Similarly to the National Pan-Hellenic Council, recognized chapters within the United Sorority & Fraternity Council conducts their recruitment & marketing, membership selection, intake and initiation as an individual process. Generally, each group will maintain a quarterly schedule of recruitment events, which are often publicized on their websites and social media.
Joining a culturally relevant sorority and fraternity, generally starts mid-way through the academic year (winter or spring quarter). Typically, a person interested in membership will attend an interest or informational meeting followed by membership education and orientation. These meetings/events are posted on each chapter's social media accounts. The membership process culminates with initiation known as "crossing."
Membership requirements will vary based on organization. Please contact each organization for membership requirements.
USFC chapters embrace a lifetime commitment philosophy and aim to assure the continuance of academic achievement, political awareness, and community service.
What do I need to join recruitment?
You do not need anything! There's no application or fees to join USFC recruitment . Certain events will have small requirements such as recommended attire but you can reach out to those specific organizations if you have any issues. All events will be posted on their respective social media accounts so it's advised to follow them and directly ask them any questions. After a certain number of open events, organizations might host invite-only gatherings to narrow down the pool of applicants. This informal recruitment process allows you to look at each sorority or fraternity without any commitment.
Are there any advisors for recruitment?
Each chapter will have a recruitment chair that can act as a peer advisor. Their information can be found on their chapter's subpage on this website or in their social media accounts. They are all friendly and are more than happy to give you a helping hand! It's up to you to directly contact them if you have any questions or concerns. Alternately you can reach out to anyone in the USFC executive board and we will be happy to help.
Is this only open to 1st years?
No! You can join greek life regardless of your class standing. You just have to be an enrolled UCSB student to join an organization. Most students join their first or second year after they find a comfortable chapter to call home. Most intakes occur during Winter and Spring, giving everyone at least one quarter to look around. Joining greek is a big commitments and it definitely takes time. Take it slow and try to meet as many brothers/sisters to develop a sense of their organizations. Remember that being in a fraternity or sorority is for a life time.
Is this only open to 1st years?
No! You can join Greek life regardless of your class standing. You need to be undergrad enrolled at UCSB and have at least a 2.5 GPA. (Certain organizations might have different GPA standards.) Most students join their first or second year after they find a comfortable chapter to call home. Most intakes occur during Winter and Spring, giving everyone at least one quarter to look around. Joining Greek life is a big commitment and it definitely takes time. Take it slow and try to meet as many brothers/sisters to develop a sense of their organizations. Potential new members are encouraged to meet as many members as possible and should not depend on obtaining a bid from a single chapter. Remember that being in a fraternity or sorority is for a lifetime so missing out one quarter or a year is not a big deal in the long run.
Is it difficult balancing greek life
Every organization in USFC understands you came to university for the academics and not Greek life. We put emphasis on academic excellence and will give you all the support to achieve it. Every chapter will have time commitments in form of events, meetings, community service, etc. These events are planned around members' academic schedules so they will not conflict with classes. They will understand if you cannot meet certain commitments but that starts off with you communicating with them. Being overwhelmed with other responsibilities is understandable and organizations won't penalize you for putting them first, especially if it's academics.
Receiving an Invitation/ Bid
Many chapters have different criteria for giving out invitations. It can be a combination of recruitment event attendance, overall performance during an interview, prior campus involvement, etc. Once given an invite you have two options:
Accept the invite. This will end your recruitment process and make you an Associate Member. This also marks the start of the new member education process.
Decline invite. You must be 100% sure you don't want to join that particular organization. There are no penalties for declining an invite.
The new member education process is unique to every chapter. You will learn and experience traditions and ceremonies that have been passed down since their established years. Everything is sacred and kept confidential. With this in mind, please ask the organization if it's okay to share your invitation on social media or among peers.
Please contact the organization once you make your decision even if you are declining your invitation. This way, chapters don't waste time contacting you or creating an unwanted educational process.
Things to consider
Fees range depending on the organization. Ask the recruitment chairs for a yearly estimated amount for dues.
Do you see yourself in this organization? How much do you really know about them?
Are you committed on helping this organization? How confident are you about balancing Greek life with academics?
Are you just joining to show off the cool letters? They are just not pretty letters, they are organizations with PRIDE and PURPOSE.