Greek Life Expansion Policy
Purpose and Philosophy
Greek letter fraternities and sororities, defined as single-sex social Greek letter organizations, may establish chapters at Baylor University only through formal invitation extended by the University. Expansion proposals from students, chapters, and/or national Greek letter organizations interested in expansion must first be consistent with the mission and policies of Baylor University. Additionally, the Department of Student Activities believes that any addition of new fraternities and sororities to the university campus should contribute to existing chapters and the student body as a whole.
The purpose of the Greek Letter Organization Expansion Policy is to ensure that a healthy and thorough process for expansion guides the growth of Greek letter organizations at Baylor University both organizationally and institutionally. The councils recognize the importance of a stable support structure for new organizations and want the development of the councils to reflect the pace of growth of the University. The aim of Greek life expansion efforts is to provide opportunities for the long-term benefit of all students, both current and future, and for the broader Greek community at Baylor University.
Baylor University and the Department of Student Activities reserve the right to change the policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and information at any time. Changes will become effective at the time they are approved by the Vice President for Student Life.
The Greek Letter Expansion Committee (Expansion Committee) shall manage the initial consideration of matters pertaining to the expansion of councils and/or chapters into the Greek Community at Baylor University.
The Expansion Committee will consist of the Director of Student Activities, Assistant Director of Greek Life, Senior Coordinators of Greek Life, Associate Director of Student Activities for Student Involvement, two student representatives from each council (one executive board member and one at large member), and Graduate Apprentices for Greek Life. The Assistant Director of Student Activities for Greek Life will serve as the chairperson of the committee.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of the committee will be to solicit, organize, and review the applications or requests of organizations seeking membership in the Greek Community at Baylor University. The committee will assess the viability of Greek letter organization expansion prior to soliciting applications for review as well as the existing University need for the individual organization seeking membership.
- Solicitation and information related to potential expansion opportunities will be available following the spring semester each academic year.
- Applications for consideration will be accepted throughout the summer. The deadline to submit applications is October 1 each academic year.
- The committee will convene in October to begin the review process for all applications.
- The committee will complete the review of applications no later than April of the submitting academic year.
- The committee will oversee the creation and expansion of new Greek Councils at Baylor using the framework set forth in this policy.
- The committee will review the Expansion Policy each year in conjunction with the Student Activities Policies and Procedures summer review.
Scope of the Expansion Policy
New and former Greek letter organizations must be approved through the expansion process adopted within the Student Organization Policy and Procedure Guide and administrated by the Department of Student Activities. The time-line for each application review will begin in October and will be completed by April each academic year. The scope is as follows:
I. Review by Greek Organization Expansion Committee
The application process begins by contacting the Assistant Director of Greek Life in the Department of Student Activities. A formal application is then completed by the applying organization and submitted to the Expansion Committee for review.
- Expansion Viability Assessment: The Greek Life staff within the Department of Student Activities will conduct an Expansion Viability Assessment for the Expansion Committee after the completion of the spring semester. The assessment tracks overall enrollment, recruitment/ intake statistics, new member class size, council size, success of prior expansion approvals, and the at-risk organizations in each council. This assessment will determine whether the committee will accept expansion applications for a given council.
- Initial Review: The chairperson of the Expansion Committee will conduct an initial review of the proposed documents to ensure full completion of all requested materials.
- Committee Review: The Expansion Committee will review all materials submitted for charter in the shared standards sections after receiving the completed document from the petitioning organization.
- Determination of Council: Based on the mission and affiliation of the national organization, the Expansion Committee will determine which governing council the petitioning organization may be considered for if chartered at Baylor University.
- Invitation to Present: The Expansion Committee will determine whether the petitioning organization will be invited to prepare a presentation for the appropriate governing council and the Expansion Committee. If the petitioning organization is moved forward in the process, the organization will be extended an invitation to give a presentation in person on campus to both the Expansion Committee and the designated governing council.
- Council Vote on Expansion: Following the presentation the governing council will then conduct their expansion voting procedures outlined in their constitution. Based on the voting outcome, a recommendation for approval or denial will then be made by the governing council to the Expansion Committee. An official letter from the governing council president containing specific reasons as to why the governing council wishes to extend an invitation to join the governing council or not will be sent to the Expansion Committee.
- Council Placement: The Expansion Committee may determine to place a petitioning chapter on a designated council even if the council does not recommend membership.
- Final Committee Expansion Vote: After the Expansion Committee reviews the letter from the governing council, the fraternity/ sorority must then receive approval of ¾ (three-fourths) votes of the total Expansion Committee to be approved to colonize and enter the council.
II. Review by Student Organization Charter Council
Once approved by the Greek Organization Expansion Committee, the applying organization must be formally approved for charter and recognition from the Department of Student Activities through the Student Organization Chartering Council to become an official student organization. If the organization is returning, additional documentation may be required.
- The Expansion Committee will make a recommendation within the official student organization chartering process as outlined by the Department of Student Activities to the Student Organization Chartering Council.
- The Student Activities Chartering Council will provide significant consideration to the recommendation of the Expansion Committee when determining the charter of Greek-letter organizations.
- The Student Activities Charter Council submits recommendations for approval /dismissal to the Dean for Student Development and Vice President of Student Life for final review and approval/dismissal.
In order for expansion to occur, 2/3 (two-thirds) of the chapters in a council must be at full chapter status as defined by the national organization. Expansion of Greek-letter organizations cannot exceed adding one new chapter per council per academic year.
I. Formal Application from a National Office
A. Formal Application
The formal application will include but is not limited to the following:
- A letter of petition explaining the purpose and intent of the organization. This letter shall also include the justification and interest in affiliating with Baylor University.
