Recognition is the formal process by which Buffalo State agrees that a social fraternity or sorority may function on campus, enroll members, and identify with the College.
Recognition by Buffalo State allows social fraternal organizations to identify an affiliation with the institution. This includes use of the college name and logo, designated services and facilities, recruitment of Buffalo State students on and off campus, fundraising, and space reservation. In addition, all recognized Buffalo State fraternities and sororities are expected to comply with campus Student Code of Conduct, policies and procedures, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state, and local laws. Recognition does not imply Buffalo State endorsement of the positions and views of the organization, nor does the college assume sponsorship of, or responsibility for, any of the activities of the group on and off property of the college.
Bengal Connect Requirement
All Greek-letter organizations recognized at Buffalo State are required to have an active Bengal Connect page with an official up-to-date roster at all times. Bengal Connect is provided to connect students with affiliated organizations and extra-curricular activities that enrich the campus community.
I. Official Recognition of Fraternities and Sororities
A. Provisional Recognition and Requirements
Provisional recognition provides for limited organizational activities during the fall and spring academic calendar. All applications must be submitted to the Greek Liaison in Student Leadership and Engagement.
Application Requirements for Provisional Recognition
1. Complete the Application for Greek Life Provisional Recognition through Student Leadership and Engagement.
2. A letter from a regional/national office stating the group’s goals and purposes. This should include a statement explaining the reason and justification for why the group is needed by students and the Buffalo State community.
3. Submit a constitution for the Fraternity or Sorority to Student Leadership and Engagement for review and approval.
4. A copy of insurance policy/description of coverage.
5. After one semester of Provisional Recognition, the organization is to provide a list of students who expressed continued interest in joining the organization. This list should include the student’s full name, Buffalo State Banner ID number, Buffalo State email, class year, local address, and telephone number. (Please see template provided by Student Leadership and Engagement). An updated copy of the list should be provided to Student Leadership and Engagement at the beginning of each semester.
6. The name of a Buffalo State full-time faculty/staff member that will serve as an adviser to the organization upon receiving full recognition. Organizations that are without a faculty/staff adviser can receive assistance through Student Leadership and Engagement.
A meeting with the Greek Liaison from Student Leadership and Engagement is required following submission of the application for provisional recognition. The Greek Liaison may approve or deny the application. If approved, provisional recognition shall be granted on a semester-to-semester basis, and all appropriate governing bodies will be notified of the decision. If denied, a group may reapply in subsequent semesters.
Guidelines for Provisionally Recognized Fraternities and Sororities
- The college acknowledges the organization is provisionally affiliated with Buffalo State.
- Use of the college’s name to indicate location of the organization.
- Space reservation on campus: Registered clubs and organizations are eligible to reserve space in the Campbell Student Union, Butler Library, Academic Buildings, Recreation Fields, and the Houston Gym and Sports Arena.
- Attendance at meetings of appropriate governing bodies is required. Provisionally recognized organizations do not have a voice or vote at these meetings. Participation in governing organization activities shall be by invitation only.
- Provisionally recognized organizations MAY NOT rush, pledge, fundraise, or hold events outside of approved semester unless an extension of provisional status has been granted by Student Leadership & Engagement.
- At the end of the provisional recognition period each semester, an extension of provisional status OR request for full-recognition will be reviewed by the Student Leadership & Engagement Office. Provisional recognition will be approved on a semester-to-semester basis, and organizations will be eligible for an extension for up to 4 academic semesters. Provisional recognition status of a Greek-letter organization can be terminated upon review from the Student Leadership & Engagement Office.
B. Full Recognition and Requirements
Full recognition is granted on an annual basis. The Application for Full Recognition must be submitted to the Greek Liaison in Student Leadership and Engagement.
Application Requirements for Full Recognition
1. Complete the Application for Greek Life Full Recognition through Student Leadership and Engagement.
2. A letter from the national/regional office submitted to the Greek Liaison in Student Leadership and Engagement confirming that the organization is pursuing a Charter at Buffalo State, which will be granted if all requirements are met.
