FAQ for Parents

Your Guide to Joining a Fraternity

Hearing the door close behind you as you walked down the hallway of his dorm took everything you had. What you worked so hard to prepare him for was so hard to give him: Freedom. The freedom to grow, freedom to learn and most importantly, freedom to make his own decisions. Now more than ever, you’re proud of the good choices he makes, as they remind you of the man he is becoming. And that's why you're here. Because your son is ready to make a choice that will positively affect his life today and in the future as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

Parents' Associations

Your son's experience with TKE isn't complete without active participation from you. The TKE Parents' Associations encourage parents to stay informed and involved with Tau Kappa Epsilon, and to act as advocates of the academic, social and personal development of our TKEs. While the practices of TKE Parents' Associations vary with each chapter, common programs and events include Mom and Dad's Day, Family Weekend and even mentoring programs. As a TKE mentor, you can be paired with an undergraduate TKE who will confide in you for the guidance and wisdom they need to become successful TKEs for today and tomorrow. With your involvment as an active member of a TKE Parents' Association, Tau Kappa Epsilon can continue to provide the best possible experience to its undergraduate members.

Honorary Memberships

Honorary initiations have been around almost since our founding. An Honorary initiate extends the privilege of membership in Tau Kappa Epsilon upon men of “sterling character and staunch uprightness” who are not enrolled as students at a campus where TKE has an active chapter or colony. Honorary initiates enjoy all the rights afforded alumni members of the chapter into which they are initiated.

Honorary initiation is an expression of appreciation for the outstanding service of men who are presently unaffiliated with our Fraternity. Formal inclusion of such men into the brotherhood of TKE often draws them into a closer relationship with the initiating chapter, and can lead to a lifetime of commitment to our principles and values.

Some chapters have invited the fathers of Fraters to be initiated as Honorary initiates, thereby strengthening the Fraternity’s ties with that family. Many chapters have built strong bases of alumni influence and support by inviting outstanding men in their community to accept Honorary initiation.

Q: Why Join TKE?

A: Through our membership development and education programs, each member of TKE is provided with the resources and tools that will help him achieve his personal best in all areas of college life and prepares him for success after graduation.

Our men embody the principles promoted by the Fraternity and are poised for success. They belong to TKE..."The Fraternity for Life."

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Q: Aren't fraternities just like the one shown in the movie "Animal House", "Old School", "Van Wilder" or other movies?

A: Nobody likes stereotypes. 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 friendship.

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Q: Don’t fraternities promote excessive drinking?

A: Absolutely not. Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with the ideals of Tau Kappa Epsilon. Every individual member and chapter is expected to uphold federal, state, county, and city laws, as well as university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. Since on January 1, 2019, there is a ban on the possession and/or consumption of “hard alcohol” while on chapter property. “Hard alcohol” is defined as any beverage more than 15 percent alcohol by volume or 30-proof. The term "property" for purposes of this policy means a premises, residence, domicile, or facility and is further outlined in our news release here.

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

A: Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Tau Kappa Epsilon will assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs, which may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops. Moreover, your son will be able to access the network of brothers who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisors.

While Tau Kappa Epsilon is concerned about the academic achievement of its members, your son is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available.

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Q: What about pledging or hazing?

A: Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone or tolerate any form of hazing and is committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college.

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Q: Who is actually in charge of the fraternity?

A: Members elected to officer positions manage the day-to-day operations of the local chapter. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors.

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

A: Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. If housing is offered, fraternity lodging and meals are competitive with other housing options. It is also important to note that each individual chapter usually offers a variety of payment plans.

For more information regarding the fees charged by the International Fraternity, please visit the Fee Structure portion of our website.  Your son should ask the local chapter about the fees they charge, which may (or may not) include his Candidate Fee and Initiation Fee.

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Q: Being in a fraternity sounds like it takes a lot of time.

A: 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 involvement with Tau Kappa Epsilon, your son will learn how to balance his academic, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.

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Q: What is my son going to get out of his membership in Tau Kappa Epsilon?

A: You'll be amazed at what your son will get from his experience in Tau Kappa Epsilon. Joining TKE will expand your son’s collegiate experience. In fact, most alumni say that TKE completed their educational experience by teaching them valuable skills that are not taught in the classroom.

Here's what TKE offers: lifelong friends, leadership opportunities, social and athletic activities, academic support and excellence, and networking opportunities.

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Q: Does my son have to live in the fraternity house?

A: It depends on the individual chapter. However, it is likely that your son will want to live in the house to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. We encourage all parents to make sure that the house has passed its safety inspections. We also encourage you to talk to the men who currently live in the house for more information about what it’s like to live there. We are confident that both you and your son will fondly look back on his time living in the house with his brothers.

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The Kappa Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Beloit College was installed as a chapter on May 12, 1917.

Since 1899, Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause for membership. TKE does not judge men on their wealth, rank or honor, but instead on their personal worth and character.

Our mission is to "to aid men in their mental, moral, and social development for life." In essence, we build Better Men for a Better World.