Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions about CMU Greek Life

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Going to college is one life's major milestones. Joining a fraternity or sorority chapter can help make the transition easier through the lifelong friendships formed with chapter members. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy/community service.
The friendships you will make as a member of a fraternity or sorority chapter will last longer than your time at Carnegie MellonFraternities and sororities have national networks for their members to use for careers and job re-locations. Membership in a chapter can be a lifelong experience and an investment in your future. Wherever you end up after college, chances are you will be able to find an alumni chapter or members from your fraternity or sorority in the area.
Academic achievement is a number one priority for students in fraternities and sororities. When students join a Greek organization, they become part of a larger group of students who value their academic goals at Carnegie Mellon University. In order to join a chapter, individuals are required to have a minimum grade point average. Additionally, every fraternity and sorority has a scholarship officer who initiates programs within the chapter to encourage high academic achievement. The scholarship officers of each chapter provide various resources for members, such as tutoring, educational programs, and awards and recognition.
One of the most gratifying aspects of Greek life at Carnegie Mellon University is the sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from community service. Fundraising events of many kinds are organized each year by fraternities and sororities in order to benefit worthwhile non-profit organizations. Each year, individual chapters participate in community service projects ranging from Greek Sing, to 1000+, and Rise Against Hunger, to volunteering at local shelters and soup kitchens, to food and clothing drives. Helping others will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences a student in a fraternity or sorority will have in college.
The Greek experience is an investment in your future. The leadership skills, the academic assistance and the friendships will benefit you beyond your college days. Joining a fraternity or sorority does carry a financial commitment. Each chapter is self-supporting through the dues paid by its members. Most chapters offer members payment plans to assist in paying for dues. Membership dues go to services that directly support the betterment of the chapter and the national organization. Some chapters may offer various scholarships and grants to make the experience more affordable to members.

The amount of time involved in joining a fraternity or sorority will vary from chapter to chapter. The semester in which you decide to become a member will be the most time-intensive period for you, as this is the time that the members will go through the chapter’s education period. The time spent in this program will give you the opportunity to develop leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships within your new member class and the rest of the chapter, and allow you to become involved with other organizations.

After initiation into the chapter, time expectation will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (community service events, educational programs, and initiation) throughout the year. After you have been initiated, you will have the opportunity to run for leadership positions within your chapter, your council, Greek Sing and other community initiatives. Each of these roles comes with increased responsibilities and a higher time commitment, which many students find make their membership more meaningful.

There is a social aspect to the Greek community, but these social events include education programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, Family Weekend, Greek Sing, Carnival, Buggy, and dinner exchanges in addition to parties and socials. Today’s Greek communities across the nation have adopted a stringent approach to socializing thereby creating safer, more beneficial environments for their members. As you consider which organization is right for you, consider things like if they live in an alcohol-free house and how often they host parties or other events with alcohol.
While not every fraternity or sorority at Carnegie Mellon has a Greek House, most organizations with a house do require all members to live in the facility for at least one year. Prospective members are encouraged to ask about these requirements during the recruitment process.
We encourage all interested students to attend recruitment events hosted by the organizations they are interested in. You may also find it helpful to learn more about the styles of recruitment each council hosts. While each chapter upholds the shared values of academic achievement, philanthropy and community service, and brotherhood/sisterhood, you will find that each organization is unique in how they demonstrate these values. Each organization has its own local and/or national philanthropies, its own signature events, and its own chapter-specific values that help to guide the experience of its members.