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Cornell University

How to Join a Sorority or Fraternity

Individuals seeking membership can join our community at various times throughout their tenure at Cornell. All individuals must meet the Deferred Recruitment Policy listed below in order to be eligible.

Deferred Recruitment Policy (First Year Spring Admit)

Deferred recruitment requires new students to wait one academic semester before pursuing membership in a Sorority or Fraternity. Therefore all incoming students, including spring admit freshmen must wait at least one semester before beginning a recruitment or intake process. This policy encourages students to focus on building solid and positive academic habits and adjust to college life. We believe it is best for each cohort of new students to wait until their second semester at Cornell to be eligible to join a sorority or fraternity. Deferred recruitment for new students was instituted by student and faculty leadership in the 1950s and will continue to be Cornell’s policy. Transfer students are permitted to join a sorority or fraternity their first semester at Cornell.

With the exception of Asian-Interest Recruitment, the Membership Intake Process for Multicultural Greek & Fraternal Council (MGFC) organizations happens at various times during the year at the discretion of each group and their national organization. Consult individual Chapters for more information. Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC) Formal Recruitment is held the week before classes start each January. Informal Recruitment is dependent on the organizations and may be held in the Fall or throughout the Spring. Students must meet the Deferred Recruitment policy to be eligible to join during Informal Recruitment.


Benefits of Sorority and Fraternity Life

Community and Lifelong Membership

Providing experiences that expand an individual's worldview and instill within them a sense of home away from home is a core tenet of our purpose. Membership in a fraternity and sorority also extends beyond the college years. In fact, there are a significant number of Cornell alumni who give their time, talent and treasure to help to make sure this experience is available for the next generation. Many of our organizations maintain an alumni database and host alumni/undergraduate events for networking purposes.

Leadership Development

Membership in a fraternity or sorority offers numerous opportunities for leadership development. Workshops and seminars are presented regularly to chapter members helping them develop decision-making skills, strengthen their communication techniques, and encourage involvement in the community. Leadership positions are available to members at many levels: students may choose to volunteer on chapter committees, become chapter officers, or serve as officers at the governing council level. National organizations, local alumni boards, and Cornell staff provide a wide range of leadership training and educational programs which help make the student experience rewarding and beneficial.

Philanthropy and Service

Sorority & fraternity members take it as a part of their mission to support their national and locally supported philanthropies (not-for-profit causes). Throughout the year each chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help their philanthropies of choice. Some of the fundraising and hands-on service efforts include pancake breakfasts, dodge ball tournaments, 5K runs, volunteering at elementary schools, visiting retirement communities, taking children to Cornell athletic events, and environmental improvement programs such as Adopt-A-Highway. The time spent together on these events is one of the many opportunities for members to bond while making a difference in someone's life.