State University of New York - College at Geneseo

Final Report of the Task Force on Greek Affairs

April, 1997

 

 

Appendix


Introduction

In a letter dated January 26, 1996, President Christopher Dahl set forth a charge to members of the newly formed SUNY-Geneseo Task Force on Greek Affairs. Dr. Dahl explained that Vice President Karen Pennington, responding to questions and concerns raised on campus and in the community, suggested that the College review its relationship with and policies regarding sororities and fraternities. The Task Force was charged with pursuing this sensitive issue, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of current arrangements and making recommendations for changes in policy if, in the judgment of the Task Force, such changes would improve campus life.

President Dahl's charge to the Task Force was broad: to conduct a thorough review of the relationships between the College and the Greek community, the relationships between the students involved in Greek organizations and independent students, the relationships between the Greek organizations and the wider community of Geneseo, the viability and structure of the current Greek system on campus, and the potential for problems or abuses, particularly as they relate to rushing and pledging.

Throughout the Task Force's deliberations, Dr. Dahl also asked that the Task Force bear in mind the following section of Geneseo's mission statement, A Quest for Excellence:

In its co-curricular activities, residential life programs, and student services, as in its academic offerings, Geneseo nurtures intellectual and personal growth. ... Such activities complement the intellectual goals of the curriculum, stimulate thoughtful development of a personal value system, enhance social maturation, and promote good physical and emotional health.

Eleven members representing Inter Greek Council, national and local Greek organizations, non-Greek affiliated (independent ) students, and the faculty and staff were initially appointed to the Task Force (4 students, 7 faculty/staff). Towards the end of February, 1996 an additional student member was added. During the last week in October, 1996 new members were added to the Task Force to replace members (4 students, 2 faculty) that were lost due to graduation or resignation. One additional student and one additional staff member were also added at this time. One student member was appointed in January, 1997 to replace a student who was studying abroad.

Members of the Task Force on Greek Affairs

Daniel Barber*** Student, Phi Kappa Chi Local Fraternity, IGC President
Audancie Constant Resident Director, Alumnus
Lynn Diffendale* Student, Sigma Kappa National Sorority
Dr. Karen Duffy * Faculty
Dr. Bruce Godsave Faculty, Alumnus
Denise Hurst** Student, Independent
Elwyn Hutter* Student, Alpha Epsilon Pi Local Fraternity, IFC President
Megan Kuhre** Student, Ago (Alpha Kappa Phi) Local Sorority
Dr. Thomas Matthews** Coordinator of Assessment & Development; ex-officio member (1989 Task Force-chair)
Christopher Mattoni* Student, Independent
Meredith Moore* Student, Arethusa (Sigma Gamma Phi) Local Sorority, ISC President
Matthew Mozian** Student, Phi Kappa Chi Local Fraternity
Dr. Robert O'Donnell Faculty, Former Sigma Tau Psi Fraternity Advisor
Michelle O'Hare** Student, Sigma Kappa National Sorority
Scott Rowe** Student, Independent
Dr. Leonard Sancilio Jr. Chair, Associate Dean of Students
Dr. Monica Schneider** Faculty
Jennifer Scrafford Student, Independent
Dr. Margaret Stolee** Faculty
Anita Whitehead* Faculty
Heather Wishart Associate Director of College Union and Activities, Inter Greek Council Advisor, ex-officio member
* - term ended May, 1996
** - appointment began Oct./Nov., 1996
***- appointment began Jan., 1997

The committee met (either solely as a Task Force or in the context of group meetings with others) nineteen times during the Spring and Fall, 1996 semesters , and nine times during the Spring, 1997 semester. All faculty and staff members received surveys through e-mail distribution to faculty, deans and directors, and secretary list servers. The Task Force met with representatives of the Greek organizations, Student Council, Residence Life, Student and Campus Life, and the town/village, to name a few, and sponsored a Faculty Focus Group. The Task Force also met with a National Intrafraternity Conference consultant, and members had at their disposal the documents listed in Appendix A as background information for deliberations and discussion.

The good and the not-so-good of Greek life is not unique to SUNY-Geneseo. In April, 1995, the University of Maryland at College Park issued its document, "Greek Life: A Foundation for the Future." Although the document presented significant differences between Greek life at College Park and at Geneseo, many similarities also exist. Some of this document is modeled after Maryland's, but the input of other colleges and universities (e.g., SUNY-Potsdam, SUNY-Plattsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, San Diego State University) who were willing to share their documents and policies should not be ignored. While we examined the policies of others, this report represents our best response to Dr. Dahl's charge to us, and is in the best interests of SUNY-Geneseo.

 

 


THE American college fraternity is an American institution and the chapter in the form it ideally exists on the college campus is a miniature of the larger American democracy. Institutionally, the fraternity chapter is a dependency of the college. Spiritually it does not seem to be; the spirit it creates bears no definable relationship to the substance of the conventional curriculum. The good fraternity chapter follows the principles, traditions, and ideals on which America was established by her founding fathers under God, the good fraternity man and good fraternity woman being cast in the pattern of the good citizen. It is an entity of freedom. (Baird's Manual, 1968, p. 1)

 

Historical Greek Background

Greek letter organizations have existed in American Colleges and Universities since the founding of our country. The first Greek letter organization, Phi Beta Kappa, was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776. The fraternity was founded as a society with the purpose of openly discussing and debating the ideas and views of the time and without the supervision of the faculty. 'According to Baird's Manual ..."Inevitably, what had begun as shared yearning for a livelier life of the mind grew into a broader fellowship. Intellectual pastimes persisted at the center of fraternity life until nearly the end of the nineteenth century: orations, debates, the reading of original poems as well as scientific and scholarly papers"'. (University of Maryland - Greek Life, p.3)

Around the 1890's, fraternity chapters began renting or owning chapter houses. "But as soon as a chapter settled under one roof and took on the duties of housekeeping, the main emphasis in fraternity affairs became starkly practical... In a period of about fifty years the chapter's foremost concerns had changed from an express emphasis on intellectual development and moral education to social, recreational and extracurricular activities. Romantic idealists and intellectuals gave way to good fellows." (Baird's Manual, 1991, p. I-2)

By World War I fraternities had become entrenched in the college setting, and they were clearly no longer the idealistic intellectual and literary organizations they were initially established to be. Chapter houses were now "standard points of reference" on campuses. "An inescapable presence, fraternities set the social tone, dominated campus politics and extracurricular activities, and defined whatever the collegiate experience was supposed to be all about. ... For many colleges and universities, the customs and traditions carried on by fraternities were virtually the only customs and traditions that the institutions possessed, the only vital history there was."(Baird's Manual, 1991, p. I-3)

In the history of academic institutions, hazing dates back at least to the medieval universities of Europe and Britain. Hazing in American schools and colleges, emerged on a broader scale after the Civil War. "Old-fashioned hazing was generally of the rough-and-tumble sort: swats with paddles, harmless scraps, coltish free-for-alls. It was left to later generations to introduce road trips, snipe and scavenger hunts, asinine public stunts and practical jokes, humiliating games, punishing physical exercises, and ingenious forms of psychological discomfort." (Baird's Manual, 1991, p. I-3) Following World War II, the fraternity system enjoyed great popularity and prosperity, as membership flourished with returning GI's. However, returning veterans of the wars, including the Korean War, also brought back with them experiences from boot camp, and initiations took on many forms of what is now considered hazing of new members.

The decades of the 1960's, 70's, 80's and 90's has been a roller-coaster ride for fraternity life and membership. Following the Vietnam War and its aftermath, like the Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and the Gay Liberation movements, fraternities found themselves being the direct and indirect objects of hostility and contempt. (Baird's Manual, 1991) As memories of war faded and college students reflected the more materialistic outlook of society, fraternity life regained much of what it had just lost. Membership numbers were again up, but there was a cost; ..."there was the appearance of re-established continuities and traditions-but in a deeper sense the real nature of the relationship, the wholeness itself that had once organically connected fraternity life with the greater life of the academic institution, was irretrievably different and strange." (Baird's Manual, 1991, p. I-5)

 

SUNY Greek Background

"In the State University of New York, fraternities and sororities have existed since the early l900's. Nationals were banned in 1953 due to discriminatory practices but changes in recruitment practices led to restoration of nationals within SUNY in 1976. Since that time the Greek system has greatly expanded on almost every SUNY campus." (State University of New York at Geneseo, April, 1989)

 

SUNY-Geneseo Greek History

"The Greek Life at Geneseo has generally paralleled the national and SUNY trends. The local fraternities and sororities dominated the campus social activities until the late sixties. Most of the major campus activities and weekends were "run" by the Greeks. Student government elections were primarily contests among members of fraternities and sororities for campus leadership positions. As protests and national issues began dominating campus politics, the Greeks turned inward and generally left student governance to others. Programming campus events and activities became the providence of Activities Commission and other campus leaders." (State University of New York at Geneseo, April, 1989)

"The number of Greeks at Geneseo declined and some fraternities and sororities barely had sufficient members to survive. As the national scene changed in the late seventies, the Geneseo Greeks began a gradual revival. In 1977 the national organizations began recruiting at Geneseo. The local organizations were, at first, extremely threatened by the nationals and Inter-Greek Council approval of new nationals was a difficult process. Colors of the local chapter of a national were changed and/or used as an excuse for denying membership. Gradually, however, some of the locals affiliated with nationals and the system expanded from the ten locals in 1970 to eight locals and eight nationals in 1988." (State University of New York at Geneseo, April, 1989)

Currently, students who participate in Greek rush at Geneseo express and interest in meeting new people, developing a home away from home and look to Greek life as a social outlet. Greeks feel that they offer an opportunity for leadership, friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood. They typically have strong alumni ties and find that their alumni return to campus more frequently than non-Greek alumni.

During the 1990's a variety of activities have taken place to change the complexion of Greek Life at Geneseo. The number of students rushing Greek organizations dropped, and the number of students accepting bids and pledging decreased. In spite of the trend toward smaller numbers within organizations, however, the number of Greek organizations increased. Sigma Delta Tau was chartered at Geneseo in 1992. Phi Eta Psi was accepted into IGC (Inter Greek Council) in 1996. Zeta Beta Xi, a local fraternity is currently in the process of gaining IGC recognition, as is Sigma Theta Epsilon. Sigma Theta Epsilon (formerly Sigma Phi Epsilon) was banned from campus due to inappropriate behavior several years ago.

In the Spring of 1993, the Allied Greek Community (AGC) was founded by Lambda Pi Upsilon, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta. It was established in order to promote and advance cultural awareness and heritage issues. AGC is a social organization that promotes the advancement of all traditionally low membership Greek organizations and it follows different pledging processes than IGC. In November, 1996, Lambda Phi Delta was established. Phi Beta Sigma has since disbanded. Currently there are 3 AGC sororities, and no fraternities.

