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UPC Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Panhellenic Recruitment schedule for 2019?
  • Monday, August 19- Opening Convocation, 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 20 –Open House Day 1, 9:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 21– Open House Day 2, 9:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 22—Philanthropy Day 1, 9:00 a.m.
  • Friday, August 23—Philanthropy Day 2, 9:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 24—Sisterhood, 9:00 a.m.
  • Sunday, August 25—Preference 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, August 26—Bid Day, 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 28—Day off
  • Wednesday, August 28—Classes Begin
Who is eligible for Recruitment?

A woman is eligible to participate in recruitment and join a sorority if:

  • They are a regularly matriculated student at UT Austin which means they are enrolled and have been granted full-time status.
  • They are not a new member or initiated member of a National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sorority.
  • Students participating in the Pathway to Admission through Co-Enrollment, also known as PACE are eligible to register for recruitment.
    • Each sorority has individual membership requirements and membership decisions are the sole responsibility of the organization. We would encourage you to consult with the national organizations should you have questions about eligibility requirements.
How do I sign up for Recruitment? When does registration open and close?

Register for Panhellenic recruitment using the online application. The registration page will open on May 20th, 2019. The link to the page can be found online at or Registration closes Monday, August 5th at 11:59 p.m.

Please wait to register until you have a final high school GPA. No paper applications will be accepted.

How much does it cost?

Registration Fee Timeline:
$175.00 if paid online by 11:59pm on July 15
$200.00 if paid online between July 16- August 5

What do I need to complete registration?

When you register for recruitment please have the following items ready in an electronic format:

  • A photo (this helps chapter's recognize and remember you throughout the week!)
  • High School transcript, dual enrollment/credit transcripts, and/or any college transcripts (if applicable)
  • A resume detailing your high school/college involvement, interests, awards received etc.
  • Academic stats such as final GPA, class rank, standardized test scores etc.
What chapters participate in Primary Recruitment in the Fall?

The University Panhellenic Council represents 14 NPC organizations. 13 will participate in Primary Recruitment in August 2019. You are encouraged to send recommendation letters for Sigma Delta Tau. The chapter will hold recruitment events during the first few weeks of class in the Fall.

  • Alpha Chi Omega
  • Alpha Delta Pi
  • Alpha Epsilon Phi
  • Alpha Phi
  • Alpha Xi Delta
  • Chi Omega
  • Delta Delta Delta
  • Delta Gamma
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Kappa Delta
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma
  • Pi Beta Phi
  • Zeta Tau Alpha
How does recruitment work? What is a recruitment party like?

The recruitment process is designed to allow all interested women to get to know chapters and find their home in the Panhellenic community. The week is broken down into different rounds which have different themes or focuses, such as philanthropy, sisterhood etc. As you and the chapter get to know each other better you will both begin to narrow your options at the conclusion of each round. Your schedule is created through a process called mutual selection. You make preferences about the chapters you would like to return to the next round and the sororities also make preferences about which Potential New Members (PNM) they would like to invite back.

During parties you will spend most of your timing talking and getting to know active members as well as see presentations relating to the round's theme. Our chapters also like to cheer and sing for PNMs as they enter and exit the house. It can be loud at times but it is always exciting and fun!

What is a legacy? Does it matter if I am one?

A legacy is typically a sister, daughter, or granddaughter of an initiated member of a UPC sorority. For details on each chapter's legacy definitions and policies please visit their national website.

If you are legacy you may be familiar with sorority life or a particular chapter. At UT Austin, there are often more PNMs who are legacies then it is possible to have in a new member class. Therefore while being a legacy might mean you have a special connection with a chapter it does not guarantee a bid. Additionally, if you are a legacy you should not feel obligated to that chapter if it is not a fit for you.

At UT Austin there are also many PNMs and chapter members who are not a legacy and may be the first person in their family to be interested in Greek Life. The best advice for any PNM, regardless of legacy status, is to keep an open mind throughout the process. Everyone is getting to know the chapter and active members during the recruitment process.

Are sophomores allowed to participate in formal recruitment? Do they have a chance at getting into a sorority at UT?

Yes, sophomores and other upperclassmen can register for recruitment! At UT we utilize a sophomore pool, which is a process that allows for an increased placement of sophomores. In recent years about 20% of PNMs are sophomores or juniors. Over 230 upperclassman received a bid to membership in 2018.

