Where will I live? (Men)

  • Fraternity houses are owned by Ohio Wesleyan University and are managed by local fraternity house corporations. Ohio Wesleyan provides the fraternity house corporations with three payments a semester of the fraternity men’s room and board finances. These finances are used to operate and maintain the chapter house as well as the kitchen facility.
  • Fraternity members move to their chosen fraternity’s house when they become members. Typically, this move occurs the semester after the student joins the fraternity. For instance, a student who joins in the fall may move in for the spring semester.
  • Freshmen who join a fraternity will move into the house at the beginning of his sophomore year.

Where will I live? (Women)

  • As a sorority member, you will continue to live in residence halls or small living units (SLUs), as OWU sororities are nonresidential.
  • Sorority houses are located on West Winter Street, one block north of the residential side of campus. The groups use these houses for meetings and events. Ohio Wesleyan does not own the sorority chapter houses.
  • As with traditional campus housing, exceptions to these policies (such as living off-campus) must be approved by the Residential Life Office. Students may enter a lottery for off-campus housing in January. Fraternity members must obtain permission from their House Corporation to enter the lottery. Entering the lottery does not guarantee that a student will be granted permission to live off-campus.

What happens to my meal plan? (Men)

  1. You receive a bid from a fraternity and you decide to join that fraternity.
  2. You sign up with the Council of Fraternity Presidents and the Greek Life Office (Fraternity Status Change Form)
  3. Your application is approved by Greek Life and is forwarded to the Residential Life Office.
  4. Residential Life enters the information into the University’s Administrative Computing System; which results in 100% of your old meal plan being switched to the fraternity meal charge. However, since this process usually occurs after the start of the semester , a manual adjustment is required. This adjustment varies depending on the status of your meal plan at the time you joined the fraternity.
  5. IF YOU HAVE UNUSED FOOD POINTS FROM THE FALL SEMESTER, these are converted to voluntary food points, remain on your meal card and are available for use at campus facilities. You are charged a fixed cost for the number of weeks in the spring semester that you were on the University’s Meal Plan. You also receive a credit for the number of weeks you were not on the Fraternity Meal Plan (but were charged in step #4).
  6. IF YOU HAVE USED ALL OF YOUR FALL SEMESTER POINTS AND HAVE BEGUN TO USE SPRING POINTS,you are charged for the actual spring points you have used and a fixed cost for the number of weeks in the spring semester that you were on the University Meal Plan. You will also receive a credit for the number of weeks you were not on the Fraternity Meal Plan (but were charged in step #4).
  7. Therefore, the fraternity, which you have joined, receives an allocation of money based on the fraternity meal charge. The fraternity does not receive your food points. Should the fraternity ask you to purchase food with your meal card on their behalf and you elect to do so, this purchase would be charged to YOUR student bill, in addition to the fraternity meal charge reflected in step #5 and #6 above.

NOTE: The above steps assume you are joining a fraternity in the spring semester. In the case where an upperclassmen joins a fraternity in the fall semester, the charges and credits are similar to those described in steps #4 and #6. Step #5 does not apply

This process does NOT include those students who plan to join Chi Phi or Fiji Fraternity.

What happens to my meal plan? (Women)

Sorority members continue on the traditional food plans. For more information on these, please see the Dining Services website.

What Is the Cost? (Men)

When a man joins a fraternity, his room and board transfer to the organization. There is a slight increase in the cost for board (approximately $200). The charges are still billed to his OWU account.

Fraternity members are also charged dues, which vary based on the chapter. These charges cover brotherhood, philanthropic, operational, and social expenses.

This process does NOT include those students who plan to join Fiji Fraternity.

What Is the Cost? (Women)

Sorority members are charged dues, which vary by chapter. These charges cover house-related expenses (utilities, repairs, etc.), sisterhood, philanthropic, operational, and social expenses.

What Is the Time Commitment to Become a New Member?

