Code of Conduct for Social Fraternities and Sororities
Code of Conduct for Social Fraternities and Sororities
Greek-letter social fraternities and sororities comprise a special subset of clubs and organizations at Shepherd University. In addition to the regulations governing student clubs and organizations, Greek-letter Social fraternities and sororities must follow the policies listed below.
By virtue of their national constitutions, regulations, and policies, as well as their self-promulgated values and principles, fraternities and sororities can be and are subject to higher standards for behavior and performance than other student organizations. When in conflict with other policies Shepherd University policy prevails. The vice president of student affairs will appoint a staff member to supervise fraternities and sororities and is referred to in this section as the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor.
The Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor shall conduct regular performance reviews of all colonies and chapters and make periodic reports to the Student Life Council and the vice president for student affairs.
Social and sororities are subject to the following policies and regulations:
- Each Greek-letter organization must be affiliated with a national fraternity or sorority either as a colony or chapter, and each colony or chapter must have a Shepherd University faculty/staff advisor and an alumni advisor. (No local chapters are permitted.)
- Greek lettered Social fraternities must be members of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), and Greek lettered Social sororities must be members of the Panhellenic Council (NPC)
- Greek letter Social fraternities and sororities must be advised by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and must adhere to the policies outlined by this office.
- All Greek organizations must be registered through RamPulse in compliance with Shepherd University registration policy. All active members are required to be a part of the RamPulse page for their organization. All fraternities and sororities must maintain their groups on RamPulse by providing up to date officer lists and contact information. All events that fraternities and sororities wish to host must also be registered through RamPulse.
- The minimum cumulative GPA in order to associate with a chapter is 2.75 on a 4.00 scale on all high school coursework for new and entering students and is a 2.5 on a 4.00 scale on all undergraduate coursework for returning Shepherd University students and transfer students.
- Members of a fraternity or sorority must have a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate coursework completed at Shepherd University in order to hold an executive board office within their chapter.
- Members of a fraternity or sorority must have a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate coursework completed at Shepherd University in order to hold an executive board office position on the Interfraternity Council or National Panhellenic Conference.
- Recruitment periods cannot begin in any fall or spring semester until the first day of the second week after classes have begun. No recruitment events may be held before recruitment officially begins.
- In order to allow time to complete all new member educational requirements, all fraternities and sororities are eligible to extend open bids only until the 9th week of the semester to allow new members to complete all required education programs and be fully initiated before Finals Week begins. No bids may be extended during Summer terms.
- Each colony/chapter is required to fill out any forms found on the Fraternity and Sorority Life page on RamPulse.
Fraternity Recruitment: Men who wish to join a Social fraternity at Shepherd University can seek membership during recruitment in the fall and spring semester. During these recruitment periods, each prospective new member has the opportunity to interact with individuals from each fraternity. Recruitment gives students who have not yet received a bid the opportunity to pursue one.
Sorority Recruitment: Panhellenic sorority recruitment begins in the fall semester with a formal recruitment process and an informal recruitment process in the spring semester. During informal recruitment, it gives prospective new members the opportunity to interact with individuals from each sorority. Panhellenic allows “continuous open bidding” (COB) throughout the academic year for sororities which did not meet their total.
Continuous Open Bidding: Continuous Open Bidding (COB) happens after formal recruitment if a chapter does not reach their total. COB is an unstructured recruitment process outside the formal recruitment period to reach total. COB is an event that each chapter does differently. They do so by contacting a potential new member inviting her to an informal recruitment event or chapter activity in an effort to get to know her better before extending a bid.
- All new member recruitment events, including those hosted during the formal recruitment period, must be substance-free.
- Before a student may begin an associate member education period, s/he must attend an anti-hazing seminar sponsored by Shepherd University under the auspices of the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor.
- The Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor, in consultation with the members of the Panhellenic Council and their chapter advisors, reserves the right to suspend quota (a limit on the number of invitations to an associate that each member sorority may extend) in any given sorority formal or structured recruitment period in order to create a more level playing field for all sororities. The associate member education period begins within seven calendar days of new members associating with a colony or chapter. The associate member education period may not exceed eight weeks. All individuals of an associate member class must participate and complete the associate member education program according to the same timeline.
