How to Join




    A student interested in Fraternity and Sorority Life is encouraged to learn more about all the chapters. This process of exploration is called recruitment. Recruitment begins early each semester.

    Millions of people have joined Greek organizations and have had their lives changed for the better as a result. Even if you don't end up joining an organization, participating in recruitment can be a great learning experience and a great time to make new friends. So get out there and explore Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL)! On this page you will find:


    Why Join

    Recruitment Tips


    FSL Terminology


    *please visit our Sorority Recruitment  and Fraternity Recruitment  subpages for more informaion*

    *still have questions? email Kimberlee Monteaux De Freitas,*



    Why Join?

    Success: I want to be successful in life.

    What does this mean to me?
    • I want to do well academically and graduate in four years and have a job that pays me well.
    • I want to do research or have an internship in my field of study.
    • I want to have a rapport with my professors.
    • I want to have mentors and friends to help me develop as a student and as a person.
    How will joining a fraternity or sorority help me?
    • Fraternities and sororities stress academics, rewarding those who excel in the classroom. They have academic expectations for members and resources to assist members during their education and into their job search.
    • Members develop relationships with chapter alumni who can assist with resumes, job placement, marketing your Fraternity/Sorority experience, and settling in a new location after graduation.
    • Fraternities and sororities provide opportunities to meet many people who will assist you. Educational programs will introduce you to campus resources that will help you excel.
    • Compared to non-Greek students, Greeks are 2.6 times more likely to graduate within six years and make about $5,000 more in their first job.


    Personal Development: I want to be a better person.

    What does this mean to me?
    • I want leadership opportunities and learn to work efficiently with others and learn how to confront inappropriate behavior.
    • I want to learn how to interact socially with others in an appropriate way.
    • I want responsibility, both personally and professionally.
    • I want to be involved in my community.
    • I want to be aware of and celebrate diversity.
    • I want to develop life skills, including money management, working within a team, living on my own, and running an organization.
    How will joining a fraternity or a sorority help me?
    • The Fraternity/Sorority experience facilitates personal development according to the university-wide undergraduate experience, which is designed to be intentional, comprehensive, and developmental.
    • Intentional:
      • The chance to be a leader is not only available but expected. Chapters have leadership positions, financial responsibilities, and policies and procedures to follow, much like most organizations and companies. At a community level, the Order of Omega recognizes outstanding Fraternity/Sorority leaders for their valuable service.
      • Fraternities and sororities offer leadership training and development at a chapter, campus, regional, and national level. There is a specific training for new members, for initiated chapter members, and for those holding positions within the chapter.
    • Comprehensive:
      • Within weeks of becoming affiliated with a chapter, you will have brothers or sisters with whom you will form a mentoring relationship and go to for guidance and support. Additionally, there are chances to shadow and learn from current officers.
      • Chapter members learn from and build on previous experiences and leadership positions. Recognizing this important idea, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life sponsors a transition workshop to help chapters facilitate the passing of responsibility to newer members. ¨
    • Developmental:
      • A fraternity or sorority is a group of men and women who work together to achieve goals. You will learn how to plan events, work with people, hold members accountable for their behaviors, confront inappropriate behavior, build relationships, and praise others for a job well done. Each semester, the Fraternity/Sorority Community sponsors a campus wide leadership conference with workshops that help to build valuable skills.
      • Fraternity and sorority life is social in nature, but that does not imply drinking or partying. It allows you to meet other people in a fun environment and become comfortable getting to know people you have met for the first time.
      • Campus chapters are diverse in of themselves, with members from many different racial, religious, regional, and other backgrounds. Fraternities and sororities are sensitive to and educated upon diversity issues.
      • Fraternities and sororities hold in high regard their responsibility to give back to the community. Whether it is donating their time, working with others, or raising money for a worthy cause.

    Lifelong Friends: I want to form lifelong friendships.

