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SA/PPS 07.10 - Fraternity and Sorority Social Host Policies

Fraternity and Sorority Social Host Policies

SA/PPS No. 07.10 (05.09)
Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 11/02/2017
Next Review Date: 9/01/2021 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Dean of Students - Greek Affairs

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. Texas State University acknowledges the contributions that fraternities and sororities can make to university life and the positive effect these organizations can have on the social and educational development of their members. This policy assists Greek organizations in educating their members in the responsible use of alcohol, and minimizing the liability of the chapters and their officers.

    2. The intent of this policy is:

      1. to establish standards for the use of alcohol that allow for safe social interaction as an integral part of the development process;

      2. to aid chapters in maintaining high standards that directly contribute to a quality education available at Texas State;

      3. to assist social Greek letter organizations in educating their members about health, wellness and the responsible use of alcohol; and

      4. to educate chapter officers about the risk and liability factors associated as social hosts that could affect their organization’s officers and members.

    3. A fraternity or sorority must complete the State of Texas mandated risk management training before hosting or participating in social events where alcohol is present.

    4. All fraternities and sororities are expected to adhere to common standards of decency and non-discrimination. Fraternities and sororities should be aware that their events are representative of their organization. It is recommended that:

      1. all event themes should be ethnically and racially sensitive in nature and not degrade the nationality of any individual or group;

      2. all event themes must be sensitive to gender identity and sexual orientation. Furthermore, no sexist behavior should be permitted;

      3. no special mention, pictorial or otherwise, of the fact that alcohol will be present at the event should be made when advertising the events. Themes will not have any reference to alcohol or infer alcohol will be present at the event; and

      4. all promotional material and member costuming (i.e., advertising, posters, flyers, favors, and T-shirts) should be sensitive in nature regarding the aforementioned areas of theme sensitivity.

  2. DEFINITIONS

    1. Chapter-sponsored Activity: An event will be considered a chapter-sponsored activity under any one or more of the following conditions:

      1. the organization has a financial commitment to the event including using organizational funds or organized collection of funds by organizational members;

      2. officers or members of the organization have spent time in an organization meeting planning or preparing for the event. The organization has provided representatives of the organization to facilitate the planning, preparation and implementation of the event;

      3. the event is advertised and the advertisement makes any mention of the fraternity or sorority’s distinctive Greek letters, trademarks or trade names such as nicknames used to identify the organization;

      4. an observer would associate the activity with a fraternity or sorority;

      5. the chapter creates or causes to be created any promotional materials for the activity, including t-shirts, cups, social media, etc.;

      6. the chapter is involved in any fashion with the sale of tickets for the activity or the sale of promotional items which mention the activity;

      7. transportation to the activity is provided by the chapter;

      8. the chapter provides maps, information, invitations or tickets to the activity for its members and guests; or

      9. the activity is listed on the chapter’s calendar of events.

    2. Third-party Vendor/TABC Certified: caterers who have a license to serve or licensed bartenders who distribute alcoholic beverages.

    3. Student Involvement: Student Involvement Office located in the LBJ Student Center.

    4. DOS: Office of Dean of Students-Greek Affairs.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR FRATERNITY AND SORORITY FUNCTIONS

    1. Members of fraternities and sororities officially recognized by Texas State University’s Interfraternity (IFC), Multicultural (MGC), National Pan-Hellenic (NPHC) and Panhellenic (NPC) Councils are to observe the following policies when they participate in fraternity or sorority functions.

      1. It is unlawful for a person, after purchasing or otherwise obtaining alcoholic beverages, to sell, give or deliver it to another person under the age of twenty-one.

      2. It is unlawful for any person to misrepresent his or her age for the purpose of buying, accepting or receiving alcoholic beverages from a licensee.

      3. When fraternities and sororities are hosting events, all individuals entering a fraternity or sorority function must have their legal form of identification checked by the security members designated on the social contract or by the third party vendor contracted for the social function. Each person must obtain an identifying mark on their hand as to whether they are over or under the legal drinking age of twenty-one.

      4. The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages, while on chapter premises or during a fraternity or sorority event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or at any event an observer would associate with the fraternity or sorority, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, province, county, city and institution of higher education, and must comply with the third-party vendor guidelines.

    2. The possession, sale or use of any illegal drugs or controlled substances while on chapter premises or during a fraternity event or at any event that an observer would associate with the fraternity or sorority is strictly prohibited.

