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Chapter Expectations Guide

University of Maryland Chapter Expectations

Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Maryland


On a Friday evening, March 19, 1915, Dr. A.J. Patterson, then President of the Maryland Agricultural College, invited members of the school’s earliest fraternities, Kappa Alpha and Gamma Pi, into his home.  That evening, Dr. Patterson spoke of the day he envisioned when chapters would occupy houses on and around campus in order to demonstrate the fraternal bonds and values that were the foundations of their existence.

Today at the University of Maryland, the full support of the University is behind the same vision that Dr. Patterson spoke of nearly 100 years ago. While fraternities and sororities have been through many highs and lows over the years the University is committed to helping these organizations return to their founding values.  Though stated in many different ways, the values of our fraternal organizations are fundamentally the same: living together in the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, exhibiting exceptional leadership, demonstrating a commitment to scholarship, providing service to the campus and community, and making a life-long commitment to fellow brothers/sisters and the campus community.

In 1994, the University of Maryland introduced the document Greek Life: A Foundation for the Future.  This document, known on campus as the “Vision,” set forth minimum standards and expectations for all fraternities and sororities who seek to be recognized by the University of Maryland as Greek-letter organizations.   The vision centered on fostering a Greek community wherein chapters complement the institution’s academic mission; develop leadership in members; serve the community; foster character development; promote personal development; build community; and encourage lifelong friendships.

Today, that vision stands as the starting point of our expectations for the Fraternity and Sorority community.  As a national leader in student affairs, the University of Maryland is committed to leading by example related to its values-based living/learning communities. This means establishing the same high expectations that Dr. Patterson did in 1915 for each and every chapter recognized by the University. Together, we enter into a partnership among fraternal organizations, the University, inter/national headquarters, and alumni in imagining and creating “the way things could be.”  The University stands committed to furthering the founding values of these organizations, and by embracing their values our chapters will find a welcome and supportive home at the University of Maryland.

The following expectations clarify the minimum investment chapters can make and still receive campus support. Our vision is of a community that lives by the values upon which fraternities and sororities were founded. In order to move toward the realization of this vision, chapters must do more than just “meet the minimum expectations;” they must strive to embrace these expectations as the foundation upon which to build greatness. Visionary chapters will far exceed these humble expectations.


University of Maryland Chapter Expectations

Paperwork Requirements:

  • All chapters must provide written evidence of the following:

1. Chapter Advisor

2. Faculty Advisor

3. Outline of Internal Judicial System Plan

4. Chapter Management Plan

5. Chapter Annual Report

6. Active Member & New Member Rosters

7. Membership Activity List

  • Chapters with residential programs must provide written evidence of the following:

8. House Director/Resident Director

9. House Corporation

B.  Programming Requirements:

1. Multicultural Competency

2. Community Service/Service Learning

3. Campus Service

4. Faculty/Staff Outreach

5. Non-Greek

6. Alumni

7. Parent/Family

8. Academic

9. Values Clarification

10. Alcohol/Drugs

11. Personal Development

12. Sexual Assault/Violence Prevention & Awareness

C.  Attendance Requirements:

1. Annual Meeting

2. Fall and Spring Presidents’ Retreats

3. New members at Fall and Spring New Member Convocations

4. Green Dot/VIA training

5. DFSL Presidents’ Forums

6. Anti-Hazing Program

D.  Categories of Compliance

1. Exceeds Expectations

2 .Meets Expectations

3. Below Expectations

E.  Compliance Review Process


University of Maryland Chapter Expectations

The positive experience of being a member of a Greek-letter organization is sustained through the management of a successful chapter.  The experience should reflect an obvious commitment to fraternal principles and should be compatible with the goals and objectives of the University.

This Chapter Expectations policy is further explained in the Chapter Expectations Implementation Guide, which has been designed to assist chapters in preparation for the fulfillment of these expectations. The Guide includes a checklist for all expectations, deadlines for when chapters must submit proof of compliance, an inclusive summary of each expectation, as well as examples of programs.



