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 by invitation of the College. Kenyon 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, might be classified as affiliate organizations through the Office of Student Engagement, and follow 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.
Greek organizations are also expected to adhere to the student organization renewal process (as outlined in this handbook) and complete the Greek Council Standards of Excellence program every academic year. Failure to comply with these processes can result in the organization moving into inactive status, and potentially loss of recognition.
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 Greek 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)
Kenyon College will not recognize any new local fraternities, sororities, or societies.
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. If an Inter/national fraternity and sorority headquarters is contacted by an interested student or group, they must notify the Office of Student Engagement of this outreach immediately. 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, but 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 North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) organizations.
Note: Kenyon College does not recognize returning or new organizations that have exclusive access to a private property or off campus space or who plan to operate in an off campus location. Organizations reported to be in violation of this policy will be placed into inactive status until an investigation is concluded.
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 current member of the Kenyon administration, faculty or staff; and have a purpose and goal consistent with the values of the Greek community.
After having met with the Office of Student Engagement staff, students interested in bringing an organization to campus must present a petition to the administrative advisor of Greek Council. A student 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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
If the organization is not granted full membership to Greek Council, they may petition the Greek Council for a one-year extension as a provisional member. 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.