A Family's Guide to Sorority & Fraternity Recruitment 2021
Greetings from Ithaca, NY! We are sending this email to parents and families of all students who are currently registered to participate in spring 2021 sorority and/or fraternity recruitment. As a parent and family member, we know you may have a lot of questions about the process, membership, and where to go for future information. We hope to provide relevant resources in this newsletter. 
Membership in a sorority or fraternity provides students with a meaningful and productive learning environment that embodies the core values of Cornell University. Cornell is home to 53 University-recognized social sororities and fraternities. These recognized groups are held to high standards and engage students in co-curricular experiences that promote student development, leadership, friendship, scholarship, and service. Membership in these organizations can be a truly transformational opportunity with relationships that last a lifetime.

Sororities and fraternities at Cornell have recruitment and intake processes that will occur after classes begin in spring 2021. This year, recruitment and intake will be VIRTUAL in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have three councils, often called the Tri-Council. They are: Interfraternity Council (IFC), Multicultural Greek and Fraternal Council (MGFC), and Panhellenic Council (PHC). For a list of all sororities and fraternities, please visit the
Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life (OSFL) website. The department website includes our organizational scorecard, which lists chapter GPA data, the council of membership, the individual organization website, and the chapter's conduct history.  

In addition to information about each of our sororities and fraternities, our website is full of additional resources for parents and families. Please refer to the important links below:

Financial Obligations
While each of our sororities and fraternities may differ regarding specific housing and dining costs, as well as chapter membership fees, initiation fees, and new member fees, the costs associated with each group are listed on the scorecard. Further information about financial obligations is available on our website.
Housing and Dining Information
The majority of our Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC) sororities and fraternities have houses. The living-learning opportunity in a sorority or fraternity house is a hallmark of membership, and the housing very often also includes a dining plan. Please visit our website for more information about both housing and dining.

Information for Parents and Families
We know this new opportunity for your family member may evoke questions; and to meet those questions, we have provided further information for you to read regarding how you can support your student participating in recruitment.

Policies and Procedures
We have many policies and procedures in place to provide expectations and accountability for our sororities and fraternities. We invite you to learn more about our policies and procedures as well as recent reforms being made within the sorority and fraternity community.
We are lucky to have a staff of four, full-time, professionals to provide leadership development, chapter support, and education to the sorority and fraternity community at Cornell. Our staff is committed to partnering with you to help our students have both a meaningful and positive experience. Visit our staff website for a list of our staff, including contact information.

We look forward to supporting you and your student as they join the sorority and fraternity community at Cornell. 


The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life Staff
Virtual Recruitment Schedule for Panhellenic and
the Interfraternity Council

Due to COVID-19, our students and staff have adapted to create a virtual recruitment schedule this spring. The Panhellenic Council (PHC) sorority recruitment schedule is available here. Please review this schedule as there are two advance virtual training requirements for recruitment participants. Students who want to participate in Panhellenic sorority recruitment must register. You are receiving this newsletter because your student registered for recruitment already. All registered students will receive further communication about recruitment, including the assignment of a Rho Gamma. A Rho Gamma is a student in a sorority who leaves her sorority during recruitment to serve as a guide for students participating in recruitment. Panhellenic recruitment will occur via Zoom, and all the necessary links and steps will be communicated to registered participants.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) recruitment will also occur via Zoom from Feb. 9 through 21. A schedule is available. There are two training sessions that all students need to attend in advance of IFC recruitment. One is an asynchronous course in Canvas. The other will be held via Zoom on the dates and times listed on the IFC site. Zoom will be the tool for IFC virtual recruitment. All links for training and recruitment will be communicated to registered participants. You are receiving this newsletter because your student is registered for recruitment already.

Additionally, all sororities and fraternities from all three councils will participate in a virtual fair on Jan. 29 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. via Campus Groups. Interested students are welcome and encouraged to attend. More details are available in Campus Groups.
Educational Programming Resources
Signature Programs

The Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life as well as each of our three councils provide educational programming and training throughout each semester to foster our members' personal development and leadership skills. Our signature programs are held for officers of our sororities and fraternities to further cultivate their own knowledge and skills. These programs include a Leaders Retreat, annual Andrew Dickson White Conference for executive boards, a partnership with the Team and Leadership Center at Cornell Outdoor Education, which includes a one-credit leadership class, event management training, officer roundtable trainings, individual advisement, and meetings between chapter leaders and the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life.
Hazing Prevention

In the early 2000s, Cornell was one of the first institutions in the country to create a hazing prevention framework. Through a continued partnership with Cornell Health, the Cornell Hazing Prevention website provides additional information and resources as well as a list of all hazing violations which have occurred in our community. We are committed to transparency and continuing to advance prevention and educational efforts to eliminate hazing on our campus and within the sorority and fraternity community.
Program Highlight

On Nov. 2, 2019, the Piazza, Gruver, and Braham families visited Cornell to share their tragic stories. They each lost a son as a result of hazing. This powerful story is available to view on Cornell Cast.
Mr. and Mrs. Piazza (third and fourth from right) with members of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity when they visited campus to speak in Nov. 2019.
New Member Orientation

Cornell has a four-week maximum new member process. This means no sorority or fraternity should have a new member orientation, formerly called "pledging," that goes beyond four weeks. Every new member must be initiated within four weeks.
Websites and Instagram

Each of our three councils also has its own website and Instagram account:

Sorority & Fraternity Life Webinars

The Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life presented a webinar during fall orientation. This webinar featured Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life staff as well as student leaders within sorority and fraternity life. The program gave an overview of sorority and fraternity membership and answered frequently asked questions. A recording is available.
Common Bonds. Uncommon Lives.
Cornell Alumni on the Impact of IFC Fraternities on Cornell, Career, and Life
Wednesday, January 27
7:00 PM Eastern
Join us for a Sorority and Fraternity Life webinar as we present a panel of alumni who will discuss the benefits of fraternities on the undergraduate experience. In addition to the profound rewards of having a place to call "home" while at Cornell, fraternities have a dramatic impact on the lifetime success and well-being of their members.
In this candid discussion, Cornell alumni will share their perspectives, their reflections, and their advice to parents, family members, and current students who may be considering the important choice of joining an Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternity. Research studies will be shared, and alumni and student panelists will answer questions about fraternity life and the personal residential experience at Cornell. Interested students and their families are welcome to attend.
The panel, moderated by Daniel Mansoor '79 MBA '80, will include current IFC Vice President of Recruitment, Max Trauring '22, who will offer his perceptions on his current fraternity experience. He will also review important details about how students can get involved in the fully virtual recruitment experience, as there are many changes due to COVID-19 campus expectations.

Sponsored by the Alumni Interfraternity Council, the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life, and the Office of New Student Programs
Have questions or concerns?

Please contact us at greeks@cornell.edu

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