For Parents New to Fraternity and Sorority Life

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 our home page or on each council's page.  If you are uncomfortable discussing an issue with a student, the staff at Fraternity and Sorority Life can direct you to an alumni advisor, graduate advisor or the inter/national headquarters.

If you are a parent new to fraternity & sorority life, you may want to discuss the following questions with your son or daughter about the organization he/she is considering joining:

  • How does the organization’s grade point average compare to the all-fraternity/sorority and all-University averages?
  • What does the organization do to promote scholastic achievement?
  • How much time is spent on fraternity/sorority-related activities? Is this time mandatory or optional?
  • Are new members (pledges) treated the same as active (initiated) members? Do they have the same privileges?
  • What are the financial obligations, and what is included?
  • Is there a special weekend for parents or other activities to which parents are invited?
  • If the organization has a house, what features does it offer, and how is it maintained?
  • How long is a member expected to live in the chapter house?
  • Are there alumni who are actively involved in organization and house management?
  • In what ways does the organization contribute to the larger fraternity and sorority community?
  • What type of programming does the organization offer (i.e. career networking, alcohol and other drug education)?
  • What risk management procedures do the chapter implement to ensure safety at social events?
  • What opportunities are there for leadership development? Do members participate in other campus organizations?
  • Is the chapter part of an inter/national organization that provides oversight?
  • Has the chapter been sanctioned by its council or inter/national organization for misconduct? Is it on a probationary or other special status?
  • Is the organization a member of one of the four fraternity and sorority councils? If not, why not?
  • Is the chapter registered with the University? (see Maize Pages )


Once students have chosen their fraternity or sorority, a period of new member education often referred to as "pledging" follows. This usually lasts six to eight weeks and is a time for students to further contemplate their choices. Hopefully, their experience will be positive, and “initiation” will begin lifelong membership. If, however, students feel membership has not met their expectations, they may choose not to be initiated.

If you have a concern about activities that are taking place in your son or daughter’s organization, please contact a staff member in the Fraternity and Sorority Life.  The University of Michigan and the fraternity and sorority community have strong anti-hazing stances.  Click here to view the policies.

To speak to a staff member at Fraternity and Sorority Life, you can click on Staff to determine which staff member with whom you wish to speak, or just call (734) 936-3686.