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Fraternities and Sororities

I. Purpose and Ideals. 

By emphasizing the development of their members as concerned participants in their chapter, the College community, and the greater Memphis community, the fraternities and sororities support the ideals of loyalty and responsible citizenship. Every Greek Organization at Rhodes College encourages support of the honor code, participation in campus life, and the establishment of lifelong friendships. One important goal of each organization is to support the Rhodes mission of educating students by animating lives of genuineness and excellence through the encouragement of each member’s holistic education inside and outside the classroom. Fraternities and sororities stand for character, dignity, scholarship, and loyalty.

Fraternities and sororities at Rhodes share in the academic mission of the College not only by setting academic standards that must be met for initiation and continued participation in each chapter, but also by recognizing and rewarding outstanding scholarship within individual chapters and among the groups involved in the fraternity and sorority community. For those members experiencing academic difficulties, chapters actively encourage and support efforts to improve.

Serving others is a principle upon which the College and the fraternity and sorority community are founded. This principle is nurtured and practiced through service projects, the encouragement and appreciation of giving, and the understanding that service is a lifelong responsibility.

Recognizing that fraternities and sororities make significant contributions to the college community, participate actively in leadership roles on campus, enhance school spirit, encourage support of their alma mater, and generally enhance the realization of the college’s mission, Rhodes is committed to the support and development of each chapter.

II. Rights and Responsibilities. 

When there is commitment to common purposes, rights and responsibilities are defined in order that all parties might better understand their roles in relationship to one another.

Fraternal Organization Responsibilities

  • The fraternities and sororities have the responsibility of fulfilling their mission and college cooperation.
  • Each chapter will promote academic achievement among its membership.
  • Each chapter will responsibly schedule events with consideration for the best interests of students’ academic work and with no event requiring students to miss class.
  • Each chapter will actively engage in service to the campus and the Memphis community. 
  • Each chapter will abide by and enforce general campus regulations.
  • Each chapter will comply with the signed lease agreement of their lodge with the college.
  • No fraternity or sorority will engage in any hazing activities.
  • Each National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), North-American Interfraternity Conference (IFC), and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chapter will actively participate in their respective governing council.

College Responsibilities

  • As the fraternities and sororities actively support the mission of Rhodes, the College will support a positive atmosphere for the chapters and work with them in their efforts.
  • The College will officially recognize each chapter and its national organization.
  • The College will support the chapters in their recruitment efforts.
  • The College will provide an academic report each fall and spring semester to the chapter president, advisor(s), and national organization.
  • The College will assist chapters and councils in scheduling events and when possible provide facilities and event planning support. (Event planning guidelines and procedures of the College should be properly followed.)
  • The Director of Student Activities will serve as a liaison to the college, a source of information, serve as a resource for educational materials and programs, assist with any national organization expansion, and generally support the chapters.
  • The College reserves the right to amend the College Handbook. Appeals concerning proposed changes should be directed to the Dean of Students.
  • The College reserves the right of approval of application of the proceeds of any property damage insurance payments.

III. Legal Issues and Liability. 

The local chapters of each national fraternity and sorority are responsible for obtaining and maintaining, in conjunction with their national organization, the proper insurance coverage.

Copies of such coverage shall be submitted to the Dean of Students Office at the beginning of each academic year.

All local chapters of each national organization are to follow their national organization social event guidelines and procedures as set forth by their national organization both on and off campus as well as any college policies or guidelines.

IV. Evaluation and Review. 

At the end of the academic year each chapter will submit an annual report outlining its accomplishments in support of academic achievement, College and community service, and educational programs. Should the chapter be required to submit to its national office a document which includes all of the above, a copy of that document may be submitted as its report to the Director of Student Activities.

Each chapter will submit to the Director of Student Activities via the Student Organization registration site (Presence) copies of its governing documents (constitution, bylaws, handbook, etc.) as requested. These documents are subject to review by the Dean of Students and RSG to determine that chapter policies are in keeping with college and RSG policies. 

V. Judicial Process for Violations of Regulations or Standards of Conduct.

A chapter’s violation of college regulations or failure to adhere to expected standards of conduct will be adjudicated by the appropriate student judicial body or administrator, as determined after initial review by the Director of Community Standards in conferral with the Director of Student Activities. Persistent or extreme violations at the Chapter level may result in withdrawal of recognition by the College.

A chapter may appeal the findings of violation of regulations or standards of conduct in writing to the Associate Dean of Students, unless otherwise directed in the sanctioning letter. Appeals must be based on the same grounds listed under the Rhodes College policies of Student Conduct in the Student Handbook. In the event that an incident is adjudicated by a judicial body, that body’s appeal guidelines govern the appeal for that finding.

VI. Hazing.

Hazing, which is an action taken or situation created to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. No organization member shall condone hazing. Any student or student organization found in violation of hazing may be subject to suspension or expulsion from the College.