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Standards For Social Fraternities and Sororities

Recognition of Social Fraternities and Sororities

The recognition of fraternities and sororities is, at all times, solely at the discretion of The University of Alabama. Generally, to be recognized, a fraternity or sorority must be an affiliated, registered student organization with the Office of Student Involvement, and be in good standing with the University as well as one of the four Greek governing councils (Alabama Panhellenic Association (APA), Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and the United Greek Council (UGC)). Furthermore, all organizations must be chartered at The University of Alabama and membership must be exclusive to full-time University of Alabama students.  Citywide or metropolitan chapters will not be recognized.

Receiving Recognition

The University may recognize fraternities and sororities if they meet two (2) or more of the following characteristics:

  1. They are entitled to single sex membership consistent with regulations promulgated pursuant to Title IX of the U.S. Education Act Amendments of 1972 and such other laws or regulations as may apply.
  2. They are entitled to be subjectively selective in their membership within the limits of the University’s non-discrimination policy.
  3. They are legal entities external to the University. In all cases, their chapter corporations, and inter/national Greek organizations are incorporated separately from the University.
  4. They are an inter/national organization (incorporation, national officers, etc.) that maintains affiliation with a national umbrella organization (NIC, NPC, NPHC, NALFO, NMGC, NAPA, etc.)
  5. They require participation in a new member orientation, educational or pledge program prior to initiation.

If deemed appropriate, in consultation with the Office of Student Involvement and the Office of Dean of Students, special interest fraternities and sororities not holding membership in a national umbrella organization (NIC, NPC, NPHC, NALFO, NMGC, NAPA, etc.), may also be recognized.

Maintaining Recognition

Should it be determined that a chapter is not in good standing, their recognition may be revoked or they may be put on probationary recognition for a period of time that the University designates in its sole discretion.

Loss of Recognition/Probationary Recognition

A chapter’s recognition can be revoked or the chapter can be put on probationary recognition status for various reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

  • If membership numbers fall below (5) five active members in “good standing” for more than two consecutive semesters.
  • If a chapter is found not to be actively participating in one of the four Greek governing councils, unless exempted from such participation by an appropriate University official.
  • If a chapter fails to update and maintain the required documentation requested by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life or the Office of Student Involvement.
  • If a chapter is found to be recruiting members from a population other than currently enrolled or admitted University of Alabama students.
  • If a chapter is found to be in violation of the Code of Student Conduct or any University, local, or national policies or laws related to risk management, discrimination, hazing, Title IX, sexual misconduct, drugs or alcohol.

At the end of the probationary recognition period, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, in consultation with the Dean of Students Office, will make a decision to either revoke all recognition or grant full recognition.

Expectations

Chapter Expectations

Chapters recognized by The University of Alabama are expected to adhere to the following:

  • Follow the values of their inter/national and/or local organization(s)
  • Act as a positive reflection of the UA Community
  • Have one (1) active faculty/staff advisor and one (1) active chapter advisor
  • Adhere to the UA Code of Student Conduct and mission of The University of Alabama
  • Adhere to relevant University policies, rules, and regulations.
  • Ensure that all required paperwork and/or documentation is correct, signed and submitted by the requested deadline to The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Register annually with the Office of Student Involvement and maintain Full Recognition with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Have at least ten (10) members at the time of expansion/re-organization/re-chartering/re-activation and sustain a membership of no less than (5) five active members in “good standing” with the University and the inter/national organizations, if applicable.
  • Maintain an affiliation with a recognized Greek governing/coordinating council, unless exempted from such affiliation by an appropriate University official.
  • Provide notice and details to the Dean of Students within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving notice of any investigation, sanction, probation, discipline, or misconduct related issue involving the chapter or any of its members and the inter/national organization.

Advisor Expectations

Advisors are expected to adhere to the following:

  • Be knowledgeable of chapter policies and current academic standing
  • Be familiar with The Code of Student Conduct, the mission of The University of Alabama, and relevant University policies, rules, and regulations applicable to the chapter.
  • Serve as a mentor to the members of the organization
  • Utilize the Advisor Manual provided by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
  • Provide notice and details to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving notice of any investigation, sanction, probation, discipline, or misconduct related issue involving the chapter or any of its members and the inter/national organization.

