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FAQ

General Information
How to Join/Recruitment
New Member Education
Membership Expectations & Requirements
Activities & Involvement
Housing
Oversight & Policies

General Information

What is Fraternity & Sorority/Greek Life?
Fraternity & Sorority Life is a community of individual, single-sex, Greek-letter organizations. Membership in Drexel's fraternity/sorority community can be one of the most rewarding experiences a student can have, helping them to form a bond and be a part of a community while bettering themselves.

Is Drexel Greek life good?
Drexel is proud of the accomplishments of its fraternity and sorority community and supports its continued development. Drexel fraternity and sorority members lead the campus in scholarship, philanthropic donations, community service involvement, and leadership opportunities. Fraternity and sorority members typically achieve higher academic standards than their peers and are members or leaders of many other campus organizations. Additionally, Drexel fraternity and sorority life has been recently recognized nationally by Gamma Sigma Alpha for his academic excellence and by the Northeast Greek Leadership Association. Individually, many of our chapters have been recognized by their national organizations as the best chapter in the nation and by the University through the annual Student Affairs Awards.

Are fraternities and sororities like what we see on TV and in movies?
Every fraternity and sorority is different and unique. Fraternities and sororities are not as they are depicted on TV, just as relationships and weddings are not as they are on TV. The best way to find out what fraternities and/or sororities are like is for students to go to a fraternity or sorority event to see for themselves and ask questions.

What are the benefits of joining a sorority or fraternity?
Drexel University is a large campus, and joining a chapter allows students to become part of a close, tight-knit support group within the larger campus. By being part of the Greek community, students have a chance to create bonds with people who have similar values and goals, while also finding leadership opportunities throughout the campus and the Philadelphia community. Members say that they have met some of their best friends and created some of their favorite memories while being a part of their chapter. Additionally benefits include greater involvement in community service and educational programs as well as leadership opportunities through positions and committees.

Isn't joining a Greek organization just like paying for your friends?
Greek organizations, just like many other campus groups, do require members to pay specified dues. These dues are used to financially support the everyday activities of the organization. While the opportunity exists to make life-long friends by joining one of these organizations, the dues are required to fund exciting programs for all of their members.

Why are fraternity and sororities referred to as "Greek" organizations?
The names of fraternities and sororities generally consist of two or three Greek letters, often the initials of a Greek motto, which may be secret.

What's the difference between a "sorority" and a "women's fraternity?"
The words fraternity and sorority are used interchangeably for women's Greek-letter groups. Fraternity is derived from the Greek word phrater, meaning brother, sister, or clan. Soror, the source word for sorority, is Latin and means sister. The word sorority did not come into usage until the late 1800s, and groups founded prior to then are officially incorporated as women's fraternities. Today the term sorority is used to distinguish women's groups from men's groups.

What's the difference between a local Greek organization and a national Greek organization?
Fraternities and sororities that are defined as "national" or "international" in nature are groups that have many chapters all over the country or world, a central headquarters to their organization, and a common, shared set of values between all chapters of the organization. Fraternities and sororities that are "local" in nature, such as Alpha Pi Lambda (the only local organization at Drexel), do not have multiple chapters around the country. They are the only chapter of their organization and you will not find other chapters of it anywhere else in the world. Many organizations at Drexel started as local organizations that chose to affiliate with national organizations later on. Both local and national/international organizations have a lot, but different, things to offer their members related to networking and programming.

What is my role as a parent/family member?
Take the time to find out more about the fraternity and sorority community at Drexel. Ask your student questions about what he/she is looking for and the experiences he/she is having during the recruitment process. Serve as a sounding board of sorts as your student works through the selection process, but be sure to allow your student to make the best decision based on what he/she is looking for. Once your child chooses to join and organization, there will be opportunities for Family Weekend activities and visiting chapter events.

How do I get more information on Greek Life? How do I contact the Greek Life office?
A significant amount of information can be found on this website. For more information in general about fraternities and sororities, contact the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life [link to 1.02]. For information on a specific chapter, visit their local or national website or contact their chapter president.

