Potential New Members
Frequently Asked Questions
When am I able to join a fraternity or sorority?
First year students must wait until their second semester to join. Transfer students may join during their first semester at Rutgers. Recruitment (also referred to as “rush” or “intake”) takes place within the first three weeks of each semester. Regardless of the time at which a student wishes to join, he or she must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be enrolled as a full time, undergraduate student (12 credit hours) at the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus
- Successful completion of at least 12 credit hours at Rutgers or another college/university
- A 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA
Remember, these requirements are minimum standards, so interested students should ask each organization about their specific requirements.
What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities were first founded in the late 1700’s as opportunities for students to gather outside of the classroom to debate and discuss their coursework free from professors and other administrators. As these literary societies evolved over time, friendship, campus leadership and service to others also became part of their organizational mission.
These concepts of leadership, scholarship, service and friendship for life still exist in today’s fraternities and sororities. No matter what fraternity or sorority a student may join, members participate in programs that encourage academic success, offer opportunities to serve the community, lead their peers and develop deep friendships. Membership in a fraternity or sorority lasts a lifetime. While other student organizations have a membership expiration date, fraternity/sorority membership goes with students as they graduate and begin their life’s work.
What is the difference between a recognized and unrecognized fraternity/sorority?
University recognized fraternities/sororities work closely with the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs. They are held accountable to University policies and are able to participate in Greek Life and University sponsored programs.
Unrecognized fraternities/sororities are not subject to University policy nor are they monitored by the University. Groups that appear on the Unregistered list do not meet the University’s standards for recognition and/or have lost recognition for failure to adhere to University policies. We strongly discourage students from joining these organizations. Visit our “Chapters” page for a full list of recognized and unrecognized fraternities and sororities.
I’ve been asked to join! Now what?
The new member process can take no longer then eight weeks as per Rutgers University policy. You should receive a calendar of events from the New Member Educator (the student charged with the responsibility of administering the new member program) at their first meeting.
Typically you can expect to have a weekly meeting with the rest of the students who are joining and the New Member Educator. At these meetings students usually participate in team builders, learn fraternity/sorority history, organizational structure, talk about the requirements they must meet in order to become an initiated member, etc. Nothing in these meetings is secret.
Most new members participate in an academic program through the organization (tutoring with an older member, attending study hours at the library, submitting copies of their grades throughout the semester). They are also doing community service, attending some sort of leadership programming (a retreat, workshops, educational speakers) and are likely attending social events.
Again, none of these things are secret, no meetings or events should run past midnight or be held before 7am and all events should be talked about well in advance so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
What is the cost associated with joining a fraternity/sorority?
Fraternities/sororities are NOT funded by the University. Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first semester of membership, pledges/new members are assessed a number of one-time fees (pledge fee, initiation fee, badge fee, insurance). The typical pledge/new member will need between $500 – $1000 for their first semester of membership. After the initial one-time fees are paid, you can expect to pay an average of $300 – $500 per semester in dues/fees/activities expenses. Remember, these are averages. We highly recommend that you ask each chapter about their financial requirements so you have specific information when making your membership decisions.
What about hazing?
Rutgers University has a zero tolerance for hazing. Hazing is against the law in New Jersey. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. It is a policy violation for every recognized fraternity and sorority on our campus. Any chapter who violates this policy will be given due process and if found responsible may be subjected to organizational and/or individual sanctions and discipline.
If you believe you or a friend is being hazed, we urge you to contact Fraternity & Sorority Affairs (848-932-7692) or the Office of Student Conduct (848-932-9414). You can also make an official or anonymous report via the Office of Student Conduct
Who can I talk to if I’m concerned about my new member experience?
There are several people you can speak with if they have problems or questions:
- Chapter Advisor (an adult advisor to the organization who is a member of the fraternity/sorority)
- Chapter President (the student elected by the organization for the semester/year to lead the membership)
- New Member Educator (the student elected to administer the new member program)
- Office of Fraternity/Sorority Affairs
- Contact info (phone and email) for the Advisor, President and New Member Educator should be given to the new members at the first meeting of the new member program. This info can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at 848 932 7692.
What if I decide to quit the sorority or fraternity?
Occasionally, students feel it necessary to quit their new fraternity or sorority. It may be that the time commitment proves to be challenging, the financial obligation is too expensive or the student believes he or she has made the wrong choice in organizations, etc.) If the student has made a choice to quit, you can do so by speaking with the Chapter Advisor, Chapter President or New Member Educator.
Some organizations hold an “exit interview” to find out why the student is leaving, others may have paperwork for the organization that the departing new member must complete. Either way, the student can leave the organization, but should understand that in most cases any money that has been paid to the group cannot be refunded and that the organization will likely ask for certain items to be returned, like a new member manual of information or the new member pin.
What happens when we finish our New Member process?
Again, the maximum time for an organization to administer a new member program is 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks the new members must be initiated, which means that they must participate in the formal ceremony that confers full membership on him/her. The date of the initiation ceremony is not to be a secret from the new members or their families.
I’ve been asked to move into the fraternity/sorority house. What should I expect?
Fraternity/sorority housing is privately run. The properties are owned and run by a house corporation OR leased and run by a house corporation. None of the fraternity/sorority houses are owned or operated by the university.
A House Association or House Corporation (an arm of the organization) is responsible for the execution of leases, the collection of rent and/or the administration of any policies regarding the need for members to live in the chapter’s facility. You will be expected to sign a lease – we recommend that you review the lease with your parents before signing. You should expect to be able to have questions answered by the House Corporation President (an adult advisor in charge of the property) and you should understand the conduct or situations that might give the organization cause to break your lease. The lease your sign is a legal document and you will be expected to honor all provisions outlined in the lease, including the payment of rent in a timely manner.