Fraternity & Sorority Life Housing Policies
Updated as of the 2023-2024 academic year
In addition to compliance with all general Housing Policies, all students living in fraternity and sorority life Housing facilities must understand and adhere to the following specific fraternity and sorority life Housing policies.
Further, fraternity and sorority life organizations and residents must comply with the fraternity and sorority life Housing Memorandum of Understanding.
All fraternity and sorority life residents will have access to their chapter facility and room assignment through the room assignments process that take place via Room Selection (via the Fraternity and Sorority Housing Assignment process) in the Housing Portal.
Fraternity and Sorority Life members who are not residents to the Chapter house will be granted access via their CMU card to the exterior doors of the chapter facility. This access will only be granted to members submitted and approved by chapter leadership via the SLICE organization roster. Individuals not on the member roster with SLICE will not be granted access to the house.
For Fraternity and Sorority Quad facilities, the chapter must designate a Senior Shop Manager (via the SLICE chapter officer roster), who will be responsible for ensuring that designated shop and storage areas are used in accordance with SLICE and Environmental Health and Safety policies. The Senior Shop Manager, once approved by SLICE, will be given access to the fraternity and sorority life garage via a hard key signed out from Housing Services. The Senior Shop Manager is responsible for the financial replacement of lost keys and/or replacement of door locks.
For chapter facilities that have a commercial kitchen, cooks must obtain a Sponsored ID card through the CMU Card ID Office, with the assistance from the SLICE Office. Cooks will have access to kitchen spaces and the main door(s) of the house.
Chapter Advisors should be listed on the SLICE officer roster upon submission and identified if they would like to have access to the exterior doors of the house. If the advisor would like to have this access, they will be issued an Advisor Card from Housing Services.
- The chapter will be charged $5 per card for any first-time issued cards.
- The chapter will be charged $25 for any replacement cards.
- The chapter may transfer ownership of the card from one advisor to another at no cost.
- Chapters will request new or replacement cards from Housing Services, which will be confirmed with SLICE. Any associated costs will be charged to the chapter’s on-campus account
Other policies related to access in a fraternity and sorority life chapter facility:
- Replacement of damaged or lost metal keys issued will be charged a fee of $150 or more, depending on the area.
- The fraternity and sorority life organization may not access the mechanical rooms (electrical, plumbing, data/telecommunications closet, etc.) or roof areas of the facility (roof access panels are locked by Carnegie Mellon and may not be opened by the fraternity and sorority life organization for any reason).
- For more information on access, visit the Housing access website.
Cleaning, Maintenance & Furniture
- The university will provide daily bathroom cleaning for all communal bathroom facilities and common areas of the chapter facility Monday through Friday during University normal business days. On the weekends, cleanings will be modified.
- The fraternity and sorority life organization is responsible for maintaining a level of cleanliness and sanitization in all common areas of the chapter facility to university-required, reasonable specifications. The fraternity and sorority life organization is also required to keep the common areas free of rubbish and debris.
- Project work approved by Housing Services will be completed as needed throughout the semester.
- In facilities with commercial kitchens, cleaning is the responsibility of the cook and/or chapter.
- In individual student rooms all personal items must be removed from the room at the conclusion of the spring semester in order for cleaning to be completed during the summer. Belongings left behind in student rooms will be discarded.
- Facility Coordinator and SLICE staff members may visit each house occasionally to inspect the cleaning and general maintenance of the house. If any violations or concerns are found, the chapter may be charged for the damage.
- All non-emergency requests for maintenance should be submitted as an online maintenance request; students are responsible for submitting requests for their individual rooms and only the House Manager may submit requests for the common areas. When submitting a request, please be as detailed as possible.
- The target time frame for all daily service maintenance requests is seven working days except during high volume periods (move-in, move-out, etc.). If a maintenance request is not addressed in that time frame, residents should contact Housing Services to check on the progress of the request in the system.
