For Parents

A Parents' Guide to Fraternities & Sororities at Roanoke College

As a parent, it's always a good idea to have a conversation with your student about what they are involved with during their time at college.  Discussing fraternities and sororities is important so they are able to make an educated decision on whether or not they should be part of one of these organizations.  The information below will provide more information about what our organizations stand for.

Scholarship & Academic Success

During your student's time in college, academics should be their number one priority.  Our fraternities and sororities agree with that and set a minimum GPA for a student to gain membership as well as stay in good standing while they are a member.  Each chapter will have an individual who is focused on the academic success of both the chapter and individuals within the chapter.  This individual will work with the Greek Life Office to obtain academic reports along with developing, implementing, and measuring academic programs that are installed in the chapter.  

2017 Spring Semester in Review:

(Average GPA on a 4.0 scale)

Interfraternity Council GPA: 2.73 GPA 

All male GPA: 2.73 GPA

Panellenic Council GPA: 3.10 GPA

All female GPA: 2.91 GPA


Out of the classroom experiences are another important aspect of your student's growth.  Fraternities and sororities offer numerous opportunities to develop leadership skills. Members are encouraged to run for organizational and council leadership roles.  Members will have the ability to network and craft their leadership skills by attending regional & National conferences hosted by their organization.


Community service is deeply embedded into the values of each fraternity and sorority on campus.  Periodically throughout the year each organization & council will host or participate in service projects.  Each organization will host a week dedicated to a philanthropy that the organization supports.  During this week, their main objective is to raise money and awareness for that philanthropic organization as possible by hosting events on campus.  Other service events include Habitat for Humanity, Food Banks, volunteering at local organizations, and working with youth in the greater Roanoke community.


Fraternities and sororities provide students with a unique social opportunity.  Within each of these organizations, they will have members from all walks of life that they will be able to develop long lasting friendships with.  These organizations will organize casual get-together, formal dinners, lip sync dances, Greek Week, and many other events. Members in these groups will be able to develop a sense of belonging and a home away from home.

Financial Obligation

Each fraternity and sorority will dictate the cost of their dues, which is the membership cost associated with the organization.  The collection of these dues allows the fraternity or sorority to host various events on campus as well as pay for the chapter services for the national organization.  Remind students to collect more information prior to joining the organization.


Roanoke College has a zero-tolerance stance on hazing-related activities. Read Roanoke College's policy on hazing. Periodically throughout the year both Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic will partner with the Greek Life Office to provide educational programs to bring greater awareness around the topic of hazing.  Your students' safety and well being is a priority for us.  If at any point you feel that your student may be subject to a hazing incident please don't hesitate to give the Greek Life Office a call at 540-375-2327.

Fraternity & Sorority Glossary

  • Badge - an insignia of fraternity or sorority membership worn by initiated members.  Each organization will have their own badge.
  • Bid - a formal invitation to join an organization.
  • Chapter - a membership unit of an inter/national Greek letter organization
  • Continuous Open Bidding (COB) - Opportunity for chapters that have not reach their total number in primary recruitment to extend invitations in the fall (Panhellenic).
  • College Panhellenic Council - the governing body of sororities
  • IFC - Interfraternity Council, which is the governing body of the fraternities.
  • Initiation - a ritual ceremony that brings new members into full membership of the organization.
  • New member - an individual who accepted a bid from an organization but is not yet an active member of the chapter.  As a new member, they will receive education about the organization's values and history to prepare for initiation.
  • Pledge - a promise made by a new member.  It is a verb and should not be used as a noun to describe a new member.
  • Potential New Member (PNM) - any woman who is eligible to participate in recruitment (Panhellenic Formal Recruitment)
  • Primary Recruitment - a period of time during the academic year when events are held by each organization for the purpose of selecting new members.  At Roanoke College, this occurs in the spring for new students.
  • Total - The allowable chapter size on a campus, as determined by the College Panhellenic that includes both new and initiated members. Chapters that fall under total are allowed to participate in continuous open bidding until they reach the total.

Still have questions?  Please direct them to Greg Hanlon at or call 540-375-2327.