Parents and Families

As a family member of a Temple University student, you likely have questions about opportunities for student involvement outside of the classroom. On our campus, fraternities and sororities fall on an extensive list of co-curricular options. A growing number of students who hope to enhance their undergraduate experience find what they’re looking for in a fraternity or sorority.

Fraternity or sorority involvement can benefit a student in a number of ways. Each Greek-lettered organization is guided by a creed, ritual, and history. Our community, however, is united by the common values of Leadership Development, Community Engagement, Academic Achievement, and Friendship for Life. These values represent some of the shared benefits of fraternal involvement.

Conversation Guide for Parents & Families

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Conversation Guide for families with students considering joining a fraternity or sorority Parents and families are an integral part of the fraternity/sorority experience. Student Activities staff wants to ensure families are equipped with the information to start conversations with their students about their options, and expectations. Families can support their student by encouraging him or her to research fraternity or sorority options. Joining a Greek-lettered organization is a lifelong commitment and the decision to join should only come after careful consideration. Reflect  Reflect on Self  •  Are you in a fraternity or sorority?   •  What were the reasons you joined?  •  What are your fondest memories as a member?  •  Why did you decide not to join? Reflect on Your Student and the Student Group  •  Is there a particular group your student has shared      interest in?  •  What have you read about the organization and its       values?  •  What does your student care about?  •  How is this organization amplifying what your       student cares about?

Facilitate Discussion Listen • Remember, you do not have to be an expert. Allow your student to share what they have learned about the fraternity/sorority experience from members and staff. • This conversation should focus more on your student than the organization.  • Challenge your student to answer the following questions: • Why do you want to join a fraternity or sorority? • What are the core values of the organization? • How do your personal values align with the organization? • Are any of the organization’s values in direct conflict of my personal values? • What are ways that I can contribute to the brother/sisterhood and business of the organization? • Is it important that I join a fraternity or sorority that focuses on my identity? • Ask good questions to ensure your student understands the commitment they are making. • What is expected of chapter members? • How will membership affect your academics? • 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 active members? • Does the chapter perform hands-on community service? If so, how often? • Does the fraternity or sorority require members to live in the facility (if housing is available)? If so, for how long? • What type of member is the chapter looking for? • What is the time commitment? • What costs are associated with membership?

Next Steps • Contact a Student Activities staff member with additional questions you have about fraternities and sororities at Temple University.  • Follow @templefsl on Instagram for updates on our chapters. • Support your student in making their own decision about which organization to join. Legacy connections, the opinions of friends and family, and external reputation can be important things to consider when students make a choice about which organization to join. However, the most important thing is that the student feels a strong connection and fit with that organization, even if that is different from all of those other factors.  Did you know… • In 2018, Pennsylvania passed the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law increasing penalties for hazing violations, and requiring institutions to take heightened preventative measures to create safe environments for students.  • All fraternities and sororities are required to follow risk management procedures including health, wellness, risk reduction programming   Resources • Parent and Family Experience Portal • Temple University Hazing Report • Temple FSL Community Report • The Divine Nine by Lawrence Ross

Click here to download a PDF copy of this guide.