LEtter from DU Leadership

Dear DU Brothers and Friends: 

In 2015, Delta Upsilon embarked on the most ambitious and comprehensive research project of any fraternity to date, and over the past six years, our partnership with Dyad Strategies has affirmed the value of the Delta Upsilon experience and its impact on young men. Delta Upsilon is seen as a leader in research and assessment, and two years ago I was asked to chair the North American Interfraternity Conference’s (NIC) newly formed Research Committee. Our committee was charged with establishing a research agenda that would help us better understand the experience and could articulate the value of fraternity. We have worked with independent, third-party researchers and completed six projects. I couldn’t be more pleased to share our initial findings, and you’ll notice the proof points throughout this issue of the DU Quarterly.

Research proves that fraternities foster positive mental health, serve as a success accelerator for students, and engender tremendous loyalty and connection among alumni to support their alma mater.

Fraternity members experience stronger mental health and wellness.

While college men are experiencing loneliness and depression at increasing rates, fraternities empower students to create a strong support system. The family that fraternities provide offers help and guidance when a member needs it most.

Research shows that this connection can create a strong sense of belonging, leading members to have more positive mental health and less anxiety and depression than other students. Brothers feel comfortable having tough conversations and learning from each other.

Fraternities are an accelerator for success, in college and beyond.

Students spend 90% of their time outside the classroom. Fraternities capitalize on those hours by preparing men for success in college and in their futures regardless of an individual’s background or socioeconomic status entering college.

Not only do fraternity members experience greater gains in learning and graduate at higher rates than their peers, 83% of members say their confidence in their leadership skills increased because of their membership. Fraternity and sorority members also report higher levels of interaction with people different from themselves, making them more prepared to join a diverse workforce and community. So, it is no surprise that fraternity alumni are twice as likely to believe their college experience prepared them well for life after college. Fraternity alumni also report being more fulfilled in every aspect of wellbeing measured, from career to community and financial to physical, because of the relationships and resources they can leverage.

So, while research shows that one in five students considers joining a fraternity but don’t because of concerns around academics or finances, studies show membership is a worthwhile investment.

Fraternities create lifelong connection to the campus, community and their peers.

Fraternity men love their collegiate experience—as students and as alumni. In fact, more than 8 out of 10 fraternity members say they would re-join their organizations. Research shows fraternity membership connects men to the university in a way that nonmembers simply don’t experience. They’re more satisfied as students, and as alumni, are more likely to recommend and give back to their alma maters.

Members are more engaged inside and outside of the classroom than their peers—they report feeling more supported by their faculty, and nearly half serve in leadership roles across campus. They’re also more connected to their local communities, with research showing they spend significantly more time volunteering than nonaffiliated students.

I strongly believe young men need a community where they can learn, grow and have meaningful relationships with other men. The fraternity experience matters. We’ve seen the significance it can have in the lives of college students and alumni, long after graduation. Now, we have the research to prove it!

Justin Kirk, Boise State '00 
Executive Director
Delta Upsilon International Fraternity and Educational Foundation

Studies Referenced:

1. Fraternities & Values of Single Sex Experience, UT-PERC

2. The Greek Experience Revisited: The Relationships between Fraternity/Sorority Membership and Student Engagement, Learning Outcomes, Grades, and Satisfaction with College; Pike

3. Perspectives on Fraternity and Sorority Life; Positive Youth Development, EverFi

4. Fraternities and Sororities: Experiences and Outcomes in College, Work and Life; Gallup 2021

5. Mental Health and Wellness for Fraternity and Sorority Members; Biddix, Assalone and Grace

6. Greek Values and Attitudes: A Comparison with Independents; Baier and Whipple