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Going greek

Everything you need to know

There’s so much more (or in some cases, less) to campus greek life than you see in the movies. About 17 percent of IU students go greek in one of the country’s largest and oldest greek systems made up of 22 fraternities and 23 sororities.

Men’s formal recruitment begins with a formal information session in Dunn Meadow early in the fall semester, followed by a weekend of house tours. Then there are few weeks of rush events where different houses will court potential pledges. Recruits receive bids early in the fall and pledging process, based on each specific house.

Sororities begin their formal recruitment in the beginning of December with 19 Party – a two-day introduction to each sorority house on campus which students must sign up for in the fall and pay a $60 fee.  After 19 Party, girls will get invitations back from houses according to a ranking system. After three call-back rounds, Bid Day will announce if a girl was picked for a house and if so, which one.

According to, all women who sign up for formal recruitment will be given a Rho Gamma that will help guide them through the recruitment process. A Rho Gamma is a sorority member who is nominated by her chapter and chosen to answer any questions potential new members have about recruitment. Throughout the semester, a Rho Gamma will contact and meet with each potential new member.

Greek Terminology


A fully initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.


An inactive or graduated member of a fraternity or sorority.


A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.


A term to identify initiated members of a fraternity or sorority.

College Panhellenic Association

A group of women who belong to one of the National Panhellenic Conference sororities. These women work to bring together all sororities on matters of mutual interest such as recruitment, all-sorority events, education, risk management, etc.


The local group of a larger international organization, represented by a special greek-letter name.


A greek organization for men.


The formal ceremony in which the pledge/new member is brought into full membership of the fraternity/sorority.


A woman or man who is the daughter/son, step-child, sister/brother, or grandchild of a relative who has been initiated into a fraternity or sorority.

National Interfraternity Conference (NIC)

A body of delegates from the fraternities.

National Panhellenic

Conference (NPC)

A conference body composed of the international women’s fraternities (also referred to as sororities).


A charitable project sponsored by fraternities/sororities.

Pledge/New Member

One who has accepted a bid from a fraternity or sorority. Pledges/ new members are educated in the history and ideals of the fraternity/sorority prior to initiation.

Pledgeship/New Membership

A time during which new members learn about the fraternity or sorority and its members.


The number of women in which each sorority may pledge during the formal recruitment process. (IU sororities base their quota on house capacity and the number of women going abroad or living out of the chapter house. Panhellenic does not set one quota for all 19 chapters.)

Recommendation letter

A letter signed by an alumna/alumnus recommending an individual for membership into a specific chapter.


A social experience in which mutual choice and selection occurs to determine membership. Men use the term “rush”, and women use the term “recruitment.”

Rushee/Potential Member

A man or woman who is registered for rush/recruitment and is attending rush/recruitment functions.


A greek organization for women, also called women’s fraternities.


Thinking greek?

Here is what a few members had to say about their recruitment experience.

“The greek community at IU encompasses so many things that I was looking for in a college experience: friendship, leadership, scholarship, community service, school spirit and so much more – all reasons for me to go greek.  I think everyone should consider going through recruitment. Being greek has made my college experience amazing.”

– Katie Wickham, senior and member of Alpha Phi sorority

“(Rush) is a fun time. You meet a lot of people and they’re really welcoming. Joining a fraternity really helped my social life. I had friends here from before I came to college, but now I have a new group, too, and I have someone to hang out with every night, if I want to.”

– Aaron Frazin, sophomore and member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity

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