About the Community
Community at a Glance
70 Fraternities & Sororities
- 41 Fraternities (3 Co-Ed)
- 29 Sororities
|4 Governing Councils||# of Chapters|
|Interfraternity Council (IFC)||36|
|Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)||9|
|National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)||5|
|Panhellenic Association (PHC)||20|
14 percent of the Penn State Undergraduate student body
9 full-time staff and 2 graduate students
Fraternity & Sorority Statement of Relationship
Recognition Status of Fraternities and Sororities
- What it means to be a recognized fraternity or sorority
A recognized fraternity or sorority is one that is currently in good standing with the University. Recognized fraternities and sororities are monitored for performance related to University policies and standards. This would include the anti-hazing policy and the alcohol policy. Staff in the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life advise these chapters and helps them continue to improve and excel.
- Benefits of being recognized
- Interaction with the other members of the Penn State fraternity and sorority community
- Use of Penn State facilities for meetings and events
- Programming and leadership development training and materials from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
- Involvement in the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC)
- Involvement in Greek community-wide events and programming sponsored by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life or the governing councils
- Support from the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff
- Adding an Organization to Our Community
The University's expansion process for inter/national fraternities and sororities is administered by Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in conjunction with the related student governing bodies.
Expansion Policy for Fraternities and Sororities
In order to ensure that very careful and thorough consideration is given requests by student groups to become affiliated as a colony of a national or international fraternity or sorority, the procedure outlined below must be followed.
The purpose of the procedure is to determine, insofar as possible, that the requesting group gives promise of becoming successfully established and contribute in worthwhile ways to the life of The Pennsylvania State University fraternity and sorority community.
The University does not recognize interest groups not affiliated with a national or international fraternity or sorority. Exceptions to this policy will not be made.
Section I: Initial Student Interest Group Statement (Step One)
- A group desiring University recognition as a potential chapter or colony of a national or international fraternity or sorority is required to submit to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life a detailed statement indicating the group's purposes and goals.
- Colonies seeking recognition must be composed of 20-25 members or the chapter average for the Governing Council under which the organization will report.
- If this interest group represents a chapter that was previously recognized at The Pennsylvania State University, the University will consider the group a new colony and is required to follow the same procedure.
- The group must provide a statement indicating the reasons it believes an additional fraternity or sorority is both needed and desirable.
- Upon receipt of the group's "Statement of Purposes and Goals" and the reasons it believes an additional fraternity or sorority is both needed and desirable, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will undertake consideration of the question of whether or not the establishment of a new fraternity or sorority at The Pennsylvania State University is presently appropriate.
Section II: Application for Recognition as a Colony of a National or International Fraternity or Sorority (Step Two)
If the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life determines that the group is eligible to formally apply for recognition, the group will be required to submit an "Application of Recognition as a Colony of a National or International Fraternity or Sorority." The "Application" shall contain the following information:
- The statement of Purpose, etc., previously submitted;
- A listing of the names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and cumulative grade point averages of the students interested in bringing the colony or chapter to the University. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 is required of all members;
- A listing of the officers and adviser(s);
- A statement describing the dues and fees it plans to charge for the operation of the colony;
- A statement outlining the group's plans for housing members, if applicable;
- A statement explaining membership requirements if in any way different from those of the national or international fraternity or sorority with which it plans to affiliate;
- An outline of its proposed fraternal activities for the coming year;
- A statement indicating how the group will contribute to campus life, e.g., what programs will the group develop or sponsor that will have an impact on the intellectual and cultural life of the campus.
- A statement from the national or international headquarters of the fraternity or sorority with which it intends to affiliate indicating the following:
- its reasons for wishing to establish a chapter at The Pennsylvania State University;
- its requirements and procedures for establishing a new chapter;
- the nature of the commitment of professional staff to assist with and supervise the development of the group colonization period;
- the financial support; if any, it would provide the colony, and the financial support it regularly provides chapters;
- the assistance and supervision it regularly provides chapters in terms of house management, food service, scholarship, new member training, group discipline, etc.;
- proof of the ability to provide the chapter or colony with a minimum $2 million liability insurance policy where The Pennsylvania State University is named as an additional insured;
- its membership requirements, new member education program, procedures for initiating individual members, and assurances that the national does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, sexual orientation, or national origin. If membership in the organization is open to both men and women, that should be indicated and assurances given that membership requirements for both men and women are identical.
- its policy concerning hazing;
- the regular dues and fees collected by the national from its chapters and individual members;
- a statement indicating how the group will develop an active alumni corporation, select an alumni adviser and university adviser;
- a listing of all chapters and colonies currently recognized at other colleges and universities in the United States and/or abroad;
- a description of the success and status of the last several (3-5) colonies of the national or international fraternity or sorority;
Section III: Review of Application (Step Three)
- Once the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life receives the materials submitted and determines that all materials have been submitted, the materials will be forwarded to the appropriate Governing Board (Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, or the Panhellenic Association) for its information and recommendation.
- The Governing Board will conduct a thorough review of the application and will follow all procedures established for reviewing expansion applications.
- The Governing Board will make a recommendation to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life pertaining to the organization’s application for recognition.
- If the recommendation from the Governing Board is to approve the application, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will outline the conditions under which the colony may be recognized including, but not limited to, the length of time the colony may maintain “colony” status before they must be chartered by the national or international fraternity or sorority and will make a final recommendation to the Division of Student Affairs management team for final review.
- If the recommendation from the Governing Board is to deny the application, the application is denied and no further action is given to the application for recognition by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
- The Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will review all applications and recommendations with the Division of Student Affairs management team who will be responsible for making the final decision regarding recognition and the terms of that recognition is approved,
- The Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will advise the interest group, the president of the Governing Board, and the Office of Student Activities of the final decision pertaining to the application for recognition.