Parent Information

Greek Life

Congratulations on your son/daughter's acceptance to Eastern Illinois University and their desire to become a member of an outstanding Greek system. Eastern's greek system is a member of a 17-state regional: Mid-American Interfraternity and Panhellenic Council Association. Eastern Illinois University's Panhellenic Council is an award-winning council and has been rewarded for excellence in many areas. Both the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council have been named the best fraternity and sorority community in the Midwest for several years.

Eastern's fraternities and sororities strive to create well-rounded individuals through their involvement in both social and educational events. Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils sponsor All-Greek Educational Programs and organize "Critical Issues Week," a week dedicated to educating students on various topics such as AIDS awareness, drunken driving, self-esteem and sexual assault.

We are very proud to be members of an outstanding Greek system. Greek life has taught us the things that cannot be taught in the classroom. If you have any questions regarding Eastern Illinois University or it's Greek system, please do not hesitate to contact Dean Harwood, Director of Fraternity & Sorority Programs at 217-581-3967 or drharwood@eiu.edu.


Recruitment

Recruitment is a time of mutual selection between students and chapters. Not only do the Greek organizations select new members, but your son or daughter selects a chapter with which they wish to be affiliated. Recruitment events for IFC and Panhellenic chapters at Eastern are alcohol-free and are held during the beginning of the fall and spring terms. The National Pan-Hellenic Council chapters have intake processes which take place during the spring term.
Students who choose to participate in recruitment activities are under no obligation to join the Greek system. At the end of recruitment activities, the chapters extend formal written invitations (bids). If a student chooses to accept the bid, then he/she is affiliated with the chapter.  
Visit the Recruitment page.


Joining

Once a student decides to accept a bid from a Greek chapter, he or she is oriented to the chapter through meetings, philanthropic work, social events, and study sessions. Programs should be structured so as to not interfere with academic responsibilities. During this period, chapters designate new members differently. Terms used include pledge, associate or new member.  New member education should be informative and fun, therefore physical and mental hazing is not tolerated at Eastern Illinois University. Eastern Illinois University, national Greek organizations, and the State of Illinois prohibit hazing.


Membership

Membership in a Greek organization is one of the best ways to become involved at Eastern Illinois University. Many of the Student Government leaders and officers of numerous other organizations are involved with the Greek community. Those members already involved in campus activities can assist fellow Greeks in taking an active leadership role on the Eastern Illinois University campus. Not only can members participate in campus-wide activities, but also in many other leadership opportunities within each chapter and the respective Greek councils. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and report greater satisfaction with their overall college experience.
All Greek organizations are working examples of a democracy in action. This is often the first time that members are responsible for their own activities and living within their means. This provides an excellent opportunity to experience leadership and the responsibility of membership.


Academics 

Academics are important in Greek Life, and are stressed by chapters from recruitment to graduation. The resources that Greeks can provide include scholarship awards, study sessions, files of materials, and tutoring assistance. Many chapters and national Greek organizations recognize and reward their members' scholastic excellence. Additionally, according to retention data, members of Greek organizations are more likely to complete their Eastern Illinois University degree than their non-Greek counterparts.


Community Service 

Community service and philanthropic projects provide chapter members with the opportunity to support many causes. Chapters support both the local and national charitable organizations from the Charleston Morton Park Playground Fund to the American Heart Association.  Greeks work together on projects not only to serve the community but also to foster personal growth and greater unity among the Greek community. The Eastern Illinois University Fraternity and Sorority community has developed a special relationship with the Jefferson Elementary School here in Charleston and has raised over $10,000 for the school for new computers and equipment for the music department. They donate thousands of dollars each year to St. Jude Children's Hospital and the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a community. On top of that, the total number of hours donated and the total amount of money raised by individual chapters continues to grow every year.


Friendship

One of the most mentioned aspects of Greek Life is the friendship that exists between members of a chapter: undergraduate and alumni/ae. Greek Life promotes the development of close ties between members through living, studying, working, competing and having fun - together. These lifetime relationships go beyond ordinary friendships to become like that of a family.


Social

While academic achievement is the primary reason to attend EIU, there is a time for social interaction. Eastern's Greek community always provides fun activities for its members. Social and recreational activities give you the opportunity to meet a variety of people and to strengthen the bonds of friendship at the same time. Fraternity and sorority functions, date parties and formal dances are examples of these activities. Participation in traditional events, such as Homecoming, Greek Week and philanthropic events, demonstrates Greek unity and spirit.


