Parents and Prospective Members

What is a Fraternity or Sorority?

It is an organization founded on the precepts of honor and knowledge that encourages lifelong bonds of friendships through shared collegiate experiences.

Why join a Fraternity or Sorority?

To enhance your college experience.  Being Greek means participating in community service, scholastic achievement, social activities, and being part of an organization that gives you a lifetime of benefits.

What is Recruitment?

Recruitment is the formal process fraternities and sororities use to meet potential new members for membership into the chapter.  Both the chapter and new members choose each other through mutual selection. There is no cost or obligation associated with registering.

Potential Member’s Bill of Rights:

  • To be treated as an individual
  • To be fully informed about the recruitment process
  • To ask questions and to receive true and objective information
  • To be treated as a capable and mature person without being patronized
  • To make informed choices without undue pressure from others
  • To have a positive, safe and enriching recruitment experience

Anti-Hazing Statement

Colorado School of Mines believes membership in a collegiate fraternal organization is based on social and moral responsibility, intellectual development, respect for the dignity and personal safety of the individual, and regard for appropriate authority.  Hazing against any member of a fraternal organization — pledged or initiated members — is counterproductive to these stated goals and is in conflict with the true meaning of fraternal life, university rules and regulations and state law. Therefore, Colorado School of Mines is unalterably opposed to and prohibits the act of hazing.

Gallup Study on Fraternity and Sorority Membership Benefits

Interested in more?

Go Greek and go farther!

The first and foremost reason to attend Colorado School of Mines is for a formidable and meaningful education. The Greek members at Mines value education and are committed to assisting members to excel. Each chapter strives to succeed academically offering such programs as tutoring, mentors, study sessions, quiet hours, computer/study rooms, study files and awards/scholarships for academic achievements. Greek students may also become members of the Greek academic honor society Order of Omega.

Mines is committed to building future leaders by providing an array of leadership experiences including membership in a fraternity or sorority. Since Greek organizations are self-governing, they provide ample opportunities for leadership development. Every member has the chance to accept a chairmanship or a major office during their time at Mines.  Chapters also send members to national conventions and leadership conferences throughout their tenure at Mines.
Our fraternities and sororities support various local, state and national nonprofit causes/organizations through direct community service and philanthropy.  Chapter members are highly encouraged to become active, productive members of their community both on and off campus.
The college experience can present many new challenges for students and having a support system of brothers/sisters can make the transition easier. Membership within a chapter provides college students with a home away from home through friendship and camaraderie. Chapter members often participate in campus social and athletic activities which are designed for members to meet new people, enjoy their university experience and build life-long bonds.

Areas of Concern

The first semester of membership in a sorority or fraternity is the most expensive, as many one-time fees are paid during this semester.  However, Mines chapters have some of the lowest membership dues in the nation.  These dues go toward funding chapter activities such as scholarship recognition, house upkeep, philanthropy projects and social activities. It is important to note that no chapter funds may be spent on alcohol.
Each chapter has various policies about the use of alcohol, however, no one under 21 is permitted to consume alcohol. Alcohol is prohibited at all three sorority houses and several of fraternity houses at Mines. Additionally, recruitment for both sororities and fraternities is 100% dry, meaning there are no functions during which alcohol is permitted.
It is the policy of the National Panhellenic Council and Inter-Fraternity Council that no member or new member of a Greek organization may be hazed. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created intentionally, whether on or off fraternity or sorority property, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. The Mines Panhellenic Council does not tolerate hazing of any sort. (See the anti-hazing statement above.)
Each chapter has required meetings and events which are announced at the beginning of each semester. Most other activities are optional. Many members participate in other activities on campus yet still find time for their chapters. Chapters realize that students are at Mines first for an education. Therefore, members can typically arrange to be excused from a meeting for scholarship purposes.
Greek Terms

Active: an undergraduate individual who identifies as a man or woman who is a full-time student and participating in their fraternity or sorority.

Advisor: an alumnus or alumna member who serves as a resource for the active chapter and liaison between the alums and collegians.

