Fraternity and Sorority Life Policies

The purpose of this document is to describe the guidelines, procedures, and policies governing the relationship between Tufts University and the social fraternities and sororities that operate chapters for Tufts students. The document is intended to create a framework, within which fraternities and sororities will operate in order to be consistent with their values and University policies. The University recognizes the importance of Greek letter organizations in the Tufts community and provides recognition and leadership development opportunities for the organizations it hosts. 

General Policies

Mission and Vision

Tufts Fraternity and Sorority Life Mission

In an effort to continuously better ourselves and our community, we as Tufts Fraternities and Sororities commit ourselves to three principles:

  1. To foster an accepting community that provides members with a sense of belonging and a tight-knit support system
  2. For members to develop personally and professionally through organizations that promote leadership, character, and integrity
  3. For organizations to give back to the Tufts and greater Medford/Somerville communities through service and involvement 

In order to uphold these three principles, we commit to a process of constant improvement through transparency, accountability, and re-evaluation of our progress towards this mission.

Tufts Fraternity and Sorority Life Vision

Fraternity and Sorority Life strives to have a positive impact on its members and the Tufts community by living its mission statement and contributing to the overall mission and vision of the University and the values of undergraduate student life.

We strive:

  • To provide members with a close-knit community
  • To have a positive impact on social life both on and off campus
  • To foster diversity and inclusion in both word and action
  • To have opportunities for all Tufts students, with access to join regardless of identity or background
  • For students’ safety to never be compromised as a result of in participating in a fraternity or sorority program or event
  • To be a leader in the national landscape of the fraternity and sorority movement
  • To communicate our purpose and vision effectively both internally and externally
Recognition

In order to operate as a chapter for Tufts students, a fraternity or sorority must be recognized by the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ORLL) and Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL). They must also be registered as a student organization through the Office of Campus Life (OCL) and be recognized by the Inter Greek Council and additional student run governing council as appropriate. New organizations must follow the governing council’s specific expansion/extension procedures to be considered for recognition. Organizations seeking to return from Suspension must also follow the return process as outlined in their Suspension outcome letter.

  • In order to maintain recognition, an organization must additionally comply with all Tufts University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct and the minimum requirements for fraternities and sororities as outlined by Fraternity and Sorority Life and the InterGreek Council.
  • All fraternities and sororities are required to be affiliated with a national organization, or to meet all requirements outlined in the local organization policy. Organizations who wish to change their affiliation status from national to local must fill out a petition to disaffiliate and follow all appropriate processes. If a local chapter wishes to affiliate with a national organization, they must go through the appropriate council’s expansion process.
  • All chapters must present to the OFSL a valid and current certificate of insurance annually evidencing:
  1. Comprehensive general liability insurance with a limit of $1 million per occurrence
  2. Host liquor liability with a limit of $1 million per occurrence (if the chapter will be hosting social functions where alcohol is present)
  3. The Trustees of Tufts College must be named as additional insured for coverage “a” and “b” as stated above. This is to be indicated on the certificate of insurance.
  • All recognized fraternities and sororities are eligible to utilize University facilities and services and must follow all OCL policies for recognized student organizations.
  • All residential fraternities and sororities must follow ORLL policies for living on campus.
Local Organizations

All fraternities and sororities at Tufts are required to be affiliated with a national organization, unless they follow all of these local organization policies.

  • If a local organization used to be nationally affiliated, they must have cut all ties with the national organization. This includes but is not limited to changing the name, ritual, values, purpose, branding, and general operations.
  • They must be incorporated as a local non-profit organization with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • They must obtain independent general liability insurance, insuring the group up to $1,000,000 with the Trustees of Tufts College listed as additionally insured.
  • They must be affiliated with one of the governing councils on campus that best fits the mission of the local organization.
  • They must have a full advisory board made up of a diverse range of advisors, including at least one faculty advisor, one staff advisor, and one volunteer advisor who may be either an alum of the organization or another organization who has the capacity to advise and support the organization.
  • They must follow all other Tufts University and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life policies and procedures requires of a fraternity or sorority on campus.
InterGreek Council

The student-led InterGreek Council provides an opportunity for leadership within the fraternity and sorority community. The council works closely with Fraternity and Sorority Life for advising, guidance, and support. Organization-specific policies should help create systems that assist the community in abiding by all FSL and University policies and procedures.