In 1992, four fraternities left IGC and formed OGC (Outer Greek Council). OGC held regular meetings and coordinated rush dates in a fashion similar to IGC. Some justification for leaving IGC was that the groups did not see any benefits to IGC, and they felt that by not being affiliated with the college there were fewer rules and regulations to follow. College recognized fraternities have found it difficult and unfair to compete for members with unrecognized organizations who do not abide by any rules or regulations such as Delta Kappa Tau and PIGs. In December 1994, the four organizations joined IGC once again.

The campus in the 1990's has been dominated by local chapters. As of January 1997, three national sororities remain and two national fraternities exist. National organizations carry insurance for their members and adhere to strict risk management policies. These types of regulations are absent with local organizations. Many of the locals have dropped their national affiliation due to the financial burden associated with the National.

The current IGC constitution was developed in 1990 in conjunction with Dr. R. Satryb, former Vice President of Student Services. The document is nineteen pages long and somewhat outdated. Once again, checks and balances need to be made on the current governing body to insure that they follow the many rules, policies, etc. stated in the constitution. The college currently does not enforce the rules, policies, etc. of the constitution but expects that the Inter-Greek Council will abide by it and the officers will enforce it. Enforcement of the constitution fluctuates with elected leadership.

Inter-Greek Council continues to battle with the responsibility of self-governance. Although, a judicial board exists it enforces policies only on rare occasions, usually associated with rush rule violations. A goal of the current Executive Board is to recruit and elect officers that are willing and able to move more toward self-governance, including electing Justices to sit on the judicial board. These Justices would strive to bring consistency and fair treatment to each case.

The Inter-Greek Council has worked with three different Greek Advisors in the 1990's. Margaret Clancy advised the IGC through 1991. Heather Wishart was appointed to the position in 1992 and has continued to advise them with the exception of 1994-95 when she was on a leave of absence. George Gagnier took over the duties during her leave. The advisor position is rewarding, challenging and sometimes frustrating. When the IGC constitution is not adhered to the advisor has little authority to enforce it under the current self-governance structure. The advisors role is to give advice, provide some educational programming and to some extent monitor on-campus events.

During the 1990's many positive events have taken place to recognize Greek scholarship and academic achievement. In 1992, the Alpha Nu chapter of the National Order of Omega was founded. IGC established a Study Abroad Scholarship and has awarded over $1000 to both Greek and non-Greek students. In 1995, IGC established Greek Excellence Awards which honor individuals and chapters for achievement in scholarship, membership development and community service.


Current Greek Organizations at Geneseo

Currently the Greek organizations at Geneseo consist of the following:

Inter-Greek Council Organizations

Name Local name Affiliation Est. # Members Colors
Sororities
Alpha Delta Epsilon AD Local 1901 27 Purple and White
Alpha Kappa Phi Ago Local 1885 53 Blue, Gold, and White
Alpha Omega Pi AOPi Local 1985 35 Pink, Black and Gray
Delta Phi Epsilon D Phi E National 1986 26 Purple and Gold
Phi Kappa Pi Clio Local 1871 30 Gold and White
Phi Lambda Chi Phi Lamb Local 1964 34 Brown and Camel
Sigma Gamma Phi Arethusa Local 1894 41 Green and White
Sigma Kappa Kappas National 1988 47 Maroon and Lavender
Sigma Delta Tau SDT's National 46 Blue, Gold, and Raspberry
Phi Eta Psi Phetas Local 1996 13 Red and Black
Fraternities
Alpha Chi Rho Crows National 1979 25 Garnet and White
Phi Kappa Chi Phi Kapps Local 1981 20 Black and Gold
Phi Sigma Xi Phigs Local 1952 30 Red and White
Sigma Nu Chi Sigma Nu Local 1987 32 Blue and Gray
Sigma Tau Psi Sig Taus Local 1963 21 Blue and White
Omega Beta Psi Omegas Local 1984 23 Green and Gold
Tau Kappa Epsilon Tekes National 1989 27 Red, Black, and Gray
Alpha Epsilon Psi AEPSI Local 13 Gold and Blue
Sigma Theta Epsilon* Sig Ep Local 1980 Purple, Red, and White
Zeta Beta Xi* ZBXi Local 1996 40 Blue and Gold
*applying for (re-)recognition
Total: 10 Sororities and 10 Fraternities


Allied Greek Community Organizations

Name Local name Affiliation Est. # Members Colors
Lambda Pi Upsilon Lambdas National 1992 5 Red, White, Gold, & Black
Zeta Phi Beta* Zetas National 1975 4 Royal Blue and White
Lambda Phi Delta L Phi D National 1996 5 Turquoise, Peach, Red, Black
* reactivated in 1991
Total: 3 Sororities and 0 Fraternities

 

Currently Unrecognized and Unaffiliated Groups functioning like Greek OrganizationsCurrently Recognized and Affiliated Groups functioning like Greek Organizations

Delta Kappa Tau - DK's - Maroon and White
Orange Knights - Pigs - Orange and Black

Royal Lady Knights - RLK - Red and Blue
Gamma Chi

 

A Series of Conflicts

There is ample evidence to indicate that Greek students are active in leadership positions on the Geneseo campus. In recent years Greek members have held positions on Central Council, been Resident Advisors (and even (undergraduate) Resident Directors), been Orientation Advisors, worked in Activities Commission, and served in the College Senate, to name a few. They are involved in enriching the local community via community service projects in Geneseo and Livingston County, as well as extending their generosity to projects to aid those in Rochester and the world beyond. Greek alumni also contribute in significantly greater proportions and in greater amounts of money to Geneseo when compared to their non-Greek counterparts. (See Appendix B)

Such instances of growth and aid to others showcase some of the benefits of Greek Life at and for Geneseo. With that said, however, there are other aspects of Greek life here that are both troublesome and worrisome. The 1989 Geneseo Task Force Report outlined some of the difficulties that the College and the community were having with Greek students at the time. What is interesting is that while some issues regarding Greek Life may be better than they were in 1989, many things haven't changed at all. To be fair, it should also be noted that some of the troublesome aspects that are attributed to Greek Life are really not just relegated to the Greeks, but to students living off-campus, in general. The Greeks are just more visible.

As written in the 1989 Geneseo Task Force Report,

The residents of the community frequently complain to the Village and to the college about the noise, parties, destruction of property, fights and excessive drinking by the Greek organizations. Most of these complaints result from individual incidents and specific parties.

... Faculty members have complained about pledging activities which result in students falling asleep in class, missing classes or failing tests because of the demands made by their pledge directors. Greeks have also caused disruptions and noise in the college libraries. The faculty were also concerned about the racial incidents and other examples of intolerant behavior by the Greeks.

...

Several Geneseo fraternities and sororities have off campus houses or apartments which become their center of activities and social life. Since the legal age for the purchase of alcoholic beverages was increased to twenty-one many of the Greek houses have become more attractive as places to go for kegs and parties. Some of the organizations have discovered that kegs with a "$3.00 donation" at the door actually make money for the treasury.

Although most of the rivalry between groups is friendly, there have been a number of confrontations involving several fraternities. The incidents are frequently associated with drinking and often require intervention from law enforcement agencies.

At Geneseo, most of the SUBSTANCE ABUSE is related to alcohol ...

HAZING at Geneseo continues to be a problem among some fraternities and sororities. Although many groups have eliminated the more serious hazing practices such as pledge walks, paddling and other dangerous physical activities, psychological hazing continues, even among a few of the sororities. Some of the Greek organizations continue to require activities such as wearing paraphernalia which invite public ridicule of pledges.

DATE AND GANG RAPE have been reported as problems on the Geneseo campus. There have been incidents of gang rape but investigations tend to produce little or no substantial evidence to make a case against an individual or group. (pp. 4-5)

Meetings and discussions with Greek members and independent students, town/village officials and members, and campus staff, administrative and faculty members, indicate that these trouble spots still exist, and there are yet other areas that are of concern. Inter/national research has reached similar conclusions. Task Forces such as ours have been established on many campuses throughout the country to examine "disturbing trends in student conduct and a campus social life dominated by Greeks." Other campuses also have "an overarching concern for the quality of the college's intellectual life and a desire for consistency in the principles underpinning the College's academic and extracurricular activities." We are not alone.

In its report on Greek life, the University of Maryland wrote,

Supporting Greek life has been an important educational initiative for the campus. Greek organizations have the potential to affect student development in powerful and lasting ways. Organizations which ultimately and cumulatively manage to promote leadership, foster scholastic excellence, encourage community service, and develop life-long friendships deserve a prominent place in the University community. Unfortunately, many organizations have failed to regularly and predictably live up to the Greek values and principles articulated by their founding members. The failures have become so frequent and are occasionally so profound that a dramatic paradigm shift is needed to rechart the course of Greek life at the University of Maryland for the future.

Without drastic changes in direction and performance expectations, Greek organizations are not likely to embrace principles that are complementary to and supportive of the University's educational mission. A simple equation has evolved: if Greek organizations on balance exert a negative influence on the University community, they simply should not continue to exist. Conversely, fraternities should be maintained if they positively affect the institution and the realization of its mission. (University of Maryland - Greek Life, p.2)

As with those at the University of Maryland, it is the hope of this Task Force that Greek Life can continue to exert a positive influence at Geneseo, while at the same time minimize, if not all together eliminate, the negative impact on the College and the community. The relationship between the Greek students and the College must be one that is mutually beneficial. If either party in this relationship neglects to do its part, the system as a whole is doomed to fail.

 

Current Areas of Concern
Scholastics: Complement to the Academic Mission or Anti-Intellectual

"The primary goal of the College is to foster in its students abilities and dispositions essential to responsible members of society." (Geneseo's Mission and Goals) First and foremost in reaching this primary goal is the attainment of academic learning. The promotion of good scholarship and attainment of academic excellence are essential to the purpose of the Greek organization. Many of the Greek mission statements above clearly reflect the priority of scholastics, and in practice, Greek organizations espouse that they have Greek academic honoraries (Order of Omega), offer awards for the organization with the highest grades, and mandate study hours for their pledges. Faculty members, however, are not as convinced that these groups are complementing Geneseo's academic mission. Geneseo's faculty and staff indicate that their primary concern with the Greeks is the impact that joining a fraternity or sorority has on academic achievement. Comments include, "You can tell who's pledging by who is sleepy in class, distracted, unresponsive, and doing poorly"; "people in Greek organizations...wreck their chances of at postgraduate study by neglecting their classes to carry out fraternal obligations... Then, of course, there is academic collusion - paper files, etc."; "I have seen several of my students Œdisappear', i.e., lose focus and this concerns me"; "On the average the students who are pledging drop about one full grade during the semester they pledge. I don't think they understand how hard it is to bring that up..."; "Pledging hurts students' academic performance"; in conversations with students I (often) hear "I have a x.xx GPA. It would have been higher, but I had a bad semester when I was pledging"; "...(Greek) students come to class tired and unprepared and the quality of their academic work suffers after they have begun to pledge. Geneseo will never be a public honors college so long as pledging dominates the lives of so many of its students"; "I resent that they take sufficient time for their small-minded games away from studies that otherwise very promising students fail to perform adequately on papers and exams"; "They often seem to promote anti-intellectual attitudes and behaviors. In my experience, Greeks are often disdainful of learning, and seem to be annoyed that classes interfere with Greek activities."