- In the case of an emergency, such as a breakdown of an essential service (plumbing, lighting, heating, lock, etc.) or a problem that threatens health and safety, it is important to report the problem quickly. For emergency maintenance during office hours, call Housing Services at 412-268-2139. When the office is closed, call the Service Response Center at 412-268-2910. Emergencies will be addressed immediately. Less severe maintenance problems may be resolved within 24 hours.
- The university will provide trash containers for garbage collection and recycle containers near each facility. Construction materials and non-CMU furniture should not be placed in trash containers.
- For residents of the Fraternity/Sorority Quad, any large items (couches, mattresses, etc.) must be placed in the provided dumpster located in the Fraternity/Sorority Quad garage area. Residents of the Margaret Morrison Row should use the large trash container behind Donner House.
Patios and Storage
Chapters are responsible for outdoor furniture and other items on patios.
- Only outdoor furniture may be placed on patios. Furniture must be cleaned, well-maintained, and in good working condition.
- Grills are permitted, and must be kept away from the building. Grills must be cleaned, well maintained, and in good working condition.
- Use of built-in grills on Fraternity/Sorority Quad is permitted only for the preparation of food and may not be used as a fire pit.
- No outdoor fire pits are permitted.
Patios must be free of debris and construction materials, with an exception during Spring Carnival.
- Chapters will be permitted to keep materials on their patios from two days prior to Move-on until the day that Tear-Down is complete.
- Materials may not block any doors or egress routes.
- Any items left on patios will be removed at the chapters expense.
Fraternity/Sorority Quad orgs will be given garage space to use as storage. Chapters are responsible for cleaning and securing these facilities, as well as any maintenance requests associated therein.
- Margaret Morrison Row houses will be permitted to use alternate storage under the discretion of SLICE.
- Chapters with storage areas (shops, exterior storage, storage rooms, etc.) must keep these areas maintained, and follow all applicable shop management, equipment and chemical registration requirements set forth by CMU Environmental Health and Safety.
- Fraternity/Sorority Quad houses may use propane fuel outdoor heaters.
- Propane fuel heaters may only be used on a concrete porch. The porch must contain an exit to ground level. No propane heaters may be used on decks where the only way off the deck is back through the building.
- The heater must be located away from the building and not obstructing the exit.
- The heater cannot be left on when unattended.
- No furniture should be positioned directly under the heater.
- No propane cylinders (either empty or full) can be stored indoors.
- Chapters will be permitted to use designated common areas of their facilities for summer storage, with limitations and restrictions to the type and number of items that each resident is permitted to store. Bedrooms must be cleared of all personal belongings and may not be used for storage.
- Facilities being renovated over the summer will not be permitted to store any items in the facility.
- CMU is not responsible for items stored in facilities and will not consider reimbursement for loss due to theft, fire, flood, or any other cause.
- Only residents of the organization who are returning as residents in the Chapter House for the upcoming academic year may store items in the facility over the summer. Non-resident members or current residents who are not returning as a Chapter house resident for the next academic year are not permitted to store belongings.
- Belongings can only be retrieved once the Chapter house is officially open for the Fall semester (per the Housing Contract dates.) Access to stored belongings is not permitted prior to the Fall semester Contract date.
- The organization is responsible for the coordination of storage drop-off, pick-up, and all other aspects of the process. CMU will not provide any support.
- In the spring of 2021, chapters were given the one-time offer to allow for Housing Services to provide and maintain bedroom furniture in perpetuity using university-standard bedroom furniture. (Referred to as “CMU bedroom furniture.")
- Houses using CMU bedroom furniture will have university-standard bedroom furniture added to all bedrooms consistent with the Housing-designated occupancy level of the room. Housing will work directly with each chapter individually on their needs to replace old furniture.
- Houses using non-CMU bedroom furniture are responsible for the purchasing and maintenance of all bedroom furniture in their facility. No maintenance requests will be completed on this furniture.
