Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions


Fraternities and sororities are organizations at colleges and universities that are usually designated by Greek letters. They are also groups of individuals with similar backgrounds, interests, or values. All fraternities and sororities at Villanova are members of their respective umbrella organizations: National Interfraternal Conference (NIC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO), National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) or National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA). 

Active Member: A formally initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumna(ae): A sorority member who has graduated from college.

Alumnus: A fraternity member who has graduated from college.

Alumni: Plural for initiated members who have graduated from college.

Badge: The insignia that designates a fraternal organization.

Bid: A formal invitation to join an organization.

Bid Day: The final day of recruitment when a potential new member receives an invitation to join an organization.

Brother: A term used to refer to other members of a fraternity.

Brotherhood: Intangible, yet the most cherished of assets among fraternity members - brotherhood is the foundation of fraternity life.

Call/Chant: A vocal sound used by members of culturally-based organizations to acknowledge one another.

Chapter: A campus group recognized by the institution and the inter/national fraternal organization.

Chapter Advisor: An alumni member who advises students in specific organizational procedures.

Colony: A group of students that has started a new chapter of a fraternity or sorority on campus.

Community Service: Services volunteered by individuals of an organization to benefit a community or its institution.

Crossed: The actual date of initiation into a multicultural Greek organization. The term is used to represent the symbolic “crossing of the burning sands."

Formal/Date Party: A social event held by one chapter to which each member may invite one date to attend.

Fraternity: A student organization (can be male, female, or coed) that has secret rites; a student organization for academic, professional, or extracurricular activities. The term “fraternity” also applies to some women’s groups.

Greek: A member of a fraternity or sorority.

Greek Week: A week each year to promote unity within the fraternal community, which includes recreational and educational events and programs. At Villanova, events during this week include: Greek day of service, Mass, flag football, basketball, tug-of-war, Skit Night, and many others.

Hazing: Any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of an individual, or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the university. (See the Villanova University Student Handbook appendix for more information).

Initiation: A ceremony in which a new member begins full membership in a specific organization.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): A central governing body for certain fraternities at Villanova. This Council provides programs and services to chapters and holds chapters accountable for Council and university policies and procedures.

Leadership: Many leadership opportunities exist within Fraternity and Sorority Life. Not only are officer positions available in each chapter and council, but affiliation also opens doors to other involvement opportunities across campus.

Legacy: An individual whose mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, or other immediate family member was or is currently a member of a particular organization. Each inter/national organization may have its own definition of "legacy."

Line: Members of a cultural Greek organization's new member class.

List Social Event: A social event in which invitations are given to friends of a sponsoring organization. The organization then produces a list of invited guests, and attendees travel via bus to a third-party vendor for the event. (See the Fraternity List Party Guidelines section of the Social Policy for specific procedures regarding these events).

Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): A representative body for Villanova's multicultural Greek organizations.

Mixer: A social gathering between one (or more) sorority and one (or more) fraternity held at a third-party vendor. These events cannot be longer than three hours. (See Social Policy for the specific procedures regarding these events).

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO): An umbrella Council for Latino Greek Letter Organizations. The purpose of NALFO is to promote and foster positive interfraternal relations, communication, and development of all Latino fraternal organizations through mutual respect, leadership, honesty, professionalism, and education.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): A representative body for certain sororities at Villanova. The Panhellenic Council is a central governing body of certain sororities at Villanova that offers programs and service to chapters and the community, as a whole. This is derived from the Greek meaning all (Pan) Greeks (Hellenic).

Neophyte: A new member of a multicultural Greek organization.

New Member/Associate: A member of a fraternal organization that has not yet been initiated.

New Member Badge: A badge that designates a new member of a fraternity or sorority.

New Member Conference: An all-day, breakout-style conference that occurs in the spring semester and serves as an opportunity for new members to meet fellow peers across organizations and learn more about Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University.

New Member Recruitment: The continual process of recruiting members for a fraternity or sorority (typically IFC and NPC).

