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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Fraternities and Sororities

What is a fraternity or sorority?

Fraternities and sororities are groups of individuals of similar interest bonded together by common goals and aspirations. These bonds are created through rituals in which members participate. Rituals are based on common principles such as honor, friendship, truth, and knowledge. Each group works to instill and support these ideals in their members through their everyday activities.

Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a lifetime obligation. The choice to join the fraternity or sorority community means working with a group of students who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas while being held to a higher standard than other college students.

Each chapter develops a special bond that is nurtured thorough common work, laughter, service projects, intramurals, and the shared success and frustrations of all. Throughout the student’s life, membership will be an unwritten bond of friendship no matter what course life takes.

What organizations does the University of Rochester have?

All of the fraternities and sororities at the University of Rochester are chapters of international or national organizations. Each chapter falls under one of three governing councils:

All recognized fraternities and sororities are a part of one of these councils and are held accountable to their policies, rules, and regulations.

Joining and Pledging

When can I join an organization?

As long as you are in good academic standing, you may join any semester after your fall semester of first year.

First-semester students are encouraged to acclimate themselves to college-level coursework, develop friendships, get involved in co-curricular activities, and meet members of fraternities and sororities before making the lifelong commitment to join an organization.

Transfer students with a full semester at another institution are eligible to join. AP credit and college credit earned through a high school program do not count toward the full semester requirement.

How long does pledging take?

The new member education process differs between organizations but typically ranges between 4 and 12 weeks. Ask the brothers or sisters of the organization you are looking to join for more specific information. Any new member education program must be completed prior to the last day of classes and cannot extend into another semester.

Will I be hazed?

At the University of Rochester, we believe that no student should ever be harmed or degraded while seeking membership in any student organization. Hazing goes against the core values of fraternities and sororities and violates the bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood and friendship on which our organizations were founded. Hazing also violates the University’s values.

In addition to being a violation of state and federal law, hazing is prohibited by the University’s Standards of Student Conduct. All organizations are expected to follow this policy, and training and resources are provided to groups to help them create a positive new member experience.

If I rush/go through recruitment, am I obligated to join?

No. Going through the rush or recruitment process is non-binding. If you receive a bid to a Panhellenic Association organization and choose not to accept it, you will be ineligible to pledge another Panhellenic Association organization for one calendar year. Additionally, if you are initiated into a fraternity or sorority and choose to discontinue your membership, you will be ineligible to join a different fraternity or sorority.

Can I join more than one social organization?

No. Though you can get to know most, if not all, organizations through the rush and recruitment process, you can only accept one bid.

Students can join multiple Greek letter organizations, which are based around certain professions, academic honors, or community service. Students are welcome to join both a social organization as well as these.

Where will I live if I join?

Many organizations have official University housing, either a floor or suite in a residence hall or a house on the Fraternity Quad. While the University does not require a student to live in the group housing, many fraternities and sororities have their own housing requirements.

What is pledging like?

The new member education process is a time to:

  • Bond with individuals in the organization
  • Learn the history of the chapter, organization, and University
  • Discover resources available through the University for scholarship, programming, leadership development, and interpersonal relationships

Most groups host weekly new member class meetings and special programs designed to help with the educational experiences mentioned above. Most organizations will pair new members with a big brother or sister whose role is to provide guidance and mentorship throughout one’s time in the organization.

Students should still have time to study or participate in other organizations and activities while joining. If you have concerns, your “big brother” or “big sister” is a great resource. Fraternity and Sorority Affairs is also always available to address individual student concerns and help them have a positive new member experience.

What impact will joining a fraternity or sorority have on my academics?

When a student joins a fraternity or sorority, they become part of a larger group of students who can provide assistance in most of the courses you will be taking.

Ultimately, the responsibility for succeeding in the classroom belongs on the individual but with the broad range of resources available within the fraternity and sorority community, students are more likely to achieve their academic potential. Fraternity and sorority members serve as teaching assistants, lab instructors, writing fellows, and tutors, and each organization is expected to promote scholarship as one of its key standards.

Does my sexual orientation factor into my being offered a bid?

Organizations select members based on who you are, not whom you are attracted to. There are Safe Zone trainings and intercultural competency workshops available to fraternities and sororities, and many in the community are outspoken allies for themselves and their peers.

I identify as transgender. Am I allowed to join an organization that aligns with my gender identity?

Yes. While many fraternities and sororities maintain status as single-gender organizations, students are encouraged to pursue membership in any group that reflects their gender identity. In recent years, many organizations have begun drafting policies that acknowledge their support for transgender members.

See the membership policies for more information about an organization’s requirements as it pertains to gender. We are happy to provide support and guidance to any student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority but unsure how to navigate the recruitment process.

