SMU Student Handbook

Policies Pertaining to Social Fraternities & Sororities


1.01 GENERAL DESCRIPTION Fraternities and sororities derive their recognition through an invitation from the University President to establish a chapter on the SMU campus. It is the continuation of that invitation that legitimizes their existence at SMU, enabling them to utilize University property to house their members, and enables the University to establish rules and regulations governing that housing. In addition, fraternities and sororities draw their rights and privileges from the Student Senate through the chartered status of fraternity and sorority councils (the Interfraternity, Multicultural, National Pan-Hellenic and Panhellenic Councils). Specific regulations regarding recruitment and fraternity and sorority system policies are established and supervised by those councils. Members of the fraternity and sorority community are also expected to abide by the University's Statement of Understanding. These policies shall be in accordance with the policies of the Student Code as set forth by the Student Senate and the University. Questions regarding fraternity and sorority system policies should be directed to the individual councils. The privileges afforded to the individual fraternities and sororities are equal to those of all chartered student organizations except for the following:

1.01(a) Because sororities and fraternities are voluntary fraternal associations, their internal structure and governance are controlled by their own constitutions.

1.01(b) May not request an appropriated budget from the Students' Association

1.01(c) Will not be assigned an affiliate senator by the Student Body Vice-President

1.01(d) May not open a Students' Association checking account controlled by the Students' Association Comptroller

1.01(e) May not request a copy code from Student Involvement

1.02 RECRUITMENT Recruitment is defined as any contact between fraternity and sorority affiliated and non-affiliated students, the intent of which is to solicit affiliation of the non-affiliated student to a particular fraternity or sorority.


1.02(a)(1) A recruitment function is defined as any contact, on or off campus, between non-affiliated students and fraternity/sorority members for the purpose of exploring the possibility of membership in a fraternity or sorority.

1.02(a)(2) The University allows contact between fraternity and sorority affiliated and non-affiliated students, but prohibits first-year student membership during the student's first semester on campus.


1.02(b)(1) Students interested in fraternity or sorority membership must: (1) Successfully complete at least 12 semester hours in residence at a college or university during their last semester enrolled in that college or university preceding recruitment, (2) Earn a minimum 2.500 GPA for that previous semester, and (3) Earn a cumulative 2.500 GPA at all colleges or universities previously attended at the time of beginning recruitment. Individual Councils and chapters may have higher GPA requirements for recruitment eligibility.

1.02(b)(2) Students found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and sanctioned with conduct probation or greater at any time during the previous semester are ineligible for fraternity or sorority recruitment.


1.02(c)(1) Formal recruitment is applicable only to the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, and will be held the week before classes of the spring semester. The Multicultural Greek council organizes their Recruitment during the first four weeks of each semester. The National Pan-Hellenic Council hosts a joint information session with individual chapters determining their Membership Intake Process through their individual national offices.

1.02(c)(2) Structured open recruitment occurs for non-first-year students in the fall semester, typically in the first few weeks of September, and for all students in the first few weeks of the spring semester following the formal recruitment period. Students who meet the eligibility requirements may join during the specified open recruitment period.

1.03 EXPANSION OF THE FRATERNITY & SORORITY SYSTEM Requests for Fraternity & Sorority Life expansion are reviewed by the Council President, Council Advisor, and Vice President for Student Affairs. Such requests are reviewed according to the following procedures.

1.03(a) Criteria for Expansion

1.03(a)(1) Status of Fraternity & Sorority community and Council

1.03(a)(1)(i) Average size and growth of Council in past three years.

1.03(a)(1)(ii) Academic standing compared to SMU GPA

1.03(a)(1)(iii) Recruitment statistics

1.03(a)(2) Enrollment trends of the University

1.03(a)(3) Number of active chapters and average number of members in each chapter. Must demonstrate need for additional chapters due to current chapter overload and/or interest from students.

1.03(b) If the decision on the Criteria for Expansion is positive by the four initial reviewing persons, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the President of the University are then petitioned for approval for the next steps to proceed.