Recruitment

My student is considering joining a fraternity or sorority, what advice should I give him/her?
You should encourage your student to be open-minded and look into all of his/her options and be sure to ask a lot of questions to get to know about all the groups before making a decision to join.

How can my student join a fraternity or sorority? Where can he/she find out more?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a mutual selection process. For fraternities and multicultural groups it is best for students to visit several chapters in order to find the best fit. After multiple visits the chapter may choose to offer a bid (or invitation to join). With the Panhellenic sororities, women have the opportunity to visit every chapter during formal recruitment in the fall and through open recruitment in other terms if they have open spots. After several visits to each chapter, women will have the opportunity to select their top choices, and they will then be matched up through the mutual selection process.
A significant amount of information can be found on this website. For more information in general about fraternities and sororities, contact the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life [link to 1.02]. For information on a specific chapter, visit their local or national website or contact their chapter president.

When can my student join a fraternity or sorority?
Once your student has started classes, he/she is welcome to join a fraternity or sorority at any time. Most groups typically accept new members in the fall and either the winter or spring terms. The Interfraternity and Multicultural Greek Councils allow chapters to determine when they will take new members. However, Panhellenic sororities can only conduct recruitment in the fall during the formal recruitment process. If after that time, the sorority has open spots, they are welcome to recruit during any term. Students enrolled in co-op or classes during any term, including summer, may join during that term.

What are the requirements for joining a Greek organization?
Most chapters require that potential members have a minimum GPA of a 2.5 and that they are full-time matriculated students; however some group's standards may be higher. Each chapter has its own standards of membership regarding academics and it is important that you ask each one what they are.

What is sorority Formal Recruitment for sororities? What should my student expect?
Panhellenic Formal Recruitment, also sometimes referred to as rush, is the formal process by which Panhellenic sororities invite new members into their chapter. At Drexel it is held during the fall term, and women must register online before the recruitment process. Formal recruitment is held over four days in which women attend various "parties" at each of the Panhellenic sororities. A party may last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour depending on the day, and gives them a chance to learn a little about the chapter and meet some of the women in each. The maximum number of parties women attend depends on which round of recruitment it is. There are three rounds and potential members will be guided by recruitment counselors in small groups to each of the sororities. Through a mutual selection process potential new members narrow down their top selections, as the sororities do the same, and they are matched through an online system. The first two rounds are business casual but the third round (referred to as preference) is more serious as it is the time for each chapter to show potential members what their chapter really means to them. They may tell uplifting their chapter. The final day, bid day, is when the women will find out which sorority they were matched with. After the revealing, new members join their chapters for a day of fun activities.

If my student goes through recruitment is he/she guaranteed an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority?
No, just as your student is trying to figure out which organization he/she fit best with, chapters are determining which men or women would be the best fit for their organization. Many times this is based on specific criteria such as grades or involvement in campus activities or community service. Students can maximize their options by attending as many sorority/fraternity events as possible to allow the chapter members to get to know them on a deeper level. Additionally, if your student is not asked to join a chapter during a specific term, he/she may try again during another recruitment period.

I, or another family member, am a member of a fraternity/sorority that is on Drexel's campus. What should my student do? My student is a legacy; does he/she have to join that organization? Is he/she guaranteed an invitation from that chapter?
It is important for your student to share any legacy information with the group when he/she is meeting with them or in the application when signing up for sorority recruitment. Each organization has its own legacy policy that defines what constitutes a legacy for their organization as well as how the organization may select for membership. In most cases, being a legacy does not guarantee that your student will receive an invitation to join that chapter. Regardless of your family connection to a group, we encourage your student to explore all the options available to him/her.

What is a bid?
A bid is a formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

What if my student has class and needs to miss a recruitment event?
The best way for a student to find the best fit is to attend as many recruitment events as possible. This allows him/her to make the most informed decision possible. However it is up to each student which informal events he/she chooses to attend. They are never encouraged to skip class to attend a recruitment event. During Panhellenic Formal Recruitment, students are required to attend all recruitment events as part of the formal recruitment process. However, if your student has class she should follow the guidelines shared after registration about reporting an absence to the appropriate person. If she misses the round and does not inform accurately, she will be removed from the process.

