Joining a fraternity/sorority organization is often the first time students are responsible for living on their own and within their means. Fraternities and sororities are examples of democracy in action. Membership provides an excellent opportunity to experience leadership and other responsibilities. National research shows that students who join fraternities and sororities are more likely to return to college the following year.
Students who wish to join a fraternity or sorority must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade-point average. Most chapters help their members achieve higher grades through study hours and by using each other as a resource. Many chapters and national fraternity/sorority organizations recognize and reward their members' scholastic excellence.
Because of the high expectations and standards of the fraternity/sorority community, in the past four years Clarkson chapters have surpassed their respective populations in academic grade point averages.
Fraternity / sorority housing opportunities vary. Some groups live in Clarkson residence halls, others in houses owned and operated by the chapters themselves. Chapters with their own houses commonly have their own meal plans, either with a paid cook or members preparing meals.
Fraternity and sorority members organize social functions, including theme parties, picnics and barbecues, faculty dinners, formals and trips to area attractions. Any event with alcohol must be registered with the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Office, and all state and local laws must be followed.
Fraternity / sorority letter organizations are self-sufficient. Each chapter collects dues and membership fees to support their activities and programs. For chapters with houses, charges include room and board, or fees, which may vary depending on whether the member lives in or out of the house. In general, fraternity/sorority living is comparable to non-fraternity/sorority on-campus living costs, and in many cases less expensive.
Philanthropy is part of Clarkson fraternity/sorority life. Each semester, the fraternities and sororities at Clarkson raise thousands of dollars and donate hundreds of hours to worthy causes. Chapters donate blood, raise money for cancer research, and participate in many other worthwhile events that help the surrounding community.
Each chapter has at least one alumni/ae advisor to help with day-to-day operations. Clarkson fraternity/sorority alumni/ae also meet regularly as members of the Greek Alumni Council, providing networking and sharing resources for efficient chapter management for the whole system. National research shows that following graduation, fraternity- and sorority-affiliated alumni have higher average incomes than nonaffiliated alumni.
Every chapter is also required to have at least one member of the Clarkson faculty or staff as an advisor as well.