What Is the Real Story?
So many times, we think about a fraternity and think of the movie Animal House. The brothers are living in a house that is disgusting, everyone is partying, drinking alcohol and doing drugs. Certainly, if a fraternity is engaging in behavior that crosses the line, they should, and will, end up either on suspension or maybe even kicked off campus. But talk with many of the young men in fraternities at UNF, and they will speak of brotherhood, a lifetime of friendships and access to leadership positions on campus. This is what the rushing process is like.
UNF has 28 chartered fraternal organizations. Some of these are social in nature and some are academic in nature. The academic fraternities are based on a lot of factors, all of which are academic in nature. Typically, an academic fraternity will invite members based on grade point average. Whichever your son chooses, Greek life will be an incredible journey.
Rushing a social fraternity is different at UNF than the other Florida universities for a few reasons; one is that UNF does not have fraternity houses. During the second week of fall and spring semester, approximately 9 fraternities will set up tables during the day at The Green (which is a huge lawn area in the middle of campus). Anyone who is interested in joining a fraternity can go to this event. The dress is totally casual. It is simply a way for students to learn about the fraternity that they are interested in or learn about others that they may not know anything about. If your son finds a fraternity that there is a mutual interest, this fraternity will invite him to an event at night.
Each fraternity has different events starting the second night of rush week. These events are a bit dressier ranging from khaki pants and a polo shirt to a blazer. Once the events begin, bids may be given out at any time. A bid is an invitation to join the fraternity. They then have three options – sit on the bid, the most common choice during rush week, as it allows them to continue to visit other frats and maybe even collect more bids, or decline a bid and continue the hunt or accept the bid and rush is over for them. And then the fun really begins; pledging.
For some, going through rush opens their eyes to a process and a system that isn’t for them. Many boys start going through rush and realize that Greek life is not for them and unfortunately for other boys, the fraternities don’t think is the right fit. That’s totally ok! UNF has a ton of clubs and ways to get involved. Check out our blog Getting Involved the UNF Way. Most boys do find their fraternity; others may not get accepted to the frat of their choice, but there is a second rush opportunity in the spring.
Once a bid has been accepted, your student becomes a new member. Fraternities have been in the national spotlight due to the tragic death of several members at various college campuses. Many universities are taking a very strict approach to suspend any organization for any infraction that falls under their definition of hazing. Talk to your student before he accepts a bid as to how to handle any situation that makes him feel uncomfortable. There are, however, many wonderful things about joining a fraternity, they do offer a lot of benefits including being extremely visible and active on campus, involvement in philanthropies and much more. Fraternity brothers partake in rituals that are unique to their letters, nationally and internationally, promoting brotherhood. Fraternities provide leadership opportunities as they are student-run organizations. From what I hear from many boys at UNF, joining a fraternity is an incredible experience. To learn more about fraternities at UNF, click here.