As parents, you are interested in your son or daughter's experiences here at Rider University. If you are reading this web site your son or daughter may have expressed interest in joining a Greek organization, has begun the new member education process or has already joined an organization. As parents you may have questions regarding what it means to be a member of a fraternity or sorority. This page is designed to give you a clearer picture of what Greek organization are all about. If after reading the material, you still have question, please contact the Office of Greek Life at 609.896.5235 and we will be happy to assist you.
There are many stereotypes of the fraternity and sorority experience that exist. No doubt, as a parent, you have heard all of them and like the professionals who work in the field, you don’t find them very appealing. It is true that many students who don’t understand the true meaning or purpose of fraternities and sororities contribute to these stereotypes through their actions and words. However, there is a great movement in the community to get back to the basics – the core guiding principles upon which our chapters were founded. This renewed effort is being led by fraternity and sorority members who believe that getting involved during college can be one of the most fulfilling and beneficial experiences a student can have.
Benefits of Greek Life
- Academic Achievement
The first reason students attend college is to further their education and achieve academically so that they can move on and have a successful career. For this reason, fraternities and sororities must make academic achievement a top priority. For students to join, Rider requires that students complete 12 Rider credits and establish a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
Chapters have begun to establish academic programs for members who fall below standards that include mandated programs, study hours, tutoring help, probationary periods, and loss of social or housing privileges. Chapters have also instituted systems to reward and encourage high achievers by offering incentives, awards, brag boards, and nominations for national sponsoring organization monetary scholarships.
However, even with these standards, incentives and penalties in place, it is ultimately the responsibility of the individual to maintain and improve his or her own GPA and utilize the resources available.
For detailed information about each chapter's academic status, check out the Spring 2009 Grade Report.
- Personal Development
Social development is an essential component for college students to understand and grasp in order to thrive in life after school. The opportunities provided by fraternities and sororities can be found in few other places. Students who actively get involved with their organizations get hands-on experience leading committees, interacting with faculty and staff advisors, networking with alumni members, and giving back to the community through service projects. The focus on developing personally and creating a well rounded individual is one of the primary purposes of fraternity and sorority life.
Fraternities and sororities also provide the kinds of intangible benefits such as the proven support network, long lasting friendships and exposure to new people who they might not normally come in contact with. The bond that exists between alumni members who return to find their chapter still thriving is based on traditions and rituals that date back to the organizations national founding. In turn, the support that your son or daughter will receive, is also given to others. There are numerous opportunities for older members to provide role modeling and guidance to the newest members.
- Leadership Development
Members who become involved with the daily operations of the chapter receive special training and attention in order for them to hone skills and develop an understanding of how a small business works. For example, the chapter treasurer may manage a budget of up to $100,000 or more per year. The House Manager works with facilities and other administrators to run the building where the chapter lives. The Vice President is generally responsible for managing all of the committees, delegating, overseeing their projects, and updating the policies and procedures. Even the general member who participates in recruiting learns invaluable communication techniques while conversing, listening, and interacting with new people day after day. The skills that can be learned in a educational setting are only useful if they can be applied in a day-to-day setting. Participation in a fraternity or sorority allows this practice to occur for every member.
In addition, fraternity and sorority members participate in workshops, conferences and lectures that are tailored specifically for them. For detailed information about these programs, check out the Leadership Education and Training section.
- Time Commitment
Getting involved while at college is tough when trying to balance school work and the possibilities of being away from home or commuting long distances, working a part time job, and becoming socially connected. However, research has proven that students who are involved with co-curricular activities and organizations are more likely to graduate and be satisfied with their college experience. Students who make the commitment to become involved will get as much out of the experience as he or she is able to put in. Through involvement, students learn to balance their many commitments and prioritize their responsibilities before moving into the post collegiate experience.
- Financial Commitment
Each fraternity and sorority is self-supported through a fee structure that is charged to each member. This structure supports their activities, their national commitments and when applicable, their meal plan. For more information, please see the costs section.
- Policies Governing Fraternities and Sororities at Rider
The Office of Greek Life works to provide structure and guidance to our organizations. We have strict policies that govern our chapters with regard to the health and safety of our members as well as those to uphold the standards and values as established by the national sponsoring organizations and the founding members. You can view all of our policies in the resource section of our site.