    3. Fraternity- and sorority-hosted events with alcohol must submit a Fraternity/Sorority Events Using Alcohol Agreement Form (Alcohol Agreement Form) to the Dean of Students office recognizing these policies and agree to comply to them. At any registered social event where alcohol is being served, the following is needed to be in compliance with this policy:

      1. the social event registration form submitted and date stamped by a DOS staff member at least 10 business days prior to the date of the event. A follow-up message acknowledging receipt of the form to the DOS-Greek Affairs office will be sent to the chapter officers who sign the form;

      2. a chapter officer, preferably the president, must have a copy of the submitted Alcohol Agreement Form, an event guest list and the follow-up message from the DOS-Greek Affairs office available for review upon request by university personnel, law enforcement officials or national headquarter representatives during the entire event;

      3. a TABC-trained bartender must dispense the alcoholic beverages; and

      4. security should be required when attendance exceeds 50 guests.

    4. No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through or with chapter funds nor may the purchase of alcoholic beverages for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the chapter.

    5. The purchase and use of a bulk quantity of alcoholic beverages, such as kegs, punch bowls, trash or garbage containers, bulk juice containers, or any other large commercial alcohol container is prohibited.

    6. Any social Greek letter organizations (defined in SA/PPS No. 07.08, Greek Affairs Policies) sponsoring or participating in an event will be held equally liable for regulating the event.

    7. No chapter may co-sponsor an event with an alcohol distributor or tavern (defined as an establishment generating more than half of annual gross sales from alcohol) at which alcohol is given away, sold or otherwise provided to those present. This includes any event held in, at or on the property of a tavern as defined above for purposes of fundraising. However, a chapter may rent or use a room or area in a tavern as defined above for a closed event held within the provisions of this policy, including the use of a third-party vendor and guest list.

    8. An event at which alcohol is present may be conducted or co-sponsored with a charitable organization if the event is held within the provisions of this policy.

    9. All membership recruitment activities associated with any chapter will be non-alcoholic. No member recruitment activities associated with any chapter may be held at or in conjunction with a tavern or alcohol distributor as defined in this policy.

    10. No alcohol shall be present at any pledge/associate member/new member/neophyte program, activity or ritual of the chapter. This includes, but is not limited to, activities associated with “bid night,” “big brother/big sister night” initiation week activities or initiation ceremonies.

    11. No social Greek organization may co-sponsor, co-finance or attend or participate in a function at which alcohol is purchased by any of the host chapters, local groups or non-Greek organizations.

    12. Open parties, meaning those with unrestricted access by non-members of the fraternity or sorority, without specific invitation, are prohibited. Admission to any function shall be only by guest list at the door and/or by written invitation. This list must be pre-recorded and also provided to the DOS-Greek Affairs office within 24 hours of event. Anyone without a specific invitation to the party is prohibited from participating.

    13. The maximum number in attendance at any function cannot exceed the number of chapter members plus two (2) guests each. Any person invited to the function must have their name on a guest list with a copy submitted to the DOS-Greek Affairs office at least 24 hours in advance of the event to be attached to the event form.

    14. No member or pledge, associate/new member/neophyte shall permit, tolerate, encourage or participate in “drinking games.” The definition of drinking games includes, but is not limited to, the consumption of shots of alcohol, liquor or alcoholic beverages, the practice of consuming shots equating to one’s age, “beer pong,” “century club,” “dares,” or any other activity involving the consumption of alcohol which involves duress or encouragement related to the consumption of alcohol.

    15. Licensed TABC dispensers may not consume any alcoholic beverages during their designated serving time and may not serve alcoholic beverages to someone who, in their judgment, is intoxicated.

    16. Free non-alcoholic beverages and food must be readily available.

    17. If a party is to be held outside, the yard area must be sectioned off to contain the party (i.e., rope, fence, etc.). There must be a designated point of entrance monitored for security purposes.

    18. Each host sorority and fraternity must designate at least two initiated members per party who will serve as designated drivers. They are to provide rides for those who are unable to drive safely. Uninitiated or new members and event guests are not allowed to serve in the role of designated drivers. Designated drivers must not drink any alcoholic beverages within twelve hours of the start of the event or until their driving responsibilities are completed. Designated drivers must be provided even when using a bus service to and from an event upon return to the designated parking lot used by the organization to meet as a departure point. Buses should be used as the only form of safe transportation if the event is held outside of the San Marcos city limits. NOTE: Any fraternity or sorority whose inter/national insurance policy dictates they cannot supply designated drivers are exempt from this requirement, but buses are still highly encouraged as safe transportation.

