Fraternity and Sorority Life | Capital University, Columbus Ohio
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  • Welcome!

    Thank you for your interest in Fraternity & Sorority Life at Capital University. Our community is comprised of 12 organizations within the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Association. Each of these organizations offers a transformative and enriching experience for their members. Our community consists of a multitude of student leaders who share their experiences, perspectives, and passions from every aspect of the CapFam.

    Sorority-Life

    About Us:

    Fraternity and Sorority Life is a functional area of the Office of Student and Community Engagement. As an office, we strive to provide an inclusive environment for growth and development through extra and co-curricular learning experiences, both on campus and in the community, for all students.


    Vision:

    Fraternity & Sorority strives to offer a values-based experience that will allow community members to develop into agents of change in their present and future communities. The foundation of our community is academic success, community engagement, philanthropy & service, and a shared sense of siblinghood. Through our collective efforts, we hope to create an inclusive & open community, challenge the boundaries of what is possible, and authentically contribute to our shared success.


    Community at a Glance:

    Staff: (Photo Will be Attached)

    • Number of Chapters: 12
    • Size of Community: 17% of Capital’s Undergraduate Student Population
    • All-FSL Grade Point Average: 3.37
    • All-Undergraduate Grade Point Average: 3.24
    • Philanthropy Involvement/Initiatives: Girls on the Run, RAINN, Ronald McDonald House of Greater Columbus, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, A Voteless People is a Hopeless People, Alexandria Leigh Goodwin Angel Foundation.

    Matt Rhyland
    Matt Rhyand, M.Ed.
    Associate Director


    Joining an Organization

    Joining a Fraternity or Sorority at Capital is an opportunity available to all students. Recruitment/Intake activities will vary based upon council and the time of year. Our Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Association (PHA) typically hold a formal recruitment period in the fall and an informal recruitment period in the spring. Both IFC & PHA participate in Continuous Open Bidding (COB) which takes place outside of formal recruitment. Our National Pan-Hellenic Conference chapters (NPHC) will hold their intake processes at various points of the academic year.

    Fraternity & Sorority Interest Form
    (Please sign in with your Capital Credentials)

    Sample Potential New Member (PNM) Handbooks:
    PHA PNM Booklet 
    IFC PNM Booklet 

    FSL-Landing

    Chapters & Councils

    Interfraternity Council:

    Charlie Waldvogel, President
    Jake Belt, Vice President of Justice
    Casey Kirsch, Vice President of Operations
    Quinn Gable, Vice President of Membership
    Jonathan Brown II, Vice President of Programming

    Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/capital.ifc/

    The Interfraternity Council (IFC) at Capital University is the coordinating body for four of the social fraternities on campus (Alpha Sigma Phi, Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Psi, and Sigma Alpha Beta). Consisting of five elected executive officers, two representatives from each fraternity, the council establishes and coordinates all recruitment activities, motivates and supervises academic achievement, governs the actions of its member chapters, and promotes community service projects throughout the year.

    Alpha Sigma Phi

    Kappa Sigma:

    Founded in 1869 at the University of Virginia, Kappa Sigma is the largest social fraternity in the world. We stand by our four pillars: Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship, and Service. The Tau Mu chapter of Kappa Sigma was chartered in the spring of 2015. Annually, our chapter participates in the Kappa Sigma Military Heroes Campaign, as well as host several formal events. The Kappa Sigma Fraternity will better your college experience and opens the door for opportunities, unlike and any other organization.

    Colors: Scarlet, White, Emerald Green

    Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/KappaSigmaTauMu
    Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/kappasigmataumu/

    Sigma Alpha Beta:

    Sigma Alpha Beta Fraternity is a Co-ed Fraternity founded at Capital University in 2007 on the values of Christianity with an acceptance of people of all walks of Faith, Service, Brotherhood and Sisterhood. The purpose of this Fraternity is to deepen the lives of the members and the surrounding community through service, fellowship, and fraternal love.

