The Center for Student Involvement

Parents & Families

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Thousands of college students across the country annually become members of collegiate fraternal organizations.  Choosing to join a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong decision for students, and we know that their parents and families play a large part in helping students make this decision.  In order to help inform our parents and families about what to expect from the fraternity/sorority experience, CSU has compiled the below FAQ.  Parents or family members with questions or concerns about their child's membership or experience should not hesitate to contact a member of the staff from the Center for Student Involvement.

What is the benefit to joining a fraternity or sorority?

There are countless benefits to joining a fraternity or sorority.  Among them are networking opportunities during and after college, leadership development, personal growth, values development, and academic support.  Students who choose to hold leadership positions in a chapter will undoubtedly develop important leadership skills that will be helpful in any professional field.  Statistically, members of collegiate fraternal organizations are reported to be more active alumni/ae of their alma mater, more satisfied adults, and overall are better prepared for the workplace.

How will membership impact my student's grades?

All chapters have high academic standards that members are required to uphold.  While each chapter's GPA requirement is different, all chapters provide academic support to their members.  In fact, CSU fraternity/sorority members regularly have higher grades than their nonaffiliated peers.

What does it cost?  How do they join?

We would recommend that parents support students in finding a group that feels comfortable and supportive to them.  Using the recruitment process to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each group will allow them to find their best fit and the place they will feel the most at home.  Visiting the web sites of the national organizations can also assist in further understanding each organization, related costs, and the process for membership selection.

I have heard a lot of bad things about fraternities/sororities in the media.  Will my student be hazed or participate in inappropriate events?

Cleveland State University has a zero tolerance policy for hazing. No student should be subject to harmful, inappropriate, or coerced behavior in order to be a member or participate in Student Organizations at CSU. Hazing is against CSU’s Student Code of Conduct and against Ohio law.

Hazing is defined in the Student Code of Conduct as: 

““Hazing” - any conduct, act, method of, or coercion of another to do an act of initiation or admission into any organization, which occurs on or off university premises and which willfully or recklessly, causes or creates a substantial risk of causing physical or mental harm to any student or other person. Examples include, but are not limited to, extended deprivation of sleep or rest; forced consumption of food, liquor, other beverages, or drugs; beating or branding; forced exclusion from social contact; and/or forced conduct, which could result in embarrassment to any person. Any activity or behavior meeting the definition as described in this paragraph shall be considered a forced activity, notwithstanding the willingness of the individual involved to participate in such activity.”  

Students AND registered student organizations who violate this policy will be reported to Student conduct and the appropriate authorities. If you wish to report an act of hazing, you can email magnusACTS@csuohio.edu or report anonymously at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/42255/index.html . If you have any questions or concerns about hazing please contact the Center for Student Involvement or Student Conduct.