Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits to joining a sorority or a fraternity?
Fraternities and Sororities have existed at the University of the Pacific since the late 1800s and have a very rich history. The benefits to joining our community are countless.
- Being Greek provides a home away from home that can make a university feel much smaller.
- Greeks consistently outperform unaffiliated students in the classroom, with the all-Greek average usually being around a 3.05.
- Leadership opportunities and leadership skill development training are provided by the community and by individual chapters. If you want to be a leader, there is room to do so in our community.
- Lifelong friendships and connections are formed that will last well beyond your college years and bring you back to Pacific for homecoming and reunions.
- There is great opportunity to give back through philanthropic and service opportunities. Our community annually contributes over 6,000 hours of service and $34,000 to charitable organizations in Stockton and around the world.
What is the financial obligation?
Costs to be a member of a fraternity or sorority can vary greatly by chapter, but it is important to know ahead of time that there will be some cost associated. The dues go toward (Inter)National fees, chapter operating costs, and social functions. New members should expect to pay higher dues their first semester due to initiation fees.
There may be additional cost throughout the year for event photos, extra t-shirts, and other fees. It is very important to educate yourself on the cost to join a group before you join. With most groups you are committed financially for the first semester once you accept a bid. Do not hesitate to ask chapters you are interested in about their dues before you commit to their chapter.
What is the time commitment like?
Time commitment generally varies from chapter to chapter and from member to member, but you can expect to invest more time in your fraternity or sorority during your first semester as you go through your new member education program.
New member education focuses on learning the history and facts about the organization, development of leadership and time management skills, and spending time getting to know your brothers or sisters. Although it can be time intensive, it should not interfere with academic commitments. If you have concerns about the time you are putting into your new member program, do not hesitate to contact our office.
After initiation each chapter generally requires a once a week chapter meeting. There are also other requirements throughout the semester like service projects, philanthropy events, and ritual ceremonies, but all of these should be planned well in advance.
If you choose to be an officer or committee member your time commitment will likely increase significantly depending on the role you assume.
What about social events? What should I expect?
When fraternity and sorority members aren't hitting the books, doing service work, or raising money for great causes, they take time to have a good time as well. Social events include brotherhood/sisterhood retreats, formals, homecoming, parents weekend, themed events, movie nights, and more.
Are there safety risks associated with membership in a sorority or fraternity?
The media does a very good job of making the public aware of the risks associated with joining a Greek organization. Pacific is committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure that any organization on campus adds to the educational value of a student's experience. Greek organizations at the University of the Pacific are required to follow alcohol and risk management policies in accordance with state, local, and federal laws, which are enforced by University administrators and chapter advisors as well as the members themselves.
What are the rules regarding alcohol?
Each sorority or fraternity on campus has (Inter)National alcohol policies, which require members to follow all federal, state, and local laws, governing alcohol consumption. The University also has policies for all students regarding alcohol consumption that can be viewed here.
What are the rules regarding hazing?
No organization may participate in the activity of hazing. Hazing is any activity undertaken by a group or organization or a member of that group or organization in which members or prospective members are subjected to activities which harass, intimidate, physically exhaust, impart pain, cause undue mental fatigue or mental distress, or which cause mutilation or alteration of the body or parts of the body. Such activities include but are not limited to, tests of endurance, submission of members or prospective members to potentially dangerous or hazardous circumstances, activities which have a foreseeable potential for resulting in personal injury, or any activity which by its nature is so profound that it would have a potential to cause severe mental anxiety, mental distress, panic, degradation, or public embarrassment. Registered organizations and groups shall be permitted certain initiation ceremonies and activities, which when examined by the ordinary University student, would seem reasonable under the circumstances and justified in view of the purpose for which they are conducted. It shall not constitute a defense to the charge of hazing that the participants took part voluntarily, that they voluntarily assumed the risks or hardship of the activity, or that no injury in fact was suffered.
Want to report hazing anonymously? Call the Hazing Hotline at 888-668-4293.
Who runs the fraternities and sororities?
Students elect their own officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by chapter members serving on committees and alumni who serve as advisors to the officers and general chapter members.
Each chapter is governed by its (Inter)National Headquarters, and governing council here on campus. Additionally, the Housing and Greek Life Office staff supports and advises the governing councils, chapter officers, and advisors.
Have additional questions?
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