Limited data regarding the effects of Greek affiliation on academics exists. Inter/national Greek organizations are generally hard pressed to dispute the claim that Greek chapter grades tend to fall below the all campus grade point average. At Geneseo the data are limited and the results mixed. Any interpretation must be done with caution as the data are incomplete ( i.e., some fraternity and sorority rosters were not available so grades could not be determined).

At Geneseo, based upon the data available (see Appendix C), in two out of the last three semesters the All IGC Fraternity GPA and the All IGC Sorority GPA were equal to or above their All Male and All Female counterparts, respectively. AGC sorority GPAs were below their All College Minority Women comparison group GPAs in all three semesters.

Examination of grades during the pledging semester reveals a disturbing trend. In general, grades are lower during the semester one pledges as compared to the semester immediately preceding (and following) it. For the Spring 1996 semester, grades dropped an average of .28 of a point from the previous semester for both IGC fraternities and sororities. In the Fall, 1996 semester, grades went down an average of .14 and .16 of a point from the previous Spring semester, for IGC fraternities and sororities respectively. For fraternities, during the Fall, 1996 semester grades, on average, actually increased .03 of a point when first semester freshmen pledges are removed from the analysis.

Interpretation of the data would seem to support the notion that pledging a Greek organization is detrimental to one's grades during the pledging semester. Freshmen grades appear to be more negatively affected than upperclassmen. Over time Greek GPAs increase equal to or above the All College levels. If these increases offset the negative affects of pledging is unknown, however.

Overall, some Greek organizations are doing very well (even during pledging), while others are clearly showing major grade deficiencies. In general, there is great room for improvement, especially considering the articulated commitment to academics.

 

Substance Abuse

The research is clear: college students drink. Alcohol and other substance abuse is not relegated solely to Greek members. What is also clear, however, is that fraternity members are much more likely to abuse alcohol than non-members. One recent study found that 86 percent of those that live in fraternity houses were binge drinkers (75 percent for all fraternity members), compared with 45 percent of non-members. This same study also found that 80 percent of the residents of sorority houses reported binge drinking, although only 35 percent said they binged in high school. (Weschler et. al., 1995) Greek members also report more problems resulting from their drinking than non-members. Examples include had study/sleep interrupted, been pushed or assaulted, experienced an unwanted sexual advance, or been a victim of sexual assault or date rape. (Weschler et. al, 1996)

Aside from the effects that drinking has on the drinker, alcohol also indirectly affects others. From damage, noise, and biohazardous waste in the residence halls, to loud noise, parties, littered streets and yards in town, to sleepy, hungover and sometimes still drunk students in the classroom, alcohol abuse affects all of us. Alcohol is available to students, and Greek houses are at the center of alcohol distribution to students.

Hard data at Geneseo to address the above issues is not readily available. Anecdotal evidence from the faculty and professional staff, resident directors, university police, the health and counseling centers, and representatives of the village (to name a few) all point to Geneseo being no different than anywhere else. This is not to say, however, that there is not a problem. Results from the 1993-1994 Core Alcohol and Drug survey conducted at Geneseo indicates that Geneseo students drink, and a majority of the drinkers report drinking at Greek houses.

In the last 3 semesters, 3 fraternities have been raided by State and Village Police for selling/providing alcohol to minors. Thousands of dollars and many kegs of beer have been confiscated; numerous students have been arrested. Untold numbers of students have gone through the campus' judicial system for alcohol related violations of the student code of conduct. Excessive drinking by college students is a problem, and Greek organizations are a major contributor of that problem.

Data on other substance abuse related to Greek organizations is virtually nonexistent. Anecdotal reports indicate that marijuana and other substances are available on and off campus. One of the recent police raids of a fraternity appears to be connected to reports of illegal drugs. Small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found.

 

Hazing

Hazing continues to be a serious concern internationally, nationally and locally. Hazing activities persist even with substantial educational efforts regarding them, and campus rules and state laws banning it. Geneseo is not immune from such activities. Secondary reports of hazing activities abound. Primary (first person) reports, however, are virtually non-existent.

Hazing, in any form, cannot be condoned. Although some students expect a certain degree of hazing to take place during the pledging process, anything more than nothing is unacceptable. What constitutes hazing is sometimes difficult to interpret? So called "voluntary" activities may be classified as hazing activities, and what may be considered hazing one day, may not be considered hazing the next. Greeks need to understand that many of the current pledging activities promulgate a culture of subservience and second class citizenship for their new members. Greeks also need to understand that there are alternatives available to foster group cohesion that do not contain dangerous physical or mental hazing practices. On the flip side, faculty and staff must be aware that not everything that they deem "unacceptable" is illegal or against college policy. As hard as it may be to comprehend or accept, foolishness, silliness and immaturity are part of growing up and generally, are not against the law.

In order to substantially decrease instances of hazing and new member subservience, some national organizations have advocated the total elimination of pledging programs, while others have advocated the substantial shortening of the pledge periods. Educational efforts regarding hazing directed toward pledges/new initiates and current members must continue. Alternatives to current practices must be developed and initiated.

 

Relations with Geneseo Community

Greek life and community relations is a double edged sword. The Greeks promote involvement in campus life and activities, and are very active in community service. Each organization contributes to the campus, local community, and larger society through service or monetary contribution. The Greeks support philanthropic endeavors, but all too often, however, they are known for problems caused over the good they do. Is that fair? Certainly not - however, that is reality. One negative episode related to Greek life tends to overshadow several positive contributions, but positive contributions also don't make it all right to be involved in a negative episode.

In many ways the Greeks are their own worst enemy. Very few people in the larger community are aware of the positive contributions made by the Greek community. Very little positive public relations material is printed. The Greeks themselves do very little to promote themselves to others (although this appears to be changing). Negative press is abundant. Because community residents rarely differentiate between Greek and non-Greek off-campus activities, the Greeks need to do more to inform people of the good they do.

 

Greek Missions and Contributions
What do Geneseo's Greek Organizations Stand For?

Greek organizations have existed at Geneseo since its founding in 1871. Like Phi Beta Kappa in 1776, Geneseo's Greeks were founded with similar principles and missions. To the letter, all of the Greek organizations at Geneseo espouse the virtues of being model citizens, and each ideally supports Geneseo's mission. For example,

"We, the brothers of the [fraternity] are dedicated to the aim of bettering college men in their mental, moral, and social development. From the very beginning, high scholastic attainment has been a primary goal of [fraternity]". (Tau Kappa Epsilon)

Our "purpose is to enhance the lifelong intellectual, moral and social development of our members through the guidance of our landmarks." (Alpha Chi Rho)

"To develop the spirit of enduring brotherhood and democracy; to encourage participation in educational, social, and athletic activities; to maintain the high standards of scholarship and integrity to secure the benefits of a close organization." (Omega Beta Psi)

"An organization of men who exemplify our three national principles of Love, Truth, and Honor; while maintaining our local principles of Pride, Respect, and Responsibility within the organization. The purpose of this organization is to develop a man's convictions and beliefs in a way in which will help better that man. Like the military, we attempt to help the individual mature and take responsibility for his actions." (Sigma Nu)

"Our mission is to encourage intellectual, moral, and social growth for our members, so they will make a positive contribution for society. We encourage developing shared values of love, friendship, security, worth, respect, truth, scholarship, and wisdom." (Alpha Kappa Phi)

[Sorority] was formed "... for the purpose of promoting good fellowship among Sorority women...to help...in acquiring knowledge, appreciation, discriminating judgment and a true feeling of sisterly love, through interaction, one upon the other, of sympathetic and friendly natures..." (Delta Phi Epsilon)

"It is our mission to develop a strong bond of sisterhood among members. ...our members are given a chance to participate in a self-governing, democratic organization that will teach basic skills to life and success. Above all [sorority] exists for the intellectual, social, and cultural improvement of her members." (Arethusa)

"The purpose of [sorority] is to enrich the college experience of women of similar ideals, build lasting friendships, and to foster intellectual and personal growth within a framework of mutual respect and high ethical standards." (Sigma Delta Tau)

"The purpose of [sorority] is to unite its members in a bond of sincere friendship for the development of character and the promotion of social, literary, and intellectual culture to support and further the program and objectives of the colleges where its chapters are functioning; to strive for high standards of achievement - scholastically, socially, and spiritually; and to make a constructive contribution to the communities in which its collegiate and alumnae clubs are located by encouraging the rights and obligations of good citizens and the support of worthwhile civic, social and philanthropic projects." (Sigma Kappa)

"The women of [sorority] are joined together in the promotion of education by: fostering the principles of Finer womanhood and sisterly love. We encourage the highest standards of scholarship through literary, cultural, and educational programs." (Zeta Phi Beta)

Each of the organizations purports to share the common mission of preparing students for responsible citizenship, and the promotion of good scholarship and the attainment of academic excellence. Each espouses to help develop leadership skills in its members by creating opportunities to practice those skills. Many of the organizations support the virtue of helping others in need by donating their time, personal energy, and/or money in support of a worthy cause. All purport to aid in the character and personal development of their members. That is, each claims high ideals, and high moral and ethical teaching, as well as opportunities to learn interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and time management skills, for example.

 

Contributions to Geneseo

Greek organizations have a long history of contributing to Geneseo campus life. Perhaps the first area to examine is within the residence halls. Every year numerous Greek students give of their time and energy to become resident hall advisors for other students. Virtually every Greek organization has a member who is, was, or will be a resident advisor. Greeks are also active on hall council and frequently participate in and/or plan for various hall programs.

Greeks involvement in student leadership continues when examining school involvement. Greek leaders are found in a majority of the many clubs and organizations on campus. Central Council, the Activities Commission, and the Lamron all flourish with the help of Greek life. The percentage of organizations on campus who have active Greek members far exceeds the relative percentage size of the Greek population. In other words, Greeks do more than their fair share of volunteer work for the school.

Greeks are also well represented on the many intercollegiate athletic teams at Geneseo. Greeks are members of men's hockey, men's basketball, and women's lacrosse, to name just a few. Greeks are also very active in intramurals each year and have a healthy degree of competitiveness between each other. Intramurals allow Greeks to interact with other on-campus students and to develop new friendships.

