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Information for Parents and Families

Dear Triton Parents and Families,

Congratulations on your student's admission and decision to attend UC San Diego!

There are endless ways to get involved on campus and to be a leader, serve the community, and make new friends. When exploring what UC San Diego has to offer, we hope that your student will consider the opportunity to join Sorority & Fraternity Life (SFL) and join a community of like-minded individuals and build a true connection on campus. Sorority and fraternity organizations at UC San Diego stand for character development, lifelong friendships, equity, diversity, & inclusion, academic excellence, and community responsibility. 

For many parents, the idea of sororities and fraternities conjure up concern with images from popular movies and television shows; but the media is simply not reality. There are many myths about the SFL community, but the truth is that members in fraternities and sororities are committed to high moral principles and social standards.

Multiple studies show that students involved in SFL organizations gain valuable business skills, are more likely to graduate on time, have better interpersonal skills, and are more likely to give back to the community.

In fact, in the 2018 - 2019 academic year, SFL students at UC San Diego raised over $240,500 for charitable causes and served over 34,000 service hours. You will also find SFL students in all realms of campus involvement including honor societies, orientation leaders, student government, and athletics. Updated sorority and fraternity accomplishments and data can be found on the SFL Community Performance Reports.

I encourage you to explore this website for resources and documents that may help answer questions or alleviate concerns. I look forward to working with your student this year!


Sorority & Fraternity Life 

How will my student benefit from involvement in SFL at UC San Diego?

Attending college is a huge life change! Joining the sorority and fraternity community will help make the transition to life at UC San Diego a smooth one. Belonging to a SFL organization can help make an institution of over 30,000 undergraduate students feel smaller and more comfortable. For most members, their organization becomes their family away from home. It will be up to your student to determine the level of involvement they want to have in the organization.

There are many benefits to membership in a sorority or fraternity. In addition to life-long friendships, members have access to endless leadership possibilities, academic support, philanthropic and volunteer opportunities, and professional networking!

How will joining benefit my student after college?

The friendships your student will make through their organization are intended to last far beyond college. Sororities and fraternities have alumni networks all over to assist members in making connections and advancing careers. Wherever your student ends up after graduation, chances are they will be able to connect with fellow members of the same organization or other sororities and fraternities through alumni organizations. As a result of joining a sorority or fraternity, students can enhance their skills in organization, networking, and time management. 

Will involvement in a SFL organization affect my student’s academic performance?

As a whole, the SFL community has either matched or exceeded the all-campus GPA average. In fact, high academic standards are a criterion for membership. Chapters also organize tutoring programs, develop individualized academic support programs, host study hours, and offer resources and programs focused on academic excellence. Most organizations even offer scholarships and awards to recognize high achieving members.

See our Community Grade Reports.

What about hazing?

All new sorority and fraternity members participate in an orientation period for new members. 

During this new member period, your student and fellow new members will participate in regular meetings and events to learn about the University, fraternity/sorority history, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among new members and initiated members.

The SFL Staff, in collaboration with University partners, hosts a variety of required trainings throughout the academic year specific to new members, chapter leaders, and general members that defines hazing behavior, the consequences, and promotes dialogue on ways to best promote sense of belonging, safety, and a positive new member experience. Additionally, the University has just joined a three-year Hazing Prevention Consortium with Stop Hazing, Inc., that will focus on campus-wide efforts to engage and educate all students on hazing prevention efforts to intervene and address the behavior.

All UC San Diego organizations have a strict policy against hazing. UC San Diego takes a strong stand against hazing as outlined in the University's Standards of Conduct as well as California state law. 

Learn more about hazing.

Who supports SFL organizations on campus?

Sororities and fraternity organizations are very unique! While they are student run, there is also an element of alumni and institutional support. Additionally, all sororities and fraternities are members of governing councils that support individual councils and practice self governance and accountability. Lastly, all sorority and fraternity organizations have support and guidance from a local, regional, or national governing board. 

On a regular basis students are elected to officer positions. Officers manage the day-to-day operations of their chapter. Chapter Officers are exposed to a variety of training opportunities to provide them with the tools to lead their organization’s operations. Officers develop skills in leadership, communication, accountability, event planning, and many others. The group is governed by a(n) inter/national headquarters, which establishes regulations and offers direction through professional staff and volunteers. Alumni members in the community act as advisors to ensure compliance with inter/national policies.

The Sorority & Fraternity Life area within the Center for Student Involvement serves as the staff liaison to the sorority and fraternity community, offering support, advice and guidance to governing councils, chapter officers, advisors, and members. Additionally, SFL hosts quarterly educational, leadership, and connection opportunities for all leaders and members. 

Connect with the SFL Team.

How much will it cost?

As third party organizations to the University, membership dues are managed entirely by the sorority and fraternity chapter and their inter/national headquarters. There is no set cost for membership and fees vary between chapters and councils, some organizations charge no membership fee. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first quarter of membership than in subsequent ones. However these fees cover many perks from service and social events, to chapter meals, to leadership conferences. Be sure your student inquires as to the full cost of membership before joining. Don’t forget most organizations offer payment plans and scholarships!

What is my role as parent / family?

Ask questions and be involved! Encourage your student to keep an open mind about each organization they connect with as fraternities and sororities are different on every campus and are deeper than their perceived image. Be in support, but let your student guide their own decision making in joining the organization they feel most aligned with. Sorority and fraternity recruitment is based on a mutual selection process, and students may not always become members of their ‘first-choice’ organization. That said, students can find academic, social, service, and leadership opportunities in each sorority or fraternity chapter offered on campus. Be in communication with your student through the recruitment process and motivate them to ask important questions regarding time commitments, financial commitments, and membership expectations.

Once your student chooses to join a SFL organization, there will be opportunities for attending chapter events, and getting to know your students new friends. Take the time to talk to your student about being a member of the SFL community. Additionally, the SFL advising team is a resource for parents if any concerns or questions arise. 

How can I encourage my student to get involved?

Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority are encouraged to explore this website, attend informational sessions hosted at the beginning of Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters, visit with individual members, or talk to the SFL Advising Team located on the third floor of Price Center. There are around 43 different sororities and fraternity organizations on campus — so there is something for everyone!