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Frequently Asked Questions

Greek Life at TU

The Greek Experience at TU

Joining a Greek Sorority or Fraternity

Alcohol, Hazing, and Risk Management

Academics and Scholarship

Finance, Room, and Board

Greek Life at TU

Overview

The University of Tulsa has four National Pan-Hellenic Council Sororities and Fraternities, six National Panhellenic Conference Sororities and five North American Interfraternity Conference Fraternities.

All 15 chapters are part of national organizations and overseen by local leaders, The University of Tulsa and their national headquarters. Our chapters stress the importance of scholarship, leadership and service, and live up to the high standards set forth by their founding members.

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What are Fraternities and Sororities?

Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations made up of students with similar interests who live within the bonds of ritual, brotherhood and sisterhood, and common goals.

Women’s fraternities are referred to as sororities. Fraternities and sororities are referred to as Greek Letter organizations because their names are combinations of Greek letters. These letters serve as a reminder of the values of the group.

The bonds between a Greek organization’s members are created through ritual in which all members participate. These rituals are almost always secret, but based on common principles such as knowledge, truth, friendship and honor. These principles are often found in the motto and creed of the specific Greek organization. In addition to rituals, Greek organizations work to integrate and instill these principles in their members through all their activities and daily life.

Greek life provides a unique balance of leadership, scholarship, social interaction, philanthropy and networking opportunities. Greek organizations are dedicated to the development of character and leadership, offer a number of leadership positions within the chapter, and encourage active participation in other student organizations.

Learn more about our three fraternity and sorority groups:

National Pan-Hellenic Sororities and Fraternities (NPHC)

Panhellenic Sororities (NPC)

IFC Fraternities (IFC)

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What does the Greek Life Office do?

The Greek organizations at TU are independently run and formally recognized by the university. The Greek Life Office serves as a liaison between the Greek chapters, the university and the Tulsa community. The office provides resources and support for a wide range of activities including event planning, fundraising, community service, risk management and academic development.

The Program Adviser for Greek Life (the Greek Adviser) is a full-time professional who oversees the operations and education of the Greek community, as well as offers social, scholastic and educational opportunities for its members. The Office of Student Affairs and the Greek Adviser also oversee Greek judicial affairs and parts of Greek housing.

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The Greek Experience at TU

What is the Greek experience like?

Being a part of a Greek organization offers much more than the ability to say one is Greek. As part of a Greek chapter, you will create lifetime friendships in which the bonds become similar to that of a family. These bonds are created through weekly meals and meetings, social and community service events, and the shared values of its members.

Each chapter functions in a different way, but generally chapters hold weekly meetings, periodic chapter activities/outings and educational events. Each member is expected to participate in these activities. However, if class schedules or other responsibilities conflict with some of these activities, allowances can be made.

Many of the chapters have required study hours, especially for new members, to encourage scholastic achievement and instill the importance of academics. Each chapter also has philanthropy events in which they put on various activities on campus to raise money for their chosen philanthropy.

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What are the benefits of membership in a sorority or fraternity?

Greek life at TU focuses on five values and experiences:

  • Community Service and Philanthropy
  • Scholarship
  • Sisterhood and Brotherhood
  • Leadership
  • Social Activities

These five values and experiences help members of the Greek community fulfill The University of Tulsa’s mission to educate “men and women of diverse backgrounds and cultures to think critically, and write and speak clearly; succeed in their professions and careers; behave ethically in all aspects of their lives; welcome the responsibility of citizenship and service in a changing world; and acquire the skills and appetite for lifelong learning.”

Greek organizations accomplish this by fostering within their members:

  • A lifelong network of friends and work colleagues
  • Leadership skills
  • A desire to continue learning, exploring and inquiring
  • A sense of civic responsibility
  • A strong and well-incorporated values system
  • An ability to think critically and act shrewdly
  • Appreciation of and ability to work with diverse populations
  • Fiscal, facility and risk management responsibilities
  • Behavior consistent with fraternal principles
  • Pride in TU

Being part of the Greek community allows students to have a chance to create bonds with people who have similar values and goals. It also allows them to find leadership opportunities both on and off campus. Most importantly, it allows students to become part of a smaller close-knit support group within the larger campus community.

