Recruitment and New Member Education Protocols
Buffalo State recognizes that membership and new member recruitment is an essential component of the Fraternity and Sorority experience. For chapters to survive, they must continually recruit new members. It is the expectation of each Fraternity and Sorority to enhance the experience of each new/prospective member by providing membership education programming that meets college requirements.
1. Each Greek-letter organization must submit and keep an up-to-date list of active members, 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 Life 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 Life Liaison immediately.
4. Chapters that do not complete this requirement will be placed on interim suspension until all requirements are met.
Prospective New Members:
1. Membership in organizations shall be determined locally.
2. Members will be admitted in compliance with the SUNY (State University of New York) 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 first-year student 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 Student Leadership and Engagement at the beginning of each semester and prior to the start of intake/ new member education activities.
New Member Education/Intake Proposals:
1. Chapters must ensure that new member/membership intake activities (including campus introductions/new member reveal) last no more than 6 weeks and are completed three weeks prior to the last day of classes for both the fall and spring semesters.
2. No recruitment activities are allowed to take place during college-sponsored breaks, including, but not limited to, federal and state holidays, spring break, summer break, and winter break.
3. No new member/membership intake activities may occur from 11:00pm to 7:00am and events cannot exceed 6-hour time frames.
4. All Greek-letter organizations should strive to host all new member activities on campus. If an organization wishes to host an event off campus, they are to submit a request and receive written approval from Student Leadership and Engagement.
5. All students interested in joining a Fraternity or Sorority must attend one of the Greek Interest Meetings sponsored by Student Leadership and Engagement at the beginning of each semester. Additionally, the organization’s New Member Educator must also attend this meeting prior to the start of new member education activities.
6. Submit a complete and accurate New Member Education Plan (including campus introductions/new member reveal) to Student Leadership and Engagement by the end of the second week of classes each semester. Failure to submit an approved new member education plan will result in the organization being unable to recruit that semester.
- Contents of the new member education plan must be approved by the Chapter Adviser, New Member Educator, and Student Leadership and Engagement. Once approved, it may not be altered without the approval of the aforementioned entities.
7. The New Member Education Plan should include the following:
- Expectations of a New/Prospective Member: New/prospective members should be fully informed of their obligations as a new/prospective member.
- Expectations of an Active Member: New/prospective members should be fully informed of their obligations if they become an active member of the organization.
- Academic Success: Academic success should be the new/prospective member’s number one priority while going through the new member education period. Programs that emphasize the importance of academics should be in place and enforced, and new/prospective member activities should never interfere with studying and academic obligations.
- Community Service Opportunities: Service is an important aspect of all Greek-letter organizations. It is important that new/prospective members understand that all membership in a Greek-letter organization will entail community service.
- Leadership Development: Leadership is an important aspect of Greek-letter organizations. Leadership development should be nurtured in the new/prospective members from the beginning of the education period.
- Campus Involvement: It is important that new/prospective members are involved in organizations outside of the Greek community. Chapters will encourage their new/prospective members to learn about and potentially join organizations outside of their Greek-letter organization.
- Financial Obligation/Education: Many new/prospective are unaware of the financial commitment that is required to remain active. It is important they understand that membership in a Greek-letter organization is a commitment, and part of that commitment is financial.
- Organization History: Education regarding the history of individual chapters is especially important. Chapters must include the basic information that is to be taught to the new/prospective members, including the methods by which they will be tested on such information.
- Buffalo State Greek Life Information: New member should know and be made aware of Buffalo State policies and protocols on Greek Life and the responsibilities of each organization dictated by the college.
- Explanation of Confidential Reporting System for Hazing Violations within Chapter: New/prospective members should have the ability to talk with the active members regarding any hazing activities. Each chapter is required to have a system in place that encourages new members to come forward to report to the chapter hazing incidents that may have occurred.
- Internal Judicial Procedures: Each chapter should have an internal judicial procedure to deal with violations of the new member/membership intake education plan. Active members should be held accountable for going against the ideals of the program and engaging in any hazing activities.
- Calendar of all New Member/Membership Intake and Chapter Events, including Dates and Locations: All new member/membership intake activities (including dates and times) should be listed on a calendar of events for the entire duration of new member/membership intake education.
- Detailed description of all new member/membership intake activities: The new member education plan should include a detailed description of all new member/membership intake activities.
8. Responsibilities of New Member Educator
- Greek Interest Meeting Requirement: The New Member Educator for recognized Greek-letter organizations must attend one of the Greek Interest Meetings sponsored by Student Leadership and Engagement at the beginning of each semester prior to the start of new member activities.
- The New Member Educator will meet with Student Leadership and Engagement staff to discuss the New Member Education/Intake Proposal. The proposal will NOT be approved until this meeting is held. At this meeting, the New Member Educator will sign off on this document to signify that it is true and accurate.
- Bengal Connect Roster Requirement: The New Member Educator must ensure that new members that join the organization are added to the organization’s official roster on Bengal Connect and visit Student Leadership and Engagement to verify their membership.
- Ensure all new members attend the “Greek Life New Member Training” held at the end of each semester: Exceptions may be granted only by the Associate Director for Student Leadership and Engagement and a makeup meeting must be scheduled within one (1) week of the originally scheduled Greek Life New Member Training.
- Room Reservations: Must have all room reservations submitted for proposed programming/membership intake events either through the Campbell Student Union or Events Management.
- Academic responsibilities must take priority over new member/membership intake activities. Chapters should develop and encourage study/library hours and study programs that are unique for each chapter that encourages academic success.
- Alcohol and Drugs: No alcohol or drugs shall be present at any new member/pledge/associate member/neophyte program, activity, or ritual of the chapter, nor should alcohol or drugs ever be given as a gift from an active member to a prospective new member or vice versa.
Hazing is defined and prohibited by both college regulations and New York state law. These regulations apply to all groups and organizations operating on campus.
New York State Anti-Hazing Law
(Education Law S.6831-B or A.11012B)
“The trustees or other governing board of every college chartered by the regents or incorporated by special act of the legislature shall adopt rules and regulations for the maintenance of public order on college campuses and other college property used for educational purposes and provide a program for the enforcement thereof. Such rules and regulations shall prohibit, among other things, any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization. Such rules and regulations shall govern the conduct of students, faculty, and other staff as well as visitors and other licensees and invitees on such campuses and property. The penalties for violations of such rules and regulations shall be clearly set forth therein and shall include provisions for the ejection of a violator from such campus and property, in the case of a student or faculty violator, his suspension, expulsion or other appropriate disciplinary action and, in the case of an organization which authorizes such conduct, recision of permission for that organization to operate on campus property. Such penalties shall be in addition to any penalty pursuant to the penal law or any other chapter to which a violator organization may be subject. . .”
New York State Penal Law
(Paragraph 120.16 and 120.17)
A person can be found guilty of hazing in the first degree (Class A Misdemeanor) if, in the course of a person’s “initiation into or affiliation with any organization,” that person “intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk or physical injury to such person or a third person and thereby causes such injury” (Penal Law, paragraph 120.16). A conviction of this offense now carries a potential penalty of a fine up to $1,000, one year in jail, or both. A new offense designated as hazing in the second degree (a violation) incorporates a nearly identical definition except that no actual injury to any person need be proven (Penal Law, paragraph 120.17).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.