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    May 2014

    Managing Unsanctioned Greek Organizations

    Unsanctioned college fraternities and sororities pose serious safety and liability risks by operating without the institution’s oversight. United Educators (UE) has received many claims involving unaffiliated Greek organizations alleging such issues as hazing, assault, and rape. Colleges can be legally bound to manage unsanctioned Greek organizations, especially if institution employees are aware of such organizations but do nothing to curtail or manage their activities. Often, these groups are known “bad actors” that have lost their recognition due to campus policy violations. To best manage the risks of unsanctioned college fraternities and sororities, consider these actions.

    Establish a policy on unsanctioned Greek organizations that:

    • States that unsanctioned fraternities and sororities exist
    • Lists the unsanctioned groups the institution is aware of, the date the list was created, and, where appropriate, the date the institution removed a group’s recognition
    • Lists the Greek organizations currently recognized by the institution and the date the list was created
    • Warns of the safety risks posed by unsanctioned groups, such as sexual assaults, alcohol violations, or hazing
    • Discourages student participation by clearly stating that the institution does not sanction the group’s activities or provide any support, oversight, or advisement
    • Identifies the consequences of participating in these groups, including disciplinary action for activities on campus, legal action from the national chapter—if one exists—for violating the organization’s policies, and personal liability for the injuries or claims arising out of the organization’s activities
    • Encourages students to report suspected unsanctioned Greek activities, such as recruiting, and provides contact information for the person or department to receive such reports

    Widely publicize and make available the institution’s policy on unsanctioned Greek organizations by:

    • Posting the policy on the institution’s website
    • Referring to the policy at relevant student training programs, such as freshman orientation
    • Training Greek Life staff on the policy
    • Training campus safety officers and student affairs related  staff (e.g., student activities, risk management, residential) on the policy
    • Including the policy, with lists of recognized and unrecognized chapters, in any handouts about campus Greek opportunities
    • Encouraging Greek Life staff and recognized Greek organizations to disseminate the policy during recruitment

    Notify the campus when unsanctioned Greek organizations attempt to recruit or harm members of the student population, including:

    • A description of the offensive actions
    • The potential safety and disciplinary harms posed by participating in unsanctioned Greek activities
    • A link to the campus policy on unsanctioned Greek organizations

    Sample Policies

    University at Buffalo: Fraternity & Sorority Life

    University of New Hampshire: Greek Life - Chapters

    Johnson & Wales University Providence Campus: Greek Life

    Marist College: The Office of Student Conduct & Greek Affairs

    UE Resource

    Managing Greek Organizations


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