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Arches in quad. Credit: Chuck Painter / Stanford News Service

Recognition Policy - Appendix A: Definitions

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Fraternity/ Sorority

The United States Department of Education has established guidelines and criteria necessary to be classified as a social sorority or fraternity (which includes a provision that allows an organization to operate as a single-sex organization). In alignment with the guidelines established by the Department of Education, Stanford defines social sororities and fraternities as organizations that: 

  1. Do not limit membership to persons pursuing or having interest in a specific field of study, profession or academic discipline 
  2. Do not serve as honorary societies for academic, leadership, or any other endeavor
  3. Do not permit members to hold membership in other social sororities or fraternities 
  4. Hold tax-exempt/non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) 
  5. Limit membership to currently enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate students at Stanford University

Chapter

A local branch of an inter/national affiliated social Greek letter organization. 

City-wide Charter/Chapter

A charter that encompases membership from more than one university. 

Governing Council

A Governing Council refers to one of the four recognized student convening bodies within the Fraternity and Sorority Life community, including the African American Fraternal and Sororal Association (AAFSA), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), and Inter-Sorority Council (ISC).