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Community Service & Philanthropy

Greek organizations put a strong emphasis on civic responsibility and community service. Each chapter supports its own philanthropic causes in addition to participation in NPHC-, NPC- and IFC-sponsored events, making possible the donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to charitable organizations.

Each chapter holds annual fundraisers and service events, as well as participates in service activities throughout the year. The ability to give of oneself is one of the most important qualities that members develop as an active member of a sorority or fraternity.

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Scholarship

Although being a part of the Greek system offers a wide variety of extracurricular and social activities, it is important for the students to remember that getting a quality education is the primary reason they chose to attend The University of Tulsa. Scholarship is a priority with all sororities and fraternities, which results in a combined Greek GPA that is consistently higher than TU’s combined undergraduate GPA.

The sororities and fraternities at TU have programs to help their members succeed in their academics. This includes study hours, peer tutoring and educational programs regarding time management and study skills.

Many Greeks are members of honor societies on campus such as Lantern, Scroll, Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa. The Greek community also has its own national honor society, the Order of Omega, which has an active chapter on the TU campus.

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Sisterhood and Brotherhood

Joining a sorority or fraternity leads to lifelong relationships and unending support from its members. As potential new members find a home in their chapter, they join men and women who will become brothers and sisters. The complete meaning of Greek Life encompasses not only what these members give a new member, but also what the new member contributes to the chapter as a unique individual. Within the chapter, students find a very supportive community of fellow students, creating a home away from home.

Along with the creation of friendships, joining a Greek organization offers the unique opportunity to network within the workplace. Many Greek members find that as they begin the job search, they are able to distribute their resume not only to Greeks whom they know, but also to Greek alumni whom they have never met. Greeks often hire Greeks because they understand that excelling both as part of a team, as well as individually, is a founding principle of the Greek experience. They know that Greeks strive for success in and outside the classroom, and they commit to giving back to the community. Building relationships with chapter alumni can prove helpful when venturing out into the world and beginning your career path.

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Leadership

Participation in a sorority or fraternity provides countless opportunities to become better leaders, to be involved in a variety of leadership roles, and to prepare for your professional career. Greek leaders develop skills for self-governance, responsibility and communication.

As a chapter officer or coordinator of a chapter event or philanthropy, one can further develop his or her personal leadership skills. Each chapter also has committee structures that allow members to be involved and work with others in all operational aspects of the sorority or fraternity. National and regional leadership conferences and officer-training programs are offered annually by the national sororities and fraternities.

Greek organizations strongly encourage all of its members to be involved in other organizations and activities on campus outside of the Greek system. Most of our Greek members are actively involved in NCAA or intramural sports, multicultural student organizations, academic student groups and the Student Association.

Joining the Greek community provides members with numerous opportunities to become involved in leadership activities that help them grow personally, while benefiting the surrounding community, university and Greek life.

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Social Activities

Perhaps one of the things Greeks are best known for is their ability to have a good time. After putting in long hours at school, in various organizations on campus and at community-service events, Greeks like to have fun.

Formal and semi-formal parties provide members with a chance to dress up and enjoy good food, dancing and an elegant atmosphere. Sororities and fraternities also plan frequent social functions with one another, which creates a strong bond within the Greek system. The functions are often themed events and have included laser tag, poker nights and outdoor games.

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Joining a Greek Sorority or Fraternity

I know I will make friends in the residence halls and in classes. What would be different about sorority and fraternity friends?

Being a member in a sorority or fraternity allows for friendships to form based on common principles and values. Relationships go beyond just friendships. The members in the chapter create lifelong bonds that are similar to those in a family.

Sororities and fraternities not only provide undergraduate opportunities to be involved, but they also encourage participation in alumni events. Greek involvement generates a strong, large network of people, creating a network of friends in any city to which they may move and colleagues within the workplace.

