The Gold Book encompasses the policies governing Greek Life at The University of Southern Mississippi. Students who participate in Greek Life are expected to know and follow the various policies.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
The Gold Book is designed as the policy manual for students involved in Greek Life. It is necessary for the effective communication of university policy regarding Greek Life.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community associated with Greek Life.
Website Address for this Policy
Article I: Name
Section 1. The name of this document shall be the GOLD BOOK OF THE GREEK LIFE OFFICE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.
Article II: Construction
Section 1. This document shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the
Great State of Mississippi; shall affect all fraternity/sorority (Greek) chapters housed within the Greek Life office; and shall extend on- and off-campus.
Article III: Official Charter Recognition Statuses
Section 1. Good standing. Chapter is entitled to all rights and privileges of a registered student organization on campus not otherwise suspended or amended by additional sanctioning or actions
Section 2. Probation. Chapter is formally warned for a prescribed duration of time while continuing to retain all rights and privileges afforded student organizations on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi not otherwise suspended or amended by additional sanctioning or actions.
Section 3. Deferred Suspension (i.e. Show Cause). The suspension of a chapter’s recognition is deferred (not enforced) pending the completion of a prescribed list of objectives, goals, or actions within a set time frame. The chapter therefore must “show cause” for their continuation as a student organization and recognized chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Section 4. Suspension. A chapter’s recognition is revoked for a prescribed or indefinite amount of time. All activities and actions of the chapter will cease and desist. No re-colonization will be permitted or recognized until the duration of suspension has ceased.
Section 5. Silent. The suspension of a Chapter’s recognition of charter has elapsed; however, the Chapter has not been reinstated by the national organization and recognized by the University.
Section 6. Expulsion. The Chapter’s recognition is revoked permanently and no re-colonization effort will ever be permitted.
Article IV: Alcohol
Section 1. The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the unlawful possession, consumption, and distribution of alcoholic beverages by students and employees on its campus.
Further, any possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages of any kind in plain view shall be considered in violation of campus policy.
Privacy rights of students in their residential space will be respected, but any public nuisance coming from private space related to the consumption of alcohol shall bring the full force of this policy and applicable state law into play.
The concealment of illegal alcohol consumption from plain open view does not preclude the enforcement of state laws or this policy for other just cause.
Section 2. Community alcohol. The presence of “community alcohol” including, but not limited to drinking games and rapid consumption techniques and devices (e.g., flip cup, beer pong, quarters, funnels, power hour, whoop juice, card games, shots, etc.)
Any fraternity or sorority found in violation of this policy shall be subject to, at minimum:
a. Mandatory alcohol education program
b. Mandatory community service for the entire chapter, including new/associate members
c. “Probation of social activities” for the remainder of the semester.
a. “Suspension of social activities” for one calendar year.
Article V: Hazing
See Hazing Policy at www.usm.edu/institutional-policies/policy-stua-gl-002
Article VI: Auxiliary Groups
Section 1. In accordance with inter/national fraternity and sorority policies, chapter recognition (public, underground, or otherwise) of any auxiliary groups that include opposite sex member, known as “big sisters,” “little sisters,” “big brothers,” “little brothers,” or by any other terminology is strictly prohibited.
Section 2. Definition. [Groups] “acting as a subsidiary or supplementary.” In practical sense, a single sweetheart or small collection of sweethearts are permissible provided they do not meet any of the following traditionally accepted practices of “little brother/sister programs.”
Section 3. Wearing of “letters.” While it is not against policy to allow individuals of the opposite sex the privilege of wearing fraternity or sorority letters, it is highly advised against given that specific practice is/was commonplace in little sister/brother programs.
Article VII: Events
Section 1. There shall be no minimum number of persons that constitute a chapter “event.”
Section 2. Criteria for determination. The following criteria will be used as a guide when considering if a fraternity/sorority is responsible for an event:
Section 3. Events on campus are required to have a “Social Event Documentation Form” completed and submitted within 48 hours following the event.
Section 4. Special events.
Section 5. House parties.
Section 6. Noise. The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the disruption or disturbance of the campus community by the operation of sound devices. No person shall play, use or operate any device for reproducing or amplifying sound on university property if the sound generated is audible at a distance of 50 feet from the device producing the sound.
Section 7. Open parties. Fraternities and sororities shall not host open social functions, unless specifically permitted by their national organization. A guest list or ticket inventory record system shall be used by a chapter and should comply with the policies of a chapter’s inter/national organization.
Section 8. Themes. All party themes, signs, marketing, and t-shirts shall be in good taste and contain no vulgar or inappropriate language.
Section 9. Failure to. The following instances pertain to a chapter’s failure to perform a certain action.
Article VIII: Membership
Section 1. All members of fraternities and sororities are required to complete a membership card that shall be filed in the Office of Greek Life. The membership card shall contain information relative to: Commitment to not engage in hazing, a release of academic records, and housing responsibilities.
Section 2. Alumna/us or inactive status.
Section 3. Size. All fraternities and sororities shall maintain a membership size that is at least ten (10) full-time student members. There are two exemptions possible:
Section 4. The CPC shall be the only council governed by a quota-total system.
Article IX: Academics
Section 1. Good standing. Chapter has attained a term composite GPA at or above the respective gender average.
Section 2. Academic Warning. Chapter has attained a term GPA below their respective gender average after having been at “Good standing” in the previous term.
Section 3. Academic Reprimand. Chapter has attained a term GPA below their respective gender average after having been at “Academic Warning” in the previous term. As such, the chapter shall:
Section 4. Academic Social Suspension I. Chapter has achieved a term composite GPA below the respective gender average after having been at “Academic Reprimand” in the previous term. As such, the chapter shall:
Section 5. Academic Social Suspension II. The chapter has achieved a term composite GPA below the respective gender average after having been at “Academic Social Suspension I” in the previous term. As such, the chapter shall:
Section 6. Academic Social Suspension III. The chapter has achieved a term composite GPA below the respective gender average after having been at “Academic Social Suspension II” in the previous term. As such, the chapter shall:
Section 7. Individual members. All chapter members who fail to attain a 2.0 term composite
GPA shall meet with GLO staff within the first month of the following semester. Chapters shall be held responsible for a member’s failure to complete this requirement.
Article X: Expansion/Extension
Section 1. As a public university, we recognize a student’s right to freedom of assembly/ association. In an effort to promote collaboration between all interested stakeholders, a series of guidelines exist relative to time, place, and manner.
Section 2. Informal requests. Interested students or inter/national organizations can make informal requests as they desire. Informal requests are not considered official steps in the expansion/extension procedure.
Section 3. Formal requests. In order to initiate the process of expansion/extension, a formal request must be made by an interested organization. This may come in the form of a “packet,” and should contain the following prospectus:
Section 4. Review of requests.
Section 5. Colonization. Colonies shall meet the recognition criteria set forth for all student organizations. Furthermore, colonies shall comply with the following stipulations:
Section 6. Chapter status. Colonies shall be afforded “chapter status” when they obtain their inter/national charter.
Article XI: Standard of Evidence and Proof
Section 1. A chapter shall be found responsible if the preponderance of evidence yields such a conclusion. Stated another way:
Article XII: Relationship Statement
Section 1. The university seeks to promote a collaborative partnership between inter/national organizations, students, and alumni advisory groups. This partnership should be mutually beneficial and promote the success of our fraternities and sororities on campus. As such, we recognize a formal relationship exists between our fraternities, sororities, and the University community. The relationship shall be defined as such:
The Assistant Dean for Greek Life is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes
03/20/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.