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FIRE announces Greek life guides to help fraternities and sororities defend their rights 

A Delta Delta Delta Sorority house in a college town

Far too many universities treat Greek organizations as second-class student groups and fraternity and sorority members as second-class students. Guilt by association, bans on wearing letters, prior restraints on entire chapters, deferred recruitment, and punishments without hearings are just a few rights abuses universities wrongfully reserve for these groups. Yet students do not give up their fundamental rights when they join a fraternity or sorority. 

The first step to defending your rights is knowing your rights. To this end, FIRE is excited to distribute two guides specifically for these groups. 

The first — “Greek Life: Know Your Rights!” — provides fraternity and sorority members with a concise summary of their fundamental free speech, freedom of association, and due process rights, as well as examples of the types of rights violations they should look out for. The more students know about their rights, the better they can recognize rights abuses, and the more effective they will be at defending themselves, their groups, and their fellow students. 

The second — “Guide for Greek Organizational Advisors” — is designed to help chapter advisors navigate the labyrinth of campus disciplinary proceedings. Distilled from FIRE’s 24 years of campus advocacy, it contains best practices for communicating with university administrators, tips for advising chapters facing rights violations, and links to FIRE resources and research about student rights. With these tools, advisors can better advocate for their chapters. 

Both guides contain FIRE’s “Submit a Case” page, providing students and groups with an easy, confidential way to reach us — and we’re here to help

FIRE stands ready to defend Greek organizations, but we can’t do it alone. Our advocacy and assistance start with students and chapter advisers on the ground alerting us to what they are facing. 

Universities will continue violating Greek students’ rights with impunity until these groups stand up and speak out. We urge fraternity and sorority members to read these guides, distribute them widely to their members, and contact FIRE so we can fight for student rights together. 

FIRE defends the rights of students and faculty members — no matter their views — at public and private universities and colleges in the United States. If you are a student or a faculty member facing investigation or punishment for your speech, submit your case to FIRE today. If you’re a faculty member at a public college or university, call the Faculty Legal Defense Fund 24-hour hotline at 254-500-FLDF (3533). If you’re a college journalist facing censorship or a media law question, call the Student Press Freedom Initiative 24-hour hotline at 717-734-SPFI (7734).

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