    What does this mean to me?
    • I want to find a close-knit group of friends and create a positive “home away from home” environment.
    • After graduating from college, I want to have a connection with my alma mater and look forward to returning and contributing to my school.
    • I want friendships based on a set of common values and interests.
    • I want to form a network of friends who will assist me personally and professionally in the future.
    How will joining a fraternity or sorority help me?
    • A fraternity or sorority gives you the opportunity to make new friends who will be with you long after graduation. The men and women you meet today will be the ones who stand up in your wedding, provide guidance when you are struggling, and share in your happiness for many years.
    • Many fraternities and sororities have alumni who will share their experiences and help prepare you for life after graduation. Advisors and House Directors are alumni who may come from different undergraduate institutions but share a common bond nonetheless.
    • By seizing the opportunity to join a chapter, you will have the chance to share common experiences, challenge your thoughts and beliefs, learn from others, and thus create the basis for lifelong friendships. 
    • Fraternities and sororities have a foundation of values and standards known as the ritual. Through ritual, you will learn the basic concepts of friendship and values that will bring you closer to your brothers and sisters. This common bond will be with you for your life.


    Enjoy Life: I want to have fun in college!

    What does this mean to me?
    • I want to meet new people, do new things, and expand my horizons.
    • I need stress relieving activities.
    • I want to participate in campus events.
    • I want to visit new places.
    How will joining a fraternity or sorority help me?
    • Chapters often participate in campus events and go to sporting events. Fraternity and Sorority life gets involved in many campus activities, from hosting booths at Springfest to co-sponsoring programs with the Center for Women.
    • You will be encouraged to get involved in other student organizations.
    • Many fraternities and sororities participate in intramural sports that will give you the opportunity to play competitive athletics ranging from football and tennis to almost everything in between. 
    • Fraternities and sororities have organized informal events and activities for members and guests.


    Reference Courtesy of North-American Interfraternity Council:
    Sax, L.J., Astin, A.W., Korn, W.S. & Mahoney, K.M. (1999) The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 1999, Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA.



    Recruitment Tips

    Be Yourself. There is nothing more important than being yourself during recruitment. Recruitment is a time to get to know the organizations and to choose the chapter that is the best fit for you.

    Evaluate each chapter carefully. Each organization has a unique culture. When choosing a fraternity or sorority, you must decide what you want from your Fraternity/Sorority experience. Ask many questions to determine which organization is the best fit for you. Join the organization where you feel most comfortable and where you feel you can grow the most.

    Visit as many chapters as you can during recruitment week. Concentrate on those organizations you are interested in and attend many recruitment events as you need to get to know each chapter.

    Dry recruitment. Alcohol is not allowed at any recruitment event or activity. UVM, IFC, and Panhellenic policies stipulate that all events and activities associated with fraternity recruitment must be alcohol free. Violation of this rule is a serious infraction and the guilty chapter is subject to severe disciplinary action.

    Ask questions. Some useful questions you might want to ask during recruitment are:

    • What types of scholarship programs are offered by your chapter? 
    • What type of leadership opportunities are there?
    • What types of community service does your fraternity or sorority take part in? 
    • What kind of social activities do you have each year?
    • How involved is your chapter with IFC/Panhellenicl, student government, and other student organizations?
    • What is the time commitment for joining your fraternity/sorority?
    • How will your fraternity/sorority help prepare me for graduation and life after college?
    • How much will joining your fraternity/sorority cost?
    • What is your new member membership education program like? What is its purpose?

    Recruitment week activities. Once announced and gathered, schedules for all recruitment events will be posted on this website to assist you in planning your individual rush schedule, so check back periodically for dates. Be sure to keep an eye out for posters and flyers posted across campus, as well.

    Dress. Unless otherwise stated, there is no specific dress code for recruitment. Most potential new members dress casually.




    What is recruitment or "rush"?
    A student interested in Fraternity and Sorority Life is encouraged to find out about all of the chapters at UVM. This process of exploration is called recruitment or "rush". Recruitment occurs during the first few weeks of fall and spring semesters. Most chapters promote year-round recruitment. Fraternities have an informal process through which a student can visit as few or as many chapters as they choose. At the end of the rush period, Fraternities and Sororities make decisions regarding who they would like to give an invitation to join. The invitation to join is known as a "bid". Bids are usually issued immediately following the rush period, but can be issued throughout the semester.


