For Parents

We understand sending a child to college can be a challenging and stressful time in a parent's life. While at Binghamton University, your student will encounter many opportunities to become involved outside of their classroom experience. It is important that you, the parent, be educated about the enriching experience that your student can find by being involved in a fraternity or sorority at Binghamton.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?

    Membership in a sorority or fraternity offers a home away from home and encourages individual development in the larger University environment. Greek organizations provide the chance to make new friends and have fun. Examples of activities that fraternity and sorority members typically engage in include chapter retreats, BaxterThon, philanthropy events, and leadership conferences. Sororities and fraternities support students with a common set of values, including brotherhood/sisterhood, a sense of belonging, academic excellence, leadership development, diversity, a sense of community, philanthropy, and service.

    Membership in Greek organizations offers students many opportunities to develop their leadership potential. Each member is actively involved in the decision-making processes, teaching and encouraging students to utilize their leadership talents within their respective chapters and on campus.  Greek organizations offer academic support programs including national and local scholarships and grants, incentives and awards, study skills workshops, tutoring programs, established study sessions, and grade point requirements.

    Though the student’s time at the University will come to an end, membership in a sorority or fraternity lasts a lifetime. As members of these organizations, students are offered the opportunity to develop as leaders, serve the local community and international organizations, and focus on academics and their careers while networking with other members.

  • What financial costs are associated with joining a fraternity or sorority?
    Most organizations have one-time expenses such as a new member and/or initiation fee. Recurring expenses can include chapter dues, which go toward chapter programming, operating expenses, brotherhood/sisterhood events, and socials. These dues are typically collected semesterly. The total cost and collection period will typically vary depending on the chapter. For exact costs for a chapter, it is recommended to reach out to the corresponding national organization directly.
  • Will membership impact academics?

    First-semester college students are not eligible to join a fraternity or sorority at Binghamton. To be eligible, students must have completed 12 credit hours of collegiate work and have at minimum a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Credits must be obtained post-high school as AP/IB courses do not count. Each chapter has established a required grade point average that each member must maintain to remain in good standing with the organization. Chapters often offer academic assistance to their members, providing study areas and peer tutoring. 

    Take a look at our Grade Reports to learn more about what academics look like across our community.

  • How does a student join a fraternity or sorority?
    Each of our organizations belongs to a governing council. Each governing council has its own recruitment or intake process. To learn more about those processes, click here. Most of these processes will include informational meetings, registrations, recruitment periods, expectations and requirements, and a new member process.
  • What about hazing?

    Hazing is not tolerated and directly violates the Binghamton University Code of Conduct and national organization's policies. 

    The term “hazing ” is defined as any action taken, or situation created, involving prospective or new members of a group, or as a condition of continued membership in a group (fraternity, sorority, team, club, or other association or organization), which would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to produce mental or physical harm, extreme or unusual stress, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.

    No policy can be so precisely written as to address all possible situations. When this policy does not address a specific behavior, students, organizations, teams, and groups are expected to conduct themselves and their activities in the spirit of this policy and with respect for the dignity and well-being of others. The definition of hazing applies whether or not the participants consent to such activity or perceive the behavior as voluntary. The determination of whether a particular activity constitutes hazing will depend upon the circumstances and context in which the activity is occurring. As a guiding principle, any activity required of new members that is not required of more senior members is likely to constitute hazing under this policy. Some examples of conduct that may constitute hazing when used to mistreat or humiliate the participant include the following:

    • Consumption of alcohol
    • Paddling in any form or any other physical brutality
    • Creating excessive fatigue
    • Degrading or humiliating games or activities
    • Forced or excessive participation in physical activities
    • Psychological shock or abuse
    • Engaging in public stunts or buffoonery
    • Inappropriate scavenger hunts or road trips
    • Wearing of apparel or items likely to subject the wearer to embarrassment or ridicule
    • Activities that would unreasonably interfere with a student’s other activities or obligations (academic, extracurricular, religious, family, etc.)
    • Activities that violate University policy, federal, state or local law
    • Any other activity devoid of legitimate educational value that subjects participants to humiliation

    Have a question about hazing or the hazing policy? Contact the Office of Student Conduct. 

    File a hazing report. Reports may be filed anonymously. If you believe a student is in immediate danger, please contact University Police, (607) 777-2222.

  • Who is in charge of the fraternity or sorority?

    Each chapter is a self-governing student organization. Students serve as officers of the organization, develop the standards under which they operate and hold members accountable for reaching chapter goals and objectives. The sororities and fraternities are directly advised by the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life.

    Staff, in coordination with chapter advisors and national headquarters staff, support and advise activities and programs of recognized organizations. Chapters are also accountable to state and local laws in addition to the policies of the university and their own inter/national headquarters.

  • What is an unrecognized fraternity or sorority?

    Unrecognized organizations have been expelled from campus, do not uphold the same standards, often do not have liability insurance and could jeopardize the health and safety of students. Unrecognized organizations have lost their charter from the national organization and are not recognized by Binghamton University. Therefore these organizations do not have any accountability or affiliation to the University and/or the national organization. We highly advise that students only join recognized organizations.

    Below is a list of unrecognized organizations we have reason to believe may be operating in the Binghamton area:

    • Alpha Pi Epsilon
    • Chi Phi
    • Delta Chi
    • Kappa Sigma
    • Pi Lambda Phi
    • Tau Epsilon Phi
    • Omega Zeta
    • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
    • Eta Zeta (formerly Alpha Phi)
    • Xi Xi Xi (formerly Alpha Xi Delta)
  • How can I help my student who is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority?

    Help your student find their fit! There are a lot of options and information about sororities and fraternities. Our goal is for every student to find their fit within our community. Asking questions, doing the research and talking to members, alumni and advisors can help your student find their home away from home. Taking a look at conduct history, leadership opportunities, financial costs, scholarships, and service projects can help narrow down the decision.

  • What questions should my student be asking when making a decision which organization to join?

    Here is a list of questions that your student should be thinking about when making a decision which fraternity or sorority they would like to join:

    • What is expected of fraternity/sorority members?
    • How will membership impact your student's academics?
    • What leadership opportunities are available to students as both new members and active members?
    • Does the chapter perform hands-on community service? If so, how often?
    • What are the expenses associated with membership? How does this vary as a new member?
    • What type of member is the chapter looking for?
    • What values does this organization promote?
    • Is the organization officially recognized by the University?
    • What is the time commitment?

If you still have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Fraternity and Sorority Life professional staff.