1.03(c) Upon receiving official approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs, the petitioning Council must pass the proposal for expansion by a two-thirds vote. If expansion is approved, the Council must abide by their Council expansion policies, with supervision of their Council Advisor.

1.03(d) If expansion is approved and offered, the accepting chapter must provide SMU and the respective Council with the following materials and complete the following action items prior to colonization/recolonization (dates to be set by Council Advisor and Vice President for Student Affairs):

1.03(d)(1) National Constitution and Bylaws

1.03(d)(2) Mission Statement/Vision Statement of National organization

1.03(d)(3) Present size of the fraternity/sorority (number of current active chapters and colonies and location of each)

1.03(d)(4) Number of new chapters and colonies in the last three years (current size of each)

1.03(d)(5) Goals of Colony/establishing chapter at SMU

1.03(d)(6) Colonization/Establishing chapter procedures including, but not limited to, new member recruitment, retention guidelines imperative for colony to be chartered (including financial), growth plan for the colony.

1.03(d)(7) Member Recruitment Plan

1.03(d)(8) Service/Philanthropy Plan

1.03(d)(9) Academic Success Plan

1.03(d)(10) Copies of all National/chapter policies, including risk management policies

1.03(d)(11) Leadership Development - opportunities offered by National Fraternity/Sorority

1.03(d)(12) New Member Program - (See clause 1.05) - copy of sample program and length of new member period.

1.03(d)(13) Financial - new member/initiation costs, average active dues, any other financial responsibilities charged to members.

1.03(d)(14) Timeline

1.03(d)(15) Must have an established and viable Advisory Board and/or a written plan on how the organization plans to obtain the support of an advisor and alumni three months prior to chapter colonization or recolonization. This Advisory Board/Advisor must be composed of local volunteers who will be working with the new chapter. Before colonization/recolonization, the Board/Advisor must:

1.03(d)(15)(i) Meet with SMU Administrators

1.03(d)(15)(ii) Meet with the Council Advisor

1.03(d)(15)(iii) Meet with the other chapter Advisory Boards, under the facilitation of the council advisor

1.03(d)(15)(iv) Present goals and plans to the Council

1.03(d)(15)(v) Receive advisor training, in some form, from national officers as to responsibilities and duties to the chapter.


1.04(a) ROOM AND BOARD PAYMENT Any student signing a residence contract or a sub-lease to live in university-owned fraternity and sorority housing understands and agrees that the student's University records, including diploma and transcript, and the right to be readmitted to SMU may be withheld if the student is in arrears in bed rent or board payment.

1.04(b) ALCOHOL Student Code of Conduct & Conduct Review Process, Section IV.

1.04(c) BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES Students may not keep bicycles, mopeds or motorcycles in their rooms or in the entrance areas or secured to railings at the entrance of buildings. Bicycle lockers are available during the year for rent on a first-come, first-served basis from the Department of Residence Life and Student Housing. Gasoline powered vehicles are not allowed in fraternity or sorority houses or any University owned housing at any time and must be parked at least 15 feet from the exterior of any building except in designated parking spots.

1.04(d) PETS See "Pets" Section of Residence Life & Student Housing - Community Standards for Residents

1.04(e) FIRE AND SAFETY REGULATIONS Each housed chapter is required to have a fire safety inspection as scheduled by the University Park fire marshal and to conduct a fire drill within the first month of each semester coordinated with the SMU Police Department.

1.04(f) VISITATION Visitation hours are to be decided upon by each house. Cohabitation is not permitted in any of the fraternity and sorority houses. Fraternities and sororities who are hosting guests or visitors for consecutive days should abide by corresponding Department of Residence Life and Student Housing Policies. Non-students may not live in fraternity or sorority housing without the written consent of the University, requested through the Vice President for Student Affairs.

1.05 NEW MEMBER EDUCATION All fraternity and sorority new member education programs must be no more than six (6) school weeks in total which must be consecutive.


Last revision - 18 Dec 2018