Greek Life Operational Policy

University of South Alabaama Office of Greek Life Logo

Created on May 9, 2016

Revised: January 27, 2021

▼   Overview

The following policy has been created to assist chapters in the areas of Greek policy awareness; event management; responsible decision-making and behavior; reduction legal liability, and to provide a healthy and safe environment for members and guests. Throughout this policy, the term "off-campus" refers to any location not in or on the property of University of South Alabama. CHAPTER OFFICERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EDUCATION OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS, INCLUDING NEW MEMBERS AND ALUMNI/AE ABOUT THESE POLICIES. The chapter President, Officer in charge of Risk Management and Social Chair are responsible for educating all Active, New/Associate, and Alumni/ae members about responsible event management and these policies. Unawareness and non-compliance on policy matters is not tolerated and chapters will be held responsible for the actions of members and guests. It is recommended that these policies be reviewed yearly in the spring semester at a council meeting with the delegates. Delegates are responsible for conducting a review with their chapter and submitting an attendance sheet to the Office of Greek Life.

▼   Community Expectations

Greek Chapters and Members will:

  1. Adhere to the principles and ideals contained in your organization’s Ritual.
  2. Comply with all your national policies (hazing, risk management, meeting attendance at national conventions, and leadership schools, new member education, etc.)
  3. Attend all training sessions, retreats, meetings and workshops such as Greek Council, IFC, CPC, NPHC.
  4. Achieve a chapter GPA, that is equal to or exceeds the University of South Alabama’s all-women or all-men’s average.
  5. Submit a copy of the new member program including the initiation date each semester by the 3rd week of classes.
  6. Maintain your chapter roster with the Office of Greek Life via email, within 48 hours of membership changes. This will ensure that you have an accurate roster for scholarship compliance, payment of dues to your respective councils, and verification of membership figures with the national headquarters.
  7. Comply with the Office of Greek Life policy.
  8. Comply with the University of South Alabama Student Code of Conduct, and the University & Policies and Procedures as listed in the Lowdown.
  9. Attend the Greek Convocation held during the fall semester.
  10. Refrain from participation in little brother/sister program(s) or auxiliary group(s) and/or organization(s).
  11. Send a representative(s) to the council meetings scheduled for that year.
▼   Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Expectations
  1. Maintain the highest standards of conduct.
  2. Actively promote and encourage the highest level of education within the profession and institution.
  3. Maintain loyalty to the University of South Alabama and pursue its objectives in ways that are consistent with the public interest.
  4. Serve as an advocate for the Greek community to move towards positive change to benefit the goals and aspirations of the students.
  5. Strive for excellence in all aspects of management and leadership of the University of South Alabama and the Office of Student Activities.
  6. Serve all students impartially.
  7. Serve as a liaison between the students and the institution's administration.
  8. Show continuous support for the Greek community and policies of the university.
  9. Maintain a relationship with both the national headquarters of the Greek organizations, as well as the local chapter advisors.
  10. Use every opportunity to improve public understanding of the role of the Office of Greek Life
▼   Paperwork

