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Chapter 10: Policies for Social Fraternities and Sororities

 
Section 1: Definition of Social Fraternities and Sororities

The word fraternity is derived from the Latin word frater or brother. A fraternity is a group of men or women bound together by various ties that include brotherhood or sisterhood, friendship and common goals and desires. Women's fraternities are generally referred to as sororities, from the Latin word for sister. Members of these organizations share their friendship, loyalty and knowledge and devote their efforts to the common goals of the organization. The combined efforts and talents of these individuals make the organizations strong. Their common experience helps build ties that will carry over into life after college and provide a resource base to draw strength from in their daily lives. Additionally, experiences in a fraternity or sorority help develop a strong creative mind and leadership style that can lead to future success.

Though there are many different fraternities and sororities, most share similar core values and goals. They strive to enhance the educational experience through emphasis on intellectual and social development. Fraternities and sororities seek to instill values, such as scholarship, leadership, service/philanthropy, and friendship, in their members that will provide a solid foundation to live life by each day.

Section 2: Governance

All social fraternities and sororities must affiliate with a governing/coordinating council recognized by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Current councils are:
 
Governing Council Associations at Georgia College

 
  1. College Panhellenic Council (CPC)- The unifying, governing body of the National Panhellenic Conference organizations recognized on campus. The council is composed of women from each sorority, who use their special talents and skills to successfully run the Panhellenic system at the university. The College Panhellenic Council is responsible for the promotion of scholarship, joint activities, personal development, and community service of the recognized member organizations. The executive officers work hard to promote unity and cooperation among fraternal men and women. The success of the College Panhellenic Council depends on the support of each sorority and therefore develops unity between the individual chapters. 
  2. Interfraternity Council (IFC)- The representative governing body for the recognized North American Interfraternity Conference member fraternities at Georgia College.  IFC's purpose is to represent fraternity interests to the university and surrounding communities. It is responsible for community service, public relations, recruitment, scholarship, and chapter development.  The Interfraternity Council is made up of several men from each chapter who serve in an impartial manner for the betterment of the entire fraternity/sorority community. The IFC fraternities represent diverse organizations with brotherhood as the central focus.  Each organization has its unique characteristics on which its members pride themselves.  
  3. Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)- The Multicultural Greek Council is the governing body for the two culturally-based fraternities and sororities. MGC was founded on the campus of Georgia College in 2010. The council is comprised of various cultural-based sororities and fraternities. The purpose is to provide a governing body for its respective organizations and to promote unity and respect amongst themselves, the University, and the community.
  4. Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)- The governing body of Georgia College, the National Pan-Hellenic Council consists of representatives from each active NPHC organization. The function of NPHC is to promote interaction, encourage cooperation and provide support for each member organization. Its continued legacy of promoting unity and social action has help move the African-American community forward and has forever changed American society as a whole.

National Fraternal Governing/Coordinating Associations
These associations provide direction and support to the staff and student leaders of the Fraternity and Sorority community at Georgia College.
 
  1. Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) – Founded in 1976, the AFA has provided resources, recognition, and support for the professional growth and development of individuals concerned with the fraternal movement.
  2. National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) - founded in 1902, the NPC is an umbrella organization for 26 inter/national women's fraternities and sororities. Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae. 
  3. National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated (NPHC) - Founded in 1930 on the campus of Howard University the NPHC, promotes interaction through forums, meetings and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions. 
  4. North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)- Founded in 1909, the NIC serves as a trade association to advocate the needs of its member fraternities through enrichment of the fraternity experience; advancement and growth of the fraternity community; and enhancement of the educational mission of the host institutions. The NIC is also committed to enhancing the benefits of fraternity membership. 
  5. National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC)- Founded in 1998, the purpose of the NMGC is to provide a forum that allows for the free exchange of ideas, program, and services between its constituent fraternities and sororities; to promote the awareness of multicultural diversity within collegiate institutions, their surrounding communities, and the greater community-at-large, and to support and promote the works of its member organizations.
  6. National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) - Established in 1998, NALFO promotes the advancement of Latino fraternities and Latina sororities. Nalfo shares a commitment to fraternal unity, family values and empowering Latino and underserved communities. 


