Recognized VS. Unrecognized
Recognized sororities and fraternities at SUNY Oneonta are not allowed to rush, pledge, or initiate freshmen during the student’s first semester on campus. The reason for this rule is that students who are pledging are at risk for performing poorly in their classes. We want students to have at least one semester in which to adjust to the academic demands of college before becoming involved in fraternities and sororities, so we require the Greek organizations to defer rush until students’ second semester.
As on other SUNY campuses, there are groups in Oneonta that use Greek letters and are not recognized by the College. That means that these organizations have no affiliation with or supervision by the College, do not follow the rules that are set for Greek social organizations (including the deferred rush policy), and do not give the College the names of their members. They are loosely organized social clubs that often use the Greek letters of legitimate organizations. Their use of these names is illegal because they are not formally affiliated with the national organizations. A student who joins an unrecognized group and pays dues to that group will not be a recognized member on any other campus nor have any of the alumni privileges that go with national membership. The dues that are paid are used solely for the social activities of the local group.
Some of these groups were at one time recognized by the College and were affiliated with national organizations but chose to end their affiliation with the College. There are Oneonta alumni who were members of these groups when they were recognized and are not aware that the status has changed. Members of unrecognized groups sometimes lie to new students about the group’s status. An example is saying that the group’s recognition is suspended but that they will regain their recognition later in the year.
Hazing has also been a problem with unrecognized groups. I want to advise you that students who rush unrecognized groups do so at their own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.
RECOGNIZED GREEK ORGANIZATIONS
Currently there are eight recognized fraternities, eight recognized sororities, and two fraternities seeking recognition. These organizations are governed by the Code of Rights and Responsibilities for Social Greek Organizations and are overseen by Ms. Eichler. Except for one fraternity which owns a house, these groups do not have houses off campus or any residence hall space assigned to them but they are allowed to use campus facilities for their activities. If members of these recognized groups choose to conduct their activities off campus, they do so at their own risk and without supervision. Some of these recognized groups are affiliated with national Greek organizations and some are long-standing local groups. If at any time you have questions about the recognition status of an organization, please contact Ms. Eichler or look at our website.
The recognized sororities are Chi Upsilon Sigma, Lambda Theta Alpha, Mu Sigma Upsilon, Phi Sigma Sigma, Pi Delta Chi, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Gamma Phi, and Sigma Sigma Sigma.
The fraternities that are recognized are Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Phi Delta, Chi Phi, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, Inc., Lambda Sigma Upsilon, and Zeta Beta Tau.
WHEN TO BE CONCERNED AND WHAT TO DO (for students)
1. If you are involved in rushing or pledging during your first freshman semester, it means you are involved with an unrecognized group or with a recognized group that is breaking the rules.
- If you’re pledging an unrecognized group, you do so at your own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.
- If you’re pledging a recognized group, an important rule is being broken. The College will adjudicate individuals and groups suspected of violating the Code of Rights and Responsibilities for Social Greek Organizations.
2. Hazing is a risk with any group, recognized or unrecognized. We are very concerned about hazing and ask that you read the enclosed information about it. If you suspect you are being hazed, please seek assistance as soon as possible from the Office of Student Development, Ms. Eichler, your residence hall director, University Police or other College official.
WHEN TO BE CONCERNED AND WHAT TO DO (for families)
1. If your student is involved in rushing or pledging during their first freshman semester, it means they are involved with an unrecognized group or with a recognized group that is breaking the rules. Talk about it with your student and find out as much as you can about their understanding of the situation.
* If they’re pledging an unrecognized group, let them know if that is acceptable or unacceptable to you.
* If they’re pledging a recognized group, remind them that an important rule is being broken. Determine whether it is acceptable to you or your student that they’re involved with a group that disregards rules.
* Contact Ms. Eichler to inform her about rule infractions by recognized groups.
2. Hazing is a risk with any group, recognized or unrecognized. We are very concerned about hazing and ask that you read the enclosed information about it. It is the symptoms of hazing that are often the first signs to parents that their student is pledging.
3. If your student’s interim grades or semester grades are lower than you expect, they may not have found a good balance between academic and non-academic activities or they may be struggling with adjustment issues.
* Let your student know about your expectations regarding their grades.
* Remind them of the many resources that are available on campus to support their academic and personal adjustment. The staff in the residence halls is an excellent resource for that information.