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 Greek experience during the college years is a gateway to many rewards and connections later in life. Each chapter develops a special bond called 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 fraternities and sororities chapters at RIT?

All of the fraternities and sororities at RIT are chapters of inter/national organizations. Each chapter falls under one of four governing councils: Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), National Association for Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and College Panhellenic Council (CPC). All RIT recognized fraternities and sororities are a part of one of these councils and are held accountable to their policies, rules, and regulations.

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 or Spring Semester. Typically at the beginning of the semester organizations have events in which perspective members can meet sisters from all 5 chapters. The Inter-Fraternity Council also has similar recruitment as CPC.

NPHC and NALFO allows predominantly African American, Latino/Latina, and Multicultural students to solicit membership through informationals. Based on mutual interest of the potential member, the chapter will then extend a membership offer. Those who accept the offer will then go through the membership intake process to become full-fledged brothers and sisters.

When can I join? Can I join my freshman year?

You can join whenever you feel ready to be part of a chapter. It is very common for freshman to join IFC and CPC, it is less likely for NALFO and NPHC chapters.

How much does it cost to belong to a fraternity or sorority?

Each chapter's dues are diverse and new member dues are often higher than annual dues because new members pay for their pins, national dues, and insurances. Per year from:

  • IFC: $600 - $1000
  • PC: $600 - $1000
  • NALFO, NPHC: $200 - $500
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.

Where will I live if I join a fraternity or sorority?

RIT does support housing for fraternities and sororities both in the residence halls and in Greek Free-standing Housing within the Apartment Area. Your son or daughter should inquire about the housing requirements of each chapter during the recruitment process prior to accepting a bid of membership so there are no surprises once he/she becomes a member of a fraternity or sorority.

Can I work and still participate in a fraternity or sorority?

Actually, many students involved in the RIT Greek 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 Greek community.

What is it like to be a New Member?

New members experience a period of orientation and education once they express interest in joining a fraternity or sorority.  During this time, your daughter will participate in weekly meetings to learn about RIT and their chapter.  Other events include leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships amongst the new and older members of chapter. 

Hazing is a big concern to parents.  RIT and New York State Law prohibit hazing of any kind. 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!

Hazing is defined as any intentional or reckless act; occurring on or off the campus of RIT; by one person alone or acting with others; directed against an RIT student; that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that RIT student; and is reasonably believed by that RIT student as being for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students at RIT or other universities.   The term "organization" includes, but is not limited to, any Greek organization, athletic team or other RIT-recognized student organization.  The term "hazing" as defined here includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, or placement of a harmful substance on the body;
  • Other physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, physical bondage, calisthenics, "road trips" or taking a student to an outlying area and dropping him/her off, compulsory servitude or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that may adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  • Consumption of food, water, other liquid, alcoholic beverage, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or which otherwise may adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  • Activity that creates an unreasonable risk of causing severe psychological shock or public humiliation to the student;
  • Activity that induces, causes or requires the student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of local, state or federal laws, or the RIT Code of Conduct; and
  • Any misuse of authority by virtue of one's class rank, organizational position, longevity in the organization and/or leadership role.

Failure to report such activities to an appropriate university official (such as RIT Public Safety, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Center for Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation, Vice President for Student Affairs, Center for Student Conduct) is additional, independent grounds for violation under this section. Students who report hazing activities to an appropriate university official on a timely basis will not be subject to penalty for this failure to report through the RIT Student Conduct process. Such immunity shall only pertain to the charge of failure to report, and not an independent allegation of hazing.  Any organization that violates this section may also be subject to discipline under the RIT Code of Conduct separate from those involving individual students.   If you feel that you or someone you know is participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, you are encouraged to contact the Student Conduct Office.

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 councils will also take proper action against any chapter if alcohol is being abused.

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 Greek 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 Greek community, students are more likely to achieve their academic potential.

Who is actually in charge of the fraternities & sororities?

Fraternity and sorority members elected to officer positions manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors.  In addition, all Greek organizations at RIT are part of a national organization which offers support, advice, and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers.  Professional staff from the Institute are employed to assist and monitor the activities of Greek organizations including the IFC & College Panhellenic Adviser (Eric M. Pope, empccl@rit.edu), or NALFO & NPHC Adviser (Stephanie Paredes, sxpnsc@rit.edu).

What is the role of parents?

Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son or daughter as they meets people through the recruitment process. Also, be an active parent during your child's years in a fraternity or sorority.  Encourage and support your child, and if you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the professional staff that work with fraternities and sororities at RIT mentioned above.

Fraternity & Sorority Life