Frequently Asked Questions

What is hazing and is it permitted at CSUDH?

Hazing is defined as any action taken which produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule. Once a common tradition, hazing has been banned by all national fraternal organizations and institutions of higher education. CSUDH rigorously enforces this policy, and organizations that violate the policy are subject to immediate suspension of campus recognition and privileges.

How much time does Fraternity or Sorority membership require?

Like most extra-curricular activities, how much you get out of your involvement with your organization is related to how much you put in. On average, expect to contribute four hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. Optional activities such as holding an office, attending social events, playing on an intramural sports team, or helping out with various projects will of course take additional time. With good time management, the activities within your organization will easily fit into your weekly schedule and allow plenty of time for classes, studying, work, and participation in other campus activities.

How will my membership in a Fraternity or Sorority affect my academics?

Academic achievement is a priority for our Greek community. Many organizations enforce grade point average requirements and offer study sessions, tutoring, and other programs to assist members achieve their potential. Students who take advantage of the academic support available and properly balance their time between academic and extra-curricular pursuits will find that membership in their organization will enhance their academic performance. Several national studies have consistently found that retention rates are significantly higher for fraternity and sorority members than for unaffiliated students.

How do I know which sorority or fraternity is for me?

Each organization has its own advantages. We encourage students who are interested in joining a Greek organization to conduct their own research, as well as to attend sorority and fraternity events. By attending these events, students will gain a better understanding of what each Greek organization has to offer.

How much will it cost to be a member?

It is relatively inexpensive to join a Greek organization here at CSUDH. However, fees vary by organization. Some organizations require an initiation fee along with a monthly fee.

Glossary of Greek Terms
  • Active:  An undergraduate, dues-paying member of a Greek organization.
  • Advisor:  An alumnus or alumna member who serves as a resource for the active chapter and a liaison between the alums and collegians.
  • Alumni:  Members of a fraternity who have graduated. (Singular is alumnus)
  • Alumnae:  Members of a sorority who have graduated. (Singular is alumna)
  • Alum:  Abbreviation for Alumnus, Alumna, Alumni, or Alumnae.
  • Big:  Nickname for big sister or brother, a mentor assigned to a new member. Many organizations have special names for these pairings.
  • Brother:  Term that fraternity members call each other.
  • Call:  A yell used to identify and greet brothers and sisters. Non-members are not permitted to use the call.
  • Chapter:  A branch of a national sorority, established at a campus. Each chapter has its own name, usually designated by Greek Letters. For example, Zeta Tau Alpha, Beta Gamma chapter.
  • Chapter Meeting:  A weekly meeting held to discuss sorority or fraternity business.
  • Colors:  The official pair or triad of colors that represent a specific Greek organization.
  • Crest:  Insignia used by sorority and fraternity members. Most Greek organizations reserve the crest for initiated members only. Each crest has hidden, secret meanings behind it. Also known as a coat of arms or shield.
  • Dues:  Charge of joining a fraternity or sorority. Covers costs of operation, formal events, activities, and other events.
  • Founders Day:  An event celebrated by fraternities and sororities to highlight the founding of their organization and celebrate its history. It's not necessarily held on the day the organization was founded.
  • Fraternity:  A group of people brought together because of mutual interests. Generally thought of as a group of men, but also refers to co-ed organizations and many sororities are officially fraternities.
  • Greek:  Not the nationality. Greek in this sense means a member of a fraternity or sorority.
  • Greek Week:  An organized week of activities to unite all councils.
  • Handshake:  It's a special handshake unique to each organization. Only initiated members will know the handshake. Also known as a Grip.
  • Hazing:  Any act performed by a member of any organization that is likely to cause harm, danger, causes public embarrassment or shame, compromise's a persons dignity, causes the person to be the object of ridicule, cause psychological harm, or is illegal. Hazing is against the law in all states, and is against the principles of all sororities and fraternities.
  • Inactive Member:  A member who has elected to become inactive in sorority or fraternity life. They have no say or participation in chapter activities.
  • Intake:  Term for the process by which members are selected to become new members of an organization.
  • Interest:  A group of individuals on campus in the first stage of the process leading to installation as a chapter of a Greek-letter organization.
  • Lavaliere:  A necklace with the sorority letters, often worn by members
  • Legacy:  The son, daughter or brother or sister of an initiated or alum member.
  • Little:  Nickname for a Big's new member that they mentor.
  • Line:  They are the potential new members of the organization.
  • Neophyte or Neo:  New member of an organization.
  • New Member Educator:  The liaison between the new members and the chapter, they are responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program and preparing the new members for initiation.
  • NPHC:  The National Pan-Hellenic Council, the governing body of the 9 traditionally African American fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine Nine. Also the local governing council for the NPHC organizations.
  • Order of Omega:  An honor society for Greek members who demonstrate outstanding leadership and academic achievement.
  • Philanthropy:  A charity or fundraiser that the fraternity or sorority supports.
  • Prophyte:  An older member of an organization.
  • Retreat:  A trip, or sometimes just a sleepover, where the members bond, get to know each other, and discuss business.
  • Recruitment:  The process in which sororities and fraternities get new members.
  • Sister:  Term that sorority members call each other.
  • Soror:  Term used by NPHC sorority members towards one another.
  • Sorority:  A social, Greek letter organization for women.
  • Step Show:  A show performed by NPHC organizations (as well as other organizations). Also called Stepping.

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