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life Paperwork

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life expects ALL recognized social Greek organizations to submit requested paperwork and/or forms, including electronic forms, registrations and other submissions made via a UA hosted websites or exchanged via email with standardized email attachments by the designated due date. Chapters failing to adhere to this directive are subject to monetary fines and/or loss of privileges.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Anticipated House Resident List
  2. Registration of Social Events
  3. “Swap” Contracts
  4. FERPA Grade Release Form
  5. Greek Roster Verification
  6. New Officer List
  7. New Member Rosters
  8. Meal Plan changes
  9. Summer Housing Information
  10. Hazing Policy Acknowledgement(s)

Eligibility Requirements for Membership

The University of Alabama, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and the UA fraternity and sorority community are committed to being a welcoming and inclusive campus characterized by access and opportunity, which allows students and prospective students the opportunity to choose what they want their individual Greek experience to be and know that there are no barriers preventing this choice from happening.

Furthermore, the University of Alabama complies with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination, which are outlined in the University’s nondiscrimination notice and in its harassment policy. Membership in registered student organizations shall be open to all students of the University of Alabama without regard to genetic information, race, color, religion, national origin, sex (which includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression), age, disability or veteran status, except in cases of designated fraternities and sororities exempted by federal law from Title IX regulations concerning discrimination on the basis of sex.  Individuals who have concerns about the recruitment process are encouraged to contact the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs at 205-348-6670.

The Alabama Panhellenic Association (APA)

Applicants who wish to participate in recruitment must be a regularly enrolled female student or plan to be a full-time female student in good standing with The University of Alabama at the time of recruitment in August. In order to be eligible for Alabama sorority recruitment, you must register for recruitment online and pay the required registration fee. Alcohol should not be present at any event that involves the recruitment of potential new members.

Interfraternity Council (IFC)

IFC fraternities recruit members during the spring and summer prior to the fall semester. The Interfraternity Council holds an informal recruitment during late August and early September. During informal recruitment, each prospective new member has the opportunity to interact with individuals from fraternities and visit their house. Chapters may also host independently planned and executed recruitment events throughout the year, providing that these events abide by their local or inter/national policies, and with the policies of The University of Alabama and the Alabama Interfraternity Council.  Alcohol should not be present at any event that involves the recruitment of potential new members.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)

NPHC organizations participate in a delayed recruitment process called Membership Intake. Before an individual can join a NPHC organization, he or she must have accumulated 12 or more semester hours at the University, have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and attend NPHC Convocation in the academic year that the student participates in Intake. NPHC Convocation is an educational session that takes place in the fall and spring of the academic year. The purpose of Convocation is to provide a brief overview of membership in a NPHC fraternity and sorority. Alcohol should not be present at any event that involves the recruitment of potential new members.

United Greek Council (UGC)

UGC has a delayed Membership Intake/Recruitment Process. Before an individual can join a UGC organization, he or she must be a student at The University of Alabama. Each organization has their own national or local membership intake/recruitment process they must follow. Alcohol should not be present at any event that involves the recruitment of potential new members.

Policies and Reporting

Code of Student Conduct

Fraternities and sororities are subject to the UA Code of Student Conduct and are expected to abide by the Code of Student Conduct on and off campus. Chapters and their members are required to follow all University, University Greek governing council, and inter/national or local organization policies, including, but not limited to: policies related to risk management, discrimination, hazing, Title XI, sexual misconduct, drugs and alcohol. Fraternities and sororities found to be in violation of the Code of Student Conduct or University policy are subject to discipline including, but not limited to, probation, revocation of privileges, suspension, fines, and/or expulsion from The University of Alabama. For more information, and to read the full code, visit The Office of Student Conduct.

On-Campus Social Event Guidelines

Organizations registering on-campus events must electronically register their social event and submit all applicable fees and documentation through with the Office of Student Involvement as required by the University’s Social Event Guidelines.  Registration of an event does not imply that the event has been or will be approved.  All registrations will be processed and the event chairperson will receive a copy of this form upon request. Failure to follow the requirements of the Social Event Guidelines may result in the loss of an organization’s social privileges. Refer to the Social Event Guidelines for more details.