New Member Education Period: The time prior to initiation in which new members of a fraternal organization learn about their organization, develop relationships with fellow new and active members, and examine the values their organization is built on.

Philanthropy: A charitable project to raise money and awareness for a particular cause sponsored by each organization on campus.

Potential New Member: A student that participates in either formal or informal recruitment.

Presidents’ Council: A governing body encompassing all chapter presidents.

QUEST: An off-campus weekend leadership retreat that takes place in January for incoming chapter presidents and council officers.

Recommendations/References: A written letter from an alumnus or alumna recommending a potential new member for membership. These are not necessary for students to participate in recruitment.

Recruitment: A social experience organized by the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils in which mutual selection allows each potential new member and chapter to determine membership.

Recruitment Counselor: Individual who is available during formal recruitment to answer questions about recruitment.

Recruitment Guide (Rho Gamma): A disaffiliated member of an organization who assists potential members throughout the recruitment process.

Ritual: A detailed act or series of acts carried out by an individual to represent their organization’s values.

Scholarship: Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University strives for high scholarship. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required to participate in the recruitment process. Each chapter has a scholarship program to provide incentives, coordinate study groups and encourage members to achieve their highest academic goals.

Sister: A term used to refer to other members of a sorority.

Sisterhood: Intangible, yet the most cherished of assets among all sorority members - sisterhood is the foundation of sorority life.

Social: Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova University provides opportunities for a well-rounded social life, as well as for developing lifelong friendships. Many activities are organized not only to become closer to one's sisters or brothers but to members of other chapters, as well.

Social Event: A general term that includes mixers, formals, and date parties that must be registered in accordance with the Social Policy. (See Appendix)

Sorority: A female student organization that has secret rites; a student organization for academic, professional, and extracurricular purposes.

Strict Silence: A time period when members of sororities may not discuss recruitment with non-sorority members outside of recruitment events.

Stroll: A line dance done by members of multicultural Greek organizations (usually at a step show).

“Undergrounds”: Groups that are not recognized inter/nationally and/or by Villanova University.


Yes. Students must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA to join a fraternity or sorority at Villanova. Although this is the minimum GPA required to participate in recruitment, it does not guarantee membership, as many chapters maintain their own GPA requirements.

It depends on the organization; however, dues are usually paid twice a year. Dues go toward paying inter/national fees and chapter operating expenses.  Dues and payment plans are discussed prior to and during the recruitment and/or intake process.

The time commitment for membership is high: there are chapter and community-wide events, meetings and leadership opportunities occurring often.

Membership is a time commitment, so it is important potential new members develop and exercise good time management skills before participating in the recruitment process. Just as in any other time-intensive student organization, membership within a fraternity or sorority adds responsibilities to those that already exist, so potential new members should educate themselves on the experience so they can make an informed decision about joining.

No. Students involved in fraternities and sororities have the same housing opportunities as non-affiliated students.

A deferred recruitment system means that a first semester, first-year student is ineligible to join a fraternity or sorority.

The purpose of deferred recruitment is to give first-year students time to transition to the University, become acclimated academically, socially, physically, and spiritually, and to develop communities outside of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Membership in a fraternity or sorority should be a supplement to other involvement opportunities and communities that students develop during their first year at Villanova and beyond.

New member education is a time for new members to become better acquainted with their organizations' history, values, traditions, ritual, resources, and members.

This should not be referred to as a "pledging" period, seeing that new members should maintain the same privileges within the organization as active members as soon as they receive their bids.


Commitments for a Better Community

While the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life is confident in the profound impact that a fraternal organization can have on a student, we also have an understanding that our organizations have oftentimes benefited from systemic oppression that was remained unchecked for too long.

We have outlined commitments that our office has made to fight against this oppression as we work to provide access and equity to all students supported by our office. Furthermore, it’s important for us to note that as we work to combat these systemic issues, access and equity can never be fully achieved in the current state of fraternity and sorority if we are to honestly evaluate and commit to sustainable change in our community. Our goal is to achieve as equitable of an experience as possible.

