Greek Organization Requirements

Greek life at Kenyon has been an important part of the Kenyon experience since 1852. Greek organizations exist in a mutually beneficial relationship with Kenyon College by invitation of the College. Kenyon College recognizes the social opportunities provided by Greek-letter organizations and encourages activities that foster sound social development. Fraternities, sororities, and societies embrace and uphold the expectations for responsible student conduct, following the stated guidelines and policies which govern all Kenyon College students. At the same time, Greek organizations and their members are also expected to abide by all policies and guidelines of their inter/national organizations; the higher standard will take precedence.

To be eligible for membership, students must have an earned 2.0 cumulative grade point average and may not be a first-semester college student (college credit obtained during high school not included). Greek organizations and members are also expected to abide by all policies and guidelines of their inter/national organizations.

Recognition Policies and Procedures

Kenyon College acknowledges that fraternities, sororities, and societies can have a positive impact on the educational and social experiences of members and others in the campus community. For this to happen, there must be consistency between College goals and those of individual fraternal organizations. The College has a tradition of encouraging individual development through self-government by student groups. Fraternities, sororities, and societies recognized by the College will be expected to create and maintain a governance system, which fosters individual and group growth and responsibility.

Recognition is the formal process by which the College agrees that a Greek organization may function on campus, enroll members, and identify with the College. As is the case with College affiliation with any externally incorporated organization, chapters are expected to maintain congruence of goals and standards with those of the College, disclose principles of the organization, and provide mechanisms for accountability.

Recognized Greek organizations must limit membership to students currently enrolled at Kenyon College. Membership is to be determined locally within the College’s nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies, although chapters may be single-sex.

It is also the expectation that all Greek organizations comply with the approved risk management guidelines of both the sponsoring organization and the College. Any changes in the status of recognition from sponsoring agencies must be reported to the Office of Student Engagement immediately.

New Greek Organization Recognition (Expansion and Reactivation Procedure)

Kenyon College will not recognize any new local fraternities, sororities, or societies (local organizations previously or currently recognized by the College would be permitted to be considered for reinstatement). Any Greek organization wishing to expand at Kenyon College must have an established inter/national headquarters; an active minimum

$1,000,000 liability insurance policy for non-residential organizations; and working governing documents. Inter/national fraternity and sorority headquarters or members may not solicit, recruit, or initiate Kenyon College students without consent of the Office of Student Engagement. Failure to follow this basic rule will result in a moratorium on the group’s eligibility to expand for a time to be determined by the Director of Student Engagement, or their designee, that will be no less than two years.

All Greek organizations seeking to colonize and/or reactivate at the College will be required to follow the standards and practices set forth in this policy. Exceptions to certain requirements may be made for National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) organizations.


To be recognized, a Greek organization must have adopted aims or actions which do not violate the civil rights of its members or Kenyon regulations; have an advisor who is a member of the Kenyon administration, faculty or staff; and have a purpose and goal consistent with the values of the Greek community.

Material Submission

After having met with the Office of Student Engagement staff, a formal petition must be submitted to the administrative advisor of Greek Council. A representative must come to the Greek Council general session to present the petition. The petition must include the following information:

An official letter of intent from the inter/national organization outlining the strategy for colonization at Kenyon as well as support and resource strategies the inter/national will provide the new colony.

  • Logistical Information:

    • Name of Organization
    • Founding date and location
    • Current number of colonies
    • Current number of undergraduate members and current number of alumni
    • Average chapter size
    • Number of chapters closed in the last five years and their reasons for closing
    • Membership Costs: new member, initiation fees, insurance, regular dues
    • Verification of appropriate liability coverage for the colony by the inter/national organization.
  • Program Policies:

    • Position on risk management
    • Position on hazing prevention awareness resources
    • Length/focus of new member education
    • Minimum standards for potential new members
    • Scholarship/academic support programs
    • Community  service/philanthropy programs
    • Leadership/member development programs
    • Plans for how to be successful completing the Greek Council Standards of Excellence program
  • Colonization:
    • List and status of colonies established in the last five years

    • Procedures for colonization (with sample timeline, if plausible)

    • Ongoing support for colony

  • Organizational Support & Resources:

    • Brief descriptions of inter/national leadership programs and conventions
    • List of all chapters and locations in Ohio

    • Volunteer support at the district and local level

    • List of alumni living in 50- and 100- mile radiuses of Kenyon College
    • Contact information of committed alumni

Petition and Approval Process

The Greek Council general body will review the petition and will vote to determine if the aspiring organization should receive provisional recognition. If the organization receives an affirmative vote, the petition is heard by the Student Life Committee of Student Council where the typical process for new student organization recognition is followed.

Provisional Period

All new student organizations have a provisional year with requirements outlined by the Student Life Committee. The provisional year for Greek organizations also has the requirement to partially complete the Standards of Excellence program. Instead of the full program, new organizations must:

  • Complete all pre-requisite requirements
  • Complete partial compliance standards requirements
  • Not need to complete recommended practices requirements

Associate membership (non-voting) in the Greek Council becomes automatic when the Greek organization receives approval for provisional recognition status.

At the end of the provisional year, if the organization has met the requirements, they may petition the Greek Council for full membership. This would involve another vote of the general membership. After an affirmative vote, the organization would receive full recognition from Greek Council and the Student Council/College.

If the organization has not met the requirements at the end of one year, they may petition the Greek Council for a one-year extension to complete the requirements. If a provisional chapter fails to obtain full recognition after two provisional years (four consecutive semesters), the chapter shall cease operations and must begin the new chapter or reactivation process from the beginning.

New Member Education Policies and Procedures 

All applicable federal, state, and local laws will be enforced in regard to hazing. A schedule of new member education activities must be submitted by each Greek organization to the appropriate Greek Council officer, the Office of Student Engagement, and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities by the deadlines specified in the Greek Council constitution. The schedules will be reviewed and must be approved before the Greek organization can begin the new member education activities. Should circumstances arise in which an organization is unable to keep exactly to its approved schedule, the appropriate Greek Council officer and the Office of Student Engagement must be informed at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled start time for approval of any change. When a new member accepts a bid to an organization, one will be asked to complete and sign a new membership verification form to confirm bid acceptance and also release FERPA protected information to the organization. A new member will not be recognized by the College until the membership form is completed and submitted to the Office of Student Engagement. New members will not be permitted to begin their new member education process until the membership form is submitted. An individual may not be a new member of more than one fraternity or sorority. Individuals may become new members of a society in addition to a fraternity or sorority. The new member education period officially starts at 5 p.m. on the Friday immediately following the deadline for which bids are due. Specific start times will be provided to all Greek organizations and must be adhered to by all members of the organization. No new member education activities (formal or informal) may occur prior to this day and time. All new members must be initiated by the third Friday before the last day of class each semester. No new member program may be longer than eight weeks (not including spring break). 

New Member Education Programs 

New member education programs may not last longer than 8 weeks. Activities may be scheduled for any day of the week, but must not exceed 8 hours of commitment per week. All new member education activities must be approved by the Office of Student Engagement and must end by midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and by 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Activities must be limited to the immediate campus and recognized Greek organization locations. For any other requests, special permission must be given in advance by the Office of Student Engagement. Activities must allow for a minimum of six continuous sleep hours per night. New member education activities cannot begin earlier than 6 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. All efforts must be made to avoid disturbing or unnecessarily inconveniencing members of the community by a new member education activity.