Panhellenic Council Policies and Statements
The Panhellenic Council and its member sororities have approved the following policies and statements of position.
Binghamton University Panhellenic Council Code of Ethics
(Revised March 2016, Passed 4/10/2016)
We, the members of the Binghamton University’s Panhellenic Council, agree to promote high standards and expectations throughout our entire community. By upholding the following standards, we will work to continuously strengthen our community so that our members may have a positive and enriching experience within Greek life.
A) Scholarship: As a whole, we understand that learning is the primary focus of our college experience. Each of our organizations prides themselves on high academic achievement. We hold all of our members to high academic achievement and a standard of excellence.
B) Service: Every sorority works to better our community through service and philanthropy. Chapters work effortlessly to raise thousands of dollars towards various philanthropic and service organization.
C) Unity: We create strong bonds and relationships with other fraternity/sorority organizations. These relationships foster an environment of open communication and respect.
D) Respect: Every day we work towards creating a more inclusive Greek community, where every member is welcoming and approachable. Self-respect is also key to creating the ideal representative of our organizations values and ideas. Chapters respect all individual members.
E) Leadership: Every member has the opportunity to hold leadership positions in their organizations and beyond, in which they can create real change. These experiences give our members skills they can utilize for the rest of their lives.
F) Integrity: We hold ourselves to the highest degree in terms of moral and ethical decision making. Chapters and council officers do not allow self-interest to interfere with daily behavior
G) Self-Governance: We strictly abide by the policies put in place before us establishing a strong sense of community. We actively hold each other accountable to live up to a higher standard.
H) Commitment: We dedicate ourselves to the realization of each of our respective organizations values, as well as those of Binghamton University. Chapters and council officers are loyal to the entire Panhellenic community.
I) Diversity: Binghamton University Panhellenic values the differences between our members and celebrates our diverse community.
Binghamton University Panhellenic Council Judicial Policy
(Revised March 2016, Passed 4/10/2016)
- The judicial board will be composed of the Risk Management/Judicial Chair of the Panhellenic Council, one representative from each chapter in the council, and the President and Vice President of the Panhellenic Council.
- It is the job of the Risk Management/Judicial Chair to head the board and run the hearings. It is also the duty of the Risk Management/Judicial Chair to conduct judicial board training every semester.
- It is the job of the board as a whole to be present for and preside over hearings, deliver and enforce sanctions given by the board, attend training sessions each semester, host educational events and revise the policy once during their term. The board will also seek the advice and counsel of a campus judicial officer or other professional.
- It is the responsibility of the members of the board to attend this training in order to be present at any hearing. Failure to attend this training will result in the board member forfeiting the right to sit on the board at a hearing until their training is complete.
- In order to be eligible to serve on the judicial board, one must meet the following
- An initiated, undergraduate member in good standing within their organization at the time of their appointment and throughout the duration of their term.
- An initiated member for a minimum of 2 semesters
- May not be an officer of the Panhellenic Council
- Must submit an application and interview with the Panhellenic Executive Board
- Must be able to serve one full-year term
- May not serve more than two consecutive terms
II. Submitting a Complaint
If there is a report of a violation of the risk management policy, those may be reported to any of the risk management chairs or a member of the Panhellenic Executive Board to formally submit to the board for evaluation. The Judicial Board will primarily handle cases involving groups of women displaying misconduct, but reserves the right, and will in certain cases, address an individual who has violated the policy if we feel it necessary. Any student, faculty, administrator, community resident or fraternity/sorority is allowed to make a complaint. Submitted complaints will only be pursued if they are based on fact, not hearsay or rumor. Should a complaint be filed during school breaks or vacations, they will be considered at the first Panhellenic meeting when school resumes.
III. Rights of the Accused
- All Panhellenic Women have the right to a fair and impartial hearing.
- An official letter and/or email will be sent to the chapter referred indicating the charge and the date of the hearing. This will go directly to the president of the chapter, the national organizations executive director, and any alumnae advisors.
- Any cases brought before the Judicial Board must not be discussed with anyone except for the other board members.
- The accuser does not have the right to know specific details of the punishment but will be informed of the progress of the case.
- 1. The purpose of mediation is to find a solution satisfactory to both the complaining party and the accused fraternity that is appropriate under NPC UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS and the College Panhellenic Constitution, Bylaws and rules.
- The Panhellenic President shall appoint a neutral party to serve as the mediator. The mediator shall not be an undergraduate student. The Panhellenic Advisor may serve as a mediator if she/he has not filed the violation.
- Mediation shall be closed to the public. The participants in the mediation shall be representatives from each fraternity involved, including a chapter advisor or the complaining party if other than a fraternity, the College Panhellenic President, the Panhellenic Advisor
- The Risk Management/Judicial Chair and President of Panhellenic in consultation with the Panhellenic Executive Board shall make the decision as to whether or not a filed infraction should be mediated or should be heard by a judicial board.