To achieve Meets Expectations, each chapter must fulfill Paperwork Requirements 1-7. Chapters with a residential component and facility must also fulfill Paperwork Requirements 8-9 to achieve Meets Expectations.


An active, involved chapter advisor is a key ingredient to a successful chapter.  Each chapter shall have a chapter advisor who either lives or works within the immediate metropolitan area, and who has the support of the inter/national organization.  The advisor shall be an alumnus/a of the fraternity or sorority (unless a specific exception is granted by DFSL in conjunction with the inter/national organization), should have some form of active fraternity/sorority experience, and shall provide the chapter and its membership with continuing advice and support.  The Chapter Advisor contact information must be submitted as part of the Chapter Contact Information Sheet. Click here for a list of responsibilities of a Chapter Advisor.


The fraternity and sorority experience of our members is enriched when chapters become invested in the larger academic community.  Of particular importance is developing relationships with faculty and staff who bring with them knowledge and skills that can add to the fraternal experience of members. To this end, all fraternities and sororities are required to have an involved faculty/staff advisor.  Faculty/staff advisors must be employed by the University of Maryland, College Park campus.  Faculty, Staff, and Master’s or Doctoral students are eligible for such appointment.  The Faculty/Staff Advisor contact information must be submitted as part of the Chapter Contact Information Sheet. Click here for a list of responsibilities of a Faculty/Staff Advisor.


Establishing internal methods of confronting inappropriate behavior and creating high standards of ethical conduct are important goals of fraternal organizations.  Each organization is required to document annually the existence and function of an internal judicial system to enforce applicable policies and procedures.  Every organization must have the means to act quickly in addressing the behavior of a member who violates established codes or standards, either through its own internal procedures or those of the inter/national organization.  This must include the means to promptly and permanently expel a member from the chapter, making certain to adhere to local and inter/national procedures. The chapter advisor should be an integral component of the system utilized. Chapters are required to submit an outline of the process, including step by step procedures and a list of what positions serve on the review board to their respective council advisor.  Click here for examples. 


The Chapter Management Plan gives chapters the opportunity to develop goals for the coming year.  This is an invaluable tool for the chapter leadership to use in shaping the experience they wish their members to have and should be developed with assistance from chapter advisors and other interested alumni, inter/national headquarters, and chapter leaders and members. The “Chapter Management Plan” is due by October 1st, while the “Chapter Annual Report” is submitted on the last day of classes as an opportunity to reflect on the year. Click here for the Chapter Management Plan completion document.


This document serves as the chapter’s summary report for their progress in meeting the expectations outlined in their Chapter Management Plan over the course of the year.  This is a summary report of how the chapter met their goals in addition to serving as a reflection tool about these goals.  With permission, chapters may substitute documents that they send as a summary report to their headquarters if that report covers items required in the annual report.  Chapters should include the number of community service hours performed by all members and the total amount of money raised for all philanthropic activities throughout the year.  Click here for Chapter Annual Report completion document.


Each chapter must be a registered student organization and maintain an active membership roster on file through the OrgSync online process at all times. To do this, rosters must be submitted according to the following schedule:

  • September 1st –  Active member roster submitted to OrgSync
  • New Member rosters submitted to OrgSync within two weeks of bids being offered during the fall semester
  • December 1st – Active member roster updated in OrgSync to reflect full membership
  • February 1st – Active member roster updated in OrgSync
  • New Member rosters submitted to OrgSync within two weeks of bids being offered during the spring semester
  • May 1st – Active member roster updated in OrgSync to reflect full membership


There are great benefits to the campus community and to fraternal organizations when members are active participants in activities outside of the chapter.  Members are able to learn additional leadership skills (which can be applied to their chapter) and are able to promote the best ideals of fraternal life to non-Greek members of the campus community.  Both entities benefit when fraternity and sorority members are involved as leaders and engaged citizens of the larger campus community. 

