Parents and guardians are valuable partners in this dynamic fraternity experience. Although geographically scattered, ZBT parents share a central value: they want their sons to have the best ZBT experience possible. Any family member can be supportive with a positive attitude.
Support from home is important. Students find calls, packages, emails, etc. critical in helping them stay in touch with family and friends. Your openness, as a parent, talking with your son about the ups and downs of college life helps him to adjust to the university/college environment.
Encourage your son to take responsibility for his actions. Making choices and living with the consequences, whether good or bad, can be empowering. Mistakes can be one of our greatest learning tools.
Remind your son to take charge of his health, sleep and nutrition. Students who do not set limits risk exhaustion and illness often resulting in poor grades.
Encourage your son to balance his social and academic life. Many students mistakenly think that college will be the same as high school academically. Initially, less attention paid to academics can create a crisis mid-semester as students receive disappointing grades.
Prepare your son for actual versus assumed college “norms.” Students consistently misperceive the norms on a college or university campus. Of those who drink, the majority have four or fewer drinks. Most do not drink heavily.
Encourage socializing without alcohol. Meeting people can be done in a variety of ways. Clubs and organizations, as well as the recreation center, offer plenty of opportunities to meet people and to learn something new.
Your involvement in the creation of a sustainable local ZBT Memphis parents' club will greatly assist ZBT in our efforts to provide your son with the best opportunity for a quality fraternity experience. In the past, we have had events for parents including cookouts and Thanksgiving dinners; however, we are looking to form a long-term organization for parents and by parents to support their sons' experiences while in college at the University of Memphis as a ZBT. If you are interested in helping form this club, please contact our email@example.com.
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 University of Memphis Fraternity community is the largest single instance of volunteer participation in their programs. Memphis 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 Memphis 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 Memphis 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 $400 a quarter or about $1600 for an entire year.
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.
(*) Compiled from Member Fraternities in the NIC Standards Compliance Report for the 2013-2014 Academic Year
(^) Compiled from campuses submitting the NIC Academic Report form for the 2012-2013 Academic Year