Section 3: Administration

The overall administration of the University's Fraternity & Sorority system is the responsibility of the Vice President and Dean of Students. The maintenance and operation of the system is delegated by the Vice President and Dean of Students to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life through the Department of Campus Life. Member organizations must be in good standing with their governing bodies in accordance with their Constitutions and Bylaws. Recommendations will be made to withdraw recognition by the University for noncompliance.

A supplemental handbook to guide the activities of fraternity and sorority councils and their member chapters may be found on the Fraternity & Sorority Homepage. 

Governing Council Handbook

Section 4: Membership Requirements, Rosters and Auxiliary Organizations

No social fraternity or sorority may pledge (associate) or initiate any individual who is not matriculated and regularly enrolled for credit in at least three units at Georgia College or any student who is not in good standing (i.e. not on academic or disciplinary probation).  Prospective members may be required to complete a pre-recruitment educational program prior to joining a fraternity or sorority.

No social fraternity or sorority may pledge (associate) or initiate any individual who is not a full-time, matriculated, and regularly enrolled student at Georgia College or any student who is not in good standing. For additional recruitment information please visit the FSL website

All active initiates must be regularly enrolled in three or more units at Georgia College.

As provided by federal law, a social fraternity or sorority may elect to restrict its membership to one gender or may offer membership to either gender. A fraternity or sorority that restricts membership to a single gender may not, however, sponsor an auxiliary organization or activity for members of the opposite gender which connotes membership of any kind in their organization (e.g., "little sisters," "sweethearts," etc.) other than full membership as prescribed by their local and/or (inter)national constitution and bylaws.
 
Fraternity/sorority activities which shall be considered evidence that a group of students who are members of the opposite gender are operating as an auxiliary organization include, but are not limited to, membership recruitment/rush, group meetings, collection of dues, group officers, inclusion on chapter composites, etc. Mentorship programs which do not include any type of membership privileges are not included in this prohibition.
 
Chapters shall update their official rosters maintained by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life must be updated by dates as specified by the office.  Dates may be found on the FSL Homepage
 
Section 5: Forming a New Social Greek Letter Organization (Extension/Expansion)

Extension/Expansion of Fraternal Organizations

Section 6: Changes to Constitution/Local Bylaws

Any changes to the organization's constitution or local charter must be submitted through the procedures for registration. Constitutions are kept on file in the Student Organization Management System (OrgSync), and must be updated every two years.
 

Section 7: New Member Education
 
Georgia College encourages cooperative and mutually supportive relationships among the institution, the undergraduate student chapters, advisers, and the (inter)national fraternal organizations. These organizations must adhere to the standards of discipline established by the University. Guidelines for new member education will be established in accordance with the policies governing the various groups.
 

Section 8: Chapter Advisors

Each social fraternity and sorority must have a primary chapter advisor and/or advisory board in order to participate in University activities or be recognized by the University. Advisors are selected by the organization membership and approved by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. The chapter advisor may be their required faculty/staff advisor (see Student Organization Advisors section) or an appointed alumni/graduate advisor.

The chapter advisor or advisory board, or faculty/staff advisor shall:

  • a. Meet regularly with chapter officers.
  • b. Be familiar with University policies governing social fraternities and sororities and ensure that the chapter complies with such policies.
  • c. Regularly review chapter finances.
  • d. Review the chapter's new member development program and ensure no chapter activities involve hazing in any form.
  • e. Assist University officials in dealing with issues or other situations involving the chapter.
  • f.  Attend periodic chapter advisor meetings.


Section 9: Relationship Statement

The following are rules and regulations that all social fraternities and sororities must adhere to:
 
Fraternal Organizations

  1. Chapters and their individual members will be expected to comply with federal, state, and local laws-with special emphasis on those regarding underage drinking and public and fire safety-and to cooperate fully with the police, fire safety officials, and the Georgia Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
  2. Chapters will be held accountable for the conduct of their individual members (and residents and guests), and will be expected to take disciplinary actions against those members who violate the rules and expectations of their chapter, the University, and the community.

