Regulations Governing Social Fraternities



College Policies

Ⅰ. Statement of Philosophy

Hampden-Sydney College is a small, independent liberal arts institution with a long-standing history of academic excellence and concern for the development of men with character. The common ground of all members of the College community is, therefore, the development of the intellects and character of its students. It is also the purpose of the College to enrich the personal lives of its students and enhance their ability to serve society as good men and good citizens.

It is with these aims in mind that the College has approved and supported the establishment of fraternities on the campus. Each recognized chapter has purposes stated by the national organization which are in harmony with those of the College. Fraternities, therefore, exist in order to complement and supplement the curriculum and programs offered by the College. Their role is to promote the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of character, to enrich the personal lives of their members, and further the ability of their members to serve society.

In this context, then, it is clear that the national fraternities, of which our local chapters are a part, share the values and goals of the College. Any additional goals our fraternities hold for themselves should be compatible with those of the institution, and the practices of all recognized organizations should contribute to an overall educational atmosphere. Hampden-Sydney’s underlying philosophy towards rules and regulations is one of granting a maximum amount of individual freedom within a context of a residential campus and at the same time expecting a high degree of personal and corporate responsibility in order to maintain a campus atmosphere which is conducive to teaching, studying, learning and positive personal development.

Membership in a fraternity provides opportunities for students to broaden their educational experiences while at the College, and it also offers students an option which can enrich and supplement their personal lives. The College recognizes this and encourages the presence of fraternities and the contributions they can make to the life of the College.

There are, however, several governing principles that guide the formal relationship of fraternities to the College, among them being the following:

  1. That the College authorizes the granting of a charter for the existence of a chapter on campus and also may withdraw that authorization;
  2. That the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty establishes regulations governing fraternity activities;
  3. That regulations governing fraternity activities will ultimately be enforced by the Dean of Students;
  4. That the Assistant Dean of Students and the Interfraternity Council supervise all fraternities;
  5. That the activities which occur at fraternity houses are subject to regulation by the College, as are the general activities of fraternities;
  6. That fraternity houses are considered a part of the overall residential housing program of the College, and if fraternities are not able to fill their prescribed housing quotas, the College reserves the right under the lease agreement in an emergency situation to assign non-members to the houses as a last resort to solve pressing demand for housing;
  7. That fraternities are expected to take care of their facilities and environs so that at all times they reflect positively on the fraternities and the College.

At the same time it is the responsibility of the College:

  1. To provide fraternities with supervision;
  2. To help them find fraternity advisors;
  3. To provide them with resources for leadership training, scholarship improvement, problem-solving, and program planning;
  4. To assist them in their planning to recruit members and communicate with their alumni.

(N.B. All fraternity houses are owned by the College and are leased back to the respective House Corporations. For all fraternities the Housing Regulations are in effect, and when applicable, supersede Section Ⅱ F, below.)

Ⅱ. College Expectations for Greek Organizations

In order to help ensure that fraternities are supporting the aims of the institution, maximizing their contribution to the personal development of their members, and maintaining a sound organization, it is expected that each chapter will engage in the following activities:

