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Frequently Asked Questions About Fraternities and Sororities

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What are fraternities and sororoties?
Fraternities and sororities are undergraduate social organizations that encourage high academic standards, community service, and character and leadership development. Greek letter organizations or “chapters” offer lifelong membership, and provide networks throughout the country.

What type of activities do fraternities and sororities participate in on campus?
Approximately 100 women and 200 men are members of fraternities and sororities at Clarkson and participate in the following areas:

Academic: Each chapter offers various academic resources for its members. Additionally, chapters provide programming about choosing majors, classes, and professors. Another great academic resource is faculty mixers where guests are invited to gather together in a relaxed setting outside of the classroom.  This is a great way to learn more about professors and academic opportunities at Clarkson.
Community Service: Each chapter hosts a large philanthropy event every year and encourages members to volunteer on campus and in the community.  Some of these events raise thousands of dollars and benefit various charities.
Health and Wellness: It’s hard to stay healthy at Clarkson.  Because of this, each chapter provides basic programming for men and women.  Additionally, Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils sponsor programs focusing on healthy choices, lifestyles and other wellness topics.

Social: Fraternities and sororities host mixers throughout the year and also sponsor social events for the entire campus community. Be sure to look for advertising!

What is Panhellenic?
The Clarkson University Panhellenic Association, commonly referred to as Panhel" or Panhellenic Council, is the umbrella organization of the sororities on campus. This means that every sorority woman is a member of her sorority, but she is also a member of Panhel as a whole. Panhel sets guidelines for formal recruitment, as well as providing academic, community service, and social programming for all members.

What is Interfraternity Council?
The Interfraternity Council, commonly referred to as IFC, is the governing body of the fraternities on campus. IFC develops policy, promotes educational programming, coordinates community service efforts, fosters inter-Greek relations, and supports intellectual accomplishment and scholarship.

How much does it cost to be in a fraternity or sorority?
For specific costs, please speak to a representative from that chapter.

If I join a fraternity or sorority, do I have to move into the house?
Greek organizations have different requirements regarding living at the chapter house.  Please speak to a representative from that chapter about their policy.  Although you may not be required to move into the chapter house, you are strongly urged to consider this option.  It's not often you get the chance to live with a group of students and explore different views about issues.  Living in a chapter house also promotes the development of leadership skills since the residents of the house are responsible for balancing the house finances, daily upkeep, and ensuring that the house complies with village and town building codes. Additionally, Clarkson University provides off-campus Greek housing exemptions to academically eligible students.  

Will joining a fraternity or sorority hurt my grades?
At Clarkson, the all-sorority and all-fraternity GPA is typically higher than the all-female and all-male GPA. Students who join a Greek organization often see their grades increase as a result of structured study hours and academic resources provided by the chapter. Members do need to maintain a certain GPA in order to continue in good standing within the chapter and be eligible to live in the chapter house. 

What about hazing?
Hazing is against Clarkson University policy and against the rules of every national fraternity and sorority. Additionally, New York State has very strict Hazing Laws that consider these acts a misdemeanor or felony.  There are more constructive ways to build spirit and character.

How does recruitment work?
Recruitment is a mutual selection process designed to allow you the opportunity to see and learn about all of the sororities at Clarkson.  During the recruitment period, you will have the opportunity to visit each chapter and have the chance to interact with members. Once the recruitment period is over, chapters decide who they want to invite to join their chapter by extending bids.  Not all men and women who participate in recruitment will receive a bid but it's fun just being able to meet new people! If you don't receive a bid, you are welcome to participate in recruitment the following semester.  You can choose to accept, decline, or defer (for one semester) a bid.

When is recruitment?
Recruitment is at the start of each semester.  Each fraternity and sorority has the opportunity to plan events during the first two weeks of the semester for recruitment purposes. 

Do I have to sign up for recruitment?
There is no need to sign up, just show up!