What is a Greek Organization?
A Greek organization is a group of individuals of similar interest bonded together by common goals and aspirations. These bonds are created through rituals 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. It is referred to as a Greek organization because the name consists of Greek letters that serve as a reminder of the values of the group. Fraternity is a name applied to all Greek organizations, but specifically men's groups, while sorority is the name applied to only women's organizations.
How do you Join a Fraternity or Sorority?
This is a very nervous and exciting time as you prepare to send your son or daughter off to college. The Greek community shares that nervous excitement with you because recruitment is the time fraternities and sororities welcome new members into their family and the Greek community.
Fraternities and sororities organize a process of meeting people and making friends; this process is called recruitment. Recruitment introduces prospective members to the Greek community and gives unaffiliated students the chance to learn what makes fraternities and sororities unique organizations. Participating in recruitment provides students with the opportunity to meet members of the chapter as well as some alumni. Students who wish to participate in the recruitment process are not required to join any organization.
What are the Basics?
At recruitment week events you will learn about Greek activities, individual new member programs, and various facts about each chapter. During recruitment you are encouraged to ask questions at the chapter houses. Recruitment is a time when fraternities and sororities are seeking new members to join their groups. Grades, talents, activities and interests are all considered in the selection of new members.
Keep an open mind throughout recruitment. With nine sororities and fifteen fraternities on campus, you're sure to enjoy more than one; recruitment is the time to find a group with which you best identify so join the chapter where you feel most at home.
We recommend that women have a 3.0 GPA out of High School to participate in recruitment and a 2.75 for those who have already attended college.
What is Formal Recruitment?
Formal Recruitment week is an exciting time filled with new friends and new faces providing you with an early orientation to the UI campus through a set of organized activities. Everything is planned to help you become acquainted with the different fraternities and sororities at the UI and to help the members get to know you. Besides being informative, these events are also meant to be entertaining; so relax and enjoy yourself! Recruitment for Multicultural Greek Organizations is slightly different. Individual chapters will hold information sessions that those interested in joining will attend. These will be held after school begins throughout both the fall and spring semesters.
What do I Bring for Recruitment?
Here is a suggested list of items to bring with you as you participate in fraternity and sorority recruitment. Be sure to have these items separated from the rest of your personal items. These items should be very accessible as storage may not be easily accessible once recruitment begins.
- Sleeping Bag or blankets
- Alarm clock
- Bath towel and washcloth
- Shower items
- Camera and film
- Clothes you will wear to sorority events
- Casual clothes
- Water bottle
- Personal medications
- Work out clothes for our event at the Student Rec. Center
- Check out our Pinterest page for examples of what to wear each day!
- Sleeping Bag or blankets
- Alarm clock
- Bath towel and washcloth
- Shower items
- Casual clothes
- Athletic clothes/appearl
- Semi-Casual Clothing (i.e. polo shirt)
- Personal medications
- Optional Items:
- Golf clubs, swim suit, etc.
- And bring an open mind and great attitude!!!
Do I need Letters of Reference for All Sororitites?
No. Letters of References or Recommendations are not required to participate in recruitment and you do not need a letter for each chapter, although alumni sorority members often offer to write letters for friends and family members which can serve as a personal introduction. The letters are designed to give the sorority added personal information, but does not serve as an advantage when participating in recruitment. If friends, employers, or family members offer to write you a letter, please have them mail it to the Office of the Dean of Students; all letters will be passed on to the sorority recruitment chair. Again, you do not need to have letters to participate in recruitment although they do not hurt.
Recruitment is the mutual selection process which you go through to join a sorority. You will be able to meet members from every chapter, learn about the chapters' activities, tour the chapter facility, and figure out which sorority is the right one for you. At the same time the chapter members are learning about you, your academics, your interests and your talents. The busy week of membership recruitment consists of four rounds of events. The events become more formal as the week progresses; as you visit each sorority, the visits become longer and you get to know the sorority's women a little better.
What do I Wear During Sorority Recruitment?
While it is important to look your best during recruitment, it is even more important to be comfortable and feel good about yourself. You will not be judged according to what you wear, but dressing nice and feeling confident will help enhance the impression you make.
You are going to need to bring comfortable shoes since you will be walking a lot. The weather on the Palouse is rather warm in August, but do not forget your umbrella or raincoat; Moscow weather can be unpredictable!
To find examples of what to wear for sorority recruitment check out our Pinterest page.
Recruiting starts before you ever step foot on campus. During the summer you will be receiving information in the mail and have the opportunity to talk with recruitment chairmen from many fraternities. Read all the material you receive in the mail and visit with as many recruitment chairmen as you can. If you are interested in joining a fraternity you will need to sign up for the formal recruitment process. After the first night of recruitment week you will be encouraged to visit and tour the nineteen fraternities. You may stay at any one you wish.
If you show interest in a chapter, and they in you, you will be offered a "bid". A bid is an invitation to join a fraternity. You will then receive a "bid card" from the chapter, which has two lines. You can sign as many first lines as you want because this merely means you acknowledge being offered a bid. Offers remain open until the end of recruitment week. However, signing the second line on the card means you accept the bid and wish to join that particular fraternity. Recruitment week lasts four days, so do not feel pressured into an early decision.
