Parents & Family Members
Partners in the Process
Fraternity and Sorority Life is committed to developing meaningful partnerships with all stakeholders responsible for supporting student members. We seek to foster a relationship with parent and family members through open lines of communication, partnership in student care, and promoting a safe and healthy student experience. At all opportunities, we will strive to address concerns, special accommodations, and intentional student development each student is deserving of.
We are happy your student has expressed interest in joining the fraternity and sorority community at Texas Tech University. Fraternity and sorority membership at any university offers your student a "home away from home" providing friendship, academic support, leadership development, and service opportunities, which will assist your student in a successful future.
Tips for Parents & Families
- Support your student's choice to join a fraternity or sorority – a student does not have to be a legacy to join and it could be a pleasant experience for the whole family.
- Learn about the organizations your student is wanting to join. Each chapter within our 4 councils offers a unique membership experience.
- Understand the financial aspect that is present within the fraternity and sorority experience. We recommend discussing financial commitment when looking into joining a faternity or sorority.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will my student benefit from joining a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities offer multiple opportunities for your student to get involved on campus, succeed in class, and have a social network to lean on during school and after graduation. The FSL community values scholarship, brotherhood/sisterhood, community service, and leadership. These values steer students to form life-long friendships with peers, work vigorously in their classwork, give back to those in need, and gain experience and responsibilities that they can carry over into the working world.
What is my role as a parent?
We encourage parents of FSL students to get involved with their child's organization and to stay connected to their student throughout their college career. Many of our organizations offer Parent/Family Weekend activities where parents can come to Lubbock and meet the other members and alumni of their student's organization. Often times, parents serve as the link between a student's school life and home life. Parents offer stability and encouragement to their child as they work to balance their social life and academics, so we encourage parents to be present and involved with their student's fraternity or sorority involvement.
Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking your student questions prior to and throughout their membership. It is important that you understand the financial commitment your student is making including the cost of membership, when monies are due, how the bill is paid, etc.
Be an advocate for your student and encourage them to take advantage of all the opportunities their membership in the fraternity or sorority provides. Your awareness and education on their participation allow you to understand their experience, providing benefits to you and your student. Your student should never be asked or required to do anything that is a violation of the state, local or federal law, Texas Tech University Code of Student Conduct, or does anything that would cause them harm.
There will be several opportunities for you to participate in your student's fraternity or sorority through Parent/Family Weekends, Mother's Clubs, community service opportunities, awards recognition events, etc. We recommend you take advantage of these opportunities and attend events as appropriate.
Is hazing a part of the fraternity and sorority culture at Texas Tech University?
There is potential for hazing to occur in any student organization on a college campus. Hazing within fraternity and sorority organizations may not always be obvious to outsiders. As a parent or family member, it is important you know what hazing looks and sounds like to help provide guidance and protection should it be a part of your student's experience.
While hazing can be simply defined as, "any action taken or situation created intentionally to cause embarrassment, harassment or ridicule AND/OR risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of an group or team, regardless of the person's willingness to participate," it is not always clear where the line of team building/tradition is crossed and hazing begins.
Texas Tech actively inquires, investigates, addresses, and holds organizations or individuals accused and found responsible for hazing accountable. Click here to learn more about your options as a parent when reporting organizational behavior.
I am not a member of a fraternity or sorority, how can I learn more?
We encourage everyone to research the current topics and trends being addressed within this community to set expectations for what the experience may look like. Fraternity and sorority culture has changed quite a bit in the past decade, and it is critical that even those who were involved in a fraternity or sorority in college understand that times have changed. The following websites might be helpful in setting the stage:
What are the financial requirements of membership?
Like many opportunities for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority. These costs go toward inter/national headquarters' fees, chapter operating expenses, philanthropy events, social functions, and in some cases facility expenses. Financial obligations differ among individual organizations.
