Frequently Asked Questions
What is fraternity and sorority life? What is a cooperative?
Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations that provide friendship, academic support, opportunities for civic engagement, and leadership development for many college students. Fraternities and sororities have been a part of Purdue’s student life for more than a century, and the Greek community continues to grow today. Cooperatives are a unique experience at Purdue University. While other cooperatives do exist Purdue's cooperative housing community offers a distinct combination of student organization, affordable living, and community.
What is the role of a parent or family member?
Be supportive of your student. Learn more about the organizations your student is thinking about joining, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Explore this website for more information about Purdue Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life, and check out the websites of the local, inter/national organizations your student is considering joining. Feel free to call the Fraternity, Sorority, and Cooperative Life office at (765) 494-5990 if you have more questions.
How can a student join a fraternity, sorority, or cooperative?
Students go through a recruitment or intake process to join a fraternity, sorority, or cooperative. This process varies by council and by organization. You can learn more in the Recruitment section and by visiting each council's page. Once a student has gone through recruitment and decided to join an organization, the student will go through a new member education or intake process. During this time, the student learns about the history, traditions, and values of the organization. At the end of the new member education period, the new members are initiated into the organization.
When does recruitment happen?
Most recruitment events happen within the first month of the semester. Most fraternity and sorority chapters recruit in the fall, and many also recruit in the spring. The Panhellenic sorority formal recruitment process occurs during the first three weekends of the fall semester. The Purdue Cooperative Council formal recruitment process takes place at the beginning of the spring semester.
What are the requirements to go through recruitment?
Any student enrolled at Purdue University may go through recruitment. This includes first-year, sophomore, junior, senior, and transfer students. While a few organizations restrict membership to students in their second semester or older, the majority of Purdue’s organizations are open to all classes. Most chapters also have GPA requirements for potential new members. Cooperative recruitment is also open to incoming first year students.
Do all members live in the house?
Several organizations have facilities where members live together. Students who join organizations with houses typically move into the house during their second year of membership. Unless a student joins a cooperative as they enter Purdue in which case they may live in all four years. Each organization has its own policies for living in the facility. While the majority of live-in members are sophomores and juniors, some facilities house seniors, and a few fraternity facilities house first-year students. Students are encouraged to ask about live-in policies and housing contracts before joining an organization. Several fraternities and sororities do not have facilities, and their members do not have obligations to live in a particular place.
What is the time commitment of a fraternity, sorority, or cooperative?
Cooperative/fraternity/sorority membership is a significant time commitment. Members are typically expected to attend a weekly house/chapter meeting, as well as several special events each year (such as recruitment, philanthropy events, and Initiation ceremonies). Members can choose to take on leadership roles that require further time commitments, and they can also choose to participate in a variety of optional activities like social functions and intramural sports. Education is the top priority for Purdue students, and classes and exams always take precedence over organization events. Many cooperative/fraternity/sorority members do find time to participate in other student organizations and/or have a job, in addition to the commitments of their organization and being a student. Cooperative students contribute to their house in cleaning and cooking on a rotation as well. These duties are split up among all members of the house so that it is not overwhelming for members and so that it is not just the responsibility of the new members to maintain facilities.
What kind of financial commitment does a fraternity, sorority, or cooperative require?
Organizations collect dues and membership fees or house bills from every member. Most groups have one-time initiation fees, plus semester or monthly dues. Dues are spent on philanthropic events, social events, scholarship programming, membership recruitment, and parent/alumni programming. Most organizations offer payment plans and scholarships to help their members meet their financial obligations.
What about hazing?
Hazing is contrary to the missions and values of fraternities and sororities and a violation of Purdue policy. The state of Indiana, Purdue University, and all cooperatives, inter/national fraternities and sororities have policies against hazing. See Purdue University’s policy against hazing.
Additionally, Purdue publishes the conduct history of our student organizations. Follow this link to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities page on Student Organization Disciplinary Status.
If you are concerned that hazing may be happening, please report it. You may report it though an Incident Report which goes directly to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.