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What is Fraternity and Sorority Life?
Fraternity and Sorority Life refers to the Greek letter societies, which make up the fraternity and sorority social and service system. Fraternities are organizations for men, which are designed to promote scholarship and leadership, stimulate social interaction, and offer the opportunity for development of meaningful relationships. Sororities are organizations for women, which promote scholarship, service to campus and community, development of strong long-lasting friendships, and promotion of leadership opportunities.
Fraternities and sororities have a long history within American higher education. The first fraternity (Greek-letter organization) was founded at the College of William & Mary in 1776. Today there are over 100 fraternities and sororities at American colleges and universities and there are over two million members.
What fraternities & sororities are at Albany State University?
Currently, Albany State University has “13” recognized social / service fraternities and sororities: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Phi Omega, Delta Sigma Theta, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Kappa Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho, Tau Beta Sigma, and Zeta Phi Beta.
What is the recruitment / selection process?
Fraternities and sororities will hold ‘Information Seminars’ also known as “Open House, Informational or Rush” where interested students can learn more about the organization. Any enrolled student with an interest in joining a fraternity or sorority should attend the sessions.
Requirements for selection and membership will vary, depending on the organization. Recruitment activities may occur during the Fall or Spring Semesters and vary in length. Students desiring membership may be asked to submit a membership application, participate in an interview with current members, and/or pay a membership fee.
Following the submission of an application and or interview, prospective members are either accepted or declined. Each organization has its own decision rubric. For additional information, contact the fraternity or sorority of choice.
How much does it cost to be a member of a fraternity or sorority?
Joining a fraternity or sorority does require a financial commitment. When students join an organization, they typically have to pay initiation fees which can vary depending on the particular organization. Some fraternities and sororities do require membership dues while in school. Fees and dues will vary by organization, but generally around $1500.00.
What is membership in-take?
Each fraternity and sorority has an individual in-take process that is designed to familiarize the student with the organization and acquaint the student with other members. The duration of the membership in-take varies by organization, and ranges from one to several weeks in length. At the conclusion of the in-take process, the organization will hold induction activities which formally initiate the student as a member of the organization.
Rites and Ceremonies / Hazing
No Albany State organization (includes departments, athletics, etc.) or student shall condone, encourage, or require unlawful acts by its members at any time. All organizations shall be responsible for observing all University policies.
The University defines hazing as any situation, circumstance, or environment created by an organization or student that is purposefully instigated to illicit mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule to aspiring members on or off university premises.
All rites and ceremonies of introduction, initiation, or orientation into college life which tend to occasion or allow unreasonable physical or mental suffering are prohibited. Any orientation which in part takes place in public, which in any way involves persons outside the organization or is not confined to a single building must be approved by the Department of Campus Life prior to the ceremony.
Hazing may include (but is not limited to): paddling, caning, whipping, forced calisthenics, tattooing / branding, forced consumption (of any food, alcohol or related substance), coercion to perform dangerous acts, or the issuance of assignments that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual.
Hazing may also include any activity that would subject students to mental stress, such as: sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, conduct that result in extreme embarrassment, public servitude, giving money to older members of the organization, destroying public or private property, and performing unauthorized scavenger / treasure hunts.
Albany State University strictly adheres to state legislation outlawing hazing. Students involved in any aspect of hazing are subject to both institutional disciplinary action and prosecution by local and state authorities.
Georgia Code Section Prohibiting Hazing (Code 1 98 1, Section 16-5-61, enacted by Georgia Legislature in 1988)
The appropriate legislation is reprinted below:
- As used in this Code section, the term: Haze means to subject a student to an activity which endangers or is likely to endanger the physical health of the student, regardless of a student’s willingness to participate in such activity.
- School means school, college, or university in this state.
- School organization means any club, society, fraternity, sorority, or group living together which has students as its principal members.
- Student means any person enrolled in a school in this state.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to haze any student in connection with or as a condition or precondition in gaining acceptance, membership, office, or other status in a school organization.
- Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
How can Fraternity and Sorority Life benefit me?
Fraternity and Sorority Life can provide students with an enriching collegiate experience. Among the benefits, Fraternity and Sorority Life can provide students with leadership experiences, community service opportunities, and opportunities to develop friendships.
What if I want to join a fraternity or sorority that is not at Albany State?
There are many different fraternities and sororities. While you may be set on particular fraternity or sorority, you are encouraged to check out each existing organization on campus before making your final decision to join. Most fraternities and sororities offer a variety of benefits and opportunities, and embrace rich heritages and traditions.
If you desire to affiliate with a specific fraternity or sorority that is not at Albany State University, you should arrange a meeting with the Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator to discuss the organization of interest. The Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator will work with you to contact the specific organization’s national headquarters in order to establish the guidelines to charter a chapter at Albany State University. In some instances, the national headquarters may not be interested in chartering a chapter due to the possibility of low membership.
After all of the specific steps (to be discussed during the meeting with the Fraternity and Sorority Coordinator), the Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator will work with you to get the organization recognized by Albany State University. Please note: even if the organization decides to charter a chapter at Albany State University, the organization still has to undergo formal recognition by the Council of Independent Organizations.