Fraternity & Sorority Social Policy

Statement of Purpose

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the College Panhellenic Council (CPH) of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have established this set of rules to reduce risk for the members and associates of its recognized organizations. The implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of this policy are essential in fostering a safe, positive and respectful environment for the recognized Fraternity and Sorority Community at the University of New Hampshire.

Throughout the course of this document, the terms “fraternity”, “chapter”, and “organization” are used to identify both men’s and women’s Greek Letter organizations that are recognized by UNH. The term “event” refers to a social event (defined below). The term “member” refers to an active, enrolled UNH student who is an official member of a recognized fraternity or sorority.

The Social Policy of the IFC and CPH of UNH includes the following provisions and shall apply to all fraternity/sorority entities and all levels of fraternity/sorority membership. IFC and CPH do not approve or sponsor social events but must be informed as to their occurrence. IFC and CPH do, however, work closely with the Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) Coordinator to administer the review process established in this policy.

Social Event

Any event held on an approved social event property, or any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter or any event an observer would associate with the fraternity/sorority where alcohol is present. Social events include, but are not limited to, formal third-party vendor events (“cocktails”), fraternity sponsored/hosted events, and brotherhood/sisterhood events. Please see our resource page provided by the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life for helpful information on determining if your event is a social event.


All recognized organizations of the IFC and CPH at UNH must adhere to this policy unless written documentation is received by the chapter’s respective council at least seven days prior to the event. The chapter’s respective council must give final approval of such an exception. No exception may violate any local, state, federal laws, and/or National/ University policies.

The monitoring body for each organization is its respective council and the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The sponsoring organization(s) must follow all state and local laws, the IFC/CPH, Social Policy, insurance, National/International regulations, and the UNH Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook.

If the sponsoring organization(s) fail(s) to comply with all state and local laws, the IFC/CPH, Social Policy, insurance, National/International regulations, and the UNH Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities Handbook in the preparation for the function, the IFC President or the CPH President have the authority to cancel the said function prior to its start.

Most (inter)national fraternity organizations have their own policies about social events. The sponsoring organization must follow this policy and applicable policies established by its (inter)national organization. When a provision of this policy conflicts with a provision of a policy established by the sponsoring organization, it must follow whichever provision is stricter.


The sponsoring organization(s) is/are responsible for providing a safe environment for its members and guests. The sponsoring organization(s) must be in compliance with all fire codes and regulations, with particular attention to the maximum occupancy rating of the event as determined by the Durham Fire Department and local landlord. All assembly permits and copies of the most up-to-date lease agreements shall be submitted to the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life with the chapter roster before their first social event is submitted for approval every year.

Approval of Social Event Property Location

Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations that have been accredited and in good standing by the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life and registered as recognized student organizations with both the University and their national organization can have one identified location approved for social events only.

If an organization is in good standing and lives in a property deemed zoned by the town of Durham as a Fraternity/Sorority house, they will only be approved to host events at that property.

If an organization is in good standing but is not living in a property that is deemed by the town of Durham as a Fraternity/Sorority zoned property, they must submit additional annual documentation to the Office of Off-Campus Engagement and Fraternity and Sorority Life in order for one of their properties to be considered as a potential space to host social events. That documentation is a letter of support from the landlord that includes the maximum number of guests that are permitted at the property and a letter of support from their national organization approving the use of the facility for social events.  In the event that members of the organization live in multiple properties, the approved property will be determined by several factors including:

  • the size of the property
  • the location of the property
  • the landlord of the property
  • if the residents of the property are exclusively members of the organization
  • if the proposed property is already perceived as their chapter house

The IFC/CPH/Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life recommends that third-party vendors for any event that might breach capacity guidelines.

Social Event Review Process

A roster from each recognized organization must be submitted within the first two weeks of each new semester to the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life and forwarded to the appropriate council; IFC/CPH. The roster must be in the format requested by the Office and include all members’ names, student ID numbers, executive positions, phone numbers, and email addresses. Events may not be reviewed before these rosters are received.

