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A Letter from the Greek Advisor

  • Dear Parents,

    Welcome to Greek life at IUP! At IUP we are proud of our Greek community, which fosters the development of leadership skills and enhances members’ personal lives. As your son or daughter starts to settle in and develop interests, he or she will have many opportunities to choose from. There are more than two hundred student organizations registered with the IUP Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement office. One option your son or daughter may find interesting is joining a fraternity or sorority. As a parent, this decision deserves your input and careful consideration.

    I hope that you will find this website a valuable tool in learning more about Greek life at IUP. As the Greek advisor, I strongly support the Greek community and see it as a “learning lab of life,” giving students real-world experience that they can take with them into their professional careers. Being a member of a fraternity or sorority gives students opportunities to assume different leadership roles, from programming and recruiting to house and money management. They not only make friendships that last a lifetime, but also learn how to work with many diverse people toward a common goal—the growth and management of their chapter.

    As you and your student discuss participation in a Greek organization, please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns. I can be reached at 724-357-2598 or at As an administrator, I am here to serve not only the students of IUP, but also their families. I look forward to being a resource to you both.

    Betsy Sarneso, MA
    Assistant Director, Student Leadership and Greek Life
    IUP Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement

    Introduction to Greek Life at IUP

    The Greek community at IUP began in 1914 and has been an integral part of student life for many years. Presently at IUP, there are seventeen fraternities and fourteen sororities, all of national affiliation. Despite national trends, participation in Greek life programs at IUP has steadily increased over the past years. Last year, 9 percent of male undergraduates and 8 percent of undergraduate women belonged to a Greek organization. Fraternities and sororities at IUP regulate new member recruitment (or Rush) and social programming through their three self-governing bodies; the Interfraternity, NPHC, and Panhellenic councils. The Greek advisor and the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement staff advise these governing bodies and handle all judicial matters. All Greek organizations are held to the Code of Conduct, as well as to the Statement of Relationship of General Fraternities and Sororities. IUP feels strongly that a close partnership with each chapter is important. The Greek Life staff regularly attends Interfraternity, NPHC, and Panhellenic council weekly meetings and visits each chapter individually.

    New Member Recruitment (Rush)

    The process of gathering new members is called recruitment or intake. Any student interested in the recruitment process must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student, must have at least a 2.25 cumulative grade-point average, and must have earned a minimum of 12 credit hours at IUP or have transferred to IUP with a minimum of 12 credit hours from another college. Credits accumulated during high school do not count towards this minimum. Some organizations have a higher GPA requirement, and all general Greek organizations have a GPA requirement to remain an active member. 

    During the recruitment process, eligible students have the opportunity to become familiar with the IUP fraternities and sororities to see if they would be interesting in joining. Fall recruitment will be open to eligible upperclassmen and transfers only. The main recruitment period for IUP’s Panhellenic sororities is in the Spring. Women are able to sign up for this recruitment period in advance and will be able to do so via the Greek Life website. This is an opportunity for interested women to meet all eleven Panhellenic chapters. Men should watch bulletin boards around campus and Penn ads for dates that the fraternities will be holding events to meet potential new members. NPHC groups hold intake throughout the year during informational sessions. Students should also watch bulletin boards for advertisements about these dates.

    New Member Education (Pledging)

    At the conclusion of new member recruitment, a particular chapter may offer a “bid” (an invitation to join the chapter) to a student. If accepted, the student will become a “new member” of that chapter. New member education activities are developed to bring the new members closer to each other and the members of the chapter. Chapter history, songs, values, and philanthropic activities are all part of the educational process. New members can expect to participate in meetings, study sessions, campus programs, community service projects, and other chapter activities.

    The IUP Greek community does not tolerate hazing of any kind. Any chapter found participating in such activities would be held accountable for its actions. Please review IUP’s Hazing Policy for more details. Parents of Greeks are strongly encouraged to contact the Greek advisor with any concern or questions they may have about their student in particular or a chapter as a whole. New member education should be a positive experience that, upon completion, has prepared a student to be an active leader within his or her fraternity or sorority.


    At IUP, the primary goal for students is to complete their academic requirements successfully. Greek organizations encourage each member to strive for academic excellence through participation in study sessions, scholarship programs, and tutoring assistance. Many Greeks receive academic scholarships from their national organizations.

    As stated earlier, potential new members must fulfill academic requirements before they can participate in recruitment. Once your student has gone through recruitment and has begun the education process, his or her individual chapter will assist in continuing a high level of academic achievement. Through mentor programs, course notes, and awards, the chapter will provide its new members with the tools that they need to make the most of their academic careers at IUP.

    The Greek community also has its own society that recognizes excellence in the academic arena. Gamma Sigma Alpha is a national honor society that was established in 1989. IUP colonized a chapter on campus in 1993. Membership in Gamma Sigma Alpha is extended only to those Greek juniors and seniors who, in addition to being committed to leadership and excellence, have achieved a 3.5 GPA.


    Involvement in a Greek organization fosters leadership skills that will help students in experiences surpassing college. Each chapter provides numerous leadership positions. In addition, there are many councils and governing bodies that work with the entire Greek community that provide an even larger leadership opportunity.

    The Greek community also has its own society that recognizes excellence in the leadership arena. The Order of Omega is a national honor society that was established in 1959. IUP colonized a chapter on campus in 1982. Membership in the Order of Omega is extended only to those Greek juniors and seniors who, in addition to having achieved academic excellence, also have a history of leadership and service in the IUP community.