The Inter-Greek Council is an umbrella organization with representatives from each recognized fraternity and sorority at the University. The IGC is a recognized TCU student organization whose purpose is to coordinate, oversee, and provide accountability for the fraternity and sorority community.

Panhellenic Council (Panhel)

The Panhellenic Council exists as a sub-council of the IGC to coordinate and oversee recruitment activities of recognized sororities that belong to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). The Panhellenic Council will abide by policies and expectations of the NPC.

Recruitment/Rush/Intake

Criteria for Eligibility to Join

To join a fraternity or sorority or to participate in recruitment, a person must be a full-time Tufts University undergraduate and must meet the following additional eligibility criteria:

  • All undergraduate students will be eligible to participate in recruitment and receive a bid (invitation to join) after successfully completing one full year at Tufts, or at another University if a transfer student.
  • Students must have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.50 GPA (Arts and Sciences) or a 2.30 (College of Engineering) in order to be eligible to receive a bid from a fraternity or sorority.
  • Students may not join if they are currently on Disciplinary Probation unless they get specific permission from the Director of Community Standards or their designee.
  • There is no recognized difference between associating with a chapter or national/international affiliation. Students who do not meet criteria for becoming members of the Tufts fraternity/sorority community shall not affiliate with any local and/or national organization until they meet such criteria.

Structured Recruitment/Rush/Intake 

  • Recruitment Committees within the IGC (Panhellenic, Interfraternity, Multicultural Greek Council) will be responsible for setting structured recruitment dates, schedules, and organization-specific guidelines as necessary

Continuous Recruitment/Rush/Intake

  • Continuous recruitment may take place anytime outside formal recruitment when a chapter wishes to extend invitations for membership.
  • The chapter must be eligible for continuous recruitment as per their governing council guidelines.
  • Informal recruitment events must be registered with individual governing councils as per their governing council guidelines. All students who meet the eligibility requirements for membership in a sorority or fraternity are eligible for continuous recruitment.

Requirements for Chapters to be Eligible to Recruit:

In order for a chapter to be allowed to bring in new members, they must be eligible to do so by their own organization policies and their governing body’s policies. In addition, they must:

  • Have an active chapter roster on file with the OFSL
  • Have participated in all required educational programming prior to recruiting new members (ie: New Member Educator training, chapter hazing prevention program). Required programming will be offered annually and announced at the start of the semester.

General Recruitment/Rush/Intake Requirements

While a chapter or prospective new members are participating in recruitment, the following policies apply in addition to all standard University policies:

  • No alcoholic beverages or illegal substances of any kind may be served or made available to anyone (member, prospective member, or guest) in a chapter house and/or at any chapter functions during the recruitment period.
  • Chapters are required to submit to FSL a list of prospective members being considered for bids prior to the extension of bids. This list must be turned into FSL at the date and time designated by FSL or the council.
  • This “potential new member list” will be used to verify the eligibility of all prospective members to affiliate with a fraternity or sorority. No bids may be offered until FSL has approved the list.
  • Chapters are responsible for ensuring that new members sign bid acceptance forms and grade/judicial release forms within two business days of the acceptance of a bid.
  • Generally Assured bids: Tufts students seeking to join a fraternity or sorority and participates in the entire recruitment process (attending all scheduled events to which they are invited) are generally assured a bid from at least one of the fraternities or sororities on campus. This system does not guarantee an invitation to join a particular chapter of a student’s choice.
New Members

Time Period

  • The period of new member education may not exceed seven weeks from the date of bid distribution and shall not continue into the Reading Period or Final Exams. All new members must be initiated in the same semester in which they receive their bid.
  • Concurrent new member periods are permitted if continuous recruitment has occurred.
  • New members are not permitted to repeat the new member education program.

