What is a fraternity or sorority?
A fraternity is a group of men or women bound together by friendship, brotherhood or sisterhood, common goals and aspirations. Women’s fraternities are most often referred to as sororities. The members that form the fraternity share their friendship, efforts and knowledge. Together these members learn and grow. Their common experience builds ties that last a lifetime. This forms a brotherhood or sisterhood among the members, which helps to develop strong and creative leadership that leads to success.
Though there are many different fraternities, they all share common founding principles that are of interest to any college man or woman. Fraternities endeavor to enhance your educational experience by emphasizing intellectual, interpersonal, and social development. The ideals of lifelong friendship, sound education, campus and community service, and social interaction are what fraternity members strive to live by each day.
What is the Interfraternity Council (IFC)? National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)? College Panhellenic Council (CPC)?
All three are the governing bodies of the fraternities and sororities at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. IFC and CPC will have recruitment in September, but also participates in year-round recruitment, and NPHC fraternities and sororities hold Intake. Fraternities affiliated with IFC are Delta Chi, Kappa Sigma and Pi Kappa Alpha. NPHC is made up of 9 fraternities and sororities. The Fraternities are Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc; Iota Phi Theta, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. The sororities are Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.; Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc.; and Zeta Phi Beta, Inc. The CPC sororities on campus are Chi Omega and Kappa Delta.
Are fraternities and sororities just like the ones in the movies and on TV?
Every fraternity is different and unique. UALR prides itself on hosting 12 fraternities and sororities, each with their own characteristics and personalities. The images portrayed in the movies and on TV shows do not reflect those attitudes at UALR.
How do I join?
Membership is based on scholarship, leadership, and community service. Fraternities and Sororities will host membership recruitment events and information sessions during the fall and spring semesters. These events and information sessions provide an opportunity to explore the organizations and a chance to get to know the members. All who are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority should fill out a Greek application. Additionally, there is a required forum that you complete on Blackboard.
Is there a cost to join?
Given the benefits provided, Greek membership is a bargain. However, students should consider the costs in planning their personal budgets. There is a $15-$20 application fee associated with the Greek application. Dues vary from chapter to chapter because of size, insurance and tax assessments, national fee structures, etc., but typically dues range from as little as $200 to upwards of $500. Most chapters also offer a variety of payment plan options. Students should be aware that there might be one-time costs established by the international headquarters for initiation and pledging during the first semester of membership.
What are the requirements to join?
There is a 2.5 GPA requirement to submit a Greek application. However, membership requirements vary from chapter to chapter and can include GPA requirements, credit hour completion, community service hours, etc.
How do I determine which organization is the best for me?
Choosing an organization is a matter of personal preference. Each organization has its own advantages. Selecting a fraternity or sorority is like choosing friends- pick the group with which you feel most comfortable. When visiting the chapters be sure and ask questions that are important to you: costs, activities, scholarship, philanthropy, etc. If a group talks more about the other groups than itself, be aggressive and ask about that group. But, perhaps most importantly, make the decision on your own. Even though your roommate or best friend has decided on a particular fraternity or sorority, you do not have to. Your friends should always be your friends. The choice is completely yours. It is a decision you will have made for a lifetime.
How much time does fraternity/sorority membership require?
Like most other extra-curricular activities, how much you get out of your Greek membership is related to how much you put in. On average, expect to contribute four hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. Optional activities such as holding an office, attending social events, playing on intramural sports team, or helping out with various projects will of course take additional time. With good time management, your Greek activities will easily fit into your weekly schedule and allow plenty of time for classes, studying, work, and participation in other campus activities.
What are the practical benefits of membership?
Many immediate benefits are received through membership, including numerous leadership possibilities, academic encouragement, several philanthropic opportunities and lifelong friendships. When someone joins a fraternity or sorority, they become friends with the families, friends, and girlfriends or boyfriends of those members. Members are also introduced to alumni of their chapters all over the country. By joining a Greek letter organization, a person can create an entire network of people, from which could possibly become an employer, a spouse or a lifelong friend.
Do fraternities and sororities participate in community service?
Through the support of local and national philanthropies, fraternities and sororities promote ideals that will enhance a member’s college experience. Charities and service organizations have long depended on the dedication and generous time contributed to the community by the UALR Greek chapters.
How can Greek life help me succeed academically?
Academic achievement is a priority for most organizations. Many organizations enforce grade point average requirements and offer study sessions, tutoring, and other programs to assist members achieve their potential. Many chapters also provide incentives to their members who excel in the classroom; recognition at meetings, reduced fees, national awards, and much more. Students who take advantage of the academic support available and properly balance their time between academic and extracurricular pursuits will find that Greek membership will enhance their academic performance.
What is hazing and is it something I should worry about?
Hazing is defined as any action taken which produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule. All national fraternal organizations and institutions of higher education have banned hazing. The rituals of Greek organizations have nothing to do with hazing; they are not scary, shameful, or degrading. Although it is the most important part of membership, it is nothing more than symbols, heraldry, and common ideals. If you suspect that hazing is happening in a Greek fraternity or sorority at UALR, contact the Office of Campus Life.
What is the new member process?
Most organizations require their members to complete a probationary period, usually called “pledgeship”, “new member education”, or “membership intake” prior to initiation for the purpose of orientation and membership development. During this time you will learn the history, traditions and operating procedures for the organization and participate in activities to get to know the members better. Organizations use various terms to refer to their pre-initiates, including “pledge”, “new member”, “associate member”, and “candidate.” Some organizations require new members to achieve a certain grade point average during their “new member” semester in order to qualify to be initiated.
I’m interested, but I’m still not sure.
Visit other areas of our Greek Life website, individual chapter websites, or feel free to call the Office of Campus Life at 501.569.3308. We are here to help you!