You've got questions. We've got answers.
Why should you join a fraternity or sorority?
At first glance, the university experience can seem overwhelming. The fraternity and sorority community gives students the chance to have a support network away from home. The individual chapter will become like a family, and friendships will last a lifetime. By choosing to become a member of a fraternity or sorority, you will meet people who will grow to be close friends, people who will cheer you on and who will support you when the going gets tough. Fraternities and sororities promote the development of close ties between members through living, studying, working and having fun together. Members also meet new people through community service projects, participating in campus events and chapter events.
What is the time commitment involved in belonging to a Fraternity/Sorority?
There is no minimum or maximum time that a student must spend with the fraternity or sorority. Through involvement with the chapter, students will learn to better manage their time, balance academics, work and other commitments. Members find that being active in a fraternity or sorority is well worth the time that they put into it.
Should I be concerned with hazing?
A common concern with fraternity and sorority affiliation is hazing. All the fraternity and sorority governing bodies at Belmont have policies against hazing. The university has a strict policy against hazing. It is also against the law in Tennessee and 43 other states. Hazing is not tolerated at Belmont University. If you have specific concerns, questions or comments, please contact the Office of Student Engagement & Leadership Development (SELD). Belmont University’s official hazing policy is addressed in the Bruin Guide and in the Student Organization Handbook.
Do Fraternities and Sororities have houses at Belmont?
No, Belmont does not provide or allow fraternity and sorority housing on our campus. Part of Belmont’s commitment to providing an inclusive and communal environment for our student organizations is making every effort to keep Greek Life ingrained into campus life, not separate from it. This also keeps costs for membership down, allowing more students the opportunity to be a part of these groups.
How much does membership cost?
Each organization has a different cost/dues structure, so we recommend students seek out organizations directly; however, because Belmont does not provide chapter housing or allow events with alcohol, housing and insurance costs typically associated with Greek chapters are not an issue at Belmont. Most chapters’ dues structure is dictated by the number and type of brotherhood/sisterhood events that the organization hosts annually along with required costs of affiliation to National umbrella organizations. There are often minimal, one-time costs associated with events like formal recruitment or non-mandatory events like conferences or workshops.
How many Belmont students participate in Greek Life?
Both Belmont’s student population and the number of students interested in Greek Life are rapidly growing every year. In the spring of 2015, roughly 17% of full-time undergraduate students were members of fraternities and sororities.
When is recruitment?
To join a Panhellenic Sorority at Belmont, the formal recruitment time period takes place over Fall Break weekend (October 7th-10th). To join an Interfraternity Council Fraternity at Belmont, the formal recruitment time period takes place twice a year. The fall recruitment time period begins on Labor Day and extends to the following weekend (outside of traditional class hours). The spring recruitment time period fluctuates based on scheduling. Updates and announcement about recruitment are always noted on Bruinlink. To submit an interest form to participate in intake for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., or Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., please contact Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development, Sarah Rigsby.
Do I need letters of recommendation?
Though it is common practice across the country that for membership in Panhellenic Association (PA) or Interfraternity Council (IFC) organizations students are required or encouraged to seek out recommendation letters from current members in those groups, Belmont’s PA and IFC groups made the intentional decision to not support this practice in an effort to be inclusive so that all students have an equal opportunity to potentially join a chapter. Due to the personal nature of membership intake into a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization, recommendation letters may be requested for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., or Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Who monitors Fraternity and Sorority Life at Belmont?
Belmont’s Greek Community is overseen by the Office of Student Engagement & Leadership Development. The staff member who directly oversees Greek Life is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Leadership Development, Sarah Rigsby. She can be contacted by e-mail or by phone at (615) 460-6875.
Fraternity and Sorority Life Terminology
Active: An initiated fraternity or sorority member who is affiliated with a campus chapter
Alumnus: An initiated member of a fraternity or sorority who is no longer in college.
Anchor/Tail: The last person in the intake class for a culturally based fraternity or sorority.
Badge: The badge of an initiated member is received during the initiation ceremony and worn in a designated location.
Bid: A formal invitation for membership from a fraternity or sorority
Brother: a term used when referring to other members of a fraternity.
Call/Chant: A vocal sound (sometimes high-pitched) used by members of cultural based fraternities and sororities to acknowledge one another.
Captain/Ace: The first person in an intake class for a culturally based fraternity or sorority (usually organized from shortest to tallest).
Chapter: A term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity or sorority.
Crossing: A term used by NPHC groups to indicate that a new member has been fully initiated into the group.
Greek Week: An annual celebration held in the spring in which chapters participate in athletic events, community service, brotherhood and sisterhood activities.
Informational: A forum for individuals interested in seeking more information about a particular NPHC or MGC fraternity or sorority.
Initiation: A traditional, secret ceremony that brings a new member into full fraternity or sorority membership.
Intake: The term groups used to bring new members into an NPHC organization. Each chapter determines when they will conduct intake and is assisted in this process by their Graduate Chapter and Chapter Advisor (a group of local alumni).
Legacy: A potential member whose grandparent, parent, brother or sister is a member of a fraternity or sorority.
New Member: A potential member who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. They may also be referred to as an “associate,” or “neophyte."
Order of Omega: Honor society reserved for fraternity members who are juniors and seniors who are initiated members of a fraternity or sorority and have attained a high standard of leadership and scholarship within the fraternity and sorority community.
Philanthropy: activities or events that are specific to the chapter's specific charitable organization(s) and to which they donate money.
Potential New Member (PNM): An individual interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Quota: The number of women to whom each College Panhellenic Council sorority may extend bids.
Recruitment: Refers to the process by which NPC and IFC chapters select new members.
Ritual: The traditional, secret ceremonies of a fraternity or sorority.
Rush: This is an outdated term that is often associated with the time in which membership is being selected. This term is no longer used. We refer to membership selection as either “Recruitment” or “Intake.”