Community Standards Program
Overview of Program:
The University of Kansas Greek Community Standards Program exists to improve the fraternity and sorority experience at KU. Adherence to these Community Standards is a requirement of all chapters affiliated with the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Association and is a condition of maintaining registration as a Greek organization through the Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SILC). Although it is the responsibility of the leadership of each chapter to meet Community Standards, documentation of these standards is a coordinated effort between each chapter, their respective governing council, and the Greek Life Programs staff in SILC.
Purpose of Community Standards:
The purpose of the Greek Community Standards Program is to improve the management and quality of fraternities and sororities at KU by outlining a clear, but comprehensive, set of standards that each chapter must attain to maintain registration as a Greek organization through SILC. Community Standards are also intended to:
- Provide an annual evaluation tool that fraternities and sororities can utilize for self-evaluation purposes and receive recognition for meeting Community Standards.
- Empower the Greek community to be part of the decision-making process in determining how they wish to function within the greater university community. The intent of the Greek Community Standards process is to provide a framework by which councils can quantify and document their respective chapter’s performance for the purposes of recognition as well as increased accountability.
Conditions of Relationship:
The annual review of chapter performance on an annual basis (January-December) will be based upon adherence to Community Standards in the following six areas:
- Academic Performance
- Membership Development & Education
- Risk Management & Legal Liability
- Leadership & Campus Engagement
- Community Awareness
- Chapter Management
Greek Organization Registration:
Registration as a Greek organization provides fraternities and sororities at the University of Kansas the following privileges:
- Support from SILC to support and maintain the Greek Life website.
- Marketing publications through SILC, Office of Admissions, and respective governing council.
- Use of University of Kansas’s personnel and programming resources, including three professional and two graduate staff members.
- Participation in an official membership recruitment/intake program as promoted and monitored by each governing council, and participation in the educational, social programs and activities of the University of Kansas that are provided for Greek organizations.
- Participation in the Greek division of Homecoming the at KU Alumni Association.
- Participation in Greek division of intramural sports through the Student Recreation & Fitness Center.
- Participation in Sustainability Leadership Awards program through the Center for Sustainability.
- Training & support to alumni advisors on university policies, procedures, and Greek advisement.
- Access to leadership training, educational programs, and participation in the leadership programming offered to all chapters.
- Assistance in communicating with the inter/national organization and appropriate advisors.
Exemptions to Community Standards:
Chapters can petition SILC and their governing council and for a short-term exemption to any of the Community Standards. In order to receive an exemption, a fraternity or sorority must:
- Demonstrate that the Community Standard is not applicable to their chapter.
- Have experienced unforeseen extenuating circumstances preventing the chapter from meeting the requirement.
- Be a newly recognized Greek organization that is in an associate or colony status. Newly recognized Greek organizations are automatically given a one-year exemption from participating in and adhering to the Greek Community Standards Program. Newly recognized Greek organizations may appeal to their respective governing councils for an additional one-year exemption from Community Standards.
Note: All exemption requests must be made in writing prior to January 2, 2016.
Community Standards Review Committee:
A committee consisting of representatives from each of the following groups; governing councils, registered Greek chapters, faculty/staff members, and chapter Alumni/ae advisors, will convene to meet and evaluate the progress of the Greek Community Standards program on an as needed basis. The review committee conducted a formal evaluation of the Greek Community Standards Program in March of 2015. The next formal evaluation will be conducted in March of 2017.
Explanation of Chapter Standing:
Based on their performance in the Greek Community Standards Program, chapters will be placed in one of the following three statuses:
Chapter is in compliance with all requirements outlined in the Greek Community Standards program. Chapters in Good standing will receive all rights and privileges associated with membership in their respective governing council and retain registration with KU as a recognized Greek organization.
Chapter has not met all requirements outlined in the Greek Community Standards Program for one year. Chapter on Warning is not in good standing with their respective council. Chapters will receive written notification that they are on Warning from the executive board of their governing council. Chapters on warning will be asked to meet with a council officer and council advisor. Chapter on Warning may have privileges removed, be required to participate in council programs, and/or complete educational sanctions designed to return the chapter to Good Standing.
