Fraternity & Sorority Life

March 19, 2018

Beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year, U-M will change the eligibity requirements for particpation in fraternity and sorority recruitment/intake processes as one effort to strengthen student engagement in the first-year experience at Michigan.

This decision will apply to first-year students and require that they earn 12 credit hours as a matriculated student at U-M and be in good academic and behavioral standing to participate in fraternity or sororoity recruitment/intake. 

A winter recruitment/intake process is in alignment with the current practices of some chapters on our campus and many other institutions across the country.

A transition team, chaired by the Dean of Students, will be created to work carefully to identify considerations, make recommendations and develop an implementation plan for a successful transition.

The change to a winter recruitment/intake schedule is one of several efforts outlined in Student Life’s strategic plan to strengthen the first-year experience at Michigan, which is focused on three priorities that create opportunities for students to:

  • Gain the skills necessary to establish an academic pattern of success.

  • Develop sustainable and healthy relationships.
  • Engage and connect with a diverse learning community.

Other efforts to strengthen and expand student access to existing successful programs and communities, include:

  • Providing more opportunities for first-year students to integrate their classroom learning experiences with their residential life by expanding access to Michigan Living and Learning Communities.
  • Helping more first-year students navigate and make meaning of their Michigan experience by increasing student access to Making the Most of Michigan, a goal-setting course in the residence halls.

  • Offering more first-year students the opportunity to tailor their residential experience to their needs, interests and diverse backgrounds by developing more Theme Communities in the residence halls (current themes include First-Gen, Innovation, and Multicultural).

  • Helping more first-year students explore their skills, interests, and values related to future endeavors by prioritizing University Career Center’s programs devoted to helping students begin their professional journey.

  • Developing increased student intercultural competence by introducing the Intercultural Development Inventory pilot in more schools and colleges.

  • Providing more students with the opportunity to serve and learn about their surrounding community and meet new people by offering new community immersion programs during the first semester.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Why are we adjusting the timeline for recruitment/intake?

A. Adjusting to a winter recruitment/intake timeline provides students with the opportunity to:

  • Participate in first-year experience learning opportunities.
  • Engage in diverse living and learning communities built for first-year students.

  • Settle into their new environment.

  • Practice the behaviors required to thrive in U-M’s academic setting. 

Q: Is Fall recruitment/intake still allowed to happen?

A: Yes. Students will need to have a minimum of 12-credit hours to participate in fall recruitment/intake with any of the four councils. The structure and logistics of fall recruitment/intake will be arranged by individual councils or chapters.

Q. Why focus on adjusting first-year student recruitment/intake timing for fraternities and sororities?

A. The number of first-year students historically involved in fraternity and sorority recruitment/intake is substantial (approximately 2,000 students annually) and growing each year.  The personal energy and time commitment invested by first-year students participating in recruitment/intake is considerable and students are asked to make a multi-year commitment during their first weeks on campus.  Other student organizations involve less intense commitment.  

Note: Voluntary student organization membership  differs greatly from participation in sponsored programs like varsity athletics, Michigan Marching Band, and ROTC because the students in the later have had years of experience balancing the similar time commitments required and will receive guidance and support from their department administrators and/or coaches.

Q. How does a winter recruitment/intake strengthen the Greek Life community?

A. A focused first semester and first-year experience with a winter recruitment/intake timing provides space for students to:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to academics and establish a strong GPA to be considered for membership.

  • First learn more about themselves as members of the U-M community and to learn more deeply about fraternities and sororities and their values before joining, therefore less susceptible to hazing and other high risk behaviors out of alignment with organizational values.

  • Engage across differences and develop intercultural competence and increased awareness of identity, culture and perspectives so that new members are more likely to model inclusivity, seek diversity and promote equity.

Q. How can we facilitate Greek Life stakeholder support in adjusting to a winter recruitment/intake process?

A. We believe this academic-centered decision in support of first-year student success aligns with the principles, core values and interests of the Greek Life community.  That said, we understand that change can inspire worry and that our community will benefit from open communication, engaging in implementation, a sufficient implementation period and resources to ensure a positive and successful transition.

Many facilitated dialogues with separate groups of stakeholders will be planned.  These dialogues will help identify concerns and partners who can assist in the transition and provide additional leadership within stakeholder groups. Concerns that surface from the dialogues can be addressed by the Transition Team throughout the implementation timeline and shared back with stakeholder groups in a series of updates.

In addition, the Office of Greek Life will continue to co-create a multifaceted vision for the Greek Life community including development of future campus facilities to house Greek Life and support for expanded on-campus meeting and event spaces, strategic new leadership initiatives for each council, and adjusting the recruitment/intake timeline in order to increase campus engagement of first-year students.

Q. How will a winter recruitment/intake timeline affect fraternity and sororoity organization finances?

A. The transition team will work closely on this issue in the coming year to identify concerns and steps to mitigate potential problems. 


Q. How will fraternity and sorority students be involved in the implementation of this strategy?

A. Fraternity & Sorority Life student leaders are being consulted and will be highly involved in implementation.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, it was decided to pursue this change with a transition timeline that would allow chapters and councils to plan effectively, working in collaboration with inter/national headquarters, alumni, umbrella associations and the campus. 

The Transition Team for implementation will study the implications of this change for fraternities and sororities and inform planning moving forward. Students will be invited to serve on the Transition Team to assist in developing action items that will support implementation of this strategy for winter 2020.


Please contact the Fraternity & Sorority Life at (734) 936-3686 or with any additional questions.