Violations of chapter rules (e.g. missing a meeting) will be dealt with internally and need not be reported to the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. All allegations of recruitment violations will be heard by the IFC, Panhellenic, or National Pan-Hellenic judicial boards.  Matters that involve chapter violations of University regulations, this Relationship Statement or local, state or federal laws will be heard by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life.

Upon notice and hearing, the President of the University may review at any time the recognition of any student organization, or any decision or disciplinary charges against any student organization, and make whatever final disposition of the matter he or she deems necessary for the best interest of the University.

  1. Chapters must recognize that Milledgeville is a residential community and individual members who reside off campus must be considerate of their neighbors and other residents of the community. Conduct offensive to neighbors and passers-by reflects poorly on all the fraternal organizations and on the University as a whole. Chapters will be accountable for conduct of their individual members, residents, and guests that result in complaints from other members of the community, including but not limited to:
    • disorderly or disruptive conduct or excessive noise
    • unauthorized signs or displays
    • unauthorized use of residential property in a clean and orderly condition
    • maintaining a public or private nuisance
    • harassment of neighbors or passers-by
    • interference with pedestrian or vehicular traffic
    • any conduct that endangers the physical safety of any person

Chapter violations of these provisions will be heard by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life.

  1. Each chapter will identify at least one person (e.g. chapter officers, alumni advisors, etc.) who can be contacted 24 hours a day to handle emergency concerns. 
  2. The chapters must comply with the CPC, IFC, MGC, NPHC constitutions and bylaws. In addition, they must adhere to CPC, IFC, MGC, and NPHC policies including, but not limited to, the following:
    • CPC, IFC, and Panhellenic Liability Management Policy, which includes an explicit prohibition against the possession, sale, or use of illegal drugs or controlled substances, among other things
    • Dry Rush Policy
    • Human Dignity Statement
       
  1. Active chapter members must be students at Georgia College. In order to participate in recreational sports and Greek Week, a member must be enrolled in six hours at the time of participation.
  2. The following criteria will be used either individually or separately to determine if an event is the responsibility of a chapter or chapters:
    1. Event is paid for by the chapter (with chapter funds)
    2. Event is endorsed by the chapter
    3. Executive board has knowledge of the event
    4. Those present being 10 or more, or 50% of the chapter membership;
    5. The average person would associate the event with the fraternal organization in question.

    Common sense will be the determinant of responsibility.
  3. Each fraternity or sorority chapter (new members & actives) will be expected to maintain 2.30 minimum semester GPA (organizations or councils may set higher standards). Please refer to the FSL handbook for additional academic information. 
  4. Sanctions for violations will include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Warnings
    • Reprimands
    • Monetary Fines
    • Restitution in instances of damage
    • Probation
    • Suspension of registration for a minimum of one semester
    • Withdrawal of registration for a minimum of one year before a chapter could be considered for reinstatement.
  5. Each chapter active and new member, individually, will sign the agreement as part of the chapter roster update at the beginning of each semester. It will be submitted to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life by the date specified by the office.

 Section 10: Non-Hazing Policy

The University deplores hazing and any other inappropriate and dangerous behavior or related activities. The University prohibits this type of practice. If a chapter is found in violation of the standards of the University, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Pan-Hellenic Council and/or the affiliated national or international organization, disciplinary sanctions will be implemented.

All rites, ceremonies or practices of initiation or orientation into university life or into the life or membership of any university group or organization, should be of an educational, historical, functional, and inspirational nature consistent with the accepted principles of higher education at Georgia College.

Any rites of induction, practices, ceremonies, or behaviors which require or allow mental or physical suffering are prohibited. Specifically, hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally or unintentionally, on or off campus, which could be reasonably expected to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, violation of University rules and regulations, violation of the laws or policies of the parent organization, and/or violation of any local, state, or national laws.

All rules and regulations of Georgia College as well as local, state and national laws shall supersede policies of national or local organizations. All assessments as to the appropriateness of an action will be considered within the context of the standards of the total university community.

Activities considered to be hazing shall include one or both of the following elements: (1) coercion, either overt or covert, and (2) production of physical or mental discomfort in either the participants or the spectators. Such activities suggested by a group or a member of a group to new or trial members will be considered covert coercion even if the activity is said to be voluntary.

