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Going Greek?

What to Know Before You Join a Fraternity or Sorority

UAlbany's 38 fraternities and sororities offer a wide range of service, leadership and academic opportunities, in a familial setting. (Photo by Gianluca Russo) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 27, 2018) — Joining a fraternity or sorority can be one of the highlights of your college career. The leadership, community service, academic excellence, brotherhood/sisterhood — these are just some of the opportunities and experiences that come from being part of one of the University’s 38 values-based fraternities and sororities.

If you’re planning to pledge a fraternity or sorority this semester, there are a few key items you need to know. Although each of these organizations is recognized for community service and a wide array of campus events, knowing what’s OK and what’s not when pledging will make the new-member process much more enjoyable.

There’s a GPA requirement

There’s a lot of fun that comes with joining a fraternity or sorority. At the same time, academic excellence is a priority. Students looking to pledge must have a GPA of at least a 2.65. Transfer students, on the other hand, must have a 3.0 GPA. To be eligible to join, prospective students must be at minimum second semester freshman with 12 completed college credits.

A time limit on the “New Member” process

Once a student receives a written invitation to join a chapter, also known as a “bid,” the “new member” process begins. Each organization has different requirements of what must be done during this process, but it’s important to know that it cannot last longer than eight weeks and must meet the regulations set forth by the Office of Student Involvement.

No hazing, ever

On that note, hazing is never acceptable under any circumstances. What exactly is hazing? The University defines it as reckless or intentional conduct that degrades, humiliates, endangers mental or physical health, or damages, destroys or removes any public or private property.

The University provides an online hazing prevention course to ensure safety while pledging a fraternity or sorority.

Recognized vs. unrecognized groups

The University has 38 recognized fraternities and sororities; these organizations are approved and regulated by the Office of Student Involvement. However, there are some organizations that are not recognized by the University. In accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, no one should affiliate themselves with these groups.

A full list of these organizations can be found here.

For more information on the University's fraternity and sorority community, visit Fraternity and Sorority Life in Campus Center West 183F, or contact Arleny Alvarez-Peña, assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, in the Office of Student Involvement at (518) 442-5566 or

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
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