Fraternities and Sororities have been an integral part of the California State University, Northridge campus since its founding. Today, CSUN is home to more than 51 national and local Greek-letter organizations, which collectively constitute the largest membership-based and multi-faceted community on campus. Additionally, CSUN's fraternity and sorority organizations represent one of the most diverse fraternity and sorority communities on the west coast.
Representing six percent of the student population, fraternity and sorority members are committed to their academics, volunteer time in the community, develop and strengthen leadership skills and form a campus and cultural support network. Some of CSUN's fraternities and sororities privately own and operate affordable housing off of campus property. The university encourages these organizations to seek the proper Conditional Use Permit from the city of Los Angeles so as to maintain their activities in accordance with all city expectations.
Considering many of our students are new to living on their own for the first time away from family oversight, they are new to understanding the dynamics of being good neighbors, especially in residential communities surrounding the campus. We have developed this webpage in an effort to support a greater understanding for our neighbor constituents on living next to students who may be involved in a fraternity or sorority. You will see below our suggested process for working through differences when they arise. Please explore these suggestions and processes listed here as well as our policies and procedures listed on the Matador Involvement Center websites. You may also contact any of the people below for more information. We hope that you will develop positive relationships with our students and see them as valuable contributors to your local community and within the surrounding San Fernando Valley.
In the event that you have concerns or positive feedback, please contact any of the following CSUN staff that work with our fraternity and sorority community.
Assistant Director, Student Involvement
CSUN Campus Police
Protocol for Processing Complaints of Fraternities and Sororities by CSUN Surrounding Community
- In recognition of students choosing to live in the surrounding community, any concerns regarding their efforts to be good stewards of community standards and civically responsible adults should first be directed to the students themselves. This allows for a more direct understanding of the expectations and suggestions of living within a residential community. Direct contact information should be exchanged so immediate concerns can be addressed. When complaints involve a rental property, it is also suggested to involve the property owner in all correspondence.
- Once it is deemed students are disregarding said expectations, neighbors are encouraged to contact the activities coordinator for fraternities and sororities anytime between Monday and Friday. At this time, the fraternity and sorority advisor will meet with the leadership of the organization to raise further awareness of the issue and consult on strategies to alleviate the concerns.
- In the event of a more immediate concern, the neighbor is encouraged to contact the CSUN Police Department for response. When responding, the CSUN Police Department will issue a report directly to the campus administration that will warrant a meeting with chapter leadership as described in point two.
- Upon continued concerns, the neighbors are encouraged to bring forth their complaints through the peer review judicial process with the respective chapter’s governing body. This process is advised directly by CSUN staff and allows for a procedural process of determining corrective actions that will alleviate said concerns. This process does require presenting the complaints to the review board directly for review. The board will make suggestions to the campus administration for final approval and can include a range of sanctions from a warning to recommendation for revocation of campus recognition. All sanctions are designed to be educational as well as punitive when warranted. It should be noted that it is not usually in the best interest to recommend revocation of a chapter as this ultimately removes all relationship with CSUN while not removing the neighborhood concerns.
The University Relationship Statement
Definition of Greek-Letter Organizations
Greek-Letter organizations are defined as national, international, regional or local social fraternities and sororities that attain and maintain university recognition.
Fraternity and Sorority Institutional Relationship Statement
California State University, Northridge recognizes that fraternities and sororities have made rich and significant contributions to the quality of its student life. The relationship is based on trust as well as mutual benefits that both the university and the fraternity and the sorority community enjoy. The ultimate objective of the university experience, in the classroom and out, is to develop mature responsible individuals equipped intellectually, culturally and socially to become effective members of society. The rituals and values of each organization and the Code of Ethics for University Recognized Clubs and Organizations embody and perpetuate the personal and organizational values that distinguish fraternity and sorority participation in university life. The rituals and values should serve as the standard that the members of each organization hold themselves to in addition to the university Code of Ethics.
Purpose and Scope of the Fraternity and Sorority Community
- Student Development: provide for students a balanced emphasis of leadership development, fellowship, campus and community service, and educational programming.
- Academic Support: provide support for an environment that promotes a strong sense of academic integrity and excellence, encouraging faculty interaction and utilizing care not to make demands that might undermine individual academic effort or detract from academic programming available to students.
- Retention: provide an ongoing meaningful relationship between the student and campus, which serves to enhance the quality of student life and the student's satisfaction with the challenging university environment.
- Development: provide valuable ties to CSUN alumni and the surrounding community to aid the campus in its growth and development.
In order to assure order, focus and function in a social organization, rights and privileges are accompanied by responsibilities, both with the organization and the university community, and understand the following types of recognition.
- University Recognition: each organization, along with the governing organizations, must comply with the annual recognition process and all its attending policies in order to maintain official university recognition.
- Organization Recognition: each organization is expected to remain in good standing with its international, national, regional or local organization in order to maintain official university recognition.