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I’ve heard that joining a sorority or fraternity is just a way to buy friends. Is this true?

No. The money that is paid for dues goes toward social and educational events, operational costs, newsletters to parents, and other activities. The process of making friends in Greek organizations is the same as with residence hall residents or classmates. By working and socializing together as part of a Greek organization, you will make friendships based on common interests, goals, beliefs and respect.

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I am thinking of joining a sorority or fraternity. What is the process?

Joining a fraternity or sorority is a mutual selection process. This means that both you and the Greek chapters to which you are applying have some say and control over the process.

The three governing councils have different recruitment processes. Students may only be initiated into one national fraternity or sorority. If a student is initiated into an IFC fraternity or NPC sorority, he or she may not also join an NPHC fraternity. This also includes if the student was initiated at another campus.

NPC sorority and IFC fraternity chapters at TU have a formal recruitment process. The NPHC sorority and fraternity chapters have individual recruitment activities instead of a single recruitment process.

Recruitment is an opportunity to learn about Greek life and to get to know its membership. Students are encouraged to go through recruitment even if they are unsure whether they want to join.

Going through recruitment is not binding. Some students will attend recruitment and choose not to join. The experience not only provides a better understanding of Greek chapters, but also presents an opportunity to meet other students.

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NPHC Membership Intake Process (MIP)

NPHC organizations use a different recruitment or intake process than NPC and IFC. NPHC organizations have open recruitment periods called the Membership Intake Process (MIP). Each chapters sets the dates and specific requirements for intake, not the NPHC Council.

NPHC chapters hold informational meetings throughout the school year. These meetings will be advertised on campus billboards, in residence halls and via email and Facebook. These meetings begin the intake process, providing information about the chapter, cost of membership, specific intake requirements such as minimum GPA, and answering questions. It is acceptable for a person to attend more than one chapter’s informational meeting. Membership is for life, so take the opportunity to get to know each organization.

All NPHC organizations at TU require a minimum number of college credit hours to be completed before being eligible for membership. During your first year at TU, maintain a positive GPA and attend programs put on by all of the NPHC groups. This will give you a chance to get to know the members of each chapter and gain a better feel for which one is the best fit. More information is available on its national headquarters website.

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Panhellenic Formal Recruitment

NPC has a formal recruitment during the weekend before classes begin. Formal recruitment lasts from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. To begin the process and learn more about NPC sorority recruitment, visit the Panhellenic Sororities (NPC) Website.

Formal Recruitment Schedule and Attire

Open House Day (Friday Afternoon)
During the first day, dress is casual. A T-shirt will be provided and jeans, shorts and skirts are appropriate.

Philanthropy Day (Saturday Afternoon)
During the second day, appropriate dress is business casual; khakis, capris, skirts and summer dresses are appropriate, but jeans are not.

Preference Day (Sunday Morning)
During the final day, appropriate dress for this day is nice Sunday best or business; skirts, dress slacks, dresses, and heals or flats are appropriate

Bid Day (Sunday Evening)
Appropriate dress for Bid Day is casual; shorts, T-shirts and running shoes are a recommended.

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IFC Formal Recruitment

IFC has a formal recruitment during the weekend before the first week of classes. Formal recruitment lasts from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. To begin the process and learn more about NPC sorority recruitment, visit the IFC Fraternities (IFC) Page.

Formal Recruitment Schedule and Attire

Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)
During the first day, appropriate dress is Sunday best or business; slacks, collared shirt, tie, etc.

Day 2 (Saturday Afternoon)
During the second day, appropriate dress is business casual; khakis, polos, etc.

Day 3 (Sunday Afternoon)
During the final day, appropriate dress is casual; jeans, khaki shorts, T-shirts, polos, etc.

Bid Day (Sunday Evening)
Appropriate dress for Bid Day is casual; shorts, T-shirts and running shoes are a recommended.

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Can I join a historically African American fraternity or sorority if I am not African American?

