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Phoenix Plan

4/21/16: The following is a list of Phoenix Plan provisions slated for review and potential updates. Clicking each link will automatically scroll this page to its corresponding section in the overview below. Full details of these provisions can be found in the official agreements linked in the preface.

- Section III, part e: Remittance name, address (Needs to be updated with current information)
Section III, part g: Transfer of operating surplus for fall & spring transfers (Consider a simplified approach to better reflect twelve months of operations)
Section III, part j: Occupancy requirements (Define and clearly outline occupancy standards and remedies for the chapter and Emory)
- Section III, part k: Capital Improvements (Update to current process and discuss a more effective way to manage projects)
Section III, part m: “House Director” definition (Need to define selection and role of House Director)
- Section III, part n: Timing of Rosters (Develop a streamlined approach to managing rosters for each chapter)
- Section III, part Summer occupancy (Review deadline of notice [February 1st] and practicality of this clause)
Section III, part p: Food program (Discussion is needed about the future food program to meet DeKalb County Board of Health sanitation standards)
- Section III, part q: Termination (Clause does not discuss any provision for chapters to return to campus)
Section IV, part A: Definition of capital improvements $1,000 (Discussion needed on appropriate approval threshold)
Section IV, part A: Insurance (Minimum coverage and policy terms need reviewed and updated to reflect today’s standards)
Section IV, part D: “House Director” (Update house director roles and responsibilities)


This is an overview of the Phoenix Plan. To view the official Phoenix Plan agreements signed by each organization, choose from the following: Sorority Agreement | Fraternity Agreement


Emory University’s fraternities began over 130 years ago on the Oxford Campus. In an effort to revitalize its fraternities, the university has developed a new vision for sorority and fraternity life at Emory. Put simply, the vision for a renewed sorority and fraternity community at Emory is a program that compliments the mission of the university and the national member organizations.

Effective fall 1997, for fraternity chapters to remain operational, they must either be managed by the university under the Agreement for Provision of Services, or they must be maintained independently on a level consistent with the minimum standards for safety in all fraternities and sororities established in August 1996. In addition, they must maintain an active house corporation, provide daily maintenance and custodial services, and have a live-in House Director.

If the appropriate university financial entity is not able to invest in this program by loaning money to fraternities and sororities to complete renovations and incorporate all aspects of the Phoenix Plan, other resources could be identified such as:

  • Housing corporations and Greek organization alumni could invest money or raise funds to renovate Greek facilities.
  • Private corporations and businesses could be consulted by Greek organization members and alumni to assist with funding in order to renovate facilities.

A. House Director

If hiring paid professionals to reside as live-in House Directors is not feasible, graduate students could be used as an alternative. Providing them free room and board could be used as a form of compensation.

B. Custodial and Maintenance

If requiring the custodial and maintenance staff to assume their work responsibilities every week day is too costly or there is a lack of staff to fulfill work obligations, decreasing the number of required work days could be used as an alternative.

C. Summer Occupancy

Currently, under the Phoenix Plan, revenue generated from summer conference use goes back to the fraternity operating budget. Another method which could assist with financing the various components of the Phoenix Plan could entail using some of the conference revenue to help pay for Phoenix Plan costs, such as House Director salaries, renovations, custodial and maintenance salaries, etc.

D. Education

Educating the university faculty, staff, students, and alumni is an essential step in helping to instill the values and goal of a similarly related Phoenix Plan program. Education could take place in a variety of ways such as:

  • forums and regularly scheduled meetings with specified Greek leaders, advisors, and alumni
  • facilitating programs to discuss the importance of living in and maintaining a clean, healthy, and safe living and learning environment.

E. Evidence of Success

The Phoenix Plan originated in 1994 as a strategic plan for simultaneously renovating all fraternity facilities. Since then, the scope of the plan has changed and the plan has been adapted to meet the needs of individual chapters. What has remained constant in The Phoenix Plan has been the university’s position that all Greek facilities will reach a standard that is a complement to Emory University’s managed housing. Emory is committed to providing property on campus for the location of Greek lodges and houses, as long as the property is available and chapters properly maintain the existing facilities and grounds. In addition, university support and a strong Campus Life administration are essential to the success of The Phoenix Plan. The evidence of success that can be credited to the Phoenix Plan are as follows:

  • The number of new members joining fraternities increased 50 percent in the first year (1997-98) that the Phoenix Plan was implemented for all chapters
  • Occupancy is typically above 90 percent for all chapters who are housed in facilities that had an average 50 percent occupancy rate before the implementation of the Phoenix Plan
  • Damage to facilities has dramatically decreased

The University funded the construction of a brand new fraternity house, its first in over 20 years, which opened in fall 2000.  The chapter houses and grounds are now amongst the most attractive properties on campus due to the meticulous upkeep by the custodial staff, grounds crews, and fraternity leaders.


