Community Standards

Risk Management Guideline

Prohibited Activities

The following activities and behaviors are banned. They are considered extremely high risk activities and can result in significant personal injury, danger to oneself or others, or property damage. Failure to abide by these guidelines will result in the sanctioning of the chapter, up to and including loss of recognition/suspension.

  • The use of materials that will damage College facilities or create a need for unusual/excessive cleaning, such as paint, sand, water, foam etc.
  • Any use of human performers/dancers (exotic dancers, strippers, go-go dancers) and/or props (cages and poles) that encourage or promote this activity in fraternity and sorority houses.
  • The use of “kiddie pools” and slip ‘n slide devices in any form at a chapter function, gathering or event.

Dry Recruitment and New Member Education/Intake Process

Recruitment occurs during the second week of each term. In order to participate, students must have achieved sophomore academic standing (9 or more credit hours) and have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA. Dry Recruitment is defined as any period of time organized by the organization for the recruitment of potential new members, and must be completely alcohol free. Alcohol may not be present in any form during recruitment events, even if it is not being served to potential new members. This is in effect for the entire recruitment period. It is also the expectation that the laws of the State of New York will be followed regarding the legal drinking age at any event outside of recruitment and/or education activities.

The New Member Education process at Union College is also 100% dry (alcohol free). All chapters must submit a calendar of events outlining the date, time and location of each new member education activity by the end of the recruitment week. In the case of MGC, the calendar must be submitted before invitations for membership are extended.

All new member education events must end by midnight. No more than three hours per night may be used for new member events. Sleep-overs and lock-ins are prohibited. All new member education events must occur on campus unless approved. Initiation must be completed by week 9.

First Year Five Initiative (Implemented Fall 2012)

In order to help facilitate a healthy and safe introduction to college life for all Union College first year students, the Fraternity and Sorority community has adopted the “First Year Five” initiative as a standard social events practice for the start of the Fall term of each academic year. Specifically:

  • First 2 Weeks: Fraternities and Sororities will not host social events with alcohol, on or off campus. All houses will be dry. This period coincides with the College-established recruitment window and guidelines (See “Dry Recruitment”)
  • Weeks 3-5: Fraternities and Sororities may host registered Social Events with Alcohol, but they must be by invite only. This means that a “guest list” must be submitted along with the registration. In addition, fraternities and sororities may not invite first year students to parties during this period.
  • After Week 5: First year students are permitted to attend all Social Events with Alcohol hosted after Week 5 of the Fall term, but they must be invited. This means that their name must appear on the guest list that is submitted at the time the event is being registered.

During this period, fraternity and sorority chapters are strongly encouraged to:

A. host alternative events that do not include alcohol, AND

B. attend campus sponsored social activities or events.

Fraternity/Sorority Social Events with Alcohol

In addition to the requirements set forth under the Social Events with Alcohol Policy, for all Greek Social Events with Alcohol, the Greek organization is encouraged to comply with the North American Interfraternity Conference’s Alcohol & Drug Guidelines (NIC) Risk Management Policy. If the NIC requirements are more stringent than the College requirements, the NIC requirements shall be followed.

You can download a copy of the NIC Guidelines.

Collective Responsibility

Each fraternity or sorority seeking to gain or maintain recognition must have a collective responsibility for the behavior of members when in their chapter house or when acting as a group outside the chapter house. If a group does not have housing, members have collective responsibility when involved in activities on and off campus.

Responsible Citizens Policy

The College holds a fundamental commitment to the safety of its community. It is vital for students to call Campus Safety when an intoxicated student needs medical help. The “Responsible Citizen" Policy offers a clear message to students that they should report any potentially dangerous cases of alcohol or drug intoxication; they should not be concerned about disciplinary consequences at such a time.

Students or Organizations that seek emergency attention for dangerously intoxicated individuals may not be subject to formal disciplinary action, at the discretion of the Dean (not the responding Campus Safety officer), based on the safety issues involved.

The policy applies both to the person requiring help and the person or organization reporting their concern. When students encounter another who may be dangerously intoxicated, they should call Campus Safety immediately at (518) 388-6911. The policy reflects the College’s priority on safety and does not rule out an educational response to the incident. The student’s permanent educational record will reflect no formal disciplinary action, but the College may contact the student’s parents as a health precaution and may require a professional alcohol/drug evaluation and referral to the Counseling Center. The policy refers to isolated incidents only and does not protect those individuals who flagrantly and repeatedly violate the College’s alcohol policy. Organizations are not subject to this limitation.

More information about Union College's Responsible Citizens Policy.