Hazing and Greek Organizations

Updated August 21, 2018

The University at Buffalo has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing and aggressively pursues any violations of this policy that occur.  Hazing is inconsistent with the values of UB and, as such, the university has established policies to deter these behaviors and enact appropriate disciplinary action when needed. 

Our policies on hazing are very clear on what actions the university may take when an alleged incident occurs. Generally speaking, whenever there is a hazing allegation or other serious violation of UB’s student code of conduct, students are immediately suspended by the university. Such alleged incidents are then investigated, and final determination of a student’s academic status results from the university’s judicial process. This could lead to long-term suspensions or expulsion from UB.

Organized student life programs are a valuable part of the university environment and help further UB’s educational mission.  The university formally recognizes the status of those student organizations that abide by UB polices and the student code of conduct. Recognized student organizations further the university's educational mission. The university actively warns students not to join or participate in the activities of “unrecognized” fraternal groups because these organizations do not commit to the university’s high standards governing student behavior and organizational activities. 

Recognized organizations encourage academic excellence, self-governance, and service to the university and greater community. They offer opportunities for leadership and encourage mutual respect for others. 

UB has more than 35 recognized social fraternities and sororities affiliated with our campus.  These organizations are expected to complement the university's educational mission and to comply with campus policies, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state, and local laws.  

To guide fraternities and sororities on our campus in a positive direction, the university has instituted a number of specific policies and procedures. Such policies include deferred recruitment.  This means that freshmen are not eligible for membership in a fraternity or sorority until they have earned 12 credits and have a GPA of at least 2.5. This encourages students to focus on their academic success before they become heavily involved in an organization that requires a serious time commitment.  

New fraternal members are required to attend informational seminars, which address such issues as: the history of Greek-letter societies, hazing and sexual assault prevention, and the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol/substance abuse. Attendees are informed regarding the hazing and alcohol policies of both UB and the State of New York.

The university is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for our students to pursue their studies and participate in appropriate activities that are an essential part of the college experience. 

FAQ

How does the university warn students about unrecognized fraternities?

Each year at student orientation, representatives from the university strongly warn students and their families not to join unrecognized fraternal groups because these groups do not abide by university rules and have been known to engage in hazing activities.  The university has a zero-tolerance policy against hazing.  We also warn student that joining an unrecognized fraternal group is in itself a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and could result in disciplinary action.  

What steps does the university take to stop the activities of unrecognized fraternities?

The most effective strategy is to actively and consistently warn students and their parents about unrecognized fraternities and sororities, and about their past bad conduct.

When the university learns that students are operating an unrecognized fraternity or have joined one, the university initiates an investigation and judicial process that typically results in discipline.  This process is often made difficult by the fact that students who join an unrecognized fraternity take an oath of secrecy and do not divulge their participation.  Often, parents do not know that that their son or daughter has joined an unrecognized Greek group. 

Should more be done by the university?

To more effectively monitor and discipline these activities, we are encouraging students and their parents to report the activities of unrecognized fraternities and sororities to the university. 

When a serious incident occurs in an unrecognized organization, student cooperation is critically important to our investigation and to the judicial process. 

We need students to be more forthcoming with information so that the university can more closely monitor these rogue organizations and help to prevent future incidents