Membership in a fraternity or sorority at Western Carolina University offers students
an enhanced student experience! In addition to the social aspect of the fraternity
and sorority experience, there is a major emphasis on brotherhood/sisterhood, academic
excellence, and service. Every fraternity and sorority has its own unique purpose,
but all organizations are rooted in the same philosophy of growth, development, and
bonding. Fraternities and sororities have a positive impact on both their members
and the greater community.
At WCU, our organizations are represented among three councils. Our community is
committed to our five values: Accountability, Community and Civic Engagement, Inclusion
and Social Justice, Personal Growth, and Seeking Purpose. The intended benefits of
fraternity/sorority membership are as follows:
- Ability to take responsibility for your actions
- Capacity to understand the impact of your actions and the actions of your organization
on the community as a whole
- Ability to make sound decisions
Community and civic engagement
- Ability to comprehend and communicate processes for all councils
- Service to others
- Life-long connections within organizations and community
- Understanding of current events within the community, locally, state-wide, nationally,
Inclusion and social justice
- An understanding of identities other than your own
- Demonstrated appreciation of differences
- Ability to advocate for self and others
- Ability to lead but also be a team member when needed
- Ability to collaborate and compromise
- A commitment to academic excellence and improvement
- Ability to identify ways your membership has contributed to your intellectual, personal,
and social development
- Ability to respond to difficult and/or emotional situations in a composed manner
- Understanding of self
- A sense of belonging
- Ability to comprehend and explain the purpose of fraternities and sororities
As an undergraduate student, there are many ways to get involved at Western Carolina
University. Membership in a fraternity or sorority adds another layer of opportunities
to become a leader. There are opportunities to become a leader at the chapter, council,
and Department level. Leaders within the fraternity and sorority community have an
added sense of belonging and a voice in the current and future experience of Greek
Chapter Executive Positions
The opportunity to lead your chapter is challenging but extremely rewarding. Elections
for chapter executive members are generally conducted on a yearly-basis and voted
on by fellow chapter members. We encourage you to explore this opportunity after becoming
a part of an organization.
Becoming a council member is an opportunity to influence the broader council community
beyond your chapter. Generally council members have been a part of their organizations
for at least a semester. The role of the council (CPC, IFC, NPHC) is to serve the
chapters who are affiliated with them. The councils tend to hold multiple meetings
a month, plan programs, handle finances of the group, and, in some cases, direct recruitment.
As a member of the fraternity and sorority community, there are opportunities to get
involved with the broader community. Greek Ambassadors serve as leaders of the fraternity
and sorority community. This group assists Greek Engagement with recruitment efforts,
educating the broader community, and planning and executing programming. Greek Ambassadors
educate current members and bridge the gap between initiated members and potential
new members by promoting the fraternity and sorority experience and its positive impact
for all students at WCU. This is a leadership opportunity a new member can participate
in for their entire time as a Greek undergraduate student.
Frequently asked questions
What is a greek orgaNIZATION?
A Greek organization is a group of individuals bonded together by common goals and
values. It is referred to as a Greek organization because the name consists of Greek
letters; however, there are organizations whose names are not solely made up of Greek
letters. These bonds are created through historical rituals. Rituals are a shared
experience between members of the fraternal organization. The more common language
used when referring to Greek-letter organizations are fraternities (for men) and sororities
(for women). These organizations have values and purpose that they work to instill
in their members through their everyday activities.
wHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF gREEK STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT?
The Department of Greek Student Engagement and Development oversees the twenty fraternities
and sororities at Western Carolina University. The Greek Engagement staff provides
advisement, programming, and support to all of our fraternal organizations. The Department
is located in the University Center 334.
What is the time commitment?
The fraternity and sorority experience is what you make it. Every chapter has different
requirements; however, each chapter has at least one meeting a week. It is the expectation
of many of our organizations that their members are active during their undergraduate
experience and after college. There are also many additional opportunities to become
involved within a chapter and with the Department of Greek Student Engagement and
What are the financial obligations of being in a fraternity or sorority?
The financial obligations depend on the chapter fees and dues. For more information,
please contact our department at (828) 227-3635.
What are the expectations and responsibilities of fraternities and sororities at WCU?
The Greek Engagement staff believes these expectations are best practices for being
a successful and responsible fraternal member and student. These expectations were
created to set a standard of high achievement for Greek-letter organizations. These
expectations are not in place to penalize students but to challenge them to achieve
at the highest level.
- Understand your behavior has an effect and impact on the entire community not just
yourself, your chapter, or your national organization. The entire Greek community
could be affected.