3. A copy of the insurance policy/description of coverage.
4. Submit an outline of community service, scholarship, and social activities undertaken during the period of provisional recognition as well as plans for the future.
5. A current complete roster of at least five (5) names serving as active members within the organization. This list should include the student’s full name, Buffalo State Banner ID number, Buffalo State email, local address, class year, telephone number. (Please see template provided by Student Leadership and Engagement).
6. A list of students who are serving as the executive board for the proposed fraternity or sorority. This includes a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary (these individuals count toward the 5-member minimum). All executive board members must be registered as full-time (12 credits), matriculated Buffalo State students.
7. Submit an up-to-date constitution for the proposed fraternity or sorority to Student Leadership and Engagement for review and approval.
8. Have a designated Advisor who is a full-time Buffalo State faculty/staff member and supports the mission of the proposed organization. All Advisors must complete the Advisor Agreement Form prior to an organization becoming recognized.
A meeting with the Greek Liaison from Student Leadership and Engagement is required following submission of the application. The Greek Liaison may approve or deny the application for full recognition and will notify the appropriate governing bodies of the decision.
Guidelines for Full Recognition of Fraternities and Sororities
- The college acknowledges the student organization as an affiliated entity.
- Use of the college’s name to indicate location of the organization.
- Use of the college’s logo and identity marks. Please refer to the college’s rules and regulations on trademarks and licensing: https://financeandmanagement.buffalostate.edu/trademark-licensing
- Space Reservation on campus: Registered clubs and organizations are eligible to reserve space in the Campbell Student Union, Butler Library, Academic Buildings, Recreation Fields, and the Houston Gym and Sports Arena.
- Pre-Scheduling Major Events: Registered student organizations can pre-schedule all major events one semester in advance.
- Annual Participation and completion of the Fraternity and Sorority Standards Program.
C. Re-Recognition Process for Fraternities and Sororities
Fraternities and sororities already recognized at Buffalo State must apply for re-recognition on an annual basis. It is the responsibility of the student organization to complete this process. Failure to comply with the re-recognition process may result in a revocation of your student organization’s recognition status or listed as inactive.
The re-recognition period each year will begin on April 1st and end May 31st.
1. Complete the Buffalo State Greek Re-Recognition Form through Student Leadership and Engagement.
2. Provide an updated active membership roster of Buffalo State students, including the newly elected executive board for the upcoming academic year. All executive board members must be registered as full-time (12 credits), matriculated Buffalo State students.
3. Bengal Connect Roster Requirement: Greek-letter organizations will keep an active and updated Bengal Connect page with an up-to-date official roster.
4. Submit the student organization’s most recent constitution and by-laws.
5. Submit an updated Advisor Agreement Form. Student organization advisors must be a full-time Buffalo State faculty/staff member.
6. If applicable, submit a letter from the national/regional office indicating the current good standing of the organization.
All fraternities and sororities will be required to attend the mandatory annual meeting with Student Leadership and Engagement to be trained on Buffalo State policies and procedures. This meeting will occur in the first few weeks of the academic year. Each student organization will be required to send at least one representative to this meeting. Failure to do so may result in the following:
- All current space reservations will be placed on hold.
- Unable to reserve future space in the Campbell Student Union, Butler Library, Academic Buildings, Recreation Fields, and the Houston Gym and Sports Arena.
D. Probationary Status
Probationary recognition status entails a conditional withdrawal of certain College services or benefits and/or application of specific sanctions/requirements by the College to the chapter for a specified period. This status may be imposed as a result of actions taken by the Greek Liaison, campus Greek governing bodies, the College Judicial System or national/regional organizations.
E. At-Risk Status
Greek-letter organizations that have less than three (3) Buffalo State students as members will be considered at-risk status. Chapters will have the option of participating in a rebuilding phase if their active membership is low enough that the chapter has trouble meeting their requirements. Rebuilding chapters will be listed on all Greek Life publications and still active on the Greek President’s Council. They will be allowed to reserve space on campus for meetings and recruitment events.
