MTSU Fraternity and Sorority Life Guide

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A Note from President McPhee


Benefits of FSL

06-08 Councils

We are so glad you have chosen to pursue your educational goals at our institution. During your time at MTSU, you will have the opportunity to explore many ways to get involved. One of the avenues of involvement that we are proud to offer is membership in a fraternity or sorority. Our fraternity and sorority community represents a diverse population of students. Members are extremely active on campus and hold key positions in numerous organizations. You will find Greek students in almost every walk of life MTSU has to offer. Fraternities and sororities have made significant contributions to both the University and local community through their programs and philanthropic endeavors. The learning you encounter at MTSU should not just take place in the classroom. Leadership skills and relationshipbuilding are an important part of your personal and professional development. Joining a fraternity or sorority will help prepare you for your present and future aspirations. I encourage you to consider fraternity or sorority membership and all of its possibilities.


Council Programs


Educational Programs

Welcome to Middle Tennessee State University! On behalf of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Middle Tennessee State University, welcome to campus! As an undergraduate, joining a fraternity or sorority is one of the best decisions you can make. Fraternity and sorority membership offers one of the most dynamic and memorable experiences available to you as a college student. We hope that you will consider joining us! Enjoy this preview of fraternity and sorority life at MTSU!


Family Guide


Glossary Greek Alphabet




• Working and networking with alumni

“I never expected the impact that Fraternity and Sorority Life would have on me. Since I joined Fraternity and Sorority Life, I have had the chance to serve my chapter as well as the MTSU Greek community. The leadership roles I’ve served in have granted me the opportunity to refine my skills, better me as a person, and prepare myself for life after college.”

•E ducating and developing members and new members

—Drew Carpenter, IFC member

LEADERSHIP The fraternity and sorority community offers countless leadership opportunities. Below is just a sample of the leadership experiences you could encounter: • Managing executive teams • Serving on or chairing committees • Managing budgets

SERVICE Philanthropy is a fundamental tenet of fraternity and sorority life. The following are some ways fraternities and sororities give back: • Participating in service activities benefiting the Murfreesboro and surrounding communities • Organizing special events that raise money for local and national charities


• Contributing more than 50,000 hours of community service and donating over $100,000 to over 60 local and national philanthropies over the past year.

By joining a fraternity or sorority, you can make lifelong friendships and countless memories created through brother or sister relationships. You also will participate in social events such as dinner exchanges, homecoming, families weekend, backyard barbecues, intramurals, mixers, and formals. Networking and mentoring opportunities are guaranteed. Expect to build relationships with: • Chapter alumni

• Campus faculty/staff

• Headquarters staff/officers

• Other chapter members

• Other FSL community members

SCHOLARSHIP Fraternities and sororities strive to make academics a priority by implementing scholarship programs within their organizations that may include: • Academic advising

• Academic success workshops

• Tutoring programs

• Scholarship opportunities

• Study hours

• Mentoring groups

RESPONSIBILITY Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations, meaning that as a member you’ll be asked to put the chapter’s values into action and align personal values with those of the organization. Through participation in chapter programming, members will deepen their understanding and everyday practice of the organization’s values. • Lead by example

• Change the world

• Empower others

• Take part in risk management training

• Act with integrity


INTERFRATERNITY COUNCIL (IFC) During the mid-1800s, men attending institutions of higher education realized the need for learning and moral cultivation that went beyond lessons taught in the classroom. Thus, fraternal organizations were formed with ideals centered on brotherhood, leadership, scholarship, and service. At MTSU, there are 10 fraternities and two colonies. The Interfraternity Council acts as a selfgoverning body to these organizations and promotes the valuable opportunities each chapter offers. How to Join: The Interfraternity Council utilizes an open recruitment process, meaning organizations recruit year-round. Most fraternities will host two to three weeks of recruitment events at the beginning of each semester. To find out more about recruitment events and organizations, attend the FSL Meet and Greet. To register, visit

Alpha Gamma Rho (AΓΡ) Alpha Sigma Phi (AΣΦ) Alpha Tau Omega (ATΩ) Kappa Alpha (KA)*

Kappa Sigma (KΣ) Lambda Chi Alpha (ΛCA)* Phi Delta Theta (ΦΔΘ) Phi Kappa Tau (ΦKT)

Phi Mu Alpha (ΦMA) Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣAE) Sigma Chi (ΣΧ) Sigma Pi (ΣΠ) *Colony


NATIONAL PAN-HELLENIC COUNCIL (NPHC) NPHC is an international umbrella organization comprised of what are considered to be the historically African American Greek letter organizations. This council is commonly referred to as the “Divine Nine.” The National Pan-Hellenic Council at MTSU consists of seven of these organizations. NPHC serves as the official coordinating agency, works to further program unity, and promotes interaction through forums, meetings, and social functions. How to Join: The NPHC recruitment method is known as intake. Most begin with an interest meeting advertised throughout the campus community. NPHC also hosts a joint informational during each fall semester. For more information on intake, speak with individual chapters, contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, or visit