  1. Scholarship: The fraternity environment shall be conducive to study and supportive of each member’s academic efforts. Programs should be planned around the academic needs of members, using College resources such as the Office of Academic Success, Office of Career Education and Vocational Reflection, the Writing Center, etc. Formal scholarship programs and activities such as tutoring and discussion groups; workshops concerning study skills, writing, career development, etc. are strongly encouraged. This is a serious concern of the College and is a necessary ingredient of a fraternity’s contribution to and support of College objectives. The fraternity advisor should have a significant role to play in these endeavors.
  2. Rules and Regulations: It is assumed that all fraternity members are aware of College regulations pertaining to fraternities; the Interfraternity Council Constitution and Statutes; the Code of Student Conduct; the Honor Code; local, state, and federal laws; and that they are following them. Further, it is important that each chapter have clearly-stated internal rules and appropriate standards which are responsibly enforced by the officers.
  3. Rush: The purpose of rush is to present the fraternity option to Hampden-Sydney College students, primarily freshmen, who are not affiliated with a Greek organization. As such, it should be open and honest and introduce prospective members to all phases of a chapter’s activities and to the personal and financial responsibilities that membership entails.
  4. Pledge/Associate Member Education: In order to complement such a rush program it is mandatory that each fraternity have a positive pledge/associate program. Educational and related activities are necessary if each new pledge/associate is to become familiar with and accept both the business and friendship aspects of his chapter. Examples of such activities include learning the history, purposes, and goals of the national fraternity; developing management skills; meeting financial obligations; and involvement in alcohol education programs and service projects. Also, the amount of time a pledge/associate spends in doing things with older brothers is important in developing attitudes of sharing and caring, creating a strong fraternal bond of brotherhood, and promoting a sense of responsibility toward the continuity of the fraternity for those who are to come after the pledges/associates in ensuing years. Conversely, practices which involve hazing (any activity of physical or psychological abuse that is degrading or humiliating to another person), the destruction or removal of property, the abuse of alcohol, or activities that do not encourage respect for others are not acceptable at Hampden-Sydney College.
  5. Finances and Chapter Operations: Financial obligations of chapters and individuals within their chapters are expected to be met. Any fraternity not free of debt contracted through its annual operations by June 30 of each fiscal year will have its recognition to operate as a fraternity withdrawn until that indebtedness is eliminated. During the school year, any fraternity not meeting its financial obligations may be required to cease social programming until the indebtedness is removed or suitable means to pay off the debt have been established.
  6. Care of Property: It is expected that the physical premises of each fraternity be maintained in good repair, inside and outside, at all times. Failure to keep the house and furnishings in good repair will lead to disciplinary action. There will be regular inspections of fraternity property. Finally, it is expected that all hazards to health or safety will be promptly eliminated.
  7. Social Activities: Fraternities provide a variety of socializing activities which contribute to members’ personal development and which serve an integrative function for the general campus community. In addition to hosting parties responsibly, each chapter should endeavor to provide a variety of activities which will expand each student’s experiences. They might include interaction with faculty and administrators, citizens of Prince Edward County and the town of Farmville, and other campus organizations.
  8. External Relations: Members and chapters must be concerned about their impact on their neighbors. Because fraternity houses are located in or near campus residential areas, extra care should be taken to respect neighbors’ rights to privacy and quiet, and fraternities should be sensitive to the fact that excessive noise can have an impact on the general College community as well. Also, excellent opportunities exist for fraternities to make a positive impact through community and College service projects. In regard to inter-fraternity relations, every effort should be made to foster good relations and mutual respect among fraternities. Recognizing that alumni are a source of strength for both the College and the fraternities, each fraternity should make an effort to keep in touch with its alumni and involve them in the programs of the fraternity.
  9. Programming: Fraternities should take advantage of College resources and of persons known through personal friendships and contacts with members to enhance the personal lives of their members by scheduling workshops or discussions on leadership, personal finances, careers, hobbies, gender issues, etc.
  10. Evaluation: Each fraternity should annually make the effort to ask itself whether or not it is realizing its full potential by serving its members and the College in areas indicated in this document. A self-evaluation could begin by members asking themselves such questions as:
    1. How successful is the chapter in supporting members’ academic efforts?
    2. Does the chapter environment provide members sufficient opportunities to study and sleep?
    3. What does the fraternity provide that could not be received outside the organization?
    4. How many members are actively involved in planning and executing chapter activities?
    5. How does the chapter interact with non-Greek students, members of other fraternities, faculty, administrators, and alumni?
    6. What individual responsibilities does each member have to the fraternity?
    7. How is the fraternity viewed by others?
    8. How well is the chapter meeting its responsibilities to its members, the College, and the national office?
    9. How well are the advisor and the College meeting their responsibilities to the chapter?

The College supports a strong, positive fraternity experience that is consistent with the mission and aims of Hampden-Sydney. It is to maintain and strengthen the system that this document has been developed and that the above expectations of the College for its fraternities have been established.