Where do I live during Recruitment Week?

You live where you will live during the school year. You will need to contact your residence hall or housing complex to find out what the move-in date is and to make the appropriate arrangements for early move-in as needed. There may be a prorated cost associated with early move-in.

Should I bring a car for Recruitment Week?

No. The chapter houses are within walking distance of most student housing. Additionally, because parking will be completely unavailable, PNMs cannot drive or be driven from house to house. The council encourages PNMs to take safety precautions such as traveling in groups and taking care when crossing streets. PNMs are discouraged from using motorized scooters during events. Privately chartered buses will be provided by UPC for PNMs to travel between the furthest distances in a timely manner.

Should I visit campus this spring to get to know sorority members?

You should not visit campus during the school year with intention of meeting sorority women. The council has a no contact policy between PNMs and active members effective for most of the spring semester and all of summer break. Chapters and active members should not be recruiting women during the spring by inviting them to campus or communicating via texting, calling, or social media.

If I am asked to dinner or to hang out with a sorority over the summer, should I go?

The simple answer is no. This is called summer recruitment and UPC bylaws state no chapter should engage in summer recruitment activities of any kind. Chapters that do not abide by this policy will be subject to sanctions. It is wise to think twice about joining a chapter that would knowingly break the rules.

Should I attend The University of Texas at Austin's summer orientation?

Yes! Orientation is an important part of the Longhorn experience! It allows you to take any necessary placement tests, register for classes and become acquainted with campus. The Sorority and Fraternity Life office hosts an info session for both parents and student which is a great to learn about the Greek community at UT. UPC also hosts a late night session each orientation session which is a fantastic way to meet active members from each chapter and ask any questions you may have.

What if I have to attend the August orientation session. Can I still go through recruitment?

We encourage all women interested in recruitment to attend an orientation session during June or July. However, we understand this is sometimes not possible. If you attend the August orientation session you can still participate in recruitment. Our team will work to accommodate both the orientation and recruitment schedules. Be prepared to be flexible!

Is there spring recruitment?

Some chapters continue to recruit and pledge women throughout the school year through a process called Continuous Open Bidding (COB). Chapters only participate in in COB if they have spaces to fill and schedule and organize their own events independently. If you want the opportunity to interact with all of our sororities before making your sorority choice, then you should participate in fall primary recruitment.

What is a reference/recommendation? How do I get them?

References (or recommendations) are introductions of a Potential New Member (PNMS) to the chapter and describe more about the PNM, her interests, and how her values aligns with the values of the sorority.

A reference is most often an online form that an alumna member will find on their national website. Sometimes members may also submit supplemental information (i.e. resume, transcript, photo) through an online portal. A recommendation letter, letter of support, or anything written and submitted to the chapter is supplemental to this process and does not carry the same weight as the official reference form.

Reference and recommendation letters do not guarantee a bid for membership, however they will help the chapters know a little about you in advance.

There are two ways to obtain a reference:

  • Register with your local Alumnae Panhellenic – Throughout the country Alumnae Panhellenic Associations host a reference letter process to help women in their area secure reference writers. This option provides an opportunity to get assistance with obtaining references, possibly meet local area sorority alumnae and attend a recruitment information session. To find the Alumnae Panhellenic Association in your area you can visit the UPC website or do a google search. If your town or city is not listed, consider contacting the nearest university campus with sororities and inquire. Most Alumnae Panhellenic Associations begin collecting registration forms in early spring and will set their own a deadline in early summer.
    • You may continue to seek references independently after the deadline has passed. There is no official deadline for references for recruitment at UT, but the earlier a chapter receives the reference the longer they have to read and get to know you.
  • Independently find reference writers - This is a great option if you do not live in an area with an Alumnae Panhellenic, miss the Alumnae Panhellenic deadline, or if you just prefer to do things your own way with more control over the process. Use your network to find members of sororities willing to submit a reference on your behalf. The alumna writing the reference is responsible for submitting the appropriate form through her national organization's process. There is no official deadline for references for recruitment at UT, but the earlier a chapter receives the reference the longer they have to read and get to know you.
Who can submit a reference?

Each sorority has different rules about who can submit a reference for a PNM. Some organizations allow collegiate members at other universities to submit references while in other organizations only alumnae may submit them. Most organizations allow family members to submit a reference for PNMs who are relatives. If your reference writer has questions about her eligibility we encourage her to check with her membership organization. An alumnae (or active) member from any university may submit a reference, they do not have to have been a member of the chapter at UT.

