Ohio University

Resources and Policies

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Ohio University Sorority and Fraternity Life Relationship Statement

The university’s relationship to sororities and fraternities is more than recognition or registration it is a close relationship based upon mutual interests and reciprocal support. Recognizing that membership in a fraternity or sorority can be a positive and educational experience, the University supports the notion that membership in a social fraternity or sorority offers a supportive and developmental experience for today’s student.

Within the guidelines stated below, the University expects and encourages social sororities and fraternities to operate with as much independence as their performance warrants because it recognizes that self-governance fosters development of personal and group responsibilities and maturity. The University values diversity in student groups and living arrangements and acknowledges that the social opportunities inherent in a small group setting can make a significant contribution to students’ education.

The foundation for the relationship between the University and the Sorority & Fraternity community consists of the following:

  • A student at Ohio University, by virtue of enrollment, is here primarily for an education. This basic academic relationship between the student and the University cannot be altered by co-curricular activities such as membership in a social sorority or fraternity. Rather, membership in a fraternity or sorority should enhance that relationship between the student and the University. The University reinforces the educational mission of inter/national fraternities and sororities by implementing Academic Guidelines for fraternities and sororities related to minimum average GPA standards, as well as assisting with academic plans of improvement for those who fail to meet those standards.
  • The fraternity or sorority chapter is an organization that has received a charter or other recognition document from an intern/national office or is a provisional chapter (i.e. colony) of the larger inter/national organization. This partnership between the University and inter/national organization is integral to the success, risk reduction, and support of chapters, and “local” organizations will not be permitted.
  • To reinforce the ideals of shared self-governance and peer accountability, each chapter should belong to a governing council, a self-governing oversight body made up of elected/appointed undergraduate fraternity/sorority members who are current undergraduate students.
  • Each fraternity or sorority chapter should have a constitution and bylaws that define the goals and operations of the organization. The chapter is recognized by Ohio University on the premise that these goals are compatible with those of the University and that the organization will constantly work towards their stated goals as well as have their own internal methods of accountability.
  • Each fraternity or sorority chapter is expected to register annually as a student organization and follow the minimum guidelines and expectations for student organization recognition including the 5 minimum standard and the minimum, officers of President, Vice President, and Treasurer.
  • Each chapter should have advisors (in addition to the designated University staff members) responsible for assisting with the growth and development of the organization.
  • Each organization is expected to observe and uphold University regulations relating to the social and personal conduct of students and organizations as outlined within the Student Code of Conduct. In addition, social fraternities and sororities are also expected to follow the OSFL Pawprint.
  • Membership selection is enforced as being the responsibility of the individual organizations and should follow set guidelines detailed by an inter/national organization. Ohio University will provide administrative support and guidance to council-sponsored recruitment programming or individual chapter membership intake efforts in the form of advertisement, logistic support, academic standard verification, etc. The university will uphold the ability for first semester, first-year students to join an organization, but students will only be eligible to join a social sorority or fraternity if an invitation for membership (i.e. bid) has been extended to the individual and they are reported to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.
  • A common bond that exists between the University and the Sorority & Fraternity community is the nurturing of individual growth. The Sorority & Fraternity community can and is expected to contribute to the development of the “whole” person by:
    1. Providing a small group setting that emphasizes the intellectual, cultural, and social aspects of community living and promote effective leadership, responsible decision-making, and consideration of others’ rights;
    2. Encouraging active participation in University events and activities through effective organization, communication, and coordination;
    3. Assisting with the development of interpersonal skills by providing opportunities for interaction and relationship building;
    4. Promoting attitudes that stimulate lifetime interest in higher education in general an in Ohio University.
    5. Scholastic achievement is dependent ultimately on the performance and motivation of the individual, but the drive for excellence can be stimulated and the necessary support and assistance provided by the actions of the chapter. Each fraternity and sorority chapter at Ohio University is to maintain an environment conducive to learning and individual growth.

Other evidence of support provided by the University includes organizational data included in the national and university scorecard; special leadership training and development for chapter and council officers; mailboxes and meeting space in Baker University Center; second-year housing exemptions for recognized facility living; professional staff advisement and advocacy; and the provision of regular fire safety inspections of the recognized chapter facilities by Environmental Health and Safety.