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Letter from the Director

Dear members of the Greek Community,

Fraternities and sororities have been an important part of campus life at the University of Kentucky since 1893.  These organizations exist on founding principles that foster friendship, scholarship, leadership, and service.  Being a member of a fraternity or sorority is a meaningful experience that can enhance your educational, personal, intellectual, and social development.

Members of our fraternity and sorority community are expected to learn and integrate the activities and rituals that are unique to their organizations into their lives. As a new member or initiated member, you may feel both personal and social pressure to earn or prove your membership. In some cases, you might feel pressure to participate in or perform actions that compromise your own values and principles and/or those of your chapter. This pressure constitutes hazing.

Hazing is not consistent with the values inherent in foundation of fraternities and sororities, nor of our University. The University of Kentucky does not condone hazing among any students, staff, team, or student organizations. At UK, we define hazing as:

Any action or situation created by a member of the University Community against another member of the University Community for the purpose of affiliation with a group or organization that:

  • is negligent or reckless in nature; or
  • is humiliating or endangers an individual; or
  • unreasonably interferes with scholastic or employment activities.

If you feel personal or social pressure to participate in activities that may include harassment, ridicule, intimidation, or physical exhaustion as a condition for earning membership or respect in a fraternity or sorority, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.  If you need immediate assistance call the University Police Department  at (859) 257-8573.

Hazing activities can be mistakenly considered a “tradition” or they can be explained in any number of ways in order to justify the activities. Changing the culture of a chapter which has allowed this to happen for a long time is very difficult. However, if chapters self-report these activities, we can help them educate their members to have activities that are respectful of individuals and accomplish positive goals. The chapters and the individuals involved need to recognize when there is a problem and have the willingness to change.

It is expected that fraternities and sororities uphold federal, state, and local ordinances as well as University policies.  Furthermore, all fraternities and sororities recognized at the University of Kentucky are also recognized by inter/national organizations which further educate their members to follow specific risk management practices.

If you have further questions or need resources related to your involvement as a member of our fraternity and sorority community, please feel free to contact us by visiting our office located in 518 Patterson Office Tower, visit our website at www.uky.edu/greeklife or call (859) 257-3151.

Sincerely,

Susan West
Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life