The Marist Community

Information for Parents

At Marist, we understand sending your student to college can be a challenging and stressful time in any parent's life.  While at Marist, your student will encounter opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom to become involved in the campus community.  As parents, it is important for you to be educated about fraternity and sorority life at Marist College should your student choose to participate.

What does being involved in a fraternity or sorority entail?

We realize you may have seen movies, television, or even read the newspaper depicting Greek Life in a negative way.  What you may not be told are the many benefits and long-lasting friendships, fundraisers, philanthropy, and service they participate in through their membership. 

National Statistics

  • Nine million college students are members of a Greek organization
  • Since 1825, all but three U.S. presidents and 85% of Fortune 500 executives were Greek
  • Graduation rates are 20% higher in comparison to non-Greeks
  • Overall fraternity and sorority GPA is higher than the overall collegiate GPA
  • Over 85% of the student leaders on 730 campuses are members of Greek-letter organizations.
  • Less than 2% of average college student expenses go towards membership dues.
  • A study by the University of Missouri found that Greeks throughout the US and Canada are more involved on their campuses and rate their overall university experience better.
  • The same study found that fraternity or sorority members are more involved in their communities; and give more generously to their alma maters.
  • Fraternity or sorority members form the largest network of volunteers in the U.S.
    • Nationally, fraternity or sorority members volunteer approximately 10 million hours of community service annually.
  • Fraternity or sorority membership strongly encourages within its community to uphold the ideals that they were founded on: sisterhood and brotherhood, scholarship, leadership, philanthropy, and becoming better citizens of society.
  • Hazing is against National Fraternity or Sorority Headquarters policies. Nationally, fraternity or sorority members are the largest and most visible value-based student organizations.

Credit to University of Missouri-Kansas City

Questions to asked your child prior to them joining a fraternity or sorority:

  • What is expected as a member?
  • What opportunities are available for new members and active members?
  • Does the chapter participate in community service and/or philanthropy projects? If so, how often?
  • What are membership expenses/dues (semester/annual) as a member?
  • What type of individual is the chapter looking for? 
  • What are you looking for?
  • What philosophy and values does the organization promote?
  • What type of academic/scholarship focus does the organization promote or provide?
  • Does the college officially recognize an organization?

What are the safety risks associated with membership?

All fraternities and sororities are required to follow guidelines and policies regarding alcohol and risk management, in addition to New York State law.  The College enforces the policies and guidelines set by each organization and each council encourages chapters to promote a safe environment for all members.  Encouraging your child to attend as many campus events during the fall semester may allow them opportunities to interact with other students and meet members of the Greek community.  

Hazing is against the national/local organizations policy, university policy, and state law. 

Things to Remember:

  • Greek Life is not for everyone and may not be the right choice for your child.
  • Your student will need your support through the process and it is important to be asking questions and dialogue with your child.
  • Greek Life is different on every campus and so are the organizations.  Organizations that may have been strong on the campus you attended may not have the same reputation at Marist.
  • Talk to your child prior to joining a Greek organization in regards to the financial obligation.
  • Understand that not everyone who wants to be Greek will receive a bid at Marist to join a Greek organization.
  • Too often, parents do not allow their student to address problems and/or seek information on their own.  We would encourage you to allow them to seek out information in order to further mature and gain confidence.