Frequently Asked Questions by Prospective Members

The decision to join a fraternity or sorority is significant, and deserves a good deal of consideration about whether or not it makes sense for you, and which organization will be the best fit.  There are many factors to consider when participating in the recruitment process.  Below you will find a list of questions which are often asked by students interested in membership of a fraternity or sorority.  Please feel free to direct any additional questions to members of individual chapters or the Office of Greek Organizations. 

 

What are CPA, IFC, and NPHC?

How do I participate in formal membership recruitment?

What are the requirements for joining a fraternity or sorority?

Can I join during the spring semester?

If I go through recruitment, am I obligated to join?

What if I only want to be in a certain fraternity or sorority?

What should I look at when deciding to join a fraternity or sorority?

What are the financial obligations of joining a chapter?

What are my obligations to the organization?

Will I feel left out if I don’t participate?

I don’t want to pay for my friends, why should I join a fraternity or sorority?

 

What are CPA, IFC and NPHC?

All of our fraternities and sororities are local chapters of national or international organizations, meaning that there are chapters of that same fraternity or sorority on campuses throughout the country.  Each of these inter/national organizations is a member of an umbrella governing organization.  All of our fraternities and sororities fall under the three umbrella organizations represented above.  Each of the umbrella organizations has its own rules regarding recruitment, governance and standards of operations.

CPA - College Panhellenic Association, or Panhellenic, is the on-campus governing body representing the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).  Gettysburg has 5 active CPA sororities.

IFC - Interfraternity Council is the on-campus governing body representing the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).  Gettysburg has 9 active IFC fraternities.

NPHC - National Pan-Hellenic Council is both the name of the on-campus governing body and the national umbrella organization for historically-black fraternities and sororities.  Gettysburg has 1 active NPHC sorority, 2 inactive fraternities, 1 inactive sorority and 3 active interest groups.

 

How do I participate in Formal Membership Recruitment?

CPA and IFC have coordinated times and processes through which their organizations take new members.  Their primary recruitment period occurs near the beginning of the fall semester and is open to students with at least sophomore standing.  NPHC organizations run their member intake processes independently and the timing is determined by the individual groups.  More specific information will be communicated on the Greek Organizations website regarding timing for all three councils.  Please check regularly during the semester prior to the recruitment in which you would like to participate. 

Students interested in CPA sororities or IFC fraternities must register online to participate in recruitment activities and pay a recruitment fee of $20. The registration form must be completed in order to be eligible to receive an invitation of membership, or bid, to any organization.

 

What are the requirements for joining a Greek Organization?

Every organization has its own standard for academic eligibility, and it is important to check with members to see if you are eligible.  There are minimum standards set by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council to even participate in the recruitment process.  Panhellenic sororities have established a minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.5.  A potential IFC fraternity member must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3.  NPHC organizations have a minimum 2.2 GPA for membership, but their individual organizations have higher requirements.  All students interested in fraternities and sororities must have less than 6 points through the College judicial system in order to be eligible.  Sophomore students interested in living in their fraternity house during the spring semester must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7. 

 

Can I join in the spring?

Yes.  While fall semester of the sophomore year is the traditional timeframe for joining a fraternity or sorority, several organizations will take new members in the spring semester.  IFC and NPHC groups make the decision to take new members independently during the spring semester, so not all organizations will participate.  CPA has strict regulations from the national governing council that determines whether or not individual groups are eligible to take new members in the spring. 

 

If I go through Formal Membership Recruitment, am I obligated to join?

No. Recruitment is a process of mutual selection; you have to want the organization as much as it wants you. If you receive a bid, you always have the option of declining the invitation.  It is important to note that CPA has a threshold near the end of the recruitment process after which you become ineligible for recruitment during the following semester.

 

What if I only want to be in a certain fraternity or sorority?

Keep an open mind and look at all the options available to you. No one can "guarantee" you a bid to a particular organization. Decide first if you are generally interested in a fraternity or sorority experience, then explore all the chapters to see what each one offers. If you are interested in Greek Life broadly and keep an open mind, there is a place for you in the Greek community.

 

What should I look at when deciding to join a fraternity or sorority?

The best tools for deciding which organization to join is a full participation in recruitment, the organizations' inter/national websites and the Office of Greek Organizations.  Attendance at events will give you a good idea of the local chapters' practices, purpose and members.  Feel free to ask any and all questions that come up.  Read a list of common questions to ask

The Office of Greek Organizations provides a wealth of useful information on our Reports & Statistics page, including membership numbers and average GPA's.  General information can also be found on the various organizations' landing pages found here.  Specific questions can also be directed via email to the chapter presidents or the governing council recruitment officers.

 

What are the financial obligations of joining a chapter?

An important consideration in deciding whether or not to join a Greek organization must be whether or not you are able to meet the financial responsibilities. Both you and your family should be aware of the dues, fees, and other expenses. Membership can be expensive when you first join, as there are many one-time fees.  There are also recurring dues and fees for each semester of active membership. If you have questions regarding the cost of a chapter, please feel free to ask members. They should give you straightforward answers and allow you to talk with the officer in charge of the finances.

 

What are my obligations to the Organization?

As a fraternity new member, you will be required to agree to help fill the rooms in the chapter house before any member of the chapter will be permitted to live off-campus, or to participate in the Gettysburg College housing lottery. This does not mean that you will automatically be living in the house, but it does mean that the needs of the chapter in fulfilling this obligation have to come first.  You will also be required to participate in a number of organizational meetings, philanthropic and community service events throughout the semester.

All members have basic responsibilities, but the level of involvement may vary. Those in leadership positions often have specific duties that require significant time commitments. Those members who decide not to hold a position can tailor their involvement to their own schedule. For example, a member who wishes to be instrumental in planning an event may volunteer for the committee as a way to make his or her ideas known. However, a member who has other obligations at that time may simply attend the event in support of those who worked on it.  Every member is expected to participate in weekly chapter meetings.

 

Will I feel left out if I don't participate?

Both students who are involved in the Greek community and those who have chosen to remain unaffiliated participate in a variety of Greek functions, including both social and philanthropy events. In addition, Gettysburg has many activities and organizations that attract all students, regardless of Greek affiliation, so there is no real stratification of students based on their types of involvement.

 

I don't want to pay for my friends, why should I join a fraternity or sorority?

Membership dues are not a payment for friends; they are financial contributions to the organization to pay for things such as social programming, special events, house maintenance and insurance. Membership in the Greek community offers a variety of benefits to all members, especially those who are willing to take the initiative and seek them out.

At the collegiate level, the bond of friendship that is formed amongst members lasts a lifetime. In addition, chapters offer the opportunity to participate in tutoring and academic support, philanthropy projects throughout the Greek community, and the chance to adopt both leadership and supporting roles within the chapter. As alumni/ae, Greeks have in place a network of connections which can be utilized in everything from job searches to finding a friendly face in a new town.