Welcome to Greek Life at The University of Mississippi! If you are reading this information guide, your son or daughter may be considering joining one of Ole Miss’ 31 national fraternities and sororities. That consists of three different councils IFC, NPC, and NPHC. What is a Greek letter organization? How much does it cost to be a member? What are letters of recommendation? Are some of the common questions we get from parents.
Some parents are familiar with Greek Life and are even members of Greek organizations themselves. But for many of you, the process of Formal Recruitment (or “Rush”) for IFC and NPC and Intake for NPHC can be pretty foreign . I would like for you to think of me as a resource for any questions or concerns that may arise. We have compiled some information here to serve as an introductory guide for parents so that you may better understand the Recruitment process.
You may have questions or concerns that are not addressed here. If that is the case, please feel free to contact me at (662) 915-7247 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you are planning a visit to campus, please drop by my office, room 422 in the Student Union. Visiting with the parents of perspective Greek students is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job!
Coulter Ward Assistant Dean of Students
If you have any questions about Greek life at Ole Miss or how men's Formal Recruitment is carried on, you can find valuable information at the IFC info sessions during Orientation. If you can't attend one of these sessions, click on the link below to find the PowerPoint presentation that is used during the info sessions, which contains a great deal of information about Formal recruitment and Fraternity life at the University of Mississippi.
Greek letter organizations at American colleges and universities are commonly referred to as fraternities for men and sororities for women. Since the founding on the first college fraternity in 1776 and the first sorority in 1851, these organizations have thrived and multiplied into hundreds of national organizations while making a positive and tremendous impact on the service and social structure of higher education systems throughout the United States and Canada.
Greek groups were first established at The University of Mississippi in the mid-1850s for the advancement of academic interests, the promotion of brotherhood and sisterhood, and a commitment to community service Today, memberships in Ole Miss Greek letter societies still means vowing to uphold these long standing traditions.
Different Types of Greek Organizations at Ole Miss
NPHC or the National Pan-Hellenic Council are know as the Divine Nine and those organizations participate in Intake. Intake is a process that can occur either the fall or spring semester depending on the individual organizations needs. Fraternities and sororities that participate in Recruitment (or "Rush") belong to the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (NPC), respectively.
What benefits will my son or daughter gain by joining a Greek organization?
For your son or daughter, the transition between high school or community college to a major university setting will create exciting and anxious emotions. The following questions may be on the minds of your children:
Certainly, your child will have the opportunity to succeed in whatever avenue they pursue without the joining a Greek organization. However, as a part of a Greek Organization at the University of Mississippi, your son or daughter will be in an environment that fosters success. The following will show you how.
The Power of 3%
Only 3% the United State’s population is Greek. But, the following numbers illustrate how joining a Greek organization can result in a successful career.
A. The University of Mississippi prohibits hazing in any form. Students can be victims of hazing if they are aspiring to e members of or are active members of an organization. Hazing includes an act for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership into a group or organization. The University adheres to the statement of the National Fraternity’s Executives Association Statement on hazing and to the laws of the state of Mississippi.
B. The University of Mississippi’s Definition of Hazing:
The University of Mississippi defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off University properties, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situations include but are not limited to paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside the confines of the house; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with state law, ritual, policy, or the regulations and policies of The University of Mississippi. Mississippi State Law: Criminality of Hazing: As defined by Mississippi, hazing is a crime. Persons involved in hazing may be subject to criminal charges as dictated by state law.
1. Senate Bill No. 2165:
An act to prohibit hazing in the course of another person’s initiation into any organization; to prescribe criminal penalties therefore; and for related purposes. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi:
A. A person is guilty of hazing in the first degree when, in the course of another person’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes such personal injury.
B. Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2000.00) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both.
C. A person is guilty of hazing in the second degree when, in the course of another person’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person.
D. Any person violating the provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00).
E. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to other criminal laws, and actions taken pursuant to this section shall not bar prosecutions for other violations of criminal law.
What About Letters of Recommendations?
Recommendations are a good way to ensure that your student gets placed in a Greek organization. However, they do not guarantee placement. For gentlemen, letters of recommendation are a great way to get yourself introduced to the fraternities you have been recommended to. For ladies, letters of recommendation are more of a requirement. Your daughter will hear the words “maximize your choices” throughout the Recruitment process. A letter of recommendation to all 9 sororities is one step to ensuring that your daughter maximizes her choices during Formal Recruitment.
If your daughter is considering participation in Formal Recruitment this fall, it is important for both of you to start thinking about letters of recommendations to maximize her choices. You should have at least one “official” recommendation per chapter. Most chapters have strict rules requiring they give top consideration to those applicants who have submitted a letter of recommendation. An alumna of the specific chapter in which you are applying should write the letter of recommendation. Some good resources for finding recommendation letters are local Panhellenic Associations, npcwoman.org, or the national headquarters of a particular chapter's website.
When getting started, you have three basic options:
1) You or your daughter may already know an alumna of a sorority chapter on the Ole Miss campus who has indicated they would write a letter of recommendation on your behalf
2) You or your daughter may already know an alumna from another school whose sorority has a chapter here and who has indicated they would write a letter of recommendation on your behalf
3) You may contact a local Panhellenic Association that will put you and your daughter in touch with Alumnae. Please refer to the Greek Life website for updated Panhellenic Association Contact information. *****Whatever the source, the letters of recommendation must be sent to the chapter addresses, not the Greek Life Office.
What are the costs of joining a fraternity or sorority?
Since we have three councils and 31 organizations it is difficult to give an average for all organizations. Greek Forum for NPHC is a requirement if you would like to go through Intake in a particular semester. The cost for Greek Forum is 20 dollars. NPHC organizations' dues vary from chapter to chapter. There is usually a higher front end cost for students interested in NPHC be sure if you are thinking about one of the Divine Nine ask the cost question to the organizations.
The Registration fee for Formal Recruitment (IFC and NPC) is $100. It is due when you submit your application form online. The costs associated with the individual chapter dues are fairly subjective. We highly encourage potential new members to ask about the financial costs of each chapter during the first round of Recruitment. It is a very common topic of conversation, and should not be an awkward question. Typically, most chapters will address this issue up front. The average dues are about $350 - $450 per month, which includes membership fees, meal plan, social parties, t-shirts, and other items. For some groups, some of these costs are separate from the main dues. But please note, each house is different, this is simply an average estimate. It is also noteworthy that after the first year, dues are somewhat less because of the costs associated with initiation.
How Does My Son or Daughter Join?
Please consult an Orientation Leader for directions once you get to campus. If your son or daughter are interested in IFC or NPC please attend “It’s all Greek to me,” an informative lecture during Freshman Orientation with a question and answer section that should answer all of your questions. The President and Vice President Recruitment give these lectures during every orientation. It should be noted that the IFC (fraternity) and Panhellenic (sorority) lectures are held at separate locations. If your son or daughter is interested in joining an NPHC organization, they should attend the Greek Forum at the beginining of each semester. If you have any questions feel free contact the Dean of Students office by calling (662) 915-7247 and ask, “When are NPHC organizations doing Intake?” The individual groups will hold “interest meetings” throughout the school year.
If your son or daughter is interested in joining an IFC or Panhellenic organization they should register online under the individual council's page entitled "recruitmnet". The registration fee, $100, must be paid online. Your student will receive an emailed confirmation of the transaction and should print out the email as a receipt of purchase. After successful registration, students will receive The Angelia, an informative booklet with relevant information that will guide your student through the Recruitment process. The registration process for Recruitment is exclusively online.
When is Formal Recruitment
Here at the University of Mississippi we have a differed recruitment. That means it starts around the end of September or early October.
Scholarship is the most important aspect of Greek membership and is a stated ideal and objective of every Greek organization. On average, fraternity and sorority students have higher GPA’s than the all men’s and all women’s averages at Ole Miss. Greeks are members of some of the most prestigious academic honoraries, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board and Golden Key. Theses results are the goals of all chapters, and many chapters have strong academic programs that include the use of scholarship files, study halls and peer study groups.
While academics should be every student’s priority at Ole Miss, not all learning in college takes place in the classroom. Fraternities and sororities are committed to discovering each member’s leadership potential through programs sponsored by the local chapter, the national fraternity or sorority, and the University. This intense motivation of the Greek community results in member’s gaining skills that later become invaluable assets as they move into the job market after graduation.
The opportunity for leadership training exists in the Greek community is unique to that in other organizations. Greek letter organizations are the largest student organizations on campus; they have many members who live together on campus, and they live for strong ideals demonstrated by their creeds and rituals. Getting involved within that organization is a great way to that leadership training even in the first semester.
Because of the natural structure of fraternities and sororities, there are tremendous networking opportunities that are available. This network lends itself to providing more chances of getting involved in other non-Greek organizations around campus. Greek men and women hold many leadership positions in student government, ambassadors, orientation leaders, the Student Programming Board, and many other groups.
Service to the community is a fundamental mission of fraternity and sorority life at Ole Miss. Tremendous opportunity exists for member’s of Greek organizations to help out in a wide range of volunteer activities. Many Ole Miss organizations have received national recognition for their philanthropic efforts. Greeks at The University of Mississippi also participate in numerous campus sponsored activities, including blood drives, campus cleanups, and food collections for the underprivileged or those affected by natural disaster. Regardless of the type of event, Greeks at Ole Miss demonstrate an overwhelming selflessness when it come to sharing their time and energy to make the world around them a better place.
Brotherood and Sisterhood
One of the most important aspects of Greek life is that fraternities and sororities offer a home away from home for their members. Joining a Greek organization means learning the concept of community living while respecting individuality. Here students learn to trust others and to rely on them for advice, a helping hand, or even a shoulder on which to lean.