To encourage involvement in the campus community, each member of a fraternity or sorority is strongly encouraged to be involved in at least one other activity at the University or in the local community.  Members can participate in other student groups, be a member of an intercollegiate sports team, or volunteer for significant participation in community or service organizations. 

Chapters are required to submit a Membership Activity Form that reflects the involvement and activities of their members.  If it appears that a chapter is not sufficiently encouraging involvement of their members, they will be required to develop initiatives to increase member involvement.


Chapters with Residential Programs and Facilities:


All fraternities and sororities with a residential component of 15 or more occupants must employ a live-in House Director (HD) or Resident Director (RD) at all times the house is occupied under the coordination and approval of the House Corporation and the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life. The purpose of the HD/RD is to oversee the facility management and associated operations and to establish a liaison among the chapter, House Corporation, and University. A House Director is an individual hired and supervised by the house corporation; a Resident Director is a graduate student hired and supervised by the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  More detailed expectations and a full position description for each position can be obtained through the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life. HD/RD contact information must be submitted as part of the Chapter Contact Information Sheet.


An active and involved house corporation board is an important component for the effective operation of the chapter house.  This house corporation entity can manage the affairs of the property and serve as an indispensable resource for the chapter members who have limited time and ability to worry about the long-term maintenance needs of the structure.  The University requires each chapter that is housed – and encourages those chapters not currently housed but seeking housing – to have an active and involved house corporation entity. DFSL will assist chapters in identifying prospective board members and will conduct regular training programs for corporation board members. Articles of Incorporation will be required for all house corporation boards and should be submitted to the DFSL Housing Coordinator. The House Corporation Board contact information must be submitted as part of the Chapter Contact Information Sheet.



The development of individual members is a primary goal of Greek-letter organizations.  Providing opportunities for members to attain their academic goals, experience new opportunities, connect with the communities of which they are a part, and realize their individual potential are important initiatives for chapters.  The goal of these programs is twofold: first, to enhance the experience of the members in each chapter; and second, to improve the image of fraternities and sororities on campus and in the local community.

Ideally, chapters will either sponsor or co-sponsor each program. In general, co-sponsorship means helping to plan and implement a program; it must be more than just financially contributing to the program. Programs that are hosted by outside groups may also be used to fulfill these requirements on a case by case basis with approval from your respective DFSL advisor. Program Event Evaluation forms should be completed and submitted online for each program.

In general, programs will be evaluated on a case by case basis. In order to make the programs meaningful, a significant number of members should attend each program. Although a minimum percentage is not required, it is recommended that at least 50% of the chapter attend each program.

Many chapters already have programming requirements from their inter/national organization or from their respective governing council. To assist chapters in accomplishing these requirements, the University will be flexible in allowing inter/national programming assignments or governing council programming requirements to meet the criteria for University programming requirements.  Before the program occurs, the chapter should request to the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff to have their unique programming requirements substituted for the programs mentioned in the standards below.

To achieve Meets Expectations, each chapter must fulfill eight (8) of the twelve (12) Programming Requirements.



Scholarship is the primary reason students attend college and is another cornerstone value of our fraternal organizations. With the high caliber of students at the University of Maryland, the pursuit of academic achievement is a key value. Fraternal organizations should demonstrate this value by assisting members with their performance and promoting a culture of scholarship within their organizations. Each chapter will participate in an academically related educational program each year that meets the needs of their membership. The University provides a wide variety of services and resources to enhance academic performance. Click here for examples. 


A persistent challenge facing college students across the country is their misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs. Research often shows fraternity and sorority members experience high rates of binge drinking and the associated negative consequences. To help educate members about the effects related to alcohol and drug use, chapters are required to host a program each year addressing this topic. Click here for examples.


