Fraternity and Sorority Life
WHAT WILL BE YOUR LEGACY?
USC Upstate is home to 13 active fraternities and sororities and 1 Latinx sorority interest group. Fraternity & Sorority Life is housed in the Office of Student Involvement, located in the Olin B. Sansbury Campus Life Center.
Every chapter at USC Upstate was established by its founders based on a commitment to certain values: brotherhood/sisterhood, service/philanthropy, scholarship, and leadership. These organizations are more than social groups; they offer tools for personal development and campus involvement while also allowing opportunities to serve the greater community.
Learn more about our community by reading through the Fraternity and Sorority Life Information Guide.
USC Upstate is home to 13 active fraternities and sororities and 1 sorority interest group. Most USC Upstate chapters are members of larger inter/national organizations, meaning they have established governance structures, policies and procedures they must adhere to, in addition to the policies set forth by the University. Although the University establishes policies regarding the operation of all registered student organizations, the membership selection criteria are determined by each individual fraternity or sorority based on the policies and procedures of its inter/national headquarters. You must be a currently enrolled student at USC Upstate to be eligible to join one of our chapters.
Any questions regarding selection criteria should be directed to the chapter. Please also note that there are fees associated with membership in these organizations. For additional information regarding dues, please contact the organization or Office of Student Involvement.
The USC Upstate Fraternity & Sorority Life community is comprised of three councils. Each council sets forth policies and procedures for its affiliated chapters, and is advised by the Office of Student Involvement.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
IFC Fraternities limit their membership to USC Upstate students who identify as men. Students are eligible for membership beginning their first semester of enrollment. These organizations participate in IFC Recruitment, a series of social events and gatherings hosted by each IFC Fraternity that allows potential and current members to interact before bids are offered. At USC Upstate, IFC Recruitment occurs at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
NPHC at USC Upstate is the council for our culturally-based fraternities and sororities. These organizations host Information/Interest Meetings where they discuss their chapter’s history, philanthropy and requirements to become a member. Students who apply and are accepted for membership would then participate in Membership Intake, the process of educating and initiating new members into an individual chapter. Each organization selects if/when they will host an Interest Meeting or Intake. This could happen in the Fall semester, Spring semester, or both, based on the needs of the chapter. Most organizations require sophomore status for membership, but some are open to second semester first year students.
Panhellenic Council (PC)
Panhellenic organizations limit their membership to USC Upstate students who identify as women. Students are eligible for membership beginning their first semester of enrollment. The organizations in this council participate in Panhellenic Recruitment, a series of on-campus events hosted by each Panhellenic sorority that allows potential and current members to interact before bids are offered. At USC Upstate, Panhellenic Recruitment occurs at the beginning of the Fall semester.
* Hermanas of Leadership Association (HOLA) is a sorority interest group whose goal is to affiliate with a national sorority. While the goal is to affiliate with a national sorority and be a single gender organization, Upstate students who do not identify as women may join HOLA until that goal is reached.
** New provisional chapter starting Spring 2020. If you are interested in becoming a founding brother of an Alpha Sigma Phi chapter at USC Upstate, please visit uscupstate.edu/alphasig to complete a brief interest form.
Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a great way to meet friends and find a peer-based support system while you are a student at USC Upstate. Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a life-long commitment that creates wonderful opportunities to interact with alumni members, as well as continue your involvement once you graduate.
Leadership & Campus Involvement
Many members of our Greek Community serve in leadership roles within their chapters, as well as across campus. Members can be found serving as Resident Advisors, Peer Leaders, Orientation Leaders and Campus Ambassadors, in addition to being involved with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), IMPACT and Athletics.
All fraternities and sororities at USC Upstate have a minimum grade point average (GPA) associated with joining and maintaining membership in their chapter. Some chapters have chosen to have a higher minimum GPA than required by their headquarters. Beginning January 2019, the Office of Student Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement Involvement will post the Fraternity and Sorority Life community score card so that prospective members can make more informed decisions.
Service and Philanthropy
Although there are social aspects to joining a fraternity or sorority, each chapter has a commitment to serving the greater community. Our chapters support a variety of a national philanthropies such as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and March of Dimes. Our chapters also volunteer with local schools and community agencies, such as the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, Adopt-A-Highway and the Boys and Girls Club.
