College Expectations for Fraternities and Sororities
In order to help ensure that Greek organizations are supporting the aims of the institution, maximizing their contribution to the personal development of their members, and maintaining a sound organization, it is expected that each chapter will engage in the following activities.
Scholarship - The fraternity and sorority environment shall be conducive to study and supportive of each member's academic efforts. Programs should be planned around the academic needs of members (e.g. study skills, tutoring and discussion groups, writing workshops, career planning). Formal scholarship programs and activities which go beyond mere "test files" are strongly encouraged in order that members may learn from each other. This is a serious concern of the College and is a necessary ingredient of a Greek organization's total contribution.
Rules and Regulations - It is assumed that all fraternity and sorority members are aware of College regulations and State and local laws, and that they are following them. Further, it is important that each chapter have clearly stated internal rules which are responsibly enforced by the officers. Problem areas typically are alcohol and drug abuse, noise, sexual harassment, physical assaults and property damage. Failure to correct such problems when they arise threatens the continued recognition of the chapter.
Rush - The purpose of Rush is to present the fraternity and sorority alternative to Whitman College students, primarily freshmen, who are not affiliated with a Greek organization. As such it should be open and honest and introduce prospective members to all phases of a chapter's activities and to the personal and financial responsibilities that pledgeship entails. Therefore a Rush program that concentrates on alcohol and parties is developing an inaccurate view of the Greek experience and is not preparing its prospective new members for responsible membership.
New Member Education - In order to complement such a Rush program it is mandatory that each fraternity and sorority have a positive new member education program. A wide variety of educational and related activities are necessary if each new member is to become familiar with and accept both the business and friendship aspects of his or her chapter. Examples of such activities are learning chapter management skills, how to Rush, and financial obligations. The amount of time a new member spends in doing things with older members or big brothers or sisters is important in developing attitudes of sharing and caring and brotherhood or sisterhood. Conversely, practices which continue because of tradition and are based on revenge or are fun at the expense of others are not constructive. Hazing does not encourage respect for others and is not acceptable at Whitman College. Hazing is defined as any activity of physical or psychological abuse that is degrading or humiliating to another person.
Finances and Chapter Operations - Financial obligation of chapters and individuals within their chapters are expected to be met. College regulations require that each organization be free of debt contracted through its current operations by the end of the fiscal year (June 30). Failure to remove indebtedness within a year will result in withdrawal of recognition of the organization. In addition, it is expected that the physical premises of each fraternity or sorority will be maintained in good repair and that all hazards to health and safety will be routinely eliminated.
Social Activities - Fraternities and sororities have provided a variety of social activities which contribute to member's personal development and serve an integrative function for the greater campus. In addition to hosting responsible parties each chapter should endeavor to provide a variety of activities which will expand each student's experiences and might include interaction with faculty and administrators, citizens of Walla Walla and other campus organizations. Promoting positive personal relations between men and women should be important for all College events.
Exterior Relations - Members and chapters must be concerned with their impact on their neighbors. Because the College is located in a residential area, extra care should be taken not only to respect neighbors' rights to privacy and quiet, but also to cultivate positive relationships through visits, newsletters, meetings with Walla Walla organizations (such as the police, fire department, etc.) and invitations to appropriate activities. Excellent opportunities exist for Greek organizations to make a positive impact through community and College service projects. A critical area of concern is that of inter-Greek relations and rivalries. Raids, theft, and property damage have no place in the ideals espoused by the Greek organizations. Attitudes must improve and support must be given to the IFC and Panhellenic in order to deal with infractions. Recognizing that alumni are a source of strength for both the College and the fraternities and sororities, it is crucial that each chapter devotes considerable effort toward cultivating a continued involvement with its graduates.
Programming - Fraternities and sororities should take advantage of the combination of College resources and their own close friendships to significantly enhance the personal lives of their members. For example, workshop or discussion sessions on leadership, personal finances, career planning, male/female awareness, etc. would be beneficial to all members.
Evaluation - Each fraternity and sorority should annually make the effort to ask itself whether or not it is realizing its full potential by serving its members and the College in the areas indicated in this document. Each fall, Greek organizations must complete an "Award of Excellence" application. In the process of making this application, fraternities and sororities take a close look at the year's accomplishments and the congruence between stated philosophy and actual activities. A committee of faculty, administrators and students will scrutinize the applications and determine the award winners.