Greeks students are also a common site in Brodie Hall. Here Greeks pursue their theatrical talents and dreams. In the last few years, Greek members have filled a large percentage of the roles available in shows, plays, and musicals. These roles include both minor roles to several talented students who aspired to lead roles. Music, as well, is another domain in which Greeks excel within the Geneseo community. From the saxophone to the violin, Greeks have become an integral part of many musical groups.

Greeks are also very active within the town of Geneseo. Each organization takes on a minimum of one philanthropic activity each semester. This means that the village is the beneficiary of at least 46 community service functions a year from Greeks alone! These services include Big Brother/Big Sister, hanging Christmas tree lights and a community Blood Drive, just to name a few. (See Appendix D for examples of service and Order of Omega information.)

The preceding few paragraphs indicate how many positives contributions to the community come out of the presence of the Geneseo Greeks. The Greek presence is felt in ALL areas of student life beyond the few mentioned above. And still, these contributions are only part of the story. Many Greeks hold an office within their organization, and over the course of two or three years most members hold many leadership positions within their own organizations. These offices, ranging from President to public relations chair, offer invaluable leadership experience to young college students. These positions help the students grow and learn how to become leaders within a community. Greek organizations build strong bonds of leadership and friendship which often last a lifetime.

 

Recommendations

Some of the Greek organizations at Geneseo are shining examples of the worth of "fraternity": outstanding scholarship, exemplary student leadership, brotherhood or sisterhood realized through high values, hands-on service to the community, and alumni mentoring. Other chapters, however, have substandard academic performance, mediocre leaders, brotherhood or sisterhood revolving around alcohol, minimal outreach, and no alumni involvement. These chapters do not enhance the positive public perception of Greek organizations. In fact, they discredit the integrity of all Greeks, and leave many non-affiliated students to believe that Greek life has nothing to offer them. This should not be the case. Greek organizations at Geneseo have the potential to be a major, positive influence on the institution and the larger community. Unfortunately, Geneseo's Greek system has evolved over the past several generations of students to be less than its aspirations, and those of Geneseo. The challenge is to change and reclaim its noble destiny, as an instrument for fully educating the best and the most able of students.

Given the problems identified, the Task Force recommends several changes in pursuit of a continued bright future for Greek programs at Geneseo. These standards are intended to complement the larger mission of the College and to assist Greek chapters in realizing the ideals expressed in their missions and rituals. While some of these recommendations may hold Greeks to a different standard than other student organizations, they are not meant to be discriminatory. Greek organizations are by their very nature different from other student organizations. No other group of organizations have such common missions, nor are others so exclusionary or exclusive. They have different standards, and thus may be held to different standards by the College.

Unless otherwise specified, the recommendations are intended to strengthen and improve all IGC and AGC organizations. For ease of reading, major recommendations have been bolded.

 

1. Minimum Academic Standard

Greek organizations espouse their concern for the academic success and progress of individual members. The College expects that its students will pursue academic achievement as their highest priority. Greek organizations should demonstrate this value by assisting the performance of its members.

Currently, 5 out of the 8 fully recognized fraternity chapters' grade point averages (for Fall, 1996) are above the all-College men's average, and 8 out of 10 sorority chapters are above the all-College women's average. Seven out of eight fraternities, and all ten sororities have grade point averages above a 2.5. All AGC sororities have grade point averages below the all-College minority women's average, with one sorority above a 2.5 GPA.

The Task Force recommends that IGC and AGC establish a minimum GPA requirement of at least a 2.25 for the continued recognition of a Greek organization. When an organization has an overall grade point average for its full current membership that falls below the minimum (e.g., 2.25) (all averages to be based on quality points earned divided by credits attempted for the fall or spring semester), that chapter should be on academic probation or receive an IGC or AGC probationary status. An organization whose recognition is probationary for the following year should then be required to have an academic assessment completed by the Greek or Faculty Advisor (for example). An academic assessment should involve establishing interventions which provide corrective programming to help resolve the academic situation and to encourage educational enrichment programs for those students at risk. If an organization does not meet the minimum standard during the following year (after a full year of probation) IGC or AGC should recommend that the College revoke that chapter's recognized status.

 

Individual Membership

In order to be an active member of a fraternity or sorority an individual should be a full-time, matriculated student at SUNY Geneseo. Should a student fall below a 2.0 GPA at SUNY Geneseo they should be considered an inactive member of their organization and thereby ineligible to vote or hold office.

 

2. Deferred Joining

The Task Force is extremely concerned about the poor academic performance of students who choose to join fraternities and sororities. If membership in these organizations results in good academic performance, such membership should be allowed and encouraged as soon as possible in a student's academic career. To the extent it hinders academic performance, such membership should be deferred until the student has established a satisfactory academic record.

Greeks have identified benefits of membership to include easing the integration into campus life, the opportunities to develop leadership and social skills and perform social service, the encouragement of high ideals and academic achievement, lifetime friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood, and the network of contacts that extend beyond college. Just as students are not expected to declare their academic major until their sophomore year, they should not enter hastily into lifetime affiliations.

Data provide evidence that sorority and fraternity membership during the "pledging" semester is harmful to the academic performance of the student. In general, students drop over 1/4 of a grade during the pledging semester, as compared to the previous semester. The drop is even more dramatic when one considers that a student's grades generally increase in each succeeding semester in school.

At a minimum, the Task Force recommends that students should not be allowed to pledge until the second semester of their freshman year. The College should continue to assess the academic performance of new Greek members through the Spring 1998 semester to determine if second semester freshman year pledges' grades are increasing.

While deferred joining is a concept that is antithetical to the belief that association with a Greek organization by a first year student may assist greatly in the transition and adjustment to college, the current poor academic performance of first year students who join fraternities necessitates strong action to minimize dysfunctional influences during the first year at the College. If the current recommended changes do not bring about the desired effects, further changes may be necessitated.

This standard of deferred joining should be reviewed after four semesters of data collection on the academic performance of first and second year students who join Greek organizations. This review is to determine if the recommended deferred joining is effective enough in positively affecting the academic progress of new Geneseo students who join Greek organizations.

In addition to the aforementioned, no student with less than 15 earned college credits (counting AP credits) should be allowed to join a fraternity or sorority beginning in the fall of 1997. If students enter Geneseo with more than 15 credits, they should have at least 1 full semester in residence at Geneseo, before being allowed to join a Greek organization. Thus, first year students with less than 15 credits, and transfer students, will avoid the inevitable conflict between chapter life and their initial academic success at Geneseo. Greek recruitment can and should be conducted, especially for academically established upperclass students, but men and women selected for membership should have earned a minimum of 15 college credits.

 

3. New Member Orientation Program

Greek organizations have, in the recent past, focused their efforts almost exclusively on educating pledges/associates rather than on creating programs that effectively and continually contribute to the development of all members of the fraternity or sorority. There is inter/national and local evidence that pledging programs (a proving period or rite of passage) actually increase the likelihood of hazing incidents and create an expectation that member responsibility to the chapter is only encouraged during pledging. Additionally, no fraternity or sorority was founded on the basis of a pledging period.

The well-being of the academic life of a student should be taken into consideration. Therefore, the Task Force recommends that Rushing and Pledging be reduced to 6 weeks total.

The danger of simply reducing the length of an orientation program is that groups may just try to use their current pledge programs, but now complete them in the shorter time frame. This would only serve to exacerbate the problem and becomes more dangerous. In order to educate new (and current) members about what are some acceptable and unacceptable practices, all new members and pledge educators (at the least) should be required to attend a co-sponsored College and IGC/AGC workshop on hazing.

Many, if not all, organizations may have to rethink and replace their "pledge education" programs with "member education" programs. Member education programs would emphasize the ongoing educational and personal development that would last the entire length of an individual's active Greek involvement. No one can learn everything there is to learn about an organization- the people, history, traditions, etc. - and about themselves in a few weeks. Learning and development takes time, and a "life long" program is recommended.

 

Rush Guidelines and Eligibility

The process of joining a fraternity or sorority is one of mutual selection. Chapters use different means to acquaint themselves with interested students and to allow perspective members to learn about the chapter. The means by which the selection takes place is coordinated by Inter-Greek Council and the Division of Student and Campus Life.

First semester freshmen and transfers should not pledge, join or accept any form of membership in a fraternity or sorority but should explore the opportunities offered by the Greek system by attending Rush functions. In order to be eligible to Rush, an individual should be a currently enrolled SUNY Geneseo student. In order to be eligible to pledge, join, or accept any form of membership in a fraternity or sorority, a student should have completed 15 credits at SUNY Geneseo. In order to insure compliance, the Division of Student and Campus Life should monitor the eligibility of rushees and inform those who are not eligible to pledge as well as inform the appropriate fraternities and sororities. Ineligible students who pledge, join or accept membership in a fraternity or sorority would thereby be in violation of College Regulations. Students who are not eligible to pledge, join or accept membership are encouraged to become active in other on-campus student organizations instead.

In addition, fraternities and sororities should not give students Standing Bids. Standing Bids are defined as membership bids that are given to students which carry over from one semester to another. Underground pledging should be unacceptable, as well.

Students who attend Rush functions should be personally responsible for their actions and place academic pursuits above all else. Rushees should be encouraged to rush each fraternity or sorority in order to meet the members of different organizations and find the one that best suits their needs.

The Task Force supports the rush guidelines established by the Inter-Greek Council, although the period of time for rushing may be excessive. The Division of Student and Campus Life should co-sponsor Rush Orientation with Inter-Greek Council and should support its initiatives in promoting educational programs on effective rush techniques. In addition, the Division of Student and Campus Life and Inter-Greek Council should help develop and distribute informational brochures regarding rush for fraternities and sororities.

The following guidelines should be established by the College and outline the expectations of each fraternity and sorority. Failure to comply with these expectations should potentially result in a disciplinary review by Inter-Greek Council or the College.

* Fraternities and sororities should be required to submit a Rush Registration Sheet within two days of each Rush function to the Division of Student and Campus Life.

* Fraternities and sororities should be allowed to have two rush functions (formal and informal) on- or off-campus.

* There should be no alcohol or drugs incorporated into the rush program of any fraternity or sorority. All activities and functions should be dry and no alcoholic beverages should be served to any rushee.

* No fraternity or sorority should discriminate overtly or subtly at rush functions on the basis of race, religion, ethnic background, or sexual preference/orientation.

 

Pledging/New Member Education

The goals of these activities involve the education of potential members about the history, operation, and governance of a particular group. Each program should instill positive values and ideals of good citizenship while supporting the academic mission of the college. It is expected that all activities should reflect these goals. An outline of the goals of the new member education program should be submitted to the Division of Student and Campus Life when membership bids lists are turned in to that office.

The following outlines some minimum expectations for each fraternity and sorority.

