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Why Should I join a Fraternity or Sorority?|Fraternity and Sorority Life

Fraternities and sororities (women's fraternities) are student organizations whose primary purpose is the personal development of their members, as distinguished from honorary, professional, departmental and service fraternities.

Unlike most other student organizations, membership in a social fraternity or sorority is normally a lifetime affiliation, and, generally, students are not permitted to be initiated into more than one fraternity or sorority.

Fraternities and sororities promote intimate relationship bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, and members typically refer to fellow members as "brothers" or "sisters." Traditionally, most fraternities and sororities are designated by Greek letters; hence, the organizations their members are often referred to as "Greek organizations" "the Greek community," or simply "Greeks."

Fraternities and sororities typically have rituals and creeds that promote the ideals such as friendship, loyalty, academic achievement and intellectual development, service to the community and the alma mater, honor and integrity, leadership and personal responsibility.

Many fraternities and sororities have an indoctrination and orientation period prior to initiation, and pre-initiated members are commonly referred to as pledges, associates or associate members, candidates, intakes, or new members.

Some fraternities and sororities are culturally and/or community based. Fraternities and sororities may select members according to subjective criteria consistent with the University's nondiscrimination policies. Fraternities and sororities are entitled to single-gender membership, provided they qualify under the provision of Section 86.14 of the regulations promulgated under Title IX of the U.S. Education Act of 1972, which require that the organizations be exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

Most UW fraternities and sororities operate a chapter house. A facility is considered to be a fraternity or sorority house if it is owned or leased by the organization and/or its alumni(ae) and recognized by the University.

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