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life expects ALL recognized social Greek organizations to submit requested paperwork and/or forms, including electronic forms, registrations and other submissions made via a USA hosted website or exchanged via email with standardized email attachments by the designated due date. Chapters failing to adhere to this directive are subject to monetary fines and/or loss of privileges. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Anticipated House Resident List
  • Registration of Social Events
  • Registration of a Swap by both fraternities and sororities
  • FERPA Grade Release Form
  • Updated Greek Roster
  • New Officer List
  • New Member Rosters
  • Hazing Policy Acknowledgement(s)
▼   Greek Councils
  1. Interfraternity Council
  2. National Pan-Hellenic Council
  3. College Panhellenic Council
  4. Council Calendars The Office of Greek Life calendar on the website reflects upcoming Events including council recruitment dates, meetings and Greek Life deadlines. Calendar procedures:
    1. Selection Process - The selection Process will be conducted as follows:
      1. Pre-set events will be noted on the calendar first. These events can include National organizational events, Founder’s Days, or philanthropic annual events which are predetermined or booked well in advance and cannot be moved. Proof of documentation, receipts, invoices, etc. must be turned into the Office of Greek Life by the previous semester with proof of documentation.
      2. Events will be scheduled in the order as they are submitted; however, preference will be given to philanthropy first and formals second.
      3. Philanthropy:
        • Organizations should follow all council, Greek Life and international/national guidelines which state the number of Philanthropy events allowable per semester.
        • Organization may have (1) main competition event and (2) point-based event(s) during the semester.
        • Point-Based events must be held on campus.
        • Organizations are not allowed to book events on the same day as another Organization’s Philanthropy event.
      4. Rules for Exchanging Calendar Dates: If an organization submits a date/time which conflicts with a philanthropy event that is already approved, both organization’s must agree to share the date. If the organizations agree then both must send an email no later than one week prior to the events to the Office of Greek Life stating that they have mutually agreed.
▼   Chapter Events

Event Registration Process

  • All organizations must register all events (including Parent/Alumni) with the Office of Greek Life.
  • All registration must be completed in full or request for events will be denied.
  • The proper event form must be submitted to the Office of Greek
  • Life three (3) weeks prior to the event by 12:00 PM (noon). Events occurring on the weekend need to be submitted by the Friday three weeks before the event by 12:00 PM (noon). Forms can be found under the respective council on OrgSync.
  • Organizations may have the same events on the same calendar day excluding Philanthropy events.
  • Themes for events must be non-discriminatory in nature
  • Formals and Date Parties- IFC/CPC Organizations may host one formal and one date party event per semester.
  • Swaps/Socials - All organizations participating in a Swap/Social must submit an event form.

Events must coincide with the academic calendar for each semester.  (No events may occur during academic breaks).

▼   Social Events

A social function is any gathering of members, persons affiliated with an organization, and guests which an observer would associate with the organization for any purpose other than regular business meetings, which includes any unlawful activity. The organization is expected to follow all Council, University, State, and Local Laws pertaining to the event.

a. Registration

    • A completed SOCIAL EVENT REGISTRATION FORM and a POLICE REQUEST FORM with appropriate signatures must be submitted to the Office of Greek Life on OrgSync at least 3 weeks prior to the event by 12:00 PM (noon).
    • If the event is on the weekend then it needs to be submitted by the Friday that falls 3 weeks prior to the week of the event by 12:00 PM (noon). A pre-determined guest list must be submitted by 12:00 PM (noon) to the Office of Greek Life three (3) business days prior to the event.

b. Guest List

    • Highlight all sober monitors (following your national policy)
    • List each chapter member with ALL their guests who will be attending beside their name 6
    • ITALICIZE all members and their guests that are over the age of 21
    • A template form for the guest list may be obtained from the “Resources “ section of the Greek Life web page.
    • The chapter representative signing the form must be present at the event and must be one of the sober hosts listed. This person must also sign the security check in list.
    • There may only be 3 guests per chapter member.
    • Only invited guests from the submitted and approved Guest List should be permitted to enter the event
    • Changes in the Guest List should be noted properly and should be substituted on a person-for-person basis.
    • The maximum number of guests for an event must not exceed the maximum occupation as determined by the fire department which is posted in your chapter room. Maximum occupancy is determined by standing room only which does not include furniture. You must abide by the number posted or the event can be shut down and you could be placed on Temporary Social Suspension.
    • When the attendee total has been reached, no one else may be admitted. Persons leaving the event DO NOT create a vacancy for others to enter:
    • Any chapter found in violation of these policies, Council rules, or any violation of the University of South Alabama Student Code Of Conduct will be subject to sanctions. *  Reported violations are handled under the advice of the Office of Greek Life and the respective Council’s Judicial Board. However, a violation of state, local, or Federal law will be referred to the University of South Alabama’s Police Department and University Disciplinary Committee (UDC).All chapters and members must also abide by their own Inter/National and local risk management policies.

