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 34 inter/national fraternities and sororities at the University of Mississippi. Fraternity & sorority life 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 for IFC and NPC and Intake for NPHC can be pretty foreign . Greek Affairs is your 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 Intake & recruitment process.
You may have questions or concerns not addressed here. If that is the case, please feel free to contact Greek Affairs at UMSGreeks@olemiss.edu or (662) 915-7247. Or, if you are planning a visit to campus, please drop by our office, room 422 in the Student Union.
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 formal recruitment 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.
The University of Mississippi prohibits hazing in any form. According to the educational website, StopHazing.org, hazing “refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in the group) that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.” According to the National Fraternity Executive’s Association and Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group, hazing is defined as:
“…any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol; paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shock; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, or any other such activities carried on outside the confines of the house; publicly wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and any other activities that are not consistent with fraternal law, ritual, or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution”.
Violations of the University’s hazing policy may result in disciplinary action against any involved students and organizations. In addition to the University judicial system, students and organizations who participate in or condone hazing may subject themselves to criminal prosecution and/or civil liability.
I understand that participation in, or knowledge of, hazing and taking no action to stop it is in effect giving approval to haze. I understand my responsibility not to allow any members of an organization (active members, inactive members, alumni/ae, or affiliates from other institutions) to haze any member, active or associate. Failure to report such activity of which I become aware may cause personal referral to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.
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 34 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.
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.