Recognized vs. Unrecognized
Buffalo State proudly recognizes a number of Greek organizations. These organizations are governed by the Code of Conduct and the recognition and governance policies and are overseen by Student Leadership and Engagement.
These groups do not have houses off campus or any residence hall space assigned to them but they are allowed to use campus facilities for their activities. If members of these recognized groups choose to conduct their activities off campus, they do so at their own risk and without supervision. Some of these recognized groups are affiliated with national Greek organizations and some are local groups. If at any time you have questions about the recognition status of an organization, please contact the Student Leadership and Engagement Office.
As on other SUNY campuses, there are groups at Buffalo State that use Greek letters and are not recognized by the College. That means that these organizations have no affiliation with or supervision by the College, do not follow the rules that are set for Greek social organizations (including the deferred recruitment (formerly rush) policy), and do not give the College the names of their members. They are loosely organized social clubs that often use the Greek letters of legitimate organizations. Their use of these names is illegal because they are not formally affiliated with the national organizations. A student who joins an unrecognized group and pays dues to that group will not be a recognized member on any other campus nor have any of the alumni privileges that go with national membership. The dues that are paid are used solely for the social activities of the local group.
Some groups were at one time recognized by the College and were affiliated with national organizations but chose to end their affiliation with the College. There are Buffalo State alumni who were members of these groups when they were recognized and are not aware that the status has changed. Members of unrecognized groups sometimes lie to new students about the group’s status. An example is saying that the group’s recognition is suspended but that they will regain their recognition later in the year. Hazing has also been a problem with unrecognized groups.
Students who are recruited by or choose to be a part of an unrecognized group do so at their own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.
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.
Improper Intake and Recruitment
When To Be Concerned and What To Do (for Students)
- If you are involved in recruiting or intake during your first freshman semester, it means you are involved with an unrecognized group or with a recognized group that is breaking the rules.
- If you’re going through an "intake process" (formerly known as "pledging") with an unrecognized group, you do so at your own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.
- If you’re going through an "intake process" (formerly known as "pledging") with a recognized group during your first semester as a freshman, an important rule is being broken, please alert us immediately. The College will adjudicate individuals and groups suspected of violating the Code of Conduct and the Recognition and Governance Policies.
- Hazing is a risk with any group, recognized or unrecognized. We are very concerned about hazing and ask that you read the enclosed information about it. If you suspect you are being hazed, please seek assistance as soon as possible from the Student Leadership and Engagement Office, your residence hall director, University Police, and/or another College official.
When to Be Concerned & What to Do (for Families)
- If your student is involved in recruitment or intake during their first freshman semester, it means they are involved with an unrecognized group or with a recognized group that is breaking the rules. Talk about it with your student and find out as much as you can about their understanding of the situation.
- If they’re going through an "intake process" (formerly known as "pledging") with an unrecognized group, let them know if that this is unacceptable to you.
- If they’re going through an "intake process" (formerly known as "pledging") with a recognized group during the first semester of their freshman year, remind them that an important rule is being broken. Determine whether it is acceptable to you or your student that they’re involved with a group that disregards rules and alert the Student Leadership and Engagement Office immediately.
- Contact Student Leadership and Engagement to inform them about rule infractions by recognized groups.
- Hazing is a risk with any group, recognized or unrecognized. We are very concerned about hazing and ask that you read the enclosed information about it. It is the symptoms of hazing that are often the first signs to parents that their student is going through an "intake process".
- If your student’s interim grades or semester grades are lower than you expect, they may not have found a good balance between academic and non-academic activities or they may be struggling with adjustment issues. Let your student know about your expectations regarding their grades.