    19. Each sorority and each fraternity must designate and provide at least two sober and non-drinking individuals who are twenty-one years of age and older and will serve as sober security (risk managers) for the event. The responsibilities of the sober members are to ensure all persons entering the function are on the guest list and registered to attend, each person has provided legal identification, and all national and university regulations are met. These members shall also serve (when needed) as sober representatives to law enforcement and emergency officials, university representatives, and the third party vendor.

    20. No alcoholic beverages shall leave the event location or be transported to or from the event on buses or safe transportation for the event.

  4. HAZING POLICY

    1. No chapter, colony, student or alumnus shall conduct nor condone hazing activities. Hazing activities are defined as: “Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity or sorority premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule; and any other activities that are not consistent with academic achievement, fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution or applicable state law.” Fraternities and sororities are also subject to the Hazing Policy, Appendix A, outlined in the Texas State Student Handbook.
  5. SEXUAL ABUSE AND HARASSMENT POLICY

    1. The fraternity or sorority will not tolerate or condone any form of sexist or sexually abusive behavior on the part of its members, whether physical, mental or emotional. This is to include any actions that are demeaning to any gender identity students, faculty, staff, community members, ranging from, but not limited to, verbal harassment to sexual assault by an individual or members acting together in person, through social media or other communication tools. The employment or use of strippers, exotic dancers or similar, whether professional or amateur, at a fraternity event as defined in these guidelines is prohibited.

    2. In addition to speaking with law enforcement, allegations or questions pertaining to sexual misconduct should be reported to the office of Equity and Access (http://www.txstate.edu/oea/Sexual-Misconduct–Title-IX-.html) at 512-245-2359.

  6. FIRE, HEALTH, AND SAFETY POLICIES

    1. Texas State does not offer housing to officially-recognized fraternities and sororities. If the organization secures housing, either through lease or mortgage, it must be in full compliance with all city, state, and county laws.

    2. All chapter houses should meet all local fire and health codes and standards.

    3. All chapters should post emergency numbers for fire, police and ambulance in common area locations and should have posted evacuation routes on the back of the door of each sleeping room.

    4. All chapter houses should comply with engineering recommendations as reported by the insurance company or municipal authorities.

    5. Candles should not be used in chapter houses or individual rooms including events such as initiation ceremonies.

  7. VIOLATIONS

    1. Some violations will be handled on an individual basis and may be referred to the Dean of Students-Student Justice; however, it is important to recognize that all fraternity and sorority chapters officially recognized by Texas State University’s Interfraternity, Multicultural, National Pan-Hellenic and Panhellenic Councils are held accountable for each of the members in their organization.

    2. Failure to comply with any of the stated policies in the Texas State University Student Conduct Code and the Texas State University Interfraternity, Multicultural, National Pan-Hellenic and Panhellenic Councils may result in any combination of the disciplinary actions listed below:

      1. Additional educational requirements;

      2. Additional community service requirements;

      3. Additional non-alcoholic function requirements;

      4. Mandatory presentation of an educational initiative;

      5. Temporary inability to host a social function;

      6. Cancellation of a planned event or function;

      7. Loss of future social privileges;

      8. Referral of violation to the Student Involvement Office;

      9. Referral of violation to chapter’s international headquarters;

      10. Loss of chapter recognition; and

      11. Assessed chapter fines.

    3. Reported violations of the Texas State University Student Conduct Code and/or the Texas State University Interfraternity, Multicultural, National Pan- Hellenic and Panhellenic Councils will be reported to Student Involvement personnel (see SA/PPS No. 07.06, Student Organization Disciplinary Procedures).

    4. The investigation of violations will be coordinated by Student Involvement personnel, in consultation with the Dean of Students Office. University disciplinary procedures will be followed in the instance of a violation based upon the severity and circumstances surrounding the incident.

  8. REVIEWERS OF THIS PPS

    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Assistant Dean, Greek Affairs September 1 E4Y
      Associate Dean of Students September 1 E4Y
  9. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Student Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Assistant Dean, Greek Affairs; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Associate Dean of Students

    Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

    Vice President for Student Affairs