4.1.3.4 Greek Life Policies & Procedures

Added: 07/01/2015
Revised: 07/01/2018
Last Reviewed: 07/31/2018
Effective: 08/01/2018

Mission

Greek Life supports the mission of the Office of Student Life by providing opportunities for students’ intellectual and social growth.

 

MGA Greek Life Core Values - “Greatness in Action”

Integrity: We will conduct ourselves with a sense of integrity – understanding that integrity is defined by the action of moral and ethical decision-making.

Education: We will contribute to the educational environment of the institution – promoting among our peers that academic excellence should be the driving force in all our actions.

Service: We will act with a sense of service to ourselves, our brothers/sisters, and our world – appreciating that our action in service is a catalyst for progress.

Leadership: We will lead with a sense of purpose – accepting that leadership is both a privilege bestowed by our peers and an action carried out by those entrusted with it.

 

Greek Life Advisory Council

The Greek Life Advisory Council consists of faculty and staff who assist in the administration of Greek Life at MGA. The council will consist of no less than six members and no more than ten members. The Advisor of the Greek Council will serve as the chair of the Greek Life Advisory Council. Members serve on an annual basis. The council makes recommendations to the Office of Student Life and to the Greek Council on policies and procedures. The council shall meet a minimum of twice each year.

 

Greek Council

The Greek Council shall be the governing body representing Greek organizations at MGA.

The Greek Council shall be operational ONLY while at least THREE colonies/chapters exist at MGA.

Colonies/chapters affiliated with the Greek Council shall be members of nationally recognized Greek organizations or local chapters in the following circumstances:

  • A recognized student organization of MGA.
  • Approved by a majority vote of the Greek Council.

The Greek Council shall be comprised of two representatives from each colony/chapter as well as a president, Vice president, Secretary/Treasurer, and the Greek Council Conduct Chair.

The Greek Council shall serve as the governing body until such a time that the Greek Council, as well as the Greek Life Advisory Council, see fit to divide the colonies/chapters by conference (Inter-Fraternity Council, National Panhellenic Conference, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Multicultural Greek Council, etc.). It is recommended that there by a minimum of three Greek organizations for each council before this be considered.

 

Faculty/Staff Advisors:

It is the policy of the Middle Georgia State University Office of Student Life that all recognized student organizations have at least one faculty/staff advisor. The minimum criteria to be an advisor to an RSO are:

  • The advisor must have the approval of his/her Dean, Department Chair, or direct Supervisor via the Advisor Intent Form, which is then submitted to the Office of Student Life.
  • Participation in a mandatory training session sponsored by the Office of Student Life and compliance with the policies and procedures reviewed in the session as well as outlined in this Handbook.

Advisors for Greek organizations have additional responsibilities including but not limited to:

  • Knowledge of colony/chapter operations provided by Graduate Chapters and/or headquarters.
  • Strong understanding of risk management policies.
  • Attendance at a multitude of functions and events (conferences, socials, retreats, etc.).
  • Provide academic advising/support to members who are not fulfilling academic expectations of Greek membership.
  • Actively communicate with colony/chapter membership, MGA staff, headquarters, Graduate Chapter, and other constituencies.
  • Focus on the growth and development of students by:
    • Participating in colony/chapter activities.
    • Guide students toward ethical decision-making.
    • Assist in the planning of events.
    • Focus on accountability – holding students accountable and teaching them to hold each other accountable.

 

Colony/Chapter Advisors:

All recognized student organizations at MGA are required to maintain a faculty/staff advisor. Greek organizations may also have colony/chapter advisors that are typically affiliated with the organization as an alumnus/alumnae. The roles and responsibilities of these advisors varies from organization to organization, but the traditional responsibilities include:

  • Advisors partake in training sessions and conferences offered by headquarters.
  • Advisors should be knowledgeable of Greek organizations policies and procedures.
  • Advisors should be knowledgeable of MGA policies and procedures.
  • Contribute to the efforts of the faculty/staff advisor.

If an organization maintains advisors who are not faculty or staff members, they are required to provide the advisors’ contact information to the Advisor of the Greek Council.