The New Member Period can last from 4 to 8 weeks. During the New Member Period, new members learn more about the national organization, the chapter at OWU, chapter functions/operations, traditions, the purpose and values of each group, as well as the active membership. At the conclusion of this process, new members are initiated and become active members.

New Member Education is an additional time commitment, comparable to taking an academic class.

What Is the Community’s View on Hazing?

Ohio Wesleyan and its Greek community oppose Hazing in any form. It is counterproductive to the mission of Greek Life.

Hazing Policy (as found in the Ohio Wesleyan University Student Handbook)

Ohio Wesleyan University desires to create and maintain an educational atmosphere throughout the campus. The protection of health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community is essential to the educational mission of Ohio Wesleyan University; thus, Hazing is prohibited.

Hazing is defined as any mental or physical requirement, request, or obligation placed upon any member or prospective member of an organization (varsity team, club sport, group, Greek chapter, etc.) by other members of that organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of: discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, personal degradation, or which violates any federal, state, local statute, or University policy.

The OWU Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils support the definition of and position on Hazing and Pre-initiation Activities presented by the Fraternity Executives Association, FIPG, Inc., and the Ohio Wesleyan University policy, as stated in the most recent version of the OWU Handbook.

Hazing is a crime. People and organizations that haze can face University sanctions, as well as criminal and civil charges. Charges of Hazing can be filed not only against the person who committed the act, but also against witnesses to the incident, people with first hand knowledge of the incident and individuals who were hazed. The president and officers of an organization, the advisor and/or any national headquarters could be liable. In addition to individual charges, organizational charges can be filed.

Ohio State Law on Hazing

Hazing is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree in the State of Ohio, which can carry fines up to $500, 30 days in jail and restitution if appropriate. Prosecution by the county or state carries serious consequences for an individual’s future. Criminal records may complicate admittance to graduate or professional schools and employment.

The State of Ohio’s Hazing Law is set forth in Section 2307.44 of the Ohio Revised Code. Any person who is subjected to Hazing, as defined in division (A) of Section 2903.31 of the Revised Code, may commence a civil action for injury or damages, including mental and physical pain and suffering, that result from the Hazing. The action may be brought against any participants in the Hazing, any organization whose local or national directors, trustees, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, or tolerated the Hazing.

If the Hazing involves students in a primary, secondary, or postsecondary school, university, college, or any other educational institution, an action may also be brought against any administrator, employee, or faculty member of the school, university, college, or other educational institution. If an administrator, employee, or faculty member is found liable in a civil action for Hazing, then notwithstanding Chapter 2743 of the Ohio Revised Code, the school, university, college, or other educational institution that employed the administrator, employee, or faculty member may also be held liable.

The negligence or consent of the plaintiff or any assumption of the risk by the plaintiff is not a defense to an action brought pursuant to this section. In an action against a school, university, college, or other educational institution, it is an affirmative defense that the school, university, college or other institution was actively enforcing a policy against Hazing at the time the cause of action arose.

Section 2903.31 of the Ohio Revised Code:

As used in this section, “Hazing” means doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person.

No person shall recklessly participate in the Hazing of another.

No administrator, employee, or faculty member of any primary, secondary, or postsecondary school or of any other educational institution, public or private, shall recklessly permit the Hazing of any person.

Examples of Hazing

Depending on the circumstances, the activities listed below are among those construed as Hazing by the courts, institutions of higher education, Interfraternity Council, and/or Panhellenic Council (not an exhaustive list):

