Published: Aug. 8, 2022

With the start of the school year quickly approaching, you may be searching for new experiences to connect with other students. There are many ways to find community at CU Boulder, and as you explore options, consider participating in Greek life.

Joining Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) can help you build ongoing connections and make your college experience more memorable. Engaging in Greek life can also help you stay focused on school, find leadership and career opportunities, or give back to your campus and Boulder community.

Experiences in a fraternity or sorority can transform aspects of your college journey. Current FSL members told us about just some of the benefits and opportunities you can take advantage of.

A lifelong community

The connections you make when joining Greek life are friendships that will continue beyond college. Students participating in recruitment likely have the same goal as you: to find their place at CU Boulder. 

Adolfo Sanchez-ortega, the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) President, said joining a fraternity allowed him to find “a home away from home.”

“In a predominately white institution, I found individuals that look just like me who became ‘brothers 4 life,’ as we say,” said Sanchez-ortega. “The best part of this community has been networking with many individuals from both CU and other universities. The events that we have done with other organizations are also great to bond with different people and get to know them better.”

FSL is made up of 29 chapters in all, so there are many opportunities to find your home. When you join a sisterhood or brotherhood, you’re not just joining a chapter—you’re establishing a community of support with endless possibilities for meaningful friendships. That’s what Lindley Patton, the vice president of recruitment for the College Panhellenic Council, found when she joined. 

“It's so fun being out and about or on campus and seeing your sister, because even if it's not your best friend, you still stop and hug and take a few minutes to catch up,” said Patton. “There are also the classic sorority experiences that are just genuinely fun! I have a little who I adore that is the closest thing I have to a little sister, we get to go to date dashes and formals at cool venues, and can participate in Greek Week and Homecoming! It's having people who will pick you up everyday for Work Week just so you can blast music to wake up, plus having people who will help you with classes without asking for anything else in return. Being on Panhel has introduced me to some of my best friends.”

Academic excellence

One of the most important elements of participating in fraternity or sorority is the high academic standards you are held to, by both your chapter and the university. Most require a minimum of 2.5 GPA each semester to remain in good academic standing. Some also require a higher GPA if you want to take on a leadership role.

Achieving your academic goals is why you’re attending CU Boulder, and Greek life offers the support for fraternity and sorority members to succeed. Some of those resources include programming, incentives and ongoing recognition.

“Greek life ensures there is always someone to study with at all times,” said Patton. “During finals week, I could show up to the library by myself and find someone to study with at all times just by walking around! If I need to get out of my apartment after a long stretch of studying, I can run over to my chapter's house to grab some lunch/dinner and switch up my study spot. My chapter personally puts together a massive Google sheet at the beginning of the semester to help you figure out who you have classes in common with, and I rarely have a class without at least one or two friends who are in my sorority.”

Leadership experience and career opportunities

With the support of your chapter and friends behind you, Greek life can help push you out of your comfort zone and into experiences that set you up for success after graduation. 

“I actually got my internship because of my experience being VP of recruitment,” said Patton. “Due to the pandemic, I wasn't really working during the summer of 2021, and found myself in a weird phase where I was bouncing between home and Boulder. While I couldn't go back to my old summer job at home, my leadership experiences through Greek life gave me relevant work experience. I now intern for a corporate event company in Denver called Unbridled Productions, and it has been such a great experience that has allowed me to travel over the summer and learn a ton. But, I wouldn't have even gotten an interview without the experience that Greek life and Panhel has given me.” 

Sanchez-ortega said that simply being a part of the community has helped him. It’s given him the “opportunity to bring in a new class of members and guide them to become brothers.” He also added that representing his fraternity as a delegate on the MGC Executive Board, and now as president of the board, has given him direct experience in leadership. 

Fraternity and sorority members both participate in a number of leadership development programs from the local to national level. This includes chapter or council officer positions, national regional leadership conferences, campus-based leadership opportunities and committee involvement.

Giving back

A key aspect of Greek life is philanthropy. Service is one of the most meaningful aspects of joining a fraternity or sorority, and perhaps the most personally rewarding. Members can participate in hands-on volunteer work or host fundraising events. 

“I was lucky to join my chapter because we are a community service-based fraternity,” said Sanchez-ortega. “In my time being a brother, I have gotten the opportunity to help out Mile High United Way and give out toys during December to less fortunate families. Many of those families were Hispanic/Latino, so I was able to help translate. It was a pretty cool experience.”

Patton added that every Panhellenic chapter has their own unique philanthropy events each semester. It’s a great opportunity to have fun, hangout with friends in other chapters and make an impact on your community by supporting great organizations.

The benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority will make college unforgettable. You will have access to a variety of opportunities from academic success and professional development to volunteer work and the chance to make important friendships.

All the skills you gain, impact you make and connections you create will benefit you even after graduation. While college may traditionally be four years, Greek life is for life. 

If you are interested in joining FSL, learn more about the councils and chapters on the FSL website, register for recruitment and consider attending information sessions. Hope to see you there!