website banner_2

Frequently Asked Questions about Fraternities & Sororities

Q. What does Greek life at Ohio University have to offer?

A. Incoming students may have a tough time adjusting to college life, fraternities and sororities help students to get involved on campus, find opportunities for leadership, and get connected to the University while creating a sense of community.

Q. How much does it cost to join a fraternity?

A. All organization pay dues, but the amounts differ based on budgets and requirements from their inter/national headquarters. Most often, members will pay a few hundred dollars in dues per semester. Should you live in a chapter facility, there will be additional costs associated with that decision. There are also often one-time fees for new members in order to get such items as a membership badge.Be sure to ask each individual fraternity for their requirements and membership costs.

Q. I am really busy with school. How much time will be asked of me?

A. Every organization varies, but all are based on the premise that you are a student first. They will help you develop your time management skills, and will ensure that your academics are a priority. In fact, the all-Greek GPA is traditionally higher than the all-OU GPA!

Q. What is "hazing?"

A. Hazing is a broad term encompassing any action or activity which does not contribute to the positive development of a person who inflicts or intends to cause mental or bodily harm or anxieties; or which may demean, degrade, or disgrace any person. Our organizations and the University do not condone hazing in any form, and we would encourage you to report any potential hazing activities to the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility.

Q. When is recruitment?

A. The IFC oversees a "formal" recruitment process in the beginning of the Fall semester, giving potential members the opportunity to learn about all of the options they have when joining an IFC fraternity. Many organizations will continue to recruit new members throughout the spring semester. 

Q. Do you have formal recruitment every semester?

A. This process only occurs during the Fall semester. You can find out  more by visiting our Recruitment Section.

Q. Is it anything like the movies?

A. Unfortunately movies and TV shows tend to eclipse the outstanding work accomplished by undergraduate fraternity and sorority members. The community service and philanthropy events tend to not gain appropriate media attention, whereas the stereotype of the party-life does. Social activities occur in every club and organization, not just Greek life. What sets the students apart is our commitment to community involvement, scholastic excellence, and leadership abilities.

Greek Glossary of Terms

Active |  An initiated member of a Greek organization currently enrolled as an undergraduate

Alumnus (plural: Alumni) | A member of a fraternity that has graduated from college/university

Associate Member | See "new member" 

Bid | An invitation to join a fraternity

Big Brother | An active member of a fraternity or who serves as a mentor to a new member, guiding him through the new member program and initiation.

Chapter | The local chartered group of a(n) inter/national fraternity. Often, chapters will be designated by a Greek letter denoting the order in which they were recognized by the inter/national fraternity.

Colony | A recognized group of a(n) inter/national fraternity working towards the recognition as a chapter

Formal Recruitment | The predetermined time for recruitment events to occur. At OU, this occurs early in the Fall semester.

Fraternity | A Greek-lettered fellowship of men fostering the common ideals of brotherhood

Greek Week | A period of competitive events among chapters that have been formed into teams to promote unity among the Greek Community. Typically this week focuses on athletic, philanthropy, service, and performance events.

House | The physical residence of a fraternity. Not all of the IFC fraternities are housed.

Initiation |  The formal ceremony by which a new member becomes a lifelong fraternity member

Interfraternity Council (IFC) | The governing body for local member chapters on campus. The IFC is responsible for helping to plan campus-wide events, oversee formal recruitment, and hold member chapters accountable.

Inter/National Headquarters | The staff and office that oversees all member chapters affiliated with one organization

Legacy | A direct relative (brother, son, nephew, etc.) of a fraternity member. Fraternities determine who qualifies as a legacy based on their inter/national policies.

New Member | a member of a fraternity who has accepted a bid to join the organization but has not yet been initiated. 

New Member Program | A period of time when a new member learns about the history, values, and purpose of the organization. This period of time varies for all groups.

North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) | The trade association representing inter/national men's fraternities which acts as an umbrella group to ensure, through advocacy, collaboration, and education, that fraternities can operate in an environment conducive to their success. 

Pledge | See "new member"

Pledgeship | See "new member program"

Ritual | A ceremony by which a fraternity will share secrets only known to members of the organization