Social Chairs, Formal Chairs, Risk Managers, and Presidents must schedule a meeting with the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life prior to holding their first social of the year in order to verify all policies and procedures are understood and to maintain the safety of the event. This can be completed by attending the social/risk management training offered each semester prior to chapters being permitted to host social events.

Any recognized organization planning to host an event must inform the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life by 1:00 p.m. on the Tuesday preceding the scheduled event. The respective officers of IFC and CPH will be notified of the event by the Office. To inform these parties, the organization must complete the mandatory FSL Social Event Review Form. This form is located on Wildcat Link under the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life. All events that meet the opening definition of “event” must be registered regardless of the day that event occurs. Events should not occur during times that will interfere with members’ and guests’ academic schedules. Events with alcohol are not to begin before 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise approved by the IFC or CPH Executive board and the Office. Events must end by 2:00 am. Guests and alcohol are not permitted to enter an event after 1:30 am. An event may not be hosted by an organization(s) for more than a total of five hours. The exact hours of the registered event must be indicated on the FSL Social Event Review Form.

When planning co-sponsored social events between a Fraternity and Sorority involving alcohol the chapters should pay close attention to their (inter)national policies for what requirements are expected to be met in regard to paperwork, security, and safety.

An accurate guest list must be submitted to the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life via email by noon on the business day prior to the event.

During the event, each guest that attends shall be marked off by an experienced chapter member. We do not recommend having new members work the door of social events. This list must contain actual members that plan to attend and not just be a chapter roster. The marked guest list should be typed or clearly identifiable and must be submitted to the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life by the first business day following the event. The Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life provides resources regarding best practices for building a guest list and tracking attendance.

An organization may not sponsor or host more than one social event within a 24-hour period.

No social events may be held with organizations that are not recognized by the University of New Hampshire. No social events may be held during new student June orientation. No social events may be held until 72 hours after the conclusion of bid day for the respective councils each semester. That date will be shared with the organizations.

The IFC and CPH strongly recommend the presence of independent security assistance for monitoring guest behavior, ID verification, and overall assistance in risk management. Be sure to refer to the organization’s (inter)national headquarters’ policy about hiring security.

Social Event Rules and Requirements

All social events shall be strictly BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage). No one under the legal drinking age of 21 should consume or bring alcohol into an event. No one shall be allowed by the sponsoring organization(s) to bring more than six standard drinks (e.g. six 12-ounce beers, four 12-ounce malt beverages, and one 750 ml of wine). Hard Alcohol may only be consumed at Third-Party Vendor events when served by a licensed bartender. Please contact the IFC/CPH or Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life for recommendations on having a successful BYOB Event.

No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through chapter funds nor may the purchase of the same for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of, or on behalf of, the chapter. No members, collectively or individually, shall purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the legal drinking age (21). The purchase or use of bulk sources of alcoholic beverages (e.g. kegs, cases, punch, lined trash cans, party balls, “brothers’ beer”, etc.) is prohibited. No chapter may co-sponsor or co-finance a function where alcohol is purchased by any of the host chapters, groups, or organizations.

To bring alcohol into a social event, invited guests must produce proper identification, such as a valid driver’s license or passport indicating that they are at least 21 years of age. These individuals must wear a wristband given by the sponsoring organization(s). Wristbands shall be picked up from the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life prior to the event occurring. Wristbands are funded by IFC and CPH. Individuals who are under 21 must also show proof of identification. It is recommended that guests who are under 21 are marked with something that would indicate they should not be drinking, such as “X”s on their hands. In addition, IFC and CPH require the checking of UNH ID for all guests, and the chapter must identify any non-UNH guest on their list.

Student(s) perceived as being intoxicated will not be permitted to enter the event.

Under no circumstances may any person(s) who voluntarily or involuntarily leave the premises, be allowed to re-enter the social event, with the exception of residents and members of the sponsoring organization(s).