- All recruitment event fliers must be submitted to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor and on RamPulse 14 business days prior to the beginning of recruitment.
- The initiation ceremony for associate members must take place no later than the next regular business meeting of the colony/chapter following completion of the associate member education program.
- Each colony or chapter of a Social fraternity or sorority is required to sponsor, or attend, one risk management program each semester. These programs must address topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, self-defense, etc. and must be led by a qualified professional approved in advance by the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor. To satisfy this requirement, at least 80 percent of the chapter’s active and associate members must be in attendance and documentation of completion must be submitted to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor in accordance with all established deadlines.
- All active fraternity and sorority members are required to participate in ‘The Week of Consent’ which is sponsored by the Dean of Students Office and Title IX Office in the spring semester. 100% of all members must attend a Title IX training associated with the Week of Consent.
- All active Social fraternity and sorority members are required to sponsor and participate in Anti-Hazing Prevention Week during the Fall semester. In addition to participating in the week of events, all members are required to attend an Anti-Hazing Workshop sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. 80 percent of all members must attend an Anti-Hazing training associated with Anti-Hazing Week.
- Each Social fraternity and sorority must send at least two officers and at least one additional associate/active members to all sessions of the annual Student Leadership Conference sponsored by the Student Life Council.
- Each fraternity and sorority is required to submit the following items to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor in a timely manner: (1) accurate rosters of their associate and active members;(2) names and up-to-date contact information for their executive officers; (3) scholarship reports regarding members’ grades; and (5) regular updates to their calendar of events (6) Chapter of Excellence reporting forms
- The executive officers of each fraternity and sorority are required to meet at least two times each semester with the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor to facilitate open, ongoing dialogue between colonies/chapters and the university. Each colony or chapter must comply with all reasonable directives from the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor. Colonies or chapters are responsible for initiating and scheduling these meetings with the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor.
Alcohol Use by Shepherd University Fraternities & Sororities
The following policies apply to all members of fraternity & sorority life for events both on campus and off campus.
- The possession, use, or consumption of alcoholic beverages during any event sponsored or endorsed by a fraternity or sorority must be in compliance with all state and local laws.
- No alcoholic beverages may be purchased using organizational funds nor may the purchase of alcoholic beverages be undertaken or coordinated (through collections, kitties, ) by anyone in the name of or on behalf of the organization, club or group.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at membership recruitment events or
- No organization, club, or group may co-sponsor an event where any individual, group or business does not comply with this alcohol policy for campus organizations
- Alcoholic beverages at events and parties:
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at open parties or events sponsored, co- sponsored, or hosted by a student Open parties are events that both members of the sponsoring fraternity or sorority and nonmembers are permitted to attend. These events generally have blanket invitations through posters, fliers, Social media, or word-of-mouth.
- Alcoholic beverages may be consumed at closed parties when all of the conditions outlined below have been met. A closed party is an event where ONLY members of the group and their invited guests are allowed to attend. Closed parties may not be advertised and are open to people by personal invitation only. In order to hold a closed party, groups must register the event with the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office at least 10 business days in advance using the Social Event registration form and party hosts must attend an education session about party hosting sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs
- Service of alcohol to those under the legal drinking age is prohibited
- Alcohol may only be served on a cash bar basis by a professional bartender or caterer, who is not an active member of the sponsoring organization and who is fully covered by liability insurance. (No open bar service or bring your own beverage is permitted )
- Reasonable precautions must be taken by the organization to prevent the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and to prevent the service of alcohol to underage persons
- Members and/or guests who arrive at an event in an intoxicated state shall not be admitted.
- The sponsoring organization shall designate non-drinking members who will attend the event to insure that responsible behavior is maintained by members and guests
- Food and nonalcoholic beverages must be provided at the event
- The service of alcoholic beverages must be cut off at a specific time, which shall be established and clearly published before the event
- No drinking games are permitted where alcoholic consumption is a component of the activity
- No kegs, party bowls, or alcoholic punch are permitted
- The sponsoring organization is responsible for registering all guests at the door and checking the guest list to insure that the individuals were invited and registered
Shepherd University unconditionally opposes any action taken or situation created, intentionally or unintentionally, whether on or off premises owned or leased by the organization, which has the effect of producing psychological or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. To view the Shepherd University Anti-Hazing Policy, click here.