One-time Fees. Potential members should expect higher fees in their first semester of membership to account for one-time fees. Each fraternity and sorority council provides a range to help prospective members plan accordingly.
Ask questions. When looking at organizations, inquire about the cost of membership. Consider:
- Do they offer payment plans?
- Do they offer scholarships?
- Are fees paid upfront? Annually? Per semester?
- What is included?
(Hint: organizations that are at the top end of the range are likely "all-inclusive," while organizations with a lower base fee may offer/require payment for other aspects of membership, to the point where all organizations are likely at the top end of the range.)
Prepare. Preparing for the cost of membership is important. We encourage students to use the free services provided by Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching to establish a budget that allows for membership costs while also achieving your other financial goals.
How will joining a fraternity or sorority affect my student's academic pursuits?
Sororities and fraternities serve as a great resource for students academically through study hours and tutoring programs. Most fraternities and sororities have a GPA requirement for initial membership and to remain active members in the organization. These requirements are often higher than the general campus average. Organizations often regulate study hours, maintain resource files, reward those who do well academically and help those experiencing difficulties. The Fraternity & Sorority Life community releases a grade report with each individual chapter each fall and spring.
What experienced guidance and support do fraternities and sororities receive?
The professional and experienced guidance for these organizations is provided through three different channels.
- Texas Tech has five professional staff members dedicated to the oversight, education, and programming provided for members and leaders of the fraternity and sorority community. Feel free to contact us at any time.
- Each organization is also required to maintain volunteer and faculty/staff advisors to provide adult guidance to the leadership. In many cases these volunteers are alumni of these organizations and had their own undergraduate experience.
- The inter/national organizations affiliated with the local chapters at Texas Tech provide minimum expectations, policies, and in some cases insurance to guide organization operations.
Your student's commitment to a fraternal organization can be difficult to navigate throughout their time in the community. Fraternity & Sorority Life is committed to providing support and services to parents along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions:
My student has joined an organization. What happens next?
Congratulations! Once your student has pursued membership with an organization, he/she will begin learning the history and significance of the organization under the status of "New Member." The new member process is governed by each organization's inter/national policies and will typically last between 4-12 weeks.
While this might be a busy time in your student's life, learning to balance their new commitment, it should not at any point cause distress or compromise your student's academic pursuits. If you feel your student is not achieving a balance due to a new member process, it is critical you voice these concerns with a member of our staff or complete a Student Organization Misconduct report.
At the completion of the new member process, your student will participate in initiation, a ritual also set forth by the inter/national organization. Once your student has become initiated, they will become a full, active member of the organization.
Who do I contact with questions?
Once your student has joined an organization, the day-to-day operations of the organization will be directed by student leaders. These leaders receive guidance from the university, advisors, and their national organization.
If your student is unable to provide you with the answers you need, you may be able to reach out to the student leaders or advisors of the organizations for assistance. The most common leaders and advisors that interact with parents are:
- President - safety, wellness, general chapter operations
- Chapter Advisor - matters requiring discretion or adult attention
- New Member Educator - programs, requirements, or matters occurring during the student's first semester
- Treasurer - payments, dues, fines
I have a strange feeling something is going on...
Feel like you are not getting the full story or the correct information? Speak up! We encourage parents and family members to trust their gut when it comes to changes in behavior or attitude as it relates to the student's fraternity or sorority experience. Concerns that may start very small may play into a larger organization culture that needs to be addressed. Our ability to correct and address behavior or care for students in distress relies on communication between parents and our staff.
You have options to engage with us in a solution and a positive outcome:
- Contact our staff at any point. Responses to emails and voice messages will be provided promptly.
- Confidential reporting options are available. Remaining confidential is an option in most cases. You will still provide your contact information to allow our staff to provide you with follow up and next steps to addressing your concern. Please understand that anonymous reporting, when there is no contact information provided, leaves us unable to follow up and ask additional questions that may be critical to our inquiry or investigation.