National Pan-Hellenic Council
The National Pan-Hellenic Council is the governing body of the University's traditionally African American fraternities and sororities.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council was formed in 1930 at Howard University to serve as an umbrella organization for the nine predominant African American Fraternal Organizations. Each of these groups were founded when African Americans were denied essential rights and services afforded others. These organizations were designed to foster a growth of brotherhood and sisterhood and to serve as conduits by which action plans could be formulated and coordinated.
Chapters participate in an annual assessment and awards program, Pillars of Excellence. As part of this process, chapters have the ability to earn designations that range from 4 Pillar status to Does Not Meet Minimum Standards based on their overall chapter performance. Below are the current standings for chapters in the National Pan-Hellenic Council:
4 Pillar: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
3 Pillar: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
2 Pillar: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
1 Pillar: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Does Not Meet Minimum Standards: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
The NPHC Executive Board serves as the liaison between the undergraduate chapters and the University, the graduate chapters, and other community organizations. For general inquiries about NPHC please email NPHC@memphis.edu
Potential New Member Information
All students interested in joining any fraternity or sorority must attend one Potential New Member Orientation session. Sessions for the Fall 2021 semester are scheduled for the following dates:
- Tuesday, September 21, 3:00PM, UC Bluff Room
- Wednesday, September 22, 6:00PM, UC Theatre
- Monday, September 27, 11:00AM, UC Bluff Room
- Thursday, September 30, 6:30PM, via Zoom
What is intake?
Membership intake is the process through which our NPHC chapters bring in new members. Most of our organizations hold intake once each academic year, but depending on other pressing chapter matters, may hold intake more or less frequently. The intake process typically includes an informational meeting or rush, an individual interview, an application, and opportunities to meet undergraduate and graduate members of the organization.
What are the requirements for intake?
In order to be eligible for membership intake you should meet the following minimum requirements:
- Have at least 12 completed credit hours (some organizations require more, but at minimum, you must be a second-semester freshman)
- Earn at least a 2.5 college GPA
- It is strongly recommended that aspirants have leadership exposure and experience through on-campus involvement and community involvement
How should I demonstrate interest to members of the NPHC chapter I want to join?
The best way to express interest in joining an NPHC organization is by attending chapter programs, events, and community service projects. Each organization/chapter host a variety of educational, social, and philanthropic events on and off campus throughout the year, and by showing up and participating, you are letting them know you are interested in their organization. In addition, some organizations (not all) have interest/informational meetings, that allows you to gain more knowledge about their organization/chapter, and express interest in their fraternity or sorority. Advertisement about these events are mainly posted on the Student Leadership & Involvement Office's front window.
How will I know which group is right for me?
Each NPHC member group has its own mission, creed and values that it lives by; however, overall, NPHC organizations strive to provide members with friendship, service, opportunities for personal growth/development and fun. In order to choose a chapter that is right for you, you should research the national organization and the chapter here at Memphis. Attend their events and programs, but also attend NPHC-sponsored events to learn about all the chapters on our campus. As you go through the process, be sure to keep an open mind, ask questions, and be yourself!
What is the new member process like?
Each organization has its own new member education program. The purpose of a new member program is to educate a new member on the organization's values and its history. Typically, the programs are fun and interesting and lead up to initiation into the organization. At Memphis, no new member program lasts longer than 8 weeks, and typically ends with a new member presentation to show the new members to the community.
Do NPHC chapters haze their new members?
Neither the National Pan-Hellenic Conference nor any of the nine member groups of the NPHC condone hazing in any form. Each of the groups have banned hazing in all of their chapters and have policies in place stating so. If you have concerns about hazing, please contact Fraternity/Sorority Affairs (901-678-8679), where all reports will be handled with discretion. Hazing can be reported online using this form.
How hard is it to balance fraternity/sorority life and academics?
Everyone is different when it comes to time management. Many fraternity/sorority members are able to manage chapter responsibilities, jobs or internships, academics and involvement in other campus organizations. If you are interested in being involved in a variety of organizations during your time at Memphis, feel free to ask affiliated students about balancing their time!
How much does it cost to be in an NPHC chapter?
The cost to join an NPHC organization varies from organization to organization, and the fees are subject to change at any time. For most organizations the funds are due at one time, but there are some gruops that have more than one payment date in the semester, so those fees could be broken down into two or more payments. Because these organization exist under a national umbrella, a significant portion of the funds go to the National organization, required conferences and conventions, local chapter dues, and other various items that may be needed for the membership intake process.