- CMU bedroom furniture in the facilities is maintained by Housing Services and may not be removed or discarded.
- CMU cannot execute work orders for lofting beds.
- All residents of a room are equally responsible for the accommodation and its furnishings. At the end of each academic year, any damages to a room will be charged to the occupants of that room. If the costs incurred cannot be recouped by the individual students, the chapter will be responsible for all damages.
- Common area furniture is the sole responsibility of the chapter. Housing Services does not provide or maintain common area furniture.
- Requests to paint areas of a house should be directed to the Housing Services Facility Coordinator through the Paint Request Form.
- Requests will only be considered for common area spaces. Bedrooms may not be painted.
- All requests must receive written approval from the Housing Services Facility Coordinator before painting can commence.
- Approved requests may be completed by the fraternity and sorority life organization or by Housing Services.
- Work done by the chapter will be inspected upon completion to ensure it meets the standards of Housing Services.
- Work completed by Housing Services will be billed to the chapter.
- No dark colors are permitted.
Alterations to House
No changes can be made to the structure or infrastructure of the house without written approval from the Housing Services Facility Coordinator.
- Signage on the exterior of the building is limited to one large set of letters for both fraternity and sorority life areas, and one small coat of arms for the Greek Quad, all of which must be approved by SLICE and Housing Services.
- Chapters are permitted to hang temporary signage and large wood letters for Orientation Week until the conclusion of the third week of classes in the fall semester.
- Chapters may also utilize temporary signage throughout the year with approval of SLICE and Housing Services.
A window air-conditioner, one in each chapter facility bedroom (accommodation), is provided, and will be installed on request via Housing Services at the cost of Housing Services.
Plastic wrapping of all residential room air conditioners for the winter months is required by Housing Services (and will be performed at the cost of Housing Services); removal can occur at the request of the room resident by Housing Services, at the resident’s cost, and the air conditioner must remain in the designated bedroom.
Entry & Inspections
- Carnegie Mellon reserves the right for authorized representatives of Carnegie Mellon to enter the facility at any time to plan or perform maintenance, whenever it determines a clear and present danger exists, or whenever Carnegie Mellon’s policies, rules, or regulations require or authorize such entrance.
- Whenever possible and appropriate, entry into individual resident rooms will be announced 24 hours in advance (however, Carnegie Mellon reserves the right to enter resident rooms in the facility whenever a clear and present danger or violation of Carnegie Mellon policies, rules, or regulations is believed by Carnegie Mellon to be occurring, or whenever Carnegie Mellon’s policies, rules, or regulations require or authorize such entrance).
- Should a resident request a repair to a resident’s room through the maintenance request process (i.e., Housing Services work order system), the request is deemed to be an acknowledgement by and agreement of the resident that a Carnegie Mellon staff member may enter a resident’s room in the future to address the outstanding repair.
- Housing Services and/or SLICE staff will enter the facility unannounced to inspect the facility from time to time; however, whenever possible or appropriate, the staff will coordinate in advance with the House Manager.
- At least twice per academic year, both Housing Services and SLICE will visit each house to complete inspections. These inspections will address any health and safety violations, as well as any facility-related issues.
Damage Billing & Special Projects
Health & Safety
Any costs associated with fire, health, and safety violations that occur in common areas of the house are the responsibility of the fraternity and sorority life organization. The organization may be billed and/or referred to the Office of Community Standards and Integrity for further disciplinary action.
Kitchens & Dining
Meal Plan Changes
- Students joining a fraternity and sorority life organization that has a dining plan (with an approved commercial kitchen) and who are moving into fraternity and sorority life housing may be permitted to cancel their dining plan and receive a prorated refund. To cancel their dining plan, fraternity and sorority life students must return a completed Dining Plan Change Form in the dining portal.
