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Frequently Asked Questions

Info Session Video

What does FSL stand for?

Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL), which encompasses all of our fraternities and sororities and is a functional area of Office of Student Involvement (OSI).

Where can I find out more about fraternity and sorority life?

Please go to our website at You can also find us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) at UCMercedFSL. You can also go onto to learn more about each organization!

Can we bring new fraternities and sororities to campus? If so, what is the Expansion process?

Expansion is currently closed, but there is a document that explains the process (application, process, committee, etc.) that can be found at:

Can first years join an FSL organization?

First-years will need to wait until they have completed 12 college credits. Our requirements are as follows: all students interested in a fraternity or sorority at UC Merced are required to meet the following minimum requirements: have a 2.5 cumulative GPA, have completed 12 post high school college credits, and be in good academic standing with the university. While this is the minimum requirement for the community, some chapters have higher GPA requirements for their potential members.

Who helps oversee the fraternities and sororities?

Aside from our OSI staff, there are two governing councils, students who are elected to these roles, who help provide guidance, structure, and rules to the fraternities and sororities affiliated with UC Merced

  • Fraternity and Sorority Council (FSC)
    • FSC oversees our social fraternities and sororities. You can find more information about them here.
  • Professional Fraternity Council (PFC)
    • PFC oversees our professional fraternities. You can find more information about them here.

When is Fall 2020 Recruitment for fraternities and sororities?

September 1-27th, 2020

When will information be out about Spring 2021 Fraternity and Sorority Recruitment?

Our councils and staff members are working hard to get this information out to interested students by the end of October/beginning of November.

What is the difference between a social fraternity/sorority and professional fraternities?

Social fraternity/sorority will be open to any majors and support a philanthropy. It is also key to note the social fraternities and sororities we have at UC Merced are single-gender organizations. Social fraternities are for those who identify as a man. Social sororities are for those who identify as a woman.

Professional fraternities may have a major/minor requirement, and be very involved with professional growth. Another key difference is our professional fraternities are gender inclusive or co-ed.

What is the difference between a Cultural Sorority and a Panhellenic Sorority?

Our Fraternity and Sorority Council (FSC) has put together some great information for you to learn the difference between our sororities:

Is UC Merced fraternity and sorority life good?

UC Merced is proud of the accomplishments of its fraternity and sorority community and supports its continued development. UC Merced fraternity and sorority members lead the campus in scholarship, philanthropic donations, community service involvement, and leadership opportunities. Fraternity and sorority members typically achieve higher academic standards than their peers and are members or leaders of many other campus organizations.

Are fraternities and sororities like what I see on TV and in movies?

Every fraternity and sorority is different and unique. Fraternities and sororities are not as they are depicted on TV, just as relationships and weddings are not as they are on TV. The best way to find out what fraternities and/or sororities are like is to go to a fraternity or sorority event to see for yourself.

If it’s so great, why isn’t everyone in Greek life? Why would someone not join a fraternity or sorority?

At the end of the day, joining a fraternity or sorority is about finding your fit. Not everyone is going to feel a connection to our fraternities and sororities and that is okay. We encourage everyone to explore the fraternity and sorority community and to make the decision that is right for them. We are also continuing to add more organizations to campus for opportunities to build what you're looking for or consider joining an organization and working to create the change you would hope to see.

Why are fraternity and sororities referred to as “Greek” organizations?

The names of fraternities and sororities generally consist of two or three Greek letters, often the initials of a Greek motto, which may be secret.

Why are there some things fraternity and sorority members can’t talk about? What’s the big secret?

Initiation into a fraternity or sorority is an exciting, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and special values of the respective fraternity or sorority. These ceremonies often are referred to as Rituals. Fraternities and sororities pride themselves on the Rituals that their chapters were founded upon. These Rituals are full of the traditions and values that make the chapters unique. An organization’s Ritual is what links its members to one another. It is a shared experience no matter when or where a member joined. It is important to note that none of these Rituals include hazing or other inappropriate activities.

Isn’t joining a Greek organization just like paying for your friends?

Fraternities and sororities, just like many other campus groups, do require members to pay specified dues. These dues are used to financially support the everyday activities of the organization. While the opportunity exists to make life-long friends by joining one of these organizations, the dues are required to fund exciting programs for all of their members.

What are the requirements for joining a fraternity or sorority at UC Merced?

All students interested in a fraternity or sorority at UC Merced are required to meet the following minimum requirements: have a 2.5 cumulative GPA, have completed 12 post high school college credits, and be in good academic standing with the university. While this is the minimum requirement for the community, some chapters have higher GPA requirements for their potential members.

How do I find the right chapter for me?

The best way to decide if a chapter is a good fit is to meet current members and ask questions. Fraternity and sorority information sessions and recruitment events are a perfect chance to learn more information about each fraternity and sorority to decide if its values are in line with your own. It is important to find people you connect with.

If I go through recruitment am I guaranteed an invitation to join a fraternity or sorority?

No, just as you are trying to figure out which organization you fit best with, chapters are determining which men or women would be the best fit for their organization. Many times this is based on specific criteria such as grades or involvement in campus activities or community service. The best thing you can do is maximize your options by attending as many sorority/fraternity events as possible to allow the chapter members to get to know you on a deeper level. Additionally, if you are not asked to join a chapter, you may try again during another recruitment period and are welcome to ask what you could improve to be a better candidate in the future.

A family member is a member of a fraternity/ sorority that is on another campus what do I do? I am a legacy, do I have to join that organization?

It is important to share any legacy information with the group when you are meeting with them or in the application when signing up for sorority recruitment. Each organization has its own legacy policy that defines what constitutes a legacy for their organization as well as how the organization may select for membership. In most cases, being a legacy does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation to join that chapter. Regardless of your connection to a group, we encourage you to explore all the options available to you.

Can I join a professional fraternity and social fraternity/sorority?

At UC Merced, you are allowed to join both a professional and social chapter, but you can only participate in one new member education process per semester.

If I attend a recruitment event, do I have to join?

No, many students choose to go through recruitment to meet people and make new friends. Recruitment is the opportunity for you to visit the organizations, get a glimpse of fraternity and sorority life, and assess whether or not you would like to be a part of the UC Merced fraternity and sorority experience.

My parents do not like the idea of fraternities and sororities, what can I tell them?

One of the greatest arguments for joining a fraternity or sorority is that it satisfies the fundamental need to belong. Joining a fraternity or sorority will help to connect you to a group of peers with similar values. Feeling connected will make you more satisfied with your college experience and therefore more likely to succeed and graduate. The Fraternity and Sorority Life website (, the chapter advisor and/or FSL staff are great resources to help address the concerns of your parents.

What if I turn down a bid/invitation I receive?

You are within your right to not accept an invitation to join any groups. Fraternities and sororities are looking for members that want to be actively involved in their organization. They’d much rather you decline the membership invitation than join and not contribute. In some cases, specifically within the Panhellenic Sorority Primary Recruitment process, this can limit your ability to join another group for a period of time. For specific information regarding accepting bids, please contact the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff.

What should I talk about at the recruitment events?

It is important for you to be yourself during recruitment, and let the conversation flow naturally. The organizations are presenting themselves to you just as you are presenting yourself to them. Asking questions is encouraged. Remember, everyone likes to talk to someone who is friendly, has comments to make, and questions to ask.