CODE OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR
SOCIAL GREEK LETTER ORGANIZATIONS
Increased student interest in social Greek Letter Organizations during the past several years has caused SUNY Oneonta to examine both the positive and negative aspects of their existence. Greek Letter Organizations can contribute scholarship, community service, good citizenship, and high moral standards. They can also do great harm to SUNY Oneonta’s mission when they foster negative behaviors (i.e., alcohol abuse and hazing).
Because of both the positive and negative potential inherent in the activities of Greek Letter Organizations and in view of the continuing, if not increased student interest in belonging to such groups, it is necessary that SUNY Oneonta formally recognize their existence. To treat such groups as if they do not exist will neither capitalize upon their potential for positive activity nor enable formal sanctions for negative behaviors. The following Code of Rights and Responsibilities will clarify future expectations in both respects and codify de jure what heretofore has existed to a great extent de facto:
Phase I - Pre-Application
- A representative of the group will meet weekly with the Greek Advisor, who will act as the group's campus advisor until the group gets a Chapter Advisor.
- The group may not wear Greek letters on- or off-campus until they are in Phase III of the SUNY Oneonta recognition process, but may hang fliers and/or publicize online with their letters on them to promote interest in their group.
- The group is eligible to reserve campus space with the assistance of the Greek Advisor or IGC eboard for interest group meetings and community service events.
- Members of the group will meet at least once with the IGC executive board during the pre-recognition period.
- The group must follow all rules in the Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Rights and Responsibilities for Social Greek Letter Organizations. Failure to follow these policies will stop the pre-recognition process and the group will be ineligible to apply again for one calendar year.
- The maximum length of the pre-recognition status is 60 days. At the end of this time, the group must apply for recognition or disband. If the group decides not to start the recognition process, the group will be ineligible for pre-recognition status for one calendar year.
- The 60-day pre-recognition status begins on the day that the president/leader of the group signs the pre-recognition form.
- Groups in this process will be provided a mailbox in the Office of Student Life and Leadership. They should check it weekly.
Phase II - Application
The initial letter of application must include:
- Documentation of National Headquarters indicating interest for expansion
- Chapter founding principles
- Reason/justification for the new group which supports the mission of SUNY Oneonta
- Chapter constitution
- Chapter advisor contact information
- Letter of recommendation from the chapter advisor supporting the group
- Officer Directory including addresses, phone numbers, and positions
- A complete membership list and grade release information. The number of active members must meet or exceed the minimum number that is established by the chapter's national organization.
- Proof that group has a minimum 2.5 Grade Point Average
- Documentation of 100 hours of community service
- Chapter/National policies related to risk management & safety issues
- Any and all obligations of members including financial and personal commitments
Phase III - Initial Application Review
- Initial applications for National Panhellenic Council (NPC) groups will be reviewed by the Greek Advisor, the Panhellenic Council, and the Committee on Greek Life. A recommendation reflective of this group will be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs for final approval.
- Initial applications for National Interfraternity Council (NIC) groups will be reviewed by the Greek Advisor, the Inter-fraternity Council, and the Committee on Greek Life. A recommendation reflective of this group will be forwarded to the vice president for Student Affairs for final approval.
- Initial applications for National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC), National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) and other cultural groups will be reviewed by the Greek Advisor, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the Committee on Greek Life. A recommendation reflective of this group will be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs for final approval.
Phase IV-Interim Recognition Status
Initial applications which successfully make the review process will be given Interim Recognition status. This status will entitle the group to attend the appropriate National Interfraternity Council (NIC), National Panhellenic Council (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC), National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO), and other Inter-Greek Council meetings. These chapters will not have voting privileges until they receive complete SUNY Oneonta recognition. Privileges of Interim Recognition status will include: Participation in Inter-Greek Council activities, campus leadership programs, and use of SUNY Oneonta facilities for chapter meetings and events. Interim group Chapter Presidents must attend bi-weekly presidents' meetings and will meet bi-weekly with the Greek Advisor to review their progress.
Phase V - Recognition Status
- Interim groups will be eligible to apply for full recognition status when they have completed one year of Interim Recognition, have a minimum number of active members as required by the national organization, and have met the minimum standards of the bi-annual evaluation process (a checklist can be obtained from the Greek Advisor). The group's application will include documentation to show that they have met all standards; the documentation must be received by the Greek Advisor within two weeks after the year of interim status has ended. The group's application for recognition will be forwarded by the Greek Advisor to the Inter-Greek Council and the Committee on Greek Life; these groups and the Greek Advisor will then send their recommendations to the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs. The Vice President will notify the group as to whether or not they have been awarded full recognition.
