Currently, Washington University is pleased to recognize 11 IFC fraternities, nine NPC sororities, four NPHC organizations, and one Latino co-ed fraternity.
Approximately 25-30% of undergraduate students are members of Greek organizations. During the fall semester there are usually around 1,400 Greek affiliated students on campus and in the spring semester that number grows to over 2,000 after formal recruitment for both men and women.
Making the decision to join a Greek organization is a significant one. It is a lifelong commitment that extends beyond a student’s college career. Washington University strongly encourages parents to be involved in the important decision making process.
Greek Life at Washington University provides students with a variety of opportunities to get involved in their campus community. With 25-30% of the campus population being Greek, these enthusiastic students plan philanthropy events, serve as student leaders for campus organizations, host social events and participate in Washington University intramurals.
The expectations associated with being a member of a fraternity or sorority do place demands on a student’s time. However, these are not only social and philanthropic. Our Greek organizations place a high emphasis on successful academics. In fact, most organizations offer scholarship programs for new members to follow. However demanding a new member program can be, there is always room for flexibility. The key concept for parents to be aware of is communication! Just as Washington University students are expected to communicate their difficulties to their professors, it is no different within a fraternity or sorority. If your son or daughter experiences being overextended or overwhelmed, encourage him to talk the New Member Educator or Chapter President. Once those difficulties have been communicated, the chapter should make every effort to assist their member. If the problem persists after discussing it with the New Member Educator or Chapter President, please have your son or daughter contact Campus Life at 314-935-3443.
Washington University sororities do not have houses. Instead, each chapter has a “suite” in the Ann Olin Women’s Building. These suites are designed similarly to a living room and are non-residential. The suite provides a place on the main campus for members to hang out, conduct study groups, and hold chapter business meetings.
Ten of the twelve IFC fraternities have houses on campus, which are located in The Village and in the area commonly referred to as the “Fraternity Upper Row.” At some point in your son’s college career, the University expects members to live in the chapter house. The University believes that living in the fraternity house can be a unique and rewarding experience. Fraternity room charges (except for the off-campus fraternity house, ZBT) are billed through your son’s Washington University student account. Pricing information is located under the Housing tab on this website. Fraternity residents are billed for their room based on how the room is being utilized (e.g. single, double, triple) so your son’s room rate may change depending upon room occupancy per semester.
Websites to take a closer look at:
First-year students are not allowed to join a fraternity or sorority until the spring semester. Upperclassmen may join during the fall semester if chapters are taking new members at that time as long as they are an undergraduate student attending Washington University, have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, have taken at least 12 credit hours, and are in good judicial standing with the university. Men and women who are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority must sign grade and judicial releases and register with the Interfraternity Council or Women’s PanHellenic Association prior to attending any recruitment events. More information on specific recruitment policies, procedures, and dates can be found on the Interfraternity Council website for the men and on the Women’s Panhellenic Association website for the women. You can also check out the Joining page for more details.
Sorority Recruitment is the weekend before school begins and the first weekend after classes start in January. More information about recruitment will be available on the WPA website.
No, men’s recruitment will start with open houses after classes begin in the fall and spring. More information about men’s recruitment can be found on the IFC website.
Hazing is perhaps the biggest disgrace of the American fraternity system. Popular movies and television shows have created the impression that all chapters include hazing activities as a step in becoming an active member of the organization. This is not true. Hazing is forbidden amongst all Greek organizations, not to mention in the state of Missouri. As a conscientious parent of the WU Greek community, it is imperative that you help us to eliminate any potential hazing. That includes an obligation to report hazing if you see it or hear about it through your son or daughter. If your son or daughter needs to report a hazing incident they should contact Campus Life. We want to support a Greek community that is rooted in the values and principles of our 18 organizations and with your help this can be possible! For more information you can check out StopHazing.
The following is a list of suggestions that may help ease your student’s transition to both the University and the Greek community.
Washington University takes its commitment to individual fraternity/sorority students as well as chapters very seriously. Your son or daughter may use the resources found within Campus Life whenever needed. Campus Life is located on the second floor of the Danforth University Center in Suite 270. The professional staff working directly with fraternities and sororities can be found below. If, at any time, you would like more information about Fraternity and Sorority Life or would like to speak with a member of the staff, please do not hesitate to contact us at 314-935-5994.
- Be happy and supportive with your son’s or daughter’s choice of fraternity or sorority.
- Encourage your son or daughter to attend programs sponsored by Campus Life
- Know the name and phone number of the chapter president, new member educator, and chapter advisor.
- Ask for details about the financial aspect of membership. If you are paying, you have the right to know. Many one time dues are paid during the first year, so expect the first year to be the most expensive.
- Initiation is an important time for the new initiates. Be supportive and respectful of this time for your student.
- Talk with your son or daughter. Stay in touch with phone calls, letters, and care packages.
- Attend Parents’ Weekend as well as special events sponsored by the chapter.
- Expect to see numerous new t-shirts, photos and Greek paraphernalia.
- Encourage your son or daughter to be a part of the University community and to take advantage of its many resources.