Alumni represent a critical component of chapter operations and help ensure the health and longevity of a chapter. Alumni programming gives chapters the opportunity to connect with these important people in meaningful ways. Click here for examples.


Our fraternities and sororities enjoy a unique relationship with the campus community and are the recipients of considerable institutional resources and attention.  The expectation that chapters will participate in campus service provides our chapters with the opportunity to provide hands-on service to the university community as active and caring citizens. Click here for examples.


The act of serving others is one of the cornerstones of fraternities and sororities.  Chapters are expected to initiate and implement a community service or service learning project that is relevant and meaningful to the chapter membership.  It should be noted that community service is defined here as direct, hands on service as opposed to philanthropy/fundraising, which is not considered a fulfillment of this expectation.  Click here for examples. 


This program should enhance the chapter’s knowledge, awareness, or skills and stretch members to consider different perspectives and experiences around areas such as race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, etc.  The richness of the fraternity and sorority experience is enhanced by chapters’ abilities to engage with the diversity of the University of Maryland community in meaningful ways.    In order to fulfill this requirement, the diversity program must include a discussion aspect. Click here for examples.


The University of Maryland is rich with resources in the form of faculty, staff, and other community members whose presence significantly enhances the student experience.  This expectation provides chapters with the opportunity to tap into these resources and create a program for their membership that allows for meaningful interactions with these people. Click here for examples.  


Each chapter will co-sponsor a program each year with a non-Greek campus organization.  Programs can be educational, cultural, philanthropic, or social (non-alcoholic) in nature and can be combined with other programming or service requirements in this document.  This expectation gives chapters the chance to forge connections and relationships in a mutual sharing of knowledge and appreciation of different experiences. Click here for examples.


Parents and family members often provide a meaningful level of support to students and can enhance the college experience. Chapters should recognize the importance of these people and find ways to engage and educate them about the fraternity/sorority experience. Click here for examples.


The personal development of each chapter’s membership should be of paramount importance. Many chapters have membership development programs in place that address the broad range of issues, challenges, and interests students face during college. Each chapter must host a program each year to demonstrate their commitment to personal development. The purpose of this program is to prepare members for life after college. Click here for examples.


Sexual assault and relationship violence are significant problems in the community and on college campuses across the country. Given the founding values of fraternities and sororities, each chapter should commit to raising awareness about these issues. Each chapter must demonstrate its commitment to this effort by participating in a sexual assault prevention or relationship violence program each year. Click here for examples.


Fraternities and sororities are each founded on fundamental values that represent the ideals for which members should strive. While not all founding values are the same, each chapter should make it a priority to educate the membership about their respective founding values. While it is our hope that all educational programs address the chapter’s founding values, this program should specifically address the importance of the values. To that end, each chapter must host a program that discusses the importance or relevance of one or more of the chapter’s founding values for their members. Click here for examples.




While sponsoring and co-sponsoring programs is important, there are other responsibilities chapters have as part of the fraternity and sorority community. Sending representatives to appropriate meetings, programs, and events on campus is also a significant component of developing a supportive community.

Chapters must fulfill five (5) of the six (6) Attendance Requirements to Meet Expectations.



Each chapter must complete an Annual Meeting with their respective DFSL Advisor by October 1st each year. This meeting should include the chapter advisor, faculty advisor, and members of the chapter executive board. It is also recommended to include the house director/fraternity resident director (for chapters with houses). The chapter is responsible for scheduling this meeting and for completing all pre-meeting materials provided by your council advisor in advance.


Each semester, DFSL hosts a leadership retreat for all chapter presidents and the governing council executive boards. Each chapter must send their president to each retreat. If the chapter president is unable to attend the retreat, a member of the chapter executive board must serve in his/her place. There is also a mandatory fee, regardless of attendance, that your chapter is expected to pay each semester.


Each semester, DFSL hosts a convocation for all new members. Attendance is required for all students involved in a fraternity or sorority new member process at the time of the convocation. Students who join a fraternity or sorority after the convocation has occurred must attend the next semester. New Member Educators/Intake Coordinators must also attend.