- If applicable, an official letter of intent on letterhead from the inter/national organization stating that the inter/national organization has knowledge of the interest group with an outline of the support the inter/national organization will give the group along with their requirements for chartering.
- Completion of the official application for New Student Organization charter documents as outlined within the policies of the Department of Student Activities.
- If applicable, provide verification if the inter/national organization is affiliated with any of the following:
- National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
- North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)
- National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO)
- National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC)
- National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA)
- National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
- If the organization is attempting to reactivate a previously approved charter, documentation of the status of good standing must be included regarding judicial and financial matters from both the University and the affiliated national organization. This information will be gained through the Dean for Student Development, the petitioned council, or the national office.
B. Student Organization Documentation
Copies of the following inter/national organization policies, procedures, and programs:
1. Logistical Information:
- Name of organization
- Founding date and location
- Membership statistics:
- Current number of chapters and colonies – include locations
- Current number of undergraduate members and alumni/ae
- Average chapter size
- Number of chapters closed in the last five years and their reasons for closing
- Membership costs: new member, initiation fees, membership dues
- National organization leadership and location
2. Program Policies:
- Plan of consultations and supervision for establishing a colony
- Position statements and trainings on hazing, alcohol and sexual violence prevention
- Intake policies and guidelines (if applicable)
- Complete new member program
- Minimum standards for potential new members
- Scholarship/academic support programs
- Community service and philanthropy programs/requirements
- Sample chapter constitution and bylaws
- Leadership/member development programs
- Code of conduct/standards/judicial procedures
- Risk management program and/or policy
- Proof of insurance
- Notification of any pending legal action being taken against other chapters and/or the inter/national organization
3. Organizational support:
- List of all chapters and locations
- Volunteer support at the district and local level
- Approval from the inter/national organization to colonize
- Nearest chapter(s)
- Number of alumni/ae in the Central Texas area
C. Advisor and Alumnae Advisor(s) Documentation
- The name, address, telephone number and email address of a faculty/staff from Baylor University who has agreed to serve as an advisor must be provided, as well as a signed, written statement from this person of a willingness to serve within this capacity.
- The name, address, telephone number and email address of the chapter alumni/ae advisor(s), as well as a signed written statement from this person of a willingness to serve in this capacity.
II. Formal Application from a Group of Students
If the request is being made by a group of students currently enrolled, the interested students must notify the Department of Student Activities through the Assistant Director of Greek Life of their desire to charter a fraternity/sorority.
- If the interest group has a particular inter/national fraternity/sorority they want to affiliate with, the interest group will provide the name of the National fraternity/sorority to the Assistant Director of Greek Life.
- The Assistant Director of Greek Life will contact the National fraternity/sorority to see what the interest of the inter/national Organization is in expanding to Baylor University.
- If the inter/national fraternity/sorority is interested in Baylor University, then the Expansion Policy will be sent to the inter/national Headquarters for their review and subsequent application.
- All aforementioned requirements are applicable once the steps above are completed.
This policy provides students, alumni group/graduate chapter members, and inter/national offices with information relating to reactivation of a previously chartered Greek-letter organization.
- Before initiating contact with potential new members, students and/or members of an alumni group/graduate chapter or national organization wishing to reactivate an organization will contact the Department of Student Activities through the Assistant Director of Greek Life.
- In the case that a chapter was expelled or dissolved due to judicial or disciplinary action, the chapter must also have completed all necessary sanctions previously required by the national organization, Baylor University, or any governing entity.
- Inactive status is defined as one or more of the following:
- Organizations with less than five members for two consecutive semesters will be declared inactive by the Department of Student Activities.
- Current membership does not meet grade eligibility standards for student organization participation
- Organizational roster has not been updated in two (2) semesters
- Chapter president has not attended the Student Organization Summit in one semester. Compliance is reached when any president attends the training.
- No University approved events have occurred within the last two (2) semesters
A. Organization Inactive for Non-Disciplinary Reasons
Student organizations that are inactive due to low participation, lack of interest, or other non-disciplinary factors for less than two years may re-gain active status by reaching compliance with the Department of Student Activities’ organizational expectations. Organizations that remain inactive for more than two years must re-apply through the formal expansion process as outlined in this document. If an organization has been inactive for five consecutive years, the University will revoke the charter of the organization.
B. Organizations Inactive for Disciplinary Reasons
Organizations suspended for conduct or disciplinary purposes either by the university or the inter/national organization may not be considered for reactivation until one or all of the following criterion are met (1) all members of the suspended chapter have either left the institution and/or a minimum of four years have passed; (2) the group has a written commitment from a Baylor faculty/staff to serve as an advisor; (3) a letter from the Dean for Student Development has been sent to the Expansion Committee affirming compliance with all noted sanctions and recommendations including, but not limited to, involvement from the members who were involved in the incident, monies owed to Baylor University and/or their council, and/or any pending legal processes. The Student Organization Judicial Board will determine which criterion must be met during the sanctioning phase of the conduct hearing.
A formal appeal of this expectation may only be reconsidered by the Dean of Student Development and approved by the Vice President of Student Life.
The organization will complete the expansion process as outlined in this stated policy. If the petitioning organization is considered for expansion, the presentation may include, but is not limited to 1) the steps the chapter will take to ensure polices are in place and adhered to and, 2) structures that have been developed to address any pervious issues as well as other as questions submitted by the Expansion Committee.
Disciplinary Revocation of international Charter
The university automatically removes any organization whose local charter/chapter is revoked or dissolved for disciplinary reasons by its inter/national charter authority for the period of time indicated by the inter/national office. Such groups are able to apply for active status under the same terms as groups under disciplinary sanction by the university.