    How do I know which chapter to choose?
    Recruitment events give you the opportunity to discover the personalities of the nine fraternity chapters at UVM. It is up to you to decide which chapter fits your needs best. Keep the following in mind as you visit the different chapters:

    -Take your time making a decision.

    -Keep an open mind, and get to know each individual fraternity. Look for qualities that are most important to you.
    -Think about how you might profit from being a member of a specific fraternity, as well as how you will contribute to it.
    -Do not let your friends' choices influence your decision.
    -Make the choice that is best for you.

    What kind of financial obligations are there?
    Dues vary according to chapters. Most chapters charge a new member fee to cover the cost of your new member period. Upon your activation into the chapter, you are charged an initiation fee. Finally, as an active brother, you are charged brotherhood dues. These finances are billed to your either per semester or annually. Please feel free to inquire about each chapter's financial obligations during recruitment.



    FSL Terminology


    Active: a fully initiated undergraduate member of a fraternity/sorority

    Alumna/Alumnae: an initiated member of a sorority who has received their undergraduate degree. Alumnae is plural.

    Alumnus/Alumni: an initiated member of a fraternity who has received their undergraduate degree. Alumni is plural.

    Bid: a formal invitation given by a fraternity or sorority asking a prospective member to join the chapter.

    Big Brother/Big Sister: an older member assigned to assist a new member in his/her college transition.

    Brother: a term used within men’s fraternities when referring to other members.

    Chapter: a local collegiate membership of a  fraternal organization.

    Colony: a fraternal membership which is in a trial period with their national organization and the University before becoming a chapter.

    Fraternity: a Greek letter sisterhood or brotherhood.

    Greek: any member of a Greek letter organization (sorority or fraternity).

    Formal Recruitment: a designated membership recruitment period during which sororities hold a series of organized events. 

    Hazing: An abusive way of treating new members that can be in the form of physical or mental abuse, humiliation, or harassment. UVM and the state of Vermont takes a strong stance against hazing as it is illegal and against the core values of the university and Fraternity and Sorority Life.

    IMPACT: a conference held every two years for fraternities and sororites to set agendas for the future. Hosted by the NIC.

    Informal/Open Recruitment: the unstructured recruitment process by which chapters bring in new members. Sometimes called the "rush" period

    Initiation: the formal ritual ceremony that brings new members into full membership of the sorority or fraternity.

    Interfraternity Council (IFC): the governing body for all of UVM's fraternities.

    Legacy: a prospective member whose immediate relative(s) were in a recognized sorority or fraternity.

    New Member: a woman or man who has accepted a fraternity or sorority bid, but has not been initiated.

    New Member Program: the period when New Members learn about Fraternity and Sorority Life and their fraternity or sorority's history, values, and expectations.

    NGLA: Northeast Greek Leadership Association.

    NIC: North American Interfraternity Conference.

    NPC: National Panhellenic Conference.

    NPHC: National Pan-Hellenic Council.

    Panhellenic Council: The governing body for all UVM Sororities

    Pillars of Excellence: Standards Fraternities and Sororities hold themselves to. The seven standards are Pillar of Values Integration,Pillar of Intellectual Development,Pillar of Citizenship and Service, Pillar of Leadership Development, Pillar of Recruitment and Retention, Pillar of Internal Affairs, and Pillar of Risk Management and Awareness.

    Potential New Member: a person participating in recruitment events.

    Ritual: Ritual can be big 'R' and little 'r'. Big R Ritual is the ceremonial practices that each chapter has that is unique to them and sets them apart from other organizations. Little r is the values that each chapter has and the way they live up to their organizations' Ritual in their everyday lives.

    Sister: a term used within sororities when referring to other members.

    Sorority: a Greek letter sisterhood.

    Total: The established maximum amount of members allowed in NPC sororities. At UVM it is 70

    VISIONS: The Standards that UVM holds Fraternity and Sorority Life and its members to in order to maintain a positive atmosphere in the UVM and Burlington Community. Visions events are held throughout the year to spread awareness on topics such as hazing, racism, community relations, fire safety, and chapter management.
    VISIONS Stands for Values citIzenship academicS indIviduality cOmmunity iNtegrity.