FAQs

Why should I join a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations focused on four main areas: leadership, scholarship, civic engagement, and brotherhood/sisterhood. Beginning in the 1700s, our organizations connect collegiate and alumni members with the college or university for a lifetime. Membership in a fraternity or sorority can offer many opportunities for involvement, such as holding leadership roles, providing community service to the local area, achieving high scholastic standards, and developing close bonds through friendship and mutual obligation to fellow members. Additionally, fraternity and sorority members have access to high-quality educational programs and social activities.

How much does it cost to be a member of a fraternity or sorority?
The cost of membership varies from chapter to chapter. Generally members are responsible for the following costs:
• Dues to local and inter/national organizations
• Initiation fee
• Housing costs (comparable to University Housing)
• Alumni dues (post graduation)
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a financial commitment that we encourage you to explore before seeking membership.

What does it mean to be a member for life?
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment. While the fraternal experience is often focused on the collegiate years, alumni members are essential to our organizations. Often alumni continue to stay involved through advising or volunteering for their chapters.

Do fraternities and sororities haze?
Hazing activities are illegal in the state of Oregon and violate the following policies:
• University of Oregon Student Code of Conduct
• Interfraternity Council Bylaws
• Panhellenic Council Bylaws
• Inter/National Fraternity and Sorority Governing Documents
If a chapter and/or individual members violate the anti-hazing policies listed above, legal action can be taken against the chapter and its members. Hazing is not tolerated at the University of Oregon.

Do all fraternities and sororities have houses?
No, we have a number of chapters that do not offer housing.

If I join a fraternity or sorority, do I have to live in the house as a freshman?
Most freshmen who join chapters remain in University Housing until their sophomore year. If you are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority and then moving into a chapter house immediately, please contact the chapter directly. Not all chapters have space for freshmen to move in. If you have a contract with University Housing, you may be responsible for paying to break the contract in order to live in a chapter’s house. For more information about the contract, contact University Housing.

Is there a live-in requirement for fraternities and sororities?
Live-in requirements vary from chapter to chapter. Some organizations require 3 terms while others require up to 9.

What is provided for those who live in a fraternity or sorority house?
There are several benefits that come from living in a fraternity or sorority house. All of our housed chapters are required to have resident advisors, annual fire and health inspections, fire suppression systems (sprinklers), and must remain alcohol and substance free. Many chapters also provide several amenities, including wireless internet, library, private deck, formal living room, TV room, and family-style dining. Living in a fraternity or sorority house provides members with the opportunity to learn important leadership and facility management skills. Members who live in also tend to have higher GPAs than those who do not.

What is a substance-free living environment?
All fraternities and sororities at the University of Oregon provide substance-free housing, meaning that alcohol and other illegal substances are not permitted on premises. Substance-free housing is an effort to remove the emphasis on alcohol in the everyday lives and activities of fraternity and sorority members.

Can I get a tour of a chapter house before joining?
No, however, chapter tours will be available during the formal recruitment process.

As a parent, how can I be involved in my son or daughter's experience?
We encourage parents to become involved with their student's fraternity or sorority experience. There are numerous ways parents can become involved, including attendance at Parents' Weekends and award banquets. Many chapters also have parents' clubs in Eugene and other large cities. These clubs are a great way to meet and network with other parents.

Sorority Recruitment FAQs

 

How can you help your student succeed?

One of the best ways to help your student succeed in Recruitment is to continually encourage her to learn about all of our Panhellenic chapters. Each of our 12 chapters are unique and offer their own rich traditions. It is important to enter the Recruitment process with an open mind, as opposed to having preconceived ideas as to which sorority is right for your student. It is important for your student to make her own decision with as little influence from others as possible.

What contact will sorority members have with my student before Recruitment?

Current sorority women should not be trying to form friendships with your student the summer before Recruitment begins. With that being said, women who already know your student should not be contacting her to talk about Recruitment, nor should your student receive cards, letters, or gifts from sorority women. It is also important to note that during Recruitment, your student should not receive any cards, letters (this includes Facebook communication), gifts, or communication from sorority members, alums, or members’ mothers.

I was in a Sorority. What should I expect?

