Fraternity and Sorority Life

Find friendships in a fraternity or sorority.

PennWest California has a strong tradition of Fraternity and Sorority Life, with a total of 16 fraternities for men and sororities for women on campus.

Sense of Belonging

Membership in one of these Greek letter organizations can help you build strong friendships and feel a sense of belonging. All PennWest California Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations emphasize:

  • Scholarship.
  • Leadership.
  • Community service.
  • Social activities.
  • Brotherhood or sisterhood.

PennWest California students must have earned at least 12 credits (not including credits earned in high school) and have a grade-point average of 2.50 or higher to be eligible for membership in a fraternity or sorority. The requirements for some Greek organizations are higher than those set by the University.

Why join a Fraternity and Sorority Life organization?

Members of Greek organizations are like family. Even after graduation, the bond of brotherhood/sisterhood keeps friendships alive. Leadership is built into the Greek system. Everyone in the organization is a leader, whether you're an officer, a committee chair or a committee member. You'll learn skills that will help you at PennWest California and throughout your life:

PennWest California Greek students volunteer.

  • How to manage a budget.
  • How to run effective meetings.
  • How to speak in public.
  • How to motivate others.

It takes hard work to succeed in college, so your fraternity/sorority may hold study sessions or pair you up with a study buddy. Greeks also get involved in charitable fundraising and community service projects.

Leadership is an important aspect of Fraternity and Sorority Life at PennWest California. Fraternity/sorority members may be eligible for the Order of Omega leadership honor society, which recognizes men and women who are leaders in interfraternity activities; or the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Academic Greek Honor Society, open to upperclassmen who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Order of Omega Gamma Sigma Alpha

Membership fees provide benefits for students. Members of Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations do have some financial responsibilities. Most fraternities and sororities require first-year members to pay a one-time new member fee and an initiation fee. These cover costs for your fraternity/sorority manual, your badge (pin) and your initiation ceremony, among other benefits.

Annual dues vary by organization.

  • National dues pay for leadership programs, conferences and chapter insurance, among other benefits.
  • Local dues pay for activities such as leadership programs, social events and philanthropy projects.
PennWest California Greek students help freshmen move in.

Brothers and sisters respect one another

Fraternity and sorority members must meet the group's expectations - but hazing is never allowed.

California University adheres to state, local, and federal guidelines in all hazing matters. Our position on this behavior is consistent with Pennsylvania's prohibition of hazing activities by all members of fraternities and sororities.

PennWest California recognizes the dignity of every individual and is strongly opposed to all forms of hazing. Students will be held accountable for any infraction of state, local or federal guidelines reported to a Greek adviser or the Office of Student Affairs.

No Hazing Here

If you believe you have experienced or witnessed hazing, speak up! To make a complaint or report an incident, contact:

  • PennWest California‚Äôs Office of Social Equity at 724-938-4014.
  • Joy Helsel, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, at 724-938-4105 or
  • Associate dean for student conduct James Pflugh, at 724-938-4439 or
  • PennWest California Public Safety/Police at 724-938-4299.

Or call the nationwide toll-free, anonymous Anti-Hazing Hotline at 1-888-688-4293 (1-888-NOT-HAZE).

View related laws and documents:


Greek students participate in tug-of-war.

Choosing a Fraternity or Sorority 

Each Greek letter organization has its own programs and strengths. During the recruitment period, you can meet current members and find the group that best suits your personality, needs and goals.

PennWest California's Fraternity Council governs these fraternities:

  • Acacia
  • Alpha Kappa Lambda
  • Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon (Inactive)
  • Sigma Tau Gamma
  • Theta Xi

Learn more

The College Panhellenic Council at PennWest California governs these National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities:

  • NPC logoAlpha Sigma Alpha
  • Alpha Sigma Tau
  • Delta Zeta
  • Phi Sigma Sigma
  • Sigma Kappa

Learn more

The Pan-Hellenic Council governs these organizations:  

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (inactive)
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (anticipated return 2021-2022)
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (anticipated return 2021-2022)
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (anticipated return 2021-2022)

Learn more

Fraternity and Sorority Life Links




Joy Michele Helsel
Director, Fraternity and Sorority Life
Email: or
Phone: 724-938-4105