status of the chapter?
- What does the fraternity/sorority do to contribute positively to members’ academic success?
- What leadership opportunities are available to students as both new members and initiated members?
- What is the financial obligation?
- Does the chapter perform hands-on community service? If so, how often?
- What type of member is the chapter looking for?
- What is the time commitment both as a new member and as an initiated member?
- What challenges has this group faced?
- What is the chapter’s standing with the University?
Membership Acceptance and the New Member Process
Once students join, it is imperative for parents and family members to remain engaged in asking questions about their experience. Below are some suggestions:
- How have the members of the organization made them feel as a new member? Are they feeling welcome? Accepted? Enjoying their experience?
- What programs have they attended with their chapter? Which programs sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement have they attended?
- Are they staying connected with friends they made prior to pursuing membership in their fraternity or sorority?
- Ask for details about the financial aspect of membership. The first semester tends to be a little more expensive, as there are one time, new member fees.
- If the frequency of their communication has changed, ask them about how they are filling their time.
- What are they doing outside of the fraternity/sorority experience to engage in the campus community?
Each organization must submit a New Member Plan to the Office of Student Engagement before the new member/intake process begins. The only information not shared is the ritual ceremony, which occurs at the end of the new member/intake process. Everything else may be shared with anyone. If students are secretive about their new member experience, staff members from the Office of Student Engagement are happy to answer questions for parents and family members.