 


 

Academic Requirements:

Student Requirements:

Students wishing to participate in Greek Life at MGA (recruitment, intake, and continued active membership) must be full-time students in good academic standing with MGA. This includes the following:

  • A minimum of 12 registered credit hours
  • A minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA*
    • For freshmen, GPA is based on high school
    • For transfer students, GPA is based on transferred credit GPA
  • A student must be in good academic standing – not on academic probation.

* Greek organizations (including local chapters and their governing organizations) reserve the right to enforce higher GPA requirements for their organizations.

 

Colony/Chapter Requirements:

All organizations will maintain a cumulative colony/chapter GPA of 2.5 in order to remain in good academic standing. This status provides all rights and responsibilities associated with being a recognized student organization of the institution.

 

Academic Probation:

Organizations that fall below the required cumulative colony/chapter GPA will be placed on academic probation for the following academic semester. The following standards apply while on academic probation:

  • Loss of all social privileges including but not limited to:
    • Hosting and/or co-hosting social events
    • Participating in intramural sports
    • Non-educational programming
    • Philanthropy events that are social in context
  • The chapter will be required to submit a chapter academic plan for the semester within four weeks of the start of the semester.
  • The chapter will be required to participate in programing regarding academic excellence. This programming will be co-organized by the organization and the Office of Student Life.
  • The national organization’s staff and Graduate Chapter (if applicable) will be alerted regarding the chapter’s academic standing.
  • The chapter president will be required to meet with the Advisor of the Greek Council bi-weekly.

Organizations will remain on academic probation as long as their cumulative colony/chapter GPA is below 2.5. The following standards, in addition to the above, apply to organizations that remain on academic probation for two consecutive semesters (not including summer):

  • Not be permitted to take new members for the semester following the second probationary period.
  • The colony/chapter executive board must meet with the Advisor of the Greek Council to establish an academic plan for the semester.

Organizations on academic probation for four consecutive semesters (excluding summer) will be placed into a status review.

Status Review:

Organizations that earn below a 2.0 GPA or less for the semester or cumulative, or have fallen below the required 2.5 GPA for four consecutive semesters will be placed under review by the Greek Life Advisory Council. The Greek Life Advisory Council has the authority to sanction and/or suspend the colony/chapter at any time for no longer than one academic year.

 

Appeal:

Appeals to decisions on status review can be made to the vice president for student affairs in writing. Appeals must be filed within two weeks of notification of sanctions.

 

New Membership:

General Policies:

  • MGA will recognize fall and spring semesters’ new membership/intake processes. No new member/intake processes may occur during the summer or when MGA is not in session.
  • Freshmen students have the ability to join a Greek organizations (based on the standards of the organization) starting their first semester. Academic eligibility will be based on the student’s high school grade point average. Individual colonies/chapters may choose not to accept first semester freshmen.
  • Organizations must have potential members complete a Candidate Verification Form to verify academic eligibility.
  • Academic eligibility must be verified by the Advisor of the Greek Council prior to:
    • Admittance to the recruitment/intake processes.
    • A bid or membership invitation being extended by the colony/chapter.
  • Each Greek letter organization is required to provide a copy of its nationally/regionally new member/intake curriculum/program to the Office of Student Life.
  • Each Greek letter organization must submit a membership roster within the first two weeks of each semester.
  • Each Greek letter organization must submit an updated membership roster to the Office of Student Life when a new member is added or a member is removed.
    • Failure to notify the Office of Student Life of membership changes may result in sanctions including but not limited to:
      • Social activity probation
      • Loss of new member/intake opportunities
      • Educational programming

Meetings and Documentation

  • Prior to any intake activities, at least one colony/chapter member (preferably the colony/chapter president or intake officer) will meet with the Advisor of the Greek Council. At this meeting the colony/chapter will submit/provide:
    • Any national or regional paperwork that needs to be signed by University administration
    • Notice of Membership Intake
    • Any flyers/advertisement for intake/interest meetings/rush must be posted on the Office of Student Life door/window for no less than 72 hours PRIOR to the meeting. The flyer must include time, date, location, dress code, contact information, and any other expectations of aspirants.
    • A calendar of events – should include a timetable of any intake activities with dates, locations and times. Activities must be approved one-week before they commence. Activities to include on the calendar, if applicable:
      • Informational Meeting
      • Interest Meeting
      • Date of verification submission
      • Initiation Date
      • Any additional dates pertinent to a specific organization
  • Verification of Candidates: A candidate is defined as a student who is seeking membership into a Greek organization. All chapters conducting intake must submit a Verification of Candidates Form. This form should be accompanied by the Candidate Verification Form completed and signed by the student. Candidates should complete the Candidate Verification Form at the interest meeting held by the colony/chapter. The colony/chapter should submit the Verification of Candidates Form to the Advisor of the Greek Council within five business days of the interest meeting. The form must list all individuals who attended the interest meeting. The Verification of Candidates Form contains the following information:  
    • List of candidates for membership that will include each individuals
      • Name (please print)
      • Signature
      • Student ID number
      • Academic waiver
    • Total number of candidates
    • Original signature of chapter president
    • Signature of faculty/staff advisor
    • This form must be submitted in person or emailed to the Advisor of the Greek Council (no faxes will be accepted under any circumstance)
  • Once the candidates are verified and they enter the new member education process, the colony/chapter should submit an updated Membership Roster to the Advisor of the Greek Council within two business days. In cases where the national intake team conducts the intake process, all correspondence forwarded to any regional or local representative should also be forwarded to the Advisor of the Greek Council.

All documents supplied to the Advisor of the Greek Council are kept confidential from students, student workers, and student leaders, including the officers of the Greek Council. They may be shared with institutional officials and national organization staff as needed. In the event that any dates and times need to be changed on the intake calendar of events, the colony/chapter president or intake officer must notify the Advisor of the Greek Council (in writing) immediately and no less than two business days prior to the new event time.

 

Presentation of New Members

All organizations must adhere to the following guidelines when presenting new members to the campus community.

  • Presentation of new members must take place no more than 30 calendar days after the members have been initiated into the organization, unless an exception is granted by the Greek Council with a written recommendation from the colony/chapter’s faculty/staff advisor and graduate chapter (if applicable)
  • Guidelines for those who present new members using a “show”
    • The Advisor of the Greek Council must be notified of the date, time, and location of the “show” no less than two weeks in advance.
    • A copy of the reservation confirmation notice must be submitted to the Advisor of the Greek Council (including a rain location).
    • No explicit or revealing attire is to be worn by the new members or other “show” participants.
    • No excessive use of profanity (PG13)
    • No alcoholic beverages will be permitted. This includes visiting chapters, alumni, and/or graduate chapters.
    • No physical abuse will be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to slapping, kicking, spitting, punching, pushing, poking, caning, etc.
    • No bricks, bats, paddles, chains, staffs, canes, sticks or other potential weapons may be used. All props to be used in the “show” must be approved by the Advisor of the Greek Council no less than two weeks prior to the “show.”
    • No references to hazing and/or other illegal activities.
    • In the event of a fight during the presentation, those fighting will be reported through the appropriate student conduct process (see the Conduct section of this document).
    • Disruptions by other attending organizations will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to walking through the presenters’ show, talking over the presenting organization, etc.
    • If a new member decides that he/she cannot, or decides not to participate in the show, a written and signed letter by the new member must be submitted to the Advisor of the Greek Council no more than 72 hours prior to the “show” explaining why he/she cannot or has decided not to participate. This letter must also be signed by the colony/chapter president indicating the new member is not participating.
    • They duration of the presentation show should be no longer than 2 hours total. Show may not be scheduled to begin after 9:00pm. Presentation shows must start within 15 minutes of the scheduled/advertised time. Following the show, members of the presenting organization must vacate the area within 30 minutes (this will help with crowd disbursement). The presenting organization will be responsible for ensuring the site used is left in its original state after use.
    • The Advisor of the Greek Council or his/her designee (full time, professional staff or faculty member) MUST be in attendance at all new member presentations.
    • It is the colony/chapter responsibility to notify visiting and alumni members of all MGA new member presentation rules.

Violations

Violations of the intake process may result in probation or suspension. The colony/chapter accused of the violation will go through the conduct process described in this policies and procedures manual.

Violations include but are not limited to:

  • Intentional submission of improper paperwork (i.e., changing of dates on forms, falsifying original signatures, incomplete paperwork, etc.)
  • Holding membership intake without adhering to the intake guidelines set by the Office of Student Life.
  • Hazing: Any activities outside of the membership intake process set by national headquarters.
  • Overt activity defined as any activity related to intake conducted in defiance of previous guidelines or warnings by advisors, faculty/staff, and/or the Advisor of the Greek Council.
  • Failure to adhere to Presentation of New Members guidelines (as included in this document).

