Copyright © 2013 by SUNY Oneonta
- 108 Ravine Parkway
- Oneonta, NY 13820
Recognized VS. Unrecognized
What's the Difference?
Many times questions arise between parents and students alike about what the difference is between a recognized organization and an unrecognized one. The difference between recognized and unrecognized organizations is: unrecognized organizations are not associated with the campus. There are many factors that may sway your student into joining an unrecognized organization, but it is up to you to change their mind!
Oneonta State Recognized Sororities:
Oneonta State Recognized Fraternities:
These organizations must abide by the Code of Rights and Responsibilities for Greek Letter Organizations. The new member process is closely monitored by the college to make sure your student is safe and that he or she is going through a valuable learning experience. Some of these organizations have national recognition, which means that they are also monitored by a larger organization and have rules and restrictions with their national affiliation.
Students must have at least a 2.50 GPA to be a member of a recognized organization. This GPA requirement is required to promote academic achievement of recognized Greek students.
The New-Member Process ("Pledging")
The new-member process (sometimes referred to as "pledging") is different from organization to organization, but as previously stated, it is closely monitored by the college. After a recruitment period held during the first few weeks of classes (sometimes referred to as “rush week”), new-member programs must be turned in to the Greek Advisor. This program explains what the new members will be doing each day and what the benefit of the activity is to the group. Example New Member Program: On January 30, 2014, Chi Phi will have a luncheon. The purpose of this is to allow new members to interact with the brothers, learn about positions within the fraternity to understand the importance of leadership, and to become lifelong friends.
Many chapters play trivia games about their organizations history, do bonding activities like go to a movie or an event on campus, attend educational programs on campus about hazing, alcohol, health and safety, and become lifelong friends with their new brothers or sisters.
There is an 11:00PM curfew set in place by the college to make sure that your son or daughter is home at a reasonable hour; this is not the case for unrecognized organizations
There are college-sponsored events for chapters and their new members to attend each semester. These are educational programs about health, safety, and college lifestyles.
Being A Member
After initiation come the responsibilities of being a Greek. It is a rewarding experience to be a part of recognized Greek life, and some of the things that recognized Greeks do are used by unrecognized Greek organizations to deter interested students from joining recognized organizations.
One of the largest parts of being a recognized Greek is community service. Greeks are given a large amount of possible community service projects; some required, some not. In total, recognized Greeks alone volunteered more than 19,000 hours last year. Sometimes this may seem overwhelming to students, but many volunteer hours are unnoticed by the individual. They may include chapter meetings (usually 1-2 hours weekly), educational programs, retreats, Inter-Greek Council (IGC) meetings, etc. There are also large events to go to that IGC and chapters hold for their individual philanthropies, like Boy’s & Girl’s Club, the National Kidney Foundation, and the Make A Wish Foundation. More chapter philanthropies can be found on chapter webpages.
Another common concern with being in a recognized organization is dues. Dues are money owed to the Inter-Greek Council and to nationals to pay for the chapter's needs. Since some organizations have to pay national dues, some chapter dues are higher than others. Local dues (dues paid to IGC) are around $40 per semester. Fraternity and sorority dues that are paid to the chapter are $200-$400 per semester. Information about chapter dues can be found on chapter webpages or by asking the chapter treasurer. If this is a concern of yours or your student’s, chapters offer payment plans to make sure that money owed will not steer them away from the Greek experience.
Chapters also have social events throughout the semester. Recognized Greeks not only do great things for the college and the community, but they have fun in their free time as well. Each chapter has a "risk manager" to keep social gatherings safe and many chapters have "sober brothers/sisters" to help if necessary. Risk managers create programs for Greeks to go to about how to stay safe, how to help if trouble arises, and how to prevent activities that are unsafe.
Some Greeks are also CPR certified and many will soon be participating in the Red Watch Band Program. *This program was developed in 2008 by a Stony Brook University faculty member who lost her son to an alcohol overdose. She then created a four-hour training session in which participants learn how to recognize alcohol emergencies and respond effectively. (stonybrook.edu/sb/redwatchband)*
Graduating as a recognized Greek has many benefits. Many activities, community service events, positions held, etc. may be helpful on a resume. All of the work they do is great resume material and is often used by students to get successful jobs after graduation. As a part of an unrecognized organization, many of these things would not be as prominent on a resume. Since unrecognized chapters are not affiliated with the campus, there is no proof that they actually held a position or that it was worth crediting. Also, recognized Greeks have a large amount of community service opportunities that unrecognized Greeks may rarely or never encounter. Being a Greek is also has a rewarding networking capability. Alumni of chapters can set up jobs interviews for graduating members and those with national chapters can network with brothers and sisters of theirs that they don't even know from different chapters!
As stated before, the difference between recognized and unrecognized organizations is that unrecognized organizations are not associated with the campus. They have no rules or obligations to SUNY Oneonta or society. At one time, these organizations may have been recognized but violated the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities for Greek Letter Organizations and were disaffiliated from the campus. If your student is thinking about joining an unrecognized organization, there are many problems that may arise in his or her time at Oneonta.
10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR STUDENT WHEN HE/SHE SAYS THEY ARE JOINING A GREEK ORGANIZATION:
10 THINGS TO TELL YOUR STUDENT BEFORE HE/SHE SAYS THEY ARE JOINING A GREEK ORGANIZATION: