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The fraternity and sorority community at GSW University is comprised of twelve (inter)nationally affiliated Greek letter organizations. Many students find that joining a fraternity or sorority provides them a home away from home and a foundation upon which to build a new and exciting future. In addition, the GSW University fraternity and sorority community opens many doors by providing leadership, academic, athletic, service, and interpersonal opportunities. The decision to join a Greek letter organization is a lifelong commitment with an organization that stands for the best things college has to offer.
Each semester, the Inter-fraternity, National Pan-Hellenic and Panhellenic Councils sponsor a number of organized recruitment events opportunities for non-affiliated students to become acquainted with the fraternity and sorority community. During Formal Recruitment and Intake, non-affiliated students have the opportunity to visit all of the fraternities and sororities to meet the members and decide which, if any, of the chapters best suit their needs. The recruitment process is one of mutual selection in which fraternity and sorority members invite individuals to be a part of their organizations, and likewise, potential members select the chapters that are best suited for them. Recruitment and NPHC Intake at Georgia Southwestern is alcohol-free: that is, NO alcohol is allowed at any formal recruitment or intake activity. Even if students are unsure about joining a fraternity or sorority, recruitment and intake offers a great opportunity to meet new people!
Becoming a member of the fraternity and sorority community will provide you with a number of experiences that will help you prepare for not only a career, but also for life. These advantages include developing leadership skills by chairing a committee or assuming an executive board position; succeeding academically with the help of organized study hours; increasing awareness and knowledge of a variety of topics such as alcohol awareness, risk management, multiculturalism, and acquaintance rape prevention; and developing enduring friendships and memories that last long after graduation. The following are but a few areas in which you can benefit through participation in Greek Life at GSW University:
At GSW University, the fraternity and sorority community is committed to providing its members with vast opportunities for leadership responsibilities. Each member is encouraged to actively participate in chapter and campus-wide leadership roles. Fraternity and sorority members also develop leadership skills through leadership retreats, national conventions, and other resources available on campus, in addition to the learning and self-discovery associated with holding a leadership position.
The fraternity and sorority community strives for the development of academic excellence among all members. All chapters at Georgia Southwestern maintain GPA requirements for both membership and for assuming major leadership positions. There is a commonly held belief or stereotype that joining a fraternity or sorority is harmful to one's studies and grades. Georgia Southwestern reviews grade performance each semester for Greek-affiliated and non-Greek students. Studies over the past several years have shown that there is virtually no difference in grade performance between these groups. Obviously, individual differences can be dramatic at times on both sides of the equation, but a fair and complete review has shown that on average there is no statistical difference between these groups of students.
Community service and philanthropy work are an important aspect of Greek Life at Georgia Southwestern. Chapters offer hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars each year to fulfill their commitment to both the campus and the community. Funds raised and time donated directly benefit local and national charitable organizations.
The Greek community provides a unique social life which blends events such as formal dances, sports, Greek Week, theme parties, and brotherhood and sisterhood functions to encourage the personal development of members through social contact. Each chapter develops its own social calendar and is encouraged to responsibly plan events which promote a full spectrum of social activities for its members.
Fraternities and sororities offer a special opportunity to become actively involved in athletics at Georgia Southwestern. Fraternities and sororities are active participants in the campus intramurals program, and many chapter members are involved in campus-wide varsity athletics as well.
One of the tremendous assets of affiliation with a fraternity or sorority is the nationwide network of alumni/ae members of the organization. As a student prepares for entry into the career world, alumni/ae members can assist in job placement through their knowledge of where jobs are and who is hiring. In addition, Greek Life will assist students in developing transferable skills that will be needed in the career world, such as management, leadership development, communications, and more!
Joining a fraternity or a sorority does have a financial commitment. The chapters are self-supporting through dues paid by their members. When students join a fraternity or sorority, they also agree to pay dues and fees while in school to maintain membership. Although chapters may make accommodations for special needs, students should discuss the financial obligations with their parents before deciding to join.
Each chapter has different dues for membership that cover such things as chapter and national dues, dues to the chapters governing council, social activities, resources, and other miscellaneous costs. Specific financial information for each organization is available during Recruitment.
There is no minimum or maximum time that a student must donate to the fraternity or sorority. Through involvement with the chapter, students will learn to better manage their time by balancing academics, work, and other commitments. Students find that being active in a fraternity or sorority is well worth the time they put into it.
Many people have the misconception that the image of fraternities and sororities depicted in Animal House is really what is happening on college campuses across America. In reality, the Animal House image of Greek Life could not be further from the truth.
The GSW University Greek community promotes responsibility in our activities. The governing councils encourage responsibility in a number of ways. Through judicial boards, chapters, and governing councils, we hold accountable those members of the fraternity and sorority community who do not act appropriately.
Fraternities and sororities were founded on strong moral, social, and academic principles. Hazing, or any activity which subjects members to harassment, intimidation, physical exhaustion, or mental distress is entirely contrary to those founding principles. Each of the (inter)national organizations at GSW University as well as University policy and state law forbid hazing in all student activities at the University.
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a lifetime commitment. Choosing the Greek community means working with a group of men or women who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas while being held to a higher standard than other college students. The fraternity and sorority experience during the college years is a gateway to many rewards and connections later in life.
Each of the twelve chapters develop a special bond often called brotherhood or sisterhood. Both are nurtured through common work, laughter, service projects, intramurals, and the shared successes and frustrations of all. Throughout the student's life, membership will be an unwritten bond of friendship no matter what course his/her life takes.
Active: An initiated fraternity or sorority member who is affiliated with a campus chapter.
Alumnus: An initiated member of a fraternity or sorority who is no longer in college.
Badge: The badge of an initiated member is received during the initiation ceremony and worn in a designated location.
Bid: A formal invitation for membership from a Greek-letter organization.
Chapter: A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority.
Colony: A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority in a new organization on the campus.
Greeks: A term applied to members affiliated with Greek-letter organizations.
Greek Week: An annual celebration held in the spring in which chapters participate in athletic events, community service, brotherhood and sisterhood activities, an awards ceremony, and various
Initiation: A traditional, secret ceremony that brings a new member into full Greek membership.
Inter-fraternity Council (IFC): IFC is the governing body of all five campus fraternities. This organization provides leadership and programming for the chapters.
Legacy: A potential member whose grandparent, parent, brother or sister is a member of a fraternity or sorority.
New Member: A potential member who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. May also be referred to as an “associate.”
Non-affiliated: Those GSW students not involved with an inter/national Greek-letter organization. Often referred to as “independents.”
NPHC – The National Panhellenic Council is the governing body for the seven historically African-American fraternities and sororities chartered at GSW.
Order of Omega: Members are juniors and seniors who are initiated members of a fraternity or sorority and have attained a high standard of leadership and scholarship in the Greek community.
Panhellenic Council: Panhellenic is the governing body for the eight campus sororities. This organization provides leadership and programming for the chapters.
Potential Member: An individual interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Quota: The number of women to whom each sorority may extend bids.
Recruitment: Refers to the process by which chapters select new members. Deferred Recruitment refers to a time when the formal recruitment process happens in the second semester.
Ritual: The traditional, secret initiation ceremonies of a fraternity or sorority.
Recruitment Counselor: A representative from a sorority that aids female potential members in their formal recruitment process.