Family & Friends

Welcome to Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Connecticut. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life values the contributions friends and family members provide their student and the ability they have to positively enhance their student’s college experience. On this page you can learn about your son or daughter’s experience, contact the office staff, learn about benefits and frequently asked questions, as well as learn how you can become more involved.

Family and friends frequently ask:

What are the benefits to joining a fraternity or sorority?

  • Fraternity or sorority members at UConn have the ability to achieve academic excellence through study hours, chapter scholarship programs, honor societies, and assistance by older members within his/her chapter.
  • Studies have shown that members of Greek Organizations are statistically more likely to return to school the following year.
  • The networking available through alumni relations and members of other chapters is extensive. One of the four pillars of the Greek community is brotherhood/sisterhood, which is the development of friends into brothers and sisters for life. Being a member provides your student with support through good times and bad as well as job opportunities and networking following graduation.
  • Fraternities and sororities at UConn encourage members to get involved in their respective chapters, the Greek community, and in campus organizations beyond merely the social level. For our members alone, there are a number of leadership opportunities that can increase students’ achievement in academics, and enhance leadership, communication, and management skills.
  • One concern for prospective students is the size of the University. UConn has approximately 16,000 undergraduate students and finding a strong group of friends can be difficult. Fraternity and Sorority Life is one of the best ways for your student to locate that sense of community while still promoting academics, involvement on campus, and developing lifetime friendships and networking.
  • Community Service is a key component of our Greek community. Events are readily available for your student to maintain his/her contributions to the local community.

What is my role as family?

Take time to find out more about the fraternity and sorority community at UConn and the chapter your student is joining. Visit the chapter and websites of the inter/national organization to find out what they do and what they are about. The office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has a publication. Ask your student review it or drop by the office and pick one up. Ask about activities and events your student is attending and how they feel about the organizations(s) they are interested in or have joined. Seek to find opportunities that involve families and participate in them. That is a great way to meet your student’s fellow chapter member, and potentially other families of fellow members and the chapter/alumni advisor(s). Keep an open mind. Greek life is not for everyone. Just because you may have been a fraternity or sorority member doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for your student. In addition, fraternities and sororities are different on every campus. Encourage your student to choose the group that they feel the most comfortable joining. Keep the Office of Greek Life contact information on hand if you have any questions or concerns about fraternity and Sorority life at UConn. In short, be supportive, be involved, and ask questions.

Is there an alcohol policy?

Each Fraternity or Sorority on campus has a local or inter/national alcohol policy, which requires members to follow all federal, state, and local laws, governing alcohol consumption. In addition, all of our chapters participate in educational programs about alcohol use and abuse.

Well, what about hazing?

Hazing is contrary to the purposes of the UConn fraternity and Sorority community and University of Connecticut. See the policy about Hazing from the office of Community Standards here.  If it is discovered that hazing has taken place and the person(s) involved are found responsible judicially, those involved may face sanctions up to and including removal from the University and a loss of chapter recognition. If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a Fraternity or Sorority, you should contact the Community Standards Office 860-486-8402 or Public Safety 860-486-4800.

Who is actually in charge of the fraternities and sororities?

Students elect their own officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and alumni who serve as advisors to the officers and general chapter members. Each group is governed by its inter/national headquarters, which established their chapter's regulations, and offers advice and direction through professional staff and regional volunteers.

Hazing Prevention for Parents

Information for Parents

Your role as a parent is important as your student decides whether to join a fraternity or sorority. Encourage your student to find out more information about the organization. They can do this by using the internet, talking with members, and by attending an informational and/or sponsored events. Ask questions about the group your student is considering, but trust that they will make the best decision for themselves. Be sure to check our list of recognized and unrecognized organizations, to be sure that they are joining a chapter affiliated with the university. If your student joins a fraternity or sorority, stay involved by attending chapter events or community service projects open to families with them. Most importantly, be as supportive as you can. The decision to join a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment with benefits extending far beyond one's college years.

Information About Hazing

Below is some information parents can use to determine if your son may be a victim of hazing and/or participating in any illegal pledge activities.

What to Look For

  • Trust your common sense. If you question the value, safety, or potential negative impact of an activity, then you have the right to express concern and get an explanation. Start by asking your student to explain the things the group is requiring them to participate in to become a member. If they are resistant or simply will not answer you, then that should be a red flag.
  • Is your student engaging in activities meant to earn their place with an organization inconsistent with their character or are the activities embarrassing or abusive?
  • Is your student losing weight, sleeping excessively or always tired, avoiding coming home or staying out late, having trouble sitting and/or showing signs of depression?

How to Advise Your Student

  • If your student is being hazed, they might express concern directly to you. In this case, you should do everything in your power to encourage your stop to stop participating in any acts of hazing immediately. Try to get as much information you can from your student about the hazing activities, the perpetrators, and time and places of events.
  • Sometimes, your student will downplay hazing by stating "It's not a big deal" or "Don't worry about it, I can handle it". You should not accept these common responses and continue to discourage your student from participating in these activities.
  • If your conversation with your student still leaves you with an unresolved concern or suspicion of hazing activity then you need to contact someone immediately. When contacting someone, please remain calm and provide as much information as you can. You may be very upset, but remember the individual you contacted must collect as much information as possible and may ask a series of questions, so please do not take your anger out on them.

If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, you should contact the Community Standards Office where you can submit an Hazing report (860-486-8402) or Public Safety (860-486-4800)

 

Have questions or concerns? Contact us