Organization Status Review:
Chapter has not met all requirements outlined in the Greek Community Standards Program for two or more consecutive years. Chapters will receive written notification that they will need to attend a “Show Cause” hearing from the executive board of their council. Chapter will be asked to meet with a review board made up of university staff/faculty and an officer from their council. A Greek Life staff member will serve on the review board in an ex-officio capacity.
Based on the Show Cause hearing, the review board will make recommendations to SILC regarding the chapter’s relationship with KU. These recommendations may include loss of registration as a Greek organization. Loss of registration as a Greek organization would include loss of all associated privileges (see Registration as a Greek Organization). Chapters that lose registration would need to work with SILC as well as their inter/national headquarters to develop a plan and timeline for regaining registration as a Greek organization.
Community Standards Requirements
1.1. Academic Chair: Elect or appoint an individual who will develop and present relevant programs on academic issues. This individual will also provide each member with a list of campus academic resources.
1.2. Chapter Academic Standard: The overall membership of the chapter must maintain a 2.70 semester grade point average over the course of one year or be showing progress toward it
1.3. Academic Program: Each chapter must submit a written academic program designed for its entire membership or a signed verification form confirming the program’s existence.
Membership Development & Education
2.1. New Member/Membership Intake Education Program: Each chapter must submit a written new member/membership intake education program or a signed verification form confirming existence of the program. The education program should provide appropriate education to individuals joining your organization (i.e. new members, neophytes, associate member, candidates, etc.), including local chapter history.
2.2. Educational Issues Programming: Each chapter is required to provide or participate at least one program per semester for their overall membership on one of the following issues:
- Academic success
- Alcohol/substance abuse
- Career development
- Current affairs and/or legal issues
- Diversity and/or social justice
- Hazing prevention
- Health and wellness
- Leadership development
- Personal financial management
- Sexual assault and/or harassment
- Sexuality and/or gender identity/expression
- Designated community-wide event
- Other topics approved by council advisor and officer
If the chapter membership is in attendance for a University, governing council, or organization sponsored lecture on one of the above topics, this can serve as the chapter programming on that topic. Chapter-sponsored issues programs can also be facilitated by chapter leadership or may involve the participation of members of the faculty, staff, administration, and/or community member.
Risk Reduction and Management
3.1. Risk Management Training: Each chapter Risk Manager, Social Chair, or officer responsible for planning events will participate in a training each semester hosted by Greek life, and/or their governing council. Those officers will then educate their members on social policies and then turn in a signatory sheet to validate this member education.
3.2. Risk Management and Hazing Policy: Each chapter must submit a copy of an agenda or minutes from a meeting or educational program which outlines that they have discussed all pertinent risk management, social event, and hazing policies (university, governing council, inter/national headquarters and state/federal) with their chapter members the semester of the organizations primary recruitment/intake.
3.3. Judicial/Standards Process: Chapter holds members accountable for membership expectations through an internal judicial board (also known as a standards or conduct board). Chapter will need to turn in written documentation of judicial process or a signed verification form confirming the existence of the process.
3.4. Risk Management Violations: Chapters must adhere to all university, governing council, and inter/national headquarters policies and procedures related to risk management and student conduct. Chapters will be immediately placed on Warning status for the duration of the review period:
- Receiving a probationary status from any of the above-mentioned constituents that that extends beyond the Community Standards period (January—December).
- Violating policies or procedures three (3) or more times over two (2) years.
Chapters may be placed on Organization Review status for:
- Being placed on Warning status two (2) times over three (3) years.
- Violating policies or procedures while on Warning status.
Leadership & Campus Engagement
4.1. Campus Involvement: Each chapter will have members involved in other recognized student organizations at KU or organizations/clubs in the Lawrence community. Each chapter will exhibit their chapter’s involvement, including leadership positions held. The chapter will submit a list of members and their involvement annually.
4.2. Leadership Programming: Chapter officers, or a representative, are expected to take part in leadership education and training programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the governing council. These events provide an opportunity to build relationships among peer leadership, and discuss issues impacting the entire Greek community.
4.3. Community-Wide Events: Chapter will participate in community-wide events by sending the appropriate number of members for each event as designated by their respective governing council. Community-wide events include but are not limited to community service, philanthropic, educational and social programs. Community-wide events will be announced at council meetings and placed on the Greek life calendar at greeklife.ku.edu.