If my student attends a recruitment event, does he/she have to join?
No, attending a recruitment event, formal or informal, is not binding. Students are encouraged to attend as many as possible to find out if Greek life is for them and if so which group is the best fit. They can leave the recruitment process at any time and wait until later to join or decide not to join at all.

What are the differences between organizations? What is XYZ fraternity / sorority like? What is the best chapter on campus?
All fraternities and sororities Drexel University share the same four core values: Friendship, Service to the Community, Leadership, and Academic Excellence. While these values are consistent between the groups, each group also has its own unique values, personality, expectations of members, and mission. Students are encouraged to learn about the values of each group and identify which organization seems like the best fit for them by attending events and asking questions. Students can learn more about each organization on the Council & Chapters page [link to 4.01]. Additionally, the 'best' chapter for one student may be entirely different than for another. It is important that students focus on the best fit for them and which organization makes them feel most welcome and develops them most as a person.

New Member Education

What is new member/intake/pledging?
In most chapters after accepting an invitation to join (sometimes referred to as a "bid"), students enter a period of time referred to as pledging, new member education, associate member education, or intake. This is a period of orientation under the guidance of the initiated members. This is an unforgettable time filled with special events and retreats. It's the time when students learn about the organization and begin to see the great network that connects all Greeks together. Students should be sure to take the time to ask about each chapter's education of associate/new members while going through the recruitment process.

What will my student do during new member education/intake/pledging?
While each organization's new member/intake process is different, most include the following: new member meetings that include education about the fraternity/sorority, its values, and history; social opportunities for new members to meet each other and members of their chapter; educational workshops on any range of topics such as time management, fraternity/sorority history or study skills; community service; big/little or mentor programs; and formal Rituals.

How long will my student be a new member?
The new member process will vary depending on the organization your student chooses to join. Most groups' program lasts between six and eight weeks; however, they may run anywhere from one to twelve weeks. No chapter may exceed twelve weeks of new member education.

What's a fraternity/sorority initiation like? Why is it so significant for members?
Initiation into a fraternity or sorority is an exciting, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and special values of the respective fraternity or sorority. These ceremonies often are referred to as Rituals. Fraternities and sororities pride themselves on the Rituals that their organizations were founded upon. They are full of the traditions and values that make the chapters unique. They are special because they are what binds every member of a particular fraternity/sorority to one another no matter when or where they joined. However, these Rituals should not be confused with hazing and other inappropriate activities.

What is the University's stance on hazing?
The University has a very strict zero-tolerance policy for hazing and is one of the national leaders in preventing hazing. Hazing is not just seen as an issue in fraternity and sorority life but across student organizations and teams. Because of the this, the University has created a campus-wide initiate called Dragons Against Hazing. Through this program, the University's goal is to prevent hazing before it happens, but if it does, Drexel is prepared to respond swiftly and judiciously to ensure the safety of all students. More information on the Dragons against Hazing program and hazing prevention at Drexel can be found at www.drexel.edu/hazing.

Will my student be hazed?
Each new member participates in a period of orientation/new member education, where they attend meetings and learn about the history of the chapter, the university, and the values shared by each chapter across the nation. Hazing is not a part of this process and is in opposition to everything fraternities and sororities at Drexel stand for, and is not tolerated. Drexel and all inter/national headquarter have hazing policies that all chapters must adhere to.

Who do I speak with if I think my student is being hazed?
A hazing incident may be reported by any student, faculty, staff or community member. If you have witnessed or have knowledge of a possible hazing incident in the Drexel community, please contact any of the following:
• Student Conduct & Community Standards, (215) 895-6074, sccs@drexel.edu
• Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, (215) 571-3575, greeklife@drexel.edu
• Drexel Public Safety, (215) 895-2822

Membership Expectations/Requirements

What are the responsibilities/expectations for membership in a fraternity/sorority?
Expectations and requirements are different for each organization and students should ask about these during recruitment. Typically, fraternities and sororities have expectations/requirements related to the following: GPA/grades, dues, attendance at chapter meetings, involvement in community service, involvement in chapter education and events, and general personal conduct.

