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Chapter Standing

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has established the Chapter Recognition and Standards of Excellence Program as the means by which social fraternities and sororities will be recognized as official student organizations and will comprise a nationally recognized premier fraternity and sorority community.

The Standards of Excellence includes a rubric of expected standards. There are five focus areas we evaluate - Chapter Operations, Academic Achievement, Membership Development, Civic Engagement, and Community Relationships.

Chapter Standing

Purpose

A means by which social fraternities and sororities are recognized as in good standing by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Compliance.

In addition to the requirements established by the Office of Student Activities to be considered a registered student organization at Penn State, chapters must also comply with these provisions. All chapters are responsible for establishing good standing with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Compliance by completing the items listed in this document, by the established deadlines.

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Support

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is dedicated to supporting organizations to meet the recognition requirements and achieve the Chapter Standing targets. Toward that end, the office will provide the following:

Programming

  • New member education programs to acclimate new members to the Greek community and communicate expectations and aspirations of Greek membership
  • Leadership programming to provide aspiring leaders with vital skills and knowledge to become a positive impact on Penn State and beyond
  • New officer training to provide foundational knowledge and expectations to better prepare new officers to lead their chapters and councils

Guidance and Accountability

  • Advising, support, and guidance for the four governing councils, Order of Omega, Greek Sing, Greek Week, and other Greek community initiatives, as appropriate
  • Advising and support for individual organization success, as appropriate, in conjunction with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Compliance
  • In conjunction with the Office of Student Conduct, oversight of the organizational conduct process of each of the four governing councils
  • Annual review of chapter recognition and evaluation of achievement of Standards of Excellence

Resources

  • Liaison and referrals to other campus offices that may assist chapters in providing programming and developmental opportunities for their members
  • Communication regarding programming, outreach, service, and philanthropic opportunities throughout the year

Promotion and Recognition

  • Recognition of chapters who are meeting or exceeding target areas as well as implementing improvement plans to support those who are not
  • Publicizing a report each semester highlighting important aspects of each organization at Penn State and its alignment with the Standards of Excellence
  • Advertising the collective accomplishments of the community as well as individual initiatives, as appropriate
Review of Chapter Standing

At the end of each semester, chapter activity for the semester will be reviewed and evaluated by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. The office will determine the standing of the chapter in four areas of focus (Administrative, Roster, Program Plans, Program Attendance) as well as the overall standing of the chapter at the end of each fall semester. The chapter coach will meet with each chapter representative to discuss overall standing from previous semester. 

Process

Each organization is expected to submit the information and attend programs outlined in this document by the deadlines established. The mechanism to submit the information is communicated each semester. If there are questions regarding submission, please contact a chapter coach or the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life or Office of Fraternity and Sorority Compliance.

At the end of the semester, each chapter's status is review and evaluated by OFSL.  A staff member will provide this information to the organization (president, adviser, HQ) and discuss, if necessary.

  • Good Standing = Organization has completed ALL items in the Requirements and Deadlines section. 

 

  • Not in Good Standing = Organization has not completed ALL items in the Requirements and Deadlines section. Please find below status of chapter if not in good standing.
    • Frozen Status:
      • Loss of Organization Privileges including the ability to host socials, book rooms on campus, utilize campus facilities, and participate in campus sponsored events and programs (Homecoming, THON, etc.)
    • Program Attendance Requirements:
      • Special instructions are provided for each program the chapter did not meet the minimum attendance expectation
Chapter Standing Requirements and Deadlines

 