* Fraternities and sororities should be required to submit a list of those students who will be offered membership bids to the Division of Student and Campus Life at least one day prior to the actual presentation of bids.

* Fraternities and sororities should be required to submit a list of individuals who accept membership bids no later than two days after pledging/new member education starts.

* All program activities should cease prior to 12:00 midnight on class nights (Sunday - Thursday) and should not start before 8:00 a.m. on class days (Monday - Friday). Exception for good reason could be granted by the Vice President of Student and Campus Life upon written request from the affected group.

* Program activities should be prohibited in and around all academic buildings, residence halls, Milne and Fraser Library (except study hours), and dining facilities.

* Activities should not adversely affect the lives of a group's neighbors or others in the College or Village community.

* Fraternities and sororities should be required to inform the Division of Student and Campus Life if a student formally depledges within 24 hours of the decision.

* Fraternities and sororities should be required to submit a list of pledges who were initiated as new members to the Division of Student and Campus Life no later than one week after the completion of the pledging/new member orientation program.

* Pledges and new members could wear a pledge pin and/or a name tag (neither to exceed 3" x 5") and could carry a pledge book or pledge paddle.

 

Hazing

Hazing and the activities associated with it are counter to the ideals, values and principles of Greek organizations. The rituals of fraternities and sororities confirm the belief that fraternities and sororities should positively affect members. Unfortunately, many organizations have adopted practices based upon a Boot Camp type of experience to develop members. In addition to being in conflict with the ideals, values, and principles of fraternity, some of these activities violate College policy and State law.

Pledging/new member activities should not be in violation New York State Hazing Law and College policy regarding hazing. The College policy on hazing could be as follows:

Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situations may include paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue; physical or psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside the confines of the house; wearing, publicly, apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; late work (or other) sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of SUNY Geneseo, or applicable state law.

This statement should be widely published.

In addition to the above statement, Geneseo should recognize any action or situation which creates any substantive risk to an individual as a violation of hazing policy. Examples of actions and activities which should be explicitly prohibited include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Any form of physically demanding activity (calisthenics, runs, sit-ups, push-ups, etc.) not part of an organized voluntary athletic contest or not specifically directed toward constructive work.

2. Paddling, shoving, or otherwise striking individuals.

3. Compelling individuals to wear or carry unusual, uncomfortable, degrading, or physically burdensome articles or apparel.

4. Depriving individuals of the opportunity for sufficient sleep (eight hours continuous sleep per day minimum), decent edible meals, or access to means of maintaining bodily cleanliness.

5. Activities that interfere with an individual's academic efforts by causing exhaustion, loss of sleep, or loss of reasonable study time or by preventing an individual from attending class.

6. Compelling individuals to consume alcohol or drugs.

7. Compelling individuals to eat or drink foreign or unusual substances or compelling the consumption of undue amounts or odd preparations of food.

8. Having substances thrown at, poured on, or otherwise applied to the bodies of individuals.

9. Morally degrading or humiliating games or any other activities that make an individual the object of amusement, ridicule, or intimidation.

10. Transporting individuals against their will, abandoning individuals at distant locations and requiring them to find their way home, or conducting any "kidnap," "ditch" or "road trip" that might in any way endanger or compromise the health, safety, or comfort of any individual.

11. Causing an individual to be indecently exposed.

12. Violating accepted social customs in regard to sex and relations between the sexes.

13. Activities that require a person to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time.

14. Compelling an individual to become branded.

15. "Line-ups" involving intense or demeaning intimidation or interrogation, such as shouting obscenities or insults.

16. Assigning activities (pranks, scavenger hunts, etc.) that compel a person to deface property, engage in theft, or harass other individuals or organizations.

17. Tests of courage, bravery, or stamina.

18. Intentionally deceiving new members prior to initiation to make them believe that they will not be initiated or will be hurt or struck.

19. Intentionally creating a mess and compelling individuals to clean it up.

20. Excluding an individual from social contact for prolonged periods of time.

21. Requiring pledges to walk, march or run in single file.

22. Exposing pledges to extremely uncomfortable or dangerous environments (e.g., too loud, dark, small, hot or cold).

23. Blindfolding where there is an potential for danger.

24. Forced servitude such as shining shoes or boots; cleaning rooms, apartments, houses, cars; washing clothes or dishes; running personal errands; or other services or duties not normally shared by initiated members.

25. Enclosing an individual or group of individuals in closed quarters for prolonged periods of time (i.e., caving).

Any activity as described above upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with the organization is directly or indirectly conditioned, or implied to be conditioned, or which occurs during a pre-initiation or initiation activity should be presumed to be "compelled" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such an activity notwithstanding.

(See Appendix E for some alternatives to Hazing)

 

Rules of Public Order

SUNY Geneseo, in its Student Code of Conduct states that all members of the college community are required to abide by the statutory Rules of Public Order (Section 6450) of the New York State Education Law printed in Geneseo Update and in Undergraduate Bulletin which specifically states:

No person, either singly or in concert with others shall...

Take any action, create or participate in the creation of any situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or which involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization.

 

New York State Penal Law - HAZING

Section l20.l6 Hazing in the first degree.

A person is guilty of hazing in the first degree when, in the course of another person's initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes such injury.

Hazing in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Section l20.l7 Hazing in the second degree.

A person is guilty of hazing in the second degree when, in the course of another person's initiation or affiliation with any organization, he intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person.

Hazing in the second degree is a violation.

 

4. Social Events

The Task Force, and the College, continues to be concerned about large, undermanaged social events that occur off campus. The problem is not just relegated to Greek organizations, but Greeks are the most visible, they do target all students with "open" parties, and they do have the greatest impact on the whole College community, village included. Too much emphasis has been placed on the social nature of fraternities and sororities at the expense of other aspects of the Greek experience. Students should not be joining Greek organizations because they "throw the best parties" or "have the best/most beer." The organizations should be getting back to their roots by returning to the principles on which they were founded. Things like scholarship, community service, intramurals, and leadership in campus organizations should become focal points. At the same time, however, the importance of Greek organizations in providing social activities for their members and all students should not be discounted. The Greeks are an important social aspect of college life for many students. What should be done away with, however, is the reliance on alcohol to have a good party. Having a good time and a beer-soaked floor should not be synonymous. Alcohol (or other drugs) should not be a defining factor in who the Greeks are, nor should it be used as a way to make money or attract new members, nor needed as a way to have fun. The Greeks, and all college students in general, need to explore other avenues for having fun and fund-raising. The College (e.g., College Activities Office) provides a whole host of activities to be involved in. "There's nothing to do but go to Greek parties" is generally an easy (often times unfounded) excuse. If other options or activities are needed, the Greeks, and all students, should get involved with the College and bring to campus what is needed.

In an environment where over 75 percent on the student body is under the legal drinking age of 21, the availability of alcohol, especially that which is supplied by the Greek organizations, needs to be reduced (if not altogether eliminated). Some national chapters have created alcohol-free initiatives for their chartered chapters. These initiatives stress, for example, that by the year 2000, every chapter of the organization will have alcohol-free facilities, or they will not continue to exist as a chartered group. Since alcohol is still by far the substance of choice among the current Geneseo students, initiatives like this are welcome. Unless a student is of the age of 21, they should not be going into anyone's house to drink alcohol, nor drinking period. As a college, we should not, can not, and do not condone drinking alcohol by any of our underage students.

The standards outlined in this document can help chapters to refocus energy on other facets of their organization. The recommendations are also designed to redirect the degree to which chapters rely on alcohol in chapter programming and, ultimately, chapter life.

Each chapter should be expected to know, understand, and abide by College, IGC or AGC rules and regulations, and applicable local and state laws that relate to the consumption, service, and possession of alcohol. Within this context, any social event where alcohol is present should be either provided by a licensed third party vendor or brought to the event by individuals of legal age for their own personal use.

 

5. Personal Development

The development of individual members is a preeminent goal of Greek organizations. Providing incentives for members to attain their academic goals, experience new opportunities, and realize their individual potential are important initiatives for chapters. Fostering the leadership potential within members throughout their College experience also serves to set an example for others. Highly educated and responsible leaders set an example through their efforts, and these are skills learned for a lifetime.

To enhance the individual and personal development of members, IGC (IFC & ISC) and AGC, with the assistance of individual chapters, alumni, national organizations, and the college (e.g., Coordinator of Assessment and Development, G.O.L.D., Greek and Faculty Advisors) should develop programs or workshops designed around developmental issues. Over time individual chapters should create programs to meet the individual needs of their members. Greek groups can work together to create programs, or chapters may initiate programs that are jointly sponsored with non-Greek groups, on such topics as Values Clarification (e.g., ethical decision making, academic integrity), Academic Success (e.g., study skills, time management), Alcohol and Drug Education (e.g., drinking and driving, confronting problem drinking), Diversity, Eating Disorders, Sexual Assault/Harassment, Personal Responsibility, etc.

 

6. Chapter Advisor

An active, involved chapter advisor is a key ingredient to a successful chapter. Each chapter should have a chapter advisor who either lives or works within the village. Ideally, but not necessarily, the advisor should be an alumnus of the Greek organization, should have some form of active Greek experience, and should provide the chapter and its membership with continuing advice and support. The advisor should attend most, if not all, chapter meetings, meet semesterly with a representative of the Division of Student and Campus Life, and assist with special events and programs and the implementation of Greek standards. The College should aid and work with the chapters to help locate potential chapter advisors, and should provide resources toward training and developing advisors. The College should also explore the possibility of indemnifying the advisor, so long as the advisor is acting on behalf of the College, and not recommending nor approving actions in violation of College codes and policies, and village, town, county, state and federal laws and regulations. See Appendix F for additional information regarding advisors.


7. Faculty/Staff Advisor

Greek organizations should not be islands, nor should they operate in seclusion. It is imperative that these organizations become invested with the larger community. Of particular importance is the developing relationship with and becoming more actively involved with faculty, staff and administrators. Toward this end, all Greek organizations should be required to have an involved faculty/staff advisor. Faculty/staff advisors should (by definition) be employed by SUNY-Geneseo in the role of Administrative or Teaching Faculty, Professional Staff or Management/Confidential. This advisor need not be an alumnus of any Greek organization, and need not even be of the same gender as the group she/he advises.

A faculty advisor can be an excellent form of support. As an advisor, he/she can help the chapter develop important guidelines that may help the chapter accomplish their mission and goals. Moreover, the advisor can provide an outside perspective on issues ranging from alternative ways to instill group cohesiveness among members within a chapter to suggestions as to how to improve relationships with the college and the community. Without the reciprocal support from those being advised, however, nothing will be accomplished. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the significance of an advisor to the members of a chapter. Together, the advisor and the chapter members can potentially develop mutually beneficial relationships between the chapter, the College, and the community.

