How does Fraternity membership help reinforce or create a sense of civic responsibility and service to others?
Every school year Fraternity men give hundreds of hours of service and raise thousands of dollars to support many different worthy causes. Most chapters support both local charities and their national organization’s philanthropy. For some local projects, the involvement by the Santa Clara University Fraternity community is the largest single instance of volunteer participation in their programs. SCU Fraternities have made and continue to make a difference, both on and off campus, through organized service and dedicated philanthropy.
What about the stories I see on the evening news about fraternities around the country?
Nobody likes stereotypes, and over the years, Fraternity men have been caricatured, lampooned, and portrayed in an unflattering manner by movies and television. This is not to say that members of the Fraternity community have not committed heinous offenses against their peers; they have. Yet, when the number of students committing these acts is viewed in the context of the American Fraternal system, they represent less than one-one-hundredth of one percent of the total membership. The media does not play up the positive values of Fraternity groups because they do not perceive these values to have “entertainment value,” but those ideals are much more characteristic of Fraternity life than is the “Animal House” caricature. Fraternities at SCU are committed to member education programs which instill commitment and pride in the organization, as opposed to the fear and negativity often associated with hazing and alcohol abuse.
How will Fraternity membership provide social activities for my student?
The social life of fraternity men can be very rich and rewarding, with friendships made that can last a lifetime, and the development of social skills which will be useful to any adult. Fraternities provide activities which sharpen conversation techniques, conflict resolution skills, and promote poise and a sense of social grace. All of the Fraternity letter organizations at SCU advocate the legal, responsible use of alcohol by members, and both they and their national organizations, as well as the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff, work to ensure that this responsibility is taken seriously.
What are the costs associated with joining a Fraternity and how much time is required of members?
It is important that each student who considers joining be aware of the expenses of both initially joining a group, and maintaining membership. Each chapter is self-supporting, funded largely by membership dues and some fundraising. Costs vary depending on individual national dues, insurance premiums, social fees, and house expenses, where applicable. Most chapters will provide a payment plans and reduced dues for members with special needs. Your student and you are strongly encouraged to ask about membership financial obligations. Generally, ZBT’s dues are $300 a quarter, the lowest of any fraternity at Santa Clara.
As a parent, what should I do to support my son decision to join ZBT?
First of all, be supportive of that decision and encourage your student to find out as much as they can about ZBT. Consult with your student as you feel comfortable about this decision, but in the end, let him or her make the choice for their membership. After that decision is made, talk with your on periodically and ask them about their Fraternity experience. Feel free to contact our President: Peter Naughton.