Fraternities: Kappa Alpha Psi (ΚΑΨ) Phi Beta Sigma (ΦBΣ) Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ)

Sororities: Alpha Kappa Alpha (ΑΚΑ) Delta Sigma Theta (ΔΣΘ) Sigma Gamma Rho (ΣΓΡ) Zeta Phi Beta (ZΦB)


COLLEGE PANHELLENIC COUNCIL (CPH) The Panhellenic Council is the unifying, governing, and coordinating body of the National Panhellenic Conference member organizations at MTSU. CPH strives to enhance the development of each chapter and its members through academic growth, social development, and leadership opportunities. The Panhellenic Council upholds the values upon which the organizations were founded and promotes an atmosphere that reflects friendship and sisterhood. How to Join: Most women participate in primary recruitment held in the fall each year. Primary recruitment is a mutual selection process that allows women to meet the six CPH chapters. The formal process is the Panhellenic Council’s primary method of attaining new members. To register, visit Alpha Chi Omega (ΑΧΩ) Alpha Delta Pi (ΑΔΠ) Alpha Omicron Pi (ΑΟΠ) Chi Omega (ΧΩ) Kappa Delta (ΚΔ) Zeta Tau Alpha (ΖΤΑ)


COUNCIL PROGRAMS Crash the Commons

At this event, students team up with their residence halls/ areas as well as fraternities and sororities and take part in a competition that consists of fun yard games. Free food and drinks also are provided. Afterwards, there is a glow dance party with a DJ to close out the night. Crash the Commons is the perfect event to attend if you are a new student at MTSU, as students are able to build relationships with those that live in or near their residence areas while also meeting members of the fraternity and sorority community.

Greek Week

MTSU’s Greek Week is a time for the community to come together and celebrate the meaning of fraternities and sororities. The week consists of values-based activities that reflect the fraternity and sorority community’s mission at MTSU.

Habitat for Humanity Letter-Writing Party

Each year the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life partners with the Office of Student Organizations and Service to host a letter-writing party to raise funds for an MTSU student-led Habitat House build. Participants are invited to write letters to family and friends requesting financial support for our upcoming house build. Make a difference in the lives of a deserving family!



True Blue Accreditation

Every January, chapter presidents go on an overnight retreat to focus on building relationships and developing goals as a community. This experience offers leaders the opportunity to have conversations about the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of the fraternity and sorority community.

The True Blue Accreditation was designed to allow chapters to create goals within their fraternity or sorority that promote the ideals of their organization and those of True Blue. Chapters create goals under six different categories, modeled after the True Blue Pledge, at the beginning of each year. In November, chapters complete a presentation that outlines in detail how the organization worked to achieve their goals and if they were achieved.

New Member Education Series

FSL Academy The FSL Academy is a one-day program designed specifically for chapter executive board officers. Participants have the opportunity to attend specific sessions that correspond with their positions.

Upon joining a fraternity or sorority at MTSU, new members participate in an educational series hosted by each council that will focus on the transition from high school to college and what it means to be a fraternity man or sorority woman. New members meet up to three times throughout their semester. Topics include time management, hazing prevention, alcohol and drug education, sexual assault prevention, and bystander intervention.

MTSU STATEMENT ON HAZING Middle Tennessee State University has unconditionally opposed any situation created intentionally or unintentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, or ridicule. Freedom from humility and danger of hazing is guaranteed to every student on campus.


A WEEK IN THE LIFE Monday–Thursday These days will typically consist of sisterhood and brotherhood events, study hours, and leadership committee meetings. You also may participate in other organizations’ philanthropy events during this time. Plan to spend three to five hours with your organization during the week outside of chapter meetings.

Friday–Saturday Weekends are filled with community service events, social events, and chapter events. Some of these activities may include mixers/date parties, chapter formals, and chapter retreats. In addition, you may encounter chapter programming opportunities that focus on individual development. You also will see many of our fraternity and sorority members at MTSU athletic events over the weekend! Go Blue Raiders!

Sunday Most chapters on campus hold individual chapter meetings during the evening on Sundays. Chapter meetings usually last between one to two hours and consist of important chapter updates, academic recognition, and facilitated discussions regarding chapter business.


Managing your schedule is the key to getting the most out of your experience. Chapters understand that you are here for academics first, so plan your study hours first and chapter events second. It’s easy to take on too much, so remember it’s OK to let the chapter know you need time to study, work, or spend time with family!




How will my student benefit from joining a fraternity or sorority? Your student will encounter many advantages. Some of these may include:

IS FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE NEW TO YOU? This section is designed to provide helpful information and answer frequently asked questions about fraternities and sororities. There are many myths about fraternities and sororities, but the reality is men and women that belong to these organizations are committed to their academics, volunteer within the community, develop and strengthen their leadership skills, and form a campus network that consists of students and administrators. All fraternities and sororities are based on values, ethics, and high standards. Keep an open mind and consider all of the benefits fraternity and sorority membership has to offer!