Given the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, chapters should ensure that at least one member is trained to serve as a resource on this topic.  Each chapter is required to have at least one active member Green Dot trained / VIA trained at all times. Green Dot / VIA are offered through the Health Center on campus and DFSL sends out training dates each semester.


Periodically throughout the fall and spring semesters, DFSL hosts forums for all chapter presidents. These forums are meant to provide chapter presidents with the opportunity to discuss community issues. It is important to have a representative from each organization in attendance who can contribute to the discussion and take relevant information back to the chapter.  It is expected the president will attend or find a suitable replacement. 


Fraternities and sororities often struggle to identify appropriate activities for new members and interests to participate in as part of the new member program. Therefore, it is required that each chapter sends its New Member Educator / Intake Coordinator to a training program sponsored by DFSL. If the New Member Educator / Intake Coordinator is unable to attend the training, then a suitable executive board officer can attend in his/her place. Chapters that do not comply with this expectation will not be allowed to host intake/recruitment.




Chapters are expected to comply with all expectations as outlined in this policy. Failure to do so may result in restricted privileges. These expectations should not, however, negatively impact a student leader’s ability to achieve academically. Therefore, chapters with fewer than 15 members have the ability to propose reduced requirements if the burden of fulfilling the expectations has the possibility of negatively impacting students’ academic performance.

At the conclusion of each academic year, chapters will be placed in one of the following categories:


To be in the Exceeds Expectations category, chapters must comply with all standards at all times and meet all respective deadlines.

Chapters that meet this standard will be recognized on the DFSL website as well as at the Greek Awards Reception at the end of the year.


In order to meet the basic expectations of being a recognized fraternity or sorority, chapters must have completed the following requirements by the stated deadline:

  • All Paperwork Requirements.

Chapters that submit paperwork past the deadline will be granted “compliance” status provided they submit the component within 24 hours of the posted due date. These chapters will not, however, be eligible for Exceeds Expectations classification.

  • 8 of 12 Programming Requirements
  • 5 of 6 Attendance Requirements


Chapters that fail to comply with a satisfactory number of standards in one academic year

will include fraternities or sororities that have failed to complete any or all of the following:

  • All Paperwork Requirements.

Chapters that submit paperwork past the deadline will be granted “compliance” status provided they submit the component within 24 hours of the posted due date. These chapters will not, however, be eligible for Exceeds Expectations classification.

  • 8 of 12 Programming Requirements
  • 5 of 6 Attendance Requirements  

Restrictions can include:

  • no social events for one semester or one academic year (on or off campus)
  • cannot participate in Homecoming/Greek Week on any level
  • cannot participate in intramurals for one semester or one academic year
  • cannot participate in some or all Step Shows
  • loss of recognition
  • other conditions will be determined on a case by case basis

Chapters that fall Below Expectations must meet with their respective council’s advisor to develop a Membership Renewal and Success Plan that will be discussed at the Annual Meeting. Chapters that are below expectations must also attend a mid-year review meeting with their respective governing council advisor to be completed by February 15th.



Council advisors will review all submissions as they are submitted online throughout the year. Any submission that does not fulfill the requirement will not be approved. It is the responsibility of the chapter leadership to confirm online whether or not approval has been given. Chapters may receive feedback on whether or not a program will fulfill an expectation from the appropriate advisor by submitting an incomplete program event evaluation form prior to the event.  

At the end of the year, council advisors will compile all submitted information (paperwork, program event evaluation forms, and attendance logs) and recommend placement of each chapter within one of the three categories: Exceeds, Meets, or Below. Placement will be finalized upon review by the Assistant Director of Advising and Programming.                                                                                                                                        

Updated August 2013


Chapter expectations compliance will then serve as one segment of the recognition process (see separate Recognition Policy for further information).