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Membership Intake Guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide fraternities and sororities at the University of Houston-Downtown , their advisors and their prospective members, with a source of information regarding Membership Intake. Chapter Members, Chapter Advisors, New Member Educators, and the Office of Student Activities will work together to ensure a successful and positive experience for all involved.

In order for the Office of Student Activities to assist chapters with the intake process and avoid potential problems, chapters must adhere to the following guidelines if they are to conduct intake at the University of Houston-Downtown:

Meetings and Documentation:

  1. Prior to any intake activities, the chapter president or intake director will meet with the Director of Student Activities no later than one (1) month before the first recruitment activities are scheduled. To schedule an appointment, call the Office of Student Activities at 713-221-8573. At this meeting the chapter will submit/provide (A), (B), (C), and (D) of the following paperwork:
    1. Notice of Membership Intake
    2. Membership Intake Coordinator Agreement
    3. A Calendar of Events - this calendar should include a timetable of any intake activities with dates and times. Activities must be approved one-week before they commence. Activities to include on the calendar, if applicable:
      1. Informational and/or interest meetings
      2. Selection date(s)
      3. Start date of the new member’s official process/educational sessions
      4. Initiation date
      5. Presentation of New Members (if applicable): The date of the New Member Presentation must be approved by the Director of Student Activities.
      6. Any additional dates pertinent to a specific organization

    4. The following paperwork will be submitted (1) week prior to any official aspirant activities:

    5. University of Houston-Downtown Hazing Compliance Form
    6. Verification of Aspirants Form
      Verification of Aspirants: All chapters conducting intake must submit a Verification of Aspirants Form. The verification and compliance forms must be submitted immediately after the interest meeting, and prior to the start date of any official process/educational sessions of aspirants listed on the chapter’s intake calendar. These forms list the individuals approved by your chapter that will be submitted to your regional or national representatives as aspirants for membership. In cases where the National intake team conducts the intake process, all correspondence forwarded to any regional or local representatives should also be forwarded to the Director of Student Activities. The verification form contains the following information:
      1. List of candidates for membership that will include each new member’s:
        • Name (please print)
        • Signature
        • Student ID Number
        • Academic Waiver
      2. Total Number of Candidates
      3. Original signature of Chapter President
      4. Signature of Chapter Advocate (faculty/staff advisor) and Grad Chapter Advisor (chapter must bring in form with the original signature).

    7. The “Roster Update Form” is the only paperwork that will be submitted after the Initiation.

Presentation of New Members (if applicable):
All organizations must adhere to the following guidelines when presenting new members to the campus community:

  1. Presentation of new members must take place on or before the first reading day of the semester in which the members have been initiated into the organization.
  2. Guidelines for those who present new members using a “show”:
    1. The Office of Student Activities must be notified of the date, time, and location of the “show” no less than one week in advance.
    2. Presentation “Shows” are not to be scheduled on the same night/time of a previously planned event of another chapter unless written approval is given by the chapter with a previously scheduled event.
    3. A copy of the reservation confirmation notice must be submitted to your Director of Student Activities (must include both the primary location and rain location)
    4. No explicit or revealing attire is to be worn by the new members or other “show” participants.
    5. No excessive use of profanity or vulgarity.
    6. No alcoholic beverages will be permitted.
    7. No physical abuse will be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to: slapping, kicking, spitting, punching, pushing, poking, caning, etc. (Canes, staffs, sticks, etc. may be used as a part of the performance but may not be used as a weapon to harm another individual)
    8. In the event of a fight during the presentation, then those fighting will be disciplined immediately. If a member of the presenting organization is involved, the presentation show will be stopped immediately. (See Violations section for further details)
    9. No references to hazing and/or other illegal activities.
    10. Disruptions by other attending organizations will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to: walking through the presenters’ show, talking over the presenting organization, etc.
    11. If a new member decides that they cannot, or decides not to participate in the show, a written and signed letter by the new member must be submitted to the Office of Student Activities no more than 72 hours before the show explaining why they cannot, or have decided not to participate.
    12. No blatant skipping of numbers will be allowed. (Ex: 1,2,4,5, etc.)
    13. The duration of the presentation show should be no longer than 2 hours total. Shows may not be scheduled to begin after 8:30pm and must start on time. Following the show, members of the presenting organization must vacate the area within 30 minutes. (This will help with crowd dispersing.) The presenting organization will be responsible for ensuring the site used is left in its original state after use.
    14. Shows must start within 30 minutes of the posted start time.
    15. A representative from the Office of Student Activities and Events MUST be in attendance at all New Member Presentations.

Hazing
The University prohibits any form of hazing of its students, at any time, or at any location on or off campus, including fraternity houses, private residences, or public property. The University will respond swiftly to investigate reports of hazing received from any source, and will promptly determine whether to proceed with campus disciplinary action, to forward a report to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution as a criminal matter, or both. University students who voluntarily consent to hazing, as well as those who inflict it, are subject to such action.

