Fraternity & Sorority Life

At ǿմý, it means getting involved in community service and leadership opportunities, building friendships, sharing your talents and interests, and making connections that will last a lifetime. Our FSL community has enjoyed more than 100 years of history on campus.

To be eligible to join a sorority or fraternity, first year students must have a 2.75 cumulative high school GPA. For students with at least one semester of college experience, they must have a 2.3 cumulative GPA to join a sorority or fraternity.*

*College enrollment cannot be concurrent with high school enrollment.

Fraternities & Sororities

Fraternities and Sororities

We have six local sororities, six local fraternities, two international fraternities, and five National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chapters. Our local organizations exist only at ǿմý University, while international organizations have chapters at different colleges and universities across the country.

Interfraternity Council

FSL Governing Councils

  • InterFraternity Council (IFC) Fraternities.
  • Panhellenic Council (Panhel) Sororities.

    InterFraternity Council (IFC) Fraternities

        • (Alpha Sig)
        • Eta Phi Mu (Jonda)
        • Lambda Gamma Epsilon (Kings)
        • (Phi Delt)
        • (Pi Sig)
        • Pi Kappa Phi (Club)
        • Sigma Delta Phi (Sphinx)
        • Zeta Phi (Zeta)

    Contact IFC Executive Council atinterfraternitycouncil@otterbein.edufor more information.

    Panhellenic Council

    Panhellenic Council (Panhel) Sororities

    • (EKT)
    • (Kappa)
    • (Owls)
    • Tau Delta
    • Tau Epsilon Mu (TEM)

    Contact Panhel Executive Council atpanhelcouncil@otterbein.edufor more information

    National Pan-Hellenic Council(NPHC) Chapters

    • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Omicron Rho City-Wide Chapter)
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Pi Gamma City-Wide Chapter)
    • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Nu Phi City-Wide Chapter)
    • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. (Iota Epsilon City-Wide Chapter)
    • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (Iota Nu Sigma Worthington Alumnae Chapter)

    For more information about these organizations, please contact the Center for Student Engagement atCSE@otterbein.edu.

    Recruitment Information

    IFC Fraternity Recruitment

    IFC fraternities typically host formal recruitment in the fall each year with all fraternities participating, with only some chapters participating in informal recruitment which takes place in the Spring.

    Dates and details for the 2024-25 Academic Year are coming soon!

    Questions? ContactInterfraternity Council!

    Sorority Recruitment

    Formal Recruitment for the six Panhellenic Council (Panhel) local sororities will take place in the Fall semester. The sorority recruitment process is designed to help Potential New Members (PNMs) meet and interact with every sorority to have a better opportunity of finding the perfect match.

    Sign-ups for recruitment will open during the summer before recruitment. Dates and details for the 2024-25 Academic Year are coming soon!

    NPHC Intake

    The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the umbrella organization of the nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities.Our NPHC organizations conduct intake for new members at different times throughout the year, and the dates for intake, as well as whether the chapter will host intake in any given year, varies each semester. If you are interested in joining an NPHC organization, please contact the Center for Student Engagement atcse@otterbein.edu.

    Greek Speak

    A
    Active:A fully initiated, undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority.
    Alumni/Alumnae:Sorority or fraternity members who have graduated from college and are no longer in the collegiate chapter. Sorority and fraternity membership is a lifetime association.

    B
    Badge (pin):The insignia that designates a Greek organization.
    Bid:A formal invitation to join a sorority or fraternity.
    Bid Day:The day immediately following Sorority Preference Selection where chapters extend invitations for membership to potential new members.
    Big Brother/Big Sister/Big Sibling:An active member assigned to be the personal mentor to a new member.

    C
    Chapter:A sorority or fraternity organization.
    Chapter Advisor:An alumnus/alumnae and/or faculty/staff member who serves in an advisory role to provide guidance to the organization.
    Charter:Documentation from the organization that serves as a license to operate a chapter of their organization on a specific campus.
    Colony:A newly formed organization that has not yet received its charter. The members of a colony are referred to as “founders.”