What Questions do I Ask?
Throughout the recruiting process you may have questions concerning fraternity/sorority membership. It is important that you ask questions so you will know what to expect when you join a Greek chapter.
- How much are dues or fees?
- What are sleeping arrangements?
- What is the meal plan?
- What kind of scholarship program does the chapter offer?
- What activities is the chapter involved with on campus?
- How will membership in a specific fraternity/sorority benefit me?
- What is the chapter's policy on hazing?
It is important to know a great deal about the chapter before deciding to join. Recruitment week is a time for mutual learning, a time where chapters learn about you and you about them. All chapters are different and by noting the differences and asking questions, you will be sure to find the fraternity or sorority that is right for you.
What do I Bring to College When Joining a Fraternity or Sorority
Here is a list of items we suggest you bring to campus. While going through recruitment your personal boxes (or storage tubs) will be stored in store rooms in the residence hall (for sorority recruitment) or stored in the hosting fraternity (for fraternity recruitment). If you get there and settled and find you forgot something there is a local Walmart, Staples, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Office Depot. Most students interested in joining a Multicultural Greek Organization will choose to live in the residence halls for the first year. The Multicultural Greek Organizations do not provide housing for chapter members or new members.
- Desk Items: Files to hold all of your important receipts, class notes, tests, papers, etc, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Stamps, Stationery, Envelopes, Tape, Paper clips, Stapler, Hole Punch, Poster Putty, Tacks, Scissors, Rubber Bands, Calendar.
- Personal Items: Shower Basket, Soap and Case, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shaving Kit, Shower Shoes, Bathrobe, Toiletries, Aspirin, Band-Aids, Personal Medications, Tweezers and Nail Clippers.
- Laundry Items: Hangers, Laundry Basket/Bag, Laundry Soap, Fabric Softener, Bleach, Stain spray
- Linens: Blankets, Bedspread, Pillowcases, Sheets (Beds are twin long size), Mattress Pad, heating blanket, Bath Towels, Washcloths
- Appliances: Alarm Clock, Desk Lamp, Computer and Printer**, Hair Dryer, Curling Iron, Power Strip (multi-outlet), and Surge Protector
**If you have a personal computer feel free to bring it. Don't feel like you need to go buy a new computer to bring to campus if you rely on a family computer. The U of I has 18 computer labs on campus, free to students.
- Miscellaneous: Posters/Pictures, Basic Tool Kit, Basic First Aid Kit, Flashlight and Batteries, Water Bottle, Fan, Bike and Lock, Umbrella, Shoe hanger for the back of your closet door, and Fun things to decorate your room.
What is involved in being a New Member?
New members all experience a period of orientation. During this time your son/daughter will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and the chapter they have joined. Other events included leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new and the older members of the chapter. New member programs often mirror the operations of the active chapter. A new member class may be expected to plan a social or philanthropic event. Often, fraternity new members classes will complete a house project involving raising money or building something for a chapter house.
All fraternities and sororities oppose hazing on a local and national level and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son or daughter in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college. Hazing is against the policies of the University, local and national offices, and the Greek Councils that govern Idaho Greeks.
Greek Life: Fast Facts
What's the Cost?
Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After the initial payments are made, your son or daughter's only expenses will be their regular chapter dues. Greek living costs include lodging and meals, internet, cable, phone service, study and recreation areas, and a great community! The costs of Greek Life are incredibly competitive to other housing options on campus, with the average cost to Greek living $2,800 per semester for fraternities and $3,500 for sororities in one all-inclusive cost structure.
How many people live in the fraternities & sororities? What is it like?
Over 1800 students live in the Greek Community, 500 of which are first year students. Fraternity/Sorority living is a community style of living, and is the home of 45% of students who choose to live on campus. It involves a strong support system of brotherhood and sisterhood, creating a home-like environment.
Aren't fraternities and sororities just like the movie "Animal House" or the TV Show "Greek"?
Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, after the showing of movies and television shows, fraternity and sorority members have been categorized as partiers who are irresponsible, arrogant, and abusive. In reality, fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendships. Organizations have public standards regarding academics, behavior, and community which are enforced at local and national levels.
If my child is considering Formal Recruitment, do we need to turn in our Residence Hall housing contract and deposit?
No. We ask that students participating in recruitment do not sign a residence hall contract. 99% of the students who participate in Formal Recruitment are matched to a chapter. If for some reason they do not join, there will be room in the residence halls for them to move in to. There is a fee for breaking the contract.
How much time does a Fraternity or Sorority take?
Research at the University of Idaho has shown that Greek affiliated students graduate with a higher grade point average than their peers. Greek members also report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one's time. Participating in a Greek organization is like any co-curricular activity; it requires a time investment. In addition, students in the Greek community at the University of Idaho have the opportunity for a well-rounded college experience that includes learning how to balance academics, work, campus involvement and social commitments.
Who's in Charge?
The Fraternity and Sorority community is overseen by University professional staff who are employed to advise the Greek organizations. In addition to the University staff, there are multiple layers of governance and advising that happens with each organization on an international, regional, and local level. Members of the organiziatons are elected to various leadership and officer positions, and with the assistance of local alumni, they manage the day to day operations of the chapters.