IFC Expansion Policy
Muhlenberg College sets forth the following policy and procedures for expansion of the social fraternity community on the Muhlenberg College campus. The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that the introduction of new or returning social fraternities occurs within a carefully developed plan, conducive to the mission of Muhlenberg College and the Division of Student Affairs.
Muhlenberg College supports the North-American Interfraternity Conference position on open expansion, specifically: “The principle of open expansion is supportive of the associational rights of students to freely associate with peers and organizations of their choice. The NIC supports the associational rights of its members but encourages them to work as a good faith partner with colleges and universities. As we work together, the NIC and its member fraternities seek equity in the application of student policy that permits students to form groups and organizations through established student organization registration processes.” However, Muhlenberg College reserves the right to refuse the addition of any NIC organization if the College deems that the current campus climate cannot support the necessary resources for a successful and sustainable organization.
When Muhlenberg College is open for expansion, the North-American Interfraternity Conference will be notified of the opportunity and will communicate details of the process to all NIC-affiliated social fraternities. Any NIC fraternity wishing to colonize at Muhlenberg College should file a letter of interest with the Office of Student Engagement. The Associate Director for Student Engagement, upon receipt of the letter(s), shall notify the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Engagement and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. The letter of interest shall include information regarding the desire to expand at Muhlenberg College, financial and developmental support for members during the colonization process and beyond, details of New Member Education programs, risk prevention policies and strategies, and (inter)national, regional, and local information of the organization, including alumni support.
An IFC Expansion Committee, determined by the Associate Director for Student Engagement, the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Engagement and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, will assess all submissions. The assessment will determine which organizations will receive an invitation to campus for a formal, on-site visit and presentation based on the following criteria:
- The completeness of the materials submitted.
- The record of success of the organization in establishing and supporting current colonies, including the rate of chartering organizations.
- The ability of the organization to actively support its chapters on a national, regional and local level.
- The perceived compatibility between the College’s mission and that of the organization.
- The ability or inability of the College and the organization to secure adequate housing for the colony/chapter. Fraternity housing at Muhlenberg College is not guaranteed for new organizations.
- Any historical relationship between the College, the national organization, and alumni members of the organization, as well as the quality of that relationship.
- Previous recognition on campus may factor into the decision-making but does not guarantee recolonization or the opportunity to visit and present on campus.
- Previously recognized and potentially recognized groups must adhere to the Unauthorized Student Organization Policy, specifically, “Student organizations that have lost College recognition through judicial sanctions or that withdraw from the College or terminate their existence while disciplinary proceedings are pending against the organization, but continue to function, even under a different name will be deemed “unauthorized student organizations” and are not, and will not be, considered “community organizations.” Any student who is an actual or prospective member of, or otherwise participates in, an “unauthorized student organization” will be subject to disciplinary action through the College’s judicial system and may be subject to sanctions which include probation, suspension, or expulsion.”
- Any group that has been found to be functioning “underground” will be automatically disqualified and removed from consideration.
- The commitment of local alumni to actively support the chapter.
The IFC Expansion Committee may invite up to four (4) organizations to visit the campus and make presentations for the purpose of mutual evaluation. The committee shall compose a letter to those finalists inviting them to campus to meet with the IFC Expansion Committee, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and other select groups or individuals in order to share the philosophies and programs of the organization. The representative(s) visiting campus should be prepared to discuss:
- The history of the organization
- The goals and objectives of the organization.
- The standards of behavior for members and risk prevention strategies.
- The plans for educational programs, including leadership development, scholarship and community engagement.
- Any unique programs that offer something currently not available in Fraternity and Sorority Life at Muhlenberg College.
- Any contributions the colony/chapter will make to the quality of student life at Muhlenberg College.
- Any and all materials and information associated with the original letter of intent to colonize.
At the conclusion of the on-site visits, the IFC Expansion Committee will evaluate the value each organization can bring to Muhlenberg College. Only those organizations invited to visit shall be considered for colonization. If no consensus is reached to invite one or more of the visiting fraternities to campus, the process may begin anew. Possible recommendations from the committee to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Muhlenberg College are:
- Extend no invitations at this time. Such a recommendation would include specific reasons for declining colonization and, if applicable, when another presentation may be made.
- Request more information. The committee would identify specific materials to aid them in making a final decision.
- Extend an invitation to colonize. The committee would recommend one or more of the visiting organizations be colonized at Muhlenberg. Should the Vice President agree, a formal invitation would be sent to the fraternity headquarters formalizing the College’s decision.
Once an organization has been invited to colonize on the Muhlenberg College campus, the following processes and procedures must be completed before any students at Muhlenberg College are contacted or colonization is advertised.
- General Liability. The national headquarters must provide the College with a certificate of insurance, submitted annually, evidencing Commercial General Liability coverage that includes, but is not limited to, bodily injury, personal injury, property damage, host liquor and contractual liability, and list the College as an additional insured by endorsement. Coverage must be written with companies reasonably acceptable to the College and at limits of least $1,000,000 each occurrence/$3,000,000 general aggregate. The College must be named as an additional insured.
- Staff/Volunteer Board. The (inter)national organization, in cooperation with the College, must
- Appoint an alumnus and/or faculty/staff chapter advisor consistent with organization policy.
An organization selected to colonize must agree to the following criteria:
- The initial recruitment period for the colony will be during the established formal or informal recruitment period set by the Interfraternity Council in the corresponding semester of colonization.
- Newly recognized colonies/chapters residing in recognized chapter housing will abide by all (inter)national organization and College social policies.
- A member of the (inter)national organization’s staff and/or the established volunteer board shall support and/or facilitate the initial recruitment and New Member Education processes.
- The colony must comply with College, IFC governance, (inter)national organization and government agency rules and regulations.
- The colony signs and abides by the College’s Greek Relationship Statement.
- The College agrees to provide the colony with the same support and resources provided to all recognized chapters, student clubs, and organizations.
*Additional criteria may be established in the case of organizations seeking re-colonization on campus as outlined in the documentation at the time of removal. Failure to abide by any of these criteria may result in the premature conclusion of the colonization process.
Chartering of colonies will be determined jointly by the Associate Director for Student Engagement, the Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Student Engagement, and the Vice President for Students and Dean of Students and the (inter)national organizations. The colonies must abide by all chartering criteria designated by the (inter)national organizations. The colonies must also participate in the annual Muhlenberg College Accreditation Process for Fraternity and Sorority Life. The Accreditation performance and feedback will determine the success of the colonies from year-to-year. Consistently meeting or exceeding expectations of Accreditation will ultimately determine if a recommendation to charter is granted.