    F
    Fraternity:The name that applies that historically all Greek letter organizations characterized by a ritual, pin, and strong ties to friendship and moral principles. Informally, women’s fraternities are called sororities.

    G
    Greek:Any member of a Greek-letter social organization (sorority or fraternity).
    Greek Week:A special week each year where all members of the Greek community come together. This week includes events such as a sports night, relay races, and other social and philanthropic activities.

    H
    Hazing:Mental or physical abuse or harassment of a member. University policy, State law, and the policies of sororities and fraternities prohibit hazing.
    House:The physical residence where the chapter resides. Not all fraternities and sororities have houses.

    I
    Initiation:The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership.
    Intake:The membership recruitment and induction process for National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.
    Interfraternity Council (IFC):The representative governing body of all the fraternities at ǿմý University.
    Initiation:A Ritual ceremony/tradition that welcomes the new member into full membership status of that sorority/fraternity.

    L
    Leadership:Many leadership opportunities are available within the Greek community. Not only are officer positions available in each chapter, but also within the governing councils and other organizations across campus.
    Legacy:Someone who has an older family member that is a member of a particular Greek organization.
    Line:A National Pan-Hellenic Council organization’s new member glass.

    N
    National Pan-Hellenic Council:The governing body of the historically black fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine 9.
    Neophyte:A new member of a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization.
    New Member:A member of a sorority or fraternity who has not been initiated.
    New Member Education:A period of learning about sorority and fraternity life prior to initiation. This period varies for all groups.

    P
    Panhellenic Council:The representative governing body of all the sororities at ǿմý University.
    Philanthropy:A charitable fundraiser or service project sponsored by a sorority or fraternity.
    Potential New Member (PNM):A student who is participating in the recruitment process.
    Preferencing:During the last day of recruitment, a Potential New Member determines which particular sorority they want to join by listing two sororities in their order of preference.

    Q
    Quota:The specified number of Potential New Members to which each sorority may extend a bid.

    R
    Recruitment:The process chapters use to recruit new members. Formally known as rush.
    Recruitment Chair:The person(s) from each chapter who leads each chapter’s recruitment functions.
    Rho Chi:A sorority member who has disaffiliated themselves from their chapter during Formal Recruitment. They are specifically trained to help Potential New Members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership.
    Ritual:The traditional beliefs and oaths of a sorority or fraternity usually used in reference to the ceremonies of initiation as well as weekly chapter meetings.

    S
    Silent Period:A time during the recruitment process where active members are not to discuss recruitment with non-sorority members.

    Greek Alphabet

    A Alpha
    B Beta
    Γ Gamma
    Δ Delta
    E Epsilon
    Z Zeta
    H Eta
    Θ Theta
    I Iota
    K Kappa
    Lambda
    M Mu

    N Nu
    ө Xi
    O Omicron
    Π Pi
    R Rho
    Σ Sigma
    T Tau
    U Upsilon
    Φ Phi
    X Chi
    Y Psi
    Ω Omega

    History of Greek Life

    100 years on campus and counting

    In the 1850’s groups known as Literary Societies began forming at ǿմý. These early societies were meant to help students gain a mastery of public speaking and debate skills as many early graduates pursued careers as ministers, lawyers, politicians and teachers. Literary Societies dominated campus life at ǿմý until the early 1900’s. The first decades of the 1900’s ǿմý began to see fraternities and sororities pop up on campus. Greek-lettered organizations first appeared on American campuses in the 1820s and grew rapidly after 1890.

    At ǿմý, fraternities and sororities unofficially sprang into existence beginning in 1908. The fraternities often grew out of eating clubs made up of friends who belonged to the same literary society. For example, Lester Essig, William B. Grise, Harry D. Thompson and Charles Yates were all friends and members of Philomathea. They began eating together in 1908 at a house on West Broadway beyond the city limits, and so became known as “Country Club.”