Mandatory Education Sessions
Students who are interested in joining a National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) organization or have accepted an invitation/bid to join an Interfraternity Council (IFC) or Panhellenic organization are required to attend a mandatory Fraternity/Sorority Education Session. The Office of Student Involvement will track student attendance and share this information with chapters. Students who have not attended a session (within the last two years) will not be cleared to participate in Intake/New Member Education.
Fall Semester Mandatory Education Sessions*
There are no additional dates for Fall 2020.
*Please check back here periodically for updates and follow @UpstateFSL on Instagram for the most up-to-date information.
IFC Fraternities limit their membership to male students at USC Upstate. Students are eligible for membership beginning their first semester of enrollment. These organizations participate in IFC Recruitment, a series of social events and gatherings hosted by each IFC Fraternity that allows potential and current members to interact before bids are offered. Questions about specific organization requirements should be directed to the organization as each has their own minimum requirements outside of University requirements.
Alpha Sigma Phi
Interested in Alpha Sigma Phi? Complete the membership interest form at uscupstate.edu/alphasig and a member will reach out to set up a time to meet with you!
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Interested in Sigma Alpha Epsilon? Complete the membership interest form at uscupstate.edu/sae and a member will reach out to set up a time to meet with you!
NPHC organizations limit their membership to students at USC Upstate. NPHC organizations host Information and Interest Meetings where they discuss their chapter’s history, philanthropy and requirements to become a member. Students who apply and are accepted for membership would then participate in Membership Intake, the process of educating and initiating new members into an individual chapter.
Each organization selects if and when they will host an Interest Meeting or Intake. These meetings could happen in the Fall semester, Spring semester or both, based on the needs of the chapter. Most organizations require sophomore status for membership, but some are open to second semester freshmen. Questions about specific organization requirements should be directed to the organization as each has their own minimum requirements outside of University requirements.
All interest meetings that will take place this semester, have already taken place. Please refer back to this page periodically next semester as more information is added about upcoming NPHC interest meetings.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Location: Tukey Theatre
Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2020
Time: 7:11 pm
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Location: Virtual, Contact Jamar Faulk at email@example.com for meeting information
Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm
For more information, please contact Jamar Faulk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panhellenic organizations limit their membership to female students at USC Upstate. Students are eligible for membership beginning their first semester of enrollment. These organizations participate in Panhellenic Recruitment, a series of on campus events hosted by each Panhellenic sorority that allows potential and current members to interact before bids are offered. At USC Upstate, Panhellenic Recruitment occurs at the beginning of the Fall semester.
Sometimes, however, there are opportunities to join a Panhellenic sorority in the spring semester if the organizations are able to welcome in new members for that semester. Questions about specific organization requirements should be directed to the organization as each has their own minimum requirements outside of University requirements.
Learn more about the Panhellenic Recruitment process this year in our 2020 Panhellenic Recruitment Information Guide and, if you're interested in joining a Panhellenic Sorority, email email@example.com to inquire about spring 2021 membership.
In addition to the legal and physical risks, hazing is harmful to the morale of members and creates additional problems within the organization. The very activities meant to “build pledge class/line unity” can be detrimental to the overall unity within the organization, creating issues with distrust and loyalty. It also hinders the ability of organizations to recruit and retain members and can create a vicious cycle that will ultimately destroy the organization.
The University defines hazing as any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, faculty member or other University official. This includes the removal of public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with or as a continued membership in a group or organization (Code of Student Behavior). It is important to note that a student’s “willingness” to participate in the hazing activities is not a defense. Essentially, if someone gives an organization “permission” to haze them, it is still hazing and is still a violation of the Code of Student Behavior, South Carolina Law and organizational policies. Additionally, hazing is not an issue limited to fraternities and sororities, but can also occur in non-Greek organizations and athletic teams.
If you feel that you have been hazed, please contact the Office of Student Involvement by phone at 864-503-5387, or contact the Dean of Students at 864-503-5107. Additionally, a report can be submitted online. Such reports can be submitted anonymously. Additionally, any member of the University or surrounding community who has witnessed hazing activities can also submit reports for us to investigate.
As a parent, you might wonder whether or not joining a fraternity or sorority is right for your student. Unfortunately, the media often highlights stereotypes and portrays Fraternity and Sorority Life as nothing more than expensive clubs that party. USC Upstate boasts a diverse and growing Greek Community. Our members are engaged in both campus and community organizations, and our Chapters provide opportunities for members to create life-long friendships and create a home away from home.
