Unraveling the Columbia Greek Life

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Columbia campus

Unraveling the Columbia Greek Life

What are the Greek organizations at Columbia?

What are Columbia’s Greek organizations? Columbia University has a variety of Greek organizations, including fraternities, sororities, and multicultural Greek organizations like the following:


  • Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Beta Theta Pi
  • Delta Sigma Phi
  • Kappa Delta Rho
  • Phi Gamma Delta
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Psi Upsilon
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Nu
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Zeta Beta Tau
  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Lambda Phi Epsilon
  • Phi Iota Alpha
  • Pi Delta Psi
  • Sigma Lambda Beta
  • Zeta Psi


  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Kappa Phi Lambda
  • Lambda Pi Chi
  • Alpha Chi Omega
  • Sigma Delta Tau
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Alpha Delta Phi

What role does Greek life play in Columbia’s overall student life?

What part does Greek life play in the overall student life at Columbia? Greek life at Columbia University is a dynamic and integral part of the overall student experience. With over 25 Greek organizations on campus, including fraternities, sororities, and co-ed groups, Greek life offers a unique opportunity for students to create a tight-knit community within the larger university setting. These organizations play a significant role in the following:

Social Interaction

Columbia Greek life provides a social framework that can help students feel more at home in the university environment. Greek organizations host a variety of social events, from formal dances and theme parties to casual get-togethers and study groups. These events offer members a chance to unwind, have fun, and build strong relationships with their peers.

Group of students walking towards a building.

Leadership Development

Greek organizations offer numerous opportunities for students to develop leadership skills. Members can take on roles within their fraternity or sorority, such as serving as president, treasurer, or recruitment chair. These roles require students to plan events, manage budgets, and coordinate with university officials, providing valuable experience that can be beneficial in their future careers.

Academic Support

Greek life at Columbia also plays a role in supporting academic success. Many Greek organizations have academic standards that members must meet, encouraging a culture of academic excellence. Some fraternities and sororities offer tutoring or mentoring programs, and many have study hours or quiet periods for members to focus on their coursework.

Students talking about something in a room.

Community Service and Philanthropy

Greek organizations at Columbia are heavily involved in community service and philanthropy. Each fraternity and sorority typically has a philanthropy or cause that they support through fundraising events and volunteer work. This commitment to service allows members to give back to their community and make a positive impact.

Networking Opportunities

Columbia Greek life can also provide valuable networking opportunities. Many Greek organizations have strong alumni networks, and being a member can open doors to internships, job opportunities, and professional connections.

College students using a laptop in the court yard.

Cultural and Diversity Awareness

Many Greek organizations at Columbia are multicultural or interest-based, reflecting the diversity of the student body. These organizations can provide a supportive community for students of similar backgrounds or interests and promote cultural awareness and inclusivity on campus.

In conclusion, Columbia Greek life plays a multifaceted role in the overall student life, offering opportunities for social interaction, leadership development, academic support, community service, and networking. It’s a community within a community, providing a home away from home for many students.

How does the rush process for Greek life at Columbia work?

How does the Columbia rush process work? The rush process at Columbia University is an exciting time when students have the opportunity to explore the various Greek organizations on campus and find the one that aligns with their values and interests. Here’s a more detailed look at how the rush process works:

Deferred Recruitment

Firstly, it’s important to note that Columbia University practices deferred recruitment. This means that first-year students must wait until their second semester to participate in the rush process. This policy allows students to settle into college life and get a feel for the campus culture before deciding whether to join a Greek organization.

Rush Week

The rush week typically takes place at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters. During this time, each fraternity and sorority hosts a series of events, such as meet-and-greets, informational sessions, and social gatherings. These events are designed to give potential new members (PNMs) a chance to meet current members, learn about the organization’s values and traditions, and get a feel for the group’s culture.

Group of students laughing together in the campus.

Formal and Informal Recruitment

Some Greek organizations at Columbia University participate in formal recruitment, which is a structured process overseen by the InterGreek Council (IGC). During formal recruitment, PNMs attend a series of events and participate in rounds of interviews. At the end of the process, PNMs rank their preferred organizations, and the organizations extend bids to those they wish to invite to join.

Other organizations, particularly multicultural and interest-based groups, may participate in informal recruitment, which is a more flexible process that can include individual meetings, group discussions, and participation in organizational activities.