    Colors: Royal Blue & Orange
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sigmaalphabetafraternity/

    Phi Kappa Psi

    National Pan-Hellenic Association
    Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
    Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

    Panhellenic Association:

    The Panhellenic Association (PHA) at Capital University is the coordinating body for four of the social fraternities on campus (Alpha Sigma Alpha, Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Sigma Sigma, and Pi Phi Epsilon). Consisting of four elected executive officers, one representative from each sorority, PHA is responsible for promoting positive relations between sororities, coordinating council-wide activities, formal recruitment, informal recruitment, and upholding academic achievement.

    Paris Knipp, President
    Kelsey Kitchel, Vice President
    Reganne Dunlop, Director of Operations
    Chelsea Grisby, Director of Recruitment
    Addi Hasselbach, Director of Programming

    Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/piphiepsilon/

    Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/capital.pha/Alpha Sigma Alpha

    Delta Phi Epsilon

    Pi Phi Epsilon:

    Pi Phi Epsilon was founded as a sorority in 1963 and is the only local sorority at Capital University. Our sorority mascot is the Panda Bear, and our colors are green and white. Living by the motto of Love and Service, we focus on the uniqueness and individuality of each sorority member. The purpose of Pi Phi Epsilon is to promote sisterhood and unity among its members, to foster friendship, to strive for higher ideals, to help others through service, to further social development and leadership, to create and maintain a sense of community with all Greek organizations, and, above all, to uphold the standards of Capital University.

    Phi Sigma Sigma

    Phi Sigma Sigma is a national social sorority which was founded in 1913. Phi Sigma Sigma's open moto is Diokete Hupsala which in Greek translates to "aim high". Members in this Greek organization strive to aim high in all endeavors. Our main philanthropy is the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation which is a philanthropy all chapters of Phi Sigma Sigma support. This philanthropy is for school and college readiness and we hold many events like school supply drives, Mr. Capital, and more to raise money and awareness. Our other philanthropy is a local philanthropy that only our chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma has and it is the Alexandria Leigh Goodwin Angel Foundation (ALGA Foundation). This philanthropy was adopted after a sister, Alexandria passed away suddenly. This foundation was made in her honor and we hold events like a 5K to raise awareness as well as kindness week on campus to continue her kind legacy she left behind. When we are not holding events for our philanthropies, we are doing sisterhood events to help strengthen our sisterhood and "home away from home" feeling we hope to establish within the sorority. We offer many leadership opportunities and are always excited to expand our sisterhood and welcome new members.


    Parents & Family:

    As a parent, guardian, or family member of a Capital student, you are a member of the Cap Fam too! A student’s involvement in a fraternity or sorority can provide the opportunity to develop professionally, academically, and socially throughout their college experience. As a member of a fraternity or sorority your student will encounter many benefits such as:

    • A family-like organization to provide support to students as they encounter the challenges and milestones of the collegiate experience.
    • Opportunities to serve in a multitude of leadership positions that will prepare them for future career and life opportunities.
    • Academic support and requirements that bolster overall scholastic achievement.
    • An alumni network that provides guidance, mentorship, and professional connections as students transition to the next stage of life.

    Greek Life

    QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

    Does Capital University have Fraternity or Sorority Houses?
    Capital University does not have recognized fraternity or sorority chapter houses. Many members of the FSL community will live with fellow chapter members in Capital residence halls, apartments, or university-owned housing within the surrounding neighborhood. 

    What are the costs associated with being a member of a Fraternity or Sorority?
    Financial obligation is something to take into account when considering joining a fraternity or sorority. Cost will vary by organization, on Capital’s campus average cost per semester is approximately $300 which will contribute to a chapter’s operational funds, philanthropic events, membership programming, or other events. Chapters will often offer payment plans and national organizations may provide scholarship opportunities for students to apply for. Financial obligations may be greater in a student’s first semester due to one-time initiation or new member fees. 

