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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AMONG PARENTS

Q. Aren’t fraternities just like the one shown in the movie “Animal House?”
A. Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, after the showing of that movie, fraternity members have been categorized as partiers, irresponsible, and abusive. In reality, Sigma Chi is a value-based organization dedicated to the development of character, leadership, and lifelong friendship.

The fundamental purpose of Sigma Chi is to cultivate an appreciation of and commitment to the ideals of friendship, justice and learning within our membership. We achieve these ideals through the practice of character qualities embodied in our Ritual. Although this vision of Sigma Chi is based on the notion of shared ideals, we believe that true friendship thrives best among men of different temperaments, talents, and convictions.
Sigma Chi is known for building leaders, and our members have a reputation of putting Character in Action to change their communities.

Q. What about alcohol? What is it really like in the fraternity?
A. Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with the ideals of Sigma Chi. We expect our members to uphold state, county, and city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. We also provide educational opportunities on preventing alcohol abuse.

The days of large quantities of alcohol at a social function are gone. Instead, you’ll find many fraternity members participating in alcohol-free social activities. Students who choose not to drink will feel comfortable with their decision.

Q. What impact will fraternity membership have on my son’s grades?
A. Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Sigma Chi assists in that transition by offering scholarship programs which include study partners, study hours, and time management workshops. Your son can access the network of fraternity members who already know how to use campus resources

Q. What about pledging or hazing?
A. New fraternity members will 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, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new and old members of the fraternity.

Sigma Chi opposes hazing. Hazing is antithetical to the noble ideals of our fraternity. We are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility in the new members. This period will assist your son in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college.

Q. Who is actually in charge of the fraternity?
A. Fraternity members are elected to officer positions to manage the day-to-day operations of the chapter. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors.

In addition, we are part of a international fraternity organization which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Professional staff from the university are also employed to assist and monitor the activities of the fraternity.

Q. Doesn’t it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity?
A. Our 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, your son’s only expense will be his regular dues. The average cost of membership is $300 per semester.

Q. Being in a fraternity sounds like it takes a lot of time.
A. Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one’s time. Research shows that involved college students are more likely to graduate and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through Sigma Chi, your son will learn how to balance his academic, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.

Q. What is my role as a parent?
A. Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son as he meets people through the recruitment process. Our members will be more than happy to tell him (and you) about our group.

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