Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Four councils govern campus greeks

With more than 7,000 members spread out over 58 different organizations, The University of Alabama has the largest greek student body of any institution in North America, Ryan Powell, assistant director of Greek Affairs at the University, said. But many of those greek letter organizations are governed by larger umbrella organizations known as greek councils. There are currently four separate greek councils operating at the University, with each playing a slightly different role for their member organizations and within the University administrative environment.

Powell said the four governing councils are the Alabama Panhellenic Association, the Interfraternity Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the United Greek Council.

The two largest greek councils at the University are the APA and the IFC, which have 18 and 29 member organizations, respectively. The APA’s membership is dictated by each sorority’s membership in the National Panhellenic Conference.

“The NPC is the umbrella organization for 26 international women’s sororities and fraternities and provides support and guidance for its member organizations and serves as the national voice on contemporary issues of sorority life,” Powell said.

Member organizations of the IFC, on the other hand, are not all bound together by a larger national group, though such an organization exists.

“Fraternities are not governed by an umbrella organization per se, but many are connected through their national organizations to the North American Interfraternity Conference, which is the trade association that represents 75 international and national men’s fraternities,” Powell said.

The third greek council is the NPHC, which is comprised of the eight fraternities and sororities that are members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.

“The NPHC, Inc. is a collaborative organization of nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, known as the ‘Divine Nine,’” Powell said.

The smallest of the four councils is the UGC, which is comprised of one multicultural fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta, and one multicultural sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma.

“This council is not affiliated to one specific national conference or council, but is comprised of those organizations that have a specific cultural component as a corner stone of their organization’s membership,” Powell said.

Aside from developing and enforcing the policies that govern their member organization, greek councils also represent their members in the larger community and provide the organizational structure for collaborative projects.

“Each of these student governing organizations is responsible to represent their membership to the greater UA community and to foster a collaborative relationship between the larger greek community,” Powell said. “Each council has an executive board, which is elected by its member organizations to represent them to the University and greater Tuscaloosa communities. Also, the councils host a variety of social, leadership, educational, community service and philanthropic events and programs throughout the year in which their organizations’ members can participate.”

While the governing council of any given greek letter organization is typically dictated by the affiliation of their national organization, some fraternities and sororities choose the council they feel best represents their interests.

“For organizations that are not required by their national policy to maintain membership in their local campus governing council, many choose to join a council that they feel will best represent their membership and that is in line with the values and policies governing their local chapter,” Powell said.

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