    Six Cleiorheteans “clubbed together” in each other’s rooms on the second floor of Cochran Hall in 1910. They shared friendship and food from home until deciding in the spring of 1911 to form ǿմý’s first sorority, Sigma Alpha Tau, “Owls.”

    These organizations quickly became the new framework for organizing social life. Among students, their acceptance and importance was reflected by the 1915 Sibyl which featured a section titled “Fraternities,” including a sketch of an initiation ceremony. Officially, the University denied their existence, although it seemed to tolerate them for a time. But as the fraternities and sororities grew, so did their opposition.

    From 1917 through 1921, University trustees instructed President Clippinger to suppress the fraternities and sororities. Clippinger found the task aggravating and frustrating. No matter how many students were confronted, the groups continued to grow, and by 1920, a sense of defeat was setting in among the trustees who opposed the new groups. In 1921, the Board of Trustees finally heard arguments for changing its policy. J.R. Howe, who later became president of ǿմý, spoke for the students. In the end, fraternities and sororities were allowed on campus only if membership and meetings were public, and no “oaths or irrevocable pledges of allegiance” were required. Initiation rituals, Greek letters and affiliation with national organizations were forbidden.

    In the years after ǿմý sanctioned these social organizations, they grew rapidly. In 1922, when the Board first officially recognized them, 52 percent of the students belonged to fraternities and sororities. By 1928, participation had risen to 76 percent. But the place of fraternities and sororities in college life remained tentative. As late as 1929, President Clippinger insisted that ǿմý did not have fraternities and sororities, but unique “social organizations.”

    By 1971, ǿմý had allowed fraternities and sororities to move out of the halls and into houses around campus. Unfortunately this came at a time when Greek-lettered organizations across the country faced mounting criticism and declining membership. ǿմý student Bob Ready ’74, who had pledged a fraternity but dropped out, wrote in the Tan & Cardinal that students in fraternities and sororities were too “WASPish” and divided the campus at a time when ǿմý and the country needed peace and unity.

    In the 1950s and early ’60s as many as 80 to 90 percent of all ǿմý students belonged to a fraternity or sorority. Dean Joanne VanSant remembered that in 1953 before rush began, there was only one independent woman on campus. By 1972, members had dropped to approximately 54 percent for women and 45% for men. Despite the decline, ǿմý’s FSL students defended their organizations as important and positive forces in campus life. Mark Bixler ’73 argued in the Tan & Cardinal that the Greek-lettered organizations provided a style of living that encourages personal development as well as numerous service opportunities. Debbie Ayers ’72, then president of the Panhellenic Council, felt the Greek-lettered organizations were “not slowly dying, but slowly changing.”

    ǿմý’s FSL students found support from numerous sources. Alumni returned to campus to work with active chapters, and the University invited national consultants to campus to help them increase their membership, modernize rushing, and focus on leadership development. In the 1980s, the fraternities and sororities steadily rebuilt their base and again expanded their influence and leadership on campus.

    Today, students in fraternities and sororities make up about 25 percent of ǿմý’s campus populations and are places students can gather to foster deep friendships, gain valuable leadership skills, and volunteer their time within ǿմý and the greater community.

    Excerpts from:
    Hurley, Daniel, Cathy Fishell, Melinda Gilpin, Lois Szudy, and Tuesday Beerman Trippier. “Fraternities and Sororities.” ǿմý College: Affirming our Past/Shaping our Future. Westerville, Ohio: ǿմý College, 1996. 56-57. Print.

    Hurley, Daniel, Cathy Fishell, Melinda Gilpin, Lois Szudy, and Tuesday Beerman Trippier. “Greeks.” ǿմý College: Affirming our Past/Shaping our Future. Westerville, Ohio:
    ǿմý College, 1996. 72. Print.

    “My favorite thing about FSL at ǿմý is that since a majority of the chapters are only at ǿմý, I had the opportunity to grow a deeper connection with the university as a whole.”

    Angel Proehl, Class of 2024