    Does hazing occur in Fraternities or Sororities?
    Capital University does not tolerate hazing in any form. Unfortunately, 48% of students in the United States have experienced hazing prior to coming to college*. Not only do we not tolerate hazing, we take steps to educate new members on how to prevent hazing in all organizations they may be a member of. Each semester, our organizations are required to sign the Recognition & Anti-Hazing Compliance Form. You can find more information on Ohio’s hazing laws and Capital’s policy on page 95 of the Capital University Student Handbook located here. 

    Who is in charge of the fraternity or sorority? 
    Each Greek organization has a set of elected officers. These are students just like anyone else. These students manage the organization and oversee the day-to-day functions of their organization. They ensure the safety of all members. Above that, each organization has advisors, both on campus and off-campus that assist in all chapter functions. Additionally, there are staff members within the Office of Student and Community Engagement to assist you, your student, and the organization. 

    Are Capital’s fraternities and sororities like the ones in the movie “Animal House” or “Neighbors”? 
    The best way to understand how a fraternity or sorority works is to meet the members. Capital’s Greek organizations are compiled of diverse students, spanning from all areas of the state, the country, and the world. Our Greek students break stereotypes each and every day by participating in different service projects, raising awareness towards different philanthropies, and getting higher grades than the all-campus average. 

    What is alcohol use really like in Greek Life?
    Any Greek organization at Capital University is expected to uphold city, state, and national law regarding consumption of alcohol. Additionally, all fraternities and sororities are to uphold all policies and guidelines set forth by the university and governing councils. Students who choose not to drink alcohol in college will know immediately that they will feel comfortable and accepted because of their decision. 

    Will Greek Life be too expensive for my student? 
    Each Greek student pays “dues” towards their organization – nationally and/or locally. Once dues are collected, the Treasurer of that organization will project a budget that all of the brothers or sisters will get to see and vote upon. These budget items cover anything from Greek apparel, recruitment, brotherhood or sisterhood activities, etc. Payment plans are available within each organization to make sure that each student has the ability to pay on time, every time. 

    Will being “Greek” hinder my student’s academics?
    Before your student goes through the recruitment process, he or she will undergo a GPA check conducted through our Office of Student and Community Engagement, which will stay 100% confidential. Eligibility to participate in the recruitment process is dependent on your student’s high school/college GPA. Requirements for GPA for potential new members is determined by each governing council and chapter. Once an active brother or sister in that organization, they will have certain GPA requirements and required study hours that have to be completed in Capital’s Blackmore Library. Our Greek students have a proud tradition of having a higher average GPA than the all-campus average. 

    Does being a member of a Greek organization take up a lot of time?
    It does take time and dedication to be a part of not just a Greek organization, but any organization on campus. It has been backed up by research that more involved students graduate on time, find jobs, and get accepted into graduate schools more often than students who choose to not get involved. Our Greek organizations have a heavy focus on professional development, where your student will learn how to balance academics, social commitment, working, and campus involvement. 

    What is the point of joining a fraternity or sorority?
    Our Greek organizations on campus prepare their members for the future. Our governing councils host events and speakers to promote positive growth, professional and leadership development, and campus engagement. Our Greek students are often well known students on campus – being involved in many different other organizations both on and off campus. 

    What is the difference between local Greek Life and national Greek Life?
    Local Greek organizations typically only exist at the host institution, where they are the only chapter, and are self-governed. National Greek organizations have co-existing chapters at different universities across the country. National organizations have a headquarters where hired and elected officials govern the organization, having a unified constitution and set of bylaws. 

    Are academic honor societies the same as fraternities and sororities?
    No, they are not. The Office of Student and Community Engagement recognizes our twelve social Greek organizations. Our Panhellenic Association governs our four sororities, and our Interfraternity Council governs our five fraternities. There are also three historically Black Greek letter organizations that are a part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. These organizations work directly with Capital University’s Assistant Director of Student and Community Engagement. 