Planning and Scheduling a Campus Activity
Any recognized fraternity or sorority may plan an activity and publicize it on campus. In most cases, the group sponsoring such activities may reserve a university facility. Advance planning and scheduling is necessary to allow equal opportunity for all organizations to reserve facilities. The Student Life Council has established the following policies and procedures for those wishing to schedule activities on campus.
- Shepherd University considers programs such as Homecoming, Family Day, Orientation, and Student Recognition Day high attendance events. Therefore, groups that wish to hold events during the programs listed above must receive prior approval from the committee in charge of planning that event. Please visit the Student Affairs Office for assistance in contacting the appropriate person or committee.
- A fraternity or sorority planning non-fundraising off-campus events are not required to receive campus approval for the scheduling of that event. However, all planned events must comply with the Shepherd University Code of Conduct for Social fraternities and sororities. The university expects groups not to schedule off-campus activities that would compete with any of the major campus events listed in the preceding paragraph. (Groups planning fundraising activities should refer to information below.)
- No on-campus or off-campus Social events may be held by student groups during the week of final examinations unless approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee
- The following policies have been established for orderly scheduling and use of Student Center facilities:
- Fraternities or sororities may schedule the use of the Student Center meeting rooms, Storer Ballroom, or other facilities. All groups must either complete a room request form available online from the Student Center website http://www.shepherd.edu/studentcenter, or in person at the Information Desk. Requests will be granted on a first-come, first-served space available basis.
- Registered fraternities and sororities may use all meeting rooms, except for Storer Ballroom, for their normal weekly meetings free of charge. However, a clean-up and/or set-up fee will be assessed to those groups that do not clean up or leave the room in an orderly fashion after use. All fraternities and sororities have a one-hour time limit for regular meetings before 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. Fraternities and Sororities are limited to one weekly meeting per week. Exceptions may be made by the director or assistant director of the Student Center.
- All events held in the Student Center requiring extensive set up or extended hours must be scheduled at least 10 working days before the event by using the room request form, which is available online from the Student Center website or from the Information Center or from the virtual online website shepherd.edu/studentcenter
- In order to prevent conflicts and overlap with other campus-wide events, fraternities or sororities sponsoring an open event in the Storer Ballroom or Ram’s Den must receive prior written approval from the director of student activities and leadership or the Student Center director. People out-side of the fraternity or sorority may attend open events.
- A usage fee of $25 per hour per required employee may be charged to the sponsoring group for expenses incurred from the set-up/clean-up and/or event management required.
- Registered fraternities or sororities requesting use of the Storer Ballroom for a non-meeting closed event, open only to the members of the sponsoring organization, may do so if space is available.
- Fraternities and sororities may not charge admission to events scheduled in the Student Center unless they have received special permission in advance from the Student Government Groups charging admission to events will be charged a usage fee.
- Events held in the Student Center must be scheduled during normal operating hours when staff is available or an additional staffing fee of $25/hour will apply
- Fraternities or sororities that would like to schedule use of the Midway or the Amphitheater for events may do so by submitting a room request form. These events must be approved by the Student Center director or the director of student activities and leadership
- Any group planning campus-wide games, tournaments, or other open events that may impact normal operations on campus must receive prior approval from the Division of Student Affairs
Policy Regarding Publicity for Events
As is recognized by state and federal law, Shepherd University reserves the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of flier and media distribution on its campus. All registered fraternities and sororities and off-campus entities who wish to post signs/fliers on- or off-campus either publicizing events they will be sponsoring or providing information about themselves must have the sign/flier approved prior to posting it anywhere on campus. The approval process insures that the sign is in compliance with Shepherd University policies and is in no way intended to inhibit the “marketplace of ideas.” The Student Center director and his/her designee(s) reserves the right not to approve fliers which fail to meet flier guidelines or violate community standards with regard to their content.
