How many students are involved in fraternity/sorority life at U.Va.?
Approximately 35 percent of the undergraduate student population is a member of a fraternal organization. However, the community is slightly smaller in the fall semester since formal recruitment occurs in the spring semester.
Which fraternity and sorority chapters are represented at UVA?
UVA is currently home to 63 chapters, governed by four distinct councils: the Inter-Sorority Council, the Inter-Fraternity Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council. Specific chapter information can be accessed by visiting the website of the respective governing council.
What are the benefits of membership in a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations that focus on scholarship, leadership, service, and brother/sisterhood. By joining a fraternal organization, students are afforded sisterhood or brotherhood opportunities that often become life-long friendships, as well as expansive contact networks during and after their undergraduate careers. Fraternities and sororities at UVA also spend vast amounts of time and effort contributing to the greater Charlottesville community and to charitable causes through participation in philanthropic events, service, and fundraising. Membership in the fraternity and sorority community also affords students unique leadership opportunities as each of the chapters and each of the governing councils is led by students.
What are the expenses associated with membership? Are there any resources to help finance membership?
Like any opportunity for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward council and national fees, chapter operating expenses and social functions. Students and alumni set the fees for membership in any given chapter, and those fees can be put toward national organization fees, operational expenses, philanthropic endeavors, insurance, retreat costs, social expenditures, scholarship funding, and parent and alumni functions. All prospective new members are highly encouraged to inquire about membership costs during the recruitment process. Be aware that additional costs may be incurred throughout the semester for gifts, pictures, social events, t-shirts, etc.
Each year, Greek-Endowed Scholarships are awarded to fraternity and sorority members on the basis of financial need, scholastic merit, and contribution to the Greek and UVA communities. Additionally, many individual chapters also offer scholarship funds for their members; you can contact individual chapters to inquire about what types of financial help they can offer their members.
Will I have time to be involved in fraternity/sorority life?
Only you can answer that question. Being a member can be a substantial time commitment. In any given week, it is likely for a member to have one chapter meeting, one new member meeting during the first semester of membership, one committee meeting and one to two social or community service activities. Additional expectations like recruitment events or intramural sports may be of interest to you as a fraternity or sorority member.
How much time does membership take? How will does it affect members’ academics or GPA?
Each chapter has a minimum requirement for attendance at chapter meetings, philanthropic and service events, and social events, but members can also choose their level of involvement in their chapters as well. There are endless opportunities for time with your chapter and other members of your fraternity or sorority, but they are by no means required. All students are encouraged to put their academics first, as scholarship is a top priority for each of our chapters. Members of most organizations are required to maintain a high minimum GPA to enter into and remain a part of the chapter, and many chapters also offer tutoring and study hall services as resources to their members in order to help them succeed academically.
When does recruitment start at U.Va. for the fraternities and sororities?
Informal recruitment for transfer, second, and third year students begins in the fall semester of each academic year for the Inter-sorority Council and the Inter-fraternity Council. The National Pan-Hellenic Council begins recruitment with a “Meet the Greeks” session in the first weeks of the fall semester. The various organizations of the Multicultural Greek Council recruit at different times throughout the year. Students interested in MGC or NPHC membership should contact the Council directly to find out about the recruitment timeline of specific organizations.
The Inter-Sorority Council Informal Recruitment Process will be held September 20-30, 2015. The Inter-Sorority Council Formal Recruitment Process will be January 13 – 18, 2016. More information about the ISC Recruitment Process can be found here.
The Inter-Fraternity Council Informal Recruitment Process will be held September 18-19, 2015. The Inter-Fraternity Council Formal Recruitment Process will be January 21 – February 6, 2016. More information about the IFC Recruitment Process can be found here.
If I go through recruitment/rush, do I have to join?
No. Recruitment is a time to see what fraternities and sororities can offer you. Going through recruitment or rush and its functions does not commit you to join.
Why does UVA have a deferred recruitment system?
The University encourages “the first-year experience” and believes first-year students need time to adjust to college life without the time commitment of joining the organizations in their first semester. It is important for first-year students to focus on academic achievement, making friends, getting settled into college life, and to begin to make decisions about what types of student organizations they will want to become involved in while at the University.
What types of activities or philanthropic events do fraternity and sorority members at UVA participate in?
Service is a cornerstone of the Greek community at UVA, and each of our 63 sororities and fraternities are dedicated to one or more philanthropic causes or organizations. Some of those causes include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Prevent Child Abuse America, Boys and Girls Club, First Book, and Charlottesville Mental Health Association. Additionally, students within the Greek community are involved in a number of activities around Grounds, including Madison House, Honor, various a capella groups, University Guide Service, Alternative Spring Break, Dance Marathon, and Habitat for Humanity.
Additionally, the Inter-Greek Habitat for Humanity group works with all councils and chapters to raise money for Habitat for Humanity; in 2007, they raised enough to build an entire house and are now fundraising for a second. Inter-Greek Habitat encourages participants to develop friendships with Greek members outside their chapters while making an impact on the broader Charlottesville community.
What role does alcohol play in these organizations?
All fraternities and sororities are expected to comply with the policies and regulations concerning alcohol that are outlined by the University, the respective Governing Council, and the inter/national organization of the fraternity/sorority. Additionally, all fraternities and sororities are required to attend an educational program on alcohol and substance abuse during each academic year.
What about hazing?
UVA does not condone hazing in any form. If you would like to learn more about our stance against hazing, please visit the hazing website for more information about the University’s policy.
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 should contact Fraternity and Sorority Life. Calls will be handled in a discreet manner. Additionally, the Hazing Hotline, 434.243.HAZE(4293), is available to report incidents of hazing. All calls will be handled discreetly and efficiently. In addition to the Hazing Hotline, reports can be filed online through the “Just Report It” website: www.virginia.edu/justreportit . Our aim is to address all concerns about hazing and to ensure the well-being of our students.