    Do all Greek organizations haze?
    No! Capital University has a zero tolerance policy for any form of hazing. Upon signing a bid to a fraternity or sorority, your student will undergo New Member Education (NME). In this time, your student will be acclimated to the history and culture of the organization they choose to join. During this time, your student will participate in leadership activities, service projects, and brotherhood or sisterhood bonding activities. 

     

  • GREEK TERMINOLOGY

    As you learn more about fraternity and sorority life, you’ll want to get acquainted with these frequently used terms.


     Active: A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority membership and participates in chapter activities at the collegiate level.

    Alumni/Alumnae: Initiated fraternity or sorority members who have graduated from college.

    Badge or Pin: The pin of an initiated member.

    Bid: A formal invitation to membership in a particular fraternity or sorority.

    Big Brother or Big Sister (Big): An active member of a fraternity or sorority who serves as a mentor to a new member, guiding him or her through the new member education program and initiation.

    Call/Chant: Audible sounds used by members in a NPHC or Multicultural organization to acknowledge or gain the attention of other members. Calls may vary regionally within organizations, and some organizations may use more than one call.

    Chapter: A local group of the larger (inter)national organization, designated by a special Greek name.

    City-wide Chapters: Similar to the definition of “Chapter”. Some NPHC organizations may have a city-wide chapters comprised of several local colleges and universities.

    Community Service or Public Service: Time and effort donated toward a charitable cause or community institution to benefit the public. (Please note the difference between community service and philanthropy).

    Crossed: the same as being initiated. The term means different things to different groups, but generally means crossing over from being non-affiliated to being an initiated member. Most groups record this time to the second. Term also refers to "Crossing the Burning Sands"

    DOP/DP: the membership educator in a NPHC or Multicultural organization. Short for Dean of Pledges an old term that the groups still use. ADOP/ADP would be the assistant dean.

    Drop: the term used to refer to someone who de-pledged, or stopped pledging.

    Financial: term used to refer to an active member. (ie. Someone paying dues.)

    Executive Office or Headquarters: The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority. Often referred to as National Headquarters, International Headquarters, or just Nationals.Formal Recruitment: The membership selection period held in August/September.

    Fraternity: The name that applies to all Greek organizations characterized by a ritual, badge and strong ties to friendship and moral principles. Informally, women's fraternities are called sororities.

    Grad/Alumni Chapter: The graduate chapter of NPHC or Multicultural organization. Usually the local grad chapter oversees the operations of the undergraduate chapter.

    Hand sign: used to identify members of the same organization. Most have a deep meaning to that organization or ritualistic symbol.

    Informational or Rush: often a formal recruitment event for NPHC or Multicultural organizations.

    Informal Recruitment: The membership selection period for fraternities and sororities with openings throughout the fall and spring semesters.

    Initiation: The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership. Each chapter has a different set of requirements in order to be initiated.

    Intake: The process several chapters perform to recruit, interview, choose, and educate new members. Term mainly used in NPHC or Multicultural organizations.

    Interest: title of a potential new member who the group knows is interested. Sometimes these students will band together and form an interest group.

    Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing body of 5 fraternities at Capital. IFC operates under the affiliation requirements of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).

    Legacy: The brother or sister, son or daughter, or grandson or granddaughter of a fraternity or sorority member. Each (inter)national organization has its own policy regarding legacies.

    Line: The members of a NPHC or Multicultural organization’s new member class.

    Line Brother or Line Sister: The term used by members of NPHC or Multicultural organizations that refers to the other members that were in their new member class. Depending on the region, members may refer to their line brother or sister as their Sands since they crossed the “Burning Sands” (were initiated) together.

    Line Jacket: Worn by members in a NPHC or Multicultural organization, these lightweight windbreakers usually have the organization's name, letters, crest, crossing chapter, crossing date, line number, line name, and other graphics and information stitched onto them.

