Family & Friends
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are fraternities and sororities?
The fraternity and sorority community is made up of values based social 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?
Students are encouraged to attend an event like the Involvement Fair or Fraternity & Sorority Night to learn more and meet the current members. Students can learn more by visiting SBLife!
When can my student join a fraternity or sorority?
Students are eligible for membership in a fraternity or sorority after completing at least 12 college or university credits (AP credits do not count) and have earned at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. The college/university credits can be earned at any institution after high school graduation, therefore first semester transfer students are eligible for membership.
How much will it cost my student to join?
There are fees associated with joining a fraternity or sorority and maintaining membership. Membership dues are typically higher in the first semester of membership since new members often pay one-time fees related to initiation to the inter/national organization. All fraternities and sororities are willing to work with their members to set up payment plans to pay throughout the semester. Dues with our organizations range from $50 - $450 each semester. Paraphernalia (shirts, jackets, etc.) is not included within those dues.
What will my student do during the new member orientation / intake process?
The new member orientation process is designed to teach students how to be good members of the organization. They will learn the history, structure, and practices of the organization, participate in community service opportunities, be trained to plan events, and encouraged to succeed academically. Typical activities include weekly meetings, study hours, service events, and alumni networking events.
How long will my student be a new member?
The new member orientation process is no longer than 6 weeks. Some organizations initiate students to full membership as quickly as 72 hours and others initiate after a 6 week period. Joining a fraternity or sorority should feel like adding an additional 3 credit class to your student’s schedule.
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.
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. Surveys have shown that our fraternity and sorority members at Stony Brook University drink much less and less often than students across the country and our members work hard to educate each other of the risks associated with alcohol usage and taking care of each other in risky situations. Over 50% of our fraternity and sorority community is Red Watch Band trained. Click here to learn more about the Red Watch Band program.
Will my student be hazed?
Each new member participates in a series of educational activities where they learn about the history and values of the organization. Hazing is in direct opposition to the values that are embraced by the fraternity and sorority community. All fraternities and sororities are expected to refrain from hazing and must adhere to the University’s Student Code of Conduct, all inter/national organization policies, and all local, state, and federal laws. Hazing is illegal in the state of New York. To learn more about the University’s hazing prevention efforts, click here.
Who do I speak with if I think my student is being hazed?
Hazing behavior should be reported to the University Police Department or University Community Standards.
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. The Department of Student Activities employs a full time advisor to work with the fraternities and sororities to provide guidance, educational, and leadership development to each member and organization.
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.
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. Please check the list of currently recognized organizations on our website to ensure that your student is joining an organization that the University supports. Joining an organization who has had its recognition removed is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.