Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Going off to college can be a challenging and stressful time. While at The University of Southern Mississippi, students will encounter many opportunities to become involved outside of the classroom experience. Parents and guardians must be educated about the enriching experience students will find by being involved in a fraternity or sorority at Southern Miss.
Why Join a Fraternity or Sorority?
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a life-changing experience for the men and women who choose to join. Chapter members develop a unique bond of brotherhood and sisterhood while sharing their values and goals. These friendships last beyond the collegiate years and are nurtured by alumni activities and networking programs that provide opportunities for continued camaraderie, service, and personal development.
The fraternity and sorority community offers a home away from home and encourages individual development within a smaller group of friends in the broader university environment.
Fraternity or sorority life can provide students with an invaluable experience during his or her time at Southern Miss. Fraternity and Sorority Life is a Southern Miss tradition that dates back to 1935 when the first national fraternity was founded on campus. Today, approximately 1,500 undergraduates are members of three councils, with 26 chapters that are inclusive of 12 sororities and 14 fraternities.
What is the role of the parent?
Take time to find out more about our Southern Miss Fraternity & Sorority Life community and the chapters. Visit the chapter(s) websites of the inter/national organizations https://www.usm.edu/fraternity-sorority-life/our-chapters.php to review the organizations initiatives. Review new member manuals and printed materials provided to students as they go through the recruitment process. Recruitment material is not secret. Ask to contact the chapters’ alumni advisor to learn about his or her involvement with the chapter. Ask about activities and events that involve parents and participate in them. When you visit Southern Miss, ask to meet with chapter members and, if possible, their parents.
*Plainly put, ask questions, be supportive, and be engaged.
Coming to college is a major life change that your student will experience. Joining a fraternity or sorority will help make the transition easier. The fraternity or sorority experience is multifaceted and offers numerous opportunities for your student. Developing life-long friendships with the members in their chapter and other chapters helps make the campus seem smaller. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood and sisterhood that membership offers, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing the leadership skills and commitment to academics for its members. In many ways, it is up to your student to determine the level of involvement they want to have in their organization and what kind of experience it will be for them.
The life long friendships your student will make through their chapter can last long after they graduate. Affiliated students have national networks that can assist members in securing jobs, internships and other opportunities after they graduate. Joining a chapter in college is an investment in your student's future as they can reap the benefits for a lifetime. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are they will be able to find other members of their chapter wherever they go next.
This is the card each person who becomes a new member signs which allows for the release of academic information to their particular chapter.
Students often find that managing their time is difficult when moving from a highly structured high school environment to the freedom of college. Fraternity and sorority membership can assist in that transition by offering academic opportunities that can include study partners, study hours, time management and study skill workshops. Your student can also access the network of chapter members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, tutoring services, computer labs, and academic advisors. Nothing, however, can take the place of a disciplined and focused student to ensure academic success in college. Our chapter often have higher cumulative GPAs than their unaffiliated peers.