- Individuals/groups to take responsibility for their own actions.
- Maintain a 2.5 Cumulative GPA.
- Conduct yourself appropriately and professionally.
- Demonstrate self-respect and respect for others.
- Engage with the greater WCU community.
- Demonstrate responsibility and transparency in relation to finances, new member recruitment
and education, conduct, and social events.
- Say something if you see something or know something related to the health or safety
of self or others to prevent crimes from occurring. Report all matters to the necessary
campus resources (e.g. sexual violence or misconduct, hazing, substance abuse, mental
health concerns, etc.).
- Conduct yourself as if you are always wearing your letters.
What are the benefits of joining and fraternity or sorority?
Through our values-based programming and staff support, the members of fraternities
and sororities at WCU will gain the following:
An understanding of the impact of individual and organizational actions, life-long
connections within organizations and the larger community, an understanding and appreciation of identities different from their own, the ability
to advocate for self and others, a commitment to academic excellence, an understanding of self, and a sense of belonging.
How to Join
College Panhellenic Council (CPC) Sorority Recruitment
CPC follows the recruitment guidelines of their governing body, National Panhellenic
Conference (NPC). CPC recruitment is conducted in two ways: Primary recruitment and
open-bidding recruitment. WCU participates in “deferred recruitment,” which is our
“primary” recruitment and begins the week before classes in January. In the fall
semester, CPC and the Department of Greek Student Engagement and Development will
host a variety of opportunities to meet the Panhellenic women, learn about their chapters,
and view their residences in the Village.
Primary recruitment is a formalized, structured process in which the pairing of a
new member and her sorority happens through a mutual selection process. This involves
potential new members ranking the Panhellenic sororities and the sororities evaluating
a potential new member’s fit. This process is used in order to assist both groups
in making the most educated decision.
The open bid process has the potential to happen after primary recruitment in the
spring if total (this number is the maximum of new members a chapter can take) is
not met; However, open bidding typically happens in the fall and is only done by those
chapters that have not met total at that time. Although the open bidding process
is much less formal and structured, The Basics (see above) are still a requirement. First semester students are not able to participate in the open bidding process until their second semester (after primary
The sorority you choose should be completely up to you. Sorority membership is a life-long
commitment that provides sisterhood, networking, values, personal growth, and becoming
something bigger than yourself. Any attempts to recruit a member to a specific organization
outside of primary or open bid recruitment should be reported to CPC and the Department
of Greek Student Engagement and Development.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) Fraternity Recruitment
IFC has an informal recruitment process. All of the chapters will be present at an
Open House event giving first semester students a chance to interact with the IFC
fraternity men and learn about their chapters. IFC will provide a comprehensive calendar
of all the individual chapter events related to recruitment. IFC does not have a
maximum number of new members they can take in the recruitment process. There is
no differentiation in recruitment from the fall to the spring, and The Basics are required for both.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Membership Intake
Interested students are encouraged to visit the Department of Greek Student Engagement
and Development and chat with the staff regarding the intake process, as well as attending
NPHC council events and specific organization’s programs.
Historically, students seeking membership in an NPHC organization identify the group
with which they would like to belong, attend programs sponsored by the chapter, research
the organization’s ideals and requirements for membership, and attend an informational/interest
meeting. It is not generally accepted behavior for a person to attend more than one
organization’s informational/interest meeting or to openly express interest in more
than one organization. Discretion is a major part of the intake process. Students
interested in NPHC should use discretion when disclosing their desire to seek membership
with an NPHC organization. After an informational/interesting meeting, generally students
who are seeking membership are asked to complete an application. The approval of
applications will vary based upon the organization. Once a student has been selected,
the membership education period will begin. The candidates will learn history, ideals,
rituals, and programs of the organization in a private process which could range from
a few days to several weeks. Upon completion of this process, the candidates will
be initiated into the fraternity or sorority. Subsequently, an open event known as
a new initiate presentation, intended to reveal new
NPHC Intake does not occur as a group function nor are all of the organizations hosting
intake every semester. Approval for a chapter to hold intake is done in conjunction
with the chapter members, their advisors, and regional staff. The Department of Greek
Student Engagement and Development will advertise informational/interest meetings
regularly. NOTE: The requirements vary for each organization and some require sophomore standing in
order to apply.
Learning the Greek alphabet can be very beneficial for parents and students who are
new to the world of Fraternities and Sororities. The chapters represented at Western
Carolina University, and chapter names may be represented by two, three, even four
Greek letters. The more familiar you are with the Greek alphabet, the better off you
will be! Also provided is a list of Greek Terminology