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What Are Fraternities and Sororities?

Fraternities and sororities are social organizations created with the intent of bringing likeminded people together. Fraternities and sororities have been on college campuses since the late 18th-century and these organizations are referred to as “Greek” because their names consist of Greek letters that serve as a reminder of the group’s values.Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations, meaning their purpose is grounded on their founding values. They usually have rituals and creeds which promote the ideals of the organization like academic achievement, friendship, community service, and leadership. Upon initiation into a fraternity or sorority, you become a member for life and gain a vast membership network that can provide countless connections throughout the country and world.

Fraternities and sororities have made Missouri S&T home for over 100 years. To learn about our history, check out the History of Fraternities and Sororities at Missouri S&T.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Participating in the fraternity can be very time consuming. However, we encourage the learning of time management skills, both as a new member and an active member, which will help him/her with his involvement in the fraternity, on campus, and eventually in their professional career.

Greek Life offers a variety of involvement opportunities, including intramural sports, community service, and assuming leadership positions within each fraternity/sorority. Each member will find a level of commitment that is comfortable for him. By learning to balance academics, fraternal involvement, campus involvement, and social commitments, each member is more likely to be successful later on in professional life.

A: 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, your son's only expense will be his regular dues. If housing is offered, fraternity lodging and meals are competitive with other housing options. A variety of payment plans are usually offered.

A: Fraternities organize a process of meeting people and making friends called rush. Rush offers your son/daughter an opportunity to meet other people on campus and learn what each organization has to offer its members. Everyone likes to belong; to feel a part of something.

Each chapter 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 like researching, visiting, and choosing a college, your child should seek out the fraternity or sorority that best fits their personality, needs and desires. They will find that there is a place for everyone. Click here for more information about joining.

A: Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your child as he/she meets people through the recruitment process. Fellow members will be more than happy to tell them (and you) about their group.

Because your endorsement of their choice means a lot to them, we encourage parents to ask questions and become as informed as possible about fraternity/sorority life. If parents have any questions, they are encouraged to call the Department of Student Involvement for answers. (573) 341-6697 or email at

A: Whenever you decide to pledge (become a new member), you are joining a group of men or women that share common goals and experiences. You will likely have the option of living in the chapter house as early as your freshmen year. Each individual chapter (fraternity or sorority) will have more specific information. 

The cost of living in the fraternity is 60-80% of the average cost of living in a residential hall. This cost includes room, board, and a meal plan. Many of our chapters have ample parking available at no additional fee. The meal plan includes 14 meals during the week (3 meals Monday - Thursday; breakfast and lunch on Friday). The physical facilities have a variety of options that vary between them - many include study rooms, fitness facilities, common areas, and formal dining areas.

A: Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with Greek ideals. All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold state, county, and city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. While opportunities for all college students to choose wisely and poorly exists, Greek Life at Missouri S&T provides a supportive and educational environment that ensures that if a member chooses to consume alcohol, to do so in a responsible manner. In addition, many of our students do not drink. Greek students who choose not to drink will know that it's ok and feel comfortable with their decision.

A: Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Fraternities and sororities assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs which might include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops.

Your son or daughter can access the network of fraternity/sorority members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisors. While fraternities and sororities are concerned about the academic achievement of their members, your son or daughter is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available. You can research yourself! Fraternity and Sorority grades are posted here!

A: New Greeks all experience a period of orientation. During this time, your son/daughter and the other new members will participate in weekly meeting to learn about the university and the fraternity, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new members and the older fraternity members. All fraternities & sororities oppose hazing and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son/daughter in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college. Missouri S&T's anti-hazing policy can be found here.

A: Anyone with issues with the fraternity/sorority community is welcome to call, write, email, or stop by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life on campus. Contact information is:

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life
218 Havener Center
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-6697