- Students who join a fraternity and sorority life organization that has a dining plan (commercial kitchen) but remain in non-fraternity and sorority life housing may reduce their dining plan the week following the formal recruitment period to a yellow plan and receive a prorated refund. To reduce their dining plan, participants must return a completed Dining Plan Change Form in the dining portal.
- Students joining a fraternity and sorority life organization without a dining plan (commercial kitchen) are not permitted to reduce their dining plan.
- When a student joins a fraternity and sorority life organization, changes will be made in accordance with other Carnegie Mellon University policies and the terms of the dining agreement.
Operating Commercial Kitchens
Commercial Kitchen Certification
- All fraternity or sorority cooks must be certified. Details on how a cook can be certified are available on the Allegheny County Health Department website and by consulting your facility staff member.
- Cooks must renew their certification every three years, and verification must be provided to Housing Services.
- Proof of Cook Certification and Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage are due by a specific date to the Housing Services office.
- Cooks must provide verification that they have passed appropriate criminal background checks.
- Kitchen permits must be renewed annually and verification provided to Housing Services.
- Failure to comply with these standards will result in the immediate closure of the kitchen.
KITCHEN REQUIREMENTS; COOKS AND CATERERS; AND MOVEABLE EQUIPMENT/APPLIANCES
If the Chapter facility is operating a full-service (commercial) kitchen at the facility, the fraternity and sorority life chapter must apply for annually and be granted a permit by the Allegheny County Health Department (by December 15 of each year). A copy of this permit is required to be displayed at the facility in the permit holder provided, and at the location at the facility specified, by Carnegie Mellon. A copy of the permit is also required to be provided to the facility staff member each year. The chapter facility may not operate a kitchen at the facility without the proper permit from the Allegheny County Health Department. Also, no person may cook at the facility without proof of proper Allegheny County Health Department certifications. If a cook is not certified, Carnegie Mellon will lock the kitchen until a certification for the cook is provided.
If the chapter facility employs one or more cooks, the chapter facility’s cooks must be covered by workman’s compensation insurance purchased by the chapter facility at its expense (reference insurance information below). Proof of workman’s compensation insurance must be provided to Carnegie Mellon before the relevant cook performs services at the facility. If the chapter facility engages a caterer or similar independent contractor to serve as an alternate to a cook, the caterer or similar independent contractor must carry the insurance required, and certificates evidencing proof of insurance must be provided to Carnegie Mellon, or acceptable alternative arrangements must be made with Housing Services, before the commencement of the performance of services by the caterer or similar independent contractor at the facility. Further, Carnegie Mellon policy requires, among other things, that all individuals or contractors engaged or employed by the chapter to perform services to it and/or the student residents at the facility (such as caterers or cooks) must have passed appropriate criminal background checks prior to performing any services at the facility. Housing Services must be consulted by the chapter in advance regarding the proposed engagement or employment of any individual or contractor to perform services at the facility and/or that will otherwise enter Carnegie Mellon property that has a criminal history and reserves the right to exclude any such individual or contractor from performing services and/or otherwise entering Carnegie Mellon property that has a history that may create a safety concern for Carnegie Mellon students and/or employees or property as determined by Carnegie Mellon.
Kitchen cleanliness in the commercial kitchens will be the responsibility of the chapter facility (however, Housing Services will deep clean the kitchen, and the Carnegie Mellon-provided kitchen equipment located at the facility, once annually during each summer. The kitchen will be inspected during the weekly walkthroughs of the facility by the facility staff member. If the kitchen’s cleanliness is found to be deficient, the chapter facility will be given one (1) business day to clean it to standards. In the event Carnegie Mellon determines that the kitchen has not been cleaned to standards after such period, Carnegie Mellon may have the specific space cleaned, and the Chapter facility and the residents will be responsible for the costs. The chapter facility may also request kitchen-cleaning assistance at its expense through the standard maintenance request process.
