Greek Life at Saint Francis is home to talented, service-minded students. Below is some information you will find helpful if your son or daughter is considering joining the Greek community.
Greetings, Parents & Families!
The full value of a college education isn’t solely found within the lectures and
textbooks of an academic classroom. Today’s employers seek well-rounded
candidates that have excelled not only inside of the classroom but outside as well.
While an academic education is the focal point of a student’s college experience,
areas such as social development, character formation, and the identification of
personal/spiritual values are critical aspects that need constant nurturing and
support throughout the undergraduate years. Involvement in student clubs and
organizations can provide a seamless integration of practical experiences that will
allow students to blend a healthy social lifestyle with both challenge and reward.
Students find it particularly exciting that co-curricular and extra-curricular
involvement can provide an intriguing outlook onto their future endeavors as marketable
skills and experiences are discovered. One very popular choice for many
undergraduate students is the decision to join a fraternity or sorority. We call this
Greek Life since its inception is historical, prestigious, and scholarly. The first
collegiate Greek-lettered organization was founded even before the nation gained
independence! More organizations were established to provide opportunities for
students to associate within their ethnic, cultural, or religious communities or to
establish new communities that would focus on academic excellence, professional
development, leadership development, and service to the community.
Although Greek Life has seen its share of trials and tribulations, those institutions
that seek a positive and developmental experience for their students are providing
opportunities that no other form of involvement can offer. Saint Francis University
was the first Catholic college in the nation to associate with the national fraternity
system, and our goal continues to be the establishment of an intellectual
community of responsible citizens and leaders through our Greek Life program.
We invite you to be an active participant of your student’s experience and to help
support the historical integrity of SFU Greek Life.
Dr. Bobby L. Anderson
Director of Student Engagement & Leadership Development
A Franciscan Presence. It was the Franciscan friars of the college that established our Greek Life program many decades ago. We honor them today by maintaining a close relationship with the friars on campus. We incorporate a spiritual development component through the utilization of a spiritual advisor for each fraternity and sorority chapter. That advisor assists the chapter in spiritual formation and values clarification and provides mentoring and guidance to the chapter members. The spiritual advisor also helps coordinate various retreats for the chapter members to engage in discussion and engaging activities that will bring newly invigorated life into their organization.
A Scholarly Focus. Greek Life at Saint Francis has always been known for its excellence in academics. Today we strive for excellence in new ways that allow us to compete and be recognized for our commitment to academics. Greek Life at SFU requires a higher QPA to gain membership than most other colleges/universities and well above what national organizations require. Additionally, each fraternity and sorority has a faculty/staff advisor that assists the chapter in maintaining academic integrity and helps to promote an incentive program for each organization’s members. SFU Greeks have historically achieved higher GPAs than the campus average. The Greek Life program has also been recognized nationally for outstanding academic performance by the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Academic Greek Honor Society.
The Continuous Development of Leaders. Greek Life, simply put, is leadership development. The ability to respond to sensitive situations in an ethical and responsible fashion as well as the ability to motivate and inspire others to action is what the world needs most. Greek Life provides this development through many opportunities in service, philanthropy, campus/community engagement, and officer training. Note that Greek Life is a way of life. It is unlike any other club or organization and cannot be labeled as merely a hobby. It requires commitment, hard work, and passion, all of which are absolutely essential qualities for tomorrow’s leaders.
Humble & Generous Service to the Community. As part of our Franciscan heritage, we are taught that service to those in need is the greatest gift we can give. With that, our Greeks are well known for providing countless hours of support toward local, domestic, and national causes as well as other campus initiatives. SFU Greeks donate nearly 10,000 hours of community service and volunteerism per year as well as raising over $15,000 annually for various charities and philanthropic campaigns. SFU Greeks are often the first groups to be requested for support from most campus departments and personnel as well as many programs and organizations from the surrounding communities.
An Experience In Business Administration. A successful fraternity or sorority is much like a business. There are many components to a Greek organization that would seem very familiar to those in the business arena. Such areas as finance, human resources, marketing & public relations, and communications can all be found in today’s fraternities and sororities. Students are trained, elected/appointed into leadership positions, and held accountable to strict standards in these areas to provide an invaluable and incomparable experience. Our office conducts an annual review of each organization described as the Chapter Assessment and Accreditation Program.
