Letter from the Greek Life Coordinator
To Mom & Dad,
We, who make up the faculty and staff, hope that your son or daughter will enjoy being a part of our campus. You will find that Nicholls State University has many varied activities and organizations in which your child can become involved and a fraternity or sorority is one of those options. Many moms and dads ask me what fraternities and sororities are like and how their sons or daughters go about becoming part of a one.
Fraternities and sororities at Nicholls State University are made up of men and women with varying backgrounds and interests. They provide structured and planned activities to enhance their members’ college years. For example, if there is an athletic event, the members get together, make signs and go support the Colonels. A fraternity or sorority may have a speaker address them on the topic of successful job interviewing technique. Perhaps your son or daughter loves to play sports, the fraternities and sororities sponsor intramural teams in which he or she can participate. Our fraternity men and sorority women also believe in helping others; you can find them hosting a variety of philanthropic and community service projects. Fraternities and sororities encourage their members to participate in all aspects of campus life and support their efforts.
I want to point out that our fraternities and sororities realize that their members’ first priority is their academics. I am proud to say that the all-fraternity grade point average and the all-sorority grade point average is consistently higher than the all-men’s and all-women’s grade point average.
Fraternity and sorority life has brought much happiness to the men and women who have been a part of it. The decision whether to participate in membership recruitment is a difficult but important one. We hope this website will help your son or daughter become familiar with fraternity and sorority life and help him or her make that decision. Whatever decision your son or daughter makes, we hope that your family will love being a part of the Nicholls State University family.
– David Ford, Greek Life Coordinator
Information for Parents of Potential New Members
We know that many parents/guardians will participate in the decision of whether or not their son or daughter will participate in fraternity or sorority recruitment. We want you to feel comfortable with this decision. Some parents are very familiar with the Greek community and are fraternity or sorority members themselves, but to others it is an unfamiliar concept. For both groups, it is important to learn about fraternity and sorority life and the process of joining. Below, we address many of the questions most parents ask us about.
Before being able to go through the recruitment process, it is important that your son or daughter meets the requirements set forth by the respective councils. This information can typically be found on the fraternity or sorority recruitment application.
Will my son/daughter be safe during recruitment activities? Fraternity/Sorority activities?
We know safety and security is a primary concern for parents. Recruitment week activities are monitored by the Office of Greek Life and the Office of Student Engagement. The use of alcohol and any other drug is not permitted during the recruitment process.
Our fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold policies of Nicholls State University as well as the Nicholls State Student Code of Conduct. Not only that, each group has its own set of rules and values members are expected to uphold. Failure to do so could result in discipline by the university and/or within the member’s own fraternity or sorority, including loss of membership.
On-campus activities are regularly patrolled by our University Police. Each fraternity and sorority has a group of alumni volunteers who work very closely with the groups to make sure that the fraternity or sorority is operating as it should be. When a fraternity or sorority hosts a social event every effort is made to make sure the event is safe. Security is hired, some are required to travel on buses, chaperones are present and the fraternities and sororities expect the host establishment to enforce the legal drinking age to ensure safety.
Fraternities and sororities help their members to see they can have a good time while maintaining high standards. Our Greek men and women believe in looking out for each other, but they will not tolerate members who do not maintain a high standard of behavior.
When should my son/daughter join Greek Life?
We know Greek Life is not for every man or woman. We do want you to know that Fall recruitment is the major time fraternities and sororities take in new members. Sometimes parents will say their son or daughter does not want to join until spring semester. Though some groups so take in new members during the spring semester, this isn’t always an option. Specifically for sororities, there might be a few openings in a couple of sororities during the spring semester but that is unpredictable. If your son or daughter does not go through recruitment this August and still wants to join a fraternity or sorority, please encourage him or her to come by the Greek Life Office to learn about some options that may be available.
If your son/daughter is interested in one of our NPHC groups, please encourage him or her to come by the Greek Life Office to learn more about the intake process and procedure of those groups.
My son/daughter isn’t sure about joining a Greek organization- should he/she do it anyways?
To some college men and women and their parents, joining a fraternity or sorority sounds terrific. They want to have something to help them socially and academically while providing structure. But, some look at it as too restricting and too time demanding. Each student needs to look at their strengths and weaknesses and evaluate what they can do. Some questions that need to be thought of is do they want to go to weekly meetings, have required study hours, maintain a high standard of behavior, attend and participate in campus events and volunteer in the community. If this is too overwhelming, then do not encourage them to participate. Our campus has wonderful campus ministries, lots of service and leadership organizations and many athletic and cultural events to attend. There are many successful students at Nicholls State University who do not join fraternities or sororities.
What are the costs?
As you may know, the first cost associated with fraternity and sorority life is the $25 recruitment application fee. Once extended a bid, several groups require one-time fees that usually go to the organization’s national offices, including pledging, initiation and/or insurance costs. That being said, first-semester membership typically cost the most throughout the entire membership.
Chapter dues range among the fraternities and sororities depending on the individual chapter’s operations. Our chapters are transparent when it comes to their finances, so we encourage our potential new members to ask about costs during the recruitment activities. We also encourage our potential new members to ask about payment plans that chapters may offer.
