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Frequently Asked Questions


Does joining a Greek organization take up a lot of time?

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 Greek involvement, students will learn how to balance their academics, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.

Will joining a Greek organization affect my academics?

Academics are the first and foremost priority of IU students. Each chapter provides scholastic assistance designed to help each individual member achieve his or her academic potential. Often students may find it difficult to transition from a highly structured high school academic environment to the freedoms of college. Greek organizations assist in the transition by offering scholarship programs, tutoring, and educational programs about time management. In addition, the all-Greek grade point average is consistently higher than the undergraduate all men's and women's average.

What are the costs of joining a Greek chapter?

Each Greek organization is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership a few one-time expenses are assessed for membership and initiation. After those initial payments are made, a student's only expense is the regular dues. Most of IU's Greek chapters also offer housing. Greek housing is competitive with other housing options on IU's campus, such as residence halls or apartments. Scholarships, financial aid, and payment plans are usually available from individual chapters.

Are Greek chapters like those shown on MTV's Fraternity/Sorority Life?

No. The Hollywood portrayal of Greek Life is unrealistic and negative. In reality fraternities/sororities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendship.

Greek Facts:

  • Greeks make up roughly 20% of Indiana University's undergraduate population.
  • In one year, Greek participated in over 580 community service/philanthropic projects and donated $195,000. The Greek organizations also provided the community with approximately 33,325 hours of service.
  • All Greek Members are TIPS trained. TIPS advocates the safe, mature, and legal consumption of alcohol.
  • 68% of Greeks are involved in other campus organizations and 15% of Greeks hold leadership positions in these organizations.
  • Greeks participated in approximately 360 educational programs and/or presentations.

Greek Terminology ("It's All Greek To Me"):

Active
A fully initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumna/Alumnus
A graduated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Bid
A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Brother/Sister
A term to identify initiated members of a fraternity or sorority.

College Panhellenic Association
A group of women who belong to one of the National Panhellenic Conference sororities. These women work to bring together all 19 sororities on matters of mutual interest such as recruitment, all-sorority events, education, risk management, etc.

Chapter
The local group of a larger international organization, represented by a special Greek-letter name.

Fraternity
A Greek organization for men.

Initiation
The formal ceremony in which the pledge/new member is brought into full membership of the fraternity/sorority.

Legacy
A woman or man who is the daughter/son, step-child, sister/brother, or grandchild of a relative who has been initiated into a fraternity or sorority.

National Interfraternity Conference (NIC)
A body of delegates from the 54 fraternities.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
A conference body composed of the twenty-six international women's fraternities (also referred to as sororities).

Philanthropy
A charitable project sponsored by fraternities/sororities.

Pledge/New Member
One who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. Pledges/ new members are educated in the history and ideals of the fraternity/sorority prior to initiation.

Pledgeship/New Membership
A time during which new members learn about the fraternity or sorority and its members.

Quota
The number of women in which each sorority may pledge during the formal recruitment process. (IU sororities base their quota on house capacity and the number of women going abroad or living out of the chapter house. Panhellenic does not set one quota for all 19 chapters.)

Recommendation letter
A letter signed by an alumna/alumnus recommending an individual for membership into a specific chapter.

Rush/Recruitment
A social experience in which mutual choice and selection occurs to determine membership. Men use the term "rush", and women use the term "recruitment".

Rushee/Potential Member
A man or woman who is registered for rush/recruitment and is attending rush/recruitment functions.

Sorority
A Greek organization for women, also called women's fraternities.

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