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Should Your College Student Join a Fraternity or Sorority?

Jun 18, 2008
Parents and college students should discuss the benefits of joining campus social organizations, Sororities and Fraternities. There is a tremendous upside of being a member of fraternities, sororities, and other social organizations. Statistically members of Fraternities and Sororities have a higher average for making it all the way to graduation. They stay in college.

Moms and Dads often equate college social organizations with binge drinking and late night partying. I suppose the 1978 film classic, Animal House, may have something to do with that mind-set. But the truth is there are benefits of your child's joining college social organizations during their college years.

The basic structure of fraternities and sororities lends itself to the emergence of leadership. Each organization has a governing board of representatives elected among peers. Leadership and responsibility are natural outgrowths of assuming these positions.

Parenting College Students - Building Leadership Skills Through Social Activities

Parents can share with their college kids some specific examples of how social organizations have helped in the formation of character and lasting relationships for them and for those they know. Parents may have met at a college fraternity or sorority event. Family friends or relatives may have had frat brothers or sorority sisters who became lifelong friends.

Social organizations also lead to a network of contacts and friends who may be extremely useful when conducting a job search post graduation. In his book, "Leadership Secrets for College Students," author Winton Churchill implores college students to "... take advantage of good fortune when it comes."

LinkedIn has become a valuable network for professionals. When a student has been in a national Fraternity or Sorority, they have connections they have never met. When applying for jobs, being in a fraternity or sorority looks good on a resume, especially if your student held a leadership position or received a community award.

Hardships and challenges occur in college just as they occur in life. Fraternities and sororities offer support from friends and peers, which help the student to endure the distressing times until they pass. There is an amazing bonding that occurs within social organizations.

Parenting College Students - Leadership and Responsibility Lessons

Social Organizations have adults in oversight positions who are good role models. They also have upper-class persons who serve as mentors to your college student. These experienced individuals offer leadership lessons in the spirit of guidance, support and encouragement. As one group of leaders graduates, another is ready to take its place.

Here are some great stats that illustrate these points.

* 48% of all U.S. Presidents have been Greek
* 42% of U.S. Senators are Greek
* 30% of U.S. Congressmen/women are Greek
* 40% of all U.S. Supreme Court Justices have been Greek
* 30% of Fortune 500 executives are Greek
* 10% of all listed in "Who's Who" are Greek
* Only 3% of the U.S. population belong to a fraternity or sorority

Parents should stress that social organizations like fraternities and sororities, are microcosms of real life. They prepare the emerging adults for their future.

My favorite statistic? Fraternities and Sororities have the #1 largest network of volunteers in the U.S.: 10 million hours of volunteer service per year (nationally). So the students are doing more that partying...

Fraternities and Sororities offer a support system to your college student during their schooling experience and this support system stays with your student well after they graduate. It stays with them for life.

* Source: North-American Interfraternity Conference, December 2002
About the Author
Dr. Debi Yohn, http://CollegeWorks101.com, is an International Speaker with an elite private practice and a revolutionary parent mentor program. She has authored 4 books helping parents and their college students find success and joy in the college experience.
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