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Student Handbook

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Private Society Relationship Statement

Hamilton College continues to recognize the right of private societies to organize and function on its campus provided that they are formally recognized by the College and comply with applicable College rules and regulations. Private societies formally recognized by Hamilton College may receive the privileges accorded to student organizations at Hamilton College. The following policies regarding private societies and their student members apply:

  1. Hamilton College will grant recognition to any private society that meets the standards established by the College. All private societies will be required to follow the procedures for obtaining recognition promulgated by the College.
  2. The privileges accorded to private societies with College recognition shall include: use of the College's name, use of the College mail system, reservation and use of on-campus social and meeting space, and use of other campus facilities and services as deemed appropriate by the dean of students.
  3. If a private society limits its membership to students of a single-sex, then in order to be recognized by the College it must satisfy the requirements for social fraternities and sororities established by Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972. These requirements, as now in effect, exempt the membership practices of single-sex fraternal organizations from Title IX's antidiscrimination requirements provided that they are tax exempt organizations under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  4. Private societies and their members must comply with all applicable College rules and regulations and also with all applicable local, state and federal law. The rules and regulations of Hamilton College take primacy over the rules and procedures of fraternity, sorority and other private society chapters, alumni corporations and their national organizations.
  5. Hamilton students are prohibited from using houses or property owned or leased by private societies as residences, taking meals at such houses or property and participating in social activities at such houses or property.
  6. Private societies that violate College rules and regulations and/or applicable local, state and federal law are subject to disciplinary action, including loss of recognition, by the president and dean of students. Individual student members that violate College rules and regulations and/or applicable local, state and federal law are subject to disciplinary action by the Hamilton College Judicial Board.
  7. Each private society must register on a yearly basis with the associate dean of students for student engagement and leadership in accordance with procedures established by the College. The associate dean of students for student engagement and leadership will evaluate private societies for continuing compliance with the requirements established by the dean of students for College recognition.
  8. The associate dean of students for student engagement and leadership shall authorize use by student organizations of on-campus facilities and services. All student organizations, including recognized private societies, shall be given access to on-campus facilities and services on an equal basis.

  9. The Intersociety Council shall be the student governing body for all recognized private societies. All recognized private societies must be active members of the Intersociety Council and comply with its constitution and other duly adopted rules and policies. In addition to the responsibilities granted to it by the dean of students, the Intersociety Council is responsible for coordinating rushing activities by the private societies.

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