Can I sign my son/daughter up for recruitment myself?
College can be a tough transition for a student. Some students are eager and anxious to handle everything while others are still expecting “momma” to do everything. Please let them sign up for recruitment on their own. Do not fill out their online application for them. Encourage him or her to carefully read the instructions and fill it out on his or her own – this way any mistakes made are his or her fault, not yours. Feel free to assist him or her, but let him or her do the entering in.
What are my son/daughter’s chances of getting in a fraternity/sorority?
This is a very legitimate concern. We understand that your son or daughter may get his or her feelings hurt by either not getting into a fraternity or sorority or not getting into the one he or she had his or her heart set on. It is important to encourage your son or daughter to consider all his or her options and be open minded while going through the recruitment process. This will give him or her a greater chance of pledging.
It is important that your son or daughter realize that the recruitment process is like any other selection process. Job interviews, scholarship interviews, and team selections are a part of all our experiences. Sometimes we get selected and sometimes we do not. Putting his or her best foot forward with the recruitment application and preparing to meet and greet the Greek Life members is a very important life lesson. We hope that you will talk to him or her about the preparation for recruitment and how to handle disappointment if he or she should be released or not extended a fraternity or sorority’s bid.
Please know that if your son or daughter is released from recruitment we have Greek members as well as the Greek Life Office who will help them if needed. We ask that you try to encourage them to get involved in other campus activities.
How does the recruitment process work?
The recruitment process for each of our three councils works differently:
For our Panhellenic recruitment, we use a model of recruitment called Release Figure Methodology (RFM). Our overall goal is to place as many women as possible into sororities. To give an example, the first day of sorority recruitment she goes to 4 sororities and the next day she may go to 3 sororities. After the first day of sorority recruitment, your daughter is asked to rank the groups she visited and which groups she would to attend the next day. Then the sororities give us their list of women they would like back. Our system first tries to see which of those 4 have invited her back. If one does not invite her back, the system then tries to see if she was invited back to her next preference. The potential member then receives a schedule letting her know where she will go. This process is repeated the next round. Please note that the rankings of your daughter and of the sororities are confidential and are not released to anyone.
For our IFC recruitment, our potential new members have the opportunity to visit with our 4 fraternities on the first day of fraternity recruitment. Your son is asked to rank the groups he visited and which groups he would to attend the next day. As the week goes on, this process is continued in that your son will become limited in the number of groups he can visit. At the end of the week, the fraternities are asked to submit a list of who they would like to extend a bid to. Your son could possibly receive a bid from all 4 organizations. It would then be up to your son to decide which bid, if any of those he received, he would like to accept. It is important to note that there is a possibility your son may not receive any bids.
The way our NPHC groups gain new members is very different than our Panhellenic and IFC groups. Each of our NPHC chapters holds its membership process on their own timeline and not all chapters take new members in any given academic year. Each national organization has slightly different requirements for potential new members and most do not take first semester students who have no earned credit hours. Your son or daughter will be given the chance to express his or her interest at interest meetings and other NPHC events. Throughout the NPHC intake process, discretion is important. Discretion should be exercised not only when pursuing membership in an organization but during the intake process as well.
How should my son/daughter decide which fraternity/sorority is right for them?
Each fraternity and sorority at Nicholls State University has something unique and wonderful to offer your son or daughter just as he or she has talents to offer each of them. If your son or daughter goes into recruitment with the idea of only pledging one or two groups, he or she is setting themselves up for disappointment. Encourage him or her to look for what is the best in every group they visit and to envision how he or she could make a difference in that group. Encourage them to remain positive and make decisions for themselves. Many people love to give “advice” on recruitment; please encourage your child to make his or her own decisions based on the experience during recruitment, not someone else’s opinions.
Do upper-class students have a chance in sorority or fraternity recruitment?
Yes. Though most individuals that go through the recruitment process are incoming freshmen, fraternities and sororities do not discriminate based on academic classification. The groups understand that the decision to go through recruitment as an upper-class student is just as important as choosing to go through as an incoming freshman.
How does fraternity and sorority housing work?
At this time, none of our chapters on campus having a house. During sorority and fraternity recruitment, your son or daughter will be given the option to move into his or her residence hall early, if needed.
What are recommendations? What if my son/daughter is a legacy? Will these help my child during recruitment?
A recommendation is like a letter of reference. Recommendations are not required for your child to go through the recruitment process but can be submitted to the chapters in which the recommendation is intended for. It is important to remember that a recommendation does not guarantee your child a bid to a certain fraternity or sorority.
Typically, a legacy is a potential new member who gains preference in membership by virtue of his or her familial relationship with another member. Most fraternities and sororities require a specific relationship between the member and the prospective member in order for the prospective member to receive legacy status. The relationship qualifier varies among fraternities and sororities. Your child will have the opportunity to list legacy information on his or her recruitment application.
Fraternities and sororities at Nicholls consider their legacies very carefully. It is important to remember that a man or woman will not get into a fraternity or sorority just because he or she is a legacy. If your child is a legacy, we know it is a natural tendency to lean toward that fraternity or sorority. But, encourage your child to go through recruitment with an open mind and to make new friends within all of the groups during recruitment.