Dear Friends & Family,
By joining a fraternity or sorority, your student is becoming part of a well-established,
close-knit, and supportive community of intelligent, dedicated, and loving individuals.
This community allows students to build life-long friendships, networks with alumni,
volunteers in the local community, and grow and develop as an individual in an environment
where they feel supported and encouraged.
Keep in mind that while fraternity and sorority membership is great for students who
choose to be involved, it is not for everyone. That is a decision that each student
needs to make and that you can discuss with them. Stony Brook University hosts more
than 30 fraternities and sororities ranging in size and focus. All of them embrace
the shared fraternal values of academic excellence, service, leadership, personal
development, multicultural appreciation, and brotherhood and sisterhood.
We encourage you to support your student with their decision to join a fraternity
or sorority. Ask them questions about what they are looking to gain from their experience
and learn as much as you can about the organization they join and empower your student
to be confident in themselves and their abilities.
Have questions? We're here to help!
-Samantha Thompson, Associate Director for Student Engagement and Activities &
Kevin Grunder, Program Coordinator for Student Engagement and Activities
What are fraternities and sororities?
The fraternity and sorority community is made up of values-based social, professional,
and culturally-based organizations. Fraternities and sororities provide lifelong membership
to university students who subscribe to the shared values of academic excellence,
service to the community, leadership development, and lifelong friendship.
What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternity and sorority members enjoy life-long friendships, opportunities to give
back to the community and raise awareness for important social issues, leadership
development and transferable skill building, and networking opportunities with alumni
in a variety of career fields.
How can my student join a fraternity or sorority? Where can they find out more?
Every organization has a unique new member recruitment and intake process in regards
to seeking membership. Some organizations require participation in and attendance
at on-campus recruitment events, while some organizations have an application or registration
process. We recommend that your student ask current members how the specific recruitment
and intake processes work for their organization.
Joining a fraternity or sorority is an important lifelong membership commitment for
a student. We encourage family and friends to support your student by advising them
to first do their research and attend events to ask questions to learn more about
which organization may be the best fit for the student.
Encourage your student to attend Involvement Fairs or programs hosted by our organizations.
Students can learn more about our recognized fraternities and sororities and their
events by visiting
When can my student join a fraternity or sorority?
All students wishing to join a fraternal organization at Stony Brook University must:
Be a full-time, regularly enrolled student
Have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average
Have earned a minimum of 12 credit hours (credit hours must have been accrued during
matriculation at a college campus)
How will my student find the organization best suited for them?
Encouraging students to do their own research and to actively participate during the
recruitment period are the best ways to ensure your student is finding the organization
that best aligns with their personal values and interests. Please read below for some
of our suggestions on how to support your student during their fraternity or sorority
Encourage your student to visit
to determine which recognized chapters we have at Stony Brook University and check
out our organizations national and local websites. Tell your student to attend an
all fraternity and sorority event to learn more about our organizations and meet members.
Encourage your student to attend a recruitment event, a fraternity/sorority educational
program, volunteer for community service with an organization, etc. The best way for
your student to find their niche is to meet people and find who they feel comfortable
- Encourage your student to prepare and ask questions. Please review some recommended
questions that might be helpful for your student to ask before joining an organization:
What is my role as a family member?
As a loved one of a student interested in joining the fraternity and sorority community,
your role is important. The best thing you can do is invest time and interest in your
students' interest in membership. Take time to learn about the fraternity/sorority
life community at Stony Brook University. Ask your student what the organization can
offer them and let the student make the best decision for themselves.
Once your student joins, continue to be engaged in their experience. Here are a few
suggestions you can practice to support your student in their fraternity/sorority
Be happy and supportive of your students’ choice of fraternity/sorority affiliation
Encourage your student to attend programs hosted by the chapter, inter-fraternity
and sorority council, and Department of Student Engagement and Activities.
Learn the name and contact information for the chapter president, new member educator
and chapter advisor.
Ask for details regarding the financial obligations of membership.
Stay in touch with your student. A phone call, text message, or email check-in goes
a long way.
Participate in Family/Friend events hosted by the chapter.
Congratulate your student on fraternity/sorority milestones like initiation or partaking
in a leadership opportunity within the chapter.
How much will it cost my student to join?
Joining a fraternity or sorority does involve a financial commitment. The first semester
of membership is typically the most expensive as individuals pay one-time initiation
fees to the national organization. Yearly dues vary by organization. We encourage
the student to always ask the fraternity or sorority they are interested in about
their financial commitment.
What will the new member education/intake process entail for my student?
The purpose of all new member education programs shall be to develop well rounded
members of the fraternal community. The new member process is a maximum of six weeks
in duration. Each new member activity must be purposeful in keeping with the University’s
mission of education and human development. The new member education process' purpose
should be to achieve the following:
To educate the potential new members about the ideology, history, and ceremonies of
the fraternity or sorority.
To instruct potential new members on their purpose and responsibility to the fraternity
or sorority, to the University and to the community.
To broaden the understanding between active members and potential new members, and
to promote a sense of unity between them.
To carry out activities of campus and civic value.
To continue the tradition of fraternity and sorority membership as a matter of special
pride and achievement as long as these traditions do not violate university policies,
or place the prospective member in physical, mental, or emotional jeopardy.
