Greek life at MWSU

When choosing a college, you want to make sure that it is the right fit for you, not only academically, but socially as well. This next chapter of your life will be a great adventure, a great time to define or redefine yourself. You’ll have many opportunities to explore new interests and make lifelong friends. Joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to expand your horizons.

Missouri Western has three governing councils which oversee the activities of their member organizations:

Intrafraternity Council

The Interfraternity Council (IFC), whose national governing body is called the North-American Interfraternity Conference.

Alpha Sigma Phi is the newest fraternity at Missouri Western. Founded at Yale University on December 6, 1845, Alpha Sigma Phi continues to be the organization of choice for collegiate men founded on the values of Silence, Charity, Purity, Honor, and Patriotism. For more information about Alpha Sigma Phi, please visit the Organization’s Website.

Phi Delta Theta was organized with three principle objectives: the cultivation of friendship among its members, the acquirement individually of a high degree of mental culture, and the attainment personally of a high standard of morality. For more information, please visit the Organization’s Website.

National Pan-Hellenic Council

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, whose national governing body shares the same name.

 Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated had its humble beginnings as the vision of nine college students on the campus of Howard University in 1908. Since then, the sorority has flourished into a globally-impactful organization of over 283,000 college-trained members, bound by the bonds of sisterhood and empowered by a commitment to servant-leadership that is both domestic and international in its scope. As Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown, it has maintained its focus in two key arenas: the lifelong personal and professional development of each of its members; and galvanizing its membership into an organization of respected power and influence, consistently at the forefront of effective advocacy and social change that results in equality and equity for all citizens of the world. For more information, visit the Organization’s Website.

Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were developed at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell University. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African-Americans. For more information, please visit the
Organization’s Website.

Phi Beta Sigma is a social/service collegiate and professional fraternity founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students with nine other Howard students as charter members. For more information, please visit the Organization’s Website.

Panhellenic Association

The Panhellenic Association, whose national governing body is the National Panhellenic Conference.

Alpha Gamma Delta is an international fraternity for women that exists to provide opportunities for personal development through the spirit of sisterhood. We support lifelong learning as a means to gain understanding and wisdom. We promote the value of fraternal membership and commitment to higher education. We help prepare members to contribute to the world’s work. We advocate lifetime involvement in Alpha Gamma Delta. For more information, please visit the Organization’s Website.

Alpha Sigma Alpha is a women’s organization that exists to promote high ideas and standards for its members throughout their lives by emphasizing balance among the four aims of intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social development. Alpha Sigma Alpha is dedicated to building women of poise and purpose through our motto; Aspire, Seek, Attain. For more information, please visit the Organization’s Website.

Sigma Sigma Sigma In conjunction with the formation of our Mission, we reaffirm our These Principles elaborate on three basic tenets, which are the reasons for existence as a Sisterhood. Our principles include: – Promotes a perpetual bond of friendship – Develops strong womanly character – Inspires high standards of ethical conduct For more information, please visit the Organization’s Website.

Greek Vocabulary

Alumnus/a: (plural alumni/alumnae) members of a fraternity (alumnus/i) or sorority (alumna/ae) who have graduated from organization; generally this happens when the student graduates from college, although there may be reasons for a member to go “early alum” from the organization.

Bid: a formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority; used by IFC and Panhellenic.

Big Brother/Big Sister: a fraternity brother or sorority sister assigned to a new member (“Little Brother/Little Sister”) to help transition into the organization; often called “Bigs” and “Littles.”

Brother/Sister: used within an organization to refer to other members of the same organization.

Chapter: a campus organization of a national fraternity or sorority. These often have their own chapter letter designations to distinguish them from other universities’ organizations, such as “Missouri Eta chapter of Phi Delta Theta” and “Tau Sigma chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.”

Greeks: a short, outdated term used to refer to members of the Greek-letter organization community. The first every fraternity (Phi Beta Kappa) was named using Greek letters to keep its identity a secret, and that tradition has continued since 1776.

Hazing: any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or violation. This behavior is expressly forbidden by every Greek-letter chapter and council, as well as by Missouri Western State University, the State of Missouri, and the United States of America. Click here for more information on the MWSU hazing policy, or to report a hazing violation.

Initiation: the formal ceremony that brings a new member into full membership in their fraternity or sorority. Each chapter has its own set of requirements that must be met prior to initiation.

Intake: (Pertains only to NPHC organizations) the process of educating prospective members on the history of both the organization and the chapter, as well as working on collaborative projects and service events related to the mission and purpose of the organization.

Councils: the governing bodies that oversee the MWSU fraternities and sororities. Each council has an advisor and Executive Board members or Officers. See the “Councils and Chapters” page for more information.

Legacy: a person whose grandparent, parent, or sibling was a member of a Greek-letter organization. These individuals may have a higher chance of becoming a member of the organization to whom they are a legacy.

Philanthropy: the donation of funds towards a charitable organization. Each organization is affiliated with its own philanthropic organization(s).

Potential New Member (PNM): a collegiate student who is participating in the recruitment process to join an organization.

Quota: (pertains only to Panhellenic sororities) the maximum number of members a chapter may have at a given time; evaluated every semester.

Service: the donation of time or work towards a charitable organization. Each organization requires its members to perform a certain number of service hours per year or semester.

Recruitment: the process by which fraternities/sororities and potential new members become acquainted, and chapters grow. Most organizations have a Formal Membership Recruitment period and an Informal Membership Recruitment period.

Ritual: the traditional ceremonies and values of a fraternity or sorority.

Recruitment Counselor (“Rho Gamma”): a member of a Panhellenic sorority who temporarily disaffiliates from her chapter to guide PNMs through Formal Recruitment for Panhellenic chapters.

How could joining a fraternity or sorority affect my grades?

The Center for Student Involvement has set a minimum GPA requirement for joining a fraternity or sorority, and each organization has its own GPA requirements to remain an active member of the organization. All fraternities and sororities have programs in place to help any students struggling with their academics, and they know that you are a student first!

How expensive is joining?

Fraternities and sororities are self-funded organizations, which means that all activities, such as philanthropy events, brotherhood/sisterhood events, and Homecoming activities, are funded by the dues paid by members. The first year of being in an organization often has the highest dues because of fees specific to the New Member period. Other items covered by dues may include insurance, t-shirts, and social events, and this varies by organization.

How much time am I expected to commit?

Being in a fraternity or sorority can be time-consuming, as any extracurricular activity can. Most members find that they get what they put into it, meaning that if they put in a small amount of effort, they often get less out of the experience. Depending on the organization, members may have a weekly meeting, and a mixture of mandatory and non-mandatory events throughout the semester.