Frequently Asked Questions
What does fraternity or sorority membership have to offer Colgate students?
The fraternity and sorority community at Colgate University is comprised of nine internationally affiliated Greek letter organizations. Many students find that joining a fraternity or sorority provides them a home away from home and a foundation upon which to build a new and exciting future. In addition, the fraternity and sorority community opens many doors by providing leadership, academic, athletic, service and interpersonal opportunities. The decision to join a Greek letter organization is a lifelong commitment.
Who is eligible to join a fraternity or sorority?
A student needs to be an active student in their sophomore year to be eligible to join a fraternity or sorority. There is a minimum academic standard to participate in recruitment set by each governing council. All fraternities require a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible, while sororities require a minimum 2.5 GPA to be eligible. Additionally, each individual organization is able to set a GPA standard higher than this prescribed minimum.
How does a student become involved with a fraternity or sorority at Colgate?
Each fall semester, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils sponsors formal recruitment – an opportunity for eligible non-affiliated students to become acquainted with the various Greek letter organizations. During formal recruitment, eligible non-affiliated students have the opportunity to visit all of the fraternities and sororities to meet the members and decide which, if any, of the chapters best suit their needs. The recruitment process is one of mutual selection in which fraternity and sorority members invite individuals to be a part of their organizations, and likewise, potential members select the chapters that are best suited for them. Recruitment at Colgate is alcohol-free: that is, NO alcohol is allowed at any formal recruitment activity. Even if students are unsure about joining an organization, recruitment offers a great opportunity to meet new people.
Can membership in a Greek letter organization help students achieve academically?
Greek letter organizations were founded on the principle of academic achievement. Each fraternity or sorority provides some form of scholastic assistance to their members; tutoring, awards and academic scholarships are just a few of the many incentives used to challenge members to reach their highest academic potential. Ultimately, the responsibility for succeeding in the classroom is up to the individual student. But, with the broad range of resources and incentives provided by the Greek community, students can better achieve their academic potential.
What are the advantages of becoming affiliated with a fraternity or sorority?
Becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority will provide you with a number of experiences that will help you prepare for life after college. These advantages include developing leadership skills by chairing a committee or assuming an executive board position; succeeding academically with the help of organized study hours; increasing awareness and knowledge of a variety of topics such as risk management, multiculturalism, and civic engagement; and developing enduring friendships and memories that last long after graduation.
Will fraternity or sorority membership assist students as they begin their careers?
One of the tremendous assets of affiliation with a Greek letter organization is the nationwide network of alumni/ae members of the organization. As a student prepares for entry into the career world, alumni/ae members can assist in career networking through their knowledge of where jobs are and who is hiring. In addition, fraternities and sororities will assist students in developing transferable skills that will be needed in the career world, such as management, leadership development, communications and more.
Does it cost a lot to join an organization?
Joining a fraternity or a sorority does have a financial commitment. The chapters are self-supporting through dues paid by their members. When students join a Greek letter organization, they also agree to pay dues and fees while in school to maintain membership. Although chapters may make accommodations for special needs, students should discuss the financial obligations with their parents and families before deciding to join. Each chapter has different dues for membership that cover such things as chapter and national dues, dues to the Greek governing council, social activities, resources and other miscellaneous costs. Specific financial information for each organization is available during recruitment.
What is the time commitment involved in belonging to a Greek letter organization?
There is no minimum or maximum time that a student must commit to the fraternity or sorority. Through involvement with the chapter, students will learn to better manage their time by balancing academics, work and other commitments.
What about hazing in Greek letter organizations?
Fraternities and sororities were founded on strong moral, social and academic principles. Hazing, or any activity which subjects members to harassment, intimidation, physical exhaustion or mental distress is entirely contrary to those founding principles. Each of the (inter)national organizations at Colgate University, as well as University policy and state law, forbid hazing in all student activities at the University.
What does being part of a fraternity or sorority really mean?
Membership in a Greek letter organization is a lifetime commitment. Choosing membership means working with a group of men or women who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas. The fraternity and sorority experience during the college years is a gateway to many rewards and connections later in life. Each of the chapters develops a special bond often called brotherhood or sisterhood. Both are nurtured through common work, service projects, intramural activities and shared successes and challenges. Throughout the student's life, membership will be an unwritten bond of friendship no matter what course his/her life takes.