Fraternity and Sorority Membership: Expectations and Talking Points

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This fall, we have welcomed more than 250 members to our fraternity and sorority community at Colgate. Over the next four weeks, through the new member program, our Office of Fraternity and Sorority Advising will work with our eight recognized chapters to provide workshops, training, and resources to make sure that each student has what they need to be a successful new member of their organization. 

Our goal is to make sure that every new member knows their resources and feels a sense of belonging in their chapter. At Colgate, our fraternity and sorority community values the growth of supportive networks, connecting with the local community, creating leadership opportunities, and fostering inclusive chapters. 

If you have a student who is a new member coming home from Fall break, or you are chatting with them over the phone, here are some conversation topics that you could ask to support your student through this experience.

  • Tell me about the new people you’ve met! (current members, other new members, chapter leadership, etc.) 
  • What are some chapter events you are excited about? 
  • What philanthropy does the chapter usually do? 
  • Are there any alumni or networking opportunities coming up? How can you connect with alumni? 
  • What has been the best part of your experience so far? 
  • What leadership opportunities are there? Would you be interested in any of them?

Outside of our eight recognized fraternity and sorority organizations, there are tons of other student organizations and extracurricular activities on Colgate’s campus. Check out the Get Involved site to explore the over 150+ other student organizations that can provide similar opportunities to all students. 

Each new member of a fraternity or sorority will be expected to complete requirements from both their individual chapter and from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Advising. Below are the outlined expectations from our office. In addition to those listed below, each chapter will have weekly meetings, rituals, educational activities, and financial obligations specifically for their new members.

New Member Requirements

  • New Member Form: This form confirms their membership with our office and with Colgate University. 
  • Meal Plan Adjustment Form: This form allows new members of fraternities to reduce their on-campus meal plan and go on a partial in-house fraternity meal plan. The fraternity meal plan includes meals from the fraternity chef. 
  • Alcohol Skills Training Program: All new members and chapter members complete this training by the alcohol and other drugs counselor from the Shaw Wellness Center.
  • Hazing Prevention/Violence Prevention: An online training on the Moodle educational  platform for new members to review information and resources.
  • Belonging, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workshop: A training completed by Office of Fraternity and Sorority professional and student staff.

If at any point you are concerned or have questions about the new member process, please reach out to me

— Decker is director of fraternity and sorority advising.