What is a fraternity?
Fraternities are groups of individuals of similar interest bonded together by common goals and aspirations. Each group works to instill and support these ideals in their members through their everyday activities. Membership in a fraternity is a lifetime obligation. The choice to join the fraternity community means working with a group of men who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas while being held to a higher standard than other college students.
What are the benefits of joining a fraternity?
There are various benefits to joining a Greek letter organization and while each organization has their own unique set, there are some generally agreed upon benefits that all receive. This include, but are not limited to: leadership and scholarship opportunities, community service, career networking, access to large alumni base, subsidized housing, and life long friends.
How do I join?
There are generally 2 parts of joining a fraternity: rushing, and pledging.
At UBC, Fall Rush generally occurs during mid- to late-September. During this period, each house will hold 2 official Interfraternity Council (IFC) Rush events (see here for this year’s dates) which are open to anyone interesting in joining a fraternity. These casual events allow you to meet the members of each organization, tour their houses, and ask any questions that you may have. In addition to the official IFC Rush events, you may be invited to smaller-scale events organized by the individual organization.
If a particular fraternity likes you, you may receive an invitation to their invite-only formal rush event (note that you may only accept a maximum of 2 formal rush invites). After this event, each organization will decide who they would like to give a bid to (a bid is an official invitation to pledge their organization). Bids will be given out the day after Formal Rush (usually at the AMS Nest). Note that you may only accept 1 bid.
Once you accept your bid, you will generally go through pledgeship. This is a 8 to 12 week process where you learn more about the history and values of the organization you aim to join. If you have successfully completed the requirements of the fraternity’s pledging process that you are rushing, you will be initiated as a member of that organization.
What is spring rush?
Each individual organization may choose to have a Spring Rush that begins in January/February. Spring Rush is not mandatory, and not every organization will have one every year. The IFC does not organize any official Spring Rush events.
What is pledging like?
The new member education process is a time to become closer with individuals in the organization; learn the history of the chapter, organization, and university; and discover resources available for scholarship, programming, leadership development, and interpersonal relationships. Most fraternities host weekly pledge meetings and special programs designed to help with the educational experiences mentioned above. As well, most organizations will pair new members with a big brother whose role is to provide guidance and mentorship throughout one’s time in the organization.
How much will this cost me?
While each fraternities’ dues vary, they generally range between $800-$1200 a year. While this may seem expensive, these costs are used to pay for events, subsidize housing, holding events, hosting formals & semi-formals, scholarships, attend international leadership events, and more.
I’m worried that joining a fraternity will affect my grades.
Each fraternity requires a certain academic average to join and remain a member. As well, data released from numerous universities (see here, here, and here) often show that the GPAs of students in Greek life are higher than the general student population.
What is the time commitment?
This varies greatly, not only between chapters but between members as well. Most of your involvement in an organization is self-determined. There are minimum requirements that are fairly common across the board, such as weekly meetings, but otherwise the time commitment is dependent on the role you want to take on in the organization.
What is a legacy?
A legacy is a student whose has a family member that already joined a particular fraternity. Students are free to seek membership in any organization they wish, and someone who qualifies as a legacy is not required to join any particular organization, nor is that organization required to offer the legacy a bid. All potential new members are considered individually.
What fraternities are there are UBC?
Refer here for the fraternities under the IFC.