Frequently Asked Questions
What is recruitment? How do I join a sorority?
Recruitment is the mutual selection process through which potential new members (PNMs) meet active members of sorority chapters. Over five days, PNMs will visit all thirteen Panhellenic chapters and have the opportunity to find out what Greek Life at UC Berkeley is all about. As the week progresses, both the chapters and the potential new members narrow down their selections. On the final day of Recruitment, after a mutual bid-matching process, PNMs receive an invitation to join a chapter.
What is recruitment/sorority life like at Cal?
There are 12 regular-membership Panhellenic sororities at Cal: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Kappa and Zeta Tau Alpha. In addition, we have 3 associate-membership sororities, but only one participates in Fall Formal Recruitment-- Delta Sigma. Women who participate in Fall Formal Recruitment have the opportunity to visit and get to know women from each chapter. Recruitment at UC Berkeley is much more relaxed than the Recruitment process at other universities. We do not require any letters of recommendations, apparel items, or preparation—just registration.
What is an associate chapter, and what makes it different from the other Panhellenic sororities?
An associate chapter, according to UC Berkeley's Panhellenic bylaws, are local sororities or national or regional non-NPC member groups that are invited to be a part of Berkeley's Panhellenic community. These groups act the same as other members of the Panhellenic council, such as paying dues, following our core values, and have a say in all Panhellenic matters (through their delegate). Members from associate member chapters may serve as Officers of the Panhellenic Association (the Panhellenic Executive council), excluding President, Vice President of Membership, Head Recruitment Counselor, and Executive Vice President. Our associate chapters are valued members of our community and are fully supported by the Panhellenic council at large.
How do you balance academics and sorority life?
Chapters hold study nights where members can study together. Many chapters also host a “professor dinner” each semester when professors are invited to the chapter house. This gives members a way to get to know their professors well, and is often a good way to ask for a Letter of Recommendation from a professor! You will find numerous women with the same major in each chapter, which provides a good resource when you are looking for help in a class that someone else is in/has already taken, as well as general academic guidance.
When is recruitment?
Primary Recruitment is held each Fall during the first week of classes. Spring Informal Recruitment is held within the first few weeks of the Spring semester, and the schedules are determined on a chapter-to-chapter basis.
Where/when can I sign up for recruitment?
Registration for Fall Primary Recruitment 2018 is now open -- click here!
Who can sign up for recruitment?
All undergraduate who identify as women and are enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley are eligible. Unfortunately, graduate students and PhD students are not eligible.
How many women go through recruitment each year?
Approximately 1300 women participated in Fall Formal Recruitment in 2017.
What if I have class during Recruitment?
While we try to schedule Recruitment events in the evening on school nights, we understand that some women may have class conflicts. Class conflict forms will be made available each August. Additionally, chapters will be notified which PNMs have class conflicts.
Participating in a Greek-letter organization is like participating in any co-curricular activity; it requires a time investment. Students in the Greek Community at Cal have the opportunity for a well-rounded college experience that involves academic work and campus involvement, as well as social events. As they say, you get out of a sorority what you put in. You can choose your level of involvement, whether you decide to be a member or the President.
What kinds of philanthropy events are you involved in?
Each chapter is required to hold one philanthropy event per semester. Each chapter has their own philanthropy. Most philanthropy events involve the community, so chapter women and fraternity men often attend other chapter’s events.
What kinds of social events do you hold?
Every chapter holds “exchanges” with various fraternities on some Friday and Saturday nights. They are usually themed events where we go to the fraternity and socialize with fraternity men. Every chapter also holds their own “invitationals” each semester where they rent out a venue and each chapter member is allowed to bring a guest. Many times, these events have themes.
The national fraternity and sorority organizations, the University of California, Berkeley, Panhellenic Council and state law prohibit any action taken, or any situation created, whether on or off sorority premises, that may produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Hazing is forbidden and will not be tolerated at the UC Berkeley.
What is the financial commitment/housing situation for Greek organizations?
Joining a Greek organization does entail a financial commitment, but it is important to realize this commitment is considerably less than the costs of housing, food, and entertainment for the average Cal student living in the residence halls. The average new member fee in 2014 was $1,653.00 per semester. It varies from chapter to chapter, as some will be higher than the listed numbers and some will be lower. For chapter-by-chapter specific financial information, please refer to the Fall 2017 Recruitment Handbook. Our housed sororities do not provide summer housing. Many of the fraternities, which can be found on CalGreeks.com, do offer housing. Since they are private residences, we ask that all inquires be made directly to the organization. We do not compile housing lists but each organization can tell you whether they have openings and what the process looks like.
All the information is located on their websites. The university does not endorse one location over another, and each person interested should follow the same process as if they were looking for rooming in any other house.
How should I prepare for Fall Primary Recruitment?
There are no required documents you have to bring to Recruitment. The only mandatory action is that you sign up for Recruitment and pay the Recruitment fee prior to the deadline. You also must attend the mandatory Orientation night. Letters of Recommendation are optional and purely serve as a prior introduction to the chapters before you get to introduce yourself to them!
Am I required to live in the sorority house my first year?
No. We actually encourage our members to live in the dorms and fully enjoy the dorm experience. Most women choose to live in their sophomore and continuing years to take full advantage of the beautiful facilities!
Most chapters do not ever require you to live in, but some ask for sophomores to live in. It is often a very economical option, as living in the Bay Area can be very expensive. Every chapter has a chef, maintenance workers, and housekeepers who all help the house run smoothly. Chapter houses vary in size and in the number of women who live in. Chapters also have a House Mothers or House Managers who ensure that the house is running smoothly and that house rules are being followed.
Where are the chapter houses located?
Chapter houses are located on the South side of campus. You can view a map of our chapters here.