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Mental Health Resources at Stanford

Frequently Asked Questions

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Interested in learning about how to join a fraternity or sorority?

We have assembled some of the most frequently asked questions to help you through the recruitment process. Recruitment and intake is the process by which Greek organizations and potential members get better acquainted with one another. It is a time to meet new people, ask lots of questions and learn about the values, goals and benefits of joining a Greek organization.

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  • Is there a cost associated with joining Greek Life?
    • Membership in IFC or ISC Greek Life requires a financial commitment in the form of quarterly dues, which goes towards university fees, headquarters dues, and chapter programming. The cost of these dues depends on the organization, but ranges from$100-$250 per quarter. Many organizations offer scholarships and reduced dues for those who would like to join but cannot afford to do so. Inquire about this with the individual organizations of your interest. MGC Organizations and AAFSA organizations have dues that range by chapter and by year, please consult the organizations you are joining regarding their dues and fees structure.

      Most organizations also have new member fees that are a one-time cost associated with joining the organization. The fees usually pay for new member materials, new member pin, member badge, etc. These fees can usually be paid over a period of time prior to initiation. As with all dues and fees, you should consult the chapter you are joining regarding their dues and fees structure. Most offer national scholarships, payment plans and will work with you to find a way to make it work financially for you to join.

  • How do I know which organization is right for me?
    • The best way to determine which organization is right for you is to spend time with each organization during recruitment and decide for yourself where you feel you belong. Each chapter varies in size, mission and culture and so it is important that you get the opportunity to feel out each chapter in order to determine the right fit for you.

  • What are the different Greek Governing Councils?
    • African-American Fraternal and Sororal Association: AAFSA is the umbrella group that works with the individual Greek organizations that incorporate the African American culture as part of their core identity. These groups have been on the Stanford campus for over 35 years, and nationally have a long tradition of history and service.

      Interfraternity Council: IFC is the local governing body and unifying forum for 10 chapters, made up of delegates and executive members from each chapter.

      Intersorority council: ISC is the local governing body and unifying forum for the seven Stanford National Panhellenic Conference chapters, made up of delegates and executive members from each chapter.

      The Multicultural Governing Council: MGC is an umbrella group that works with the individual Greek organizations that include a specific culture or multiple cultures as part of their core values. 

  • When does recruitment begin?
    • Stanford University has a policy of deferred recruitment, a recruitment process that does not begin until the spring quarter. As a residential campus, Stanford has a policy of deferred recruitment because it is committed to ensuring that all students first become grounded in their academic and residential lives. This is an important hallmark of Stanford’s residential program.

      Councils and chapters may hold informational sessions open to freshman starting 5th week of winter quarter and later to provide information to prospective members.

  • How does recruitment at Stanford work?
    • Membership Intake is the process in which African American Fraternal Sororal Association (AAFSA) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) chapters obtain new members. Rather than hosting a formal membership registration for all of the fraternities and sororities, each organization has an individual membership application and intake process prescribed by their national headquarters. Furthermore, the scheduling of membership can differ for each group. Based on the preferences of the chapter members, an organization can choose to have intake during the Fall,  Winter, or Spring quarter. It is important to contact chapter leadership to obtain information about the membership intake process.

      Recruitment has two components:

      Formal Recruitment. This is the period, usually in the beginning of spring quarter, when each of the coordinating Greek bodies or individual chapters recruit new members. For more information, see the appropriate websites: African American Fraternal and Sororal Association, the Interfraternity Council, the Intersorority Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council. Depending on the council, the structure and requirements of recruitment vary. Also, be sure to attend the information sessions, which will occur towards the end of winter quarter, in order to find out the specific details for formal recruitment.

      Informal Recruitment. Individual chapters may also recruit upper-class or transfer students at any time throughout the year. This process varies from chapter to chapter, and some chapters do not conduct informal recruitment. Consult individual chapter websites for information.

  • Do I have to join if I go through recruitment?
    • No. It can be common for students to participate in recruitment activities but then decide not to join. Even if you are not sure about joining the Greek community, recruitment is a great way to meet new people!

  • Do I have to worry about hazing/what is the new member process like?
    • All new members will be required to attend the New Member Conference held in the spring just after recruitment. In this conference, new members will attend special lectures and participate in workshops that are aimed to build a strong and leadership driven new member class.

      Additionally, all new members will go through an orientation process within the organization they select. This process differs from group to group, but usually involves education about the fraternity or sorority, community service projects, and friendship-building exercises. All fraternity and sorority laws strictly forbid hazing of any kind. Stanford University similarly takes a zero-tolerance stance on the issue.

  • What are the requirements for joining Greek life?
    • Aside from the financial commitment that is discussed above, joining a Greek organization requires that you have a minimum GPA. Each chapter sets their own minimum GPA from either the local or national organization. Most are at 3.0 or above and can be found at the chapter informational pages.

  • Will I have time for a fraternity or sorority?
    • Time commitment depends from chapter to chapter, but is generally the most intensive during the first quarter or two of membership due to the new member period. Generally speaking, a member can expect to attend weekly chapter meetings, as well as other mandatory events such as initiation and philanthropy events, which are all planned out well in advance. Most students are able to comfortably manage Greek life even with a full course load and another time consuming extra-curricular, such as an athletic commitment or theatre production.

  • What are the practical benefits of membership?
    • Aside from the immediate benefits of friendship and community, members of Greek organizations receive many advantages not available through any other organization. Being a member of Greek life teaches time management and interpersonal skills, and many workshops on leadership and other valuable subjects are exclusively available to Greek members. Greek like also provides a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in an organization and plan out events that benefit the entire Stanford community. The skill sets that Greek members learn throughout their time in their fraternity or sorority allow for them to be top competitors when applying for jobs. Each year, the Greek community graduates members into the field of banking, consulting, start-ups, NGO’s, and more. Lastly, the ties of brotherhood and sisterhood extend far beyond the Stanford campus, and initiated members are instantly connected with a vast, nationwide network of potential business contacts.

  • Are there official chapter houses?
    • The Stanford Greek community varies in terms of official chapter houses so that students can choose between what type of experience is best for them. Since students typically live on campus all four years, a chapter house is less necessary for the Stanford Greek program. As a result, four fraternities and seven sororities are housed, and the remaining un-housed organizations use Stanford facilities for their meeting spaces. However, regardless of a chapter house, Greek members often choose to live together.