Joining a fraternity can be a rewarding experience if you are a college student. The bonds of friendship and the experience of living in a fraternity house can create memories that last a lifetime. Most schools require you to be a full-time student physically enrolled in order to participate in pledging one of these Greek organizations, but in recent years college campuses have experimented with the idea of fraternities for online students.
Traditional Fraternity Membership
Greek membership is generally open to full-time undergraduates in good academic standing. Each fraternity has an individual selection process in which they look for members who are capable of handling college course workload with the responsibility of completing the fraternity pledging process. Even if you are taking online classes at a college or university that offers Greek life, in most cases you are considered a part-time student and therefore will not meet the requirements to pledge a fraternity.
Pledging a Fraternity
A large part of the pledging process requires associate members, or pledges, to work together to complete tasks that will educate them about the traditions and heritage of the fraternity. These pledging activities often require new members to be readily available to show up at fraternity events and pledging activities. Greek organizations look for members who can contribute physically and mentally to their group, which is much more difficult if you are taking online classes.
Active participation in a fraternity does not end when you have completed the pledging process. Once you become a fully initiated member of a Greek organization, you have committed yourself to community service, philanthropy projects and social events that require your physical presence. Fraternities rely on strength in numbers and are highly selective when recruiting members who will be visibly involved on campus.
As technology continues to advance and the number of online students increases, some schools are beginning to experiment with online fraternities. The first of these fraternities,Theta Omega Gamma, was started at Florida Institute of Technology as an outlet for online students to connect and form an online community. Unlike traditional social fraternities on college campuses, this fraternity allows both male and female non-traditional students. Aside from Theta Omega Gamma, there are no chartered online fraternities.