Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Greek life really all about?
- Does everyone in the Greek community drink?
- Are members able to maintain a high GPA in the Greek community?
- Does hazing still occur in fraternities?
- Won't working and going to school conflict with fraternity membership?
- Who is actually in charge of the fraternity?
- How expensive is living in a Fraternity?
- Where can I get more information about Greek life?
What is Greek life really all about?
Membership in a Greek letter organization is a lifetime obligation. Choosing the Greek community means working with a group of men and women who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas and 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 of our chapters develops a special bond called brotherhood. It is nurtured through common work, service projects, intramural activities and the shared success and frustrations of all. Membership will be an unwritten bond of friendship no matter what course a young man's life takes.
Does everyone in the Greek community drink?
Alcohol abuse is inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals. All fraternities and sororities at UW are expected to uphold state, county, and city laws, as well as university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol (to read these policies please refer back to the links on the home page). Fraternities and sororities both participate in dry social functions and recruitment events that allow students to interact in a friendly and safe environment. Students who choose not to drink are not pressured and are able to feel comfortable with their decision.
Are members able to maintain a high GPA in the Greek community?
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. The Greek community can assist students in their transition to becoming a successful University of Washington student. Being a member of the Greek community allows students access to a vast network of fellow Greeks studying similar subjects who can help to guide them scholastically. Each chapter at the UW also works hard to educate their members on campus resources such as study skill centers, computer labs, and libraries. It should also be noted that Greeks have consistently achieved a higher G.P.A. than the all-undergraduate student body. Click here for listing of Past Grade Reports.
Does hazing still occur in fraternities?
In keeping with the University of Washington's commitment to a positive academic environment, UW unconditionally opposes any situation created intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Not only are acts of hazing against university policy, but it is also against state law. The Interfraternity Council also has a no tolerance policy for hazing and a judicial procedure to deal with any serious hazing allegations. Through educational programming, members are taught to respect each other. For more information or to read the UW and IFC policies regarding hazing, refer to the About and Current Member Governing Documents page.
Won't working and going to school conflict with fraternity membership?
Actually, many students involved in the UW 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 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 educations. Working students can still take advantage of the opportunities available through the Greek community, and some will qualify for scholarships.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternity?
A variety of individuals oversee the operations of fraternities at the University of Washington. Fraternity members elected to officer positions in each organization manage the day-to-day operations of the fraternity. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors. In addition, each Greek organization at UW is associated with its national organization, which offers support, advice, and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Professional staff from the University are also employed to assist and monitor the activities of Greek organizations, through organizations like the Intrafraternity Council.
How expensive is living in a Fraternity?
The cost of living in a fraternity house varies from chapter to chapter. However, the average cost of living in a fraternity house is comparable to the cost of living in the residence halls on campus and includes room and board, food, and social events. See the comparison in the Housing and Cost section of this site.
Where can I get more information about Greek life?
Incoming Freshman, come join us at orientation! We will be hosting 2 presentations for incoming students per orientation session. On day one, we have a session for students interested in learning what greek life has to offer as well as hosting time for questions. Day two is our housing presentation for those set on going greek. We will discuss the benefits of greek life as well as explore the housing options, including touring one of the chapter houses! For other information, feel free to contact our IFC VP of Recruitment via email at email@example.com
A person who has been initiated into a lifelong membership of a Greek organization. Generally, the term is used to reference a member who is currently an undergraduate. However, it is preferable to use the terms "undergraduate member" or "student member" for those still in school.
A sorority member who is no longer a student. The plural is Alumnae.
A fraternity member who is no longer a student. The plural is Alumni.
An organization of alumni from an individual fraternity or sorority. The association may be based on geographical location or chapter.
The symbol worn by the initiated member of a Greek-letter organization.
An invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.
An initiated member of a fraternity.
The campus group of a national organization. Within each organization, chapters are usually referenced via a Greek-letter order. For example, the founding chapter would be the "Alpha Chapter," and the second chapter is usually the "Beta Chapter".
An alumna/alumnus who establishes and maintains a close advisory relationship with a chapter and serves as a teacher, counselor and friend.
A student organization in the final stage prior to being installed as a chartered chapter of a Greek-letter organization.
The termination of a pledge's relationship with a Greek-letter organization.
A policy which states that alcohol is forbidden at all events associated with introducing the fraternity/sorority to recruits.
An activity where the members of one Greek-letter group visits the chapter of another Greek-letter group for a social event.
The 'official' recruitment period of the year with specific scheduled events. The most concentrated period with Formal Rush for entertaining and selecting pledges is known as "Recruitment Week". At the University of Washington, only the sororities participate in Formal Recruitment.
The name informally applied to a Greek-letter brotherhood. Formally, both men's and women's groups were called fraternities, though many of the women's groups refer to themselves as a "Fraternity for Women."
Students affiliated with Greek-letter fraternities and sororities.
Any willful act or practice by a member or associate member, directed against a member or associate member, which, with or without intent, is likely to: cause bodily harm or danger, offensive punishment, or disturbing pain, compromise the person's dignity; cause embarrassment or shame in public; cause the person to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule; cause psychological harm or substantial emotional strain; and impair academic efforts. In addition, hazing is any requirement by a member or pledge which compels a member or associate member to participate in any activity which is illegal, is contrary to a member's or associate member's moral or religious beliefs, or is contrary to the rules and regulations of the fraternity, institution of learning, and civil authorities. Hazing is a violation of state law and university policy.
A chapter's physical facility which serves as its home.
A legal entity holding title to any real property (land and buildings) for a chapter's living/meeting purposes. This alumni body has basic responsibilities relative to property ownership and maintenance.
A member attending the same institution in which his/her undergraduate chapter is located, who (upon the recommendation of the undergraduate chapter and approval of the Alumni Board of Trustees) shall be defined as "inactive". With such designation, the inactive member shall have no material participation in undergraduate chapter activities, such as social activities, living in the chapter house or voting at undergraduate chapter meetings.
A continuous, open recruitment period with no specific, scheduled, system-wide activities of rushing and pledging. Bids may be extended and accepted at any time. For sororities, informal recruitment is called C.O.B. (Continuous Open Bidding).
A formal ceremony by which new members become initiated members.
A group of individuals on campus in the first stage of the process leading to installation as a chapter of a Greek-letter organization.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
The governing body of the fraternities.
A student whose parent, grandparent, or brother/sister is a member of a particular fraternity or sorority. Typically, legacies are extended full consideration during the recruitment process.
The term generally applied to members of an organization that actually live within the chapter house.
A student in his or her first phase of membership in a sorority or fraternity (before being initiated). Also known as Pledges or Associate Members.
The governing body of the sororities.
Membership recruitment drive. A series of events offering members and potential members the opportunity to get to know each other.
A non-member who is eligible to participate in the rush program, visiting Greek organizations with an interest in possibly affiliating with one organization.
An initiated member of a sorority.
An individual women's Greek-letter organization. This is the term commonly used to distinguish between men's (fraternities) and women's (sororities) organizations. As noted previously, some sororities are identified as a fraternity (or fraternity for women) in their official name.