Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities now occupy a place in American popular culture, but they are much more than the stereotypes portrayed in movies and television. Fraternities and sororities are organizations made up of groups of students that have bonded together and agreed to live out the values espoused by their founders, their creed and the national organization. Fraternities and sororities are values-based social organizations, meaning they subscribe to a specific set of core values and beliefs and incorporate concepts such as brotherhood/sisterhood, community service, scholarship, leadership, and building relationships into their daily actions.
Why should I join?
National data demonstrate that members of fraternities and sororities have increased retention and graduation rates, outperform campus GPA averages, and have increased feelings of belonging and connection. They also report higher rates of preparation for life after college and success in the workplace.
In 2018, the Dickinson fraternity/sorority community donated more than 6,600 hours of community service and $11,000 to the local community and philanthropic causes.
Who can join a fraternity or sorority?
First-year Dickinson students may join a fraternity or sorority beginning in their second semester. Transfer and upperclass students may join after completing at least one semester at Dickinson or another accredited college or university. To join a Panhellenic sorority, a student must have completed at least 3 credits and achieved a 2.6 cumulative GPA. These are baseline expectations. Organizations may have additional requirements for membership including credit hours, GPA, and/or service hours.
How will joining a fraternity or sorority affect my academics?
The earliest fraternities and sororities were founded to supplement the academic experience of their members, and scholarship has remained a primary focus of these organizations. Each organization has an officer position to support the academic achievement of members, and the all-Greek GPA at Dickinson is higher than the all-student GPA.
How much does it cost?
Each organization charges dues to cover costs such as programs, events, materials, and insurance. Some groups may require payment each semester, while others will require a one-time payment. For groups that pay by semester, dues typically range from $200-$500 each semester. Organizations with primary payment at the start of membership may require $800-$1,500. Students should discuss payment plans and scholarship options with the individual organizations and councils.
How much time does it take?
Membership in a fraternity or sorority requires an investment of time. Fraternities and sororities hold regular chapter meetings, host philanthropic and social events, and encourage community service. Students who choose to take on leadership roles will have additional responsibilities and time commitments.
I have more questions. Who should I contact?
You may contact the Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement (SLCE) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 245-1671.
Terms to Know
Organization: A local, national, or international fraternity or sorority
Chapter/Entity: The designation of the organization specific to Dickinson
FSL: Fraternity/Sorority Life, also known as Greek Life
Panhellenic Association: The governing council of Dickinson sororities
Council of Fraternities: The governing council of Dickinson fraternities
Potential New Member (PNM): A student who is interested in joining a fraternity/sorority
Bid: An invitation to join a Panhellenic sorority or COF fraternity
New Member Education (NME): The period in which new members learn about their fraternity/sorority in between accepting an invitation to join and being initiated. At Dickinson, NME may be no longer than four weeks.
New Member/Associate Member/Neophyte: A student who has accepted an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority but has not yet been initiated
Initiation: The ceremony in which a new member/associate member/neophyte becomes a full member of the fraternity/sorority and accepts full rights and responsibilities of lifelong membership.
Member/Prophyte: An individual who has been initiated into their fraternity/sorority.
Information on Joining
Joining a Fraternity
The Council of Fraternities hosts a recruitment week at the beginning of the spring semesters so students can meet each of the fraternities on campus. The fraternities also host individual recruitement events and informational sessions to meet interested students and share information about membership requirements.
The minimum requirements for a student to join any fraternity are below, although some fraternities have additional stipulations such as a higher GPA threshold or community service requirements.
Completed at least 1 semester and 3 credits
Cumulative GPA 2.50 or higher
In good conduct standing with Dickinson
Joining a Sorority
Panhellenic Association Recruitment
Delta Nu, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi participate in Panhellenic recruitment. The primary recruitment period comprises multiple rounds during which potential new members visit each of the chapters. Through a process of mutual selection, students narrow their choices until they select a sorority following the last round. Recruitment typically occurs just after the start of the spring semester.
To be eligible to participate in Panhellenic's primary recruitment process, a woman must be a regularly enrolled, full-time undergraduate student who is on-campus and in good standing with Dickinson College. She must have completed at least 3 credits in one semester and have a 2.6 or better cumulative GPA. Women who choose to participate in the recruitment process MUST pay a $20 registration fee prior to the beginning of recruitment. This fee covers administrative materials for recruitment. Payment may be made by cash to the Student Life Office in the lower level of the HUB.
The next primary recruitment period will take place in January 2021.
Some sororities may also participate in recruitment activities in the fall semester. These activities will be announced by the participating organization(s) and sophomore, junior, and senior students are eligible to participate.
Multicultural Sorority Recruitment
Delta Sigma Theta and Sigma Lambda Gamma conduct intake processes in fall and/or spring semesters. Interested students should contact these sororities to inquire about dates for informational sessions and application requirements.
Participation in organizations that have had their recognition suspended or revoked by the College is prohibited and is a violation of the Community Standards. These violations may result in individual sanctions up to and including suspension from the College. Organizations will also be charged when an individual is charged with unauthorized fraternity or sorority membership, and unauthorized organizations found to be operating (including participation in recruitment, new member activities or living in a house or apartment run by or on behalf of an unrecognized group) will face an extension of current sanctions.
- Alpha Chi Rho - Phi Beta Chapter
- Beta Theta Pi - Alpha Sigma Chapter
- Chi Phi - Omega Chapter
- Delta Chi - Dickinson Chapter
- Kappa Sigma - Beta-Pi Chapter
- Phi Delta Theta - Theta PA Epsilon Chapter
- Phi Epsilon Pi - Iota Chapter
- Phi Kappa Psi - PA Zeta Chapter
- Phi Kappa Sigma - Epsilon Chapter
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon - PA Sigma-Phi Chapter
- Sigma Alpha Mu - Sigma Chapter
- Sigma Chi - Omicron Chapter
- Theta Chi - Pi Chapter
- Theta Delta Chi - Sigma Chapter
- Zeta Beta Tau - Iota Chapter
- Zeta Psi - Alpha Chapter
- Chi Omega - Delta Chapter
- Delta Delta Delta - Gamma Epsilon Chapter
- Gamma Phi Beta - Delta Rho Chapter
- Phi Mu - Beta Delta Chapter
- Zeta Tau Alpha - Beta Beta Chapter