How to Have a Banner (to hang on campus buildings and other structures) Approved:
Only Shepherd University departments or student groups may hang banners from campus buildings. Fraternities and sororities must submit banner designs for approval to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor in the Student Activities Suite, 110 Student Center.
How to Have a Flier Approved:
Fraternities and Sororities should submit a clean and final original of the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor in the Student Activities Suite, 110 Student Center, following the same process described above.
Please allow at least 72 hours for the approval process. Upon approval, the flier will be stamped, signed, and dated. Because the approval stamp and signature provides visual evidence that the flier has been approved for posting, it is highly recommended that copies for posting be made from this original with the stamp on it. Building managers have the right to remove media materials which have not been approved. Approved fliers may be posted on any designated student club or organization bulletin board space or kiosk on campus. It is the posting entity’s responsibility to consult with each building manager about the appropriate places for posting (see next page for a directory of building managers).
Posting and Distribution:
Fraternities and Sororities may post approved signs on bulletin boards provided in the Student Center, the Dining Hall, Residence halls, and instructional buildings. Each building manager may designate other appropriate places to post.
- Posting signs on the outside walls of buildings, on columns, on sidewalks, in stairwells used as fire exits, or on any part of building doors is prohibited
- Banners are permitted on the Student Center. Banner space may be reserved by submitting a room request Banners may be hung on other buildings with the written permission of the respective building manager (see list below for the contact information).
- The sponsoring fraternity or sorority and a contact phone number or email must be identified on the sign or poster
- All publicity materials, decorations, etc. must be removed by the sponsor within 72 hours following the event
- Police officers and building directors reserve the right to remove any sign that does not comply with these policies. Building directors will also be asked not to remove signs that comply with university policy
- Placing fliers or leaflets on vehicles parked on campus is prohibited
- Depending upon the seriousness of an offense, fraternities and sororities distributing media that do not comply with university policies may face disciplinary action under the campus student conduct system. No group or individual will be compensated for the cost of media removed by university officials under this policy
- Fliers, posters, or other media may not be posted/taped on bathroom stalls or windows. This poses a hazard to the health and safety of others and is therefore prohibited.
- Recognized fraternities and sororities may use washable sidewalk chalk on campus sidewalks to promote campus events under the following conditions:
- Chalking is at least 10 feet away from entrances of buildings
- Chalking is only on sidewalks (no roads, buildings, columns, trees, stairs, fences, walls, or other areas).
- No chalking is permitted in the underpass
Policy on Media Distributed by Student Groups
All printed media distributed or posted by recognized campus groups should comply with the community expectations outlined in the Student Handbook which states: “Our community standards of behavior are intended to enhance and protect the university’s general educational process, including research and public service activities as well as personal academic advancement and maturation. Realization of such goals can only be achieved in a civil atmosphere of mutual respect among individuals regardless of their beliefs, ethnicity, gender identity, race, life experiences, nation-of-origin, disability, or sexual orientation.”
One of the university’s crucial goals is to promote the “marketplace of ideas” via free speech. However, long-standing, recognized legal limits exist with respect to the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Campus groups as well as individual students must abide by such limitations. Specifically:
- In accordance with U.S. Supreme Court and other court precedents and national and state laws, the time, place, and manner of flier and media distribution can be restricted by university officials
- In accordance with U.S. Supreme Court and other court precedents and national and state laws, the content of fliers and other media:
- Must not be legally obscene
- Must not be legally defamatory, i.e., libelous or slanderous
- Must not create a “hostile environment” that violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the West Virginia Human Rights Act or that clearly impairs individuals’ rights under the 14th Amendment
- Must not present a clear and present danger to the institution and its community
- Must not constitute seditious speech which advocates action to overthrow the government or any part of the government or poses a clear threat to national security.
- Must not constitute “fighting words”
- Must not endanger the safety and health of the campus community
- Must not advocate actions that violate local, state, or federal law (although advocating in a clear, non-deceptive manner the change of laws through the political process is permissible).
