Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fraternity & Sorority Life?
Fraternity & Sorority Life is the office that oversees and advises the social and cultural fraternities and sororities at the University of Kentucky. The office assists chapters with programming, risk reduction, scholastic excellence, and event planning. Additionally, the office works with the governing councils in many of the same areas as well as encouraging self-governance and growth.
What are the benefits of membership?
There are many benefits to joining a fraternity or sorority at the University of Kentucky. Fraternity men and sorority women have the opportunity to be connected as a part both a local chapter and an inter/national organization. Sororities and fraternities give students many opportunities build their leadership skills and to take on leadership roles within the chapter and the governing councils. Additionally, the supportive network of peers on campus helps boost academic performance, connection to the campus community, and provide opportunities for community service.
What types of Fraternities and Sororities are at UK?
The University of Kentucky has a wide variety of fraternities and sororities on campus. Fraternity & Sorority Life recognizes the following governing boards: Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Panhellenic Council (PC), and the United Greek Council (UGC). These governing boards work with the 51 active chapters to coordinate recruitment, educational and community service programs, and facilitate communication between groups. Within these councils we have groups with special interests such as agriculture and engineering as well as culturally based organizations. More information about our chapters can be found here.
What is recruitment?
Recruitment is the time when fraternities and sororities seek and recruit new members. Each council or individual organization may conduct recruitment. During this period, interested students have the opportunity to visit organizations and see what each has to offer.
What is membership intake?
Membership intake is the new member orientation and initiation program used by chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. This process is organized by each chapter individually, but includes selection of candidates, education about the organization, and ends with initiation and full membership in the organization.
What is Formal Recruitment?
Formal recruitment is the structured recruitment process organized by Panhellenic and IFC. Panhellenic hosts formal recruitment in the Fall term only, while IFC hosts a formal recruitment at the start of both semesters. Formal Recruitment is planned by the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils to help all of the men and women interested in joining a fraternity or sorority learn about all of the chapters of those councils. More information about formal recruitment for Panhellenic can be found here and for IFC can be found here.
If you are interested in joining a United Greek Council or a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization, please visit the recruitment page here.
What if I have a conflict during Panhellenic primary recruitment? Can I still participate?
The Panhellenic Council hosts formal recruitment the first two weekends of school, and recognizes that many students are also participating in early move-in programs like LLPs, band, FastTrack, and other activities. The Recruitment Staff has created a special schedules program to accommodate these students. Indicate your special schedule request on your recruitment registration form and they will contact you to make the appropriate arrangements. Learn more about the registration process here.
If I don’t participate in formal recruitment, can I still join a chapter?
Yes. There is Informal Recruitment for IFC and Continuous Open Bidding (COB) for Panhellenic the remainder of the academic year. You can express your interest in COB by filling out the form here. NPHC and UGC organizations host recruitment and intake on their own schedules, and do not organize a formal recruitment program.
What are the requirements to join?
The University requires all members of registered organizations, like our fraternites and sororities, be full-time University of Kentucky students. However, eligibility for new member processes different for each organization. All organizations evaluate candidates based on academics, character, involvement, and leadership potential. More information about the recruitment process can be found here and on the council websites.
Can BCTC students join a sorority or fraternity at UK?
No. Even though BCTC students are able to participate in many student activities at UK, you must be a full-time student at the University of Kentucky to join a fraternity or sorority at UK.
Do I have to identify as a student of color to join a culturally-based fraternity or sorority?
No. Chapters within the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Theta Nu Xi, Sigma Lambda Beta, and Sigma Lambda Gamma are open to students of all ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds.
NPHC organizations were founded by African Americans for the purpose of providing students of color with an opportunity to find support systems and encouragement in higher education. Membership in these organizations are now open to students of any background, but still include an inter/national focus on initiatives that benefit minority and African American communities.
How much time is required to be a member?
Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires a time investment. The old saying “you get out of it what you’re willing to put into it” couldn't ring more true. Most of our fraternity men and sorority women are successfully balancing academics, a part-time job and a social life alongside chapter membership. While there are definitely some mandatory commitments that are set well in advance (i.e. weekly meetings, community service projects, new member education, etc.), a student can be as involved as they choose to be. Time requirements vary from group to group depending upon how ambitious of a programming calendar the chapter has. In our experience, the students that are most active and involved are usually the ones most satisfied with their decision to join a fraternity or sorority.
How will my grades be impacted by joining?
Academic success is a key component to fraternity and sorority life. All fraternities and sororities at UK place a value on the academic success of their members. A few of the ways that fraternities and sororities support the academics of their members is through minimum grade requirements for holding an office and being initiated into the chapter, study halls, along with workshops on study skills, test taking and time management.
How much does it cost to join?
Like any opportunity for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward Inter/National fees, chapter operating expenses and social functions. Financial obligations differ for men and women and among individual chapters. Additional costs throughout the semester may be for pictures, gifts, T-shirts, and other organization’s philanthropies etc. There may be payment plans available for students, as well as scholarships within the individual chapters. Averages are provided below.
- IFC: $750 first semester, $750/semester out of house, $3000/semester in house
- NPHC: $900 first semester, $75/month after that
- PC: $1000 first semester, $750/semester out of house, $3500/semester in house
- UGC: $350 per semester
The University of Kentucky's alcohol policy does not allow alcohol in chapter houses or on chapter property except for events approved by the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office. Events that are registered with the Office must follow both the University policies, as well as the inter/national organization policies for risk reduction. There may be events hosted by fraternities and sororities (date parties, formals, tailgates, etc.) where alcohol is present, but these events must follow firm guidelines about risk reduction and safety. All recruitment and new member activities should be alcohol free.
Will I be hazed if I join?
Hazing is prohibited at the University of Kentucky. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors are expected to follow the hazing prevention policy, not just fraternities and sororities. The chapters at UK work diligently to ensure that their members are safe, respected, and supported during their membership. More information about the University's work with Hazing Prevention can be found at stophazing.uky.edu.
Do the chapters have houses? Will I have to live in the house?
Many, but not all, of our fraternities and sororities have chapter houses where some of the members live and the chapter has activities. A list of chapters with houses is below. Organizations with asterix (*) next to their names are currently in the process of building or rennovating their chapter facilities. Generally, all members are expected to live in the house at some point during their membership. However, many groups have more members that would like to live in the chapter house than they have available space. The chapter will have an internal system for who gets to live in the house and what the expectations are for all members. Information about financial costs of living in the house is also available from each chapter.
Fraternities and Sororities with Chapter Houses
|Alpha Chi Omega*||Chi Omega||Kappa Alpha Theta||Sigma Chi|
|Alpha Delta Pi||Delta Delta Delta||Kappa Delta||Sigma Nu|
|Alpha Gamma Delta||Delta Gamma||Kappa Kappa Gamma*||Sigma Pi|
|Alpha Gamma Rho*||Delta Sigma Phi||Phi Kappa Tau||Theta Chi|
|Alpha Omicron Pi||Delta Tau Delta||Phi Mu||Triangle|
|Alpha Phi||Delta Zeta||Phi Sigma Kappa|
|Alpha Tau Omega||FarmHouse||Pi Beta Phi|
|Beta Theta Pi*||Kappa Alpha||Sigma Alpha Epsilon|
How do I get a parking pass for the lots by the chapter houses?
Parking passes are assigned to on-campus chapter houses based on the percentage of occupancy of their house during the previous semester (ex. passes for Spring 2018 are given based on the occupancy of Fall 2017). The Fraternity & Sorority Life staff works with the Parking and Transportation office to allot parking permits for the available lots. Each chapter has their own system for how spots are assigned to general members, so questions should be directed to chapter presidents directly.