What information should I provide for my reference writer?

It is standard to provide a resume, a transcript, and 2 pictures (one head shot and one full body) in electronic form. Don't forget a thank you note as well!

How many references should I try to get? Should I try to get them for every chapter?

We encourage all PNMs to actively seek recommendations for all chapters at UT. On average PNMs at UT submit 1-2 recommendations for each chapter.

Can Panhellenic get references for me? What if I am having trouble finding women to submit references?

No, unfortunately UPC cannot help PNMs find references. It is an individual process for each PNM, either through your local Alumnae Panhellenic or by asking contacts you and your family have within your community.

If you are having trouble finding affiliated women in your networks you may have to get creative! Have family members post on social media they are looking for sorority members- you may have family and friends that you didn't realize were affiliated. Have family members ask co-workers if they or anyone they know are sorority members. Ask guidance counselors, teachers, and coaches if they or anyone they know are affiliated. Keep in mind older friends that are sorority members at other universities may be able to submit a reference or know a recent graduate that can.

Can I go through recruitment without reference letters?

Yes, you can still register and participate in recruitment without obtaining references. However, it is HIGHLY encouraged you seek out references for all of the chapters at UT. Try your best to find women willing to submit a reference, they only help the chapter to get to know you better. However, sometimes you won't be able to find a member of one or two chapters. In this case do not stress, chapters will still get to know you through your registration materials and through their conversations with you.

What is the deadline for submitting recommendations/references?

The University Panhellenic Council has no set official deadline for recommendation letters or packets. However, we recommend that all reference materials be submitted to chapters by the first week in August at the latest.

Individual alumnae associations or groups may have independent deadlines to help facilitate their own internal processes. If you have questions regarding these deadlines we recommend reaching out to these individuals or organizations directly.

How much does it cost to be in a sorority?

It is important for students and parents to be informed of the costs associated with sorority membership. During recruitment PNMs are encouraged to ask sorority members about financial obligations and payment options as each sorority sets its own fees and housing costs as well as the payment schedules.

Required Fees
Fees are reflective of Spring 2018- please check the Panhellenic website for the most up to date information.
Chapter dues fund chapter operations such as academic programs, sisterhood events, facility upkeep, philanthropy and service activities, alumni and parent events, and national dues. The ranges below reflect semester dues, room, and board information:

Member Status / Semester Low Range High Range
New Member Fall Semester $1335.26 $2926.86
New Member Spring Semester $997.76 $2571.75
Active Member Living In-House per Semester* $4700.00 $7012.50
Active Member Living Out-of-House per Semester $997.76 $2432.09

*Includes room and board

Additional/Optional Fees
Additional costs throughout the semester may include parking at the chapter house*, optional meal plans, pictures, gifts, social events, T-shirts, etc. **Parking availability and cost will vary by chapter

Several chapters offer payment plans and scholarships for members who need financial assistance. It is important to understand that when you become a new member of a sorority you may still be held responsible for fees or payments required to fulfill your contract with the organization even if you decide to disaffiliate and end your membership.

How long will it take to be initiated?

The New Member period ranges from four to twelve weeks depending on the chapter. The new member period affords opportunities to meet other members, learn fraternity history and feel at home in the chapter. Each chapter follows a new member education program designed by their national organization. This is a great question to ask the active members as you meet them during recruitment.

What is hazing? Do sororities and fraternities haze?

Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental, or physical health or safety of a student that endangers the mental , or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of joining, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are primarily students.

Hazing is not tolerated at UT Austin and all students should feel safe joining and maintaining membership in an organization. However hazing can occur in any student organization or team setting, including sororities and fraternities. If you know of someone being hazed or have been hazed, it is your responsibility to help us shift the culture of hazing and report it to the Office of the Dean of Students. More information about the definition of hazing, hazing prevention initiatives, reporting hazing , and student organizations found in violation of hazing can be found at

How much time does a sorority take?

Being a member of a sorority is like taking another academic class. You can expect one chapter meeting each week, as well as other weekly programming such as study sessions, sisterhood activities, community service projects, and social events. As a new member you will also have new member education meetings. Taking on a leadership role, such as a committee chair or officer position entails more time commitments, but is extremely rewarding. Remember, the more you put into the sorority, the more you will get out of it!