Advisory Board: members of an alumni chapter who advise the collegian chapter.

Affiliate: means “to join with an organization.” Colonies petition national organizations to affiliate with them. A member who switches schools may also affiliate with the chapter at his/her new school.

Alumni (men)/Alumnae (women): more than one alumnus/alumna.

Alumnus (man)/Alumna (woman): an initiated member that has graduated from college or who belongs to a graduate chapter.

Badge: also known as a ‘pin’ to some organizations. It is an item of jewelry given to members upon initiation. The badge is to be worn at all official Chapter functions, and upon a members death it should be returned to the sorority or fraternity headquarters. The badge must be worn with business like attire, usually over the heart and above all other pins.

Bid: an invitation to membership in IFC / NPC organizations. They are given out during formal recruitment (on Bid Day for Panhellenic and Bid Night for IFC).

Bid Day/Night: the last day of recruitment in which potential new members/new members receive formal invitations to join a sorority/fraternity.

Big: nickname for a big sister or brother, a mentor assigned to all new members. Many organizations have special names for these pairings.

Brother/Sister: a term used by an active or new member when referring to another active or new member.

Chapter: the local collegiate or graduate group of a national fraternity or sorority.

Chapter Meeting: typically a weekly meeting held to discuss  sorority or fraternity business.

Charter: the official document recognizing a chapter’s status by the national organization.

Colony: status of a new chapter before installation.

Colors: the official pair or triad of colors that represent a specific Greek organization.

Continuous Open Bid (COB)/Open Bid: if a Panhellenic sorority does not reach the allowable membership total during formal recruitment or if they do not reach quota, they may hold an informal recruitment, and offer bid to potential new members. IFC groups offer Open Bids to potential members during informal recruitment.

Crest: insignia used by Greek organizations. Each crest has hidden, secret meaning and may also be known as a coat of arms or shield.

Dues: the charge of joining a Greek organizations. Typically covers the costs of Chapter operations, formal events, activities, and other member activities.

Expansion: when a Chapter’s National Headquarters is looking to expand and open a chapter at new school.

Formal Recruitment: see Recruitment.

Greek: a term applied to members affiliated with Greek-letter social organizations.

Greek Week: an organized week of activities specifically held to unite all Councils and their Chapters.

Handshake: a special handshake unique to each organization that only initiated members will know. May be known as a ‘Grip.’

Informal Recruitment: see Recruitment.

Initiation: a formal ceremony in which a new member becomes an initiated member.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): the governing body of men’s fraternities..

Interest Meeting: meeting for prospective members to receive information about and meet members of a Greek organization.

Legacy: a prospective member whose parent, grandparent or sibling is an alumna/alumnus or an initiated member of a Greek organization.

Letters: the first Greek letter of each Greek word that makes up the name of the fraternity or sorority are often displayed on apparel. For example, Kappa Alpha Theta’s letters are KAT. Note that some organization’s do not allow new member to wear letters (only the organization’s name spelled out), while others do.

Little: nickname for a Big’s new member who they mentor.

Mixer/Exchange/Social: a party between a sorority and fraternity, or several fraternities and sororities, often involving themes or games.

National Panhellenic Council (NPC): the governing body of women’s fraternities and sororities.

New Member: a new member in a specific chapter who has not been initiated.

Order of Omega: a national honor society that recognizes and promotes Greek leadership and scholarship.

Philanthropy: a charity or fundraiser that an organization supports. Can be national or local or both.

Potential New Member (PNM): a non-Greek man or woman participating in the IFC / NPC recruitment process.

Quota: a set number of new members a Panhellenic sorority/fraternity may extend bids.

Recruitment: designed for the membership selection and is a mutual selection process for potential members and chapters, may occur in the Formal or Informal process.

Recruitment Counselor: a member of an NPC sorority that has disaffiliated from her chapter during Recruitment Week to assist students interested in joining an NPC organization.

Total: the maximum number of members a Panhellenic sorority may have.