Information for Parents
To get you started on learning more about Sigma Nu, watch the video below and see what other parents have to say.
What is fraternity?
In 1776, the first Greek letter fraternity was founded. Phi Beta Kappa was founded by a group of William and Mary students in Williamsburg, VA. The basic founding principle of Phi Beta Kappa was to offer an outlet for students to further their philosophic knowledge, as well as provide a social outlet for the students of William and Mary.
"Phi Beta Kappa, like Sigma Nu, was organized for those with ability, ambition and serious purpose in life." wrote Dick Vaughn, author of Sigma Nu’s timeless essay The Way of Honor.
Sigma Nu seeks members who have a serious purpose in life, as well as an ambition to succeed in whatever they do. Sigma Nu offers a collegiate experience that will further his ambition and ability to succeed during his time in school as well as his experience that will come following his collegiate career.
What is required to become an initiated member?
According to The LAW of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., a candidate must satisfy the following requirements to become an initiated member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.
- The candidate must be a matriculate of the host university.
- A candidate must have subscribed his name to the formal obligations of the Fraternity.
- A candidate must have completed, to the satisfaction of the chapter, a Candidate Education Program, which has been adopted by the Chapter to emphasize the ideals, objectives and traditions of the fraternity.
- A Candidate must have satisfied all scholarship requirements for initiation imposed by both the Chapter and Institution where the chapter is located.
- No Chapter shall initiate a Candidate into the Fraternity until he has paid to the Chapter Treasurer his initiation fee and all Financial Obligations levied on Candidates for Initiation by The LAW and the Rules of the Chapter.
* Taken from Article 4, Section 5 of The LAW of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
Academics…Will Sigma Nu get in the way of my son's education?
Sigma Nu exists to cultivate and develop ethical leaders. An education is the most important part of that formula. Your son is a student first, and a Sigma Nu second. To ensure this is happening, Sigma Nu in accordance with the North-American Interfraternity Council has a minimum standard that members must maintain at least a 2.25 individual GPA and a chapter GPA of 2.5. However many of our chapters have a higher requirement for membership. In fact over 20% of our chapters have above a 3.0 GPA.
Many of our chapters also offer study hours for their members.
What does Sigma Nu do for my son after College?
Not only does Sigma Nu provide lifelong bonds and friendships, we provide the tools necessary to be prepared to be successful in life after college. LEAD teaches our undergraduate members important skills, such as networking, interview and resume building skills and crisis management, to name just a few. By participating in Sigma Nu’s educational curriculum, your son will be equipped to be successful.
Sigma Nu will also provide an opportunity for philanthropic activities and community service. Many of our chapters require a minimum number of community service hours from their members.
Along with community service, most of our chapters also hold an annual philanthropy project. In fact Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. offers the chance for our chapters to take part in our Founders Week of Service, as part of our Helping Hand Initiative that takes place every spring. During that time, our chapters have the option of participating in a week of service to benefit four different organizations. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, College Charity Bowl, Character Counts and Habitat for Humanity have benefited from our undergraduates’ service during the Founders Week of Service.
The Truth about Alcohol
Another common misconception of fraternity men is that all they do is drink. We are an Honor fraternity. Though our individual chapters may, and do, hold social functions, brothers are expected to uphold the laws of the city and state, as well as the rules of the university and Sigma Nu.
Risk Reduction is taken extremely seriously and should chapters be in violation of our Risk Reduction Policy and Guidelines, they are subject to disciplinary action from the General Fraternity. The safety of our members, along with upholding the local city and state laws, is a priority.
The Truth about Hazing
People often associate hazing with fraternities. Sigma Nu is unique in the fact that we were founded based on honor, which stems from our founders rebelling against the common practice of hazing at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. That principle still holds true today.
The fraternal staff works very hard to educate our undergraduate and alumni members on the importance of teaching our candidates through activities other than hazing, primarily our LEAD Program (Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, Development). Sigma Nu has made available an anti-hazing hotline and e-mail address to anonymously report acts of hazing. This service has been made available not only to our undergraduate members, but to you as well. Should you believe that your son is being hazed, we encourage you to contact us 24 hours a day by calling the hotline at: 1-888-NOT-HAZE or by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com.
As a parent, what can I do to help?
Chapters are always looking for volunteers to help with chapter functions. Parent organizations are becoming more common as well.
Get involved! We would encourage you to seek out the chapter officers and alumni. Meet with them if you have concerns. They should be able to answer any questions that you may have.
Above all else, you should be asking your son questions. Questions such as:
- How are your grades?
- What is Sigma Nu doing for you?
- Do you believe you are being hazed?
- What emphasis is placed on social events in your chapter?
By asking those questions, you will be able to determine if Sigma Nu is the right fit for your son.
Should you have any concerns, you can always feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 463-1869.