Yes. All Greek organizations prohibit discrimination. Membership is open to men and women who meet the qualifications defined by the organizations and the university. All Greek organizations are open to all undergraduate students.

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What is Stepping?

It began with singing. Brothers would gather in the quad and sing. They eventually graduated to dancing and then stepping. Some yards down south call it a “sing,” instead of a “step-show.”

We do not think any one fraternity can lay claim to stepping as it evolved over time. Sororities did not start stepping until several years after the fraternities.

Stepping began with groups of men singing acappella. When groups like the Temptations and the Four Tops were popular in the 1950s and 60s, brothers started mimicking their steps. This is how stepping evolved and how it got its name. Brothers would try to come up with the best steps while they were singing to please the ladies. If you got the ladies, you got more recruits.

Others say stepping replaced the doo-wop sounds and cardigan sweaters of the 1950s. At around the same time as the Black Power movements and Africa-centered movements of the 1960s, stepping started to flourish with the incorporation of some traditional African ritual dancing and the incorporation of other elements like cheer leading, tap dance and gymnastics.

Over the years stepping has become very intricate and demanding, incorporating props, high levels of gymnastics and other elements found in team sports. Stepping is an original art form that was influenced by many elements from our past.

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Why do Orientation Leaders and University Ambassadors hide their Greek Affiliation?

Both groups are responsible for helping students transition to life at TU. It is important that Orientation Leaders (OL) and University Ambassadors (UA) not share their Greek chapter affiliation to focus attention to the orientation and transition process to campus. Another reason is to prevent unfair Greek recruiting by any particular chapter.

OLs and UAs have a lot of responsibility and influence on the incoming freshmen. The Greek community and TU try to keep that influence and mentor-relationship focused on all aspects of university life. You most likely will learn the affiliation of the UAs once you are on campus. OLs may not divulge their affiliation until the completion of orientation.

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Alcohol, Hazing, and Risk Management

The University of Tulsa takes great strides to create and foster a safe, healthy campus community for all of its students. Along with the adherence to state and national laws, TU has strict policies regarding substance use and hazing activities. The university also takes a proactive approach by providing programs and classes regarding risk management as well as a comprehensive early-alert process to help curtail any students who may be considered at risk academically, socially or emotionally and mentally.

Each Greek organization also expects its members to obey all local, state and federal laws and to abide by the sorority’s and fraternity’s policies, guidelines and standards. Every Greek group allocates significant resources to educate its members about the dangers and consequences of alcohol, substance abuse and hazing.

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How much of a concern is alcohol in regards to sororities and fraternities at The University of Tulsa?

The stereotype that seems to be persistently reinforced in the United States is that sororities and fraternities enable binge drinking and reckless behavior. TU chapters work hard to dispel these stereotypes. Greek organizations are expected to adhere to strict and detailed risk management policies established by their respective national organizations, governing councils and The University of Tulsa Student Code of Conduct.

In addition to strict rules and guidelines, the Greek community at TU focuses on educating its students on the dangers of drug and alcohol use and abuse. They emphasize responsible drinking behaviors and promote alcohol-free activities throughout the year.

Alcoholic beverages at fraternity house events are limited to 3.2 beer. As such, drinks containing hard liquor and wine are prohibited. Each chapter member or guest 21 or older is limited to bringing one six pack of 12-ounce cans to an event.

In addition, the sorority houses and property are alcohol-free. Any events held by TU organizations that take place on or off the TU campus must be registered through the Office of Student Affairs. These events have strict limits on the amount of beer allowed, security guards are required to be present, and wristbands and ID checks are given at the door of every fraternity party where alcohol is permitted.

Due to both national fraternity policies and university policies, chapter funds may not be used to purchase alcohol. The university also immediately and strongly addresses any incidents relating to inappropriate distribution of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs or other substances.

