By: David Marvin, Bicentennial Intern, Class of 2019, History and Economic Consulting/Public Policy Analysis
Greek life has had an undeniable effect on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. The first Greek chapter at IU was chartered in 1845, ushering in an era of rapid chapter expansion. Initially, the university was
very receptive to these societies, encouraging them to grow, recruit members and even assisting them in finding housing. Governing bodies such as the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Association (PHA), Multicultural
Greek Council (MCGC) and National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) were established in an effort to govern these organizations. At first, these chapters were casual academic and social clubs but in the 1920's and 1930's
they moved into large chapter houses and began to more closely resemble the modern Greek organizations we see today.
The 2020 Indiana University bicentennial anniversary marks 175 years of Greek life on campus. Greek life now spans over 70 chapters, 4 governing organizations, and 8,000 undergraduate members. It is impossible to walk the
campus and not see the influence of Greek life. The influences are felt while walking along Third Street and up North Jordan Avenue to seeing buildings named after decorated Greek alumni to the current students proudly
wearing their chapter's letters; the impact is obvious.
Despite how intertwined Greek life and Indiana University may seem, the future of Greek life is uncertain. Facing mounting national criticism on fraternities in general and rising hazing and sexual assault reports the IU
administration has made it clear that Greek organizations will be held accountable. In the past two years five chapters have been suspended and the administration has introduced new regulations with the Greek Housing
Agreement, in addition to a three month suspension of all IFC social and new member activities. As Indiana University approaches 200 years its sororities and fraternities must reflect on their past and position themselves in a way
to coexist with the administration far into the future.
This interactive timeline provides a brief organizational history overview of every IFC, PHA, MCGC and NPHC chapter on campus. Click through to learn more about national founding dates, local founding dates, general
information, pictures and more. For more information on Greek housing and IU Bloomington's campus development, feel free to explore the interactive spyglass map here.