Hazing Policy

The University does not condone hazing, regardless of its form.  Indeed, hazing is prohibited by the University’s Code of Student Conduct and considered a crime in the State of Alabama under Alabama Code § 16-1-23.  No individual shall directly engage in hazing or indirectly encourage, aid, or assist any other person in hazing.  All students and other University representatives, including employees, should immediately report known or suspected hazing violations as directed herein.  For more information, please review the University’s Hazing Policy.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University is committed to providing an environment free from sexual misconduct and discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and expects individuals who live, work, teach, study within or visit this community to contribute positively to the environment and refrain from behaviors that threaten the freedom or respect that every member of our community deserves.  Students who are found to be in violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy will be subject to corrective action up to and including expulsion from the University.

For more details on the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, including information on training, resources, accommodations, procedures, and penalties, please contact The Office of Title IX Coordinator.

Alcohol and Other Drug Policy for Students

Recognized fraternities and sororities should regularly have each member review and understand the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy for Students. Each organization and its members shall comply with the requirements of that Policy at all times.

UAct

Any student, faculty or staff member, applicant or campus visitor who has concerns about discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence or retaliation is encouraged to seek the assistance of the appropriate University official.  If the situation is an emergency or you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, please contact The University of Alabama Police Department at 205-348-5454. Behavior of this type may constitute a crime. Individuals are encouraged to contact the University Police at 205-348-5454 to discuss criminal charges that may apply and the appropriateness of a criminal investigation.  For additional information on available reporting channels within the University, please visit UAct.

Insurance Requirements

Each organization must produce a certificate of commercial general liability insurance (with no liquor liability exclusions) to the University’s satisfaction in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 aggregate, and name The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama as an additional insured and waiver of subrogation provision, using the following language in the certificate:

“The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama, its individual trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives are included as an additional insured as respect to the Commercial General Liability and Excess/Umbrella Liability policies. Unless precluded by law, all policies waive the right to recovery or subrogation against the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama, its individual trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives.”

Special events hosted by two or more recognized organizations and/or with an expected attendance in excess of 500 may be required to provide additional limits of insurance as determined by the Office of Risk Management.

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, with the concurrence of the Office of Risk Management, may modify this requirement for circumstances justifying lower policy limits. Chapters are expected to update their insurance documents by November 30th of every year or within 15 day following the expiration of the required insurance policy.

New Member/Pledge/Membership Intake Education

Any new member program that a recognized fraternity or sorority conducts shall comply with all relevant University policies and council and/or inter/national organization constitutions, rules, policies, or by-laws. Further, the program should incorporate the following:

  • Ensure that all new members are currently enrolled UA students.
  • Academic performance by new member/membership intake class must take priority over new member/membership intake activities. No required new member/membership intake activities may be scheduled that conflict with academic commitments
  • All forms of hazing are prohibited. Each new members/membership intake class member must sign a Hazing Policy Acknowledgment stating that they have read and understand the University’s Hazing Policy.
  • Chapters MUST initiate in the same semester of new member/membership intake activities, unless otherwise approved in advance by The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, and the respective local or inter/national office.
  • Ensure that Chapters adhere to council policies pertaining to New Member Education/Membership Intake.

New Member Presentations

  • New member presentations are defined as the public presentation of new initiates into an organization.
  • The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life must receive notification of all new member presentations at least ten (10) business days prior to performance.
  • New member presentations must occur between the hours 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
  • New member presentations are not to be scheduled on the day/time of a previously registered organization.
  • All New Member Presentations must be clean and absent of any profanity. This includes, music, vulgar acts, chants, etc.
  • No physical abuse will be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to: slapping, kicking, spitting, punching, caning, etc. Canes, staffs, sticks, bricks etc. may be used as a part of the performance, but may not be used as a weapon to harm another individual.
  • No hazing may occur prior to, during, or after the presentation.
  • Disruption by other attending organizations will not be tolerated. Groups or individual who cause a disruption will be asked to leave the performance and may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.