Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "Greek" organization?
Fraternities and sororities are groups of individuals of similar interest bonded together by common goals and aspirations. These bonds are created through ritual 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 Greek letter organization is a lifetime obligation. The choice to join the sorority community means working with a group of women who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas while being held to a higher standard than other college students. The Fraternity/Sorority Life experience during your college years is a gateway to many rewards and connections later in life. Each chapter develops a special bond called a brotherhood or sisterhood. Both are 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 his/her life takes.
What are the different fraternity and sorority chapters at USI?
All of the fraternities and sororities at USI are chapters of inter/national organizations. Local fraternities or sororities are not permitted on campus. Each chapter falls under one of two governing councils: Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC). All USI recognized fraternities and sororities are a part of one of these councils and are held accountable to their policies, rules, and regulations. Click HERE to see a list of all recognized organizations on USI's campus.
Does USI have any culturally based fraternities and sororities?
USI currently has two historically African American sororities on campus, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, as well as one historically Latina sorority, Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority Incorporated. USI is committed to the continued growth of these chapters and addition of more NPHC and NALFO affiliated chapters. These three sororities are a part of the Panhellenic Council currently. USI also has one historically African American fraternity on campus, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. This fraternity is a part of the Interfraternity Council currently.
How do I join a fraternity or sorority?
There is a different process for joining organizations, depending on the council under which the organization falls. Panhellenic Recruitment starts during the beginning of the Fall Semester for their yearly formal recruitment. Typically at the beginning of the semester organizations have events in which perspective members can meet sisters from all 5 of the NPC affiliated chapters. The Interfraternity Council also has similar recruitment timing as Panhellenic.
Many of our NPHC/NALFO organizations conduct intake in order to bring in new members to the organizations but there are also several who host more open recruitment practices. The best way to know is to reach out to a member of the organization and ask what their process looks like. The organizations host events throughout the year to be able to get to know students. If a student has interest in possibly joining an organization it is best to first do some research. Follow the link HERE to the Intake page where you can find information about all of the NPHC organizations on a national level. After you find an organization that fits well with your values, reach out directly to a member of an organization and set up a time to meet one on one to talk about the possibility of joining.
What is my first step?
Your first step should be to do your research. It is good to look at all the chapters on campus in order to find the best fit for you.
What is recruitment?
Recruitment is a series of events designed to get to know the different brothers and sisters. At the end of recruitment week, if chosen, you will receive a bid (invitation) to join.
What about the social aspects of membership, is it a "partying all the time" culture?
Fraternities and Sororities provide a multitude of social interactions for students that do not involve alcohol. As such, the university takes great strides to ensure that there is a safe and comfortable environment for all students who choose to participate. USI has a strict policy prohibiting alcohol on campus and polices/guidelines for when organizations host events where alcohol is present.
Can I work and still participate in a fraternity or sorority?
Actually, many students involved in the USI Fraternity/Sorority community are also employed outside of the classroom. In today's world, the reality is that only the lucky few can afford to attend college without outside employment. Fraternities and sororities recognize that it is important for members to be able to meet their financial obligations and that many students will work to help finance their education. Working students can still take advantage of the opportunities available through the Fraternity/Sorority community.
What is the financial obligation to join a fraternity or sorority?
As with all avenues of involvement in college, there are some financial obligations that accompany participation in fraternity or sorority life which should be considered before making the commitment to join. While each organization may have a different amount, your student should expect to pay somewhere between $250 and $400 per semester to participate in Greek life. This fee goes toward national and chapter expenses as well as the social enterprises of the organization. In some instances, as a new member, you may pay more for that semester than any of the semesters to follow to account for specific new member fees. You should discuss the financial obligation with your parent/guardian ahead of time to make it clear whose responsibility payment will be.
What is it like to be a New Member/Neophyte?
New members experience a period of orientation and education once they express interest in joining a fraternity or sorority. During this time, you will participate in weekly meetings to learn about USI and their chapter. Other events include leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new and older members of chapter. Each new member is asked to sign an anti-hazing statement indicating that they will not allow themselves to be hazed and will report any such wrongdoing. Hazing will not be tolerated!
As well, alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals. All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold state, county, city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. In addition, chapters are not allowed to purchase alcohol for their members due to national risk-management policies. The Interfraternity, Panhellenic, and National Pan-Hellenic organizations and governing councils will also take proper action against any individual chapter if alcohol is being abused.
Is hazing part of the culture of fraternities and sororities at the University of Southern Indiana?
The university maintains strict policies against hazing, as do the individual chapters on USI’s campus. Hazing is defined as any action taken or any situation created whether on or off chapter premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Hazing is forbidden and will not be tolerated. If you feel that you are being a victim of an act of hazing, you can report the act to Student Development Programs, the Dean of Student office, Public Safety, or any other office who will relay the information to the proper person.
Will being in a fraternity or sorority have an adverse effect on my grades?
Actually, it's more likely that a fraternity or sorority will help your grades. When a student joins a fraternity or sorority, they becomes part of a larger group of students who can provide assistance in most of the courses you will be taking. There are few other places where a student can gain access to the variety of resources that the Fraternity/Sorority community can offer. Ultimately, the responsibility for succeeding in the classroom belongs on the individual but with the broad range of resources available within the Fraternity/Sorority community, students are more likely to achieve their academic potential.
Who is actually in charge of fraternities and sororities?
Each chapter elects individuals to govern the day-to-day operations of the chapter and to oversee the enforcement of (inter)national rules and regulations on USI’s campus. Additionally, each chapter has an alumni advisor who can assist the chapter in ensuring compliance with (inter)national policies. Finally, the Program Coordinator for Fraternity/Sorority Life is a full time professional who oversees the functioning of every chapter on campus and serves as the primary contact for the USI fraternity and sorority community.