The office oversees 35 social fraternities and sororities. Social is defined as any Greek lettered organization that exists for the purpose of creating a network of students, fostering friendships, and fulfilling a particular mission that is complimentary to the university. Social fraternities and sororities are not directly tied to any college, major, or academic purpose (i.e. honor societies) but chapters do excel in academics with members representing all majors and colleges at Cal Poly. The 35 chapters are divided into three councils:
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
Panhellenic Council (PHA)
United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC)
Academics: Our chapters strive to set the standard for academic achievement among all Cal Poly student organizations. Click here for the most up to date grade reports.
Dues: Depending on the chapter and council, dues will vary in price. Most chapters charge on a quarterly basis (summer dues are not charged).
IFC dues average $200 - $350 per quarter
Panhellenic dues average $300 - $450 per quarter
USFC dues average $50 - $100 per quarter
Housing: Some chapters have housing available for students, but housing is not regulated by Cal Poly. All contracts, agreements, and living situations at any fraternity or sorority house must be handled through the chapter and the master lease holder.
Religion Based Greek Organizations: Due to California Title 5 non-compliance the following organizations are not recognized by Cal Poly:
- Alpha Gamma Omega
- Alpha Delta Chi
Such organizations require members to have an affiliation to a particular religion and therefore cannot be sponsored by the university. These organizations are separate from the university but have chapters in San Luis Obispo for anyone interested in joining.
As on other CSU campuses, there are groups at Cal Poly that use Greek letters and are not recognized by the University. That means that these organizations have no affiliation with or supervision by the University, do not follow the rules that are set for Greek social organizations (including the party registration policy), and do not give the University the names of their members. They are loosely organized social clubs that often use the Greek letters of legitimate organizations. Their use of these names is illegal because they are not formally affiliated with the national organizations. A student who joins an unrecognized group and pays dues to that group will not be a recognized member on any other campus nor have any of the alumni privileges that go with national membership. The dues that are paid are used solely for the social activities of the local group.
Some of these groups were at one time recognized by the University and some were affiliated with national organizations but chose to end their affiliation with the University. There are Cal Poly alumni who were members of these groups when they were recognized and are not aware that the status has changed. Members of unrecognized groups sometimes lie to new students about the group’s status. An example is saying that the group’s recognition is suspended but that they will regain their recognition later in the year.
Hazing has also been a problem with unrecognized groups. We want to advise you that students who rush unrecognized groups do so at their own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.
RECOGNIZED GREEK ORGANIZATIONS
Currently there are 16 recognized Interfraternity Council fraternities, 9 recognized Panhellenic sororities, and 9 USFC chapters. These organizations are governed by the Policies and Regulations of Fraternity and Sorority Life office and are overseen by Kathryn O’Hagan. Some of these chapters own housing off campus. None of these groups have houses on campus or any residence hall space assigned to them but they are allowed to use campus facilities for their activities. If members of these recognized groups choose to conduct their activities off campus, they do so at their own risk and without supervision. Most of these recognized groups are affiliated with national Greek organizations and some are long-standing local groups. If at any time you have questions about the recognition status of an organization, please contact the Fraternity and Sorority Life office or look at our website.
WHEN TO BE CONCERNED AND WHAT TO DO (for students)
1. If you are involved in rushing or pledging a group listed below, it means you are involved with an unrecognized group.
- If you’re pledging an unrecognized group, you do so at your own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.
2. Hazing is a risk with any group, recognized or unrecognized. We are very concerned about hazing and ask that you read the enclosed information about it. If you suspect you are being hazed, please seek assistance as soon as possible from the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office, Kathryn, the Dean of Students Office, University Police or other University official.
WHEN TO BE CONCERNED AND WHAT TO DO (for families)
1. If your student is involved in rushing or pledging a group listed below, it means they are involved with an unrecognized group. Talk about it with your student and find out as much as you can about their understanding of the situation.
- If they’re pledging an unrecognized group, let them know if that is acceptable or unacceptable to you. Determine whether it is acceptable to you or your student that they’re involved with a group that disregards rules.
- Contact the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office to inform them about rule infractions by recognized groups.
2. Hazing is a risk with any group, recognized or unrecognized. We are very concerned about hazing and ask that you read the enclosed information about it. It is the symptoms of hazing that are often the first signs to parents that their student is pledging.
3. If your student’s interim grades or semester grades are lower than you expect, they may not have found a good balance between academic and non-academic activities or they may be struggling with adjustment issues.
- Let your student know about your expectations regarding their grades.
- Remind them of the many resources that are available on campus to support their academic and personal adjustment. The staff in the residence halls is an excellent resource for that information.
10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR STUDENT WHEN HE/SHE SAYS THEY ARE JOINING A GREEK ORGANIZATION:
1. What are their letters?
2. Are they recognized?
3. Do you know what becoming a member entails?
4. What made you want to join this specific organization?
5. Have you checked out all organizations?
6. What are you going to get out of joining this organization?
7. Where does the dues money go?
8. What is the difference between recognized organizations and unrecognized organizations?
9. What do the brothers/sisters tell you about pledging/being a member? Does it match up with the information on this page?
10. Do you believe this is going to be a valuable experience; to yourself and to the community?
10 THINGS TO TELL YOUR STUDENT BEFORE HE/SHE SAYS THEY ARE JOINING A GREEK ORGANIZATION:
1. Choose a recognized organization if you are interested in being a part of Greek life.
2. Go to all on-campus recognized Greek life recruitment events before you make your decision.
3. Have a meeting with recognized Greek Life Advisor (Kathryn O’Hagan or Travis Roberts) and/or their respective council recruitment chair before you make your decision.
4. Get to know other students who want to join Greek life.
5. Do not join if you are taking a lot of courses, or hard courses.
6. Have a 2.5 or better before you join a Greek organization.
7. Make a pros and cons list and give it to me before you join.
8. Talk to some of your professors about how they feel about Greek life.
9. Think carefully about the value of recognized vs. unrecognized organizations.
10. Do it for yourself; not because anyone is telling you to do it.
Disaffiliations: Organizations that have lost affiliation with the University (unrecognized groups)