VCU offers many exciting learning experiences, one of which includes membership in a fraternity or sorority. The fraternity and sorority community at VCU has enhanced the lives of thousands of men and women over the last 40 years. Membership can help you find your niche at VCU, offer academic assistance and support, encourage you to be active in student organizations and community service, open doors for opportunity, assist you in developing social skills, provide educational awareness about social issues, and give you a chance to make friends with similar interests.
A Home Away From Home
A fraternity or sorority can help enhance your college experience by offering a scholastic support system; hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets and interacting with faculty and administrators; exposure to potential careers through educational programs and discussions with alumni; the opportunity to give back to the community through service projects; and close friends who will cheer you on through successes and provide support during tough times.
How To Join
The Interfraternity Council (governing body for the fourteen IFC fraternities) holds recruitment periods at the beginning of the fall and spring for which first year students can participate. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (governing body for the six historically African-American fraternities and sororities) and the Multicultural Greek Council (governing body for the six culturally based fraternities and sororities) hold informational meetings periodically throughout the year. The College Panhellenic Council (governing body of eight women’s sororities) sponsors recruitment at the start of each semester where students can join. Also, each chapter may hold informal recruiting events throughout the semester.
The fraternity and sorority community at VCU co-sponsors many events to benefit the community. These include Mr. Greek VCU, Alcohol Awareness Week, Halloween Watch, Take Back the Night and others.
A study by the Center for Advanced Social Research indicates fraternity and sorority members:
Academics are emphasized by all fraternity and sorority chapters who challenge members to reach their full academic potential. Through high standards for membership, scholarships and study hours, fraternities and sororities promote a solid academic foundation. Furthermore, fraternity and sorority members usually maintain a higher GPA than nonmembers and studies have shown that members of fraternities and sororities are more likely to obtain a degree than non-affiliated students.
Fraternities and sororities exemplify democracy in action. They are families, communities, and many have legal corporations of alumni who support their activities. Officers within each chapter are elected to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors. In addition, many organizations have regional and national leadership conferences where students can learn a variety of leadership skills. Fraternities and sororities provide a solid foundation in leadership training that prepares them for future demands and responsibilities.
Community service is an important aspect of fraternity and sorority life. Each organization was founded upon community service and offers unique opportunities for members to serve the community. From volunteering in elementary schools to giving blood to raising money for charities such as the American Heart Association, Breast Cancer Awareness, Special Olympics and the Ronald McDonald House, fraternities and sororities are more likely to obtain a degree than non-affiliated students.
For many students, social life helps to make college a more fulfilling experience. Fraternities and sororities provide a calendar of social activities including formals, homecoming, skit nights, mixers, step shows and other special events. Fraternities and sororities offer a family atmosphere that goes beyond ordinary friendships, often lasting a lifetime.
Fraternities and sororities sponsor teams to participate in various intramural sports and in other fraternity and sorority philanthropy tournaments. Some of these sports include flag football, soccer, basketball, tennis, softball and volleyball. Fraternities and sororities also have members who are varsity athletes. Members of fraternities and sororities provide school spirit at VCU with their supportive presence at major sporting events.
Lifetime friendships expand beyond individual chapters to include all members of the fraternity and sorority community. Alumni organizations help students network for post graduate employment, and keep in touch through newsletters, correspondence, meetings as well as special alumni events.
A Word About Hazing
Physical and mental hazing is banned by the university, all inter/national fraternities and sororities and by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fortunately, student members of fraternities and sororities, recognize that hazing has no place in their organizations and have eliminated it. All acts of hazing by any group, member or alumni/alumnae are specifically forbidden and will not be tolerated by the university.
Members of the VCU fraternity and sorority community participate in a wide variety of educational programming on such topics as leadership development, diversity initiatives, alcohol and other drug education, sexual assault and personal health.