- Representation: as the fraternity and sorority community shall be officially represented by the Interfraternity Council, Pan-Hellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and the United Sorority and Fraternity Council; each chapter must maintain good standing in one governing council. Each governing council shall be responsible for monitoring the overall fraternity and sorority activity assuring that the views and needs of all chapters are fairly represented. This role includes regular assessment and coordination of leadership, recruitment, judicial, academic and recognition programs.
- Removal of Recognition: failure to meet expected standards of behavior may lead to removal of recognition by the university.
- University Support: the university is responsible for providing an environment in which the chapters may exercise full rights as student organizations while acknowledging and supporting the full range of programs and the special role that the chapters provide in creating a unique spirit of place to CSUN. Support areas include:
- Staff advisement, counseling and program assistance through the Office of Student Involvement and Development and the Matador Involvement Center and the entire student affairs division, whose total capabilities and versatility provide an exceptional range of services.
- All privileges accorded university-recognized student organizations.
- Recruitment assistance in utilizing lists generated by the student database from the Office of Admissions and Records.
- Grade reports complied each semester in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
- Use of campus facilities and services as requested and appropriate.
- Intramural program participation.
- Use of the name California State University, Northridge in accordance with the university policy.
Due to the complex nature of the fraternity and sorority community, certain principles must be adhered to.
- Organizational Self-Government: students and organizations must assume significant responsibility for their own growth and development, functioning in ways consistent with community and campus policies. It is anticipated that each chapter and governing body will encourage and motivate the members in developing and valuing academic pursuits, tolerance for individual difference, responsible behavior and leadership potential.
- Advisory Relations: each organization must maintain effective communication channels with its campus, alumni, international, national, regional or local organization advisors so as to utilize all resources in developing an advisory plan that ensures consistency with local, international, national and regional goals and objectives.
- Judiciary System: each chapter and governing body must utilize a judiciary system so that inappropriate conduct within the chapter is addressed whether or not it comes to the attention of university personnel. Written policies and procedures must be annually reviewed, updated as needed and distributed to the appropriate members, including the Office of Student Involvement and Development and the Matador Involvement Center, in order to be effectively upheld. Due process and students' rights must be maintained.
- Legal Responsibilities: Each chapter and its members must comply with local, state and federal laws with regard to non-discrimination, substance abuse and hazing practices.
- University Regulations: all students must comply with university regulations. Therefore, the policies, procedures and guidelines of each chapter must be consistent in scope with the University Student Code, California Administrative Code, Title Five, Section 41301.
All students living within the surrounding community are expected to conduct themselves as responsible adults and recognize that individual and group actions reflect on the university and individual organizations. The fraternity and sorority community is recognized for enhancing this relationship with traditional philanthropic and community service events.
- Housing: chapters may provide housing for members where applicable and in compliance with zoning laws as well as with health and safety codes. In addition, the physical property is to be maintained, clean and in good repair in order to present a positive image of CSUN Greek Life.
- Guests: each organization is responsible for the safety and conduct of its guests.
- Neighbor Relations: each organization must prioritize a positive on-going relationship with the community residents taking care to comply with the agreed upon regulations concerning noise, parking, litter and traffic.
Fraternity and Sorority Coexistence
How to Peacefully Coexist with Your Fraternity and Sorority Neighbors
- Introduce yourself to the chapter president(s). Ask for a phone number for contact purposes. Offer your phone number and/or email address. Share with the president any important concerns: number of children in family, neighbors with special needs and other considerations.
- Introduce yourself and your family to as many of the students as possible. Repeat your name several times so that the students will learn it (and do you want them to call you Mr./Mrs. or Ward/June?).
- Learn as many names of the students as possible. Engage them in brief conversations when possible. Ask them questions. Share with them information about the neighborhood.
- Organize a neighborhood meeting and invite members of the fraternities and sororities to participate.
- Organize a neighborhood activity, and invite the student residents to participate.
- If you are extended an invitation to attend a function at the fraternity or sorority house, make the effort to attend.
- If you have children, let the fraternity or sorority know what your expectations are about interactions and activities. Some fraternity and sorority members are seeking interaction with children because of their majors and career aspirations. Some members are seeking interaction with children because they like them. Let the members know what is appropriate and inappropriate.
- If you are planning an activity that might be intrusive to the neighborhood (increased level of noise, foot traffic, automobiles and parking concerns, etc.), please inform all the neighbors at least a week before the event. Discuss any concerns and reasonable alternatives.
- If you have concerns about a function or activity at the fraternity or sorority house, take the concern directly to the chapter president or a chapter officer. Discuss your concerns with them, and give them an opportunity to remedy the situation before asking a third party to intervene.
- Take advantage of opportunities to be pro-active with your neighbors. Discuss concerns before they happen. Make the students feel welcomed. Be a role model for the students by modeling the behaviors of a good neighbor.
- Repeat these efforts each year, as the fraternity and sorority membership and leadership changes each year.