Every Greek organization has a core purpose/mission and a set of core values that are designed to develop strong character in their members. Members adopt the mission and values alongside of their own and seek to embody them. The closer a Greek organization's purpose and values match your own the more impact joining the organization will have on your life.
Developing Leadership Skills
Membership in a Greek organization can help you establish and build your leadership skills. While a member of this community, you will have ample opportunities to hold elected and appointed positions within the chapter you join and on Greek community councils. In fact, most Greek organizations encourage its members to become involved in other campus organizations, such as student government (USUAA), academic honor societies, religiously-affiliated organizations and recreation-focused clubs. If your schedule isn't suited for a commitment of that nature, you can also gain these skills by assisting on individual projects and programs.
Joining a Greek organization is a life-long commitment and the decision to join should be given plenty of thought. The following are some steps you can take to ensure you are finding the best fit for you:
Each Greek organization is self-supported through dues charged to all members. These dues are collected to cover national organization expenses, such as insurance premiums, staff salaries and convention expenses. Dues also support the local chapter, aiding the chapter to pay for social event facilitation, recruitment activities, new member education and membership in governing councils. Be sure to ask each chapter what its members are asked to provide so you know what is expected of membership.
Pledging or Hazing?
Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule (Fraternal Information & Programming Group). All national fraternal organizations and institutions of higher education strictly forbid hazing. The University of Alaska Anchorage and the Greek councils enforce a zero-tolerance adherence to this policy.
It is understandable that you might be concerned if you hear that some of the things that go on during initiation are to be kept secret. Initiation into a fraternity or sorority is an exciting, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and special values of the respective fraternity or sorority. These ceremonies often are referred to as rituals. Greek chapters pride themselves on the rituals that their chapters were founded upon. These rituals are full of the traditions and values that make the chapters unique. However, these rituals should not be confused with hazing, and other inappropriate activities. The rituals of Greek organizations have nothing to do with hazing; they are not scary, shameful, or degrading. Although it is the most important part of membership, ritual is nothing more than symbols, heraldry, and common ideals.
Living the Greek Life
Feeling good about joining a Greek organization? Great! It's now time to talk about the things you'll experience frequently as a member.
Greek organizations are social in nature and encourage interaction and engagement with each other. Throughout the semester there are many events that Greeks plan and participate in, such as Campus Kickoff, Spirit Run, Haunted Halloween Fun Night, Homecoming, Greek Olympics, Greek Week, Greek Formal, Greek Retreat, intramural games and many more.
Academics is a priority for all Greek organizations at UAA. Each organization sets its minimum GPA for membership and its minimum semester / cumulative standard for active members. To help its members achieve these goals, most chapters implement scholarship plans, which include tools such as weekly study hours and individual S.M.A.R.T. goal setting.
Greeks serve many different populations and communities, from UAA to the Anchorage community to national and international endeavors, Each organization has its own local and national philanthropies, such as Children's Miracle Network, Special Olympics and the Robbie Page Memorial Fund (RPM). Each organization is different, so make sure to ask members from each organization about their standards for service.