Office of Residence Life

For Parents

Joining a fraternity or sorority is an exciting experience for students. Fraternities at Rensselaer were first established soon after its founding in 1824; sororities were introduced during the late 1970s due to the increasing enrollment of women at Rensselaer.

Parents have many ideas about what it means to be associated with a fraternity or sorority, so we have designed these pages to answer some of the questions you may have. The Greek system at Rensselaer is evaluated annually, and there are continual improvements being made to an already strong system.

There are currently 33 fraternities and 5 sororities at Rensselaer, and this allows a great variety and choice for the more than 1,500 students who choose to go Greek and find a home in our community. The rich and dynamic history of Rensselaer Fraternity and Sorority life is a vibrant and unique part of the Institute's tradition, and the Greek community's involvement in volunteer and leadership work in the Troy community has earned public statements of recognition by civic leaders. Rensselaer applauds the valuable contribution Greek life has made -- and will continue to make -- to the students, the Institute, and the city of Troy.

We realize, however, that Greek letter social organizations are not for everyone, so we encourage you to discuss with your son or daughter what is right for him or her and to support that decision. If they do decide to "go Greek," we hope you will view that choice as a positive aspect of their college experience.

The social Greek letter organizations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are all formally recognized by the Institute, and Meredith Bielaska, Associate Dean of the Greek Life Commons, oversees the operations and education of the Greek System. Her office is in the Residence Life office in the Commons building. Feel free to contact her at (518) 276-6284 or via e-mail.

Benefits of joining

Benefits of joining

Glossary of Terms

Terms used in relation to Greek Organizations