Strong Institutional Support. Because of its historical value and the traditional emphasis placed on academic excellence, leadership development, and community service, Saint Francis University fully supports the offering of Greek Life to its students. The program receives strong support from the upper levels of executive administration as well as from numerous faculty and staff. Nearly 1/3 of all living SFU alumni are Greek and remain steadfast and loyal to their organizations today. It is through this level of support from faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and parents that our program continues to grow in its success.
Like with any organization, there are bills to pay and therefore costs to membership. Seeing as Greek Life organizations are exclusive only to those students who choose to join, the University does not fund these organizations for their operational needs. However, financial assistance is available to ensure that Chapter leaders can attend and participate in regional and national leadership conferences/conventions as offered by their inter/national headquarters (if applicable) Chapter members set the amount of membership dues annually as they incorporate operational expenses and (if applicable) association dues from the inter/national headquarters. Typical operational expenses may include: membership apparel, supplies for recruitment and new member orientation, supplies for their homecoming floats, seed money for fundraisers, etc. On average, students pay between $75 and $200 per semester after joining. Initial fees to join may be as high as $400.
On many campuses, Greek Life does offer an experience in independent living for students to gain valuable life skills. At Saint Francis University, however, the majority of our fraternity/sorority members live as part of our campus community within residential halls and off-campus living spaces. Currently only one sorority, Phi Delta Kappa, has a recognized sorority house, although the house accommodates only eight residents per year. Not having independent fraternity/ sorority houses promotes a more full integration into the campus community and avoids many risk management concerns.
We are very fortunate here at Saint Francis University that conduct issues among Greek students are seldom and typically isolated. It is important, however, to recognize that Greeks students are learning to navigate life and its many responsibilities alongside their unaffiliated peers. The university’s judicial system handles issues of misconduct with the goal of offering each student the opportunity to learn and grow from their experiences. Additionally, Greek students may face additional sanctions from the Center for Student Engagement & Leadership Development if their infraction has seriously misrepresented the integrity of the Greek Life program.
All students are invited to participate in recruitment activities to get to know each fraternity/sorority chapter, and recruitment occurs each academic semester. There will be all-Greek events as well as individual chapter events that students can attend to see if Greek Life is the right choice for them. In order to be eligible to join a fraternity or sorority, students must have completed at least one semester at Saint Francis University (or other accredited institution) and have achieved satisfactory academic progress. Second semester freshmen students must have earned at least 12 credits and a 2.75 minimum GPA. Upperclass students must have earned at least 28 credits and a 2.5 minimum GPA.
We conduct a New Member Orientation (NMO) program each academic semester to help incorporate new Greek members into their chapter and the Greek Life community as a whole. NMO lasts for the student’s first five weeks of membership in their chapter and consists of two main components. One part consists of weekly programming offered by the Center for Student Engagement & Leadership Development that focuses on Franciscan values, leadership theory, diversity and inclusion, and community development. Additionally, each student will complete 50 hours of study table (10 per week) in order to maintain a focus on academic success (study table is required for all freshmen who join a Greek organization, but upperclass students who meet specified eligibility requirements may choose to opt out). The second part of NMO is the independent programming offered by each fraternity or sorority. This includes meetings, service projects, social opportunities, and other activities to help each new member acclimate to their organization and fellow brothers/sisters. At the end of the five week period, all students are fully initiated into their organizations.
At Saint Francis University, hazing is strictly prohibited and considered to be a serious offense. Additionally, hazing is against Pennsylvania State Law (PA Act 175) and punishable by law. Greek Life at Saint Francis is intended to be holistic and developmental, providing positive experiences and establishing meaningful relationships.
You may have more questions about what it means to join Greek Life, so talk with your student, contact our office, or review our website to learn more about the fraternities and sororities at SFU. Allow your student to make their own choice, and attend chapter events for alumni and parents as well as SFU’s Family Weekend and Homecoming if you are able.
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