The advisor's role should not be static, but dynamic. The advisor must continually adapt his/her activities to fit the ever-changing situations in the chapter. A close working relationship between the chapter and the advisor is critical. Such a relationship would provide the opportunity for the advisor to serve as a teacher, counselor, mentor, and friend. The advisor should be interested in the individual and in the collective welfare of the chapter members, not just in the chapter's academic standing. Moreover, the advisor should strive to continually help the chapter become as self-sufficient as possible. For example, he/she may help the chapter develop ways in which chapter members may have the opportunity to gain the experience and self-confidence to self-govern effectively.

The faculty/staff advisor should attend several chapter events or meetings each semester, and meet yearly with a representative of the Division of Student and Campus Life. The College should aid and work with the chapters to help locate potential faculty/staff advisors, and should provide resources toward training and developing these advisors. The College should also indemnify the faculty/staff advisor, so long as the advisor is acting on behalf of the College, and not recommending nor approving actions in violation of College codes and policies, and village, town, county, state and federal laws and regulations. See Appendix F for additional information regarding advisors.

The previous sections describe in some detail the amount of work, dedication, and responsibility that such a task would demand. It is important to realize that the amount of work expected would almost surely outweigh any of the intangible benefits that the advisor may gain from this experience. The college therefore needs to realize that there are significant impediments to this proposal that would need to be addressed and overcome before such a system could be established.

One issue is the problem of numbers. Since there are 23 Greek organizations on campus, the college would need to find 23 members of the faculty and staff to serve as advisors to the Greek organizations. The present system where the faculty/staff advisor is only a signature on a dotted line allows one individual to "advise" several groups. This is clearly inadequate; in order to be the type of advisor that the Task Force sees as necessary, one individual should advise only one Greek chapter. This means that the college (and the Greeks) must recruit 23 volunteers and ask them for a significant commitment of time - at the very least, the advisor should attend every chapter meeting and should be willing to undergo some training. Finding 23 people willing to do this will be a challenge.

Another issue is the problem of attitude. Most members of the faculty and staff are at best indifferent to the Greeks. While some remember fondly their own Greek experiences, there are also a number who are openly hostile to the Greek system. If a system of advisement is set up, one recruitment issue that would need to be addressed is the issue of why the Greeks need such intense advisement.

The most important issues are, of course, time and reward. The faculty and staff here already feel overworked and underpaid with no hope of change for the better in the near future. Being an effective advisor would be yet another major task on the nearly overwhelmed professional employees of the college.

Part of the system of rewards at this college is renewal, promotion, and DSIs. In the mix of professional obligations established by the college, service counts only 15 per cent - and frequently service to professional organizations is weighted more than service to the college. It is obviously going to be difficult to ask a faculty/staff member for a significant time commitment to a Greek organization when the rewards system will give little credit to this activity. If the college wishes to support a genuinely functioning system of faculty/staff advisors for each Greek chapter, it will need to offer written assurances to the advisors that this work will have a major and positive impact when the advisors are up for evaluation for promotions, renewal, and DSIs. The College should recognize the volunteer service of advisors (with the support of Vice Presidents, the Provost, Department Heads and Chairs, Personnel Committees, etc.) through awards, release time, and discretionary increases. Credit for advisement should also be recognized as an integral part of the service component for term reappointments and continuing and permanent appointments.

Some faculty members have been very vocal regarding the "ills" of Greek organizations. Now is the time, and this is a place, for the faculty and staff to help these Geneseo students - after all, they are still Geneseo students. All students here are entitled to be treated as adults, but educated and responsible guidance never hurts. The Task Force, then, is recommending that the College encourage, recognize, support and train faculty and staff advisors. Done correctly, the advisor has an important role in aiding in the education and development of many Geneseo students.

 

8. Outreach and Community Service Programs

Many Greek students indicate a belief that the Greek organizations are not understood, or misunderstood, by each of the different constituencies that make up the College community - independent students, teaching faculty, administrative and professional staff, town and village people. These beliefs, in turn, affect how the Greeks perceive the other groups deal with them. One example of such a belief is that many Greek students believe that (many) faculty members grade them lower simply because they are Greek. Greek students indicated they go so far as to not wear their letters to class for fear of being down-graded, or for fear of losing respect in the eyes of the faculty member. Founded in reality or not, this is a belief under which many of the Greek students are functioning. [To show that the Greeks do not have a monopoly on this type of thinking, (some) faculty members have indicated that they are afraid to verbalize their true opinions of the Greeks for fear of retribution or retaliation against them, by the Greeks. The assumption being that the Greeks at Geneseo are like organized gangs - say something negative about us and we'll fix you. In recent memory, no faculty or staff member has been threatened or attacked by a gang of Greeks.]

Open and honest communication between the groups is the key to understanding each other, and to breaking down the walls and misconceptions. One way to achieve this communication is to have the Greek and (all) the non-Greek constituents actively working together toward the common good of the university and the community. To this end, the Task Force recommends that all Greek chapters should be encouraged to:

1. host one program or activity each year that involves direct interaction between their membership and faculty, community members and/or College staff. Programs should highlight the unique relationship that Greek organizations share with the neighboring community and/or the host institution and should serve to build cooperative relationships.

2. have a minimum of one program each year that is co-sponsored with a non-Greek campus organization. Programs could be educational, cultural, philanthropic, or social in nature and could be combined with other programming or service requirements. This recommendation is designed to provide meaningful integration as good citizens within the student community and to encourage partnerships between Greek organizations and other campus organizations. Such interaction should serve the chapters as well as the campus regarding the enhancement of knowledge and appreciation of Greek life on campus.

3. adopt, host, or significantly participate in one campus service project each year. A campus project could involve helping at an annual event like Parents or Siblings Weekend, working during move-in weekend, cleaning up during Campus Pride Day or after athletic events, or sponsoring a speaker on campus for all students. Greek organizations enjoy a unique relationship with the campus community and are the recipients of considerable institutional resources and attention. This recommendation is one way for the Greeks to give back to the campus, while at the same time, increase their chapter's visibility in a positive way.

To satisfy this recommendation, individual chapters should involve a substantial (e.g., at least 65%) part of its membership.

4. initiate and implement a minimum of one community service project each year. While raising money for charitable organizations clearly provides a valuable service for the community, for the purposes of this recommendation, chapters should be encouraged to seek more direct means of community service (such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, tutoring local school children, or visiting people in nursing homes). Although not necessary, preference here would be to help serve others less fortunate in our society.

5. encourage their individual members to become active participants in outside activities. There are great benefits to the campus community, to Greek organizations and to individual students when members are active participants in other activities, besides being Greek. Members can learn additional leadership skills which can be applied to their chapter, and they are able to promote the best ideals of Greek life to non-Greek members of the campus community. All entities benefit when Greek members are involved as leaders and members of the larger campus community. Examples of such activities are: participation in an academic club, in student government, or in other student groups, being a member of an intercollegiate athletic team, being an orientation or resident advisor, or volunteering for significant participation in community service organizations.

 

9. Greek Affairs Council

To expect that the Greek organizations can overnight, on their own, meet all the recommendations and expectations thrust upon them would be ludicrous. Placing the Greeks out there on their own would doom them to failure and, in turn, hurt the College. It is the recommendation of this Task Force that the College follow the suggestion of the 1989 Task Force report which recommended that a Greek Affairs Council be created. This Council, if created, should represent all segments of the college and community. It could then be available to the Greek community to make recommendations and suggestions about how they can meet their goals and the goals of the College.

The Greek Affairs Council should be appointed each year by the President of the college and report to the Vice President of Student and Campus Life. The Council should meet at least two times each semester, and upon request of any member, to review the state of affairs of the Greek system at the college, to review policies and procedures for Greek affairs and to recognize the contributions of Greek organizations. The Greek Affairs Council is not intended to replace the self-governance of Greek affairs by the Inter-Greek Council. Instead, it is intended to be available to contribute to the ongoing dialogue of what the College wants and what the Greeks want, and to review the recommendations and their effectiveness so that a Task Force of this nature will not be necessary in the future.

Members of the Council should be appointed to serve at least two years in order to provide continuity and consistency for Greek affairs.

Members of the Council should include:

President of Inter-Greek Council
Representative of two fraternities, local or national
Representative of two sororities, local or national
Dean of Students or designee
Representative of Residence Life
Representative from Central Council
Two members of the Teaching Faculty
Two representatives from the Village of Geneseo
Coordinator of Greek Affairs (ex-officio)

Members of the current Task Force on Greek Affairs are personally invested in the recommendations that are being made, and we feel a certain attachment to the Greek organizations and this process. We also have gained invaluable experience in doing the research for this report. We would like to continue in the efforts to strengthen the Greek presence on Geneseo's campus, and as such, volunteer our services for the make-up of this Council.

 

10. Community Relations Committee

The relationship between the Greeks and their neighbors in the village is somewhat strained. The village residents are appreciative of the help that the Greeks sometimes provide, but they are troubled by the many disruptions caused, or fueled, by the Greeks. Additionally, very little communication exists between the Greeks and their neighbors.

To be fair, it should also be noted that some of the troublesome aspects that are attributed to Greek Life are really not just relegated to the Greeks, but to students living off-campus, in general. It would be nice to assume that whenever a student moves off campus into an apartment or a house, they are prepared to do so, they know what to expect, and they know how to conduct themselves in a family-oriented neighborhood. This, however, is not necessarily the case. For example, college students, in general, tend to develop different internal clocks than the rest of society. While many people are winding down, preparing to go to bed, college students seem to be revving up, preparing to go out. This may be all right on-campus in the residence halls, however, this is bothersome for parents of young children and those who have to get up and go to work early in the morning. Are the students being inconsiderate - yes; do they necessarily know they are - no.

In order to help facilitate communications between the Greeks and their neighbors off campus, the Task Force is recommending the creation of a Community Relations Committee. This Committee could be fashioned after the one that was recommended by the 1989 Task Force. Each year Inter-Greek Council should select at least three representatives, including the Inter-Greek Council President to meet periodically with officials of the Village of Geneseo. A representative of the Division of Student and Campus Life should also serve on this committee.

The Community Relations Committee should review the status of relations between Greek organizations and residents of the Village and seek ways to foster positive relationships. In addition to discussing problems, the committee could help identify community service projects for Greek organizations.

 

11. Self-Governance/Greek Judicial Committee

Establishing internal methods of confronting inappropriate behavior and creating high standards of ethical conduct are important goals of Greek organizations. While some organizations already have such internal control mechanisms, many do not. To make certain these mechanisms exist in all chapters, each organization should be required to document annually the existence and function of an internal judicial system to enforce their own policies and procedures. Each organization should have the means to act quickly in addressing the behavior of a member who violates established codes or standards, either through its own internal procedures or those of the inter/national organization. This should include the means to promptly and permanently expel a member from the chapter, making certain to guarantee all rights of due process and adherence to inter/national procedures. The chapter advisor must be an integral component of whatever system is developed.