Bid Day

At the end of the rush process is Bid Day, when Greek organizations extend formal invitations, or “bids,” to the students they wish to join their ranks. If a PNM accepts a bid, they become a new member and begin the process of initiation into the organization.

New Member Education

After accepting a bid, new members go through a period of new member education. During this time, they learn more about the history, values, and expectations of the organization. This period also often includes bonding activities to foster connections between new members and the rest of the organization.

The rush process at Columbia University is a structured and exciting time that allows students to explore Greek life and find the organization that feels like the right fit for them. It’s a time of exploration, connection, and personal growth.

How does Columbia regulate Greek life on campus?

What rules does Columbia University have in place to govern Greek life on campus? Columbia University takes the regulation of Greek life on campus seriously to ensure a safe, respectful, and beneficial environment for all members. Here’s a more detailed look at how Columbia Greek life is regulated:

Office of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) oversees Columbia Greek life. The OMA works closely with Greek organizations to ensure they adhere to university policies and standards. They provide resources and support to Greek organizations, helping them to foster a positive and inclusive community.

InterGreek Council (IGC)

The InterGreek Council (IGC) is the governing body for all Greek organizations at Columbia University. The IGC is composed of representatives from each Greek organization and serves as a liaison between the Greek community and the university administration.

The IGC establishes rules and guidelines for all Greek organizations, including policies on hazing, alcohol use, and academic standards. All Greek organizations must adhere to these policies, and the IGC works closely with the university administration to ensure compliance.

Hazing and Alcohol Policies

Columbia University has strict policies against hazing and irresponsible alcohol use. Any activities that endanger the physical or mental health of students are strictly prohibited. Greek organizations are required to adhere to these policies, and any violations can result in disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion from the university.

Academic Standards

Greek organizations at Columbia are also required to maintain academic standards. Members are expected to prioritize their academic responsibilities and maintain a certain grade point average. The IGC and individual organizations often have academic chairs or officers who monitor members’ academic performance and provide support as needed.

Community Standards

In addition to these specific policies, Greek organizations at Columbia are expected to uphold the university’s community standards, which include respect for diversity, commitment to service, and personal integrity. Greek organizations are encouraged to contribute positively to the campus community and to foster an inclusive and respectful environment.

What are the benefits of joining a Greek organization at Columbia?

What are the advantages of becoming a member of a Greek group at Columbia? Joining a Greek organization at Columbia University can offer a multitude of benefits that can enrich your college experience and beyond. Here’s a more detailed look at some of the benefits:

Sense of Community and Friendship

One of the most immediate benefits of joining a Greek organization is the sense of community it provides. Columbia Greek life can offer a home away from home, a place where you can form close friendships that often last far beyond your college years. These organizations provide a supportive network of peers who can offer advice, encouragement, and camaraderie.


Greek organizations offer numerous opportunities for leadership development. As a member, you can take on various roles within your fraternity or sorority, such as serving on the executive board or leading a committee. These roles can help you develop valuable skills like team management, event planning, and conflict resolution, which can be beneficial in your future career.

Academic Support

Many Greek organizations place a strong emphasis on academic success and offer support to their members. This can take the form of study groups, tutoring programs, or academic workshops. Some organizations also have academic requirements, which can motivate members to maintain good grades.

Personal Growth

Joining a Greek organization can also contribute to your personal growth. It can challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, take on new responsibilities, and navigate different social situations. It can also help you develop important life skills, such as time management, communication, and problem-solving.

In conclusion, embarking on your college journey is an exciting time filled with opportunities for growth, learning, and discovery. Whether you’re considering joining Greek life at Columbia University or exploring other aspects of campus life, it’s important to make informed decisions that align with your personal goals and values.

At AdmissionSight, we understand the importance of finding the right fit for your college experience. We’re here to provide guidance and support as you navigate the admissions process and beyond. From understanding the vibrant Columbia Greek life to exploring academic programs and campus culture, we’re committed to helping you make the most of your college journey.

Remember, your college experience is not just about academics; it’s also about personal growth, building lifelong friendships, and making lasting memories. Whether you choose to go Greek or take another path, Columbia University offers a wealth of opportunities for you to explore. Here’s to your future success and the exciting journey ahead! Contact us so that we can help you better!


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