Information for Parents
For your son, making the transition to a four-year college or university might seem like an imposing challenge.
Fraternities are a proven support network for your son as he embarks on this new period in his life. Over 400,000 students across the country are currently fraternity members.
The Fraternity can help personalize your son’s college experience by offering a scholastic support; hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets and interacting with faculty and administrators; exposure to potential careers through educational programs and discussions with alumni; the chance to give back to the community through service projects; and close friends who will cheer him on when he is successful and support him when times are tough. With all these opportunities available to them, it is no wonder that fraternity members tend to graduate from college at a higher rate than those men not involved in fraternities.
As a parent, you are undoubtedly concerned about your son’s college experience and the choices he will make.
Can my son benefit from fraternity membership?
Yes, through the following ways:
- He’ll have a group of supportive friends to help him make the adjustment to college and be his friends for life.
- He’ll be offered scholastic resources to help him achieve his academic goals.
- He’ll be taught leadership skills and offered hands-on opportunities to practice those skills.
- He’ll be encouraged to get involved on campus and in the community to his fullest potential.
- He’ll be taught the importance of the giving of oneself through active participation in community service projects.
- He’ll be exposed to career opportunities through interaction with fraternity alumni.
Aren’t fraternities just like the one shown in the movie Animal House?
Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately since that movie’s debut and others similar in theme, fraternity members have been categorized as irresponsible and abusive. In reality, fraternities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendship.
Should I be concerned about my son’s grades and the impact fraternity membership would have on them?
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Fraternities assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs which might include study partners, study hours and time management workshops. Your son will have access to the network of Fraternity members who already know how to use campus resources such as the library, career centers, computer labs and academic advisors. While fraternities are concerned about the academic achievement of their members, your son is will ultimately be responsible for utilizing the resources made available.
Being in a fraternity sounds like it takes a lot of time. Does it?
Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of time. A research initiative has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through his fraternity involvement your son will learn how to balance his academic, campus involvement and social commitments.
How does my son join a fraternity?
Fraternities organize a recruitment process of meeting people and making friends. The recruitment process offers your son an opportunity to meet other people on campus and learn what each fraternity has to offer its members.
Every fraternity has its own unique programs and strengths, yet all are primarily based on the development of character, social skills, friendship, service to humanity and academic skills. Just as in researching, visiting and choosing a college, your son should choose the fraternity that best fits his personality and needs. He will find that there is a place for everyone and the right choice will be demonstrated in personal growth.
What about pledging or hazing?
Delta Tau Delta opposes hazing and is committed to a membership education period that teaches responsibility and commitment to new members. New fraternity members typically experience a period of orientation. During this time your son and the other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and the Fraternity, including leadership retreats, community service projects and activities designed to build friendships among the new, members and the older fraternity members.
Who is actually in charge of the Fraternity?
Undergraduate fraternity officers manage the day-to-day operations of the organization at the campus level. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors. Chapters are also part of a international fraternal organization that offers support, advice and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Professional staff from the college or university also assist and monitor the activities of fraternities.
What is alcohol use really like in the Fraternity?
Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with Delt ideals. All Delts are expected to uphold state, county, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. Many fraternities are leading the way on college campuses in the effort to combat alcohol by implementing innovative abuse prevention initiatives. Your son will face many personal choices regarding alcohol use in college. Regardless of whether he joins a fraternity, he is responsible for his choices.
Doesn’t it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity?
Each fraternity is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one time expenses are assessed. After those initial payments are made, expenses will include chapter dues and annual Fraternity dues. If housing is offered, fraternity lodging and meals are competitive with other housing options. A variety of payment plans are usually offered.
What is my role as a parent?
Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son as he meets people through the recruitment and new-member process. Fraternity members will be more than happy to tell him, and you, about their group. In years to come, Delta Tau Delta will also become part of your life.