In addition to an internal chapter judicial system, IGC and AGC should have the authority to regulate the behavior of their individual chapters, and they should follow the procedures that are set in place. With that said, however, the Greeks need to be aware that IGC and AGC are organizations of the College, and as such the College still oversees the IGC guidelines and their enactment.

The following judicial policy recommended by the Greek Task Force should also be represented in the Inter-Greek Council constitution. Given the size of the Allied Greek Community, a different policy should be created and followed.

 

Disciplinary Procedures

The judicial policy should read:

Following an annual review in accordance with the obligations and procedures for the maintenance of recognition, or at any other time when it appears that a chapter has failed to meet criteria for recognition status (as reported by an individual student, the Inter-Greek Council or its constituent councils, or an officer of the College) a written report of the alleged deviation should be submitted to the Inter-Greek Council for review and action, in accordance with Article XII Judicial Policy of the IGC Constitution. The Judicial committee should consist of the IGC President, serving as chair, and secretary (both non-voting), the IGC Advisor or designee (ex-officio and non-voting) and/or the Dean of Students or designee (ex-officio and non-voting), and five members representing at least 2 fraternities and at least two sororities. When needed, the IGC President should choose, by random selection from a nominated pool of 20 (one nomination from each IGC recognized chapter), the five Justices who will serve on the judicial committee convened for each incident. No members of the Committee should be affiliated with the organization accused of the violation and should in no way be involved in the infraction or dispute. The Dean of Students or designee should provide training for the Justices.

Infractions of the Student Code of Conduct, Rules for Public Order, Campus Administrative Rules for Students, local/state/federal laws or the policies of conduct of IGC--especially any actions that discredit the Greek community--by members of a Greek organization shall be cause for disciplinary action and sanction by the Inter Greek Council through its Judicial Committee. It is understood that the College may refer incidents involving members of the Greek community to the IGC Judicial Committee and/or the Greek Affairs Council, or may initiate disciplinary action under its own procedures at its discretion.

IGC should provide procedural due process to its membership via the following structure:

1. The IGC President will provide the accused with written, prior notice of a hearing. The notice should be given at least one week prior to the hearing date (7 days) and should detail the location and time of the scheduled hearing.

2. The hearing notice should be accompanied by a statement of charges. This statement should include a description of the alleged incident(s) and a listing of rules which were violated as a result of the alleged incident(s).

3. The hearing should be a closed session consisting of the IGC Judicial Committee, the officers of the accused chapter, and one or both of the accused chapter's advisors. Witnesses and those providing supporting statements could be called into the hearing by the Chairperson of the Committee and only remain while providing testimony to or answering questions of the Committee. After all testimony has been heard, everyone except for Judicial Committee members should be excused from the room. The Judicial Committee should then begin deliberations in private session. First, the Committee should determine if the member is in violation and then decide the disciplinary action to be taken. Being in violation and the disciplinary action to be taken should be determined by consensus or by majority vote.

4. The officers of the accused chapter should have the opportunity to review evidence in the case and review written reports of the alleged actions. The accused could also ask questions of those presenting evidence/testimony against them, call a reasonable number of witnesses on their behalf, and make a closing statement on their own behalf.

5. The accused chapter may have a judicial advisor of choice present throughout the proceedings. The advisor may not address the Committee directly as his/her role is limited to advising the chapter. In addition, if a lawyer is obtained by the accused, s/he may not participate directly in the proceedings. S/he must take an advisor role with his/her client and may not address the Committee directly.

6. If an accused chapter should fail to appear (minimum of one officer is required) before the Judicial Committee (and does not subsequently prove inability to attend or to communicate), a decision should be made by the Judicial Committee using information that is available at the time of the scheduled hearing. In such cases, the non appearing chapter should be provided a written statement of findings within two business days of the hearing and will be given the right of appeal as outlined below.

7. The decision of the Judicial Committee should be communicated orally to the accused at the close of the hearing. A written statement of findings would then be provided to the accused chapter, IGC, and the Greek Affairs Council (in care of the Dean of Students) within two business days of the hearing.

8. The accused organization could appeal the decision of the Judicial Committee within five (5) business days of receipt of written notification of the results of the hearing. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the College Vice-President for Student and Campus Life or designee and must be based on one of the following arguments:

1. Incorrect conclusion as to the extent of wrongdoing.

2. Failure of the Judicial Committee/IGC to follow procedural policy.

3. Extremely and unfairly punitive disciplinary action. (In this case, it is necessary to distinguish between severe action, which does not constitute grounds for appeal, and extremely punitive action, i.e., out of all proportion to the misconduct which occurred.)

4. An appeal may be based on the unfairness of the rule which was violated, in which case a decision on the appeal is made after the rule itself is reviewed by appropriate College or IGC personnel.

5. To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the organization appealing at the time of the original hearing.

The Vice-President or designee will review the appeal and take any action s/he deems necessary and/or appropriate and will communicate her/his decision in writing to the appellant and IGC.

9. In situations where time is of the essence, interim action may be taken by the IGC Executive Committee. This action does not preempt that of a Judicial Committee. It could, however, provide relief of on-going inappropriate activity such as a violation of pledge guidelines, etc. In a case requiring such interim action, the IGC Executive Committee may impose sanctions/restrictions to remain in effect until a Judicial Committee can be convened to hear the case.

10. Discipline information is considered confidential. Therefore, Judicial Committee members and those present at a disciplinary hearing shall not discuss the case outside of the hearing or appeal process.

 

Sanctions

Failure to meet the criteria for recognition and disciplinary action may result in the imposition of IGC sanctions including but not limited to the following:

1. Dismiss the case for no apparent violation, insufficient evidence, or lack of jurisdiction.

2. Reprimand of the chapter by written warning to that organization.

1. The duration of this "warning" status will be noted in the reprimand.

2. If the Chapter commits a similar infraction while in "warning" status, the Judicial Committee should impose a higher-level sanction.

3. Publicize the violation (i.e., inform IGC and/or the College).

4. Chapters may be assessed for damages resulting from their misconduct.

5. Community Service may be assigned to the Chapter.

6. A monetary fine may be levied against the Chapter (not to exceed $500).

7. Recommend a suspension of (certain) privileges provided by IGC.

8. Recommend the suspension of privileges provided by the College.

The Judicial Committee may also recommend to the Vice President for Student and Campus Life any of the following changes in recognition status:

1. FULL RECOGNITION WITH WARNING would indicate required corrective action and a schedule for accomplishing the necessary changes. If the required action is not taken, or if the schedule is not followed, Probationary Recognition may be invoked or the warning may be modified or extended.

2. PROBATIONARY RECOGNITION for the chapter would be for a determined period of time and may or may not involve suspension of specific privileges and the imposition of a schedule of corrective action. In the event that further infractions occur or if the schedule of corrective action is not met, the Judicial Committee may invoke Suspension or Withdrawal of Recognition.

3. SUSPENSION OF RECOGNITION would be for a set period of time during which all activities and privileges of the chapter are suspended.

4. WITHDRAWAL OF RECOGNITION would require the chapter to cease all operations. All IGC and campus privileges and college permission for the chapter to function should be revoked. Upon withdrawal of recognition, the chapter would be ineligible to re-apply for recognition for five years unless this requirement is waived by the President of the College. After the appropriate time period has elapsed, reapplication for recognition is accomplished using the IGC procedures for recognition, although additional information may be required by IGC or the College.

Should recognition be restored after Suspension of Recognition or Withdrawal of Recognition, the Chapter should initially be granted Probationary Recognition for one year.

If a chapter fails to comply with these disciplinary sanctions, additional disciplinary charges may be filed.

 

12. Policies, Rights, and Responsibilities

The 1989 Geneseo Task Force Report pointed out the necessity for the relationship between the college and Greek organizations at Geneseo to be clearly defined. Although all undergraduates are entitled to be treated as adults, some guidance regarding expectations of behavior is still necessary. It is difficult to hold someone, or a group, responsible for their behavior when they do not know the rules they are living under. As was true in 1989, there are virtually no written College policies governing Greek affairs. While IGC has a constitution and By-Laws, and these have by tradition become the policies governing Greek affairs (e.g., minimum GPA of 2.0 for pledging; prohibition of first semester freshmen pledges), no other written College policies exist (except Discipline Procedures for Recognized Student Groups, and Recognition of Student Organization Policy). As of today, the relationship is still uncertain, unwritten and governed by custom and tradition.

As was written in the 1989 Geneseo Task Force Report,

Although other student organizations sometimes break the rules, such incidents are very infrequent. Rarely is there anything more serious than a messy room, unreturned keys or unpaid bills. All such matters are routinely handled by the College Activities Center or College Union staff. Occasionally, privileges to use facilities are withdrawn for a short period of time and the problem is usually resolved.

Greeks, on the other hand, are more often in the limelight with complaints from the community, faculty, and even other students or student groups. The visibility of fraternities and sororities makes them especially vulnerable and subject to suspicion. A fight between hockey players at the Inn Between might be visible but it is often handled quickly and quietly. Fights between two fraternities quickly develop into a major concern for the village police and subsequently the college and the Inter Greek Council.

The college has been inconsistent in its treatment of Greek related incidents. Depending on the severity, the president of the organization might be called in to the Village Police office, the Dean of Students office, the College Activities Center or by the President of Inter Greek Council. There might be a stiff verbal warning, a letter of reprimand, a letter to the national, a meeting with the officers, a meeting with the members, a disciplinary hearing by the college disciplinary committee, probation, suspension, fines, a judicial hearing by IGC, or a slap on the wrist.

The college and the Greeks should reach an agreement on the nature of their relationship. The rights and responsibilities of the Greeks should be clearly stated in a written document. The college should state its expectations as well as the services and the supervision it will provide to these organizations. Compliance with the letter and spirit of such a document should become the basis of college recognition of Greek organizations. (p.8)

This statement applies equally, if not more, today.

 

Relationship Statement of Expectations and Services

Although the college does not purport to regulate the off-campus activities of any student organization, by virtue of its function in granting recognition, it reserves the right to review the extent to which each is acting in accordance with the expressed goals and objectives of the organization.

This proposed relationship statement includes the college expectations of fraternities and sororities, the services provided by the college to these organizations, the rules for participating in the system and the sanctions for violations. The document is intended to set the stage for a new relationship focusing on the education and development of the fraternities and sororities and helping them reach their potential for positive and productive members of the academic community.

