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The Rush to Rush: IFC, NPHC, and PHC Explained

Tis the rushing season for several students at Butler University, and I personally love the smell of Greek Life on a brisk January morning.  Butler is a highly Greek campus, and houses three different social Greek Councils: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and the Panhellenic Council (PHC).

The Interfraternity Council

The Interfraternity Council comprises all of the recognized fraternities at Butler: Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Chi, and Sigma Nu.  In order to rush any of these fraternities one must apply and go through a formal recruitment process that is usually held in the spring, before classes start.  According to Butler University’s website, in order to participate in fraternity rushing, one must have completed at least 12 hours of college credit and have a GPA of 2.500 or above.

Patrick Holden, a junior at Butler University and the immediate past president of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity Inc. advised incoming men interested in the IFC to be mindful and independent in their decision to join Greek Life. “ Rushing isn’t for everyone, but if it is something that you think you may want to do there are a few things that I would recommend considering.  First and foremost, you should consider the seniors because they are a product of the house’s culture. Secondly, don’t join because of one great friend or a group of good friends, join the place where you feel the most comfortable with the house as a whole. Above all, there are five great houses on Butler’s campus, so just be honest with yourself and what you are hoping to gain from the experience and you cannot go wrong.”

The National Pan-Hellenic Council

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, or NPHC, consists of 9 historically black sororities and fraternities called the “Divine Nine”: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Omega Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. At Butler University only Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., which was actually founded at Butler on November 12, 1922, are recognized as student organizations because all of the other organizations have less than four, the minimum to be considered an organization, members on campus.  

Membership intake for the NPHC is significantly different than the PHC and the IFC.  Each chapter will have a different intake process as defined by its national organization.  However, most processes do involve some type of meeting, application, national approval and test of knowledge before acceptance. Kaylyn Adams a junior at Butler University and the Membership Chair for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. said that “Intake within NPHC organizations is a time of digging deep into the history of the organization.” I would completely agree.  The key to rushing in the NPHC is  discretion, research and discretion. If you have any interest in one of the organizations you should contact someone already in the organization at Butler, or contact that organization’s local graduate chapter and talk to them directly.  In the NPHC, speaking about which organization holds your interest is very taboo and will be frowned upon if gotten out.  Another important thing about the NPHC to note is that, although, they are historically black fraternities and sororities, none of them discriminate based off of race. The NPHC is historically black in the same way the IFC and the PHC are historically white, it is a fact of the council, but it is not a means for discrimination.

The PanHellenic Council

The PanHellenic Council, or PHC, at Butler is made up of seven sororities: Alpha Chi Omega (pictured below) , Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi.  The rushing process for the PHC is very similar to the IFC.  They both typically occur in the spring before classes start, and have the basic requirement of each student having to have at least 12 completed college credit hours. However, the girl’s have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, rather than, the boy’s 2.5.

Morgan Linzmeier, a sophomore at Butler University and a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority Inc., warned against worrying too much about the amount of interest you get during rush week, she said, “Don’t worry about the number of invites you get during rush, or if you will get a bid or not. Even if there are only two houses on your schedule they are still great houses and one of them is probably the place for you.”

The best advice any person can give you for the decision to go Greek is to research. You should research the councils and the individual chapters and see which one fits you the most.  You should also try and hang out or talk with members of each of the chapters you are interested in to see if that specific chapter is a fit. I    f none of this interests you and you decide to not go Greek, you can take comfort in the fact that hundreds of students have also made that decision, and couldn’t be happier, and unless you’re a senior there’s always next year if you change your mind. Good luck and happy intake!

Jazmine Bowens is a senior at Butler University. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Neuroscience and the Campus Corespondent for Butler University's Her Campus chapter. When she isn't in class, she's writing poetry, reading romance novels, or hanging out with her friends. Jazmine hopes to one day become an environmental lawyer and a published novelist.
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