The Panhellenic Council has created a list of the most common questions from Potential New Members (PNMs) regarding Formal Recruitment. These questions will also be addressed in the New Member Handbook. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Executive Board at

Q: What topics should I avoid talking about when in the recruitment room?

A: The Panhellenic Council refers to these topics as the 4 B’s: Brothers (Fraternity men), Bars, Beer/Booze, and Buildings/Brownstones. No conversations should reference or center around dating, drinking, nightlife, or chapter housing facilities. To do so is a violation of the Recruitment rules, and any PNM or chapter member that violates this rule may be subject to judicial procedures.

Potential New Members, and sisters alike, should focus on making memorable conversations and bonds. Good discussion topics include what extracurricular activities you are involved in, great classes you have taken/are currently taking, summer experiences, traveling, hobbies, etc.

Q: What are the differences between each sorority?

A: While each sorority is unique in its own way, it is difficult to pinpoint specific differences between each because the members of each sorority are also so unique. At Columbia we have a very diverse population, and this is exemplified within the Greek community. We encourage you to keep an open mind throughout the recruitment process and to focus on finding the chapter that feels like the best match for you. 

Q: If I do end up joining a sorority, what is the time commitment?

A: Each sorority has a mandatory weekly meeting called Chapter, which typically meets on Sunday evenings. Throughout each semester there are other mandatory events such as initiation, philanthropy events, workshops, etc. That said, for many members, these mandatory events are not a burden because they mean time spent with sisters. The Panhellenic Council and all of the sororities encourage members to be involved in activities and groups on campus aside from the sorority.

Q: I know each sorority has dues. What is the monetary commitment for each chapter?

A: Each of the sororities requires that their members pay a certain amount of money each semester, with the first semester (the new member period) being more expensive due to more activities and expenses accumulated. Chapters' dues are published in Panhellenic's New Member Handbook. You are encouraged to ask sisters about finances, scholarships, and awards. 

Q: What should I wear during recruitment?

A: You should wear what you feel comfortable and polished in. Additionally, you will be walking and standing for the majority of the rounds, so wear comfortable shoes. Panhellenic will give each PNM a Panhellenic t-shirt to wear for the Philanthropy Round (the first round of recruitment). As Recruitment continues, the Rounds become progressively more formal, and sisters will be wearing nice dresses during the last two Rounds. Please DO NOT wear black on the last night, Preference Night.

Q: Are members required to live in chapter housing? Who gets to live in the house?

A: Each Panhellenic chapter has its own unique housing accommodations. The stipulations for housing eligibility are determined individually by each chapter. Members are not required to live in chapter housing facilities, although some chapter officer positions may have different housing requirements. Chapter presidents and house managers are required to live-in.

Each chapter housing facility is operated by Columbia University Housing & Dining and is considered a Columbia University residence hall. All chapter housing facilities are subject to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Columbia University Office of Residential Programs. Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Science students are eligible to live in chapter housing. Barnard students are permitted to live in chapter housing, but only in ration established by Residential Programs (1/3 of the housing facility). General Studies students are not permitted to live in chapter housing.