Frequently Asked Questions

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 Greek 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” culture.  Fraternities at AU, with the support of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, 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.

Why should my son choose ZBT?

ZBT-Beta Psi is a unique organization at American University. We can help to personalize and expand your son’s college experience. We offer a diverse group of supportive friends to assist in the adjustment to college life. We emphasize scholastic excellence and provide an opportunity to give back to the community through service projects by encouraging your son to participate in campus and community.

What else is great about ZBT?

Non Pledging Policy – Our brothers are empowered with full benefits and rights from the day they accept their bid. They are never treated as second class citizens. We do have a unique educational program, though, to help new Brothers become integrated into American University and ZBT life in a fun way.

Brotherhood Development Program – Your son will learn and enhance the valuable social skills and business etiquette necessary for success in today’s world through a program developed specifically for ZBT.

Life-long Friendships – Your son will form lasting relationships due to our bond of brotherhood. Any alumn will tell you that their closest friends over the years have been their fraternity brothers.

Athletics – Intramural Competitions provide the opportunity to participate in all levels of sports, from football to volleyball, from track events to softball and tennis.

Alumni Network – As we mentioned earlier, we have the benefit of a very strong alumni base. You can easily utilize a vast network of ZBT Brothers for everything from job opportunities, to career advisement and internships.

Diversity – A ZBT brother is confident of his success within the global business arena because of our commitment to diversity. Your son will be exposed to different perspectives, and experiences which will serve to enhance his overall college experience.

Democratic Power – Within ZBT, all brothers have direct input into our destiny. Important issues are presented and decided on by our brothers from the moment they are initiated into our Brotherhood.

Leadership and Responsibility – There are many opportunities to exercise and develop leadership skills. Through committees, Chair positions, and several Officer positions, we prepare our brothers for leadership roles after graduation.

Will my son’s grades be affected?

ZBT takes scholarship very seriously. We emphasize to our undergraduate Brothers that their first priority is academics; fraternity is secondary to getting an education. We honor academic excellence and have designed programs to improve performance.

How long is this pledge period?

In 1989, Zeta Beta Tau abolished pledging. Adopting a non-pledging/non-hazing policy, ZBT now stands by its Brotherhood Program. Once your son receives his bid to membership, he must be initiated and have all initiation fees paid within 72 hours. Our Brotherhood program provides for education after your son has been initiated. There is no pledge period. The Brotherhood Program is a four year program which requires the same standards of all members, be they freshmen or seniors.

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