Hazing is defined as causing or permitting a person, incident to initiation into or membership in a society, club, athletic team, or similar organized group, to participate in any activity that subjects or is likely to subject that person or others to risks of physical injury, mental distress, or personal indignities of a highly offensive nature, whether or not such person has consented to participation in the activity. Specific activities that constitute hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Forced consumption of alcohol or forced ingestion of any other substance
  2. Forced calisthenics, push-ups, sit-ups, running, or other physical contest
  3. Paddling or other physical assault or brutality
  4. Transportation and abandonment
  5. Line-ups with verbal or physical harassment
  6. Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities
  7. Forced sleep deprivation
  8. Wearing or carrying of any obscene or physically burdensome article
  9. Assignment of pranks to be performed
  10. Yelling or cursing at new members
  11. Assigned clothing or gear to wear or not wear

A faculty member, staff member, or student who observes the physical or psychological abuse or intentional public embarrassment of any person or persons who may be University of Houston-Downtown students should immediately report the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Conduct, or the Office of Student Activities. Those offices are charged to take appropriate action to respond to such a report.

Students who know, or suspect, that hazing has taken place are strongly encouraged to report it to the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Student Activities. Employees of the University are required to report such information.

Where hazing is alleged or suspected, the Dean of Students, in conjunction with Campus Police and Student Judicial Programs, shall conduct a thorough investigation of the facts surrounding the incident. When the investigation produces evidence that hazing activity may be a violation of criminal law or a violation of campus disciplinary standards, the following steps are to be taken.

  1. Campus Police will report the facts uncovered in the investigation to law enforcement officials of the appropriate jurisdiction for prosecution as a criminal matter.
  2. Campus disciplinary procedures will be initiated, regardless of whether criminal prosecution occurs. The Dean of Students may immediately refer the matter to the campus disciplinary process, or may defer referral until the outcome of the criminal proceedings has been reported. Sanctions which may be imposed through the campus disciplinary procedures include indefinite suspension from the University. Regardless of the sanction imposed by campus disciplinary proceedings, if conviction of a criminal offense of hazing occurs, the student will be expelled from the University, as is required by state law.
  3. If the hazing appears to have occurred in connection with any club or organization, the Dean of Students Office will notify the regional and national offices of the organization in which the alleged hazing occurred and may request them to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. The Dean of Students may share any information gained through the University investigation with these offices, except that which is legally protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The Dean of Students will also notify the local advisor of the organization of the allegations and the progress of the investigation.

Violations:
Violations of the intake process may result in probation or suspension. Whether the chapter will be placed on probation or receive automatic suspension is based upon the infractions and is at the discretion of the Dean of Students Office and/or Student Conduct Office.

Probation is noted by a period of scrutiny wherein if the chapter commits any violation of the intake process or any other rules set forth by their organization or the Office of Student Activities, the chapter will be placed on suspension.

Suspension is noted by a period wherein all social and formal programming (this includes community service, all fundraising activities, and intake functions) is prohibited. The suspension period will be determined by the Dean of Students Office and/or Student Conduct Office.

Violations include:

  1. Intentional submission of improper paperwork (i.e., changing of dates on forms, falsifying original signatures, incomplete paper work, etc.)
  2. Holding membership intake without adhering to the Intake Guidelines set by the Office of Student Activities at the University of Houston-Downtown.
  3. Hazing: Any violations of the University of Houston-Downtown Hazing Policy will result in a referral to the Dean of Students Office and/ or Student Conduct Office.
  4. Overt activity defined as any activity related to intake conducted in defiance of previous guidelines or warnings by the Director of Student Activities
  5. Failure to adhere to Presentation of New Member Guidelines
  6. Violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Guidelines for Review of Chapter Status for Suspension:

  1. Executive Board: Chapter President and/or 1 representative must be present.
  2. The Chapter Advisors must be present (both the Chapter Advocate [faculty/staff] & Graduate Chapter advisors).
  3. The Director for Student Activities.

All questions and concerns must be expressed by the Chapter President to the council advisor/s. If any questions regarding the Guidelines arise, they may be discussed between the members of the chapter and the council advisor/s. Final jurisdiction and decision-making authority rests in the hands of the Dean of Students.

Students found guilty of hazing will be subject to penalties outlined by the University Of Houston- Downtown Dean Of Students Office, as well as any sanctions outlined by the national organization.

 Intake: Things to Remember
The Director of Student Activities will present the intake guidelines at each council’s first general body meeting at the beginning of each academic semester.

  1. The Notice of Membership Intake form must contain the original signature of the Chapter President and Graduate Chapter Advisor.
  2. The Greek Life Anti-Hazing Compliance Form must contain the original signature of the Chapter President.
  3. Alumni members participating in New Member Education process can still be sanctioned and their actions can result in sanctions against undergraduate chapter.
  4. Submit the date of the presentation of new members and bring a copy of the reservation confirmation required to proceed with the “show” if applicable. If this cannot be submitted at the initial meeting with the council advisor, then notify the advisor no less than one week prior to the event. At this time, chapters must submit the necessary paperwork required to proceed with the activity to the Office of Student Activities and Events.

Without the submission of the required paperwork intake will not be approved. In the event that the intake activities begin without the knowledge and signed approval of the council advisors, and/or the chapter has not adhered to these written Intake Guidelines, intake activities will cease immediately, and the chapter may be placed on suspension. These sanctions will be administered appropriately at the discretion of the Director of Student Activities.

Last updated 10/10/2018 11:28 AM