Carnegie Mellon University

Families of Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) Students

While at Carnegie Mellon, your student will explore many involvement opportunities outside of the classroom. We want parents and families to feel informed about the enriching experience that your student may find through their membership in a fraternity or sorority. Below we have listed some of the most common questions we receive from family members of our FSL students.

Fraternities and sororities are a century-old tradition at Carnegie Mellon. They offer students a pathway to building relationships with fellow undergraduates, alumni, faculty and staff through community and leadership opportunities. Membership in a FSL is a life-changing experience for students who choose to join. Chapter members develop a unique bond of friendship and camaraderie while sharing in their values and goals. These relationships last beyond the collegiate years and are fostered by networking and alumni activities that provide opportunities for continued friendship, service and personal development.
It’s important that you and your student do research prior to or during the recruitment process.  Encourage your student to be an active participant during the recruitment process and to show up to opportunities to meet with chapters. Being their authentic self is the best way for your student to find a fraternity or sorority that's right for them. We encourage all students to ask questions so they can begin to differentiate one chapter from another. Important questions may include:

  • What is expected of fraternity/sorority members?
  • How will membership impact my academic success?
  • What leadership opportunities are available to students as new members and active members?
  • Does the fraternity or sorority require members to live in the chapter house? If so, for how many semesters?
  • How much will dues cost? What will dues cover?
  • What values does this organization promote?
  • Is the organization officially recognized by the University? If not, why?
  • What is the time commitment?
  • What is the process to join? How long will it take for me to be initiated?
  • What kinds of activities does the chapter participate in on campus?
  • How does the chapter participate in Greek Sing, Booth and/or Buggy?
Most organizations with a chapter house require all members live in the house for a minimum of one year. We encourage all students to ask about this requirement and the unique benefits to living in a fraternity or sorority house.

The cost of living in a fraternity or sorority house varies by organization but is typically comparable to the cost of an on-campus double for upperclass students.

Check out the national umbrella organizations that govern our fraternities and sororities for more information. We also encourage you to explore the individual fraternities or sororities your student is interested in.

A concern of many parents and families is whether their student will be hazed in order to join an organization. Hazing is against Carnegie Mellon University policy and Pennsylvania state law. Thus, there is zero tolerance for such behavior in fraternities and sororities at CMU.

You can read more about Carnegie Mellon’s hazing policy. Additionally, Carnegie Mellon publishes a biannual Hazing Report each January and August, as required by Pennsylvania law.

If you have questions about the joining process your student is a part of, please contact the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement at 412-268-8704 or email. You may also report concerns through the CMU Ethics Hotline or to CMU Police at 412-268-2323. If you have immediate concerns for a person’s safety, please call the police.