General Policies

  • No alcohol shall be present at any pledge/associate member/novice program, activity or ritual of the chapter.
  • Each new member will be required to attend new member programs sponsored by the FSL to be educated on University policy and the expectations of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Tufts University The programs shall cover topics including alcohol abuse and binge drinking, healthy relationships, relationship violence, sexual assault, hazing prevention, or other topics of current interest. These programs will occur throughout the new member period and the dates and times will be announced in advance.
  • Each New Member Educator is required to participate in a New Member Educator training.
  • All new member programs must be submitted to FSL for approval.
  • New Member Educators are required to meet regularly with FSL throughout the new member period to check in.
Hazing Prevention

Hazing is not tolerated at Tufts. All fraternities and sororities are expected to abide by the Tufts University policy on hazing and Massachusetts State Law. More information about Tufts University hazing prevention efforts can be found online.

Hazing prevention education as well as leadership development and community building resources will be provided to chapters on an ongoing basis. Chapters are expected to utilize these resources and serve as active advocates for having a culture free from hazing on campus.

Chapters are required to cooperate with submitting required hazing prevention compliance forms annually.

If a fraternity or sorority is suspected of hazing, members must cooperate with hazing investigation procedures.

Social Events

Fraternities and sororities are required to follow the university Residential Life policy for hosting Social Events. In the instance that an organization has additional requirements in place, that must also be followed.

City-Wide Organizations

In an effort to increase opportunities for Tufts students to join culturally based fraternities and sororities, and to increase awareness of National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations, the following policies and procedures have been established. Tufts supports students joining city-wide organizations and utilizing campus resources in order to have a full and rich fraternal experience on campus.

Fraternity and Sorority Life is actively working to reestablish a continuous relationship with organizations within the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) by having persistent membership, faculty connectedness, and effective communication with Greek organizations.

Requirements for Utilizing Campus Resources

In order to reach out to Tufts students, we recognize that organizations will need to utilize campus resources such as advertising space and room reservations. ORLL/ FSL will assist a city-wide organization in utilizing campus resources with the following regulations:

  • Organizations must be familiar with and willing to follow all Tufts University policies and ORLL/FSL policies and procedures.
  • Room reservations:
  1. Organizations must submit a request in writing (via email) to ORLL/FSL at least 4 weeks in advance of the program.
  2. The organization is responsible for all fees associated with the space (including but not limited to room reservation, program funding, etc.).
  3. Events should be limited to recruitment events, informational sessions, educational programs, and other small-scale programs. Parties or large-scale events are only permitted when the organization meets the requirements for hosting such events (15+ members or collaboration with another organization).
  4. If an event is cancelled and fees are incurred, the organization is still responsible for payment.
  5. The purpose of being allowed to utilize space on Tufts campus is to attract Tufts students to the organization. Therefore, it is mandatory that all programs be open to Tufts students and that an effort is made to have Tufts students in attendance.
  • Advertising on campus:
  1. Please submit any advertisements (flyers, poster, etc.) to ORLL/FSL 3 weeks in advance of a program with instructions on how you would like it posted.
  2. Please also submit electronic materials to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, and the FSL website.
  3. Advertising should be limited to programs and events that are informational or educational in nature. ORLL/FSL reserves the right to edit or deny advertisements that do not meet these parameters.
  • Once an organization is interested in conducting intake for a Tufts student, all intake policies and procedures must be followed.

Recognition

Once an organization has one Tufts student as an active member, the student should follow all of the policies and procedures to become an active fraternity or sorority as stated in the Recognition portion of this Policy Guide.

All City-Wide organizations are required to attend one InterGreek Council meeting per month during open block on Wednesdays in order to remain an active organization.

Participation in Intake Policies

Prior to participating in any intake activities, organizations must have met all of the previously stated requirements to be eligible to utilize campus resources at Tufts University. In addition, ORLL/FSL must be notified of the intent to conduct intake and given the name(s) of any Tufts students participating. This notification, along with any additional forms which the inter/national or regional organization need signed, should be turned into ORLL/FSL no less than 10 business days prior to the start of Intake.

