What’s Included in Background Checks for Sororities & Fraternities?

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

August 22 2023

You may be familiar with the services a pre-employment background check includes. However, if you’re looking to background check sorority or fraternity members instead, the list will be a bit different. For example, you usually want an employment verification for employees, but it’s likely that past employment isn’t part of your potential new member criteria. The main reasons for running a background check on potential new members are to improve students’ safety, mitigate risk, and protect your Greek letter organization’s reputation. Here is a list of the most common services included in a background check for sorority and fraternity members.

Most Common Background Check Services for Fraternities and Sororities

Criminal History Search

A criminal history search is typically what comes to mind when people think about background checks. Sourcing from public records, court systems, and central repositories, a criminal history search reveals the information needed to make informed membership decisions. This may include misdemeanor or felony cases that reveal a history of violence, fraud, or theft. When background screening a Greek prospective member, it’s typically recommended to search on the county, state, and national levels. A federal criminal history search is usually considered unnecessary for a sorority or fraternity member’s background check.

Sex Offender Search

Included in a national criminal history search, a national sex offender search scans a private and comprehensive database to reveal if a prospective member has a history of sexual misconduct or assault. This is an especially important part of background checks for Greek members since sexual assault is one of the largest safety concerns regarding Greek letter organizations. It’s a necessary first step in the ongoing fight against sexual crimes that put your organization, campus, and community at risk.

SSN Trace Plus

SSN Trace Plus is a service you can add to a criminal history search that offers an even more comprehensive look at a PNM’s history. How? With SSN Trace Plus, a background check provider will have expanded jurisdictions to pull information from, revealing arrests in counties where a prospective member has never lived. Any aliases or alternative names a prospective member has used will be revealed, too. An SSN Trace will assist in identifying former addresses/locations a consumer is purposely avoiding including on their application because they don’t want you to find past crimes, pending court proceedings, sex offender registrations, or more.

Social Media Search

A social media background check is a great service to add to your Greek letter organization’s screening program. It scans the web for any instances of hate speech, illegal activity, or sexually explicit material posted on a prospective member’s social media profiles. Protect your brand by catching crucial warning signs about a PNM that often will not be revealed with a criminal history search alone. Since checking a prospective member’s social media profiles yourself can lead to trouble, social media screening with a third-party provider is your safest bet.

Drug Test

Many background screening providers give you the option to add drug tests and other occupational health services onto your background screening packages. While this service is common for pre-employment background checks, it is less common for Greek potential new member background checks. However, every organization has unique needs. Running a drug test on potential new members may be a good way for Greek organizations to reduce drug-related offenses within their organization, but it’s always good to discuss with your legal counsel before choosing this service.

Further reading:

Where to Get a Background Check for Fraternities and Sororities

When searching for a background screening provider, make sure to choose one who has a program specifically designed for fraternities and sororities. They should have the industry expertise and compliance knowledge needed to establish a comprehensive, streamlined process for your Greek organization. Often, if you order a generic background check, it will search for unnecessary information. This wastes time and resources. Plus, it could deter potential new members due to a lackluster screening experience.

Luckily, you don’t have to look far. At InfoMart, we have a background screening program designed just for sororities and fraternities. We’ll set you up with the right background check services – not only for potential new members, but for employees and volunteers at your organization, too. With built-in compliance, mobile-friendly technology, and standout customer service, we’re ready to provide everyone at your Greek organization with a great background screening experience.

To get more details or ask a question, reach out anytime or request a quote. We’d love to support your Greek organization along its journey to becoming a safer place for all. If you manage a Greek House, ask about our tenant screening program.

I would love to hear from you and connect; add me on LinkedIn to keep in touch!

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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