4.4. Co-Sponsored Event: Each chapter is expected to host at least one co-sponsored event (alcohol-free social, educational, service, or philanthropic in nature) with 1) a fraternity or sorority from their governing council, 2) a fraternity or sorority from another governing council, or 3) a non-Greek recognized student organization. The chapter must hold events with at least two of the three above-mentioned types of organizations during the calendar year.
5.1. Community Service Event: Each semester, the chapter coordinates or provides support to at least one community service event.
5.2. Community Service Requirement: Each semester, the chapter must complete an average of ten (10) community service hours per member.
Definition of Community Service: Community Service is the donation of time and services in the form of volunteering to benefit individuals or groups within a community or the community as a whole. It will always be a hands-on activity where you are directly helping people in some capacity. Those providing service are considered volunteers and will not be paid for their efforts. Community service can be done both within Douglas County, and outside of the local area.
5.3. Philanthropy Event: The chapter holds one philanthropy event per year with at least 75% of members participating.
Definition of Philanthropy: Philanthropy is an event or program where participants raise awareness, money, and/or goods to directly benefit an organization or group of people. None of the resources collected will be used to cover the cost of the event in any way. Nor will those who planned the event use the resources collected for personal disposal. Philanthropy is meant for humanitarian purposes to promote recognition of those receiving the resources, not of the people planning the event.
6.1. Governing Documents: Chapter must submit documentation of their governing documents or a signed verification form confirming their existence and show the documents have been updated and/or reviewed within the past three years. Governing documents may include:
- Inter/National Constitution and Bylaws
- Inter/National Standing Rules and Policies
- Local Chapter Constitution and Bylaws
- Local Chapter Operating Procedures
- Local Chapter Code of Conduct
6.2. Chapter Operations: Chapters should complete the following: Failure to meet 2 or more of the areas below will cause chapters to be considered not in good standing.
- Payment of Council Dues: Chapter has paid its dues to its respective governing council on time and in full. Contact the following council officers with questions regarding chapter dues:
- Chapter Roster: Chapter must update their membership roster throughout the semester via Rock Chalk Central.
- Student Organization Registration: Chapter must register as a recognized Student Organization with SILC via Rock Chalk Central each year in the fall semester.
6.3. Communication with University Administration: Chapter maintains a positive relationship with the chapters governing council advisor, meeting with this staff member at least two (2) times a semester.
6.4. Advisor Support: Chapter has an active Chapter Advisor who attends meetings as required through their responsibilities outlined by their inter/national headquarters. Chapter Advisor’s contact information must be updated and on file with Greek life staff annually.
6.5. House Corporation Support (If applicable): A housed chapter has an active Housing Corporation Board that fulfills their responsibilities outlined by their inter/national headquarters. Housing Corporation Officer contact information must be updated and on file with Greek life staff annually.
Online Submissions through Rock Chalk Central:
Community Standards will be tracked through three online forms through the Rock Chalk Central page Greek Life Programs. The three forms are divided by the three due dates set within Community Standards.
- Community Standards Online Form: Part 1 (Spring)
- Community Standards Online Form: Part 2 (Mid-Fall)
- Community Standards Online Form: Part 3 (Fall)
To find which criteria are under each form look at the Community Standards Checklist page.
Each form can be started at any point in the year and be edited or added to prior to the due date, as long as the form has not been submitted. Once a form is opened it will automatically be saved in the submissions section of Rock Chalk Central in the individual profile of the student who opened the form. Below are instructions for accessing the Community Standards forms on Rock Chalk Central and instructions for editing forms that have been started.
Steps to Access the Community Standards Forms:
- Become a member of the Greek Life Programs Page
- Select the appropriate form for the criteria desired to submit.
- Start inputting information and uploading forms.
Steps to Access Unsubmitted forms:
- Go to My Involvement (at the top of the Rock Chalk Central Page).
- Select Submissions.
- Click the magnifying glass icon to resume edit.
- Select page desired to edit or complete.
Submitted forms can be found through the same steps and printed off or downloaded for records.
Verification forms can be found under the Document section of the Greek Life Programs page on Rock Chalk Central. All verification forms must be signed and scanned and then uploaded into the criteria the form is being submitted for. If the form is not signed it will not be counted as fulfilling that criteria.
Guide to Community Standards