In addition, a calendar of events, including a timetable for any intake activities, with dates and times must be submitted. Activities to include on the calendar, if applicable:

  1. Informational and/or interest meetings
  2. Selection date(s)
  3. Start date of the new members’ official process/education
  4. Initiation date
  5. Date of new member presentation (i.e.: probate, rollout, neophyte show), if applicable
  6. Any additional dates pertinent to a specific organization

Verification of Candidates/Aspirants

All chapters conducting a membership intake processes must submit an Intent to Conduct Intake form and an Individual Intake Form. Both forms must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the beginning of Intake. This form lists the individuals approved by your chapter whose names will be submitted to your regional or inter/national representatives as candidates/aspirants for membership. In cases where an inter/national intake team conducts the intake process, all correspondence sent to a regional or local representatives should also be shared with ORLL/FSL

All documents supplied to ORLL/FSL are kept confidential from students, student employees, and student leaders, including council officers. They may be shared with University officials and inter/national organization staff as needed. In the event that any dates and times need to be changed on the intake calendar of events, the chapter president or intake director must notify ORLL/FSL(via email) no less than 2 business days prior to the new event time.

Presentation of New Members (if applicable)

If an organization is interested in hosting a new member presentation show (e.g., probate, rollout, neophyte, etc.), they must meet with ORLL/FSL as far in advance as possible to coordinate space and logistics for the event. All presentations must be planned and executed in accordance with Tufts University event policies. Information on how to properly plan an event can be found online.

Organization Judicial Process

Fraternities and sororities who violate university policy will follow the standard process for resolving a judicial complaint as outlined in the Student Conduct Resolution Procedure.

Housing

Approximately 20% of the fraternity and sorority community lives in recognized fraternity and sorority housing. Whether they are owned and operated by Tufts or Walnut Hill Properties or are independently owned and operated, all of the houses are recognized as on-campus housing for Tufts students and must adhere to the same set of expectations.

Fraternity and sorority houses should provide a residential experience that is safe, secure, and conducive to learning. Additionally, fraternity and sorority chapter houses play an important role in promoting community and providing opportunities for leadership development.

A fraternity or sorority chapter house is defined as a residential unit affiliated with Tufts University where all of the residents are members of a University recognized fraternity or sorority. To maintain status as a recognized fraternity or sorority chapter house, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The facility must either be owned and operated by Tufts University or its affiliate Walnut Hill Properties (herein referred to only as “Tufts University owned houses”) or be owned and operated by a House Corporation incorporated within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or by a division of the inter/national fraternity/sorority office or other designated authority recognized by the fraternity/sorority inter/national office.
  2. The property must be zoned appropriately for fraternity/sorority housing as specified by the City of Somerville. Independently owned and operated chapter houses are required to provide a valid and current Certificate of Inspection and Lodging House License to ORLL/ FSL to be kept on file by August 1 each year.
  3. All chapter houses, regardless of ownership, are required to have fire alarm systems connected to the University Police. TUPD will respond to automatic emergency calls, as well as to any calls for assistance from chapter houses. Chapter houses where alarm systems are set up through a landline phone are required to make sure that service to that phone is uninterrupted. In times when service is out for the phone, a TUPD detail must monitor the house for safety at the chapter’s expense.
  4. The facility must be accessible for inspections by ORLL staff, TUPD, University responders, and other University officials upon request. a. In addition, the University’s Department of Public Safety will conduct periodic inspections of fire and life safety requirements whenever deemed necessary.
  5. Events at the chapter house must follow all ORLL event management policies.
  6. Residents of Tufts-owned fraternity and sorority houses are required to abide by all University housing policies as outlined online. This includes abiding by all University move-in and move-out dates.