 

Responsibilities of Fraternities, Sororities, and the College

The Task Force is not challenging the right of Greek organizations to exist as single-sex organizations. This right is specifically recognized by Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972. However, fraternities and sororities were founded to advance the ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service to others. The organizations, then, should actively seek to promote these ideals and minimize those activities that are in conflict with those ideals. Fraternities and sororities are not independent organizations but are part of the College. Therefore, it is in the College's interest to nurture and assist student groups in the accomplishment of those goals which support the College's mission.

The right of fraternities and sororities to exist as part of the College brings with it a high level of responsibility. To achieve mutual success for the College and its Greek organizations, there must exist a trust and a shared responsibility. This begins with mutual support for each others' goals, and sharing resources when appropriate to help the other.

 

Fraternities and sororities should have the following responsibilities:

* to promote academic excellence and intellectual activities related to the academic mission of the College;

* to maintain a rush recruitment program in accordance with Greek Council, college rules and regulations, and New York State Law;

* to manage their own affairs (i.e., become self-regulating), with the assistance of a Greek advisor, and faculty/staff advisors when necessary.

* to participate in College and Inter-Greek Council educational training programs for leaders;

* to maintain property, owned or rented in conformity with zoning regulations, village building codes, and community standards;

* to demonstrate the ability to be good neighbors to those private citizens who live in homes surrounding the fraternity or sorority "house;"

* to observe College codes and policies, and village, town, county, state and federal laws and regulations;

* to cooperate with public officials in the maintenance of Public Order;

* to observe and enforce New York State Law with regard to alcohol and other drugs;

* to comply with College policies and New York State laws on hazing;

* to carry appropriate group liability insurance;

* to maintain and adhere to a risk management policy in accordance with national standards and the College,

* to promote and practice high standards of ethics.

 

It is the College's responsibility to nurture and assist student groups in the attainment of academic excellence and leadership training, and the accomplishment of those goals which support the College's mission. In this vein, the College should aid the Greek organization in the following ways.

The College should provide the following services:

* provide Greek organizations with the rights bestowed by Geneseo's policies and procedures, as well as by federal, state and local laws and statutes;

* provide the right of recognition in accordance with the College's policies for recognition;

* provide the right to request available expertise and information from the College regarding all aspects of fraternity and sorority operations;

* provide notice of changes in expectations, policies or procedures;

* provide reasonable utilization of College facilities, including use of college facilities and rooms for meetings and activities, lobby tables for fundraising activities, a bulletin board and wall in the College Union for promoting chapter activities and honors;

* allow for the participation in social, recreational and intramural programs, with opportunities to work with other student organizations, such as Activities Commission, in sponsoring campus events and programs, and an IGC vote on Activities Commission.

* support, recognize, encourage and train faculty, staff and administrators to be advisors to Greek organizations;

* establish the minimum expectations defining the role of the advisors;

* provide staff assistance and advisement to all student organizations, as well as provide special staff support and guidance to individual fraternities and sororities and the Greek governance system.

* provide training for the Greek Judicial Committee.

* assist in sponsoring educational and skill workshops for new members of fraternities and sororities;

* coordinate specialized educational workshops and training programs for the leaders of fraternities and sororities;

* compile grade point averages each semester and provide information regarding the appropriate comparison group averages;

* produce and distribute information regarding hazing;

* aid in the production and distribution of informational brochures regarding fraternities and sororities, as well as rush guidelines;

* coordinate Rush in conjunction with Inter-Greek Council;

* provide technical assistance for appropriate fund-raising activities;

* provide legal information through the Student Association legal service, SUNY Council or other legal authorities;

* assist in identifying community service projects;

* provide use of student services available to all individuals and student organizations;

* explore the possibility of facilitating, through the Geneseo Foundation, the purchase and maintenance of homes, establishing scholarship funds, and supporting other activities regarding Greek life, as it relates to the mission of the College

* provide access to publicity and public relations services available through the Division of College Relations and Development;

* provide assistance with alumni activities through the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations;

* provide assistance in the dissemination of publicity to faculty, staff and administrators;

* provide information and documentation for national organizations for scholarships and foundation activities.

* work to access the strengths and weaknesses of individual chapters, and Greek organizations as a whole.

 

Academic Expectations

The primary purpose of attending a college or university is to receive an education. Fraternities and sororities are committed to this ideal, holding that scholarship is the most important aspect of the college experience.

* Fraternities and sororities should maintain a chapter grade point average each semester in accordance with College policy governing all campus organizations.

* Daily study hours should be sponsored Sunday through Thursday during the pledging/new member education program.

* Inter-Greek Council should sponsor, in cooperation with the Division of Student and Campus Life, a time management workshop for all pledges/new members.

* Students should maintain a 2.0 GPA at SUNY Geneseo to remain an active member of a Greek organization.

* Students should have earned a minimum of 15 college credits (counting AP credits) to be eligible to join a fraternity or sorority. If students enter Geneseo with more than 15 credits, they should have at least 1 full semester in residence at Geneseo, before being allowed to join a Greek organization. Thus, first year students with less than 15 credits, and transfer students, would avoid the inevitable conflict between chapter life and their initial academic success at Geneseo. (Students over the age of 21 or transfer students with at least a 3.5 and 15 credits from another institution could appeal these guidelines through the Division of Student & Campus Life.) Greek recruitment can and should be conducted, especially for academically established upperclass students, but men and women selected for membership should have earned a minimum of 15 college credits.


College Regulations/Governance

Standards are an important component in a community. The College has established expectations for both individuals and groups. All rules and regulations set forth by the College, including those contained in the Student Code of Conduct, Geneseo Update, Undergraduate Bulletin, and the Student Organization Handbook are applicable to all recognized student clubs and organizations and they will be held responsible for violation of any such regulations.

 

Recognition

In order for a fraternity or sorority to exist or operate at SUNY Geneseo it should need to be endorsed, recognized and chartered. Recognition itself should be divided into three categories: Full, Provisional, and Probationary. In addition, there should be two categories in which a group can lose the privileges of recognition: Recognition could be suspended or withdrawn.

 

Types of Recognition

1. Full Recognition would grant a fraternity or sorority all rights, privileges, obligations, and appropriate use of College resources as follows:

* use of the College name and logo within college guidelines;

* access to all Inter-Greek Council or Allied Greek Community activities;

* access to all activities sponsored by Inter-Fraternity Council and Inter-Sorority Council;

* participation in rushing and pledging as prescribed by Inter-Greek Council or Allied Greek Community, and the Division of Student and Campus Life;

* access to programs and activities sponsored by the College for fraternities and sororities;

* access to college facilities as approved by the appropriate college offices; e.g. rooms for chapter meetings, mail boxes, posting, etc.

 

2. Provisional Recognition would be granted for the establishment of a new chapter or re-establishment of a previously chartered chapter.

Provisional Recognition would provide recognition status for a specified period of time to be no less than one year after fulfillment of the Criteria for Continued Recognition.

In addition, groups granted Provisional Recognition would be required to file a progress report once each semester, meet on a regular basis with their faculty advisor(s), and meet periodically with the Greek Advisory Council. Provisional Recognition could be extended for an additional period but in no case should Provisional Recognition be extended more than a total of two years. During this period of Provisional Recognition a group would have certain rights and privileges which would be determined by IGC or AGC, in consultation with the Division of Student and Campus Life.

 

3. Probationary Recognition could entail temporary withdrawal of certain college services and benefits.

In addition, the College could apply specific sanctions against a chapter for a specified period of time. These sanctions could involve the imposition of a schedule of corrective action. In the event that further infractions occur or if the schedule of corrective action is not met, the College could Suspend or Withdraw recognition. Examples of reasons for Probationary Recognition could include an incomplete filing of requested information, poor academic performance, behavioral concerns, and failure to adhere to college regulations or New York State Law.

 

Loss of Recognition

Loss of recognition could consist of two types: Suspension and Withdrawal.

1. Suspension of Recognition would be for a prescribed period of time during which all activities and privileges are suspended. Sanctions could also involve the imposition of a schedule of corrective action. Should recognition be restored, the chapter would be granted Probationary Recognition for one year prior to the reinstatement of Full Recognition.

2. Withdrawal of Recognition would revoke the charter granted by the College and remove all privileges and require the chapter to cease all operations. Upon Withdrawal of Recognition, the chapter would be ineligible to apply for Provisional Recognition for a specified period of time. After the prescribed period of time elapsed, the organization would then have to meet the requirements for starting a new fraternity or sorority.

 

Criteria for Continued Recognition

To be eligible for Continued Recognition, a chapter should be a member of Inter-Greek Council or Allied Greek Community. Each chapter should maintain and pursue goals which are in support of the mission of the College and consistent with policies established by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. These goals should be reflected in the following documents which should be submitted and be on file as part of the information necessary for Continued Recognition:

* an up-to-date chapter constitution, bylaws, and statement of purpose and goals;

* the statement of policies and standards for the recruitment, selection, education, and initiation of new members consistent with College rules and regulations;

* a description of the chapter governance structure indicating how the chapter assigns responsibilities for fraternity/sorority chapter financial activities, educational/personal development program planning, compliance with College disciplinary standards for individual students and with other College regulations, recruitment, orientation, and selection of new members, communication with the college's administration, and participation within Inter-Greek Council or Allied Greek Community;

* a list of officers with title/position including the pledge educator;

* a list of members which includes social security numbers, address, phone numbers, and whether active, inactive, etc.

* names of the Chapter and Faculty/Staff advisors.

To be eligible for Continued Recognition, a chapter should have the recognition papers filed and approved by College Union and Activities, and IGC or AGC, no later than October 1. Failure to provide any of the information requested, or any violation of College regulations, or of federal or state laws, should result in a review of the status of the relationship of the group with the College and could result in disciplinary procedures.

 

A fraternity or sorority is assumed to be in good standing as long as the organization meets the expectations articulated in the recognition policies and submits all the required documents in a timely manner to the college.


Expansion

The expansion of the number of Greek organizations receiving recognition from SUNY-Geneseo should only happen by a unanimous decision of IFC or ISC and IGC, or AGC, and the Vice President for Student and Campus Life. At the present time, the maximum number of IGC fraternities and sororities should not exceed its current level of 10 each. Additional AGC sororities and/or fraternities should only be allowed if numbers and differing ideals warrant. In the event that one of these preceding organizations shall become inactive, it should have seven years to reactivate before its recognition be removed.


13. Coordinator of Greek Affairs

The Inter-Greek Council Advisor position is currently housed with the Director of Orientation/Associate Director of College Union and Activities. The advisor position currently does not have a job description, therefore, the Task Force recommends incorporating the title and a job description into the staff member's job description and performance program. The example job description outlined in Appendix G is a result of the recommendations set forth in this document. In order to accomplish all of these duties outlined, the staff member should expect to devote 50% of their time to the Coordinator of Greek Affairs position. These changes are necessary to provide some definition of duties and responsibilities, and lend credence to the position.