Frequently Asked Questions
what is fraternity membership all about?
Fraternity membership encourages the values of loyalty, scholarship, and service. These groups create a foundation of leadership and responsibility that will help members succeed. Although it may seem daunting, fraternities have so much to offer. Members strive for academic excellence through empowering each other to achieve greatness. We focus on philanthropy by raising money for charities across the nation as well as giving back to the community surrounding us. The bond that is established between members of a fraternity will last throughout life, in times of celebration and tribulation. Joining a fraternity means that you are becoming part of a family, a part of something larger than yourself, and you will have a huge support system not only throughout your time at UCSB, but for the rest of your life. Fraternities develop their members into the leaders of tomorrow by challenging them to excel and become the best version of themselves.
How will I know which organization is right for me?
The key to joining a fraternity is picking the one that is right for you--not your friends, not your roommate, not your father or cousin or brother--but you. That is what the recruitment process is for. Make sure to check out every organization as each fraternity has its own mission, creed, and values that it lives by. Go in with an open mind, attend as many recruitment events as possible, and get to know as many members as you can.
The quicker you can move out of general small talk (i.e. major, hometown, residence hall, sports you played in high school, etc.) and start asking questions that reveal more about the values and character of the chapters, the better. Think of it as you interviewing the members to decided if this organization is worth your time and investment.
All IFC organizations strive to provide members with friendship, opportunities for personal growth and development, and fun. Recruitment is the process designed to allow you and the chapters to decide on best fit. As you go through the process, be sure to ask questions and be yourself. Fraternities are looking for those people who are authentic and genuine--don't try and be who you think we want you to be. We want to get to know the real you.
What if I am going to Miss or be late for an event during Recruitment?
If you are going to miss IFC Walk-arounds on Monday, you are still eligible to go through recruitment, but be sure to register as soon as possible and explore several chapters during the week. If you are going to miss or be late to one of the daytime or evening events during the recruitment week, we suggest letting a member of the chapter know, preferably the recruitment chair. If you are going to miss bid pick-up on Friday, contact the IFC President at firstname.lastname@example.org or the IFC Vice President of Recruitment at email@example.com.
How many chapters can I Go to during recruitment week?
At the specified times during the week, you are free to attend as many events by as many chapters as you want. That being said, it is important to get to know as many members as possible in the chapter(s) you are interested in to show your commitment to joining as well as determine if that is truly the best fraternity for you. IFC's Executive Council suggests you use the first three recruitment events (Tuesday day and night and Wednesday day) to explore every organization that stood out to you during walk-arounds or that you would otherwise be interested in learning more about. By Wednesday night, you should try to narrow your attention down to two or three organizations. Remember to be intentional about narrowing down your options - consider where you felt the most comfortable, where you can best see yourself so far - you should make the decision based off of what you want from a fraternity experience (not where your friends might be going). Try to spend as much time as possible on Thursday night at the chapter(s) you would most like to join.
Can I only join in fall my freshman year?
No! You are more than welcome to join whenever you feel comfortable. Most potential new members tend to be first or second-year students, but upperclassmen and transfers are all encouraged to register and go through the recruitment process. Many organizations value the diversity and experience upperclassmen and transfer students bring each recruitment period. IFC Recruitment occurs both in at the beginning of fall quarter and again at the beginning of spring quarter and is open to all fully enrolled UCSB students. Joining a fraternity is a time commitment which is why some students choose to wait a couple quarters or years to come out to recruitment. Regardless, you are encouraged to come out and meet the brothers as you explore if fraternity life is for you. If you reach the end of the week and are unsure about joining, you can simply not accept your bid, and return at a time when you feel more prepared to join.
Can i go to the chapters outside of the recruitment schedule?
No, the chapters are not allowed to hold recruitment event outside of the outlined recruitment schedule during the week. We want to make sure all interested individuals have an equal opportunity to meet the members of the chapters and learn about the organizations. If you are interested in joining a fraternity, you will need to come out during the published events.
Am I eligible to participate in recruitment?
I am an international student: Yes! As long as you are a fully enrolled, regularly matriculated student at UCSB, you are eligible to participate in IFC recruitment and join one of our organizations.
I identify as LGTBQ+: If you identify as male, yes!
I am a non-traditional undergraduate student: If you are a regularly matriculated undergraduate student with full-time status, yes!
I am a UCSB Extension or graduate student: Unfortunately, only male identifying students who are regularly matriculated undergraduate students grated full-time status at UCSB are able to join a fraternity on this campus.
I am an SBCC student (and interested in transferring to UCSB): No. Only current, full-time, UCSB students are eligible to participate in fraternity life at UCSB.
Is it difficult to balance fraternity life and academics? What is the TIme COMMITMENT Like?
With any club or organization, there will be a time commitment for joining. Fraternities are no different; you will be expected to attend weekly chapter meetings and weekly new member education sessions (if applicable). Chapter try to schedule events such as brotherhoods, philanthropies, or socials around everyone's schedules so that you are not overwhelmed, especially during midterms and finals. We understand that members will have outside commitments and not everything we do will be mandatory for everyone.
Time management is the key. Many fraternity members are able to manage fraternity responsibilities, jobs and internships, academics, and involvement in other campus organizations. If you are interested in joining a fraternity but have concerns about the time commitment, feel free to ask the members during recruitment about how they balance their time. A good rule of thumb is to compare the time commitment to an additional academic course.
Does it matter if i do not drink?
NO! Despite the stereotypes presented in the movies, on TV, or any other form of media, fraternities are not drinking clubs. It absolutely does not matter if you choose not to drink. Despite the stigma, UCSB fraternities aim to make our experience open to everyone, and are proud that there is no pressure to partake in drinking activities.
Will I be hazed?
Fraternities have abolished hazing at the national level, and on top of that, hazing is prohibited by the University as well as by state and federal laws. Hazing should not occur in your fraternity experience at UCSB. New members will go through new member education programs, but these programs should not last more than a quarter. You will learn about alcohol and other substance misuse and abuse, preventing sexual harassment and interpersonal violence , organizational history both locally and nationally, and information specific to the chapter you join (values, mission statement, etc.). Your new member period should be a beneficial one that creates and fosters a fraternity experience focused on brotherhood and character development. We want you to be set up for future success. If you believe that you experience behavior not aligned with our values or are concerned about a friend, please let us know by clicking here so that we can resolve the matter.
Why is it so expensive to join a fraternity? WHere is the money going?
The dues for each fraternity vary from chapter to chapter. Membership dues are most commonly used for brotherhood events, social events, community service projects, inter/national dues to the organization's parent organization, insurance costs, facility fees for the chapter house, and sometimes a meal or two. The general price ranges from $400-$600 a quarter. Payment plans are accepted and each chapter works with members to create a system that works for you. To learn more about how your money is being spent, ask to speaking to the treasurer of the organization.