FAQs

Each fraternity and sorority in the CalGreeks Community, provide a unique experience to each of their members. Although specific answers about each fraternity or sorority should be directed to the chapter, below are some commonly asked questions from family, friends, and community members.

General FAQs

What is a fraternity or sorority?

A fraternity or sorority is a group of men or women formed by a brotherhood or sisterhood and common goals and aspirations who make a commitment to each other for life. The members that form a fraternity or sorority share their efforts, friendship and knowledge. Together these members learn, grow and make the fraternity or sorority, commonly called a Greek organization, stronger. Their common experience builds ties that last a lifetime. Individuals may only be a member of one organization. This does not include academic, honorary, professional, and service organizations.

What are some of the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?

The benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority are numerous. These may include: opportunities to hold a formal leadership position within your chapter or the greater fraternity/sorority community, lifelong friendship, alumni networking, academic support, mentorship, community service, event planning, and developing a stronger connection to campus and your peers.

What is the time commitment of being in a fraternity or sorority?

In some ways, participating in a fraternity or sorority is similar to participating  other co-curricular activities; it requires a time investment. Students in the Fraternity and Sorority Community at Cal have the opportunity for a well-rounded college experience that involves academic work and campus involvement, as well as social events. As they say, you get out of a sorority what you put in. You can choose your level of involvement, whether you decide to be a member, the President, or anywhere in between.

What types of social events do chapters participate in?

Each chapter has different ways of building relationships across the community. All social events must be registered through the organization’s governing council. Organizations might host events at their chapter house (IFC groups) or at an offsite venue. All events are required to follow state and local laws as well as requirements outlined in the all-greek-social code. Social events can be anything from a mixer between chapter members to carnivals thrown for the entire fraternity and sorority community. Active members help determine what activities will take place throughout the year.

Housing FAQs

Do all organizations provide housing?

Not all of our fraternities and sororities provide housing. The majority of our Panhellenic sororities and Interfraternity Council fraternities have housing available.

The LEAD Center does not coordinate fraternity or sorority housing.

Where are the houses located? Can I visit?

Most all of the fraternities and sororities are located in the Berkeley Southside neighborhood.

During CalDay in April, Panhellenic sororities provide tour opportunities. For more information visit the Panhellenic website. Most groups provide tours during recruitment for prospective members. Alumni are asked to connect with the local chapter for visiting information.

Is summer housing provided? I’m travelling from another state or abroad and want to rent a room.

Summer housing is available on a limited basis in a select group of fraternities. This is regulated by each individual chapter. For information on boarding or availability you will need to contact each chapter directly.

What is the expectation that I live in? Will I have to move out of my residence hall after I join?

For those that do, the live-in requirement varies per organization. Most members are required to live-in their second year.

You are encouraged to keep your on-campus lease for its duration. It’s important you continue to build your Cal network outside of your organization and maintain your commitment to your original lease. Most members move in/out on a yearly basis anyway, leaving limited availability for mid-semester or year switching.

What is the average cost of living?

Panhellenic Organizations: The average cost to live-in (including dues) is $4,500 a semester. This typically includes approximately 15 meals a week, shared or single room, laundry, wi-fi, cable, maintenance, laundry, workout machines, etc.

Interfraternity Organizations: The average cost to live-in is around $4,500 a semester.

For cost information, contact the chapter directly.

What are features of most CalGreeks houses?
Features include:

  • Study areas & computer rooms
  • Alarm systems
  • Laundry and exercise facilities
  • Some parking is available
I want to terminate my lease with University Housing to move into a fraternity or sorority house. What is the process?
All requests for termination of a housing contract must be submitted to the Residence Hall Assignments Office on the “Residence Hall Contract Cancellation Request” form. The resident requesting contract termination shall continue to be liable for room and board fees until a replacement resident is found and/or the request is approved by the Assignments Office in writing. Please see the Terms and Conditions of the contract for further information about contract termination.

Questions regarding termination of a University Residential Living contract should be directed to the Residence Hall Assignments Office.

What about non-chapter member residents in chapter houses?

Regarding fraternity and sorority housing: Chapter house corporations that rent out rooms in the summer, or at any time during the year, to lodgers, boarders, or tenants who are not members of the chapter need to register that room with the Rent Stabilization Agency. Registration is required for any non-member occupant who stays more than 14 days in a chapter house and also calls for an annual registration fee along with submitting a single form for each room rented to non members. The fee is due by July 1 of each year. If a room is rented after July 1, property owners are still required to pay the fee but on a prorated basis. Failure of a property owner to pay the fee may result in substantial financial penalty and make it more difficult to enforce landlord rights (such as collecting rent and evicting for good cause).

The Rent Board acknowledges that, especially during the summer months when many fraternity and sorority rooms have frequent turn-over and are rented to non-members, keeping up with this registration requirement can be challenging. With that in mind, the agency now has a dedicated staff person to assist fraternity and sorority property owners whenever houses have a room that needs registration.

Please contact Rent Board member, Matthew Siegel at 510-981-4903 or msiegel@ci.berkeley.ca.us if you need to register any of your rooms or have any Rent Stabilization Program questions in general.

Can I live in a fraternity or sorority house during the summer?

Some organizations may provide summer housing.The LEAD Center does not coordinate fraternity or sorority housing.  To find out about more about summer housing opportunities, please contact the chapter directly.

Financial FAQs

How much does it cost to be a member of a fraternity or sorority?

Finances vary between chapters and council and if you live in or out. Most groups will share specific financial requirements at an information session or first meeting. It’s important to ask about new member period/initial costs vs. semesterly dues.