    Line Name: The name given to a NPHC or Multicultural organization’s new member class. Some groups do number their lines by Alpha, Beta, Gamma…. But also their line has a name to define them. Many times it is an acronym. Line Name(s) can also refer to the individual member’s line name which is often given by new members Big Brothers or Big Sisters.

    Little Brother or Little Sister (Little): A new member of a fraternity or sorority who will be matched with a Big (Brother or Sister) to begin a mentoring relationship as they go through the New Member Education program and beyond.

    Membership Recruitment: The mutual selection process that prospective members and chapter members go through during the recruitment period to get to know one another.

    National Association of Latin Fraternal Organizations (NALFO): The representative body governing historically Latino/Latina Greek Letter organizations. There are no affiliated NALFO organizations on Capital’s campus, but you may interact with members of a NALFO organization if you attend larger Greek conferences.

    Neophyte (aka "Neo"): A new member of a cultural Greek organization in a NPHC or Multicultural organization.

    New Member Presentation (aka Probate): a formal presentation of a new line to campus. Usually done in a public forum after members have been initiated into a NPHC or Multicultural organization.

    New Member Education (NME): A period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation. This period varies for all groups.

    New Member: A member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated.

    NIC (North American Interfraternity Conference): Governing body for 72 national member men's fraternities and alumni associations.

    NPC (National Panhellenic Conference): The umbrella organization for 26 women's fraternities. NPC supports its chapters by promoting values, education, leadership, friendship, cooperation, and citizenship

    NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council): A national organization composed of four sororities and five fraternities whose membership is historically African-American.

    Number or Club: the number you are assigned based on the chronological order you are in on your initiation line (often members in a NPHC or Multicultural organization identify or relate to one another by distinguishing that they are the "same" number).

    Order of Omega - National Greek Leadership Honor Society: Limited to top 3% of members in the Greek Community at Capital University. Must have a GPA at or greater then Greek GPA, junior or senior status, significant leadership and service to the campus and the Greek community.

    Para (aka "Nalia"): short for paraphernalia. The different items of Greek clothing or items someone is wearing.

    Panhellenic Association: The governing body of 4 sororities at Capital. PHA operates under the affiliation requirements of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).

    Philanthropy: Fundraising activities or service projects for charitable institutions, or charitable aid/donations to these institutions. (Please note the difference between philanthropy and community service).

    Potential New Member (PNM): A college student who is interested in joining a Greek Organization and is taking part in the recruitment process.

    Preferencing: During the last part of Panhellenic sorority recruitment, a potential new member determines which particular sorority she is willing to join. The potential new member lists three sororities in her order of preference.

    Prophyte: term used to refer to an older brother/sister from your chapter in a NPHC or Multicultural organization.

    Quota: The specified number of potential new members to which each sorority may extend a bid.

    Rho Gamma or Rho Gam (aka Recruitment Guide): A Panhellenic sorority member who has disaffiliated herself from her chapter during formal membership recruitment. She is specially trained to help potential new members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership.

    Sands: A member of your organization or another NPHC or Multicultural organization that was initiated during the same semester as you were. Depending on the region, members may refer to their line brother or sister as their Sands since they crossed the “Burning Sands” (were initiated) together.

    Social or Mixer: A get-together event with another Greek organization.

    Soror or Sawrah: term used to refer to a sister in a NPHC or Multicultural organization.

    Stepping: A historically black tradition characterized by synchronized hand foot movements, along with singing, dancing, chanting, and acting. Many Latino/Latina and Multicultural groups participate in stepping as well.

    Stroll (aka Party Walk, Party Hop): A line dance done by members in a NPHC or Multicultural organizations; usually done at a party or step show.

    TeeKee: the large necklace worn with large Greek letters on them by members of NPHC or Multicultural organizations. Similar to a lavaliere but much larger and often made out of wood.

    Total: Total is the allowable chapter size, including both new and initiated members, as determined by the Panhellenic Council.

    Yard: the term used to refer to the particular campus or university a chapter is at. This term is usually used by members of NPHC or Multicultural organizations.

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