Costs of Joining

How much does it cost?

This also varies between each organization, though amounts typically range between $400 and $700 a semester. Dues cover things like national insurance, leadership development, scholastic resources, and programming.

Most fraternities and sororities offer chapter and national scholarships to individuals with difficulty paying membership fees.

Students are encouraged to ask questions about membership fees before joining an organization to understand the group’s cost structure.

Joining Requirements

What is the time commitment?

This varies greatly, not only between chapters but between members as well. Most of your involvement in an organization is self-determined. There are minimum requirements that are fairly common across the board (weekly chapter, mandatory rituals, etc.) but otherwise the time commitment is dependent on the role you want to take on in the organization.

Benefits of Joining

What benefits do I get from joining?

There are various benefits to joining a Greek letter organization. While each organization has its own unique offerings, there are some generally agreed upon benefits that all receive, including:

  • Leadership opportunities
  • Health and safety training
  • Community service
  • Career networking
  • Access to large alumni base
  • Lifelong friends
Will joining help me find a job?

As mentioned above, being part of an organization gives you access to a large network of alumni as well as to career networking opportunities through the national organization. If leveraged properly, this may help you find a job.

Alcohol and Sexual Violence Prevention

Is alcohol use a concern in fraternities and sororities?

The University of Rochester takes a harm-reduction approach to alcohol use and provides resources to fraternity and sorority members for making safer choices with alcohol, particularly at events hosted by the organization. Organizations that host events with alcohol must meet with an advisor to discuss their risk management plan and attend training for their organization on responsible alcohol use and bystander intervention.

All fraternity and sorority members are educated on resources to promote safety and provide educational resources to students who need more individualized support to make responsible choices related to alcohol or other drug use.

Rush and Recruitment

How does rush and recruitment work?

Each of the three governing councils has different recruitment processes. The Panhellenic Association (Panhel) has a formal recruitment process that women can sign up for beginning in November.

The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) has a three-week period of recruitment events when men can attend the events of any organization they have an interest in joining.

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) does not have a formal recruitment process, but most organizations offer information sessions and opportunities to learn more about the chapters and determine if they would be a good fit for membership.

What organizations does the University of Rochester have?

All of the fraternities and sororities at the University of Rochester are chapters of international or national organizations. Each chapter falls under one of three governing councils:

All recognized fraternities and sororities are a part of one of these councils and are held accountable to their policies, rules, and regulations.

How does rush and recruitment work?

Each of the three governing councils has different recruitment processes. The Panhellenic Association (Panhel) has a formal recruitment process that women can sign up for beginning in November.

The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) has a three-week period of recruitment events when men can attend the events of any organization they have an interest in joining.

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) does not have a formal recruitment process, but most organizations offer information sessions and opportunities to learn more about the chapters and determine if they would be a good fit for membership.

When can I join an organization?

As long as you are in good academic standing, you may join any semester after your fall semester of first year.

First-semester students are encouraged to acclimate themselves to college-level coursework, develop friendships, get involved in co-curricular activities, and meet members of fraternities and sororities before making the lifelong commitment to join an organization.

Transfer students with a full semester at another institution are eligible to join. AP credit and college credit earned through a high school program do not count toward the full semester requirement.

How long does pledging take?

The new member education process differs between organizations but typically ranges between 4 and 12 weeks. Ask the brothers or sisters of the organization you are looking to join for more specific information. Any new member education program must be completed prior to the last day of classes and cannot extend into another semester.

Will I be hazed?

At the University of Rochester, we believe that no student should ever be harmed or degraded while seeking membership in any student organization. Hazing goes against the core values of fraternities and sororities and violates the bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood and friendship on which our organizations were founded. Hazing also violates the University’s values.

In addition to being a violation of state and federal law, hazing is prohibited by the University’s Standards of Student Conduct. All organizations are expected to follow this policy, and training and resources are provided to groups to help them create a positive new member experience.

If I rush/go through recruitment, am I obligated to join?

No. Going through the rush or recruitment process is non-binding. If you receive a bid to a Panhellenic Association organization and choose not to accept it, you will be ineligible to pledge another Panhellenic Association organization for one calendar year. Additionally, if you are initiated into a fraternity or sorority and choose to discontinue your membership, you will be ineligible to join a different fraternity or sorority.

I am a legacy. Is there anything I should know?

A legacy is a student who has a family member that already joined a particular fraternity or sorority. Students are free to seek membership in any organization they wish, and someone who qualifies as a legacy is not required to join any particular organization, nor is that organization required to offer the legacy a bid. All potential new members are considered individually.

Can I join more than one social organization?

No. Though you can get to know most, if not all, organizations through the rush and recruitment process, you can only accept one bid.

