Fraternity Frequently Asked Questions/Concerns
Joining a Fraternity is a big commitment, one about which you may have a lot of questions. Below are answers to the most frequent concerns students have about fraternity membership and Triangle.
Why don't you have Greek letters? Aren't you a social fraternity?
Triangle is a men’s STEM fraternity, so we definitely are different. Our focus is on supporting our members in their goals for grades, graduation and great jobs. Yes, we provide social and leadership opportunities, but not to the exclusion of academic success. We like to say we’re a STEM fraternity with social and leadership programs, rather than a purely social fraternity.
As for no Greek letters, we’re one of several fraternities that does not use Greek letters. Our founders felt the triangle was a better symbol of what we stood for and more representative of the STEM focus of our fraternity. While we are a part of the Greek life community, we often find that we have different priorities than other more traditional social fraternities.
I'm not sure I have the time to join a fraternity.
Most members find that Triangle membership actually helps them manage their time better. We have regular meetings and events we plan for you, so you don’t have to worry so much about what you’re going to do next week. We have members who know your classes, instructors and course load and can guide you to prepare more efficiently. We also do a lot of study groups in our chapters, so combine academics and brotherhood.
Anything worth doing is going to take time, but we can help you get the most from the time you have. If you sit down and calculate every hour of the week and mark out classes/labs, study, sleep, exercise, meals and any other demands on your time, the average student will still come up with over 30 hours a week not committed to something. With an investment of a few of those hours, we’ll help you get much more out of your college experience and graduate more marketable.
I'm not sure I can afford the cost of fraternity membership.
If someone asked you if you’d pay 5% more tuition to have a better college experience and be more marketable when you graduate, almost everyone would say “YES!!”. That’s what Triangle does! It may be a slight extra cost – anywhere from 2-8% more over four years than not joining – but the value of the benefits is worth much more than the cost.
Smart people know, “It’s not the price, it’s the package”. Joining a fraternity is an additional cost of going to college, but it’s really a value-add worth much more than the cost. Non-members will still have expenses for entertainment, travel, food, events and other things to offset their academic experience. Fraternities plan and deliver those to you, so they’re interesting, meet your needs and save you time and money. Some groups even provide housing and/or meal plans that are better bargains than residence halls – actually saving you money.
In addition – and perhaps most important – we are the only men’s STEM fraternity, so not only support your academic goals, but have leadership and education programs to build skills to make you more competitive in the job market. Finally, we have a network of successful alumni around the world working in the top STEM companies you want to work for.
My parents are concerned about me joining a fraternity.
We get that… many parents of current members had concerns as well. It’s hard not to be a bit wary of fraternities with the image the media paints. Triangle is the only men’s STEM and Architecture (STEAM?) fraternity, so our priorities are different. We’re social, but not at the expense of grades or graduation. Frankly, most of our members are studying too hard to have time for the activities that get many other groups in trouble.
Most of our chapters should have a parent – mom or dad – who would be comfortable talking to yours to calm their fears or provide good information about the group you’re considering. Triangle is different – not just because we don’t have Greek letters in our name. It’s because of a commitment to academic performance and graduation, and to the promotion and support of STEM careers. That’s our priority – not how many parties we can fit into a semester.
Ask your parents to look at this website – there’s a section just for parents. Ask the chapter you’re looking at if there is a parent or alumnus who would be willing to talk with your parents and answer their questions. In the end, nothing is better than one parent talking to others about their experience.
I don't want my grades to suffer.
Anyone smart enough to pursue an engineering or other technical degree knows it’s going to be a challenge. We’re in your shoes and have the same concerns, so we don’t over-program our members. You will have a group of men who understand when you need to study for your fluid dynamics lab project and can’t come to a meeting, because we’re in the same position.
It’s sometimes said Triangle provides a social outlet for academic-minded students while other fraternities try to help social-minded students get good enough grades to graduate. We think a bit differently than most fraternities because we’re already thinking about internships, co-ops and networking to set ourselves up for a dream job – even as freshmen.
We’ll support – and expect – your commitment to study and academic excellence, because it’s consistent with our values and our own personal goals. Just ask a few of our current members and many will tell you they may not have made it through their degree without the help of their Triangle brothers.
I don't want to be hazed.
Good, because we don’t treat men like that. Our new member education program is based on orientation, education and values. We want you to know about Triangle history and traditions, but we also want you to be a fully functional and contributing member of the chapter and potential leader for your campus and community.
It’s far more important for you to be a capable initiated member than an excellent pledge. In fact, the real work of membership is AFTER you’re initiated, not before. Working together to make decisions, run the chapter, pay bills, make grades, be a leader – that’s so much more challenging than just doing what you’re told for a few weeks. Our new member program is available for you to review and the chapter should be willing to answer any questions you might have.
Hazing is little more than entertainment for the members and is far more destructive to chapter unity and success than helpful. Groups that haze are just showing they have no idea how to educate and inspire you, so they try to scare you into respect rather than earn it from their leadership. Don’t sell yourself short.
How can you help me get a job before I graduate?
Perhaps the coolest thing about Triangle is its focus on STEM professions, so almost all our alumni are direct connections with careers and companies you want. Most other fraternities don’t have that kind of network. It starts to benefit you through access to internships and co-ops, but there also are a lot of mentoring relationships that develop and continue past college.
A few of our most successful alumni tell us it was a Triangle connection that helped them secure financing for their new company or find just the right person to fill an important leadership position. The fact that so many members are engineers and researchers provides a unique connection and frame of reference. It also means we have a lot of really smart people who are good at solving problems.
But perhaps the best part of helping you find a job by graduation is the skills we build in our members. The social and leadership skills Triangle can provide to otherwise smart men can make the difference between a job where you sit in a cubicle crunching numbers or one that puts you in front of clients or in charge of project teams. There are a lot of brilliant engineers and scientists who don’t know how to talk with people. That’s an advantage we want you to have and one that is recognized by employers.