At-Risk Greek-letter organizations will be responsible for the following:
1. Develop a recruitment plan with the assistance of their national/regional/district adviser and their chapter adviser. This plan is to be submitted to Student Leadership and Engagement for review. All active members of the organization will sign the form to indicate they agree with the plan and that they will participate in the rebuilding phase.
2. The chapter will maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.
3. Chapter members will meet with the Greek Life Liaison and Chair of the Greek President’s Council once a month to discuss and implement their chapter action plan.
4. The chapter will host at least three (3) events on campus each semester.
5. The chapter will be required to attend Meet the Greeks, Greek Member Interest Meeting, National Hazing Prevention Week activities, and Greek Week.
F. Inactive Chapters
Buffalo State only chapters that have no active undergraduate members on campus will be considered inactive. With the approval of Student Leadership and Engagement, chapters can participate in events on campus in conjunction with the Greek Life Liaison to try to increase their membership. If the chapter does not increase membership within three (3) years, the organization’s college recognition will be revoked. Reinstatement requires the organization to apply for Buffalo State’s Provisional Recognition Status.
G. City-Wide Chapter Status
Buffalo State College no longer recognizes organizations that seek affiliation as city-wide (metropolitan) chapters. However, fraternity and sorority chapters previously chartered as a city-wide chapter, having active undergraduate members enrolled at Buffalo State College, recognized by the Student Leadership and Engagement Office as of January 1, 2016, are considered grandfathered. Grandfathered organizations are exempt from being Buffalo State College exclusive (seated here) as long as the chapter continues to meet the minimum expectations and maintain the minimum standards established by the Student Leadership and Engagement Office.
If at any point, the organization no longer has any members enrolled at Buffalo State College or is otherwise unregistered, the organization will be considered inactive and will have all college privileges, including recognition and the grandfathered privilege to operate as a city-wide chapter, revoked. Organizations wishing to regain affiliation after the organization has gone inactive will only be granted affiliation privileges if the chapter is re-chartered by the inter/national organization as being exclusive to (seated at) Buffalo State College.
II. Withdrawal of Recognition
Upon termination of recognition, all chapter operations must cease. All campus privileges and college permission for the chapter to function are revoked. Upon withdrawal of recognition, the chapter shall be ineligible to reapply for recognition for five (5) years unless this requirement is waived by the Vice-President for Student Affairs.
Current individual members registered at Buffalo State could face campus disciplinary action for failure to comply with termination of recognition.
Should recognition be restored after termination of recognition, the chapter will initially be granted Provisional Recognition for one year.
B. Allegations of Violations
Greek-letter organizations add value to the campus community and the overall student experience. All recognized Buffalo State student organizations are expected to comply with campus Student Code of Conduct, policies and procedures, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state, and local laws.
Any allegations regarding violation of these guidelines shall be presented to the Greek Liaison in Student Leadership and Engagement.
Allegations of hazing will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct and Community Standards for review under the Student Code of Conduct and to University Police for investigation off violation of New York State Laws.
Suspension is imposed for a set period during which all activities of the chapter are suspended, and chapter privileges are revoked. This action may be taken immediately following allegations of hazing or pending investigations of incidents involving physical injury, pending an investigation.
Failure to comply with a suspension or order may result in disciplinary action against individual members who are registered students.
If recognition is restored after suspension, the chapter will be given provisional recognition for one year.
College decisions regarding probationary recognition, denial of full recognition, and suspension/termination of recognition may be appealed.
All appeals of college-imposed sanctions must be in writing and received by the Dean of Students within five (5) business days of notification of probationary recognition, denial of full recognition, or suspension/termination.
Sanctions imposed as a result of action by campus Greek governing bodies, national or the College judicial system must be appealed through the sanctioning organization’s appeals process, if any.