- Groups who fail to meet any of the above standards and/or who are denied recognition by the Vice President of Student Affairs must wait a minimum of one calendar year before they may re-enter the Greek recognition process.
- Privileges of Phase V - Recognition status will include: All probationary privileges, reservation privileges for showcases in the Hunt Union, official participation in intramurals, recognition displays around campus, recognition by the SUNY Oneonta media when positive contributions are made to SUNY Oneonta and the local community, and organizational letter displays in the dining halls. Additionally, members will be recognized at the semi-annual scholarship reception, and the chapter will be eligible to be recognized as the Greek organization of the Year.
Phase VI - Rebuilding Phase (Optional)
Chapters will have the option of participating in a rebuilding phase if their number of active members is low enough that the chapter has trouble meeting their requirements. Rebuilding chapters will be listed on all Greek publications including posters, pamphlets, the IGC website, etc. They will be allowed to reserve rooms on campus for meeting and recruitment events.
- Develop a recruitment action plan with the assistance of their national/regional/district advisor and their chapter advisor, and submit the plan to the Greek Advisor. All active members of the organization will sign the form to indicate that they are in agreement with the plan and that they will participate in the rebuilding phase. A representative of the national organization will also sign the plan.
- The chapter must maintain a minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA.
- Chapter members will complete 10 hours of community service per academic year.
- Chapter members will meet with the Greek Advisor and the IGC new member chair once a month to discuss and implement their chapter action plan.
- The chapter will participate in at least three recruitment events on campus each semester.
- The chapter will be allowed, but not required to attend IGC meetings/events or presidents' meetings. The exceptions: chapter members will be required to attend one of the National Hazing Prevention Week activities, one of the Alcohol Awareness week activities, and the Greek retreat at the beginning of every semester.
Phase VII - Inactive Chapters (Optional)
- Chapters who have no active undergraduate members on campus will be considered inactive and will remain inactive for a two-year period. During that two-year period, chapters can participate in events on campus in conjunction with the Office of Student Life and Leadership, under the direction of the Greek Advisor to try to increase their membership numbers. If the chapter does not increase members at the end of the second year, the groups’ SUNY Oneonta recognition will be revoked. Reinstatement requires groups to participate in SUNY Oneonta’s Greek Life recognition process again.
- Alumni members seeking to reinstate a chapter must submit a request in writing to the Office of Student Life and Leadership for consideration.
- Alumni members must submit a timeline of activities prior to the start of each semester the group is inactive to the Greek Advisor.
- If the group gets new members, they must follow the policies on new member education outlined in the Greek Code.
- Membership in Greek Letter Organizations is only open to regularly matriculated full-time students.
- Only those students who have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 during matriculation at a university campus will be eligible to become a new member.
- Every member of Greek Letter Organizations must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 to be an officer in the organization. Every chapter must reach a 2.5 cumulative grade point average or meet the all women’s/men’s average and elect a scholarship chair. Any chapter falling below a 2.5 will be placed on probation for the first year. They must then increase their grade point average by .20 each semester or reach the 2.5 cumulative grade point average the semester following to remain recognized. A chapter that is on probation and does not make .20 progress will lose SUNY Oneonta recognition. (Chapters who have 15 or fewer members will be reviewed individually and a contract will be created to improve scholarship standards.)
- Each Greek Letter Organization must submit and keep up to date a list of active members, officers, and new members at the beginning of each semester. Lists will include phone numbers, school email, position in the chapter, physical address, and graduation month and year for each member. Chapter Presidents and/or executive board members are expected to update this information, and Campus Connection pages, before the first day of classes each semester. Chapters who do no update this information will be prohibited to use space on campus to participate in recruitment events. New member and officer changes during the semester should be reported within 48 hours to the Chapter Advisor and to the Greek Advisor in the office of Student Life and Leadership. Bid acceptance cards must be on file in the Office of Student Life and Leadership within 24 hours of bid acceptance.
- Each Greek Letter Organization must submit the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all chapter advisors and their National Headquarter contacts to the Greek Advisor in the Office of Student Life and Leadership by the first day of classes each semester. Chapter advisors must be full time faculty or staff (at SUNY Oneonta Part time faculty and staff members may serve as co-advisors). Resignations or other termination of chapter advisors must be reported to the Greek Advisor within 24 hours of the action. The Greek Letter Organization must appoint a new advisor within three weeks and report it to the Greek Advisor. During the search period, the Greek Advisor will act as the Chapter Advisor. Requests for extensions to the three week period should be submitted to the Director of Student Activities/Hunt Union. After the extension, if the group does not have an advisor they will be considered an inactive chapter until they find a new advisor. After the group secures a new advisor the inactive status will be lifted. Inactive status means groups cannot reserve rooms, hold events or meetings on campus, or attend Greek council meetings.
