A Message to ParentsWelcome parents of future Utah State Fraternity/Sorority Life (FSL) community members. This webpage is designed to help you become more informed about FSL Life and to aid you in the process of discovering what it means to be FSL. The Student Involvement office invites you to learn about FSLs through this website and its many links. We encourage you to talk with your student during this decision, and help them find the house that best fits with his or her values, goals, and personality. FSL life is one of many ways to become involved with your University. Through academic excellence, community service, leadership, and personal growth, FSL students excel in all areas of college life. The FSL community at Utah State University consists of eight fraternities, three sororities and alumni who value character, leadership, friendship, scholarship and service. The community is organized by two councils who oversee the chapters as their governing body. These councils aids in helping the community uphold standards, policy and procedures, as well as community-wide activities. Our goal is to ensure your student's Utah State FSL experience provides a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for growth and development, friendships and academics during their college years. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns:
Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership
Understanding Fraternity & Sorority Life
Structure: FSL fraternities and sororities generally are members of an umbrella conference or council. At Utah State University, most FSL chapters belong to one of two campus-based councils that provide leadership and support for all council members: Interfraternity Council (IFC) represents general fraternities and Panhellenic Association represents general sororities.
HazingHazing is illegal in Utah and is prohibited by Utah State University. Sanctions for violating the hazing policy may include suspension of the chapter and individual disciplinary action against involved students. USU defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situation include but are not limited to:
- Any form of physical abuse.
- Physical and psychological shocks.
- Morally degrading or humiliating games and activities.
- Any activity that might reasonably be expected to bring embarrassment or psychological harm to the individual.
- Any activity that might reasonably be expected to bring physical harm to the individual.
- Any requirement which compels an individual to participate in any activity which is illegal or contrary to the individual's genuine moral and/or religious beliefs, or contrary to the rules and regulations of the educational institution and/or national/international fraternity.
- Creation of excessive fatigue.
- Any activity that might reasonably be expected to degrade or otherwise compromise the dignity of the individual.
- Wearing, publicly, apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste.
- Any activity that might reasonably be expected to require an unreasonable or inordinate amount of the individual's time, or in any manner, impair the individual's academic efforts.
- Any activity that might reasonably be expected to make the individual an object of amusement or ridicule.
- The required consumption of any liquid, gas or solid matter.
Joining a FSL Chapter
Recruitment is the process of finding potential new members to join fraternities and sororities and is commonly used to describe formal recruitment. Formal Recruitment is the time when all sororities and fraternities recruit under one organized structure; this usually takes place once a year during the fall semester. Informal Recruitment, each sorority and fraternity chapter recruits individually, takes place during the spring semester. It is important to remember our fraternities and sororities are always on the lookout for new members to add to their organization, in short, anytime is the right time to join!
All FSL organizations require you to be a current student at a college or university in order to become an active member. Individual houses also have additional requirements for membership including a minimum GPA or a minimum number of credit hours per semester. The sororities at Utah State require a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in college, or a 3.0 GPA from high school, for freshmen. The fraternities require at least a 2.5 GPA with some organizations requiring a 3.0 GPA for freshmen. For more specific information regarding requirements, refer to the student involvement office, or the specific FSL chapters.
General ProceduresThe recruitment process is based on "mutual selection", meaning sometimes students may not receive a bid from their top choice. We encourage all students interested in FSL Life to learn about each chapter and get to know the members as much as they can to insure they make the best choice for their commitment. We also encourage students not to shy away from their 2nd or 3rd choice houses, as many of our members become lifelong members in these organizations.
New Member Education
Students become fully acquainted with the chapter and its members during the new member education process. In this period new members learn about their chapters, including the national organization structure (if applicable), values, expectations, traditions and rituals. Upon the successful completion of the new member education process, students will be initiated into the chapter. Initiation is a formal bestowment of the chapter's rights and privileges to a member. Once initiated, members of FSL chapters enjoy the rights and privileges, as well as the responsibilities, which come with affiliation.
HousingThere are four housed fraternities and two housed sororities at Utah State University. They are all located adjacent to campus on what is known as "Greek Row". Typically, the chapter house is owned and/or operated by a house corporation comprised of alumni. Each chapter that operates a chapter house sets its own requirements for members to live in the house. Typically, freshmen live on-campus in residence halls, and many then move into fraternity and sorority houses their second year. Each chapter also establishes its room and board rates and house rules. Both residential sororities employ a live-in house director or house parents to oversee the house operations. Some residential Greek houses offer meal programs for members.
Financial ObligationsEvery FSL organization involves a financial obligation. Dues and fees are paid every semester for active membership and include different costs for each chapter. The chapter costs vary, and estimated amounts can be found in the Recruitment section of this website
- Active Member: A student that has been initiated into the organization and is a currently participating member.
- Bid: An invitation from the Greek organization to join and become a member.
- Big Brother/ Big Sister: An active member assigned to a new member to be their mentor throughout their time in the organization.
- Chapter: Term used to refer to a general, Greek letter, social, college fraternity or sorority. Chapters may be local or nationally affiliated.
- Exchange: Activity between 2 or more Greek organizations on campus
- Hazing: Mental or physical harassment and/or abuse of any member. Hazing is prohibited by university policy, State law, and the policies of national fraternities and sororities.
- House Director/ House Parents: Usually a couple, employed by the sorority to live in the sorority house and take care of duties assigned. (examples: cooking, yard work, repair work, etc.)
- Initiation: Ritualistic ceremony in which new members become lifetime members.
- Interfraternity Council (IFC): The local campus governing body for fraternities, generally who are nationally affiliated with the NIC.
- Legacy: A person who has a mother/father, brother/sister, aunt/uncle, and/or grandmother/grandfather that is a lifetime member of a specific Greek letter organization.
- Nationals/ Headquarters: A body comprised of alumni, employees, and volunteers working to govern the entire national organization. There is a physical location for every national headquarters.
- National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC): An umbrella council for a coalition of Multicultural Greek-letter organizations (MGLOs) established in 1998.
- New Member: (referred to by some organizations as a Pledge) Member who has accepted a bid but has not yet been initiated into the organization. Collectively, the New Members who join the same semester are called the New Member Class or Pledge Class.
- New Member Education: Process in which New Members learn about the organization before becoming an active member or a lifetime member.
- North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): The trade association representing 73 International and National Men's Fraternities.
- National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): The national governing body for 26 member inter/national sororities/women’s fraternities.
- Order of Omega: An undergraduate Greek Society recognizing "fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in inter-fraternity activities."
- Panhellenic Council: The local campus governing body for sororities affiliated with the NPC.
- Pin: Fraternity/Sorority membership badge
- Recruitment/ Rush: A series of events offering members and potential members the opportunity to get to know each other.
- Umbrella Organizations: National or Internal organizations that seek to unify and further the interests of their member organizations. Most are not governing bodies but instead strive to provide one unified voice.