Kitchen cleanliness will be determined per the Allegheny County Health Department’s guidelines. Carnegie Mellon will make these guidelines available to the chapter facilities. The assigned Carnegie Mellon facility staff member and/or the Allegheny County Health Department may enforce these guidelines and maintain the authority to close a kitchen for violating health and safety guidelines until the chapter facility takes the appropriate corrective action(s).
Housing Services will maintain a supply of chemicals for the kitchen dish machines at the facility and will provide reasonable quantities of the chemicals to the chapter facility as needed and/or as determined by Housing Services and the chapter facility. Due to Carnegie Mellon’s contractual obligations with the equipment supplier, chemicals provided by Housing Services are the only chemicals that may be used in the kitchen dish machines at the facility. The chapter facility will be provided with these chemicals at the start of each semester.
The chapter facility is responsible for providing and maintaining or replacing, at its expense, removable, non-built-in equipment, furnishings, and appliances at the facility including, but not limited to kitchen equipment such as an ice machine, meat slicer, food mixer, microwave oven, pots, pans and utensils.
During the periods where the facility is not open and/or required to be closed, the gas to the commercial kitchen must be turned off.
None of the Margaret Morrison facilities have or may operate a full-service kitchen.
In order to operate a full-service (commercial) kitchen at the facility, the chapter is required to procure and maintain, at its own expense, the following insurance and amounts with insurance carriers licensed to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and having an AM Best rating of “A-“ or better:
Commercial General Liability
- $1,000,000 Each Occurrence
- $2,000,000 General Aggregate
- $1,000,000 Products-Completed
- $1,000,000 Personal & Adv. Inj.
- $100,000 Damage to Premises Rented to You (Fire Legal Liability)
In the event the chapter does not procure and maintain the $100,000 limit for Damage to Premises to You, Carnegie Mellon agrees to accept from the Chapter a $100,000 limit under a property policy procured and maintained by the chapter (from an insurance carrier licensed to do business in Pennsylvania and having an AM Best rating of “A-“ or better) using form CP 00 04 10/15 (or equivalent) titled Legal Liability Coverage form. The foregoing commercial general liability coverage must:
- be endorsed to include coverage for any non-owned or hired automobile coverage;
- include form CG 25 04 Designated Location(s) General Aggregate Limit (or equivalent) so that the full aggregate limit for this policy(ies) applies to the facility.
The chapter agrees to name Carnegie Mellon University as additional insured under the general liability policies. The chapter’s insurance applies on a primary, non-contributory basis for any and all alleged claims made against the chapter and/or Carnegie Mellon; provided that the chapter’s insurance may exclude Carnegie Mellon from coverage for injury or damage arising out of an occurrence or offense by Carnegie Mellon. Certificates of insurance shall be issued as follows:
Certificate Holder and additional insured:
Carnegie Mellon University
Attn: Housing Services
4700 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Certificates of insurance must list the address of the facility and show that the chapter is insured under the above mentioned insurance policies.
Also, if the chapter employs one or more cooks or other employees, the chapter’s cooks/employees must be covered by workman’s compensation insurance purchased by the chapter at its expense, and the chapter must also procure at the chapter’s expense, employer’s liability insurance, as follows:
Workers’ Compensation Statutory and Employer’s Liability
- $1,000,000 Each Accident
- $1,000,000 Disease -Policy Limit
- $1,000,000 Disease-Each Employee
Proof of the foregoing insurance must be provided to Carnegie Mellon before the chapter’s cook or other employee performing services at the facility.
Dish Machine Chemicals
- Housing Services will maintain a supply of chemicals for the commercial kitchen dish machines at the facility, and will provide reasonable quantities of the chemicals to the fraternity and sorority life organization as needed and/or as determined by Housing Services and the fraternity and sorority life organization.
- Due to Carnegie Mellon’s contractual obligations with the equipment supplier, chemicals provided by Housing Services are the only chemicals which may be used in the kitchen dishwashers at the facility.
