Recognition is the formal process by which the College agrees that a social fraternity or sorority chapter may function on campus, enroll members, and identify with the College.
Recognition of social fraternal organizations shall not be construed as agreement, support, or approval by the College, but only as recognition of the rights of the organization to exist at the College subject to established conditions. Recognized fraternal organizations may only use the name of the College to indicate location, not endorsement. Use of the College name and symbols is subject to conditions established by the College.
Fraternities and sororities are defined as student groups whose primary goal is the personal, intellectual, and social development of their members. This goal may be achieved through planned social, educational, and service programs and contributions to campus life. These groups may be fraternities, sororities, or co-educational, and local, regional, or national in nature. As is the case with college affiliation with any organizations, chapters are expected to maintain consonance of goals and standards with those of the College.
Withdrawal of recognition or other changes in recognition status may occur at any time as a result of a decline in standards as measured by failure to abide by these policies, or violation of The Buffalo State College Code of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities for Students, federal, state or local laws.
II. Types of Recognition and Requirements
A. Temporary – provides approval for limited organizational activities for up 90 days from initial submission of the Application for Temporary Recognition as a Fraternity or Sorority to the Greek Liaison. The application includes:
1. A letter from regional/national office stating the group’s goals and purposes or a statement by the local group on its purposes and goals;
2. A statement explaining why the group is needed by students and Buffalo State College;
3. A list of at least 10 names, local addresses, telephones numbers, and student identification numbers of potential members who meet membership requirements, and temporary officers;
4. The signature of a Buffalo State College faculty or staff member indicating willingness to serve as advisor;
5. A statement signed by the group members indicating understanding of and intent to abide by college rules and regulations including these policies;
6. A list of potential activities/services the organization would like to offer, and
7. A schedule of regular meetings.
A meeting with the Greek Liaison which includes all listed potential members and the advisor is required following submission of the Application. The Greek Liaison may approve or reject the application for temporary recognition. If approved, temporary recognition shall be for a maximum of 90 days. If denied, a group may reapply in subsequent semesters. The Greek Liaison shall notify the appropriate governing bodies when a group is given temporary recognition.
Fraternities and sororities with temporary recognition may use college facilities, through established scheduling and reservation processes, for meetings and to advertise the organization. Temporarily recognized groups may not rush, pledge, raise funds or hold events. Attendance at meetings of appropriate governing bodies is required, i.e., IGA, Pan-Hellenic. Temporarily recognized groups do not have a voice or vote at these meetings. Participation in governing organizing activities shall be by invitation.
Temporary Recognition is applied during establishment of a new fraternity/sorority chapter or the reestablishment of a formerly recognized fraternity/sorority chapter.
B. Provisional Recognition – provides recognition for up to six months in order to fulfill the requirements of the College and appropriate governing bodies for Full Recognition. The Application for Provisional Recognition must be submitted to the Greek Liaison and include:
1. The proposed constitution, by-laws, and other articles of governance including membership requirements, sexual abuse policy, anti-hazing policy and alcohol and drugs policies;
2. A current list of at least 10 names, addresses, telephones and student ID numbers of potential group members who meet membership requirements, and organization officers;
3. The signature of a Buffalo State College faculty of staff member indicating his/her willingness to serve as advisor;
4. An anti-hazing form signed by all members;
5. If applicable, a letter from the national/regional indicating continued interest in the formation of a BSC chapter;
6. Signature(s) from appropriate governing body president(s) indicating attendance at required meetings.
7. Applications for recognition must include a commitment to hold a minimum of five programs of different types, for which sign in sheets and evaluations will be obtained and submitted to the Greek Liaison, and
8. Groups approved for provisional recognition may not rush, pledge, raise funds or hold events during the period of their provisional recognition.
A meeting with the Greek Liaison and IGA officers/advisor is required following submission of the Application. The Greek Liaison shall approve or deny the application in consultation with the officers of IGA, who will provide the results of a vote of the members of IGA on the application.
If denied provisional recognition, the petitioning group may request a continuation of temporary recognition status for a maximum of three months. During this time, the group may reapply for provisional status. If the application is denied again, the group’s recognition is terminated. One calendar year must elapse before reapplying for provisional recognition.
The Greek liaison shall notify the group and the appropriate governing bodies on provisional recognition approval or denial.
Fraternities and sororities with provisional recognition may have access to facilities and equipment through the normal scheduling and reservation process for meetings and events including fund-raising programs. Attendance at meetings of appropriate governing bodies is required. i.e., IGA, Pan-Hellenic. Provisionally recognized groups do not have a voice or vote at these meetings. Participation in governance organization activities shall be by invitation.
During the period of Provisional Recognition, all College rights, privileges, obligations, and resources are available as described in this document. At the end of the Provisional Recognition period, the organization must either submit an Application for Full Recognition or request in writing a one month extension of Provisional Status. If an Application for Full Recognition is not submitted by the end of the extension, recognition is terminated. One calendar year must elapse before reapplying for temporary recognition.