Interfraternity Council Policy on Greek Week Activities

Planning for Greek Week must take into consideration that all (individual fraternity and IFC) activities are to be held on campus, that Greek Week is not to be expanded* by activities on or off campus, directly or indirectly sponsored by fraternities or individuals, during the preceding or following week, that Greek Week is a normal academic week and activities must be confined to a reasonable period within the week and paced so as not to have a negative impact on classes, and that no activity shall be planned which constitutes a danger to persons or property. Special emphasis should be given to planning events which give recognition to fraternities and fraternity men who have excelled and made significant contributions to fraternities and the College during the past year. The week should be a balanced celebration of the best of what fraternity life represents.

*In April of 1988, the IFC passed a rule that prohibits any fraternity from hosting or participating in any off-campus party on the Sunday preceding or following Greek Week.

Statement of Official College Policy Concerning Illegal Drugs in Fraternities

Should a member or pledge at any time be caught using and/or possessing illegal drugs in or around a fraternity house or its environs, or should at any time a fraternity tolerate the use or possession of illegal drugs openly or covertly by anyone in or around its house and environs or at an off-campus fraternity function, the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee would take the following actions:

  1. Notify the fraternity in question of the situation. The fraternity would be given 48 hours to report any individual(s) involved with the drug-related offense to the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee. The Honor Code shall be upheld throughout the course of the investigation and resolution. If the fraternity fails to report the individual(s) involved, the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee would place the fraternity under a twelve-week period of social closing.

    The individual(s) turned over to the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee would then be turned over to the Student Court system with all information that became known from the initial accusation and following internal investigation.

  2. All resolutions shall be reported to the Assistant Dean of Students. The Interfraternity Council shall then notify the national office of the accused fraternity and report the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee’s resolution. The national fraternity can then place the chapter on probation, suspend the charter, or lift the charter (permanently), depending on the specific circumstances.

  3. If the Interfraternity Council Judiciary Committee does not take satisfactory action as presented in this policy, the Assistant Dean of Students shall act on behalf of the College to place the fraternity at least on probation and, possibly, to withdraw institutional recognition of the fraternity, in effect, closing the fraternity for a stated period of time, indefinitely, or permanently.

Should a member or pledge at any time be caught selling and/or distributing illegal drugs in or around a fraternity house or its environs, or should at any time a fraternity tolerate the sale and/or distribution of illegal drugs openly or covertly by anyone in or around its house and environs or at an off-campus fraternity function, the Assistant Dean of Students would take the following actions:

  1. Notify the national office of that fraternity and suggest that the national fraternity, depending on the specific circumstances, place the chapter on probation, suspend the charter, or lift the charter (permanently).
  2. Act on behalf of the College, to place the fraternity at least on probation and, possibly, to withdraw institutional recognition of the fraternity, in effect, closing the fraternity for a stated period of time, indefinitely, or permanently.Individuals involved would be handled according to normally established procedures.

Fireplace Policy

Fireplaces are prohibited from all Hampden-Sydney College student residences, including fraternity houses, unless the following criteria are met:

  1. One operable fireplace shall be allowed in each residence hall.
  2. The fireplace is constructed in a safe manner, meeting all codes.
  3. The fireplace is located in a common space. No fireplaces shall be allowed in student sleeping rooms.
  4. The room in which the fireplace is located must be monitored with a smoke and heat detection system that meets all code requirements.
  5. The room in which the fireplace is located and the building must be sprinkled.
  6. There must be audible and visual alarm systems located within the room where the fireplace is located and on the exterior of the building.
  7. The fireplace must be inspected and cleaned annually. This is a Hampden-Sydney College responsibility.
  8. Each fraternity must maintain its liability insurance as stated under the terms of its lease with the College.
  9. Fires must be contained within the fire box, which may not extend beyond the vertical plane of the header.
  10. All flammable material (rugs, furniture, firewood, combustible material) must be kept at a safe distance.
  11. Fireplace tools and screen must be used at all times.
  12. Only firewood should be burned in the fireplace. Do not use pressure treated wood or plywood.
  13. COLD ashes must be disposed of properly. Ash cans must be available and used both in the room and outside the building.
  14. Users must be cognizant of location and function of the fire safety devices provided (fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency lights, exit signs).
  15. Evacuation plans must be properly displayed and all occupants must be familiar with the plans.
  16. Users should be smart, safe, and use common sense.

Approved by the College Safety Committee April 23, 1998.