- Prior to the beginning of each new member program, all groups must submit a daily outline of chapter new member programs to the Chapter Advisor and to the Greek Advisor in the Office of Student Life and Leadership. A form for the daily outline can be obtained in the Office of Student Life and Leadership. New member programs shall not exceed six weeks in length.
- Each chapter and all members must comply with state, local, federal laws, and SUNY Oneonta policies, rules, and regulations, including those related to hazing, alcohol, and drugs. Presidents, Vice Presidents, and New Member Educators are required to attend an anti-hazing workshop with the Greek Advisor before the first recruitment event each semester. All prospective Greek members will participate in a mandatory anti-hazing program facilitated by the Greek Advisor before formally entering any new member program. Failure to attend may disqualify an individual from the recruitment process.
- No Greek Letter Organization shall permit any practice in violation of law or SUNY Oneonta policy, which deprives membership or guest privileges to any person on the basis of race, creed, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
- At the beginning of each new member period, chapters must have each new member read and complete a Greek registration card indicating he/she understands the following: SUNY Oneonta’s Anti-Hazing Policy and the personal rights and responsibilities attached to the policy; any and all obligations of membership including financial and personal commitments; the agreement to release his/her GPA data for the purpose of determining eligibility.
- Each Greek Letter Organization must exercise responsible management and financial integrity. Each organization is solely responsible for its own financial, legal and contractual obligations. SUNY Oneonta shall not be held liable for misuse of group finances and debts.
- Each chapter must maintain an environment for members that is conducive to academic pursuits. Chapters should sponsor programs to encourage excellence in the performance of its members, and not make demands that undermine individuals’ efforts. Scholarship Chairs will be expected to offer at least one workshop a semester on the following or related topics: Academic success, stress reduction, study skills, academic integrity. Documentation of the workshop must be submitted to the Office of Student Life and Leadership.
- Greek Letter Organizations must always strive to maintain positive relationships with the community. Maintaining the peace and respecting the rights of others during the course of their activities must always be a primary concern. In keeping with the spirit of positive community relations, all Greek Letter Organizations will require community service of its members. Chapters will be expected to complete two service projects a year, one serving the community and one serving SUNY Oneonta. Documentation must be provided to the Office of Student Life and Leadership describing the project and the names of the members in attendance. (At least 60% of the members must be in attendance.)
- Each Greek Letter Organization will participate in leadership programs sponsored through the Office of Student Affairs. Chapters will be expected to complete six leadership programs a year. Two of the programs will be organized by the Office of Student Life and Leadership for Chapter Presidents and IGC/PH/IFC/MGC Leadership. The remaining four must be organized by the Chapter and address issues such as Health & Wellness, Alcohol & Drugs, Diversity, Sexual Assault, or be an event co-sponsored by a non-Greek group on campus. A resource appendix will be provided for the Chapter. Documentation must be provided to the Office of Student Life and Leadership describing the programs and listing the members who were in attendance.
- Each Greek Letter Organization will adopt, maintain, and conduct business in accordance with a constitution or set of bylaws. A copy of the chapter constitution and bylaw must be submitted annually to the Chapter Advisor and to the Greek Advisor in the Office of Student Life and Leadership before September 15 and February 15.
- All Greek Letter Organizations will participate in the appropriate fraternal governance system(s). (Inter-Greek Council, IGC judicial board, Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Multicultural Greek Council, or the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations.)
- SUNY Oneonta does not encourage, and will not acknowledge, auxiliary organizations affiliated with Greek Letter Organizations (Big Brother, Little Sisters) since the formulation or sponsorship of any subservient organization is not consistent with the mission of SUNY Oneonta.
- The Inter-Greek Council, the Interfraternity Council, the National Panhellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council respectively, in cooperation with the Office of Student Affairs, will decide on acceptable recruitment periods and specific recruitment rules. New member programs will be no longer than six weeks each semester.
- All men's fraternities who are members of the National Interfraternity Council will follow the National Interfraternity (NIC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarter guidelines and policies.
- All women’s fraternities who are members of the National Panhellenic Conference will follow National Panhellenic (NPC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarter guidelines and policies.
