Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions. If there are any additional questions you have, please feel free to reach out to an FSL staff member and we will do our best to assist you!
The media often shares stories of the extreme cases of fraternity and sorority life. Often, you are not told of the many life-long benefits to membership in a fraternity and sorority. At such a large university like the University of Iowa, membership in a fraternity or sorority offers a small community of friends away from home. Additionally, national research has shown that involvement in fraternities and sororities increases students' chances of graduating from college and their success after college. As a life-long member of a fraternity or sorority, students are offered the opportunity to develop as leaders, serve the local community and focus on academics, as well as their careers, by connecting with local alumni members of Greek organizations.
Since joining a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment, and there is an expense associated with membership, it should be a joint decision between student and parent. Consider sitting down with your student and researching all of the organizations that are available to join. You can view all our active and suspended organizations here. Utilizing local chapter and national websites is a great, convenient way to gather information. Feel free to contact students who are currently involved, and their families, and ask them about their experience. In most cases, both students and families will speak candidly about their Greek involvement.
- What is expected of fraternity/sorority members?
- 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?
- Does the fraternity or sorority require members to live in the facility (if housing is available)? If so, for how long?
- What is the semester/annual expense 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? If not, why is this the case?
- What is the time commitment?
- If I view the chapter website, what does it say about the chapter?
- Ask questions about what organizations will offer your student in order to make the best decision for them. Fraternities and sororities are different one each campus, so allow your student to pick the group with whom they feel most comfortable.
- Keep an open mind. Fraternity and Sorority Life is not for everyone. Just because you may have been a fraternity or sorority member doesn't mean that it is the right choice for your student.
- Ask your student for details about the financial aspect of membership. Each fraternity and sorority has their own dues/costs for their organization and it is important for your student to ask about financial expectations before joining. If you are providing financial assistance, you have the right to know. Many one time fees are paid during the first semester of membership, so expect the first few months to be the most expensive. You can view additional information about financial responsibilities here.
- Be supportive of your student and help them make a decision that best suits them.
Questions about activities specific to a certain chapter (i.e. move-in dates or other housing issues, parents’ weekend, chapter bills, etc.) should be directed to the chapter president. You can find contact information for fraternity and sorority presidents on their chapter page here on our site. If you are uncomfortable discussing an issue with a student, the staff at Fraternity and Sorority Life Programs can direct you to an alumni advisor, graduate advisor, or the inter/national headquarters
All fraternities and sororities at the University of Iowa are non-hazing organizations and allegations of hazing are taken very seriously. Hazing is defined as any intentional or unintentional reckless action or situation–with or without consent—that endangers a student or creates risk of injury, mental or physical discomfort, harassment, embarrassment, and/or ridicule—whether on campus or off campus—for the purpose of initiation into, affiliation with, or as continued membership in a student organization or team recognized by the University of Iowa Student Government or by any other university sponsor.
Acts of hazing include, but are not limited to: compulsory alcohol or drug consumption; physical brutality; psychological cruelty; public humiliation; morally degrading activities; forced confinement; creation of excessive fatigue; required removal or destruction of public or private property; or any other activity that endangers the physical, mental, psychological, or academic well-being and/or safety of an individual. Any requirement imposed upon prospective, new, or current members which is not related to the organization’s purpose is discouraged and will become the subject of a university investigation once the practice is brought to the attention of Leadership & Engagement or the Office of Student Accountability.
To report hazing or to file a violation against any UI fraternity or sorority, please complete the Report a Concern Form, contact any Fraternity & Sorority Life staff member, or visit the Dean of Students Office.
Each organization has associated costs with membership and it is important that you and your student feel comfortable and informed with those costs. Membership dues/fee may include local and national membership dues, room and board (if the organization has a structure), meals and other one-time fees such as initiation or new member fees. The charts below provide you financial information by council. They include the high, low and average costs within that council. Average costs for each of our four councils can be found here.
With fraternities and sororities at Iowa, there are some that have housing structures and some that do not. With or without a housing structure, each of our organizations build strong community and bonds among their members. While fraternity and sorority structures are recognized student housing, their residential houses are not located on University property and are privately owned. Questions about individual housing facilities should be directed to the organization's local House Corporation Board. A list of chapter's with housing structures can be found here.
For those organizations with structures, it is expected that there is some form of live in requirement, usually in the student's second year of membership. Questions about the specifics of the organization's policies should be directed to that chapter during the joining process.
- Check out our "I want to join a fraternity or sorority, now what?" page, for additional information on what you and your student should do next.
- Check out our Resource Manual!
- Learn more about each of our 4 governing councils.
- Look into our harm reduction efforts.
- Review our community scorecards.
- Review chapter academic reports.
- Check out which of our organizations have housing structures.
Click here to read the Family Guide.
Fraternities and Sororities are registered student organizations and are subject to the Code of Student Life. Any violations of that code can be reported here.
The Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator can assist you in locating resources. You can find numerous ways to access support from the options below for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. You can report an incident of sexual misconduct here.
he Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) implements diversity policies at the University of Iowa and supports the university’s compliance with federal/state laws and regulations and university policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, retaliation and sexual harassment by or towards any UI community member. EOD is charged with implementation of equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity policies at the University of Iowa. We serve as a resource to support the university's compliance with federal/state laws and regulations and university policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual harassment by or towards any UI community member. You can submit a concern to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity here.