1. We recognize that decades of narratives, practices and traditions have made the Panhellenic recruitment experience understood through a white lens. We continue to fall short in supporting our Black and Brown students and students of color through this experience; therefore are exploring more equitable recruitment structures.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Edits to the PHC recruitment process

1. Adding a second Round 1 to give potential new members double the opportunity to get visibility

2. Required a historical transparency statement to be read and distributed during recruitment for each chapter

3. First semester requiring financial transparency forms to be read and distributed during recruitment for each chapter

4. Requiring backgrounds for chapter rooms to be uniform between each chapter member

5. Recruitment will be strictly virtual for COVID-19

6. Every chapter member is required to participate in an hour and half long listening circle on racism and racial violence

a. Every Rho Gamma and Panhellenic Executive Board member was trained to facilitate listening circles

7. Every PNM is required to participate in an hour and a half long listening circle on racism and racial violence

8. Every chapter member has to watch and reflect on the NPC video addressing implicit bias, “Cultivating a More Inclusive Recruitment Experience and Addressing Implicit Bias”

9. Each chapter was required to submit a detailed DEI education plan for the spring semester incorporating national resources

10. Lowered the cost of recruitment registration

2. We recognize that we may have fallen short in our own learning and education; therefore are committed to implementing a staff education model that is more centered around, diversity, inclusion and equity.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Begun to incorporate access and equity current events into staff meetings

ii. Attended the first ASACCU equity and access workshop series as a staff

iii. Attended several webinars that focused on supporting Black and Brown students and organizations

iv. Created a student worker position specifically dedicated to MGC visibility and sustainability efforts

3. We recognize that most OFSL-sponsored programs and workshops in the past did not address structures of inequity; therefore moving forward we will incorporate conversations of privilege, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression into our programs.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Facilitated two MGC 101 workshops open to all organizations, and facilitated one MGC 101 workshop to a specific chapter

ii. Added a Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion to the IFC Executive Board

iii. Incorporated conversation of privilege, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression into semesterly officer trainings and Presidents’ Roundtables

4. We recognize that MGC organizations play a critical role in shaping the cultural, altruistic, and educational foundation of fraternity and sorority, but often lack visibility and access to resources; therefore we’re committed to intentionally partnering with MGC organizations to provide access to greater visibility and sustainability.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Begun to highlight more MGC organizations on the FSL social media

ii. Incorporated education around MGC structure and history into PHC and IFC Executive Board training

iii. Clearly defined the OFSL-designated funds for each MGC organization and their ability to reach those funds

iv. Provide SEPTA reimbursements to MGC members

v. Facilitated MGC 101 to campus partners

vi. Developed scholarships for membership dues for MGC affiliated students

We know that the fraternity and sorority community has been sustained for decades through under-accountability of its chapters; therefore it is our goal to hold organizations within the fraternity and sorority community to a greater accountability/ standard for passive and active acts of oppression and racism, and work with organizations to hold their members to the same accountability/ standard. As a staff, we want chapters to hold us accountable, too.

Spring 2021 Community Report




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All Men's Spring 2019 Average GPA:


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IFC Cumulative Average GPA:


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All Women's Spring 2019 Average GPA:


NPC Spring 2019 Average GPA:


NPC Cumulative Average GPA:


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Total # of Members:


Total # of Members on Campus:


All University Spring 2019 Average GPA:


MGC Spring 2019 Average GPA:


MGC Cumulative Average GPA:


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Total Undergraduate Enrollment:


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Total Male Enrollment:


All FSL Term GPA:


Total Female Enrollment:


All University GPA:


# of Fraternity Men:


Fraternity Men's Term GPA:


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Fraternity and Sorority Life at Villanova

Did You Know?

The Fraternity and Sorority community at Villanova University has grown tremendously over the last century. Today, it consists of over 2,000 students in nine Interfraternity Council fraternities, eight Panhellenic Council sororities and six Multicultural Greek Council organizations, all with inter/national affiliations.

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Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Villanova University
108 Dougherty Hall
Villanova, Pa. 19085

Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.