How Do You Pursue Fraternity/Sorority Life?
Making the decision to pursue membership in a fraternity or sorority is indeed an important one, and should not be made casually. Membership is a privilege and like any successful organization, there are obligations which accompany membership.
There are a few different ways eligible* students (eligibility requirements listed below) can participate in membership activities throughout the year.
Spring recruitment occurs throughout January and is the primary form of recruitment on campus. It is a centralized process in which fraternity/sorority leaders plan and implement specific events for potential new members and active members to meet and highlight the unique components of one group to another. The process is mutually selective which means that potential new members make decisions about returning to a future chapter event while the chapters are extending invitations for future events to men and women they are interested in extending a bid to. Though the process is not perfect, potential new members who remain objective, genuine and intentional about their decisions, are most pleased with the outcome of Recruitment.
At the beginning of fall, most fraternities and some sororities recruit eligible* students through a more informal process than in the spring.
University Eligibility Requirements to Join a Fraternity or Sorority
- have completed at least 12 credit hours
- be a currently enrolled full-time undergraduate student
- have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
- and be in good judicial standing with the university
- not being in good judicial standing can include repeated alcohol violations, drug possession or distribution, incidents of violence, etc.
Formal Sorority Recruitment
In January each year, sorority recruitment starts prior to classes beginning. This requires that potential new members return to campus early. Registration is required to participate in recruitment and there is a fee to participate (traditionally this fee ranges from $100-$125 depending on time of registration).
Schedule (specific dates to be determined):
- Active sorority women can begin moving back into their rooms.
- Women participating in recruitment need to return by 5 p.m. on this day. Women who wish to return before that date need to make arrangements with the Residential Life Office as the Women’s Panhellenic Association can only ensure room access while recruitment is actually being held.
- Welcome dinner for women participating in recruitment in the DUC followed by a mandatory meeting.
- Round 1 of Formal Recruitment – Arete Round. Women will visit all nine chapters.
- Round 2 of Formal Recruitment – Philanthropy Round. Women will be invited back to a MAXIMUM of seven chapters on this day. Schedules are not created until – Round 2 of Formal Recruitment – Philanthropy Round. Women will be invited back to a maximum of six chapters on this day.
- Round 3 of Formal Recruitment – Sisterhood Round. Women will be invited back to a MAXIMUM of five chapters on this day.
- Bid/Unity Day. Bids (chapter invitations) will be distributed in the morning, followed by a Women’s Panhellenic Association Unity ceremony. Chapter bid day activities will occur from 12–5 p.m. that afternoon.
Once registered, potential new members will be assigned to a recruitment counselor, who disaffiliates from her own chapter in order to serve as an unbiased, pressure-free resource for the women.
If a woman is not eligible because of grades or conduct reasons, a staff member from Campus Life will contact that woman over winter break once grades are posted. Potential new members begin by attending events hosted by all sororities and throughout the four rounds, narrows down her preferences and attends fewer sorority events, however potential new members are required to attend every event she is invited to. On the final night of recruitment, potential new members rank their top two sorority choices but will not receive more than one bid for membership. A high percentage of women receive a sorority bid for membership, but there is no guarantee that all women will receive a bid.
Letters of recommendation are NOT required to participate in formal or informal recruitment. If an alumni of one of the nine national organizations would like to submit a reference form, they can do so by contacting their national office to get the proper form and instructions on how to submit the form. Some chapters encourage letters, but again they are not required.
If sending a letter/forms to a chapter on campus, you can use the following address:
Attn: Recruitment Chair
1 Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1068
St. Louis, MO 63130
If you are interested in joining our community and have questions, please email and we will provide you information about future opportunities.
Formal Fraternity Recruitment
Formal fraternity recruitment events occur at the end of January once classes have begun. To improve the experience for interested students, chapters will be hosting an open house and an open event in the Fall semester.
Fall Chapter Dinners
In the month of November, every Monday night at 6:30-9 p.m.; three fraternities will host a chapter dinner. These events provide students interested in joining a Fraternity an opportunity to visit as many organizations as possible to learn about each chapter.
Open House Night
All chapters will host an open house to kick of Spring Recruitment. Students are encouraged to visit as many chapters as they are interested to learn more about the individual recruitment events each chapter is holding.
Open Recruitment Events
Each chapter will host up to two Open Events. All students interested in that chapter are encouraged to attend these open events.
Closed Recruitment Events
Each chapter will host a series of Closed Events. These events are by invitation only. These are to allow chapters to get to know potential members more personally.
Fraternity Bid Extension/Acceptance
This is the process in which chapters offer a bid, invitation for membership, to students who they are interested in joining their chapter. Students who receive more than one bid will be able to choose the one bid they accept.
General information about the format
Prior to receiving bids, men who did not meet the minimum academic or judicial requirements will be notified. Interested men will find posters around campus, which indicate when and where each fraternity is hosting Recruitment events over the three-week period. Men will pick and choose the events they wish to attend until the end of Recruitment. Typically there is a period of about 1-2 weeks of open events where anyone can attend and then most fraternities have a week of closed events that are by invitation only. After events have stopped, potential new members may receive one bid or multiple bids to join different fraternities. There is a 24 hour no-contact period to give the potential new member some time to make his decision. Bid acceptance day takes place two days after bid extension and this is when the potential new member accepts his bid to one fraternity. For more information on men’s recruitment, please visit the IFC Website.
Informal Fall Recruitment
Some fraternities and sororities can recruit members in the fall in which non first-year students are eligible to participate, provided the minimum academic requirements have been met. It is important to note that the only opportunity to attend and get to know ALL fraternities and sororities is in January. Fall recruitment is informal and left up to each chapter to plan if they so desire. Typically not all sororities participate in informal recruitment, but if you are an upperclassmen who has questions about women’s informal recruitment options, please contact the Women’s Panhellenic Association. Information about men’s fall recruitment can be found on the InterFraternity Council webpage located under the “Fraternity Life” tab location in the menu bar on the left. Please note, first year students cannot join until their second semester. Just like Formal Fraternity Recruitment, men interested in joining a chapter MUST register prior to receiving a bid from a chapter. At that point in time, the link for the registration site will be posted on this page.
National Pan-Hellenic Council Intake
Washington University in St. Louis does not have National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations that are specific to our campus. Many of the organizations have city-wide chapters in which membership is made up from students attending various colleges and universities within St. Louis. While the organizations are not recognized on any one specific campus, Washington University does work with our students in these organizations to aid them in reserving spaces for meetings, intake events, and educational programs. If you have questions or would like more information about any of the city-wide organizations, please contact the chapters using the websites listed by their chapter names.
Alpha Psi Lambda — Co-ed Latino Fraternity
We are excited to have Alpha Psi Lambda on campus as an official chapter starting this semester, Spring 2018! If you have questions or would like more information about Alpha Psi Lambda, please contact Campus Life so we can help you.