Intramurals 

EIU is proud to have a strong sports program, offering sports from football to water polo. The overwhelming participation of the Greek students contributes to its success. In this arena, sororities, and fraternities compete with one another in a friendly and non-threatening environment, uniting under one bond of fraternalism.   EIU Intramurals  


Alumni Involvement 

Greek alumni/ae play a major role in advising chapters. Each chapter has at least one advisor and a house corporation which helps with the day-to-day operations of the chapter. They meet regularly as members of the Alumni Inter-Greek Council, which provides networking and resources for efficient chapter management.


Financial Responsibility 

Since the inception of Greek-Letter societies, they have been self-sufficient. Each chapter and subsequent national office collects dues and membership fees from every member. Most groups have a one-time pledge and initiation fee, plus semesterly dues. Fees vary from chapter to chapter. Average pledge and initiation fees for men are $50 and $160 respectively, and for women $45 and $125. While going through recruitment, each student should ask about specific chapter fees.


A Family's Role 

As a parent, you will have many questions concerning your student's involvement in a Greek organization. Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son or daughter throughout the recruitment process. Once your student is a member of a Greek organization, there are many opportunities for you to share in this aspect of his or her college life. Almost all of the chapters on campus host events such as family weekend or special mother/father functions. Chapters recognize that when your student comes to college, you, as a parent, also become a part of the university family! Ask questions and get involved! 


Housing

Eastern's Greek organizations are provided a unique living situation compared to other Greek communities across the nation. Greek Court has provided Greek Letter organizations individual chapter houses which allow them to hold meetings and suite style living for their members. Eastern Illinois University is proud of being able to provide housing for chapters to be free of many concerns related to running a household. Maintenance repairs and dining services are taken care of by the University, as well as an on-site resident director to help in chapter programming and other day-to-day activities. Students who live in Greek Court are provided the same opportunities as students who live in the residence halls and pay room and board fees on their tuition bill.
While each Panhellenic sorority is located in Greek Court, a few Interfraternity chapters still hold houses off campus and provide the opportunity to learn the roles of running a household for their members. These chapters vary as to how many members reside in the house and share bedrooms. Off-campus chapters commonly run their own meal plans, either with a paid cook or members themselves preparing meals.   Greek Housing page | EIU Housing


Eastern's Hazing Policy

Hazing is any act or situation on or off campus, initiated, planned, sanctioned, or joined in by one or more persons associated with an athletic team or student organization, causing embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule to, or which involves participation in a Code violation or an illegal act by, or which causes or places in danger of causing physical or mental harm to, any member or any student affiliated with the organization. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Greek Life Office at (217) 581-3967.


Glossary of Greek Life Terms 

Active - a fully initiated member in a fraternity or sorority.
Associate - a non-initiated member in a fraternity or sorority that employs the associate member program.
Bid - an invitation to join a fraternity or soroity.
Brother - a term used by fraternity members when referring to each other.
Chapter - refers to an individual fraternity or sorority.
Fraternity - a Greek organization for men.
Function - a social gathering for two or more fraternities or sororities.
Greek - a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Initiation - the traditional ritual that brings a new member to full membership.
Inter-/ national - a term referring to the central office of a given fraternity or sorority.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) - the coordinating body of fraternities.
Legacy - a rushee of a fraternity/sorority who is a son/daughter, brother/sister, or grandson/granddaughter of a member of a Greek organization.
National Interfraternity Conference (NIC) - a conference composed of 62 member fraternities.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) - a conference composed of 26 member women's fraternities.
National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPHC) - a conference of nine historically Black member men's and women's fraternities and the coordinating body of the historically Black Greek-letter organizations at EIU.
Panhellenic Council (PHC) - the coordinating body of sororities.
Potential New Member - a person interested in being a member of a chapter.
REC - a written recommendation for a rushee from an alumna(e) of a sorority.
Ritual - the values and beliefs by which members of an organization live; usually depicted in traditional organizational ceremonies.
Recruitment - the activity by which chapters seek new members.
Sister - a term used by sorority members when referring to each other.
Sorority - a Greek organization for women.