Thinking about joining a fraternity? Here’s everything you need to know

Jan. 5, 2022, 10:01 p.m.

With winter recruitment just around the corner, The Daily spoke with representatives of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) to answer students’ most pressing questions about the recruitment process.

What is IFC recruitment?

Recruitment is the formal process that potential new members (PNMs) must go through to join a Greek organization at Stanford. For this cycle, current sophomores and upperclassmen will be allowed to participate. Frosh won’t be allowed to participate in IFC recruitment until spring quarter.

This process is separate from the Inter-Sorority Council’s (ISC) official recruitment process, which took place this past fall quarter. ISC will not be holding recruitment this quarter. However, following a boycott of ISC fall recruitment, the ISC’s Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delt) Chapter will be holding an official recruitment cycle this month. Tri Delt’s recruitment process is not affiliated with IFC’s recruitment process.

Which fraternities are recruiting?

All registered IFC chapters will be participating in recruitment this winter quarter. A full list of the chapters can be found here.

When is IFC recruitment?

IFC recruitment will take place during Weeks 2 and 3 of winter quarter, beginning with Orientation on Jan. 9 and ending with Bid Day on Jan. 19.

How will IFC recruitment work?

Due to current University policy surrounding in-person gatherings, IFC recruitment will be fully online.

The first day of recruitment is Orientation. On this day, PNMs will hear presentations from different IFC chapters and also meet their Recruitment Counselor — a point person who will be a resource for them throughout the recruitment process.

The next day, which is Open House and Tabling Day, will be an event for PNMs to meet members of different fraternities and ask questions.

The following four days consist of open virtual events. Fraternities will split into alternating A and B days that allow for each fraternity to have two open events. “Open Events A” days will take place on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13. Subsequently, “Open Events B” days will take place on Jan. 12 and Jan. 14.  The details of these open events will be at each fraternity chapter’s discretion. All of the events, however, will stress the following core values: state of the chapter, brotherhood and philanthropy.

Following the open events, each chapter will deliberate and call PNMs to an invite-only event, with some fraternities holding events on Jan. 15 and others holding events on Jan. 16. After the invite-only events, chapters will deliberate for one more round on Jan. 18 and extend bids to the PNMs they are interested in having as a part of their chapter. Bid Day will take place on Jan. 19.

Alcohol and other substances are strictly prohibited during the recruitment cycle.

PNMs are also not allowed to be in contact with fraternity members after 5 p.m. “on nights that a fraternity doesn’t have a recruitment event,” according to the IFC’s website. On Saturday and Sunday, the time changes to 2 p.m.; and on Tuesday and Wednesday of Week 2, it changes to 4 p.m. 

According to IFC Vice President of Recruitment Marcelo Pena ’23, due to the stress that the recruitment process can induce, this policy is in place to ensure PNMs that “they are not expected to continue talking with any fraternity outside of recruitment hours, and that this won’t put them at any disadvantage.” 

IFC misconduct during recruitment can be reported using this form.

How will IFC decide who moves on to the next round?

Each fraternity has its own deliberation process. Even so, members of all fraternities have the ability to select which PNMs they want to invite back for the second round of recruitment, also known as the “invited events.” Following the invited events, each chapter will have one more round of deliberation to decide who receives a bid. Consistent with previous recruitment cycles, PNMs will not be guaranteed a bid to a fraternity.

What is IFC doing to ensure that the recruitment process is equitable and accessible to all?

Inspired by ISC’s Rho Gamma Program, IFC is piloting a Recruitment Counselor to help “foster a more inclusive and supportive Greek environment for prospective new members as they navigate the recruitment process,” IFC President John Zuercher ’22 wrote in an email to The Daily. “This program will allow members of IFC chapters to disaffiliate from their chapters throughout recruitment and act as an unbiased support network for a group of PNMs as they navigate the recruitment cycle.”

IFC is also working to put together a panel with current first-generation and/or low-income (FLI) IFC and ISC members. The panel, which will be held on Jan. 10, will also include representatives from the Multicultural Greek Council and the African-American Fraternal and Sororal Association. 

Regarding finances, each chapter requires its members to pay dues, which are quarterly fees that go toward University fees, national headquarters and chapter programming. According to the Stanford IFC website, the financial requirements for each chapter varies, typically ranging from $200 to $400 each quarter. Many IFC organizations offer scholarships to help offset dues, and the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office is partnering with the FLI Office to help financially support members of Greek life. Financial assistance can be provided for national organization dues, but not for local chapters.

What is Abolish Stanford Greek (ASG) saying about IFC recruitment?

ASG’s main focus for this recruitment cycle will be to support PNMs during the recruitment process. ASG also hopes “to counter some of the pressure of the recruitment process along with misinformation regarding the true costs of membership,” ASG member Shawn Lee ’16 M.S. ’16 M.S. ’17 wrote in an email to The Daily. Lee added that there have not been any “recent substantive conversations” with IFC organizations regarding the reform of Greek life on campus.

Carolyn Stein is a Greek life beat reporter. She is double majoring in communications and East Asian studies. When she is not writing news, she can be found making loud noises with the LSJUMB. Contact her at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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