One of the things on which we pride ourselves at TU is students do not perceive the use of alcohol as a necessary and required component of campus social life. If alcohol is present, students do not feel pressured. In addition, the Greek organizations along with other student groups and the university provide a significant amount of alcohol-free programming as well as risk-management courses.

For more information on our alcohol policy, proactive measures and other information relating to alcohol, visit the Student Affairs Website.

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Is hazing a concern for fraternities and sororities at The University of Tulsa?

The University of Tulsa, NPHC, NPC, IFC and all national Greek organizations have a zero-tolerance policy with regard to hazing. No member is allowed to take part in any form of hazing as a new or current member of his or her chapter. Hazing is also against the state law of Oklahoma.

For more information on what hazing is and how it is defined, visit state laws and hazing definitions.

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TU, NPHC, NPC, and NIC policies on hazing

The national Greek organizations provide extensive guidelines for new member activities and programming, and chapters are expected to provide a safe environment for all of their members. All of the incoming chapter presidents are trained on understanding what hazing is and alternative activities that promote group unity rather than the creation of a power differential between member and new member groups. All new members are required to attend an extensive program on hazing where we discuss what hazing is, how to address it and where to report it.

The Greek Life Office works hard to establish trusting relationships with each Greek chapter. It is important to us that we allow a safe space for chapter presidents to come to discuss current practices and look at ways to improve them, as well as offer a place for all members to come to report any violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Students who feel they are being subjected to hazing are urged to speak up immediately or to notify the Office of Student Affairs at 918-631-2327 or Campus Security at 918-631-5555.

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What is the New Member Education/Intake Process and does it include hazing?

During the New Member Education process, new members learn more about the Greek organization they will join, its traditions and the active members. This process takes place after being recruited and signing a bid card with a specific Greek chapter. At the conclusion of this process, new members are initiated and become active members.

Each national Greek organization has strict guidelines on appropriate new member education. The University of Tulsa also places guidelines on its chapters regarding the time between intake and initiation. These guidelines are as follows:

  • Provide the university with a general topic outline of the subject areas of the new member education/intake program, submitting a new outline as changes are made
  • Provide positive developmental experiences for new members
  • The new member education period/intake process will be no longer than 12 weeks and this 12 week process must be completed before the start of reading days
  • During new member education/intake events, there will be no alcohol present
  • Each semester, all new members will be required to attend anti-hazing and alcohol education program provided by the university

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Why are there some things fraternity and sorority members can’t talk about? What’s the big secret?

Often when something is secret, parents and friends can become concerned that something disruptive or negative is happening, especially when it relates to the initiation ceremony into a Greek organization. However, these initiation ceremonies are very serious and follow a very specific agenda. These ceremonies are meant to convey the purpose, values and principles of the specific sorority or fraternity the student is joining. The actions within the ceremony are considered a ritual, and Greek organizations uphold the rituals that their organization were founded upon, with the actions and words unique to their chapter and its values.

These rituals are founded upon principles and values often similar to those mentioned earlier in this document and are not considered hazing. The initiation ceremonies generally last less than one day and do not involve any illegal substances or activities. If your initiation period lasts for a long period of time, if you are not permitted to speak with your family and/or friends for extended periods of time, or if alcohol/drugs or negative activities are involved, hazing could be an issue. In these cases, you should contact the Office of Student Affairs at 918-631-2327, Campus Security at 918-631-5555, or another appropriate authority immediately.

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Academics and Scholarship

Will membership assist or hinder my academic success?

One concern many parents and students have when considering joining a Greek organization is the time commitment to non-academic activities that membership may require. While members are required to attend weekly dinner and meetings, all of our Greek students at TU recognize academic achievement is their primary purpose and the basis for future success.

While being Greek is a time commitment, academics are one of the values to which our Greek organizations are committed. Each chapter has a minimum required GPA to become a member of the group as well as a minimum GPA requirement to remain an active member. If a Greek student is unable to meet the minimum requirement or is close to going below the minimum required, every chapter offers a number of resources to help improve his or her grades.