What is the time commitment for being involved with a fraternity or sorority?
There is no minimum or maximum time that a student must spend with the fraternity or sorority. However, each chapter does have expectations regarding attendance at events and meetings. Students should ask about these requirements during the recruitment process. Through involvement with the chapter, such as leadership positions, some students choose to put in more time with their organization. This involvement will help them learn to better manage their time, and balance academics, work and other commitments. Most members find that being active in a fraternity or sorority is well worth the time that they put into it.

How much will it cost my student to join a Greek organization?
There are fees related to joining a fraternity/sorority. However, a common misconception is that being a part of a fraternity or sorority is financially burdensome and unaffordable. There are membership dues that students will be responsible for paying each term which will vary depending on what organization they choose to join, but the upside is that there are several opportunities to receive scholarships within the community. National organizations, councils, and individual chapters offer scholarships. Additionally, many chapters offer payment plan options. If your student chooses to live in a chapter house, dues and living expenses may turn out to be lower than the cost of living in the residence halls depending on the organization. It is important to note that for many organizations, the first term of membership may the most expensive as most groups require new members to pay one-time fees related to initiation and the purchase of a chapter badge. Be sure to encourage your student to ask question about dues during the recruitment process.

What are the dues for?
Dues can cover any number of things and will differ from chapter to chapter. This information is usually shared annually as part of the budget approval process or can be provided by the chapter treasurer. They typically go to pay for local/national insurance coverage, fees to the national organization for administrative and programming costs, chapter operations and programming. Sometimes it may also include 'extras' such as t-shirts and fraternity/sorority items. Dues do not pay for alcohol of any kind; alcohol may not be purchased through chapter funds.

Activities & Involvement

If my student joins a sorority or fraternity, can he/she also get involved in other areas on campus?
Fraternities, sororities, and the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life encourage members to get involved. In fact, members of fraternities and sororities hold key student leadership positions in Student Government, Black Student Union, WISE, VOICE, yearbook, and other student organizations. Additionally, members serve as Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, and Leadership Assistants. Fraternity and sorority members also assist the university with many major events including orientation, Welcome Back Week, and open houses. The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life also provides has a program for new members called Greek FIRE: First-year Initiates Reaching Excellence [link to 3.04]. The program encourages the newest members of the community to get more involved in Greek life and the campus as a whole while developing themselves holistically.

What events does the Greek community take part in?
Fraternity & sorority members are active in hands-on community service, academic and professional development, philanthropic fundraising, cultural education, and leadership experiences.

What leadership opportunities does Greek life provide?
The Drexel fraternity and sorority community provides numerous opportunities to take on leadership roles within the chapter and outside of it. Multiple skills such as time management, communication, and interpersonal are all strengthened by leadership positions.

What networking opportunities are there within Greek life?
Fraternities and sororities maintain connections with alumni, who in turn offer career networking and mentoring. Many groups have active alumni associations which provide opportunities for continued involvement and support. Additionally, each organization has a faculty/staff advisor and is encouraged to interact with University employees and faculty on a regular basis. This interaction not only expands students' networks but also enriches the academic environment and sense of community on campus.

Are fraternities and sororities primarily social in nature?
Drexel encourages members of the fraternity and sorority community to be outgoing and to establish relationships with members of other chapters as well as those outside of the fraternity and sorority community. Social events include educational programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, Greek Week, and dinners in addition to social gatherings and formals. While the term social may conjure images of Animal House or Old School, the image is largely outdated and inaccurate. Although a social aspect is part of the fraternities and sororities, they place a heavy focus on other types of programming including academics, community service, and leadership.

Will joining a Greek organization affect my student's grades?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a time commitment, but one of the core values of fraternities and sororities is academic excellence. Each chapter sets standards for academic expectations. If members do not meet their requirements, there are several resources available for students to receive assistance. Often chapters organize incentives and awards for the most improved GPAs or the best GPAs. Mandatory study hours and competitions are also very common.