Occupancy

  1. Only active, ORLL and the Dean of Student Affairs Office.
  2. Students who are ineligible to live in University housing will be ineligible to reside in chapter houses.
  3. Chapters may establish which members will live in their chapter house and their room assignments and must keep and active roster of this information on file with ORLL. Rosters are due at a date set by ORLL, usually late November for the following year.
  4. First- and second-year students are ineligible to live in chapter houses.
  5. Chapters are encouraged to occupy their houses with members in leadership positions.
  6. If a chapter fails to fill their house, ORLL reserves the right to assign unaffiliated members to the space. If a chapter fails to fill their space for two years in a row, they may lose their opportunity to reside in their current facility.

Dining

  1. Chapter houses providing meal plans are required to acquire a copy of a valid and current Common Victualers License issued from the City of Somerville, to be kept on file with the OFSL.

Licensing and Taxes

  • Tufts University will be responsible for the maintenance and procurement of House Lodging Licenses for Tufts-owned properties.
  • All independently owned houses will be responsible for the maintenance and procurement of House Lodging license.
  1. Houses must past all inspections for the City of Somerville prior to opening in the fall. If a house has received signatures of passing inspection but has not obtained the Lodging License, they may open but may not have any events on the property until the Lodging License is obtained.
  2. If a house has not passed inspection prior to move-in for the fall semester, residents are not permitted to move in until these inspections have been passed.
  3. Is it the responsibility of the House Corporation or Chapter to find alternate housing for residents in the event that they may not move in.
  • In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, recognized fraternity or sorority houses are not tax exempt properties and will all pay real estate taxes. All chapters are responsible for paying the real estate tax associated with being registered as a fraternity or sorority house.
  1. All Tufts-owned houses will receive a bill for this tax on a bi-annual basis, which the chapter is responsible for paying.

Safety

  • All chapter houses must provide TUPD with a key or access code for emergency access.
  • Access to unfinished basements in all University-owned houses is prohibited. 

Fire Safety

  1. Fire drills will be conducted in all chapter houses on a schedule similar to that of other University housing.
  2. All chapter houses must be furnished with California Fire Safety Rated 129 upholstered furniture in common areas. All mattresses must meet the University requirements for mattresses:
  • All on-campus student housing operated by Tufts University, and all residential settings approved by the University as satisfying the on-campus housing requirement for undergraduate students, shall, in the entire dwelling, use only mattresses with an original manufacturer's label affixed indicating that the mattress meets the fire safety standards of California Technical Bulletin 129 (CAL129 or TB129) or Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 1633 (16 CFR 1633).
  • All privately owned houses must turn in a compliance form at the start of each semester indicating that the mattresses in the house meet this standard.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all Fraternity and Sorority housing.

Billing

  1. The billing for all Tufts owned houses goes directly through the University Bursar office. Residents are charged the appropriate housing rate as per the tiered housing system.
  2. Repair and improvements to Tufts and Walnut Hill owned facilities will be performed when required. Major repairs will be scheduled during the summer months when buildings are not occupied. Minor repairs that need attention during the academic year should be reported via the online work-order system. Walnut Hill properties may submit a request by emailing walnuthillproperties@comcast.net.

House Inspections for Tufts and Walnut Hill properties 

  1. House inspections will occur on the usual ORLL schedule for health and safety inspections.
  2. As with all on-campus housing, your room is considered to be a private space; however, it is stated in the Housing Agreement that officials of the University may enter your room in the state of an emergency, when a student or staff member has requested service, or with 24-hours’ notice via email or posting.
  3. In addition to periodic inspections of the houses, which will occur through the regular ORLL process, the ORLL/FSL or its designee may enter common areas in the fraternity or sorority houses at any time.

House Managers

All organizations in a residential facility are expected to have a house manager who fulfills this role as outlined by ORLL.

House Addresses and Type of Ownership

Organization
Address
Type of Ownership
Alpha Phi 14 Sawyer Ave Walnut Hill
ATO of MA 134 Professors Row Private
Chi Omega 106 Professors Row Tufts
Delta Upsilon 114 Professors Row Private
Kappa Alpha Theta 25 Whitfield Walnut Hill
Theta Chi 100 Packard Ave Walnut Hill
Zeta Beta Tau 126 Packard Ave Walnut Hill
Zeta Psi 80 Professors Row Private