Greek life at ODU offers students a unique and unforgettable experience. Believing that service, scholarship, friendship and leadership are the foundation of existence, the Greek community has been serving as a vital complement to a student's development.
One of the many positive aspects about fraternity and sorority life is the leadership opportunities available to students within the organization. Positions such as historian, treasurer and chapter president are just a few examples of how Greek life helps mold future leaders. Greeks often hold many of the leadership positions on campus. Currently the Student Body President is from a fraternity.
Greek life also offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their care for the community and ideals of service through philanthropic works. Some charities that benefit from the ODU Greek community include American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity, among many others.
With Greek life offering so much to students, one of the most attractive things about joining is the potential to make lifelong friendships. Being involved in Greek life will have a lasting impact on individuals through the connections they make with their peers. Thus, brotherhood and sisterhood is a strong characteristic of Greek life and often one of the most appealing qualities.
Studies have shown that students who are involved on campus have a higher rate of retention and ultimately become strong alumni.
Cost of Membership
At first glance, joining a fraternity or a sorority might seem expensive. However, the benefits outweigh the costs. Fraternities and sororities are self-sufficient and are supported through the dues/fees paid by their members. The dues and fees are used to finance programs and to support operating expenses that include scholarship incentives, liability insurance, social expenses, national dues and one-time initiation fees. The chapters vary in the amount of dues charged and other expenses. This should be a key question for your student to ask as they are exploring Greek membership.
One of many concerns families have regarding their students' involvement with a Greek organization is academics. Fortunately, academic standing on campus is also a concern for the organization itself; thus, the Greek chapters at ODU offer tutoring, study halls, awards and scholarships to insure academic success. In order to function as strong organizations, all fraternities and sororities have GPA requirements for students to become members and to maintain memberships.
However, responsibility ultimately rests with the members to take advantage of opportunities made available to them. Services such as academic support services and tutorial services are also available to help students achieve academic success while involved in co-curricular activities.
Hazing & Alcohol
There are many misconceptions about Greek life that often overshadow the positives. Two such issues are hazing and alcohol abuse. Hazing is an age-old practice that has been banned on campuses across the country. Our university and the international fraternities and sororities represented on our campus have strict policies prohibiting this practice. Hazing is inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals. For further information regarding the university's hazing policy, please see the University Catalog.
All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold the state, city and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. In order to steer clear of any problems, the University strictly prohibits underage drinking. The Greek community at ODU often sponsors speakers and workshops so that members can learn about ways to act responsibly in situations where alcohol may be present.
If risk management concerns you, please feel free to contact Fraternity & Sorority Life or the fraternity and sorority headquarters.