Greek life in Georgia Tech
Greek letter organizations are social organizations for undergraduate students. Most Greek letter organizations in Georgia Tech are single-sex organizations which provides memberships to its members throughout all of their undergraduate years. Greek letter organizations can be divided into two categories, fraternities and sororities, which are for male or female respectively. (“frater” and “soror” are Latin words meaning “brother” and “sister.”) Georgia Tech Greek letter organizations use two or three Greek letters as their names, which are the initials of their mottos. This naming system makes some Greek letter organizations share similar names but they are not related to each other. For example, there are four fraternities in Georgia Tech that have “Phi Kappa” in their names and none of them are related.
Each fraternity and sorority at Georgia Tech belongs to a Greek council. There are four Greek councils an Georgia Tech which include: Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPHC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and Interfraternity Council (IFC). Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) consists of eight sororities; National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) has eight international fraternity and sorority members, Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) includes seven fraternities and sororities. Interfraternity council (IFC) is the governance organization of 30 fraternities in Georgia Tech. In total, there are 53 Greek letter organizations in Georgia Tech, 26% of Georgia Tech undergraduates are members of Greek letter organizations. Specifially, there are 3,137 students who participate in Greek life at Georgia Tech.
The process of joining a Greek letter organization varies in detail, but most of them share similar process. The process starts with “Rush Week.” This time is the formal recruitment period for Greek letter organizations, which usually occurs in the beginning of the Fall/Spring semesters. The Greek organizations will hold events for potential members to meet with current members, so both sides can learn about each other. At the end of Rush Week, fraternities and sororities will send out their “bid” to interested potential members. The receivers can decide whether to accept a bid. Once someone has accepted the bid, he/she will become a “pledge” in the Greek letter organization until he/she has joined the fraternity/sorority. Most fraternities and sororities will invite the pledges to initiation after the completion of pledge period if all requirements are met.
37 of 53 Greek letter organizations have their chapter houses on campus, which serves as the facility for social meeting, entertainment, and for some members, housing. Most chapter houses have capital Greek letters on the front of their house and provide parking space for their members in a nearby area. At Georgia Tech all chapter houses, except Alpha Phi Omega’s, are densely located in east campus, most near Techwood drive and 4th street. This area is the traditional Greek zone at Georgia Tech. Compared with living in the school dorms, chapter houses are more affordable and some organizations even have their own chefs and provide meal plans for their members.
Georgia Tech Greek organizations claim their members have better academic performance than non-Greek students. For example, the graduation rate for Greek students is 83.6%, which is almost 10% higher than non-Greek students (73.7%). Chapters, as well as the Greek governing council, provide various educational programs for their members. Programs may include time management and study skills seminars, scheduled study hours with free tutoring, organized study groups, or advice on courses and professors. Actually, many Georgia Tech Greek organizations require their members to keep a minimum GPA in order to keep the academic excellence of the organization.