- Fraternities and sororities as well as individuals, will be held accountable and may be disciplined by university officials for violations of Items one through eight above.
- In accordance with U.S. Court and other court precedents and national and state laws, commercial speech and advertising may be regulated by university officials
- Depending upon the seriousness of an offense, students or student organizations distributing media that violate the policies above may face disciplinary action through the campus student conduct system. No group or individual will be compensated for the costs of media removed by university officials under this policy
- The university does not assume liability or responsibility for risk associated with activities that take place off-campus; therefore, officers of student groups should realize that the student group stands alone in its assumption of risk at these programs
- Officers must take “reasonable care” to insure that local, state, and federal laws are upheld
- Officers must make every effort to care for the safety and security of guests either on- or off-campus. Officers, members, and guests may be held liable for violations of the student conduct code as well as local, state, and federal laws
- In the event that Shepherd University officially closes due to inclement weather conditions, all student activities planned by fraternities and sororities will also be cancelled
- No on-campus or off-campus Social events may be held by student groups during the week of final examinations unless approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs
- Student groups participating in any activity that disrupts the normal operations of the university and/or infringes on the right of other members of the local community will be held accountable under the university’s code of conduct
*This policy will be in effect in situations on or off campus at the discretion of the university depending on the interest of the university. The purpose of this policy is to define the circumstances and the process for handling matters if the university deems it necessary to review the status of a recognized fraternity or sorority, as well as sanctions that may follow.
Student Group Finances
Fraternity and Sorority Officers are responsible for the management and disbursement of their chapter funds. Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Order of Omega follow all Shepherd University Foundation Policies. Student groups are not permitted to utilize the Shepherd University tax identification number.
Student Conduct and Sanctions for Fraternities and Sororities
If the organization is found responsible for one or more policy or guideline violation, sanctions may be imposed. To comply with the policies and guidelines set forth in this document, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Council should, through their student conduct processes, hold their respective member colonies or chapters accountable, conduct investigations and fair hearings in a timely manner, administer appropriate sanctions as needed, and report any outcomes of such actions to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor. In all cases, university policies supersede all National Panhellenic Conference and/ or National Interfraternity Council guidelines and policies. When applicable, the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor shall be responsible for ensuring that colonies/chapters comply with all levied sanctions. The Dean of Students Office reserves the right to supersede all cases if deemed appropriate. It must also be noted that violation of a guideline or policy may result in one or more judicial investigations by one or more of the following constituents: The Dean of Students Office, Interfraternity/Panhellenic Council, Individual Chapter’s National Offices. Sanctions are as followed:
- Verbal Warning:an oral statement to a student/fraternity or sorority that he/she has violated university rules
- Written Warning:written notice to the student/fraternity or sorority that continued or repeated violation of university regulations will be cause for more serious student conduct action
- Reprimand is an official notice of If, within two years, an organization with a reprimand is held responsible for any additional behavior that goes against the code of conduct, the sanction imposed shall be nothing less than probation.
- Social Probation is imposed for a specific period of time but not for less than four weeks during a regular academic term. The sanction prohibits the organization from sponsoring any organized activity, party, or function on or off campus. The organization can have meetings but will not be allowed to use other university resources in any way
- Probation is for a specific period of time and carries the immediate threat of charter revocation or restriction for any inappropriate actions committed during the term of the the organization may seek and add members but may not enjoy any of the privileges removed under Social probation.
- Organization Suspension is the temporary removal of university registration usually not for more than one semester in addition to the one in which the behavior occurred. While under suspension, the organization may not continue to utilize facilities or property on campus, may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events in the university community, on or off campus, or enjoy any of the privileges removed under Social probation
- Organization Expulsion is the permanent removal of university registration for an Charter revocation may be recommended by the Student Conduct Hearing Board but can be imposed only by the Vice President of Student Affairs.
- In addition to the above, any of the following sanctions can be added to the total sanctions:
- Exclusion from intramural competition
- Denial of use of university facilities for meetings or activities
- Suspension of recruitment and/or new member intake
- Special educational assignments
- Loss of student fee funding opportunity
- Community service assignments