III. Membership, Intake, New Member Education Requirements, and Roster Requirements
1. Membership in organizations shall be determined locally
2 Members will be admitted in compliance with the SUNY Board of Trustees and Buffalo State’s non-discriminatory policy, although chapters may be single sex under Title IX.
3. All students interested in joining a Greek-letter organization must meet certain criteria prior to the start of the new member education/intake process.
- Be at least a second-semester freshman with 12 completed college credits
- Be registered as a full-time student at Buffalo State
- Have at least a 2.5 GPA and in good academic standing
- Deemed eligible for membership by the recognized Greek-letter organization
Greek Interest Meeting Requirement: All students interested in joining a Fraternity or Sorority must attend one of the Greek Interest Meetings sponsored by Buffalo State at the beginning of each semester and prior to the start of new member activities.
B. Recruitment and New Member Education/Intake
1. All Buffalo State recognized Greek-letter organizations must adhere to the Recruitment and Intake/New Member Education Protocols issued by Student Leadership and Engagement.
2. Intake and new member education periods will be designated annually by the Greek Liaison in Student Leadership and Engagement. All new member/membership intake activities (including campus introductions/new member reveal) must last no more than six (6) weeks and are completed three (3) weeks prior to the last day of classes for both the fall and spring semesters.
3. No recruitment activities are allowed to take place during college-sponsored breaks, including, but not limited to, federal and state holidays, summer break, and winter break.
4. All prospective new members and the members of each organization responsible for intake and new members activities must attend the Greek Life Interest Meeting each semester prior to new member education activities.
5. All intake/new member education activities must be in compliance with the New York State Anti-Hazing Law. It is the responsibility of each organization and each member to understand the law and College policy and to adopt and implement healthy and constructive new member education programs.
6. If you do receive a bid from a Greek-letter organization, but you choose not to accept that bid, you understand that you are NOT eligible to join any other Greek-letter organization on this campus for one full year (*For National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations, please refer to the NPC guidelines for recruitment listed on the MRABA)
C. Current Rosters and Requirements
1. All students are required to meet the following criteria to maintain active member status in a recognized Greek-letter organization at Buffalo State.
- Be registered as a full-time student at Buffalo State with at least 12 college credits.
- Have at least a 2.5 GPA and in good academic standing
- Deemed eligible for membership by the recognized Greek-letter organization
2. Each Greek Letter organization must submit and keep up to date a list of active member, officers, and new members at the beginning of each semester. Lists will include phone numbers, school email, position in the chapter, physical address, and graduation month and year for each member.
3. Chapter Presidents and/or executive board members are required to send this information to Student Leadership and Engagement and update it on the organization’s Bengal Connect page by the end of the first week of classes each semester.
4. Each Greek Letter organization must submit the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all chapter advisers and their regional/national contacts to the Greek Liaison in Student Leadership and Engagement by the end of the first week of classes each semester. Resignation or termination of chapter advisers must be reported to the Greek Liaison immediately.
5. Chapters that do not complete this requirement will be placed on interim suspension until all requirements are met.
IV. Additional Expectations and Requirements
1. All Greek Letter organization’s President will serve as a member of the Greek President’s Council (GPC).
2. All Greek Letter organizations to be considered for college recognition beyond August 2022 must be affiliated with a national fraternal organization unless approved by the Vice-President of Student Affairs.
3. All men's fraternities who are members of the National Interfraternity Council will follow the National Interfraternity (NIC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarters guidelines and policies.
4. All women’s fraternities who are members of the National Panhellenic Conference will follow National Panhellenic (NPC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarters guidelines and policies.
5. All men’s and women’s fraternities who are members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council will follow National Pan-Hellenic (NPHC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarters guidelines and policies.
6. All men's and women's fraternities who are members of the National Multicultural Greek Council will follow National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarters guidelines and policies.
7. All men's and women's fraternities who are members of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations will follow National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) guidelines and policies and their individual national headquarters guidelines and policies.