Fraternity & Sorority Life

March 22, 2019

Last year the university announced intentions to expand efforts and programs that support first-year students’ transition to U-M.  In support of this focus, Fraternity & Sorority Life was asked to implement new eligibility requirements for any student hoping to join one of our member fraternities and sororities. Throughout this academic year, we have been engaged in planning and preparing for the new eligibility process and new activities that will go into effect this coming fall. I’m writing to provide you an update on the work and progress to date as we prepare to implement the new Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) eligibility process.

Through the work of many students, alumni, advisors, staff, and representatives from national fraternity and sorority organizations, several useful strategies to support and strengthen our FSL community in response to this new process have been developed. Below is a summary of what has been accomplished and learned:

  • A full explanation of the eligibility criteria is now in place and an online process for verification will be available to interested students by this fall.

  • Each council has been able to outline their recruitment/intake logistics and needs for both fall and winter.

  • New marketing materials promoting each council and the eligibility process will be distributed broadly throughout spring, summer, and fall.

  • Housed chapters in Panhel and IFC will be able to offer leases/spaces to members for the next year by February and University Housing will adjust the contract timelines to come afterward. We also have been able to confirm ample vacancies for off-campus leasing in February and March.

  • A calendar of four-council promotional events for the campus has been planned and will promote the broad community service and philanthropy that chapters provide.

  • Parents and families will be provided timely information about affiliated fraternities and sororities including how to join and significant annual activities.

  • Pre-pledging and bid-promising have been identified as being important for chapters to understand and avoid. Information about pre-pledging and other recruitment/intake violations will be added to the anti-hazing policies as well as guidance for how chapters can engage with non-members during the fall without violating the eligibility requirements.

At this time, it is very important for each fraternity and sorority to continue to engage in discussions within their respective organizations regarding their strategies for marketing, recruitment and intake, and chapter management for next year. Chapter leaders should be working in concert with the advisors, graduate/alumni chapters, headquarters, and/or housing boards (for housed chapters), to make effective plans and identify any additional needs for assistance. Chapter presidents are also encouraged to connect with their FSL Advisors for assistance.

Several supportive new resources and tools in development for release this spring and summer will include:

  • A set of frequently asked questions or FAQs outlining the recruitment eligibility requirements.

  • An online system to verify eligibility for students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority within one of the four councils.

  • A schedule of important dates for recruitment and intake information for all four councils.

  • Key messages and talking points for students and University staff to use when explaining what’s new to interested students, parents, and families, and alumni.

 

Nicole Banks
Assistant Dean of Students
Interim Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life