Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations focused on four main areas: leadership, scholarship, civic engagement, and brotherhood/sisterhood. Beginning in the 1700s, our organizations connect collegiate and alumni members with the college or university for a lifetime. Membership in a fraternity or sorority can offer many opportunities for involvement, such as holding leadership roles, providing community service to the local area, achieving high scholastic standards, and developing close bonds through friendship and mutual obligation to fellow members. Additionally, fraternity and sorority members have access to high-quality educational programs and social activities.
The cost of membership varies from chapter to chapter. Generally members are responsible for the following costs:
- Dues to local and inter/national organizations
- Initiation fee
- Housing costs (Residence Life costs)
- Alumni dues (post-graduation)
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a financial commitment that we encourage you to explore before seeking membership.
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment. While the fraternal experience is often focused on the collegiate years, alumni members are essential to our organizations. Often alumni continue to stay involved through advising or volunteering for their chapters.
Hazing activities are illegal in the state of Ohio and violate the following policies:
- John Carroll University Community Standards
- Interfraternity Council Bylaws
- Panhellenic Council Bylaws
- Inter/National Fraternity and Sorority Governing Documents
If a chapter and/or individual members violate the anti-hazing policies listed above, legal action can be taken against the chapter and its members. Hazing is not tolerated at John Carroll University.
Sutowski Hall is home to several of the FSL organizations. Each chapter has their own residential requirements.
The Office of Residence Life allows first-year residential students who join a fraternity or sorority in the fall semester to move onto their organization’s floor in the spring. If you are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority and then moving onto your organization’s on-campus floor, please contact the chapter directly.
Live-in requirements vary from chapter to chapter.
There are several benefits that come from living on a fraternity or sorority residential floor. Living on a fraternity or sorority floor provides members with the opportunity to learn important leadership and facility management skills. Members who live in also tend to have higher GPAs than those who do not.
Chapter floor tours will be offered during the recruitment process.
We encourage parents to become involved with their student's fraternity or sorority experience. There are numerous ways parents can become involved, including attendance at Parents' Weekends and award banquets. Many chapters also have parents' clubs in Northeast Ohio and other large cities throughout the US. These clubs are a great way to meet and network with other parents.
Sorority Recruitment FAQs
One of the best ways to help your student succeed in Recruitment is to continually encourage her to learn about all of our Panhellenic chapters. Each of our five chapters are unique and offer their own rich traditions. It is important to enter the Recruitment process with an open mind, as opposed to having preconceived ideas as to which sorority is right for your student. It is important for your student to make her own decision with as little influence from others as possible.
Current sorority women should not be trying to form friendships with your student the summer before Recruitment begins. With that being said, women who already know your student should not be contacting her to talk about Recruitment, nor should your student receive any communications or gifts from sorority women, alumnae, or members’ mother.
Recruitment is different over time and between institutions. Please do not assume that the Recruitment process at the John Carroll University will be identical to the one that you remember. Many times friends can provide inaccurate information to parents and potential new members as well. We recognize that you and your student are both nervous and excited for Recruitment, so if you do have questions, the best place to direct those questions is the Office of Fraternity and Sorority staff. We ask that you review the materials that we have compiled for you on this website, and if you still need questions answered, then please contact us and we will be happy to answer those.
Additionally, if you hear information from a friend that conflicts with the website materials, go with the website, as we are the ones most closely linked to the Recruitment process. Please also keep in mind that this is Recruitment not Rush. Your student will be nervous about this process, but please encourage her to understand that chapters are equally as nervous to impress her and recruit her into their sorority’s membership.
As your student goes throughout the Recruitment process it will be her duty to share with you the experiences that she has. If you do call the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, we will be able to share with you very limited information. If you have questions about why she may have been released from a chapter or which chapters have asked her back for the day, we cannot share that information with you. In fact, chapters do not inform us of how they make their selections, or what their process looks like.
Not at all! Sorority life has many wonderful opportunities to offer to all college women. There is no reason for you to miss out on the experience because you are not a freshman. All undergraduate college women are encouraged to participate in Recruitment, regardless of their year in college. Panhellenic offers everyone the opportunity to experience the many benefits of sorority life.
You are under no obligation to join a sorority just because you register for Recruitment. Your student is encouraged to participate in Recruitment, because it is an excellent opportunity for her to learn about sorority life, meet new friends, and explore opportunities to get involved!
Although most women participating in Recruitment are invited to join a chapter, there are no guarantees that your student will receive a bid. Fortunately, very few women participating in Recruitment are released from the process, meaning they are not invited back to any chapters. Overall, the majority of women participating receive bids to join sororities at the end of the process.
Each member of a sorority is held to a certain financial obligation. Although each organization has a variety of options to fulfill the financial obligation, there is not an abundance of consistent financial assistance programs for women. Financial assistance programs are reserved for women who have run into an emergency situation and need aid to continue their membership, while working through the present situation.
First-year students who become a new member during their first semester at JCU, are allowed to move to the organization’s on-campus residential floor in the spring semester.
Fraternity and Sorority Terms
Active: An initiated collegiate member who is currently paying dues to a fraternity or sorority
Bid: An invitation to join a Greek organization
Big Brother or Big Sister: An active member who serves as a mentor to a New Member during their New Member Program
Brother: A form of address when one initiated member refers to another member in a fraternity
Chapter: The local group of undergraduate students on a particular campus recognized by the university and the national organization.
Primary Recruitment: A designated membership recruitment period during which each sorority or fraternity holds a series of organized events. It is a mutual selection process.
Fraternity: Name that applies to all Greek-letter organizations, characterized by a ritual, pin, and strong ties of friendship. Informally, women's fraternities are called sororities. Although the full name of a sorority may include either sorority or fraternity, informally all women's fraternities are called sororities.
Recruitment Counselor: A member from a sorority chosen and trained to assist during Primary Recruitment events and to advise potential new members throughout the process.
Greeks: Fraternity and sorority members
Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of the fraternity system.
Initiation: A ritual-based (non-hazing) ceremony that marks the acceptance of a lifetime commitment to a Greek organization.
International/National Headquarters: The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority.
Legacy: Someone whose grandparent, parent or sibling is a member of a particular Greek letter organization. Being a legacy does not guarantee membership. Each organization has specific information on what relatives they allow for potential new members to be considered a legacy. Please speak with each chapter for details during recruitment.
Panhellenic Council (PHC): The governing body of all sororities on campus.
New Member: A new member of a fraternity or sorority aspiring to become an initiated member.
Philanthropy: A charitable project supported by a fraternity or sorority.
Potential New Member: A non-member who is eligible to participate in the recruitment process, visiting fraternities or sororities with an interest in possibly affiliating with one organization.
Quota: System used to equalize the number of members in each campus group. It means the number of women who may be offered bids in the recruitment process by each group. The quota is set by the Panhellenic Council and depends on the number of potential new members and sororities on a particular campus.