Prospective Members

greek group

Why Join?

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:

Accountability

  • 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, and globally

Inclusion and social justice

  • An understanding of identities other than your own
  • Demonstrated appreciation of differences
  • Ability to advocate for self and others

Personal growth

 
  • 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

seeking purpose

  • Understanding of self
  • A sense of belonging
  • Ability to comprehend and explain the purpose of fraternities and sororities

Leadership Opportunities

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 students.

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.

Council Members

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.

Greek Ambassadors

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 Development.

 

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 recruitment).

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.

 


greek alphabet

 

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

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