  • The use of alcohol
  • Paddling or striking in any manner
  • Less than six (6) hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly
  • Treasure or scavenger hunts, road trips
  • Calisthenics
  • Requiring the carrying of items, such as rocks, helmets, books, paddles, matches, etc.
  • Preventing/restricting class attendance (accidentally or purposely)
  • Harassment (yelling, pushing, cursing, etc.)
  • Psychological shock
  • Undue emotional stress
  • Implication and/or references to public sex and/or nudity or indecent exposure
  • Preventing/restricting normal personal hygiene
  • Public humiliation
  • Anything detrimental to the OWU community
  • Public/private obscenities
  • Clothing that is unclean or in poor taste
  • New/prospective new/current members standing, walking, ambulating in formation (line ups)
  • Throwing anything at an individual
  • New member education (pledge) programs that run past the designated eight (8) week deadline without consent of the Interfraternity or Panhellenic councils and chapter house corporation (this includes falsely ending the program)
  • Restricting personal freedoms such as eating proper meals, using the phone, returning to or sleeping in their rooms, showering, etc.
  • Posting signs in/on a university building or property which indicates poor taste (all signs must be approved by the office in charge of that organization)
  • Kidnapping or the act of kidnapping

Hazing could be, but is not limited to the following:

  • An activity that might reasonably bring embarrassment or emotional harm to the individual(s)
  • An activity that might reasonably bring physical harm to the individual(s)
  • An activity that requires an unreasonable or inordinate amount of the individual’s time or any manner that impairs the individual’s academic efforts
  • An activity that requires consumption of any liquid or solid matter
  • An activity that would degrade or otherwise compromise the dignity of the individual
  • A requirement that compels an individual to participate in any activity that is illegal or contrary to an individual’s genuine, moral, and/or religious beliefs or contrary to the rules and regulations of the University.

If you or members of your organization are not sure whether or not an activity is Hazing, consider these questions:

  • Is this activity an educational experience?
  • Does this activity promote and conform to the ideals and values of the organization?
  • Will this activity provide education for the new members in respect to the organization and its membership?
  • Is this an activity that all members participate in together?
  • Is this an activity or program that your national will approve?
  • Would you be willing to allow parents to witness this activity? A judge? Ohio Wesleyan University administrators? The media?
  • Does this activity have value in and of itself?
  • Would you be able to defend this activity in a court of law?

All acts of Hazing, on and off campus, by an organization or any of its members, are strictly forbidden.

A good rule to follow when determining whether (or not) an activity is Hazing:

If you have to ask if what you’re doing is hazing, it probably is.

Report Hazing Online

What Are some Myths about Hazing?

Unity Builder. Hazing does not build unity. It separates the membership into “hazees” and “hazers.” How can an organization realistically accept new members by separating them.

Motivator. Hazing does not motivate new members. It turns them into hazers. It hinders academic achievement, damages self-esteem, and causes emotional strain and physical harm. If an organization hazes to motivate its new members, then it is a weak organization.

Non-Damaging. Hazing damages people and the organizations to which they belong. Hazing doesn’t just hurt the people who were hazed, it hurts everyone!

How do you “Break the Tradition” of Hazing?

Educate your members. Use all the resources available to you to let members know what Hazing is and why it will not be tolerated. Talk about alternatives to Hazing and what the founding beliefs of your organization are. How do your group activities fit into those beliefs?

Be proactive. Take advantage of speakers, programs, workshops, and other resources that can help you educate your group.

Be alert. Be on the lookout for activities that could lead to Hazing. Simply looking the other way will not solve the problem and could cause serious harm.

Take Action. If you do have members who are Hazing, report the act and discipline those members.

Activities that promote scholarship, develop leadership, encourage community service/involvement in campus life, and offer workshops on myriad issues, are all good ways to unite your membership.

Who is Responsible for Reporting Hazing?

You are! If you witness a Hazing incident or were hazed, you are the person to report it. The University, Interfraternity Council, or Panhellenic Council will take judicial action upon any individual or group involved in the incident.

When you report a Hazing incident, you are protected from civil and criminal liability that could result from the report. Reporting it is the first step to stopping it.

If you become aware of incidents of Hazing or Suspicious Behavior, please contact:

Dana D. Behum, M.Ed.
Assistant Director of Student Involvement for Fraternity and Sorority Life
P (740) 368-3170

Report Hazing Online