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ODU Fraternity & Sorority Life

As your student starts to settle in at Old Dominion University and develops interests, they will have many opportunities to choose from. One option they may find interesting is joining a fraternity or sorority. As a family member, this decision deserves your input and careful consideration.


Your Role

Engage your student's decision by learning more about the fraternity and sorority community at ODU. Ask questions about what each organization can offer your student and allow them to make the best decisions for themselves. Once your student has made the decision to join a fraternity or sorority, be supportive and ask questions about their fraternal experience. Chapters hosts events that invite parents and families to offer the opportunity for you to experience the fraternity and sorority community firsthand.

Benefits of Joining

Joining a Greek organization can offer many opportunities that students might not otherwise have. Through being a member of a fraternity or sorority they have many leadership opportunities including the chance to serve on their chapter's executive board, to be a part of our governing councils or other chair and committee opportunities in their chapter or in the community. All of our chapters are dedicated to service and philanthropy which teaches members the importance of giving back to the community both locally and globally. Finally, academics are an integral part of the fraternity and sorority experience. Fraternity and sorority members on average have a higher GPA than non-members.

Chapter & Community Support

Chapters at ODU utilize many different entities to support their mission and purpose. Our chapters are part of a national organization which means that they have a national office and staff that assist in the development of the membership and organization. Chapters can also have alumni support and involvement which assist in the day-to-day operations and guidance of the chapter. All chapters have a responsibility to the policies and procedures of both their national organization or local policies and the University policies.The fraternity and sorority life staff works in partnership with the national organizations, alumni, and advisors to ensure that the organizations are operating at the highest level.

Recruitment & Membership Intake

Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council: Chapters do not host formal recruitment as a council, but rather on an individual chapter basis. If you are interested in a particular chapter, please contact them directly.

Panhellenic Council: Fall Formal Recruitment (FFR) is the process by which a woman, who is attending ODU as an undergraduate student, can become a member of one of the Panhellenic sororities. FFR is a mutual selection process where the prospective members and the chapters get to know each other and make membership selections. Each day, the chapters will make invitation lists and prospective members will narrow down their selections for the following rounds.

*Please note all fraternities and sororities have a financial obligation for membership. This is individual per organization. Please encourage your student to inquire about fees/dues during their time of interest.

Glossary of Greek Terms

Active/Initiated member - a fully initiated member in a fraternity or sorority

Associate/Pledge/Candidate/New Member - a non-initiated member of a fraternity or sorority that utilizes a new member program

Bid - an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority

Big Brother/Big Sister, Little Brother/Little Sister - many chapters utilize a Big Brother/Big Sister program where an older member serves a mentor to a younger member. The younger member may refer to their mentor as their Big Brother/Big Sister

Brother - a term used by fraternity members when referring to each other

Chapter - refers to an individual fraternity or sorority locally on a campus

Fraternity - a Greek organization for men. Some sororities have "fraternity" in their name because they were founded before the word sorority existed.

Greek - a member of a fraternity or sorority

Initiation - a ceremony that brings a member to full membership

Interfraternity Council (IFC) - the governing council for fourteen fraternities. They provide governance, programming, resources, leadership development opportunities for their membership and coordinates fraternity recruitment

Inter/National - a Greek organization that is on campuses nation-wide or in other countries

Legacy - a perspective member of a fraternity/sorority who is a son/daughter, brother/sister, or grandson/granddaughter of a member of a Greek organization

Local - a Greek organization that is only located at one campus

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) - collaborative group of five fraternities and four sororities all founded by African Americans also can be known as the Divine Nine

Membership Intake - collective term for the process of pursuing membership in a National Pan-Hellenic Council or Multicultural Greek Council fraternity or sorority. Each organization will have a more specific term to refer to their individual process

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) - collective of two sororities and one fraternity that are members of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations

Panhellenic Council (PHC) - the governing council for the seven Panhellenic sororities. They provide governance, programming, resources, leadership development opportunities for their membership and coordinates Panhellenic fall formal recruitment.

Potential New Member - a person interested in a being a member of a Greek organization

Ritual - the values and beliefs by which members of an organization live which is oftentimes depicted in organizational ceremonies

Recruitment - the activity by which chapters seek new members (Historically it has been referred to as Rush but is now referred to as Recruitment)

Sister/Soror - a term used by sorority members when referring to each other

Sorority - a Greek organization for women

Many answers to additional questions may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) portion of our website. However, please contact the Leadership & Student Involvement at 757-683-3446 at any time with any questions or concerns.