C. Full Recognition for New Organizations – is granted for a period of two years. Full recognition is renewable according to established procedures.
An application for Full Recognition must be submitted to the Greek Liaison and include:
1. If national/regional, a letter confirming that the organizing is pursuing a Charter which will be granted if all requirements are met;
2. If national/regional a copy of the insurance policy/description of coverage;
3. An outline of community service, scholarship, and social programs undertaken during the period of provisional recognition as well as plans for the future;
4. Signature(s) from appropriate governing body president(s) indicating fulfillment of requirements for admission;
5. A current complete roster of potential members and officers who meet membership requirements with names, addresses, telephone numbers and student ID numbers;
6. All current copies of the constitution, by-laws and all policy statements;
7. A schedule of regular meetings;
8. The signature of the Greek Liaison or designee indicating that he/she was invited to and did attend a regular meeting of the organization for the purpose of assessing organizational needs, and
9. Documents verifying attendance at least one leadership development program approved by the Greek Liaison.
A meeting with the Greek Liaison, officers and advisors is required following submission of the Application. The Greek Liaison may approve or deny the application for Full Recognition. The appropriate governing bodies will be notified by the Greek Liaison regarding the decision.
Full recognition accords all rights, privileges, obligations, and College resources available under the recognition process.
D. Renewal of Full Recognition – to renew Full Recognition, the organization must submit an Application for Renewal of Full Recognition at least one month prior to the expiration of recognition. The Application shall include:
1. A list of activities conducted which contributed to the personal, intellectual, and social development of members and campus life with at least three supporting letters, i.e., thank you’s for participation in programs/ campus or community service projects;
2. If applicable, a letter from the national/regional indicating the current good standing of the organization and
3. The signature(s) of the president(s) of appropriate campus Greek governing bodies indicating continued compliance with their rules and regulations.
E. Probationary Recognition – entails conditional withdrawal of certain College services or benefits and /or application of specific sanctions/ requirements by the College to the chapter for a specified period of time. This Status may be imposed as a result of actions taken by the Greek Liaison, campus Greek governing bodies, the College Judicial System or national/regional organizations.
III. Withdrawal of Recognition
A. Termination – Upon termination of recognition, all chapter operations must cease. All campus privileges and college permission for the chapter to function are revoked. Upon withdrawal of recognition, the chapter shall be ineligible to reapply for recognition for five years unless this requirement is waived by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Current individual members registered at the College could face campus disciplinary action for failure to comply with termination of recognition. Should recognition be restored after Termination of Recognition, the chapter will initially be granted Provisional Recognition for one year.
B. Allegations of Violations – Any allegations regarding violation of these guidelines shall be presented to the Greek Liaison, who will request a hearing by the IGA judicial board. The IGA judicial board shall designate appropriate sanctions for organizations found responsible for violating the guidelines. If a member on the IGA judicial board is also a member of the organization having allegations against it, that member will be replaced by a member of the IGA executive board.
Allegations of hazing will be referred to the Director of Judicial Affairs for prosecution under the Code of Student Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities and to University Police for investigation of violation of New York State laws.
C. Suspension – Suspension is imposed for a set period of time during which all activities of the chapter are suspended and chapter privileges are revoked. This action may be taken immediately following allegations of hazing or pending investigations of incidents involving physical injury, pending an investigation.
Failure to comply with a suspension order may result in disciplinary action against individual members who are registered students.
If recognition is restored after Suspension, the chapter will be given Provisional Recognition for one year.
D. Appeals – College decisions regarding probationary recognition, denial of full recognition and suspension/termination of recognition may be appealed. All appeals of college imposed sanctions must be in writing and received by the Dean of Students within five (5) business days of notification of probationary recognition, denial of full recognition or suspension/termination.
Sanctions imposed as a result of action by campus Greek governing bodies, national or the College Judicial System must be appealed through the sanctioning organization’s appeals process, if any.
IV. Membership, Rush and New Member Education Requirements
1. Membership in organizations shall be determined locally.
2. Members will be admitted in compliance with the SUNY Board of Trustees and Buffalo State College non-discriminatory policy, although chapters may be single sex under Title IX.
3. Members must be full time Buffalo State College students.
4. Prospective members of social organizations must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and have completed at least 12 hours as a matriculated student at a college campus prior to participation in new member education activities.
5. To continue active membership, an individual must maintain a 2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average.
B. Rush & New Member Education
1. Rush and new member education periods will be designated annually by the Greek Liaison. All rush and new member education activities will be completed no later than three weeks prior to the first date of final examinations.
2. All prospective new members and the members of each organization responsible for intake and new member activities must attend a College-sponsored information session prior to new member education activities.
3. All rush/new member education activities must be in compliance with the New York State Anti-Hazing Law. It is the responsibility of each organization and each member to understand the law and College policy and to adopt and implement healthy and constructive new member education programs.