 

Expansion:

It is the philosophy of Greek Life at MGA that growth of individual colonies/chapters as well as the expansion of new Greek organizations is paramount to the success of Greek Life at the institution. It is vital to critically consider expansion on a regular basis. Considerations for expansion should include:

  • Can we sustain a new fraternity or sorority with our current student population?
  • Will the new fraternity/sorority be successful?
  • Is the fraternity/sorority seeking expansion a good fit for MGA?

New Greek organizations may expand with a majority vote of the Greek Council. If a Greek Council does not exist, the decision will be made by the Greek Life Advisory Council.

 

Anti-Hazing Policy

Middle Georgia State University has a ZERO-TOLERANCE policy for hazing. Hazing is defined as such: 

“Hazing is any action or situation, with or without the consent of the participants, which recklessly, intentionally, or unintentionally endangers the mental, physical,

or academic health or safety of a student.”

– University of Michigan, Dean of Students Office

This includes, but is not limited to any situation that:

  • Creates a risk of injury to any individual or group
  • Causes discomfort to any individual or group
  • Causes embarrassment to any individual or group
  • Involves harassment of any individual or group
  • Involves degradation of any individual or group
  • Involves humiliation of an individual or group
  • Involves ridicule of an individual or group
  • Involves or includes the willful destruction or removal of public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in an organization

 

Hazing Prevention

All Greek letter organizations are required to participate in anti-hazing events each semester. These events are sponsored by the Office of Student Life and participation is enforced by the Greek Council.

 

Community Accountability

It is the responsibility of all members of the MGA Greek community to enforce and embody a philosophy of integrity and hazing prevention. To this end, bystander behavior will not be tolerated. The Office of Student Life and Student Affairs will treat individuals who witness hazing activities but do not report them as though they had participated in the hazing activity as well.

 

Conduct Procedures

Infractions of the Student Code of Conduct will be overseen through the published Student Conduct process managed by the Office of Student Affairs.  Further legal action, separate from the institutional conduct process, may be taken depending on the infraction. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Academic dishonesty
  • Drug and alcohol violations
  • Harassment
  • Physical violence
  • Terroristic threats
  • Hazing

 

Possible sanctions for these and similar violations and the appeals process can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.

 

Infractions of the Office of Student Life and Greek Life policies pertaining to the chapter as a whole will be overseen by the Greek Life Conduct Board

 

The Greek Life Conduct Board shall be comprised of one student member of each Greek organization, three members of the Greek Life Advisory Council, and the Greek Council Conduct Chair who shall serve as the chairperson.

Violations of Student Life and Greek Life policies and procedures should be submitted to the Advisor of the Greek Council. The Greek Life Conduct Board may also receive violations through reports taken by Campus Police.

Procedures for a conduct hearings are as follows:

  • The chapter will be notified in writing within two weeks of the alleged policy violation(s) and the date, time, and location of the hearing.
  • Hearings are closed and confidential.
  • A single, written, and confidential record will be made of the hearing. This record will be kept on file in the Office of Student Life.
  • Quorum is half of the possible members of the Greek Life Conduct Board. A minimum of three (3) board members must be present for quorum to be met.
  • All parties may request a submission of written, factual accounts by witnesses and may request that the witnesses appear at the hearing.
  • An accused chapter will have an opportunity to review any evidence that will be introduced prior to the hearing.
  • A chapter appearing at the hearing may have an advisor of his or her choice.  This advisor may advise the chapter but may not participate in the hearing nor address the board.
  • A representative of the accused chapter may hear and question all witnesses.  Questions must be directed to the Greek Council Conduct Chair, who will determine the appropriateness of the question and redirect the question to the appropriate person(s).
  • The board will make its decision promptly and notify appropriate parties in writing via email.  Sanctions will be disclosed to any person or persons who have been aggrieved by a chapter and to institutional personnel when appropriate.
The chairperson will inform the chapter of the opportunity to appeal the decision in writing to the vice president for student affairs within three weeks of the notification.