Oct 02, 2022  
2022-2023 University Student Handbook 
    
2022-2023 University Student Handbook

Fraternities and Sororities



Widener University fraternities and sororities have a proud history of community and university service, school spirit, and academic achievement. Our fraternities and sororities pride themselves on providing their members with opportunities to meet new people and share common beliefs such as honor, service to others, and dedication to their organization, members, and community.

Joining a fraternity or sorority provides many students with a support system and core values through which they learn more about university programs and service, have the opportunity to network with alumni, and obtain valuable leadership experience through service as a member of their organization’s executive board or as a chairperson of a committee. Widener University is proud to offer students multiple national fraternities and sororities affiliated with the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). We sincerely hope that all students will take time to learn about all aspects of the fraternity and sorority community at Widener University and take full advantage of the benefits that full membership provides.

The Fraternity and Sorority Life Community at Widener University is governed and administered by the Office of Student Engagement. All fraternal organizations are subject to further governance by the Interfraternity Council, College Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, or the Council of Independent Organizations. Should a campus chapter of a national or international fraternal organization decide to discontinue affiliation with an umbrella governance organization, the campus chapter is still required to operate under the appropriate umbrella governance organization at Widener University.

Becoming a Member of a National Fraternity or Sorority

Widener University requires that all potential new members interested in joining a fraternity or sorority must have earned at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and at least 12 credits prior to starting any new member or intake process. First-semester freshmen are not eligible to join or “associate” with a fraternity or sorority. Every potential new member or interested student must complete the online “Affiliation Education” program in order to begin a new member or intake process. Each fraternity and sorority may set its own GPA requirements, which can be higher than the university minimum. Students bear the responsibility to know if they are eligible to join or not. Formal recruitment or intake processes for both fraternities and sororities normally occur in the spring semester each year. Upperclassmen and transfer students may participate in the fall recruitment or intake period if a governing council or individual organization decides to hold one.

Interfraternity Council (IFC)

The Interfraternity Council of Widener University is organized for the purpose of advising, counseling, aiding, and guiding all fraternities. It is composed of a representative from each fraternity on campus. Officers are elected for a term of one year and selected to guide the council with the assistance of a university advisor. The director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Office of Student Engagement shall serve as the council advisor.

College Panhellenic Council (CPC)

The purpose of the College Panhellenic Council is to develop and maintain sorority life and interfraternal relations at a high level of accomplishment. The goals of the CPC include promoting superior scholarship, maintaining high social and moral standards in cooperation with member sororities, and promoting overall sorority unity on campus. The membership includes all sorority chapter members in good standing with the National Panhellenic Conference. Officers are elected for a term of one year and selected to guide the council with the assistance of a university advisor. The director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Office of Student Engagement shall serve as the council advisor.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the governing council for all culturally based and multicultural fraternities and sororities represented and recognized at Widener. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) strives to unite its members by advocating for the needs and interests of all member organizations, providing a forum for communication and collaboration, introducing initiatives that foster citizenship, friendship, leadership, scholarship, and promoting cultural awareness and that positively represents the underrepresented student community at Widener. Officers are elected for a term of one year and selected to guide the council with the assistance of a university advisor. The director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Office of Student Engagement shall serve as the council advisor.

Council of Independent Organizations (CIO)

The Council of Independent Organizations (CIO) serves to unite its member organizations and promote the development of professional and independent fraternities and sororities on campus by serving as a cooperative forum for sharing ideas, information, experiences, and increasing the awareness of professional and independent fraternities and sororities on campus.

Order of Omega

The fraternity and sorority community is proud to host a chapter of the National Order of Omega. This organization is an honors organization for those students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 who hold leadership positions inside and outside of the fraternity and sorority community.

Events and Activities

Any fraternity or sorority that sponsors an event or activity must comply with all rules, expectations, and policies established for recognized student organizations as established by the Student Handbook. Additionally, all fraternities and sororities must also comply with any national or international fraternity/sorority specific rules and regulations and the respective governing bodies for each group.

Governing Council Officers

All fraternity and sorority life governing council officers shall serve a one-year term, are required to have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA to hold office, and cannot be on an active academic or judicial probation as defined by Widener University. Officers of each governing council must adhere to expectations outlined in the Student Leader Character Clause.

Chapter Housing Policies

Each fraternal organization that opts to reside in a university-owned residential facility must appoint a designated House Manager that will serve as a member of the organization’s Executive Board and work jointly with the organization’s President, the Office of Student Engagement, and the Office of Residence Life to ensure that all chapter and housing policies are followed.

The President or designated House Manager of each organization is required to live in the assigned residence hall. A Greek-letter organization must maintain at least 90% occupancy of its designated housing facility to remain in good standing with Widener University. If an organization can fill the housing facility to 100% capacity, then every attempt should be made to do so. Occupants residing in the housing facility should consist of initiated chapter members or approved non-affiliated students. 

For more information regarding housing for fraternities and sororities, see the “Residential Student Handbook ” section.

