GREEK LIFE

Student Life
Greek Life
Interfraternity Council
Fraternity Recruitment
Alpha Chi Rho
Alpha Phi Delta
Delta Tau Delta
Kappa Delta Rho
Phi Delta Theta
Phi Sigma Kappa
National Pan-Hellenic Council
Delta Sigma Theta
Alpha Kappa Alpha
Iota Phi Theta
Phi Beta Sigma
Zeta Phi Beta
Kappa Alpha Psi
Panhellenic Association
Sorority Recruitment
Delta Phi Epsilon
Delta Zeta
Sigma Kappa
Zeta Tau Alpha
Fraternal Values Society
Order of Omega
Parents
Fraternity & Sorority Alumni
Frequently Asked Questions
Forms, Stats, & Information
For More Information, Contact:

Scott A. Irlbacher, M.A.
Director of Special Programs &
Student Community Standards
Student Life

irlbacher@rmu.edu
412-397-6487 phone
412-397-6318 fax
Nicholson Center 261
Moon Campus

FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICES > STUDENT LIFE > GREEK LIFE > PARENTS

Information for Parents & Families

We're proud of RMU's national reputation for a positive student experience in Greek Life and we're excited that your student may be interested in joining one of our sixteen social fraternities and sororities.

To report unethical behavior by a fraternity or sorority, click HERE.


I'm new to this - what exactly is Greek Life?

When we talk about "Greek Life" we're referring to the sixteen social fraternities and sororities recognized by RMU. Traditionally, fraternities are oath-based social clubs for men and sororities are similarly arranged for women. Some sororities may use the term 'fraternity' because they were founded prior to the popularization of the term 'sorority'.

Each fraternity and sorority chapter at RMU is a local franchise of a national or international organization. Just like the local fast food franchise, your student's chapter is responsible to the inter/national headquarters on standards, policy, and values. While each inter/national organization operates bit different, they each have gone through an extensive process to do business on our campus. Chapters may have several local alumni working with the chapter.

Membership is competitive and selective. While the national office may provide guidelines for member selection, it is ultimately up to the students to decide who is invited to join. RMU does not involve itself in how a group may select members but prohibits chapters from discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity, 

What do RMU fraternities and sororities do?

Fraternities and sororities at RMU are quite possibly the most active organizations outside of our NCAA athletic teams. Chapters are expected to hold service, charity, social, and educational programs each semester and each chapter determines the frequency of events in each of those areas. On average, your student should expect to contribute two to four hours per week for chapter meetings and activities. If your student has the time, they can also choose to participate in optional activities, such as holding an office, attending social events, helping out with various projects, serving on committees, etc. Some organizations require more time than others. Advise your student to ask questions regarding time commitments during recruitment.

IRMU fraternities and sororities reported nearly 300 educational programs and alcohol-free social events during the 2017-18 year. Fraternity and sorority members at RMU averaged 30 hours of community service in 2017-18 and collectively raised nearly $50,000 for charities, non-profits, and RMU scholarship funds.

How much does this cost?

Joining a fraternity or sorority will include a financial commitment.  Each individual Greek organization requires their new members and members to pay dues each semester.  These fees collected by the chapter include national dues, insurance fees, and local chapter dues which pay for activities and events.

In 2017-18, first semester chapter dues averaged $350 for IFC fraternities and $450 for Panhellenic sororities. Annual membership dues for both fraternities and sororities averaged about $330 per semester. NPHC fraternities and sororities charge a one-time fee rather than semester dues. In 2017-18 that fee averaged $900. All fraternities and sororities are lifetime memberships but costs after you graduate are relatively non-existent.

Will this affect my student's grades?

Academics should be your student's number one focus while in college. RMU requires students have a 2.50 cumulative GPA (high school if a first semester freshman) to join Greek Life but several chapters have higher minimum GPAs to join. Each individual chapter has an elected member who is responsible for keeping track of members and their academic performance. Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study sessions, which can assist the entire chapter in excelling academically. Make sure your student realizes that they must maintain a minimum standard to remain an active member of the chapter. Students average a 3.23 GPA that semester during the semester they join a fraternity or sorority - and initiated members average a GPA of 3.28 - well above the university average of 3.21. Over three-quarters (78%) of fraternity and sorority members have a 3.0 GPA. View the Spring 2018 Report Card.



Will this affect my student's success at RMU?

National and RMU-specific research shows a correlation between fraternity and sorority membership and increased retention and graduation. The number of freshmen who join our fraternities and sororities returning for their sophomore year regularly exceeds the overall university freshmen retention rate.


Similarly, the rate that RMU fraternity and sorority members graduate continues to significantly exceed the university's own rate, in fact by 21-percentage points.



68% of members are on the roster of another registered student club, organization, or team. Class of 2018 graduates in Greek Life averaged one more completed category of their Student Engagement Transcript than their unaffiliated peers.

What about Greek housing?

Most safety concerns related to fraternities and sororities are centered in fraternity and sorority houses. Currently there are no fraternity or sorority chapter houses on or off campus nor are there plans to change this setup. In most cases, incidents in fraternity houses at other schools are directly related to the lack of adult supervision of what occurs in those buildings. Many fraternity and sorority houses at other schools are private dwellings located outside of a college campus owned and operated by that chapter's alumni and offer no more security or oversight than an apartment building.

Several chapters arrange for a suite in Washington Hall to house up to ten members. While RMU considers the suite to be a space belonging to the ten residents, the national office of the fraternity or sorority may require certain additional terms related to occupancy and behavior. For example, a national office may require certain members to reside in the suite, prohibit alcohol regardless of member age, or prohibit overnight guests of the opposite gender.

What about alcohol, drugs, and hazing?


Many students come to RMU with the expectation that drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs are part of the college experience.

All organizations are required to adhere to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law, the policies of their inter/national organization, and Robert Morris University policy. It is illegal in Pennsylvania and against RMU policy for those under age 21 to possess or consume alcohol. Additionally, hazing is is a misdemeanor crime in Pennsylvania and strictly forbidden by both RMU and the national organization of each fraternity and sorority at RMU. To report unethical behavior by a fraternity or sorority, click HERE.

HazingPrevention.org - What Parents Need to Know About Hazing

Research Supports Fraternity & Sorority Membership

In fall 2016, Robert Morris University participated in the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research's Fraternity & Sorority Experience Survey to study our students' perceptions and outcomes of the fraternity/sorority experience at RMU. Some highlights of our results include:
  • 88% rated their chapter's education efforts about hazing as “above average”;
  • 89% reported they feel empowered to stand up against behavior they do not think is right;
  • 91% cited their experience as “valuable to very valuable” to their overall RMU experience;
  • 94% reported they are certain that hazing does not exist in their chapter;
  • 95% reported that their chapter upholds their organization’s espoused values; and
  • 97% reported their experience had a positive effect on their sense of integrity.
The results of this survey as well as other studies of Greek Life at RMU can be found on the Forms, Stats, & Information page.