A. University Support

All currently recognized sorority and fraternity chapters exist at Emory by the invitation, endorsement and support of the University.  The chapters are granted the privilege of public affiliation with Emory University and the prestige that accompanies such recognition.  The Office of the Vice President and Dean of Campus Life has ultimate power in granting recognition to a fraternity or sorority that is requesting to be a part of the current sorority and fraternity community.  In order to establish a colony or to charter/recharter a chapter on the campus, a national Greek organization must be invited to establish a group on the campus.  The University administrator will issue this invitation upon the recommendation of the Interfraternity and Intersorority Councils and the Division of Campus Life.

B. Constitution and Bylaws

The privilege of self governance must be supported by a constitution and bylaws that clearly define the purpose and structure of the organization.  These bylaws must also address ten elements:

  1. Membership organization
  2. Recruitment
  3. Membership Education
  4. Finance
  5. Judicial
  6. Philanthropy
  7. Scholarship
  8. Public Relations and Awards
  9. Social
  10. Alumni Relations

In addition, these constitutions and bylaws must contain a statement that affirms the right of students to be treated with all manner of respect and dignity to that they are entitled.  Finally, to insure that these purposes, structures and rights are protected, each fraternity must also include in its bylaws a plan for an internal student judiciary committee, independent of its officers, to insure the rights, responsibilities, and purposes of each member and affiliate of the chapter.

C. Alumni(ae) Advisor

The University recognizes and values the role that alumni(ae) play in the support of individual chapters of the sorority and fraternity community.  This support provides continuity, stability, leadership, training, and direction to members of the undergraduate chapter.  Therefore, it is expected that undergraduate chapter members be responsible, with the assistance of the national organization and the University, for recruiting alumni(ae) advisors.

The alumni advisor must be an initiated member of the organization who is selected or appointed according to the requirements and procedures established by the chapter’s national organization.

The advisor should be familiar with University policies that relate to the operations and performance of the chapter and should advise and assist chapter members to enhance chapter operation.

Each chapter advisor is requested to participate in an advisor orientation program provided by University officials, attend periodic Alumni(ae) Advisory Board meetings, and to maintain contact with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.

The advisor must attend regular meetings with the chapter.

D. Faculty/Staff Advisor

Each chapter has the responsibility to seek out a member of the University administration or faculty who will assist them in identifying educational, scholastic, cultural, and developmental resources within the University community.  Before that faculty person is formally invited to serve as a faculty advisor, he/she must be approved by the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.

The faculty/staff advisor will be asked to visit a chapter at a meal or some other group function at least once per month.

She/he must meet with the chapter president once every two weeks.

The faculty/staff advisor of each chapter is requested to participate in an advisor training program provided by University officials and periodic meeting with the Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life to share questions/concerns about the chapter or system.

The advisor must complete and evaluation at the end of the academic term in that he/she has served.

E. National Support

The role of the national organization is defined in the charter, constitution, bylaws and other documents specific to each fraternity and sorority.  The ideals expressed in the documents provide the basis for the relationship between the University and each national organization.  The undergraduate chapter is expected to conduct its affairs in accordance with these educational and fraternal goals.


  • Support and supervise the compliance of the chapter to the ideals expressed in the charter recognized by the University.
  • Assist in the development of an Alumni/ae Housing Corporation.
  • Assist the University in supervising the development of recruitment and new member education programs.
  • Assist the University in resolving problems related to conduct and performance of the chapter.
  • Assist the chapter in reestablishing strong support and advisement.
  • Provide an annual evaluation of the chapter’s performance, discuss relevant findings with the Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, and develop a plan of action for the chapter with the cooperation of local alumni, the chapter, and the Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life.
  • Sponsor national and regional conferences to provide leadership education for chapter officers.

F. Membership

Chapters are required to submit names of current active and new members at the beginning of each academic term to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.  Notice should be given of any additions or corrections to the information as they occur throughout the year.

G. Recruitment

Each chapter must abide by University and governing council guidelines for the recruitment of new members.  Chapters are expected to embrace the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy that states that “Emory University does not discriminate in admissions, education programs, or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and prohibits such discrimination by its students, faculty, and staff.”  New members should be treated with respect during their entire membership education process.  The University Anti-Hazing Statement should be honored at all times in letter and spirit.

H. New Member Education

Each chapter has the responsibility to provide a program of ongoing education for its members and new members.  Ideally, this will include topics related to the history, philosophy, policies, procedures, and resources of the individual chapter and national organizations, the sorority and fraternity systems, and Emory University.  Each year chapters must host three or more educational programs to be attended by all members and new members.  These topics of programs should include:

  • Ethnic and cultural diversity
  • Alcohol and other drug education
  • Issues of sexual responsibility (sexual assault and violence, gender issues, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.)