- All men’s and women’s fraternities who are members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council will follow National Pan-Hellenic (NPHC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarter guidelines and policies.
- All men's and women's fraternities who are members of the National Multicultural Greek Council will follow National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarter guidelines and policies.
- All men's and women's fraternities who are members of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations will follow National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarter guidelines and policies.
- All Greek Letter Organizations to be considered for SUNY Oneonta recognition beyond January 2000, other than Sigma Gamma Phi Sorority and Pi Delta Chi Sorority, must be affiliated with a national fraternal organization unless approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs. These two organizations are exempt because they have had a long-standing relationship with SUNY Oneonta before national organizations were in existence and prior to revisions to this Code.
- Greek Letter Organizations will have access to facilities through the normal reservation process (rooms, showcases, bulletin boards, etc.).
- Greek Letter Organizations will receive assistance in monitoring the academic achievements of chapter members. The procedures established for such monitoring must ensure confidentiality of student records and follow standard SUNY Oneonta practice for the release of student records.
- The Greek Letter Organizations will have the support of a Greek Advisor who will implement programs, advise governance bodies, provide leadership training, and handle administrative policy matters with student input.
- SUNY Oneonta, in compliance with the Code, will disseminate information about the Greek Letter Organizations that are in compliance with the SUNY Oneonta Code of Rights and Responsibilities using the Student Handbook, and other publications.
- Greek Letter Organizations may use the name of the university consistent with SUNY Oneonta policy.
- SUNY Oneonta will establish a cooperative relationship with the Greek Letter Organizations offices and their designated advisors/representatives. While SUNY Oneonta maintains ultimate authority over its students, the National Greek Letter Organization offices and their designated advisors/representatives will be consulted and be part of regular communication as appropriate.
- Greek Letter Organizations may participate in intramurals, recreational, and other social opportunities on campus in cooperation with the Student Association.
- A variety of programs will be available through the Division of Student Affairs staff, which can be offered as chapter resources on topics such as alcohol abuse, eating disorders, sex role stereotypes, date rape, AIDS education, communication in relationships, etc.
- Grade point averages will be compiled every semester and recognition will be given annually to the groups with the highest averages and those most improved.
- Staff support and advisement will be given to the Greek governance system.
- Full-time faculty and professional staff (UUP or MC) at SUNY Oneonta will be encouraged to act as Chapter Advisors.
- The Office of Student Life and Leadership in consultation with the Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Conference, National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Multicultural Greek Council, and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations will distribute information regarding Greek Letter Organizations to incoming students annually.
- Greek Letter Organization mailboxes will be provided in the Office of Student Life and Leadership.
- Designated rooms will be assigned for Chapter meetings and new member study hours each semester through the Greek Advisor in the Office of Student Life and Leadership.
- All Greek Letter Organizations recognized by SUNY Oneonta are expected to conform to the guidelines outlined in this document. Failure to do so may result in sanctions up to and including suspension of university privileges. After consultation with the NIC, NPC, NPHC, NMGC, or NALFO, sanctions for specific violations will be developed by the administration. In addition, specific sanctions may also be developed and imposed by self-regulating bodies of the Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council, Multicultural Greek Council, and InterGreek Council.
- All reports of alleged violations will be reported to the Greek Advisor in the Office of Student Life and Leadership.
- Minor infractions will be referred to the IGC Judicial Board.
- Serious infractions will be referred to the Office of Community Standards. The officer will administratively hear the case and take appropriate action or refer it to the Standing Disciplinary Board.
All Greek Letter Organizations on the SUNY Oneonta campus are members of the Inter-Greek Council, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council, respectively. As stated in their constitutions, the scope of authority for the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Multicultural Greek Council, and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations shall be legislative, administrative, and advisory. By virtue of the authority vested in them by their constitutions, the councils shall have the power to regulate matters of interfraternal interest except those that involve institutional policy, wherein the councils are free to make recommendations to SUNY Oneonta.
The Greek Judicial Board will include the following members: the Inter-Greek Council Vice-President (ex-officio), three Greek students and one alternate appointed by Inter-Greek Council President, two chapter advisors, one faculty or staff person from SUNY Oneonta, and the Greek Advisor (ex-officio). The Inter-Greek Council assumes authority over matters involving the Panhellenic Council, the Pan-Hellenic Council, the Inter fraternity Council, the National Multicultural Greek Council, and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. Sanctions shall be recommended through the Inter-Greek Council Judicial Board as stated in the Inter-Greek Council constitution. Inter-Greek Council Judicial Board appeals will be directed to the Director of the Hunt Union.
Revised July 2019