Fraternity & Sorority Life General Guidelines

The following rules are applicable to all national fraternities and sororities at Widener University:

  • Considered as corporations, fraternities and sororities are expected to follow national organization and federal, state, and local regulations that are applicable to such groups. As members of the university community, fraternities and sororities are expected to follow the general procedures, policies, and regulations applicable to the Widener student body. Furthermore, fraternities and sororities are responsible and will be held accountable for the actions of their members when their behavior is determined as resulting from fraternity or sorority life involvement.
  • Each fraternity and sorority is required to have a university faculty or staff advisor. Advisors should be kept apprised of all fraternity and sorority activities and obligations. Any fraternity or sorority seeking an advisor must clear its choice of advisor with the Office of Student Engagement before asking the faculty or staff member to serve.
  • Each fraternity and sorority is required to work with the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life to maintain a cooperative relationship with the university.
  • Any fraternity or sorority using an on or off campus facility for an activity acts as a representative of the university and is expected to conduct itself in accordance with standards set forth for members of the university community as specified in this handbook.
  • All activities must follow the regulations established by Widener University, the Office of Student Engagement, and the student governing body of the group.
  • All activities must follow the alcohol regulations established by Widener University, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sponsoring organization (see also “Alcoholic Beverages ” and “Student Events ”).
  • The sponsoring organization shall act as a host and will set up controls that will ensure the proper safety and protection of all participants and university assets.
  • No organization will be permitted to hold activities or social events or functions in the University Center for profit unless the sponsoring group has written permission from the Office of University Center Administration.
  • If a for-profit activity is to be held in the University Center, the student in charge of the sponsoring group will review the request with the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and provide a detailed program proposal. Once an event is approved, the approved plan must be followed as agreed upon.
  • All posters and advertisements must meet all posting policy requirements, or they will be removed from the areas posted and the violators will be given a warning. Violators are subject to university sanctions (see “Poster Policy and Bulletin Boards” and “Student Events ”).
  • For more information regarding events, policies, and guidelines see “Student Events ” and the Widener website.
  • For information about fundraising and soliciting, see the “Fundraising/Soliciting” section in “Student Organizations .”
  • Widener University has a no-tolerance policy related to hazing activities. All fraternity and sorority members, new members, associates, and affiliates should refer to the university’s policy on hazing in this Handbook for additional information.
  • All fraternity and sorority chapters residing in university-owned housing facilities are required to operate under the guidelines provided by the Office of Residence Life and are considered on loan to the chapters at the will of the university. Please refer to the Chapter Housing Agreement for more information. 
  • All fraternities and sororities operate by consent of the university and may be disbanded or dissolved at any time at the sole discretion of the university.

Fraternal Expansion Process

Widener University recognizes that fraternities and sororities can provide significant positive experiences in enhancing leadership development, civic engagement, academic achievement, sense of belonging, and social enrichment. In order for this experience to be made available to more students, Widener University supports regulated and strategic expansion of the fraternity and sorority community at our main campus in Chester, Pennsylvania, when both students and the administration deem such expansion advisable and sustainable. Policies and procedures were developed to guide the expansion process. For a copy of this document, please contact the Office of Student Engagement.

Statement on Fraternity and Sorority Life

In order to affiliate with a fraternity/sorority, Widener University students must be enrolled full-time at Widener in at least 12 credits. All upperclassmen are permitted to join a Widener chapter at any time during the academic year provided they meet the 12 credit and minimum GPA requirements. Freshmen are permitted to join an organization after the completion of 12 credits and meeting the minimum GPA requirement. The minimum cumulative GPA to join a fraternity or sorority is 2.5.

All active members in fraternities and sororities must be fulltime undergraduate Widener students to remain active in the campus chapter and listed on the chapter roster. Exceptions will be made for graduating seniors completing final credits and students in special academic programs (e.g., co-op and 3 +3 programs).

Any recognized fraternity or sorority with members that have not been approved by their national office and the Office of Student Engagement will be in danger of losing campus recognition. Please refer to the Points of Pride and the Student Organization Handbook for all fraternity and sorority requirements.

Widener chapters are not permitted to accept members who are not full-time students at the university. Any registered Widener students should only be affiliating with chapters and colonies that are on the campus and approved by the Office of Student Engagement.

Widener students are not permitted to join fraternity/sorority organizations on other university campuses. Students who choose to associate or affiliate themselves with a chapter at another campus—through a graduate/alumni chapter or other means—do so at their own risk and are not considered a part of our campus’s fraternity/sorority community. Students who assume this affiliation risk may be in violation of another institution or an organizational policy. This institution and its employees will not condone or assist students with the process for a non-Widener Greek lettered organization. Widener University and the Office of Student Engagement are not responsible for students who join organizations not chartered at our campus.

More Information

For additional information regarding policies, procedures, and operations of the fraternity and sorority life community, please contact the Office of Student Engagement at studentengagement@widener.edu or the Fraternity & Sorority Life Department at fsl@widener.edu.