V. Judicial Board Hearing
If a report cannot be mediated and is referred to the Judicial Board, these are the steps to be taken:
- There is to be no more than three people representing the chapter at the hearing.
- Judicial board hearings are closed to the public.
- At the hearing the following agenda will be followed:
- Call to order and introductions
- Charges read by head of board
- Opening statements by accuser, then accused
- Accuser will call witnesses, cross-examination is allowed following
- Accused will call witnesses, cross examination is allowed following
i. Witnesses are only allowed in the room at the time of their testimony
- Judicial board may ask witnesses questions
- Closing statements by accuser, then accused
- Judicial board members enter executive session for deliberation. Only judicial board members and fraternity/sorority advisors may be in the room
- Head of board restates charges, puts motion before the board as follows: “The motions before the members is: Is [organization name] guilty of the charge violating [state rule that was violated]?”
i. If there are more than one violation, handle each separately
- Head of board requests motions from board members followed by discussion
- Vote on motions, “yes” or “no”
i. A guilty verdict requires a majority of judicial board members
- If a chapter is found guilty, the judicial board must determine the appropriate sanctions according to severity of the violation. Judicial board members make a motion for a sanction that she believes is appropriate. Motion is debated and amended. Majority vote is required to adopt the motion concerning sanctions.
i. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to community service, fines, social probation, and educational sanctions.
- Reconvene the hearing, and read the judicial board’s decision to the complaining and accused parties.
- Following announcement of decision, information for appeals process must be provided.
VI. Appeals Process
Any chapter may appeal a judicial board decision. If a chapter choses to do so, they must file a report with the Risk Management/Judicial Chair of the Panhellenic executive board. This report must state why the chapter wants to appeal the decision. The appeals committee will be made up of the Panhellenic President, Risk Management/Judicial Chair and advisor. They will meet and discuss the appeal and make the final decision on whether or not to overturn the original ruling. Appeals may be filed on the following grounds:
- Unfair process
- Previously unavailable evidence
- Unfair or inappropriate sanction
First Offense: If the board is made aware of a violation of the policy, the sorority involved will receive a written notification stating that the board is aware of the issue and that it must be dealt with within 72 hours of receiving the written notification. Before the 72 hours is complete we need a written status update on how the situation was handled. If we are not notified of how the situation was handled within the 72-hour time span the sorority will be sent to the Judicial Board and given a punishment. The 72 hours is subject to change based on the severity of the offense.
Second Offense: If the same sorority violates the policy a second time the individuals will be called before the board to address the problem and see that it is handled. If a sorority reaches three warnings in one semester they will be given a punishment. If a sorority reaches five warnings in a year they will also be given a punishment. Punishments include but are not limited to fines, social probation, and educational sanctions. The board at the hearing of the case will decide the punishment.
Each member of the judicial board will go through a training session once per academic term. These training sessions will include the campus judicial officer or other qualified professionals.
Will include the following topics, followed by a test at the end.
- Fraternal Values
- University Policies
- Council Policies
- Case Studies
- Difference between the right to privacy for individuals and for organizations
- Holding chapters accountable for following their own policies
Binghamton University Panhellenic Council Risk Management Policy
(Revised March 2016, Passed 4/10/2016)
A. To raise awareness about the level of risk that occurs at social functions, and to put in place appropriate policies and procedures to reduce the level of risk.
B. To educate members on individual health, wellness, and risk reduction through education workshops.
C. To promote the safety of all members of the Greek life community.
D. These regulations do not replace any specific national chapter risk management policies as well as any federal, state, or local laws. The guidelines throughout do not supersede any individual chapter’s national risk management policies. Additionally, all university as well as federal, state, and local laws must be followed.
A. The judicial board will be made up of the Risk Management/Judicial Chair and one representative from each chapter of the Panhellenic Delegation at Binghamton University.
B. It is the job of the Risk Management Chair to head the board and run the hearings.
C. It is the job of the board as a whole to be present for and preside over hearings, deliver and enforce sanctions given by the board, attend training sessions each semester, host educational events and revise the policy annually. The board will also seek the advice and counsel of a campus judicial officer or other professional.
D. It is the duty of the Risk Management/Judicial Chair to conduct judicial board training sessions every semester.
E. It is the responsibility of the members of the board to attend this training in order to be present at any hearing. Failure to do so will result in the board member forfeiting the right to sit on the board or preside at any hearing until their training is complete.
It is the goal of the board to promote education on risk management issues. Each chapter will be expected to have their risk management chairs attend at least one program on the following topics during their appointment.