Type Requirement Description Deadline
Administrative Certificate of Insurance Obtain from your national headquarters Annually, prior to expiration
Administrative Local Chapter Constitution/Bylaws
  • Updated at least every two years, you will be contacted by OFSL when an update is needed
Bi-annually
Administrative Relationship Statement Compliance Presidents will sign at first council meeting after election Annually, as needed
Administrative Inter/National Assessment Report (if applicable) Submit to OFSL the report or application which your chapter submits to your national organization (if applicable) Annually
Roster Roster List of active members and new members April, Nov (or as requested)
Roster Officer List Current Officers Within one week of any change
Roster Member Involvement Involvement outside the chapter Last day of classes
Program Plans First Semester of Membership Plan Plan for the education of new members Prior to bid extension each semester. You may NOT deliver bids without this approval
Program Plans Risk Management Plan Plan for risk reduction and event planning Feb 1, as needed. You may NOT hold a social event without this plan approval
Program Plans Academic Achievement Plan Plan for managing chapter academics and process when members do not meet expectations Feb 1 & Sept 1
Program Plans Membership Development Plan Plan for enrichment of initiated members past the first semester of membership Feb 1 & Sept 1
Program Attendance Risk Education/Event Planning Programming Chapter must be represented at the program held by OFSC to educate new officers each semester on risk policies and procedures Established by OFSC each semester
Program Attendance New Member Academy/Candidate Education Chapter must have 100% attendance at hazing prevention, alcohol skill training, and sexual assault awareness programs required by OFSL Established by OFSL each semester
Program Attendance Chapter Success Series Chapter must be represented at the annual program(s) to offer resources/workshops to aid chapters Established by OFSL each semester
Program Attendance Leadership Programs Chapter must be represented at the programs provided by OFSL such as LAUNCH and IMPACT which provide a jump start for new and emerging leaders/officers Established by OFSL each semester

(1) Only required for those chapters recruiting new members in that semester.

(2) In order to fulfill this requirement, any new member absences must be excused by OFSL, in writing, at least 24 hours prior to the program. Failure to have full participation will result in the organization not receiving credit and being placed on social probation until an alternative educational requirement, determined by OFSL, is met.

(3) Failure to have at least one member attend, without prior written permission by OFSL, will result in a loss of recognition for the chapter.

Improvement and Accountability Measures

Improvement and accountability measures are intended to provide support and guidance for chapters as well as information.

Category Not Complete Chapter Status
Administrative Requirements Certificate of Insurance, Local Chapter Constitution/Bylaws, Relationship Statement Frozen
Roster Requirements Roster, Officer List, Member Involvement Frozen
Program Plans First Semester of Membership Plan, Risk Management Plan, Academic Achievement Plan, Membership Development Plan Frozen
Program Attendance Risk Reduction/Event Planning Program Frozen
Program Attendance New Member Academy/Sexual Assault Prevention Program Coaching Meeting; review plan of when previous and current new members will attend sessions and how the chapter will track the information to ensure 100% complete
Program Attendance Chapter Success Series Attend at least 3 programs annually
Program Attendance LAUNCH Attendance 2 members attends IMPACT ( September 27-29) and is signed up by August 30
Program Attendance IMPACT Attendance

Coaching Meeting: Chapters will plan for attendance in the future and find an alternative opportunity (PSU Leadership Institute, UIFI National Program) to attend and a written reflection on the experience will be submitted to the coach.

*If a member signs up and then does not attend, the chapter will incur the cost of the person not in attendance

 

Not in Good Standing (Semesters) Chapter Status
1 Semester
  • Frozen Status until required information is submitted to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
    • NOTE: Depending on the time in the semester that requirements are submitted, socials may be proportional to the weeks left in the semester (Example-Submitted week 8=5 socials)
2 Consecutive Semesters
  • Frozen Status for half the semester (8 weeks)
  • All required information must be submitted to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Loss of 5 socials for the semester
3 Consecutive Semesters
  • Frozen Status for entire semester (16 weeks)
  • All required information must be submitted to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

(7) Probation is a time period, during which, the organization will need to ensure that it is following all University and council policies and that it is working to address the issues that resulted in the Probation. Should a chapter violate any University or council policy during the probationary period, the organization will immediately lose social privileges for at least 4 months. Organizations on Probation will need to conduct weekly meetings with the relevant council advisor to address deficiencies and evaluate progress toward meeting the expectations of the focus areas. The OFSL will have sole responsibility to determine when expectations are met and when the Probation will be lifted.