FAQ for Parents


INTRODUCTION

For your son, making the transition from high school or another college to such a rigorous university may seem like an imposing challenge. One or     more of the following questions may be on his mind:

  • Will I fit in and make new friends?
  • Will I succeed academically?
  • Will I be able to get involved in campus organizations and better my leadership skills?
  • Will I find other people interested in the same things that I am?
  • How can I best prepare for my career?
  • Will I feel like a part of the community or just another number?

Fraternities exist as a proven support network for your son as he embarks on this new period in his life. Alpha Epsilon Pi at Union College will help personalize your son's college experience by:

  • A scholastic support system.
  • Practicing leadership.
  • Practical financial management.
  • Faculty interaction.
  • Contact with alumni in the community.
  • Involvement in serving others.
  • A family-like support system.
  • Develop interpersonal skills.
  • With all these opportunities available to them, it is no wonder that fraternity members tend to graduate from college at a higher rate than those men not involved in fraternities.
  • Maintain Jewish identity and develop skills for use in the Jewish community.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As a parent, you are undoubtedly concerned about your son's college experience and the choices he will make. This brochure is designed to answer some of the questions you may have about fraternity membership and Alpha Epsilon Pi.


Aren't fraternities just like the one shown in the movie "Animal House?"

    Unfortunately, after the showing of that movie, fraternity members have been categorized as partiers, irresponsible and abusive. In reality, fraternities are value-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendships. The following code of ethics represents some of the basic expectations of fraternal membership: 

    "I will strive for academic achievement and practice academic integrity."

    "I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, I will not physically, mentally, psychologically or sexually abuse or haze any human being."

    "I will respect my property and the property of the others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property."

    "I will neither use nor support the use of illegal drugs."

    "I will neither misuse nor support the misuse of alcohol."

    "I acknowledge that a clean and attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health; therefore, I will do all in my power to see that the chapter property is properly cleaned and maintained."

    "I will challenge all my fraternity members to abide by these fraternal expectations and will confront those who violate them."

 

The Basic Expectations above talk about alcohol. What is it really like in the fraternity?

    Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternal ideals. All chapters are expected to uphold state, county, and city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. Each member is required to complete a mandatory training course on alcohol education. 

    In Alpha Epsilon Pi, members are educated on the issues of alcohol and drug abuse throughout their membership experience. You'll find fraternity members participating in many alcohol-free social activities. Students who choose not to drink will know that it's okay and feel comfortable with their decision. 

 

I'm concerned about my son's grades--what impact would fraternity membership have?

     Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. AEPi assists by offering scholarship programs which include study partners, mentors, and study hours. Furthermore, due to the diversity of brothers in our chapter, and diversity of skill sets, there is always a brother available to help your son in whatever classes he may take. Your son has easy access to the network of fraternity members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisers.

    While Alpha Epsilon Pi is concerned about the academic achievement of our members, your son is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available. However we are all very aware that Union College is a difficult school, and that we are all here to gain a great education. That is why AEPi will never interfere with your son's academic commitments.


What about hazing? Nationally, we are a non-hazing fraternity, and our chapter takes this very seriously.

     Risk management issues aside, we believe that hazing creates a negative atmosphere that ultimately defeats our goals of inspiring pledges (new members), fostering friendships, and creating great brothers. There is nothing accomplished through hazing that cannot be achieved though other more positive means. Alpha Epsilon Pi subscribes to a zero-hazing policy based on experiential learning, mentoring, community service, and brotherhood activities. Essentially, your     son could call you up tomorrow and discuss his activities without having to hide anything. This establishes an environment where all members are treated as equals.

    As part of our pledge program, all members are required to sign a contract agreeing that they will not allow themselves to be hazed, and that they will report any hazing that they see.


Who is actually in charge of the Fraternity?

    Undergraduate fraternity members manage the day-to-day operations of the chapter. These men are assisted by their fellow members, a local alumnus who serves as chapter counselor, as well as a national consultant who is in contact on a regular basis with the chapter. Frequently, parents such as you serve as volunteers as well.

    Alpha Epsilon Pi offers support, advice, and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Our chapters and alumni provide Alpha Epsilon Pi the strength and resources to support our undergraduate brothers. Professional staff from the college are also available to assist and monitor the activities of fraternities.

 

Doesn't it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity?

     In the first year of membership, a one-time, lifetime membership fee is assessed. After this fee is paid, your son's only expense will be his regular dues, which are the lowest of any fraternity dues on campus, and are certainly much lower than at other larger universities. A variety of payment plans is usually offered and we never allow money to get in the way of brotherhood. Scholarships and loans are offered through the Alpha Epsilon Pi Educational Foundation. 

 

Does being in a fraternity take a lot of time?

    Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one's time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate, and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through his fraternity involvement, your son will learn how to balance his academic work, campus involvement, and social commitments. Of course participation is voluntary and, in order to balance all of our commitments at Union College, different brothers have various levels of involvement. 

 

How does my son go about joining Alpha Epsilon Pi?

    Our chapter participates in a membership recruitment process known as rush. Your son has an opportunity to meet undergraduate members and learn what Alpha Epsilon Pi has to offer.

    Everyone likes to belong; to feel a part of something. The Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter at Union College has its own unique programs and strengths, yet our mission is primarily based on the development of the national ideals that college provides a rich environment to learn, grow, challenge, and self-manage... most of all, a stepping point to adult life where one is an active member of the Jewish community.

    To learn more about Rush and how it works Click Here. Want to recommend your son to be part of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity? Fill out our Rush Recommendation Form. 

 

What is my role as a parent?

    Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son as he meets people through the recruitment process. Once your son joins, you will have the opportunity to participate in chapter and campus programs, and if you choose, be active on the alumni board or as a member of a parents' club.

 

Membership Benefits

    How your son can benefit from fraternity membership:

  • He'll have a group of supportive friends to help him make the adjustment to college and be his friends for life.
  • He'll be offered scholastic resources to help him achieve his academic goals.
  • He'll be taught leadership skills and offered hands-on opportunities to practice those skills.
  • He'll be encouraged to get involved in the campus and the community and exercise his fullest potential.
  • He'll be taught the importance of giving of oneself through active participation in community service projects.
  • He'll be exposed to career opportunities through interaction with fraternity alumni.
  • He'll enhance those "people skills" so essential to happy, productive living.

He'll maintain his Jewish identity and learn skills to be a leader in the Jewish community.