Open parties, meaning those with unrestricted access by non-members of the fraternity, without specific invitation, where alcohol is present, are prohibited. All social events must be closed functions with invited guests only. All guests shall present proper identification. Only members that are on the guestlist may be allowed to invite guests. Each member on the guestlist may invite up to three people and the sponsoring organization must not allow the total number of persons attending the social event to go over the property's capacity.

The sponsoring organization(s) is/are responsible for providing sober monitors, proportionate to 10% of the organization’s members in attendance. If the event is co-sponsored, each organization shall provide sober monitors proportionate to 10% of their own members in attendance. If the event is a list party and not co-sponsored by another organization, the host organization must provide sober monitors of 10% of the total number of attendees. At least one of the monitors shall be an executive officer of the organization. There shall be at least one monitor (from each organization sponsoring) present at the entrance to the social event throughout the duration of the event. All the names of the monitors must be submitted on the FSL Social Event Review Form. All monitors must be accessible throughout the event. All monitors shall be substance-free before, during, and after the event (until 9 a.m. the next day).

The sponsoring organization(s) is prohibited from collecting money in association with a social event (i.e. Donations, tickets, raffles, bands).

An adequate amount of food and non-alcoholic beverages, and a sign indicating their location must be available at all functions where alcohol is present. The food and alternative beverages shall be located in an easily accessible area of the event. A supply of food and alternative beverages shall be easily available throughout the duration of the event.

Sponsoring organization members are permitted to search backpacks, bags, and parcels. If a guest does not permit such a search, the sponsoring organization or any of its members has the right to deny that guest entrance to the social event.

The possession, sale, or use of any illegal drugs or controlled substances while on chapter premises or during an event or any event that any observer would associate with the organization, is strictly prohibited.

All recruitment activities associated with any chapter will be a dry function.

No alcohol shall be present at any associate/novice/new member program, activity, or ritual of the chapter.

No member shall permit, tolerate, encourage, or participate in “drinking games”.

Events must be contained inside the facility except as provided in this policy. Social events that have not been reviewed or parties with anyone under 21 years of age on lawns associated with a chapter house are prohibited. All activities that violate state law, local ordinances, or non-reviewed gatherings that could be perceived by a guest, neighbor, passer-by, or University official as a social event are prohibited.

A sponsoring organization may go through the review process for an “outdoor social event” on the grounds of an approved social event location with the following conditions:

  • The sponsoring organization, its alumni, or its (inter)national organization own or lease the chapter house and land where the outdoor social event will be held or written approval from the approved social event location from the landlord and headquarters for the event/social. No part of an outdoor social event may occur on public property.
  • The sponsoring organization shall obtain and strictly adhere to the conditions of assembly permits and/or lease agreements (following the strictest policy). The sponsoring organization shall abide by all town ordinances, state laws, applicable University policies, chapter rules, and (inter)national organization policies. In cases where policies conflict with relevant law, the sponsoring organization shall comply with the stricter policy or law (e.g. compliance with rules about a dry property or dry chapter).
  • Drinking by persons under the age of 21 on the grounds or chapter house of the sponsoring organization is strictly prohibited. The consumption of illegal substances, including marijuana, by any person at an outdoor social event is strictly prohibited.
  • The sponsoring organization will permit only beer, wine, wine coolers, and/or seltzers of 15% ABV or less to be consumed at an outdoor social event and will ensure that national/international standards and best practices regarding moderation are followed.
  • All outdoor social events will be reviewed by the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life and applications to go through the review process for an outdoor social event will be reviewed by both the Office and respective council (IFC/CPH) before being permitted. If an outdoor social event is being planned, the plans, risk management processes, and overall communication about the proposed event need to be shared with the Office two weeks prior to the event. The Office will work with the organization to submit the proper paperwork for approval.
  • Attendance at an outdoor social event shall be confined to members of the individual organization who are at or above 21 years of age.
  • The Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life, CPH, and IFC will not tolerate any exceptions for late document submissions related to outdoor social events. An accurate guest list of 21+ members to be in attendance at the outdoor social event must be submitted to the Office as required by the social event guidelines above. The guest list shall be submitted by the sponsoring organization on or before 1 PM the Tuesday prior to the event.
  • Outdoor social events shall be properly sectioned off with appropriate barriers to entry and require a designated point of entry which is to have a sober monitor to prevent nonmembers from attending the outdoor social event.
  • It is highly encouraged that the sponsoring organization hires a private security company or police officer to work the “entrance” to an outdoor social event.
  • Requests to host outdoor social events may be submitted by chapters only for hosting outdoor events such as, but not limited to, upperclassmen barbecues, senior send-offs, and alumni networking events.
  • A maximum of two outdoor social events per semester will be allowed per chapter that is able to host an outdoor social event.
  • Outdoor social events must go through the review process. Hosting a gathering that could be perceived as an outdoor event without going through the appropriate review process is grounds for IFC/CPH discipline regardless of whether police issued any citation or criminal complaint or if the landlord permits alcohol use on the premises. Examples of gatherings that could be perceived as outdoor social events include:
    • Persons attending a registered (indoor) social event congregate on the lawn, holding plastic cups and exhibiting behaviors consistent with intoxication, 
    • Drunk individuals playing soccer in the street in front of a UNH chapter and/or on the grounds of the chapter.
    • Individuals of various ages are drinking beer, eating, and socializing on the grounds of the chapter. 
    • A group of individuals is drinking alcohol on the grounds of a building that is rented to fraternity members and to non-fraternity members and that group includes members of a fraternity “newly establishing group” that is headquartered in that building. 
  • All sponsoring organizations holding a reviewed/approved outdoor social event must provide inconspicuous (and preferably environmentally friendly) cups or containers for storing alcohol.
  • Any chapter reported to have violated this policy will be sent to their respective council J-Board/ Standards Boards and possibly a follow-up hearing with Community Standards.

V. Third-Party Vendors

Third-party vendors must be licensed and insured. The third-party vendor must sell alcohol by the drink at a true cost, may not charge a flat rate at the entrance for all you can drink or subsidize the cost of drinks and must identify all customers and serve only those of drinking age. Please see our resource guide for helpful information about Third-Party Vendors.

No fraternity or sorority may be allowed to obtain a liquor license for any purpose. The third-party vendor is responsible for having their own liquor license.

Any fraternity or sorority that completes all necessary steps and is in good standing with the Office of Off-Campus Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life and the IFC/CPH can host a social event at a third-party vendor, regardless of possessing an assembly permit for chapter premises.

No advertising is allowed for social events in which alcohol is present.

No chapter may co-sponsor an event with an alcohol distributor, charitable organization, or tavern (tavern defined as an establishment generating more than half of annual gross from sales of alcohol) where alcohol is given away, sold, or otherwise provided to those present.

Other Risk Areas

In compliance with insurance, National/International regulations, state and local laws, and the UNH Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, all UNH fraternities and sororities must adbide by the following expectations:

Hazing: No chapter, newly establishing group, student, or alumnus/a, under any circumstance shall conduct nor condone hazing activities. See the University of New Hampshire Hazing Policy for more detail.

Sexual Violence: No chapter, under any circumstance, shall tolerate or condone any form of sexist or sexually abusive/violent behavior on the part of its members whether physical, mental, or emotional. This is to include any actions which are demeaning to women or men, including but not limited to date rape, gang rape, physical or verbal harassment.

VII. Violations

Students and organizations may be referred to the appropriate conduct board to answer allegations about violations to this policy. This policy falls under the jurisdiction of all State and Local laws, and the UNH Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities policies. Any additional violations of codes besides the IFC/CPH social policy will be handled by the appropriate judicial body or bodies.