These programs are to be completed by deadlines established for each semester by the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.  Students will not be allowed to join a chapter until after they have completed and entire semester of study.

I. Scholarship

At the beginning of each semester, chapters will submit a list of all members and new members for the purpose of academic evaluation.  Chapter grade point averages will be monitored by the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.  Any chapter that does not maintain at least a  2.75 grade point average during a semester, will receive a warning and will be expected to take affirmative steps to improve its performance in this area.  The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life will assist chapters in identifying appropriate campus resources to develop academic support programs.  If the chapter falls below a 2.75 grade point average for the following semester it will receive social probation.  No student may go through the recruitment process unless he/she has a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above.  Every chapter must have an ongoing scholarship program.

J. Philanthropy

Each chapter must demonstrate through regular service projects and fund raisers, a concern for the larger community.

K. IFC and ISC Participation

The University recognizes the sorority and fraternity chapters and interdependent units organized under the Interfraternity Council and the Intersorority Council.  These two governing organizations are chartered by the College Council and have the right to seek budgeted funds for programming.  The IFC and ISC are further granted to right to executive, legislative, and judicial self governance within the confines of the policies and guidelines of Emory University.  Each chapter must participate in either the Interfraternity Council or Intersorority Council.  All individual chapters are expected to be members of IFC/ISC and to actively support and participate in the ongoing process of their governance.

L. Events

No sorority or fraternity chapter may sponsor a party held during the formal period of Freshman Orientation Week.  Also, no sorority or fraternity activities of any kind (parties, recruitment activities, initiations, etc.) may be scheduled during the time when University wide events are scheduled.  The University expects that the fraternity and sorority social events are consistent with the guidelines provided by the national organizations and alumni and are implemented in a way that promotes the responsible use of alcohol.  Each chapter is expected to adhere to the laws of the state of Georgia and the guidelines of Emory University as they pertain to the consumption and dispensing of alcohol and other substances.

M. Conclusion

The University has the right and responsibility of discontinuing its support and recognition of a chapter if its members act in a manner that is contrary to the best interests of the University and its students.  Failure by and sorority or fraternity chapters to comply with all applicable University rules and regulations or federal, state, and local laws could result in the removal of recognition of that particular organization or other appropriate action as determined by officials of Emory University. 

Only chapters under University management through the Agreement for Provision of Services are eligible for loans for capital improvements and renovation.

Periodic review of this document by representatives of all constituencies that it serves is essential to ensuring its continued relevance to the Emory University community.  Any modifications to the document must be in writing and must have the approval of the Vice President and Dean of Campus life, the person administratively responsible for the sorority and fraternity community at Emory University.


a. This Agreement is for those fraternities that will be managed by the University and Residential Services.

b. Emory owns the land and improvements “thereon located.”

c. Residential Services will clean the fraternities Monday through Friday.

d. Residential Services will do all maintenance and grounds work.

e. All services will be paid for by the fraternity operating budget. Emory shall establish the fraternity’s annual operating budget, the number of occupants that shall reside in the fraternity house, and the room rent to be charged each occupant. All payments to Emory required under any invoice issued by Emory shall be paid as directed in said invoice.

f. All fraternity houses, under the management of Residential Services, will be on the University billing system.

g. As part of the operating budget, 6% of the revenues will be placed automatically into a reserve account and invested by the University for the fraternity. At the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, if the amount of funds in the operating budget is greater than any debts to Emory, those funds will be transfered to the reserve account.

h. The University may debit such reserve account to pay for any damages to the house or other Emory property by fraternity members or its guests.

i. Emory reserves the right to inspect the fraternity house from time to time to determine if it is in a reasonably neat and orderly condition.

j. If a fraternity cannot meet its rental rates or occupancy rates during one year necessary to fully fund its operating budget, Emory may revoke the fraternity’s status as an Emory-recognized student organization operating on the Emory campus.

k. Residential Services will decide what capital improvements will occur annually and oversee the improvements.

l. Emory will request to the Board of Trustees and consider lending money, only to fraternities that have signed the “Agreement for Provision of Services.” The University will not request for, or lend money to, independently managed fraternities. The operating budgets of fraternities must be able to accommodate all projected loan and interest amounts throughout the life of the loan.

m. Emory requires House Directors in all fraternities, independently managed or managed by Residential Services. House Directors will be employees of the university. Job duties are determined by Emory.

n. 60 days prior to the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters, fraternities must provide Emory with (a) a list of the names and addresses of those members who will be residing at the house, (b) a list of the names and addresses of those members not residing in the house

o. Summer usage of the fraternity house is no longer guaranteed. The houses may be occupied by fraternity members, closed down, or used for University Conferences. Emory determines the usage of the house.

p. Fraternities will be solely responsible for all aspects of any food service program that it provides to fraternity members.

q. Emory may terminate the Agreement upon 90 days written notice for any or no reason.


