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A Parent's Guide to Fraternities and Sororities

As your student prepares to attend Appalachian State University, they have many options to become involved in campus life, and becoming a part of our fraternity and sorority community is one of them! The Office of Campus Activities wants to make sure you, as their parent/guardian, know the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority.

Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your student will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority will help make the transition easier. Developing lifelong friendships with the members of their chapter helps make the campus smaller. For many members, fraternities/sororities become a home away from home. In addition to siblinghood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, philanthropy/service, and financial responsibility in their members.

The lifelong friendships your student will make through their chapter will last into post-college years. Fraternity and sorority members have inter/national networks for members to use for careers and job relocations. Membership in an organization can be a lifelong experience that the member and the fraternity and sorority enjoy together. Joining as soon as possible is an investment in your students' future. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are they will be able to find an alumni chapter or other members of their fraternity or sorority in the area.

Academics are a top priority in the fraternity/sorority community. When students join a Greek-letter organization they become part of a larger group of students who value their academic goals at Appalachian. This group understands what the new member is facing and can provide support in many areas. Each chapter on campus has a scholarship officer who initiates programs within the chapter to encourage high academic achievement. There are various resources for members on campus, such as the Career Development Center, time management workshops, academic counselors, etc.

All chapters have academic requirements to join and maintain membership. These values and guidelines have helped keep fraternity and sorority members on par with their non-FSL counterparts at Appalachian State. You can view chapter-by-chapter academic rankings on the Grade Reports page.

Fraternity/sorority members take it as part of their mission to support their inter/national philanthropies (not-for-profit causes) financially and physically. Throughout the year, each chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help their particular philanthropy. Some of the philanthropies that can be found on Appalachian's campus are Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, and Alzheimer's Research and Literacy.

Service events have benefited the campus community as well as assisted the Boone community. Many chapters ask their members to be a part of serving the community in various ways. Some of the service opportunities include Adopt-A-Street and Habitat for Humanity. The time spent together on philanthropic and service events is one of the many times that members have the opportunity to bond, while making a difference in the community.

The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter but the first semester is the most time-intensive as the new member goes through the chapter's Education Program. The time spent in this program will give your student the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships with their new member class as well as the rest of the chapter, and allow them to become involved with other organizations.

After the initiation ceremony, expectations will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropic, service, programs, etc.) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. In addition to the weekly meeting, the more your student puts into the chapter the more they will get out of being a member!

The fraternity/sorority experience is an investment in your student's campus experience and future. The leadership skills, academic assistance, and friendships will benefit your student beyond their college days. The perception that fraternities and sororities are only an option for wealthy students is widespread and false. Fraternities and sororities at Appalachian State are quite affordable and fees go to services that will positively impact your student. Many students work to supplement funding for their dues. Member's dues directly support the betterment of the chapter and the national organization. To assist members, chapters may offer various scholarships and grants.

There is a social aspect to the fraternity/sorority community but these social events include education programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, family days, Homecoming activities, and dinner exchanges in addition to "parties" or social events. Today's fraternity and sorority communities, including Appalachian's, have adopted a harm prevention and reduction approach to social events, thereby creating a safer, more beneficial environment for members.

At Appalachian, there is a set of rules in place during each sorority and fraternity registered function to regulate who can consume alcohol (21+), how much, and what kind of alcohol can be present. Each chapter also has an inter/national alcohol policy in which there are yearly educational programs that the chapter is required to present to its members.

Appalachian State University, The State of North Carolina, Office of Campus Activities, and The Interfraternity, Panhellenic, Multicultural Greek, and National Pan-Hellenic Councils do not tolerate or encourage any activities that may constitute hazing. For details and definitions, please review our information regarding hazing.

Fraternities and sororities that are recognized by the University are in good standing with the University and are closely monitored, advised, and supported by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Campus Activities. Recognized organizations are able to participate in a wide range of activities such as Greek Week, Formal Recruitment, FSL Leadership Summit, etc., and have many campus resources available to them including campus facilities. Recognized organizations maintain their good standing through a standards of excellence program that assists organizations in maintaining high standards in scholarship, service, leadership, harm prevention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recognized chapters work diligently each semester on their ATLAS requirements and are awarded each year at the FSL Awards. There are currently 33 recognized fraternities and sororities at Appalachian State University.

Unrecognized organizations are not associated with the University. They have been removed for failure to uphold standards, social misconduct, and/or hazing. The unrecognized fraternity or sorority no longer receives support or advisement from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Unrecognized organizations are not able to utilize campus resources or facilities, they are unable to participate in FSL programs, nor are they able to work with the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Panhellenic Council. Unrecognized fraternities and sororities are not allowed to have social functions with any of the recognized fraternities and sororities. Their recruitment and new member activities are not monitored, nor are their social events. Unrecognized fraternities and sororities are not held accountable to campus policies or regulations. Most organizations that have their recognition removed by the University also have their National recognition removed.

The following Fraternities are currently unrecognized on campus:

  • Pi Kappa Phi - Suspended in 2019 and officially lost recognition indefinitely in 2019 due to hazing
  • Delta Chi - Suspended in 2020 and officially lost recognition in 2021 due to hazing and University policy violations

Take the time to find out more about the fraternity/sorority community at Appalachian. Ask questions about what the organizations will offer your student and allow them to make the best decision for themselves. Identify unrecognized organizations and communicate with your student about the benefits of joining a recognized organization vs. the risks of joining an unrecognized organization (see above). If your student joins an organization take advantage of the numerous opportunities for involvement including Family Weekend (opens in a new tab) activities and other chapter-sponsored parent activities.

The Fall semester will start off with many Welcome Week (opens in a new tab) activities that our fraternity/sorority community attend or host. The best way to see more of our community is to follow us on Instagram:

  • FSL: @appstatefsl
  • IFC: @appstateifc
  • MGC: @appstatemgc
  • NPHC: @asu.nphc
  • PHC: @appstatepanhellenic

Recruitment and Membership Intake are mutual selection processes with the hope that there is a place for everyone.

Contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Office of Campus Activities at (828)262-6252 or fsl@appstate.edu with questions or concerns. You may also visit the Office of Campus Activities (opens in a new tab) website for further information.