Deciding to “Go Greek” can be a difficult decision for most students, and as a parent you should keep the following in mind as your student navigates this process:
- Support your student as they decide if Greek Life is for them. Learn more about our Greek Community and the resources offered by the Office of Student Involvement so you can refer your student to us should they have questions.
- Encourage your student to keep an open mind while they make their decision. It is easy to get caught up in the events and “flash” associated with affiliation; however, joining an organization is a life-long commitment. Encourage your student to take his/her time getting to know the members and researching the organizations.
- Respect your student’s decision. Often, students decide to join an organization that is different from the one their parent or other family member belongs too. Going Greek is a personal decision, and students should find the best fit for them, regardless of their Legacy status. Additionally, should your student decide they don’t want to join a fraternity or sorority that is perfectly, okay, as well. Greek Life isn’t for everyone and there are numerous other opportunities for students to get involved on campus.
- Recognize there are financial obligations associated with joining fraternities and sororities. Have an honest conversation with your student beforehand to determine who will be responsible for paying their dues, membership fees, etc. or if there are any limits to what you are able to afford.
- Allow your student to advocate for his or herself as they navigate this process. Encourage your student to contact the Office of Student Involvement if they have questions about membership, Greek Life information events, etc.
- Understand joining a fraternity or sorority is a competitive process based on various criteria such as academic performance, campus and community involvement and interactions with current members. Although the University establishes policies regarding the operation of all registered student organizations, the membership selection criteria are determined by each individual fraternity or sorority based on the policies and procedures of its inter/national headquarters. Any questions regarding selection criteria should be directed to the Chapter.
USC Upstate cares about the safety and well being of its students! Help us keep our campus safe by being a part of the Spartans Care initiative where students support, respect and take responsibility for one another. Make a plan to be an active bystander in an unsafe situation and know what you can do to stop harmful behavior and get help for yourself and your peers. You may also report an incident anonymously via the R U OK form.
In accordance with South Carolina's Tucker Hipps Transparency Act, USC Upstate reports findings of violations involving alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, physical assault and hazing by fraternity and sorority organizations formally affiliated with the University. Reports include the organizations name, incident date, report, charge, investigation and resolution. Reports also include a general incident description and subsequent charges, findings and sanctions placed on the organization.
In accordance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information act, additional information not protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act is available by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students at 864-503-5107.
National Organization Contact Information
Inter/National Name, Headquarters Website and Phone Numbers.
|Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.||(773) 684-1282|
|Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.||(202) 986-2400|
|Delta Zeta||(513) 523-7597|
|Phi Mu||(770) 632-2090|
|Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.||(919) 678-9720|
|Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.||(202) 387-3103|
|Zeta Tau Alpha||(317) 872-0540|
|Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.||(410) 554-0040|
|Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.||(215) 228-7184|
|Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.||(404) 284-5533|
|Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.||(202) 726-5434|
|Pi Kappa Phi||(704) 504-0888|
|Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity||(847) 475-1856|
Organization Violations (This page is current as of 07/16/2020)
|Pi Kappa Phi||
|Kappa Alpha Psi||
|Alpha Phi Alpha||
|Alpha Kappa Alpha||
Standards of Fraternal Excellence
Rolled out in Fall 2018, the Standards of Fraternal Excellence (SOFE) are a way to 1) establish a standard for fraternal organizational operations at Upstate, 2) provide chapters with semester goals 3) hold each chapter to the same standards and 4) to qualify for recognition for campus awards.
Chapters will be “graded” in different areas that have been identified as important aspects of fraternal operations that contribute to establishing fraternities and sororities as relevant, needed and desired parts of the USC Upstate community.
The Community Scorecard is a by-product of the Standards of Fraternal Excellence. It shows data for each chapter relating to semester GPA, cumulative GPA, philanthropy dollars raised and service hours performed among other measurements of achievement.
Choosing to join a fraternal organization is a lifelong and important choice. We believe that the only way to make that decision is by being well-informed. For that reason, it is important that transparency is paramount within and amongst our community.
Throughout Greek mythology and world history, the laurel wreath has sybolized different things. For some, it sybolizes victory; for others, it symbolizes the graduation of a scholar. While these differ, the commonality lies in the recognition of a person's achievement.
Each year, at the Student Affairs Awards banquet, USC Upstate's sorority/fraternity community recognizes our members who have achieved the academic feat of graduating magna cum laude (at least a 3.8 cumulative GPA). Through it's name, the Laurel Society pays homage to the Greek origins of the laurel wreath.
While the Laurel Society first started in 2016, the first person was not inducted until 2019.