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Student Involvement Center

Fraternity FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I obtain more information about joining?

News will be posted on this site and on our Facebook Page and our Twitter Page. Please email us at to receive updates about recruitment and Fraternity events.

What is "rush?"

The term "rush" originated early in colleges when dorms were not yet available. Trains and buses full of new students would pull up to a college campus, and students would literally "rush" to fraternity and sorority houses to find a place to live. Today, "rush" and "recruitment" are used interchangeably. When a Fraternity or Sorority member says, "Rush" they simply mean recruitment.

What does the term "pledge" mean?

After the recruitment period is over, a "bid" may be extended to you to join the fraternity. If you accept, you begin your "pledgeship" which is simply a time between being a new member and a full member of the organization. Pledgeship varies between the fraternities and is a great question to ask each fraternity individually.

Don't you guys just buy your friends?

Any student organization, like a fraternity, needs funds to operate. Other clubs often charge dues, just like a fraternity. The difference is that since fraternities do more than any other organization on campus, they need appropriate funding to do so. The dues are minimal when compared with the vast benefits that the fraternity offers. We also try to work with members as much as possible to find a plan that fits their needs. In other words, don't let money stop you from joining.

What if my parents don't want me to join a fraternity?

Many parents will cringe at the mention of joining a fraternity. This reaction stems from the stereotyped nature of Greek life, including beer, women, parties, hazing, pranks, etc. A lot has changed since your parents went to college, and you will find that fraternity life is not at all how it is stereotypically portrayed. Fraternities stand for scholarship, leadership, service, and brotherhood.

Will I be hazed?

Absolutely not. Hazing is harmful and illegal and no Fraternity or Sorority at University of Northern Iowa endorses such activities.

I'm confused by some of the terms some people have said, can you explain?

It is completely understandable to be confused by these terms as they aren't used very much outside of the Fraternity and Sorority Community.

  • Active Member - an initiated member of a fraternity
  • Alumna - a member that has graduated from his chapter
  • Fraternity - a Greek-letter brotherhood
  • Bid - an invitation to membership in a chapter
  • Greek - a term applied to members affiliated with a Greek-letters organization
  • IFC (Interfraternity Council) - the governing council of fraternities at the University of Northern Iowa
  • Initiation - the ceremony in which a new member becomes an active member
  • Legacy - the son, brother, nephew, grandson, of an initiated member
  • NIC - Norther-American Interfraternity Conference, body of delegates from the 26 national fraternities.
  • Pledge/New Member - a member of a fraternity who is not yet initiated
  • Philanthropy - an active effort to promote human welfare
  • Ritual - the expression of values and principals upon which the fraternity was founded