Recruitment is different over time and between institutions. Please do not assume that the Recruitment process at the University of Oregon will be identical to the one that you remember. Many times friends can provide false information to parents and potential new members as well. We recognize that you and your student are both nervous and excited for Recruitment, so if you do have questions, the best place to direct those questions is the Office of Fraternity and Sorority staff. We ask that you review the materials that we have complied for you on this website, and if you still need questions answered, then please contact us and we will be happy to answer those. Additionally, if you hear information from a friend that conflicts with the website materials, go with the website, as we are the ones most closely linked to the Recruitment process. Please also keep in mind that this is Recruitment not Rush. Your student will be nervous about this process, but please encourage her to understand that chapters are equally as nervous to impress her and recruit her into their sorority’s membership.

How can I find out about my students Recruitment experience during the week?

As your student goes throughout the Recruitment process it will be her duty to share with you the experiences that she has. If you do call the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, we will be able to share with you very limited information. If you have questions about why she may have been released from a chapter or which chapters have asked her back for the day, we cannot share that information with you. In fact, chapters do not inform us of how they make their selections, or what their process looks like.

Is Recruitment only for freshmen?

Not at all! Sorority life has many wonderful opportunities to offer to all college women. There is no reason for you to miss out on the experience because you are not a freshman. All undergraduate college women are encouraged to participate in Recruitment, regardless of their year in college. Panhellenic offers everyone the opportunity to experience the many benefits of sorority life.

What if my student does not want to join a sorority?

You are under no obligation to join a sorority just because you register for Recruitment. Your student is encouraged to participate in Recruitment, because it is an excellent opportunity for her to learn about sorority life, meet a new friends, and explore opportunities to get involved!

How many women actually get invited to join sororities at the end of Recruitment?

Although most women participating in Recruitment are invited to join a chapter, there are no guarantees that your student will receive a bid. Typically, about 30% of women participating in Recruitment choose not to continue through the process for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, very few women participating in Recruitment are released from the process, meaning they are not invited back to any chapters. Overall, approximately 70-80% of women participating receive bids to join sororities at the end of the process.

What financial assistance or scholarships are available for sorority membership?

Each member of a sorority is held to a certain financial obligation. Although each organization has a variety of options to fulfill the financial obligation, there is not an abundance of consistent financial assistance programs for women.

Financial assistance programs are reserved for women who have run into an emergency situation and need aid to continue their membership, while working through the present situation.

Do I live in the chapter house as a new member?

No, new members do not live in chapter houses and all potential new members should make arrangements to live in a campus residence hall or off campus apartment/house.

 

Fraternity and Sorority Terms

Active: An initiated collegiate member who is currently paying dues to a fraternity or sorority

Bid: An invitation to join a Greek organization

Big Brother or Big Sister: An active member who serves as a mentor to a New Member during their New Member Program

Brother: A form of address when one initiated member refers to another member in a fraternity

Call: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of NPHC and cultural-based Greek organizations to acknowledge one another.

Chapter: The local group of undergraduate students on a particular campus recognized by the university and the national organization.

Crossed: The actual date of initiation into a NPHC or cultural-based sorority or fraternity.

Divine Nine: term used to describe the nine NPHC affiliate organizations.

Formal Recruitment: A designated membership recruitment period during which each sorority or fraternity holds a series of organized events. It is mutual selection process.

Fraternity: Name that applies to all Greek-letter organizations, characterized by a ritual, pin, and strong ties of friendship*. Informally, women's fraternities are called sororities. *Although the full name of a sorority may include either sorority or fraternity, informally all women's fraternities are called sororities.

Rho Gamma: A member from a sorority chosen and trained to assist during Formal Recruitment events and to advise potential new members throughout the process.

Greeks: Fraternity and sorority members

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of the fraternity system

Initiation: A ritual-based (non-hazing) ceremony that marks the acceptance of a lifetime commitment to a Greek org

International/National Headquarters: The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority

Legacy: Someone whose grandparent, parent or sibling is a member ofa particular Greek letter organization. Being a legacy does not guarantee membership

Panhellenic Council (PHC): The governing body of all sororities on campus.

Neophyte: A member of the last line to cross in the local chapter of a NPHC or cultural-based organization 

New Member: A new member of a fraternity or sorority aspiring to become an initiated member

Philanthropy: A charitable project supported by a fraternity or sorority

Potential New Member: A non-member who is eligible to participate in the recruitment process, visiting fraternities or sororities with an interest in possibly affiliating with one organization

Probate Show: The introduction of a line to campus. This is usually the first full step show/exhibition performed by members of the new member class of a NPHC or cultural-based Greek organization

Quota: System used to equalize, in general, the number of members in each campus group. It means the number of women who may be offered bids in the recruitment process by each group. The quota is set by the Panhellenic Council and depends on the number of potential new members and sororities on a particular campus