• a support system to help ease the adjustment to college and life after graduation

• Be supportive of your student.

•s cholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals

• L earn more about the organization your student is thinking about joining by checking out the inter/ national organization website. • I f you have a question about fraternity or sorority life, ask the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Don’t buy into gossip or hearsay. •K now the name and phone number of the chapter president, new member educator, and chapter advisor. • T alk with your student. Phone calls, emails, and care packages are always appreciated.

“Through FSL, my daughter has made lifelong friends who have become a part of our family. We have celebrated graduations, weddings, triumphs, and even sorrows as if they were our own. They have learned how to problem-solve, serve a greater cause, and push each other to be the best version of themselves. I don’t think my daughter could have found a better support system in college than the connections she’s made in Fraternity and Sorority Life.”


—Terri Sparks, mother of Sara Sparks, CPH member

• l eadership skills acquired through hands-on experiences •e ncouragement to get involved, stay involved, and maximize their potential on campus •o pportunities for active participation in community service projects • networking with alumni

How will joining a fraternity or sorority affect my student academically? Academic success is one of the founding principles of fraternities and sororities. Chapters realize that academic achievement is the main priority of their members. Organizations promote scholarship by providing academic resources for their members, including advisor support, study groups, scholarships, and award recognition.

What is the financial obligation? Chapters collect dues and membership fees from every member. Most organizations have one-time initiation fees, plus semester dues. Dues are spent on philanthropic events, social events, scholarship programming, membership recruitment, and parent/ alumni programming. Many chapters offer payment plans to help their members meet their financial obligations.

What about hazing? Hazing is contrary to the missions and values of fraternities and sororities. The state of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, and all inter/national fraternities and sororities have policies against hazing.

Who is in charge of the fraternities and sororities? Individual chapters elect officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by alumni who act as advisors. Each chapter also communicates with its inter/national organization, which offers support and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Chapters on campus are also guided by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, which consists of two full-time staff members who work closely with the organizations at MTSU.


GLOSSARY Active: A member of a fraternity or sorority who has been initiated and is currently in college. Alumni: Initiated members of a fraternity or sorority who have received their undergraduate degrees. Bid: A formal invitation to join a fraternity or sorority. Chapter: A chartered undergraduate or alumni group that is recognized by the international fraternity. Colony: A fraternal membership which has received approval from the University and recognition from one of the Greek governing councils but is in a trial period with its national organization and its governing council. Fraternity: A Greek letter sisterhood or brotherhood. Informal/Open Recruitment: The unstructured recruitment process by which fraternities and sororities take members throughout the academic year. Legacy: A prospective member whose grandparent, mother/father, or sister/brother is an alumnus of a fraternity/sorority. Membership Intake: The membership selection process conducted by NPHC. This process generally begins with an interest meeting, followed by a period of membership education.

Alpha (al-fah)

National or International Organization: The inter/national organization that issues the charter for a chapter. This entity is comprised of the inter/national officers for the organization and is responsible for setting and enforcing organization policy. North-American Interfraternity Council (NIC): An organization composed of more than 50 national member men’s fraternities.

Epsilon (ep-si-lon)

Beta (bay-tah)

Zeta (zay-tah)

Gamma (gam-ah)

Eta (ay-tah)

Delta (del-ta)

Theta (thay-tah)

National Pan-hellenic Conference (NPC): An organization composed of 26 member women’s sororities. National Pan-hellenic Council (NPHC): A collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities, commonly referred to as the “Divine Nine.”

Iota (eye-o-ta)

Kappa (cap-pah)

Mu (mew)

Lamba (lamb-dah)

Potential Member: Any person who is not a current member of a fraternity or sorority.

Nu (new)

Philanthropy: Fundraising projects sponsored by fraternities or sororities supporting local and inter/national charitable organizations.

Xi (zie)

Omicron (om-e-cron)

Pi (pie)

New Member: A man or woman who has accepted an invitation to membership in a fraternity or sorority but has not been initiated. New Member Program: The period of time before initiation when new members learn about their fraternity or sorority.

Rho (roe)

Tau (taw)

Sigma (sig-mah)

Upsilon (up-si-lon)

Recruitment: The continual process of recruiting men and women to become members of the fraternity and sorority community.


Sorority: A Greek-letter sisterhood.

Phi (fie)

Chi (kie)

Psi (sigh)

Omega (oh-may-gah)


OUR MISSION The men and women of the fraternity and sorority community at Middle Tennessee State University strive to promote excellence in academics, encourage leadership and service, foster lifelong friendship and responsible citizenship, and aim to enrich the lives of its members and affected communities.

CONTACT US • 615-898-5812 • •

CONNECT WITH US MTSU Fraternity and Sorority Life


0519-6833 / Middle Tennessee State University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs, and activities sponsored by MTSU. The Assistant to the President for Institutional Equity and Compliance has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and can be reached at Cope Administration Building 116, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132;; or 615-898-2185. The MTSU policy on non-discrimination can be found at

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