Why Join a Fraternity?
Fraternities provide a unique, enriching experience both during your college years and as an alumnus. As you may be exploring many exciting extracurricular opportunities at Columbia, we especially encourage you to consider joining a fraternity in the IFC. Becoming a fraternity man gives you an experience that most other organizations cannot – a life-long brotherhood. A brotherhood is a social network of men who support each other through common interests that continues beyond the undergraduate years as an eternal bond.
Today, with 12 fraternities and over 500 members, the fraternity community at Columbia is as strong as it has ever been. The fraternity and sorority community at Columbia consists of approximately 12% of the student body – a significant portion of the undergraduate population. It is an intimate community that welcomes people from all backgrounds, with each organization representing a diversity of interests. Fraternities have been present on campus for over a hundred years, and the number of students involved in Greek life continues to grow each year. Being a member of the Greek community gives students the ability to meet and socialize with members not only from their own organization, but also with members from other fraternities and sororities at various events throughout the semester as well.
A brotherhood promotes excellence in all areas of one’s undergraduate career. IFC fraternities pride themselves on their philanthropy, scholarship, tradition, and integrity. Our organizations boast campus leaders in every field, such as student government, CU athletics, cultural organizations, pre-professional societies, and community service-based clubs. Members in all of our organizations are consistently recognized for their academic, athletic, and philanthropic achievements. Fraternities provide a great source of academic support throughout one’s undergraduate career. Whether this means gaining advice from older brothers on different classes and majors, or spending time in the library with fellow fraternity members, a fraternity serves a strong academic resource. Fraternity men can always be found doing service for their community through semesterly philanthropic events. Please visit our “Philanthropy” page for more information on the philanthropy and community service that members of our fraternities have performed. In terms of athletics, many fraternity members are also members of varsity sports teams, such as football, basketball, swimming, baseball, and rowing. Some fraternities even create teams that compete in the intramural sports league. In addition to service and athletics, there are a plethora of opportunities for leadership within one’s own fraternity, the InterGreek Council, and the Greek Judicial Board.
Not every current fraternity man at Columbia came to Columbia knowing that he was going to join a fraternity. However, after meeting the brothers at various recruitment events, many have gained a completely new perspective on what fraternity life is like here at Columbia, which certainly defies many stereotypes. Most often people say that it has turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of their time at Columbia. We hope that you will look into our chapters and find one that is right for you!
The Rush Process
“Rush” is the period of time before bids are given when prospective fraternity members can look into the different fraternities. During this time, which usually consists of the first three weeks in the beginning of each of the fall and spring semesters, fraternities hold rush events to recruit new members. This should give a prospective member time to meet the brothers and see what fraternity life is all about. At the end of the rush period, the prospective fraternity member may receive a “bid” from the fraternity that he was looking into, which is an invitation to join the fraternity. Should he choose to accept the bid, he must reject any other offers from other fraternities. Rush is a non-binding process, so the student may choose not to accept any bids, and may reconsider rushing in a later semester.
At this time, Columbia does not have a formalized rush process for IFC fraternities, although there are several arranged Meet and Greet events. Each fraternity hosts its own recruitment events, so prospective members should seek out chapter Facebook pages and websites to find out when those events are being held. Alternatively, prospective members should feel free to contact the IFC Executive Board at email@example.com if they need any help finding out rush schedules or being put in contact with any of the fraternities.
In accordance with the Office of Residential Programs- Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Columbia fraternities must abide by a dry recruitment policy, which means that no alcohol may be present at rush events in any capacity. A man should choose to join a fraternity not based on whether alcohol is present, but rather on the types of brothers that he meets and the connections that he establishes. If alcohol is present at an event, then the organization is breaking the rules that have been established the North-American Interfraternity Conference.
A man is eligible to join a fraternity if he is enrolled at Columbia University as a full-time student, meeting the minimum GPA requirement of 2.50. A full-time student is defined as taking twelve credit hours per semester, excluding correspondence courses and courses at other universities.
Columbia fraternities abide by a strict no-hazing policy. Some examples of hazing situations may include any type of physical brutality; any activity involving consumption of food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm; any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation; or any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of the law.
Hazing is prohibited by Columbia University and New York State Law. Please immediately inform the IFC Executive Board at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in 515 Lerner Hall if you feel that you have been a victim of hazing or are aware of any such activity.