Students can join multiple Greek letter organizations, which are based around certain professions, academic honors, or community service. Students are welcome to join both a social organization as well as these.

Where will I live if I join?

Many organizations have official University housing, either a floor or suite in a residence hall or a house on the Fraternity Quad. While the University does not require a student to live in the group housing, many fraternities and sororities have their own housing requirements.

What is pledging like?

The new member education process is a time to:

  • Bond with individuals in the organization
  • Learn the history of the chapter, organization, and University
  • Discover resources available through the University for scholarship, programming, leadership development, and interpersonal relationships

Most groups host weekly new member class meetings and special programs designed to help with the educational experiences mentioned above. Most organizations will pair new members with a big brother or sister whose role is to provide guidance and mentorship throughout one’s time in the organization.

Students should still have time to study or participate in other organizations and activities while joining. If you have concerns, your “big brother” or “big sister” is a great resource. Fraternity and Sorority Affairs is also always available to address individual student concerns and help them have a positive new member experience.

What impact will joining a fraternity or sorority have on my academics?

When a student joins a fraternity or sorority, they become part of a larger group of students who can provide assistance in most of the courses you will be taking.

Ultimately, the responsibility for succeeding in the classroom belongs on the individual but with the broad range of resources available within the fraternity and sorority community, students are more likely to achieve their academic potential. Fraternity and sorority members serve as teaching assistants, lab instructors, writing fellows, and tutors, and each organization is expected to promote scholarship as one of its key standards.

Does my sexual orientation factor into my being offered a bid?

Organizations select members based on who you are, not whom you are attracted to. There are Safe Zone trainings and intercultural competency workshops available to fraternities and sororities, and many in the community are outspoken allies for themselves and their peers.

I identify as transgender. Am I allowed to join an organization that aligns with my gender identity?

Yes. While many fraternities and sororities maintain status as single-gender organizations, students are encouraged to pursue membership in any group that reflects their gender identity. In recent years, many organizations have begun drafting policies that acknowledge their support for transgender members.

See the membership policies for more information about an organization’s requirements as it pertains to gender. We are happy to provide support and guidance to any student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority but unsure how to navigate the recruitment process.

What is a probate/new member presentation?

A probate, also known as a new member presentation, is the public presentation of a chapter’s newest members. Usually this is done as a public performance format to present their new members to campus, friends, and their families. It is a celebration of the new members, the fraternity or sorority and the chapter’s history. It also highlights the individual personality of each line.

How much does it cost?

This also varies between each organization, though amounts typically range between $400 and $700 a semester. Dues cover things like national insurance, leadership development, scholastic resources, and programming.

Most fraternities and sororities offer chapter and national scholarships to individuals with difficulty paying membership fees.

Students are encouraged to ask questions about membership fees before joining an organization to understand the group’s cost structure.

What is the time commitment?

This varies greatly, not only between chapters but between members as well. Most of your involvement in an organization is self-determined. There are minimum requirements that are fairly common across the board (weekly chapter, mandatory rituals, etc.) but otherwise the time commitment is dependent on the role you want to take on in the organization.

What benefits do I get from joining?

There are various benefits to joining a Greek letter organization. While each organization has its own unique offerings, there are some generally agreed upon benefits that all receive, including:

  • Leadership opportunities
  • Health and safety training
  • Community service
  • Career networking
  • Access to large alumni base
  • Lifelong friends
Will joining help me find a job?

As mentioned above, being part of an organization gives you access to a large network of alumni as well as to career networking opportunities through the national organization. If leveraged properly, this may help you find a job.

Is alcohol use a concern in fraternities and sororities?

The University of Rochester takes a harm-reduction approach to alcohol use and provides resources to fraternity and sorority members for making safer choices with alcohol, particularly at events hosted by the organization. Organizations that host events with alcohol must meet with an advisor to discuss their risk management plan and attend training for their organization on responsible alcohol use and bystander intervention.

All fraternity and sorority members are educated on resources to promote safety and provide educational resources to students who need more individualized support to make responsible choices related to alcohol or other drug use.

What are fraternities and sororities doing to prevent sexual violence?

Sexual violence prevention is a priority across the University of Rochester, and the fraternity and sorority community has partnered on key initiatives to help keep students safe, such as the University’s It’s On Us campaign.

Every fraternity and sorority new member participates in Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Training as part of the new member orientation. Fraternity and sorority members are well-represented in student organizations (SEGway) that provide resources to survivors as well as strategies to help prevent assaults from happening.

The University is tracking data to determine students’ understanding of sexual misconduct and bystander/prevention resources In addition, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs works closely with the Health Promotion Office to provide students with resources to make their organizations safer.