Statement of Philosophy for Fraternity & Sorority Life
Fraternal organizations at Lycoming College are a component of the institution's total educational program. As such, they are partners with the college in a mutually supportive educational endeavor. Fraternal organization and Lycoming College sustain their relationship with a mutual pledge to promote group responsibility and mature group conduct through the following areas: internal chapter operations, external chapter operations, scholarship, membership development, alumni/ae relations, educational and social programming, and risk management.
As recognized organizations, each fraternity and sorority can expect the following from Lycoming College:
- To enjoy all the privileges accorded recognized student organizations at Lycoming College.
- To receive professional advising from the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development and the Division of Student Affairs.
- To utilize the business services of the college.
- To be permitted to participate in the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council self-governing bodies.
- To use institutional facilities for programs, meetings, and social events.
- To obtain programming support from college offices.
- To enjoy resources of the Alumni and Parent Relations Office in identifying and contacting alumni members.
- To receive assistance in attaining a faculty/staff adviser.
- To benefit from participation in enriching and educational programs/services.
- To apply for CHOICE housing through the Residence Life Office.
- To have access to a just judicial procedure.
- To choose its members.
Lycoming College can, in turn, expect from fraternities and sororities:
- To comply with national, state, local and institutional standards/laws/policies.
- When local chapters choose to be affiliated with a national organization, it is expected that they will abide by those policies which are not in conflict with college policy.
- To maintain with the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development: current copy of chapter's constitution and bylaws; an accurate list of officers, members, new members/associates, and chapter advisers (college and alumni); copy of certificate of insurance; and other materials as required within the bounds of the organization's rights of privacy. The Assistant Director of Student Programs and Leadership Development will undertake a bi-annual review of all recruitment and new member/associate membership programs and will maintain a copy of each chapter's new member/associate member program.
- To be an active member of the appropriate governance council and comply with its constitutional provisions and adopted rules and policies.
- To develop a formal scholarship program and maintain a chapter grade point average within .2 of the All College GPA or All Men's GPA.
- To comply with national, state, organizational and college hazing policies/laws.
- To comply with all national, state, organizational laws and all college policies related to alcohol; to refuse to tolerate destructive or abusive behavior resulting from its use; and, to promote activities which eliminate its presence.
- To disallow affiliation of freshmen and transfer students during their first semester at Lycoming College.
- To practice sound administrative and fiscal policies, meeting federal, state and local legal and tax responsibilities.
- To enlist the responsible involvement of alumni in chapter activities.
- To work with a faculty/staff adviser.
- To comply with their charter, constitution and bylaws.
- To participate actively in all components of the Chapter Development Plan process.
Inherent in all expectations outlined above is compliance with all national, state, local and college laws/policies.
Fraternity & Sorority System Minimum Standards
Fraternity and sorority life at Lycoming College assists in the building of character and the development of personal and group responsibility. Fraternal organizations are built upon the principle of working collectively to achieve common goals. The following minimum standards are guidelines developed to motivate chapters to strive for excellence in all areas of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Each chapter will be assessed on their compliance with these minimum guidelines during the Chapter Development Plan process.
In Support of INTERNAL CHAPTER OPERATIONS
Internal chapter operations are the foundation upon which a chapter grows. Without a strong foundation, a chapter's ability to perform well in any other area is seriously inhibited. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- Develop an effective committee structure to assist in total operations.
- Ensure that all existing chapter operations meet their national organization standards or established local standards.
- Conduct a comprehensive program of leadership transition once a year.
- Incorporate faculty/staff advisors and alumni advisors into executive board meetings, goal development and the Chapter Development Plan process.
In Support of EXTERNAL CHAPTER RELATIONS
It should be remembered that every action by an individual, whether it be verbal or non-verbal, deliberate or unintentional, shapes the perceived image of the Fraternity & Sorority system. Improving the image of the Fraternity & Sorority system at Lycoming requires a 100% effort by every member and every chapter. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- Encourage every member to participate in extracurricular activities outside the chapter.
- Support the leadership of and participate fully in IFC/Panhellenic Councils.
- Have the active participation of each member in local community service projects sponsored by the sorority/fraternity.
- Cooperate and communicate with national headquarter's staff and officers.
- Sponsor one event for all chapters per semester.
In Support of SCHOLARSHIP
Academic excellence is the most fundamental component of Lycoming's educational mission. While the fraternity and sorority system does support scholarship, it is important to encourage further improvement. A strong scholarship program and record can greatly improve the status of the Fraternity and sorority community on the campus, community and national levels. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- Meet or exceed the All College or All Men's GPA each semester.
- Maintain and uphold a chapter scholarship plan for members.
- Use faculty/staff adviser to assist in scholarship programming.
- For chapters residing in CHOICE housing, make chapter library available as a place for quiet study.
In Support of MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Membership development is the lifeblood of fraternities and sororities -- for chapters to survive, they must continually recruit new members AND nurture current members. It is the charge of organizations to enhance the experience of members by providing on-going membership education and using ritual. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- Use a year-round recruitment program.
- Actively participate in Panhellenic/Interfraternity Council formal recruitment and open-bidding programs.
- Sponsor frequent brotherhood/sisterhood building activities.
- Develop and use a written new member/associate membership program that specifically addresses hazing issues and which complies with Lycoming College policy, Pennsylvania state law and National organization standards.
In Support of ALUMNI/AE RELATIONS
Fraternity and sorority members develop lifelong bonds with both their chapter and Lycoming College. We want chapters to call upon alumni/ae as resources to ensure chapter success. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- Communicate with chapter alumni/ae at least once each semester via a letter or newsletter.
- Sponsor at least one alumni/ae program each year.
- Form and maintain an active alumni/ae advisory board.
- Create and maintain an up-to-date chapter web page.
In Support of EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL PROGRAMMING
Fraternity and sorority chapters have the responsibility to provide individual members and the entire campus with quality programs that encourage critical thinking about important social and cultural issues. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- Conduct at least one educational program open to the entire campus community each semester (recommended topics include alcohol education, academic success skills, leadership development, sexuality, diversity, health education, spiritual development, career development).
- Conduct at least one non-alcoholic social program for the entire campus each semester outside of recruitment.
- Participate in the formation of a GAMMA chapter.
- Conduct all educational and social programs in accordance with college policy.
In Support of RISK MANAGEMENT
It is of utmost importance that fraternity and sorority members feel safe and secure in their living, working, and recreational environments. Successful chapters establish clear, concise risk management programs that reduce the risk of problems while creating guidelines for responsible action in the event of an emergency. Chapters following risk management plans demonstrate concern for the well-being of their members and guests. Minimally, chapters are expected to:
- For chapters that are housed, ensure that all residence hall policies, and all fire, health and safety standards are followed.
- Be knowledgeable of and follow all risk management policies set by FIPG and/or one's national fraternity/sorority.
- Secure general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 and list Lycoming College as additionally insured.
For more information, please contact:
The Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development
Lycoming College Box 145
Williamsport, PA 17701
(570) 321-4118 (phone)
(570) 321-4236 (fax)