A. Legal Liability
B. Academic Integrity
C. Confrontational Skills
D. Facilitating Change in Organized Culture
E. Alcohol Poisoning
F. Alternative (Substance Free) Socials
G. Values Congruence
There will also be mandatory education for chapter officers and members on risk management reduction methods and to co-sponsor events with peer councils that support risk management as well as attend workshops on hazing awareness.
A. Sober-. Not under the influence of any alcohol or substance that impairs the judgment of an individual.
B. Event- Any observer of the event would associate the event with a fraternity or sorority. (May include but is not limited to: Mixers, Date Parties, Semi-Formals, or Formals)
C. Hazing- is defined as any action taken or situation created involving prospective or new members of a group, or as a condition of continued membership in a group (fraternity, sorority, team, club, or other association or organization), which would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to produce mental or physical discomfort, harm, stress, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.
D. Mixer- When two or more organizations come together to hold a closed social event.
E. Date Party- A closed social event that is invitation only. Each member of the hosting organization brings a date, if they do so chose. Like a mixer in that it is more casual than a formal.
F. Formal- A closed social event that is invitation only. Each member of the hosting organization invites a date, if they do so chose. This is when formal wear is encouraged and typically in a more formal environment as well.
All sororities associated with the Panhellenic Council must abide by the following policies regarding their conduct.
The Panhellenic Council opposes service to and consumption of alcoholic beverage by minors as well as other violations of the law and of university policy. The council’s policy states:
A. Serving alcoholic beverages during mandatory sorority functions, including any recruitment or membership programming events is prohibited.
B. No members, collectively or individually, shall purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor.
C. Open parties and/or events are prohibited.
D. Mixers with organizations unrecognized by Binghamton University are prohibited.
E. Sponsor or co-sponsor campus or open events where alcohol is served is prohibited.
F. The use of chapter funds to purchase alcohol is prohibited.
G. There must be one sober chapter member for every twenty (1:20) members at an event. In addition the Risk Management and Social Chair of that chapter must also be sober at these event. These two position holders do count toward sober chapter members.
H. No social event will be solely centered around alcohol (for those who are of legal drinking age), but rather around an appropriate and acceptable theme.
I. There is to be no open punch at social events.
J. The possession, distribution or use of any illegal or controlled substances while on chapter premises or during a fraternity/sorority event or at any event that an observer would associate with the fraternity is strictly prohibited.
K. All events and individuals must be in compliance with their national/ international regulations and policies, New York State Laws and Federal Laws.
The Panhellenic Council in no way supports hazing and/or any activities associated with it. Hazing is defined by this council as any act or tradition that includes but is not limited to:
A. Any act that may endanger or harm the mental or emotional well-being of another
B. The request, encouragement or suggestion of violation of any federal, state, local law or college or university regulation
C. Engaging in mentally or physically demeaning activities
D. Requires a personal or menial task of another individual, whether publicly or privately.
E. Deprivation of food or sleep
F. Personal servitude
G. Forced consumption of alcohol or illegal substances
H. Any activity that is considered degrading or humiliating
Social media is a tool that must be used only to promote and portray Greek life in a positive light. It is prohibited to act unbecoming as a member of the Panhellenic Council on social media. This includes but is not limited to:
A. Portraying yourself or other members of Greek life drinking, doing drugs, or any other inappropriate behavior.
B. It is not permitted to write anything to defame or bully another member of the Panhellenic community online.
If a violation of the policy is reported to the judicial board the repot will be reviewed by the Panhellenic Executive Board. A written letter will be delivered to the chapter in question and we will proceed with the appropriate punishment for the violation committed.
Possible Sanctions Include (but are not limited to):
A. In the event that a chapter is found responsible in a Judicial Board hearing, the Judicial
Board may impose any sanction or combination of sanctions that it deems necessary.
B. Charitable Acts—requiring the chapter to perform community service as defined by the
Judicial Board and to be completed by the end of the semester of the violation.
C. Programming—Mandatory participation in relevant alcohol and other educational workshops. These workshops will be run by the Risk Management Chair of the Panhellenic Delegation. The entire chapter must be present for the workshop, absences must be discussed with the Risk Management Chair/Judicial Chair prior to the workshop.
D. Probation—Probation may be imposed for any length of time and may carry any combination of stipulations. (Including, but not limited to: the opportunity to host social events)
E. Suspension—Suspension may be imposed for any length of time and may carry any combination of stipulations. If suspension is imposed, specific guidelines for re recognition of the organization will be outlined. Chapters that are suspended will be prohibited from partaking in formal and/or informal recruitment until they have completed the requirements for re-recognition.
G. Expulsion—Expulsion, meaning complete removal from the Greek community on Binghamton University campus for an indefinite amount of time.