For Emory University chapters to remain operational they must either be managed by the University under the Agreement for Provision of Services or they must be maintained independently on a level consistent with the University's standards for Greek housing as defined by the following:

A. House Corporation

Each chapter must have an active House Corporation which supervises general maintenance and upkeep of the housing facility, personally inspects the chapter house monthly, ensures chapter compliance with DeKalb County and Georgia requirements for fire codes and health standards, oversees chapter's operating budget, and collection and dis­bursement procedures. It is the ultimate financial and managerial responsibility of the chapters and the Alumni House Corporations to provide a safe and pro­ductive environment for resi­dents and guests.

Primary Responsibilities

  • To be knowledgeable of the University's policy for occupancy of fraternity or sorority housing.
  • Supervise the procedure of room contracts for all members living in the house.
  • Review rent charges annually to insure that chapter revenues will cover all operating expenses.
  • Maintain the chapter's University accounts in good standing to insure all debts are paid promptly, and all records are kept up to date. (All chapters with overdue accounts will abide by the stipulations of the Financial Relationship Statement)
  • Place 6% of the generated room rent for each particular housing facility into a reserve account for unexpected expenditures or improvements.
  • Receive written approval from the Director of Residential Services for any capital improvement exceeding $1000. Any deviation from an approved plan must also be approved in advance.
  • Obtain and maintain adequate property insurance for the Chapter and its property.

B. Physical Structure

All federal, state and county codes for building construction and fire safety must be maintained at all times. In addition, all House Corporations must certify and maintain the following sys­tems:


  • Fire Alarm
  • Hard wired Smoke/Heat Detector in all rooms
  • Sprinkler system in all rooms
  • Hot Water
  • Air Conditioning
  • Electrical Systems
  • Plumbing and Drainage
  • Roof in good repair


  • At least one telephone line 
  • Freshly cleaned and in good shape, or new carpet
  • Emergency Exit information on the back of each door 
  • Ample lighting 
  • Adequate furniture for safe occupancy of the room
  • Walls free of damage

Common Areas

  • Carpet freshly cleaned or new 
  • Furniture in good condition, cleaned and/or repaired 
  • Ample lighting
  • Kitchen clean and safe
  • Walls free of damage 
  • Property appropriately maintained

C. Custodial Services

Each Chapter must provide for maintenance and custodial services at least five days a week.  Periodic surveys of the houses and lodges will be made by Residential Facilities and Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life staff to be certain that the grounds is kept in good condition; and to check that the facilities are kept clean, properly furnished, and safe. After the check, an evaluation will be provid­ed to each chapter and to each house corporation, and they will be given a short period of time to make any necessary improvements.

Failure to comply with these improvements within the time limit established will result in the closure of the facility.

D. House Director

All chapters with a live-in capacity greater than ten will be required to have a House Director (HD). The HD serves as the on-site manager for an Emory Fraternity House, and is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the house. The Operations include food service, maintenance and repairs, and general upkeep and cleanliness of the house. The HD will work closely with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, the officers, and the undergraduate members.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Hire and supervise the food service staff. The HD, in conjunction with the Cook, will plan the menus and assume responsibility for ordering food. Inventory control, and invoice review. The HD will meet monthly with chapter leaders to review the food plan and modify the plan if needed.
  • Regularly attend Chapter meals.
  • Participate regularly in chapter activities.
  • Oversee the general upkeep of the common areas of the house and supervise the chapter's cleaning of the kitchen and party room as needed.
  • Monitor the physical integrity of the house and report maintenance items for immediate attention. Assist the chapter leaders in identifying the member(s) responsible for damage to insure proper billing.
  • Provide daily security checks of the kitchen and other areas of the house.
  • Become knowledgeable with all life safety equipment in order to be of assistance to appropriate personnel when requested.
  • Be present at the house during parties to assist in keeping the event confined to the designated party space.
  • Coordinate the check in and check out of members living in the house. This includes distribution of keys, room inventory, and damage billing.
  • Serve as host for special events (homecoming, alumni weekend, parents weekend) that occur in the house, and provide assistance in the planning of these events.
  • Provide biweekly written reports to the House Corporation.
  • Attend scheduled meetings with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.
  • Participate in university sponsored programs for House Directors.
  • Attend yearly national House Director training as provided by the House Corporation.