c. Only invited guests from the submitted and approved Guest List should be admitted to the event.

d. The event will begin at the designated time and will end at the designated time. For events with alcohol, the serving of alcohol has to cease at least 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to end. Events may be closed early by security, campus police or chapter executive members if problems occur. Security personnel may not leave until all guests have left and the event is closed. All Federal, state, and local laws as well as University, Greek Life, and Council rules and regulations must be followed. Event times must coincide with the following times:

    • Weekday events (Sunday - Thursday) must end by 12:00 AM (Midnight).
    • Weekend events (Friday and Saturday) must end by 2:00 AM.
    • From the time the event is officially over, thirty (30) minutes is allowed to have the house completely vacated by guests.
    • Security officers must stay until all guests have departed.
▼   Dance Competition Event Rules
  1. Absolutely no nudity. Performers must always be wearing non-transparent pants, tops, skirts, or shorts (not just underwear).
  2. Performers should make no contact with the audience.
  3. Performers will not be allowed to leave the “performance area” (i.e. stages, dance floor, etc).
  4. An established boundary area between the performers and the audience must exist.
  5. All performers in the event must do so willingly, without coercion.
  6. Performers may withdraw from the dance competition at any time during the event.
  7. Absolutely no alcohol is to be present at the Dance Competition.
  8. All competitions must be properly registered with Greek Life.
  9. The Dean of Students, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, IFC President, and IFC Judicial VP all have permission to attend any dance competition for monitoring purposes.
  10. The sponsoring organizations will be responsible for ensuring that all rules are followed.
  11. Organizations who violate these rules will be subject to a GBM Hearing and/or sanctions from the Office of Greek Life.
▼   Registered Events with Alcohol
  1. All events are BYOB or Third Party Vendor. No alcohol may be served or sold by the host organization at any time. If the event is BYOB, only those over the age of 21 are permitted to bring alcohol to the event.
    • BYOB guidelines provide that an individual of legal age may bring one six-pack of twelve-ounce beers or one four-pack of wine coolers for personal consumption only (refer to the University Alcohol Policy).
  2. There shall be no common source container - A common source is anything determined by the Greek Life Office as an open access, unmonitored, container that holds copious amounts of alcohol. Some examples are Kegs, 5 gallon drums, buckets, hot tubs, pools, coolers, party-balls, cases, jugs, barrels, roughs, jello shooters, etc. This list is not limited to the containers listed above.
  3. If the event is Third Party Vendor, only those who are 21 may purchase or Consume Alcohol.

 Risk Management Procedures and Regulations for Events:

  1. The possession, use, consumption or serving of alcoholic beverages by any University of South Alabama Chapter must be according to all applicable local, provincial, state, and Federal laws. The chapters must also abide by the Code of Conduct as well as any current University of South Alabama policies.
  2. No chapter is allowed to purchase or provide alcohol in a form that can be made accessible to individuals under the age of 21 years. This includes but is not limited to kegs, margarita machines, trash can punch, jello shots, or any other mass distribution of alcoholic beverages.
  3. The direct or indirect sale of alcohol by any chapter is strictly forbidden. will be in violation when they sell drink cards, take up admission fees, or sell cup.
  4. Sober Event Monitors:
    1. At least three (3) monitors must be present at an event. The monitors must be initiated members and one of the three must be chapter officers.
    2. At least one monitor should assist at the check-in table with guest admission.
    3. The remaining monitors should assist by patrolling the event, directing guests and members to the check in table, keeping guests inside the party or getting their ride home.
    4. Organization officers and members should always comply with the security officers in enforcing laws and campus rules and regulations.
    5. Persons waiting on safe rides must wait at the event check-in station and are prohibited from causing any disturbance. These persons must be transported as soon as possible.
  5. Open parties are not allowed. An open party is defined as any event that allows the unrestricted access to guests or non-members of a chapter. Only invited members are allowed to attend an event to assure the security of the chapter and its property.
    • Any construction for social events must be approved by the Office of Safety and Environmental Compliance and the Office of Risk Management and must be in compliance with these Social Event Guidelines: No pools of any type or size will be allowed at any time.
    • Groups decorating for parties are not allowed to use bamboo that has not been commercially grown. Please check with the Office of Safety and Environmental Compliance personnel or the Office of the Dean of Students if there are any questions. As well decorations for on campus events must be approved by the Greek Life Office to ensure compliance with all fire regulations.
    • Construction may begin no earlier than one week (7 calendar days) prior to the event.
    • All front yard remnants/decorations of social events must be removed from the property immediately following the event, and must be completely removed by 7:00 a.m. the morning following the event. This applies to the removal of all materials involved in party decoration construction (e.g. sand, lumber, flags, front yard fences/tarps, etc.).
    • Should the fire alarm go off during the event, the organization must immediately vacate the location. No one should be allowed back in the location until cleared by University Officials.
    • Exits that are locked to keep unauthorized guests from entering the facility must be able to be opened from the inside in one turn or push against a panic bar. Doors or entrances that are padlocked or double-locked will be considered a violation of the fire code and events will be immediately shut down.
    • All undergraduate recruitment events must be dry throughout the recruitment period as defined by their Council’s Recruitment policy. The Chapters must follow all university and council requirements and rules pertaining to Recruitment. The officer registering events for the week of recruitment must ensure the chapter follows all the laws and regulations.
  6. No chapter shall purchase alcohol or facilitate an environment where alcohol is accessible to individuals under the age of 21 years.
  7. Event Clean Up:
    • 30 minutes following an event the yard, parking lot, sidewalk, porch, and
    • Entire street area must be cleaned and free of debris.
    • If the event is multi-day (i.e. Friday and Saturday), the clean-up is to be done each day of the event before the venue is vacated.
    • Each organization is responsible for keeping its area clean and free of debris.
    • Failure to abide with the event clean up policy will result in chapter or individual sanctioning as determined by the respective council’s Judicial Board.
    • Clean-up procedures apply to any additional parking areas or University/community parking lots that have been used by the chapter or chapter guests as part of the event this includes but is not limited to tailgates or any other outdoor social gathering not on University Property.
  8. Travel: Individuals are responsible for their own travel to and from chapter events unless otherwise stated by their Chapter’s National Policy.
▼   Health and Safety Procedures and Regulations

Changes in the Guest List should be noted properly and should be substituted on:

  1. person-for-person basis.
  2. The maximum number of guests for an event must not exceed the maximum occupation as determined by the fire department which is posted in your chapter room. Maximum occupancy is determined by standing room only which does not include furniture. You must abide by the number posted or the event can be shut down and you could be placed on Temporary Social Suspension. When the attendee total has been reached, no one else may be admitted.
  3. Persons leaving the event DO NOT create a vacancy for others to enter.
  4. All guests and members must sign in at the check-in table, present identification, and receive the proper wristband or security stamp. There is to be only one point of entrance for all members and guests.
  5. A 4 ft. x 100 ft. Orange Guardian Safety Barrier Fence will need to be put up to create a secure and controllable event environment where applicable. The fence must be capped or protected in a manner that prevents injury. Also an official Dig Permit must be initiated and approved before fencing can be installed. Any damage to utilities by failure to have an approved Dig Permit will be charged to the organization. *The use of the temporary orange fencing is required if the area does not have other enclosure measures (i.e. permanent fencing, wall, etc.) to prohibit unauthorized entry. All events should have ONLY one point of entry.
  6. Wristbands
    1. The following guidelines are to be followed for social events at a chapter house:
      • All members and guests must wear a wristband issued by security or sober event monitor indicating whether or not they are 21.
      • EXCEPTION: At certain events such as Parent's Day or an alumni/ae functions, those individuals who are obviously over the age of 35 may be admitted without a wristband.
      • Underage drinking is not to be permitted and the chapter is responsible for monitoring of their guests.
      • The following guidelines are for events held at a third party vendor:
        • If the event is held at a licensed premise (bar) which is closed to all but invited guests, participants should be provided wristbands or a stamp in the normal manner; however no alcohol may be brought into the event by attendees.
        • Alcohol must be dispensed from a cash bar provided by the management of the establishment.
        • Alcohol may be dispensed only on an individual drink basis.
        • No pitchers or punch bowls.
        • If the licensed premise (bar) admits those not invited, the party is to be closed immediately.
        • Underage drinking is to be monitored and stopped if it occurs.
        • At no time should members of the organization attempt to physically handle or remove an individual.
▼   Misconduct (Organizational and Individual)
  1. Organizational Responsibility for Misconduct from University of South Alabama Lowdown:

A student organization will be held responsible for its own actions when:

  • The organization fails to comply with a duty imposed by a written University policy, including but not limited to improper membership initiation, education, and treatment; improper organizational registration of activities for which either registration or permission is required; failure to comply with applicable health and safety regulations; misuse of University property, facilities, and equipment; violations of University regulations on the use of alcohol; and violations of any other rule or policy applicable to organizations.
  • When one or more officers refuse or neglect to perform their duties then the organization will be held responsible for the actions of one or more of its members actions that violate the Code of Student Conduct that actions arise in the course of or derive from the activities of the organization, or activities clearly connected or linked between the transgressor’s action and the organization. Examples of such violations include, but are limited to, offenses against either persons or property of other organizations and alcohol violations.
▼   Hazing

“Hazing” is defined as any action or situation created by any member of a chapter, undergraduate or alumnus, to produce or result in mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, ridicule or harassment which is otherwise prohibited by any local laws, rules, statutes and ordinances. Any forms of hazing are not only outlawed by IFC / CPC/NPHC, but also by Alabama Law.

Possible examples of hazing are:

  • Paddling abuse in any form
  • Required calisthenics or other exercises
  • Forced sleep deprivation
  • Kidnapping of pledges/new members by brothers is hazing
  • Required uniforms or hats
  • Solitary confinement
  • Verbal abuse
  • Lineups
  • Forced alcohol consumption

Chapters or individuals involved in the act of hazing shall be referred to either the UDC or the USA PD under the advisement of the Greek Life Office according to the Hazing Protocol Chart.

▼   Sexual Misconduct
  1. “Sexual misconduct” is an umbrella term that includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence,stalking, and retaliation. Sexual misconduct does not depend on the gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation of the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator.
  2. “Sexual Harassment” is defined pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and the University of South Alabama policy as: unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment rises to the level of sex discrimination, and is prohibited by this policy as sexual misconduct, when:
    1. Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education, Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or:
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment (i.e., a “hostile environment”).
  4. Sexual harassment can take many forms, including verbal, non-verbal, and physical conduct. Members of the University community who wish to report sexual misconduct should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator(s) or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Contact information for Title IX Coordinators can be found at the University’s Title IX web page Individuals should be aware that all employees at the University, other than the confidential resources identified in Section V.F of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, have an obligation to report sexual misconduct that they observe or otherwise learn about. Confidential resources are available to students who need them and can also be found by visiting the University’s Title IX web page.

▼   Social Media
  1. Social media is a powerful communication tool that can have a significant Impact on organizational and professional reputations. Because these outlets blur the lines between personal voice and the organization voice, the Office of Greek Life has incorporated these guidelines to help clarify how to best enhance and protect personal and professional reputations when participating in social media. Think twice before posting.
  2. Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what would happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect on both the University and your organization.
  3. Search engines can turn up post years after they are created, and comments can be forwarded or copied. If you would not say it at a conference or to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online.
  4. Be respectful.
    • Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they could be reflected on the University or your organization.
  5. Consider your audience and its potential reaction to your content.
    • Be aware that a presence in the social media world is or can easily be made available to the public at large. This includes prospective students, current students, current employers and colleagues, and peers. Consider this before publishing to ensure that the post will not alienate, harm, or provoke any of these groups.