Parents Guide

Parents have questions too...

Feel free to explore these terms in an attempt to better understand the aspects of Greek Life. Should you have any further questions, please explore other pages of this website. 

You may also email Stephanie Vess at


Recruitment is a time of mutual selection between students and chapters.  Not only does the Greek organization select a new member, but your son/daughter selects a chapter which they wish to be affiliated.  Recruitment events for the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Panhellenic council are all non-alcoholic events.  They are held during the fall term of the school year.  Students who participate in the recruitment process are under no obligation to join the Greek System.  At the end of recruitment activities, chapters extend formal written invitations (bids).  If a student chooses to accept the bid, they are affiliated with that chapter.


National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African-American Greek lettered organizations) do not participate in a recruitment process.  If your son/daughter is interested in one of these organizations, they will have to attend NPHC Convocation.  Convocation is an informational session in which all chapters associated with this council will be in attendance.  They will inform the students of when they plan to have an interest meeting in order to gain membership into their chapter through an intake process.


Once a student decides to accept a bid from a Greek chapter, he or she is oriented to the chapter through meetings, philanthropic work, social events, and study sessions. Programs should be structured so as to not interfere with academic responsibilities. During this period, chapters designate new members differently. Terms used include pledge, associate or new member. New member education should be informative and fun, therefore physical and mental hazing is not tolerated at the University of North Alabama, national Greek organizations, and the State of Alabama prohibit hazing.


Membership in a Greek organization is one of the best ways to become involved at UNA. Many of the Student Government leaders and officers of numerous other organizations are involved with the Greek community. Those members already involved in campus activities can assist fellow Greeks in taking an active leadership role on the campus. Not only can members participate in campus-wide activities, but also in many other leadership opportunities within each chapter and the respective Greek councils. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and report greater satisfaction with their overall college experience. All Greek organizations are working examples of a democracy in action. This is often the first time that members are responsible for their own activities and living within their means. This provides an excellent opportunity to experience leadership and the responsibility of membership.


Academics are important in Greek Life, and are stressed by chapters from recruitment to graduation. The resources that Greeks can provide include scholarship awards, study sessions, files of materials, and tutoring assistance. Many chapters and national Greek organizations recognize and reward their members' scholastic excellence.

Community Service

Community service and philanthropic projects provide chapter members with the opportunity to support many causes. Chapters support both the local and national charitable organizations from the Big Brothers Big Sisters to the Ronald McDonald House. Greeks work together on projects not only to serve the community but also to foster personal growth and greater unity among the Greek community.


One of the most mentioned aspects of Greek Life is the friendship that exists between members of a chapter, undergraduate, and alumni/ae. Greek Life promotes the development of close ties between members through living, studying, working, competing and having fun - together. These lifetime relationships go beyond ordinary friendships to become like that of a family.


While academic achievement is the primary reason to attend UNA, there is a time for social interaction. The Greek community always provides fun activities for its members. Social and recreational activities give you the opportunity to meet a variety of people and to strengthen the bonds of friendship at the same time. Fraternity and sorority functions, date parties and formal dances are examples of these activities. Participation in traditional events, such as Homecoming, Greek Week and philanthropic events, demonstrates Greek unity and spirit.

Alumni Involvement

Greek alumni/ae play a major role in advising chapters. Each chapter has at least one advisor who helps with the day-to-day operations of the chapter.

Financial Responsibility

Since the inception of Greek-Letter societies, they have been self-sufficient. Each chapter and subsequent national office collects dues and membership fees from every member. Most groups have a one-time pledge and initiation fee, plus semester dues. Fees vary from chapter to chapter.

Family Role

As a parent, you will have many questions concerning your student's involvement in a Greek organization. Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son or daughter throughout the recruitment process. Once your student is a member of a Greek organization, there are many opportunities for you to share in this aspect of his or her college life. Almost all of the chapters on campus host events such in which you can attend. Chapters recognize that when your student comes to college, you, as a parent, also become a part of the University family! Ask questions and get involved!

For more information, please visit the National Panhellenic Conference Website for Parents by clicking HERE.