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FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about joining a fraternity or sorority. If you don’t see the information you’re looking for, please reach out directly and we’ll do our best to answer your question: fsa@umkc.edu or call (816)235-6199.

What is a fraternity or sorority?

A fraternity or sorority is a group of men or women formed by a brotherhood or sisterhood with common goals and aspirations. 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.

Fraternities and sororities have been part of college campuses since the late 18th-century. These organizations are referred to as “Greek” because their names consist of Greek letters that serve as a reminder of the group’s values.

Though there are many different fraternities and sororities, they all share common founding principles that may be of interest to any UMKC student. Greek organizations enhance your educational experience by emphasizing academic, personal, and professional growth. The ideals of fellowship, scholarship, service and philanthropy, and leadership are what fraternity and sorority members strive to live by every day.

How can I join a fraternity or sorority?

Fraternities and sororities at UMKC accept new members through a processes called recruitment or intake.

There are two forms of recruitment: formal and informal. Formal recruitment is held near the beginning of the fall semester each year for Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) groups. The formal process lasts approximately a week and requires attendance at recruitment events to get to know the fraternities or sororities. In order to participate in recruitment you must register with IFC or CPC. Check out our How to Join page for more information on registration. During the spring, the CPC sororities have informal recruitment (called COB or COR for short). This process is shorter and tends to be less of a time commitment but not all of the sororities participate in informal recruitment.  At the end of recruitment, bids, or invitations to membership, are distributed and the new member orientation process begins. After completing the orientation, new members are initiated into the organization.

Participation in the membership intake process is required in order to join an NPHC organization. Intake occurs at various times throughout the year at the discretion of each organization. During intake, individuals participate in the new member orientation process and at its conclusion are initiated. It is heavily encouraged that students do extensive research into NPHC fraternity or sorority by visiting their web sites and reading historical documents about each group, prior to contacting the organization.

When can I join a fraternity or sorority?

For many organizations you can join at any point in your college career. Most formal recruitment processes take place in the fall semester, however some of our chapters may hold a more informal recruitment in the spring, as well. For NPHC and independent fraternities and sororities, you may need college credit hours prior to participating in the intake process, this will vary for the organizations so it would be best to check their national website to find that information. It also depends on the chapter whether they will host intake in the fall or spring.

How big is Greek life at UMKC?

There are 13 chapters; 6 fraternities and 7 sororities. Of these, four are Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities, four are Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) sororities, two are historically African American fraternities, two are historically African American sororities, and one is a historically Latina sorority. Fraternity and sorority members make up 5% of the student population at UMKC!

I want to succeed academically. Will membership hinder those efforts?

The fraternity and sorority community at University Missouri –Kansas City strives for academic excellence and improved scholastic achievement. Each chapter has chosen a grade point average requirement which each member must maintain to be active. Chapters also offer academic assistance for its members, providing study areas and peer tutoring. Every chapter understands that its members are students first, and provide recognition to those who excel and also improve their academic standing. Every chapter has a minimum GPA requirement for membership of at least a 2.5 or higher. The specific requirements vary from chapter to chapter. Historically, the fraternity and sorority community here has earned a higher GPA than their non-Greek peers!

What will it cost for me to join?

Joining a fraternity or sorority does carry a financial commitment. Each chapter is self-supporting through dues paid by their members and when students join a fraternity or sorority, they also agree to pay dues and fees while in school to maintain membership. Although chapters may make accommodations for special needs, students should consider the financial obligations and request information from the chapters before deciding to join. Each chapter has different dues for membership that cover such things as chapter and national dues, dues to their respective council, social activities, and miscellaneous costs.

What questions should I ask before joining a fraternity or sorority?

Here are some ideas about what you might want to discuss before joining.

  • What is expected of fraternity or sorority members?
  • How will membership affect my academics?
  • What leadership opportunities are available to students as both new members and initiated members?
  • Does the chapter perform hands-on community service? If so, how often?
  • Does the fraternity or sorority require members to live in the facility (if housing is available)? If so, for how long?
  • What are the expenses associated with membership?
  • What type of member is the chapter looking for?
  • What values does this organization promote?
  • What is the time commitment?
  • Describe the new member orientation process. What are the expectations of new members?
  • How well do you know the members in your chapter?
  • What benefits can your chapter offer me now and after I graduate?
  • How involved are your alumni members?
  • How is your chapter different than the others?
  • Why did you join your chapter?

What is the time commitment involved in belonging to a fraternity or sorority?

The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter, but the first semester is usually the most time intensive as the new member goes through the chapter’s education program. The time spent in this program will give you the opportunity to develop your leadership and time management skills, learn about the history and tradition of the organization, learn etiquette techniques, develop friendships with your new member class as well as the rest of the chapter and allow you to become involved in other activities and organizations.

After the initiation into the chapter, expectations will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropic events, service and initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. The majority of UMKC fraternity and sorority members attend class full-time, work and are active in their chapter!

What about pledging and hazing?

Each new member participates in a period of orientation, where they attend meetings and learn about the history of the chapter, the university, and the values shared by each chapter across the nation. Hazing is opposed by all sororities and fraternities at UMKC, and is not tolerated. UMKC and all inter/national headquarter have strict anti-hazing policies that all chapters must adhere to.

The University of Missouri System Hazing Statement (PDF)
The State of Missouri’s Anti-Hazing Law (PDF)

What is considered hazing?
Hazing is any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. Here are some examples:

Subtle Hazing

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members and active or existing members. Some Examples: Deception; assigning demerits; silence periods with implied repercussions; deprivation of privileges for some members; requiring new members to perform duties not assigned to existing members; socially isolating new members; random tests on information; name calling; requiring new members to refer to other members with titles (e.g. Mr. Miss, etc.) while they are identified with demeaning names; expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession

Harassment Hazing

Behaviors that confuse, frustrate, and/or cause undue stress to some members are considered harassment hazing. Some Examples: Verbal abuse; threats or implied threats; line-ups; asking new members to wear humiliating attire; stunt or skit events with degrading, crude or humiliating acts; personal servitude for active members; sleep deprivation.

Violent Hazing

Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional harm. Some Examples: Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption; beating, paddling or other physical acts; branding; forced or coerced ingestion or vile substances; water intoxication; condoning the mistreatment of animals; expecting illegal activity; abductions and/kidnapping.

NOTE: It is impossible to list all possible forms of hazing, so the preceding list only generally categorizes hazing behaviors.
Portions reprinted with permission from Stop Hazing.

What does the University do to support the chapters?

The Office of Student Involvement works very closely with all social fraternities and sororities to help them realize and maximize their potential. A full-time staff member, the Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, is devoted to creating educational programming and training for members to help them develop and grow, and to provide oversight and advising to help them follow paths to excellence. UMKC works directly with members, student leaders, volunteer advisors, inter/national headquarters offices, and national networks of Fraternity and Sorority Life professionals to assure the success of our chapters and individual members.

Whom do I contact with questions about fraternities and sororities at UMKC?

If you have questions about UMKC Fraternity and Sorority Affairs that are not answered on this site, please contact fsa@umkc.edu or call (816)235-6199. We’ll be glad to help you.