All chapters provide academic programming to all of their members including sessions on time management, study skills and stress management. Many chapters have study hours and pair new members with older members who have the same or similar major to become their mentor. Most chapters set semester GPA goals and offer awards and incentives for students who have most improved, received good scores on a certain number of tests, or for the highest GPAs.

The Greek governing bodies recognize outstanding individual and chapter scholarship each year at their annual awards banquet, and the university also offers a number of academic excellence programs open to the entire campus.

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Are there specific honor societies for Greek students?

You will have the opportunity to join Order of Omega, a Greek honor society as a junior or senior. Membership for this group is based on academic excellence, student involvement, community involvement and leadership positions held.

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Finance, Room, and Board

How much does it cost to belong to a sorority or fraternity?

Since their inception, Greek organizations have been self-sufficient. Each chapter, council and national office collects dues and membership fees from all members.

There are membership dues that you will be responsible for paying each semester, but most of the chapters offer a few scholarships to help cover dues. In addition, many of the chapters offer payment plans and online bill-pay options. Both of these choices help spread the cost of dues over the semester and can make it easier to budget the cost of membership into your daily life.

During the recruitment process, potential new members should be informed of all the specific chapter fees and payment plans. Dues vary from chapter to chapter. Most groups have a one-time new member fee, plus semester dues.

One-time new member fees are used to cover new member dues to the national organizations and campus councils. These fees also cover new members’ pins, initiation costs, and other fees and costs relating to their inception into the chapter.

Dues are used to pay the ongoing national dues that cover national operating costs, as well as sisterhood or brotherhood, philanthropic and social events, and chapter operating expenses.

Rent and meal plans also vary depending on the chapter and whether the member is residing in the chapter house. NPHC chapters currently do not have housing or meal plans. NPC sororities have meal plans and the housing portion of the house is run and owned by University Housing. IFC fraternities have houses that are completely run by separate housing corporations. 

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What happens if I want to move out of the resident hall and into a sorority or fraternity house?

As mentioned above, NPC and IFC chapters have houses on campus. Housing fees/rent and meal plans vary depending on the chapter. Housing arrangements for each sorority and fraternity are determined by the financial and organizational responsibility of the chapter, so each chapter has different live-in requirements for its members.

Housing assignments for NPC and IFC chapters may occur at the same time it would be allowed within the residence halls (i.e., within the first week of classes in the fall, and spring to fall semester). During the winter break (fall to spring semester), only first-year freshman are allowed to make changes to their housing assignments.

NPC sororities have houses divided into two parts, the front and back of the house. The front portion is the lodge containing the meeting space, kitchen and dining room for the sorority chapter. This portion of the house is owned and operated by a chapter-housing corporation. The back of the house is the residential portion, which is owned and operated by University Housing. The rooms are set mostly in suite style, double rooms. Each house has anywhere from 26-32 beds.

Because the back of the NPC sorority houses are operated and run by University Housing, moving into the house will be considered the same as a room change within the residence hall. Costs for housing will be similar to a double in Lottie Jane or Fisher Hall. Housing costs also will continue to be billed to your university account.

Sorority housing does close when university housing closes. So you will not be able to reside in the sorority house over long university breaks including winter and summer.

IFC fraternity houses are completely run by separate housing corporations. Room setup and sizes vary greatly depending on the fraternity house. Because the houses are completely owned by separate housing corporations, if you move into the fraternity house, you will no longer be billed through the university. All rent and fees will be billed to you through the housing corporation. Often the costs of living in the fraternity house are comparable or lower than living in a residence hall/campus apartment.

Some of the fraternity houses may remain open over breaks. However, this varies greatly depending on the chapter. Many times the houses close to help ensure the safety of its members.

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Can I be a part of a chapter if I live at home?

Yes. Greek membership is a valuable experience for every student, regardless of where they live. Commuter students can especially benefit from Greek involvement as this helps integrate the commuter student into part of the campus population, which can sometimes be difficult to do. Greek membership also can provide a place to hang out between classes, a place to study and a support group of friends.