The FAQs below has been created to provide some clarity and answer some questions that have been posed over the last few weeks. In addition to this information, we highly recommend visiting the FAQs on CU Boulder’s Policies & Processes Regarding Racist Speech by Students that was created by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement. 

When an incident occurs that may violate campus, council and/or chapter policies, the incident should be reported to the relevant entity that has jurisdiction to take action. Because each body plays an important role in the judicial process, there are limitations that should be acknowledged. 

If an individual member has been found to violate a policy, that member can be held accountable by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (SCCR), and/or their chapter. While a council may play a part in providing evidence of wrongdoing, they do not have the authority to act against an individual member because each chapter has a unique set of membership expectations that are not universal to all chapters. As a result, the governing council’s jurisdiction only lies with chapter conduct.

We understand and honor the strong desire to seek accountability for our community members’ words, actions and behavior, but student disciplinary actions that come out of this process are protected by the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

While individual chapters oversee their own policies and members with a set of governing documents that are typically in line with regional/national/international guidelines, governing councils oversee the organizational behavior of the member chapters recognized on campus. The governing councils recognized at CU are the Multicultural Greek Council, the College Panhellenic Council and the CU Interfraternity Council. Please note that the IFC on the Hill is not affiliated with the campus and does not follow the same procedures as outlined below. 

If a chapter is found to violate a campus or council policy, that chapter can be held accountable by SCCR, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) and/or their respective governing council. Councils will only adjudicate incidents that involve the entire chapter or an event or activity that was sponsored by the chapter that are outside of the approved guidelines. If an incident like this occurs, each council has their own respective judicial processes that are activated and typically are in consultation with SCCR and CSI. It is important to note that a governing council’s role is to oversee systemic issues and ensure that member chapters follow through with recognition expectations as outlined in the council documents and the Mutual Relationship Statement.   

Each member organization has the opportunity to change or adjust council policies as they see fit through a defined legislative process. As a result, councils cannot act independently to impose extra restrictions which are outside of their jurisdiction. 

Each governing council is composed of delegates from each of the affiliated member organizations who are able to propose by-law amendments and vote on business that affects the entire community. Business could include but is not limited to community judicial procedures, social event registration, recruitment regulations and educational offerings. The power of each council lies in the hands of the delegates who vote on behalf of their chapter. Because each chapter is an extension of their national organization and those organizations are private businesses, they each have their own processes and governing documents that may impact the implementation of proposed policies at a council level.

Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) is dedicated to providing transformative educational opportunities for councils, chapters and members related to intellectual growth, friendship, social responsibility, well-being and leadership. FSL strives to be a productive partner and promotes an environment that encourages self-governance and campus partnerships where possible. It is important to protect the rights of our affiliated fraternal organizations and individuals within those groups. By respecting the individual rights of members and organizations, FSL continues to find opportunities to find community-wide solutions to address systematic barriers that stand in the way of progress. 

The Council. Our three councils – Multicultural Greek Council, College Panhellenic Council, and the CU Interfraternity Council – serve to represent 28 chapters and are responsible for facilitating policies and procedures that are created and approved by the membership. Examples include:

  • Oversight of community-wide social policies
  • Management of the structured recruitment processes
  • Offering both new and current member education on salient issues
  • Providing guidance for chapter leaders on risk management

Additionally, council leaders have the ability and responsibility to remove systemic barriers that may stand in the way of action. It is crucial that council leaders, who are elected from their peers, work in cooperation with appropriate stakeholders to effect change at the community level. Ultimately, the council itself cannot place a requirement on their community or make sweeping changes without the vote of those they represent. 

The Chapter. All campus recognized chapters are considered to be private organizations and are responsible for the management of their individual membership experience. The chapters are self-governed and are charged with holding their members accountable using a specific process that is typically prescribed or at least informed by their own (inter)national organizations. 

Individual members are often passionate about making broad community changes and it is important for chapter leaders to listen and engage members on the existing processes and ways to create change. It is also vital that chapter leaders frequently connect with council leaders and staff to ensure that efforts are not duplicated. 

The Member. There are more than 2,500 members of recognized fraternities and sororities. Each member can support making change in the community by learning the council processes, suggesting policy and protocol revisions to their delegates and council leadership, and actively living by the values of their chapter and CU Boulder. Even if a member doesn’t hold a leadership position, all are encouraged to challenge their leadership and their peers in ways that expose underlying issues while productively working together to build a more inclusive community. 

The Volunteer. Alumni volunteers are crucial to the success of our members and chapters. These men and women are there to provide institutional and organizational memory, serve as advisors in decision-making, and can be an important stakeholder when times get tough. It is important that these folks are committed to having difficult discussions and are willing to challenge the status quo. Many students are eager to act and advisors are able to lead members in the right direction. At the end of the day, volunteers are not the decision-makers but can provide a lot of foundation on which to stand. They are role models and students are always encouraged to engage in dialogues with them to find the most efficient and effective path to change.