Fraternities have existed at Hampden-Sydney for over 150 years, and as of Spring 2014 about 41% of all students are active members. There are eight social fraternities and two fraternity colonies at Hampden-Sydney with national affiliation. In order of their establishment at the College, the fraternities are Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ), Chi Phi (ΧΦ), Phi Gamma Delta (ΦΓΔ), Sigma Chi (ΣΧ), Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ), Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ), Kappa Alpha (ΚΑ), Theta Chi (ΘΧ), Sigma Nu (ΣΝ), and Delta Kappa Epsilon (ΔΚΕ). Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) was re-founded as a colony at Hampden-Sydney in 2011, and Delta Kappa Epsilon (ΔΚΕ) was founded as a colony at Hampden-Sydney in 2012. A social-professional fraternity for students interested in chemistry, Alpha Chi Sigma (ΑΧΣ), was founded in 1971.
The social fraternity system at Hampden- Sydney is governed by the Interfraternity Council, which is responsible for coordinating fraternity activities and upholding the IFC Statutes.
Fraternities are responsible for establishing both an environment conducive to the academic success of its members and pledges and the expectation that members and pledges succeed scholastically. Sanctions will be placed against both fraternities and pledges who fail to meet the academic standards outlined in Article X, Membership, of the IFC Statutes found in Section 4.4.
Every new student interested in joining a fraternity should read the IFC Statutes in Section 4 of The Key with special attention to Article X, Membership, part of which is quoted below:
Section 1. Fraternities are an important component of the social life at H-SC for many students. In order to introduce new students to the H-SC fraternity system, an Introduction to Fraternities is held during Orientation. Following that meeting, new students may sign up for Fraternity Rush (see Article X, Section 1). No freshmen are permitted at fraternity houses or on Fraternity Circle during the week (Sunday through Thursday) until after the Introduction to Fraternities meeting. Until the official opening of Formal Rush no freshmen are permitted to attend weeknight parties on or off campus.
Any fraternity which allows freshmen in the house before the Introduction to Fraternities meeting, or otherwise violates this statute, will be subject to sanctions by the Interfraternity Council’s Judiciary Committee and the Office of Student Affairs. Any freshman who violates this statute will be subject to sanctions by the student justice system.
Section 2. Each fraternity may hold two registered, formal rush events during the course of the first semester. These events are scheduled by the IFC. A fraternity may petition the Office of Student Affairs to hold one additional rush event.
Smokers will be held during the first full week of the second semester. These are also scheduled by the IFC.
A student must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to accept a bid to join a fraternity.
Section 3. After Smokers and continuing throughout the academic year, a fraternity may extend bids to any full-time Hampden-Sydney student who is not a member or a pledge of another social fraternity or of Alpha Chi Sigma. There may be no dual pledging or membership in a social fraternity and Alpha Chi Sigma. A man may pledge a fraternity at any time after Smokers, so long as doing so is in accordance with any and all Office of Student Affairs policies.