Housing

Is there Greek housing? Who owns it?
Yes, Drexel University owns all of its fraternity and sorority houses which are located on 34th Street and Powelton Avenue.

Do all fraternities and sororities have chapter houses?
No, not all organizations have chapter houses. Most Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council organizations do have housing. None of the Multicultural Greek Council organizations currently have housing. For a listing of all housed organizations, visit http://www.drexel.edu/dbs/universityHousing/34thStreet/.

Are Greek houses safe?
All fraternity and sorority houses are owned by Drexel University and managed by either the University or an established Alumni Corporation. Access to the properties is by swipe card access only and the area around the houses is patrolled by University Police and Public Safety. Each house has up-to-date fire safety equipment including a sprinkler system and fire extinguishers. Additionally, each fraternity and sorority house has a University-trained live-in house director and is assigned a liaison with the Drexel University Police Department. The officer liaison program was established to provide residents a resource to assist with safety education, address safety concerns and encourage relationship building in the community.
When can my student move into the fraternity/sorority house?
Students in their sophomore year and beyond may live in these facilities as spots are available. For most chapter facilities, application and payment are done through university housing.

How much does it cost to live in a fraternity house?
The rates for fraternity and sorority housing are set annually by the Drexel University Board of Trustees and can be viewed here: http://www.drexel.edu/dbs/universityHousing/34thStreet/howtoApply/.

Will my student be required to live in Greek housing if they join a fraternity or sorority?
Housing requirements are set by the individual chapters in order to fill their facility to capacity. Students should be sure to ask chapters about housing requirements during the recruitment process.

Oversight & Policies

What are the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC), and the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and other acronyms?
These umbrella organizations provide oversight to the individual fraternities and sororities and their chapters, similar to the NCAA does with varsity sports. They advocate for their member organizations at a national level and create standards that their member organizations must uphold.

Who is in charge of fraternity and sorority life at Drexel?
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, as a part of the Division of Student Affairs, oversees Drexel's fraternities and sororities. The office has a Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life as well as an Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, both of whom are full-time, master's-level professional staff, as well as an administrative coordinator.

Who is in charge of each organization?
In addition to the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, each organization also has a faculty/staff advisor and alumni advisor who oversee the chapter. Some chapters also have their own chapter advisory board of alumni/volunteers that assist and advise them. Each of the nationally affiliated organizations has a network of national volunteers and/or paid national staff that oversee the chapters. Many have Leadership Consultant staff who travel to their chapters at least once per year.

Is there a lot of alcohol and substance abuse associated with fraternities and sororities?
Although the common stereotype is that fraternities and sororities enable binge drinking and reckless behavior, Drexel chapters work hard to dispel such stereotypes. Fraternities and sororities are required to follow very strict and detailed risk management policies, which are established by both their respective national organizations and governing councils. In addition, the sororities at Drexel University do not permit alcohol at any time on their properties. The Greek community at Drexel University focuses on educating men and women on the dangers of binge drinking and of drug and alcohol abuse and in fact follow must stricter policies related to alcohol than the general study body and other student organizations. Drugs/controlled substances are prohibited from all university properties.

What if my student does not drink?
The decision to drink or not is a very personal one, which most fraternities and sororities will respect. Fraternities and sororities are involved in so many activities and programs that do not involve alcohol that your student is sure to have a great time as a member. Additionally, some organizations may actually prefer members who do not drink underage or at all, as it reduces risk and concerns for their leadership.

Are there any Greek organizations not recognized by the university or that I should not let my student join?
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life has a detailed recognition and expansion policy in place to ensure only those groups that meet the minimum standards and expectations of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Drexel are officially recognized. The list of fraternities and sororities recognized by the university are listed on the Fraternity & Sorority Life website [link to 4.01]. A number of groups are also listed who may have applied for recognition and not met the minimum standards necessary to be fully recognized or were removed from campus by Drexel or their national organization due to risk management or code of conduct violations. Drexel students may only join those groups listed as recognized by Drexel.