The Department of Student Engagement and Activities works with each chapter to support
the development of an educational and positive new member experience.
What oversight of activities is done by the Department of Student Engagement & Activities
during the New Member Education/Intake process?
The Department of Student Engagement & Activities is committed to supporting and educating
chapters on how to maintain a positive and well-rounded new member experience for
all new members which includes partnership and transparency with our department and
Every semester, our department holds a required training for all chapter new member
educators to review department and University policy as it relates to new member education.
Each chapter is required to submit a new member education/intake plan and a detailed
calendar of intended new member activities to our department at the beginning of each
This new member plan is then reviewed by a professional in the Department of Student
Engagement and Activities who will provide feedback for needed revisions or determine
if the new member plan is ready for approval. All new member plans and activities
must be approved by our department in order to be conducted.
All new members must also attend a new member education workshop, which is led by
staff members from our department. Our department also oversees the completion of
required hazing prevention and fraternity and sorority life modules which must be
completed by all new members within the first week of their new member process.
Finally, our department partners with the Center of Prevention and Outreach (CPO)
to ensure all new members complete Red Watch Band Training during their new member
to learn more about the Red Watch Band program
During the new member/intake process, new members may receive an email asking them
to meet with a staff member from our office to check in and see how they are enjoying
the process. Any student who decides to leave the new member process must also participate
in an exit interview with a member of our professional staff.
How long will my student be a new member?
The new member process is a maximum of six weeks in duration. Some organizations initiate
students to full membership as quickly as 72 hours and others initiate after a 6 week
period. Before joining a fraternity or sorority, it is important to talk with your
student about the importance of balancing the new social opportunities that come with
fraternal membership with their own personal and academic obligations. Help your student
plan for what time management looks like for them and what academic resources are
available for them to be successful. Academic achievement is an important value of
fraternities and sororities and many of our organizations hold internal scholarship
workshops utilizing campus resources to help members develop new skills both personally
What is the time commitment for being involved with a fraternity or sorority?
Each student must determine how much they are able to commit while continuing to balance
their academic, work, and family commitments. Students who take on leadership roles
agree to a much larger time commitment than students who remain at the member status.
Most of our fraternity and sorority members attend between 1 – 3 fraternity/sorority
events each week.
Who is in charge of the fraternities and sororities?
Each fraternity and sorority is run by students elected into officer positions. They
are completely student run organizations. Most of the fraternities and sororities
at Stony Brook University are part of larger inter/national corporations and therefore
report to their inter/national organization. Inter/national corporations provide guidance
and leadership support to the chapter leadership to help the undergraduate chapters
operate. Additionally our inter/national and local chapters may have alumni advisors
to help their organization.
The Department of Student Engagement employs two full time advisors to work with the
fraternities and sororities to provide guidance, educational, and leadership development
to each member and organization. To contact Samantha Thompson, the Associate Director
for Student Engagement and Activities, call (631) 632-9392, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Kevin Grunder, the Program Coordinator for Student Engagement and Activities,
call (631) 632-9392, or by email at email@example.com.
What role does alcohol and other drugs play in fraternities and sororities?
Although alcohol usage, binge drinking, and reckless behavior is a common stereotype
associated with fraternities and sororities, our organizations work hard to dispel
such stereotypes. This is not to say our organizations are not without incident or
use, however all of our fraternities and sororities are required to follow risk management
policies and host educational programming for their members on safety related issues.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, over 30 Stony Brook University fraternity and sorority
life members served as substance abuse prevention peer educators with the Center for
Prevention and Outreach (CPO) which demonstrates our members’ commitment to student
safety. We are proud to announce that nearly 100% of our active fraternity and sorority
community are Red Watch Band trained. Each semester, new members are required to complete
Red Watch Band training as part of their new member education/intake process. Click
to learn more about the Red Watch Band program.
Will my student be hazed?
Stony Brook University does not condone hazing practices within any student organization.
Hazing is entirely contrary to the values and purpose of fraternities and sororities.
The rituals of fraternities and sororities have nothing to do with hazing: they are
not scary, shameful, or degrading.
To learn more about what hazing is, hazing signs and behaviors, hazing prevention
resources, and how to report hazing, please visit our hazing prevention website at
Who do I speak with if I think my student is being hazed?
If you suspect that hazing is happening in any fraternity or sorority at Stony Brook
University, please contact Kevin Grunder, the Program Coordinator for Student Engagement
and Activities at (631) 632-9392, or via email at
In the event of an emergency please contact University Police at (631)632-3333.
Are there any fraternities or sororities not recognized by the University that I should
not let my student join?
On occasion we have organizations “pop up” on campus that are not recognized by the
University. Unrecognized groups/organizations, and those whose campus recognition
has been withdrawn or suspended, either temporarily or permanently, may not conduct
recruitment and/or related activities, or host events/activities on campus. These
organizations do not meet the University’s standards for recognition and/or have lost
recognition for failure to comply with University policy. We strongly discourage students
from joining these organizations. For more information about the unrecognized groups
on campus, please visit
. Joining an organization who has had its recognition removed is a violation of the
Code of Student Responsibility
Please check the list of currently
on our website to ensure that your student is joining an organization that the University
supports. Another way to determine whether or not a group is recognized at Stony Brook
University is to visit SBEngaged. Unrecognized organizations will not have a page