- The fraternity and sorority life organization will be provided with these chemicals at the start of each semester.
- Each house with a commercial kitchen is provided two 55-gallon drums placed in an outdoor storage shed at the rear of the building.
- The barrels are provided for the disposal of cooking oil from the kitchen fryers and should only be used for this purpose.
- Pick up for recycling of the grease is done through an outside contractor supervised by Environmental Health and Safety on a routine basis.
- Disposal of grease through patio drains or any interior floor drains causes problems and the cost of cleaning drains where there is evidence of grease being disposed of in this way will be passed onto the fraternity and sorority life organization.
Chapters must maintain occupancy as outlined in the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Generally, this means that the house must be fully occupied in order to continue to be in good standing with Housing Services.
Only students in good standing with Carnegie Mellon University who are members of the fraternity and sorority life organization are permitted to reside in the facility. No first-year students are allowed to reside in the chapter houses. New members are not permitted to live in the chapter house their first semester of membership.
Except for permitted guests and visitors, as outlined in the Housing Policies, no one other than residents may reside at the facility at any time. The fraternity and sorority life organization and its residents may not have subtenants or boarders at the facility.
Changes in Occupancy
- Chapter facilities should be aware of residents who may be planning to study abroad, graduate in December, or any other reason for only being on campus for one semester within the academic year. Chapter leadership should make a plan to fill any vacancies due to these reasons to ensure they are meeting occupancy requirements for both semesters.
- The chapter facility has the opportunity to recruit new residents in order to fill vacancies in the house from any of their membership of current students living either on or off campus.
- Any resident who has an approved reason to cancel their housing for the spring semester as stated in the Housing Contract should contact Housing to follow the cancellation process and deadlines. Cancellations are not approved or processed unless the student engages with Housing Services directly for the appropriate cancellation process.
- If it is determined that an organization has misrepresented the number of residents on their roster in order to meet the minimum occupancy requirement, they will be held accountable to the aforementioned guidelines, and the possibility of additional fees or sanctions will be considered by Housing Services.
Role of the House Manager
The chapter must designate one individual to serve as the House Manager. This individual will be responsible for:
- Reading, understanding, and ensuring chapter compliance with all applicable policies, procedures, deadlines, and documentation associated with fraternity and sorority life housing.
- Maintaining regular communication with the Housing Services Facility Coordinator assigned to the building. This includes a bi-weekly meeting with the Facility Coordinator during the fall and spring semesters.
- Submitting all common area maintenance requests on behalf of the chapter.
- Attending any House Manager trainings or meetings.
- Communicate damages and problems to Facility Coordinators.
- Maintain accountability for cleanliness among residents and guests.
- Relay messages from facilities and Housing Services to residents.
- Submitting resident and member rosters per the posted deadlines and/or informing Housing Services of assignment changes within the house.
- Work closely with the fraternity and sorority life CA and RAs to address issues with the facility or between residents.
All residents and rosters will be managed online via the Room Selection process on the Housing Portal. More information about the process for fraternity and sorority life leaders and residents can be found here.
Membership Rosters will still be submitted via a shared document on the chapter’s SLICE Google Drive and will contain the following information:
- Organizations must provide a current roster of its members in the fall and spring semesters by the dates specified within the fraternity and sorority life deadlines. This full roster will indicate which non-resident members should have access to the facility.
- Organizations must provide a current list of chapter officers and advisors. This officer roster will indicate which chapter leaders and advisors should have additional access to the facility.
Summer & Winter Break Housing
The fraternity and sorority life residential community will be served by a Community Advisor and a team of Resident Assistants who will be responsible for:
- Supporting individual residents in the facility
- Partnering with residents and chapter leaders to provide programming and education within the community
- Implementing the CMU Residential Curriculum
- Supporting Move-In, Move-Out, summer/winter break closing, and other operational elements of fraternity and sorority life housing
- Maintaining regular communication with residents and chapter leaders in support of the house community