Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 'Greek' organization?
Fraternities and sororities are groups of individuals with similar interests 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, loyalty and knowledge. Each group works to instill and support these ideals in their members through their everyday activities. Membership in a Greek letter organization is a lifetime obligation. The choice to join the Greek community means working with a group of students who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas while 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. Bonds are nurtured thorough common work, laughter, service projects, intramurals and the shared success and frustrations of all. Throughout the student's life, membership will be an unwritten bond of friendship no matter what course his or her life takes.
What are the different fraternities and sororities chapters at Cal Poly?
There are 3 councils on campus all with student leadership. The Interfraternity council (IFC) for men, the National Panhellenic Council (NPC) for women, and The United Fraternity and Sorority Council (USFC) for both men and women. All chapters on campus belong to one of these councils and are held to their policies, regulations, and procedures.
How do I join a fraternity or sorority?
There is a recruitment period for each of the three councils. All three processes vary slightly with individual differences amongst the chapters. The best way to get more information on a specific chapter’s recruitment process is to contact them or the council executive board directly.
When can I join? Can I join my freshman year?
Most chapters recruit at the beginning of the year, with some holding an additional recruitment periods each quarter. If you feel ready to join, reach out to one of the councils and get more information.
How much does it cost to belong to a fraternity or sorority?
$10 – Quarterly Council Fee (three times a year)
$100 - $400 – Quarterly Chapter Dues (three times a year)
$100 - $200 – Chapter New Member Fee (one time)
What is my first step?
Before you begin the recruitment process, do your research. Each of the chapters have individual websites for their national organization as well as a website or Facebook page for their Cal Poly chapter.
What is recruitment?
Recruitment is a time when you get to know the chapters you are interested in and they get to know you. This is done through conversation with members at chapter-sponsored activities. There is a week-long series of events to attend to find your best fit. It’s important to get to know people from as many organizations as possible and keep an open mind throughout the process. At the end of recruitment, you may receive a bid or invitation to become an associate member, or pledge.
Where will I live if I join a fraternity or sorority?
Some of the chapters have chapter houses, and they each have their own policies for deciding who will live there. There is no obligation to live in a Greek letter house as a member. There are many apartments, houses and resident halls available around San Luis Obispo for students who do not live in chapter facilities.
Can I work and still participate in a fraternity or sorority?
Absolutely! Many Greek members have outside jobs and additional obligations. It is all about time management.
What is it like to be a New Member?
New members will go through an educational process, specific to their new chapter to become affiliated with the workings of that organization.
Hazing is a big concern on college campuses and Cal Poly prohibits hazing of any kind. There are policies and procedures in place to mitigate hazing and act decisively if an incident occurs. Part of new member education is learning about being an active bystander and how to handle a potential hazing situation.
For more information please see the hazing policy.
Will being in a fraternity or sorority have an adverse effect on my grades?
Being part of Greek Life actually has the opposite effect. Many of the chapter’s average GPA’s are higher than the Cal Poly average GPA. All chapters have systems in place to encourage exceptional grades, and help those who are struggling achieve their academic potential.
What kind of community service and philanthropy do Greek organizations participate in?
Each sorority and some of the fraternities have a specific foundation they support and fundraise for. Every Greek house is required to participate in multiple Philanthropic events every year and community service hours are recorded.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternities & sororities?
Chapters elect a board of members to handle the day-to-day activities of their organizations. They are assisted by a committee of chapter members as well as a faculty or alumni advisor. All chapters have a National organization with a regional representative to support and oversee them. The Fraternity and Sorority Life Office (FSL) on campus connects the chapters and University. The FSL Office provides support and judicial procedures for the chapters and oversees the three council’s affairs.
What is a Disaffiliated Organization?
Due to violations of Cal Poly’s Fraternity and Sorority Life Policies, some chapters that previously existed at Cal Poly are no longer affiliated with the University. If they are still recognized by their national chapter, the organization can exist, but they cannot actively recruit Cal Poly students, be recognized by the councils, receive support from the FSL office, use the Cal Poly name in any way, nor participate in Cal Poly events (i.e. Open House, Greek Summit, IFC Intramurals, WOW etc.).
Joining a Disaffiliated organization could be a risk to students, and the University highly discourages individuals from joining them. For a list of disaffiliated chapters see the judicial info page.
What is the role of parents?
Support your student as they look for their home in the Greek Community. Ask questions and be an active role during their college years. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us in the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office.