Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Joining a social fraternity or sorority can be overwhelming. So, we are here to help you in the process of determining if Fraternity and Sorority Life is for you. If you have any additional questions please feel free to email

What does FSL stand for?

FSL is the acronym for "Fraternity and Sorority Life. Fraternity and Sorority Life encompasses all of our social fraternities and sororities and is a functional area of our Office of Student Involvement (OSI).

Can only first year students join a fraternity/sorority?

No. The fraternity and sorority community is non-discriminatory and will accept members of all ages. As long as the member is an enrolled student at the university, they are eligible to join. Oftentimes, transfer students will join after their first year. There are; however, a few organizations which do not allow first year students to join because their (inter)national organization requires that prospective members have successfully completed a minimum number of credit hours to be considered for mermbership. Please check with the organization(s) of interest to see if there are any classification requirements.

How much time commitment is involved when joining?

One of the most difficult challenges first years students (as well as new members that join after their first year) face is managing time effectively. College is much different from the prescribed schedule students were used to in high school, leaving lots of free time to waste, especially if they are not involved in any extra-curricular activities. Having a structured schedule is conducive to productivity.

There is no given amount of time commitment. Most fraternities and sororities will not require beyond what is required of every member for service/philanthropy events. Social events, too, are never required events.

How much does it cost to join?

There is no exact amount to put on the experience of Fraternity and Sorority Life. However, there are monetary costs to membership. Dues vary according to chapters. Some chapters charge an application fee to cover the cost of your new member period and then upon their activation into the chapter, new members are charged an initiation fee. Finally, active chapter members are charged chapter dues. Some chapters bill these finances monthly, semesterly, annually These finances are billed either per semester or annually. Please feel free to inquire about each chapter's financial obligations during your recruitment.

If I go through recruitment/intake, am I guaranteed an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority?

No, just as you are trying to figure out which organization fits you the best, chapters are determining who would be the best fit for their organizations. Typically, this is based on specific criteria, such as grades or involvement in campus activities or community service. The best thing you can do is maximize your options by attending as many sorority/fraternity events as possible to allow the chapter members to get to know you on a deeper level. Additionally, if you are not asked to join a chapter, you may try again during another recruitment period.

If it's so great, why isn’t everyone in Greek life? Why would someone not join a fraternity or sorority?

Joining a fraternity or sorority is about finding your fit. Not everyone is going to feel a connection to our fraternities and sororities, and that is OK. We encourage everyone to explore the fraternity and sorority community and make the decision that is right for them. We are also continuing to add more organizations to campus for opportunities to build what you're looking for or consider joining an organization and working to create the change you hope to see.


Hazing is strictly prohibited at USC Upstate. Individuals or organizations involved in hazing activities will face severe consequences. There is a definition in the University's Code of Policies, South Carolina State Law, and the Bylaws or Constitutions of our University of South Carolina Upstate's Chapters and Councils.

Why are there some things fraternity and sorority members can't talk about? what's the big secret?

Initiation into a fraternity or sorority is an exciting, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and special values of the respective fraternity or sorority. These ceremonies often are referred to as "Rituals." Fraternities and sororities pride themselves on the Rituals that their chapters were founded upon. These Rituals are full of the traditions and values that make the chapters unique. An organization’s Ritual is what links its members to one another. It is a shared experience no matter when or where a member joined. It is important to note that none of these Rituals include hazing or other inappropriate activities.

A family member is a member of a fraternity/sorority that has a chapter at usc upstate. i am a legacy. do i have to join that organization?

It is important to share any legacy information with the group when you are meeting with them or in the application when signing up for sorority recruitment. Each organization has its own legacy policy that defines what constitutes a legacy for their organization as well as how the organization may select for membership. In most cases, being a legacy does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation to join that chapter. Regardless of your connection to a group, we encourage you to explore all the options available to you.

How do i find the right chapter for me?

The best way to decide if a chapter is a good fit is to meet current members and ask questions. Fraternity and sorority information sessions and recruitment events are a perfect chance to learn more information about each fraternity and sorority to decide if its values are in line with your own. It is important to find people you connect with.

What if i want to turn down a bid/invitation for membership I receive?

You are within your right to not accept an invitation to join any group. Fraternities and sororities are looking for members that want to be actively involved in their organization. They’d much rather you decline the membership invitation than join and not contribute. In some cases, specifically within the Panhellenic Sorority Primary Recruitment process, this can limit your ability to join another group for a period of time. For specific information regarding accepting bids, please contact the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff.

I'm interested in joining a fraternity or sorority, but none of the organizations at usc upstate seem like a good fit for me. Can i bring a new fraternal organization to campus?

We can absolutely explore that possibility! If you are interested in bringing a fraternal organization to campus, please email and we'll talk through what you're looking for. 


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