Several specific actions or practices that are considered to be hazing are:
  1. Paddling in any form;
  2. Physical and psychological shocks;
  3. Performances producing excessive fatigue, physical exhaustion or physical injury;
  4. Performances that are hazardous or dangerous in any way;
  5. Tasks of personal servitude;
  6. Physical disfigurements (temporary or permanent);
  7. Wearing or displaying of improper apparel or other articles in public;
  8. Nudity in public;
  9. Any morally degrading or humiliating games or other activities;
  10. Any late work sessions or meetings which interfere with scholastic activities or requirements;
  11. Loud noises or other activities which disturb the neighborhood;
  12. Activities or actions that require or include theft; and
  13. Any action which brings the reputation of the group or organization into public disfavor or disrepute.
Each and every organization has the responsibility for informing its membership of University policies, including those of hazing. All Georgia College student organizations are responsible for the actions of all visiting members, friends, and/or alumni who will be subject to the same behavioral standards and policies as members of the organization.

The staff of the Division of Student Affairs will assist in the proper implementation of these policies. Complaints and charges of violations will be investigated and forwarded to the Director of Campus Life or his designee.

It is possible for either individuals or organizations to be held responsible in the event these policies are violated. Violations may result in University disciplinary action as well as action through the civil courts. University disciplinary action may include the withdrawal of University recognition from offending organizations through a hearing.

Note: These policies apply to associate groups, interest groups, new/associate member classes, and generally any activity associated with any student organization registered by the university.

Each organization must file with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life a signed copy of the following policies by the specified date:
  1. Chapter officer roster
  2. Chapter roster that acknowledges each member will abide by university policies including anti-hazing policy
  3. An agreement of understanding between the president, vice president, and risk management chair that they will hold their members responsible for all university, student, and fraternal organization policies and procedures.
  4. A new member education plan outlining goals, objectives, dates, and activities for new members

Failure to provide these documents may result in University recognition being withdrawn from the organization.
Georgia College is also on record as supporting House Bill No. 1661 enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Georgia which states, "It shall be unlawful for any person to haze any student in connection with or as a condition or precondition of gaining acceptance, membership, office, or other status in a school organization. Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500."

Section 11: Fraternity & Sorority Life Standards

Chapters shall submit a Fraternity & Sorority Life Standards semi-annual evaluation by that last day of finals each semester. Each chapter must attain the required score specified in the program guidelines in order to maintain official recognition. The guidelines are available by clicking here.    

Section 12: Maintenance of Chapter Facilities

Social fraternities and sororities are required to maintain safe and sanitary physical conditions in the local community in accordance with with university, state, and local regulations. Additionally, chapters should provide a comfortable home for the members of the chapter and maintain it in keeping with general standards of good housekeeping and exterior upkeep characteristic of the campus and residential neighborhood environment.
 
This includes:

  • Front yard kept clean and maintained (grass cut, bushes trimmed, free of litter of debris).
  • Visible backyard neatly maintained.
  • Trash cans and dumpster area keep clean - enclosed or contained, out of the way of general traffic, lids kept down.
  • Sidewalk and parking area clear and clean of debris.
  • No visible furniture or debris on the roof or around the exterior of the house.
  • Structure of house properly maintained - no broken windows, neat overall exterior appearance, free of graffiti.
  • General street vicinity of house kept neat – curb area clean of cups, cans, boxes, clutter, etc.
  • No towels, laundry or other objects hanging out of windows.
  • Exterior banners and signs shall be in good taste appropriate for a residential neighborhood and shall not include any advertisement of alcoholic beverages or liquor stores.
  • Furniture and gatherings of individuals on chapter house roofs is prohibited.
  • All chapters are expected to adhere to city of Milledgeville noise ordinances.


Section 13: Social Event Management Policies

Social event registration and policies can be found on the Fraternity and Sorority Life webpage. Click below to proceed to the policy page.

Social Event Registration/Policy

Section 14: Other Policies Applicable to Social Fraternities and Sororities

Fraternity and Sorority Life and associated councils may develop additional policies to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the Greek Life system.  These policies will be disseminated to the chapters via the appropriate council and can be found at the OFSL homepage

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