Revised language for 2012-13 Rights, Rules, Responsibilities

The following is revised language that will be included in the 2012-13 Rights, Rules, Responsibilities to reflect the prohibition on freshmen from affiliating with a fraternity or sorority during their freshman year, and on students soliciting the participation of freshmen in a fraternity or sorority. The new policy will take effect as of Sept. 1.

Prohibited activities

Freshmen may not affiliate with a fraternity or sorority. Affiliation includes but is not limited to: membership; "pledging" (i.e., participating in new member programming); participating in "rush" (i.e., formal recruitment); attending or participating in any activity sponsored by a fraternity or sorority; or contributing funds to a fraternity or sorority.

Students may not solicit the participation of any freshman in a fraternity or sorority, including by electronic means. Solicitation includes but is not limited to: conferring membership on a freshman; inviting a freshman to pledge or participate in new member programming; including a freshman in rush or formal recruitment; inviting a freshman to attend or participate in any activity sponsored by a fraternity or sorority; organizing a sponsored event to which freshmen are invited; or soliciting or accepting funds from a freshman on behalf of a fraternity or sorority.

Indications that an activity is "sponsored" by a fraternity or sorority may include but are not limited to: an invitation to participants on behalf of a fraternity or sorority; the use of fraternity or sorority funds to support the activity; or an announcement or other explicit identification of fraternity or sorority sponsorship. The presence of individuals who are members of the fraternity or sorority is not, alone, evidence of sponsorship.

This policy applies to activities that occur both on and off campus.

Students covered by this policy

A student will only be held responsible for actions which a reasonable person in that student's position would have known were contrary to this policy. A student who is not a member of a fraternity or sorority will not be held responsible for solicitation unless there is clear and persuasive evidence that he or she acted on behalf of or actively and intentionally enabled members of a fraternity/sorority in violating the policy. For the purposes of this policy, Bridge Year Program participants and students who have been admitted to Princeton but who have not yet matriculated are considered freshmen. Students are considered freshmen until the end of the final examination period of their second semester at Princeton.

Definition of a fraternity or sorority

For the purposes of this policy, a fraternity or sorority

  • is a student organization (i.e., an entity with a leadership or financial structure that has or intends to have a persisting identity over time),
  • is not recognized by the University, and
  • either has Greek letters in its name and an affiliation with a national organization or has a primarily social purpose and an exclusive membership.

This policy does not apply to the eating clubs or to any organization whose membership is not open to any Princeton student.


Any violation of this policy will be regarded as a serious matter. A student who engages in solicitation, as defined above, should expect to be suspended. A freshman who joins, pledges, or rushes a fraternity or sorority should expect to be suspended. A freshman who attends or participates in any other activity or event sponsored by a fraternity or sorority may be subject to a lesser penalty (e.g., disciplinary probation). All relevant facts and circumstances will be taken into account in determining the appropriate penalty.

The University may offer leniency to a student who has been extraordinarily forthcoming during an investigation under this policy where that student might otherwise have been implicated in an infraction.