  1. IFC: Contact a CalGreeks advisor for more information.
  2. MCGC: Dependent on the chapter. Can vary from $200-$1000. There are also council fees that are assessed.
  3. NPHC: Dependent on the organization, but it could range from $1000-2000 annually
  4. Panhellenic: A live-out member dues average $1,600 per semester

Academics FAQs

Are there any academic requirements to join a fraternity or sorority?

Many organizations have a Grade Point Average minimum to join and a GPA that each chapter member has to maintain in order to remain active as a member. Chapter GPA averages are calculated and distributed to the Chapters Advisor and (Inter)national headquarters each semester.

How do you balance academics and fraternity or sorority life?

Academics are a high priority for Cal students and that doesn’t change when you join. Many chapters hold study nights where members can study together or support a member through a test or project. Organizations also host professor dinners or networking events where they get a chance to connect outside of the classroom.

Recruitment/Rush/Intake FAQs

How do I know which fraternity or sorority I should join?

Choosing a fraternity/sorority is like choosing what college or university you want to attend. It is all about fit. The only way you will know exactly which organization is right for you is by doing your research and actually meeting the members. Click here to Find a Chapter.

What is the recruitment process for each council/chapter?

Panhellenic Council
Overview: Recruitment is the mutual selection process through which potential new members (PNMs) meet active members of sorority chapters. Over four days, PNMs will visit all thirteen Panhellenic chapters and have the opportunity to find out what sorority life at UC Berkeley is all about. As the week progresses, both the chapters and the potential new members narrow down their selections. On the final day of recruitment, after a mutual bid-matching process, PNMs receive an invitation to join a chapter.
When does it take place: Formal recruitment begins the first week of classes in the fall semester. You must register at least one-week prior. There are informal recruitment opportunities in the spring, but the chapters that will recruit vary.

Interfraternity Council
Overview: Rush is the process where potential new members (PNMs) or rushees meet active members of the IFC fraternities. Each chapter creates their own schedule of events during a formal rush period, and most fraternities have events every night. They can be casual to formal. Although there is a formal rush period, men are able to join a fraternity at any time during the year if a fraternity extends them a bid (an official invitation to join).
When does it take place: Typically takes place the first and second week of the fall and spring semesters.

Multi-Cultural Greek Council
Overview: The Multi-Cultural Greek Council is made up of very different organizations. Each individual sorority or fraternity has there own unique process. To find out about joining please check out each individual chapter of your choice. You can find information about each organization on their CalLink page, via social media and on their national website.
When does it take place:  Intake varies for each chapter. The best suggestion is to contact the chapter President and attend on campus programs for information about potential membership dates.

National Pan-Hellenic Council
Overview:Recruitment and membership intake for the organizations of the National Pan-Hellenic Council may vary differently between each of the Divine Nine organizations. Those who are interested in learning more about these Divine Nine fraternities and sororities are encouraged to research the history of each organization, visit their national websites, learn of their respective membership requirements, and develop a relationship with the chapter members of your organizational interest. To any extent beyond that, membership recruitment and intake is under full coordination of the specific chapter and their national organization. However, all membership intake processes must be conducted by a chapter that is both active with its national organization and recognized by the UC Berkeley campus.
When does it take place: Intake varies for each chapter. The best suggestion is to contact the chapter President and attend on campus programs for information about potential membership dates.

Will there be alcohol at recruitment events?

As a council, IFC is committed to ensuring the safety of its members and potential recruits. Recruitment events should be alcohol-free.

How will joining impact my time?

The time commitment varies based on the organization and length of new member period. Most groups formal membership process is 6-10 weeks long. Some groups require that members apply for membership and demonstrate interest a semester or two before the process.

Most membership processes help new members balance time with the organization and other commitments. Many students equate the time commitment to another 3-unit course with weekly new member meetings, readings on organization history and ritual and external events. Academics are always a priority. If you ever feel your academic responsibilities are being compromised you should reach out to your new member educator/dean/intake coordinator with concerns or a staff member of the Fraternity and Sorority Advising team.

Do fraternities and sororities haze?

The University of California, Berkeley has a zero tolerance hazing policy. Hazing does not reflect or support the core values of the University of California, Berkeley or the CalGreeks fraternity and sorority community. Hazing is detrimental to the individual, the group, and the community. Hazing can be a violation of the (inter)national fraternity and sorority organizations, UC Berkeley, the State of California, and/or federal laws/policies.

If you are aware of hazing, please contact either the LEAD Center Staff at 510.642.5171 or the Center for Student Conduct at 510.643.9069 or studentconduct@berkeley.edu.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to if you have a question or concern. Depending on your comfortability and level of concern, you can utilize the following options:

  1. Center for Student Conduct – 510.643.9069 or studentconduct@berkeley.edu
  2. LEAD Center Staff – 510.642.5171
  3. Dean of Students – 510.642.6741
  4. UCPD Emergency Number – 510.642.3333
  5. Berkeley Police Department Emergency Number – 510.981.5911
What should I do if I think I or someone I know is being hazed?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to if you have a question or a concern. Depending on your comfortability and level of concern, you can utilize the following options:

  1. Center for Student Conduct – 510.643.9069 or studentconduct@berkeley.edu
  2. LEAD Center Staff – 510.642.5171
  3. Dean of Students – 510.642.6741
  4. UCPD Emergency Number – 510.642.3333
  5. Berkeley Police Department Emergency Number – 510.981.5911

The (inter)national fraternity and sorority organizations; the University of California, Berkeley; the four councils: IFC, MCGC, NPHC, and PHC; and state law prohibit hazing.

Hazing is defined as:
Participation in hazing or any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a campus organization or other activity engaged in by the organization or members of the organization at any time that causes, or is likely to cause, physical injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in psychological harm to any student or other person.