Risk Management

Policy

All existing and prospective members have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. These rights are enforced by punishing violations of the Sorority’s policies and procedures. A cornerstone of the Sorority’s Risk Management policy is the prohibition of hazing.

Hazing has been prohibited in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority since the organization was founded in 1908. In 1999, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority reaffirmed its total opposition to hazing with the publication of a tougher anti-hazing policy and the implementation of new procedures to identify, investigate and punish incidents.

Hazing will not be tolerated in any form.

Definition of Hazing:
Hazing is defined as an act or series of acts that include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical acts, such as hitting, striking, laying hands upon or threatening to do bodily harm to any individual(s), while acting in one’s capacity as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
  • Behavior which is directed against any individual(s) for the purpose of causing shame, abuse, insult, humiliation, intimidation or disgrace.
  • A variety of prohibited practices, including but not limited to, “underground hazing,” “financial hazing,” “pre-pledging,” “post-pledging” or “post-initiation pledging.”

Educating Members:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority makes every effort to fully disclose its Risk Management policy, including but not limited to:

  • Distributing brochures through university officials and graduate advisors, who, in turn, distribute them to students likely to go through Sorority Rush. These brochures outline the Sorority’s Risk Management policies.
  • Training chapters on the Risk Management policies during workshops conducted before each chapter begins its Membership Intake Process (MIP)/Rush activities. Undergraduate and graduate members involved in the MIP must promise to treat candidates with respect by signing a Commitment Statement that affirms they will not participate in hazing.
  • Distributing a letter to all Rush participants from the respective Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Regional Director that defines hazing and outlines procedures for reporting hazing incidents. This letter is also read audibly as part of the Rush agenda.
  • Providing all Rush participants with a copy of the Sorority’s Risk Management policy.

During the Membership Intake Process:

  • Providing training to graduate advisors and/or graduate councils/committees who serve as mentors for undergraduate members to ensure the Rush and the MIP is conducted properly, without hazing incidents.
  • Mandating that candidates under age 21 (unless emancipated under state law), along with their parents/legal guardians, sign an undergraduate form that expresses their interest in joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. That form explains the Sorority’s strict Risk Management policy on hazing.

By signing the Membership Interest form, undergraduate candidates acknowledge that they have read, understand, agree and will abide by Sorority policy.

By signing the required Candidate Commitment statement, all candidates—graduate and undergraduate—agree to follow Sorority policies on hazing.

Following is a list of documents and forms which will assist in a complaint process, if necessary.
Undergraduate Hazing Complaint Form (writeable PDF)
Graduate Hazing Complaint Form (writeable PDF)

Hazing Policy Violations
Any individual or chapter violation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Risk Management policy will result in suspension, expulsion or revocation of the chapter’s charter. A fine may also be imposed.
In addition, hazing activities may result in official discipline by a college/university or the imposition of civil and criminal penalties for individuals and/or chapters.

Unofficial [Improper] Contact
All candidates—graduate and undergraduate—should understand that they must not consider contact with a suspended or expelled member to be any part of the Sorority’s Membership Intake Process. Members may be, and are, suspended or expelled for reasons other than hazing. However, candidates should not participate in any form of membership activities with any suspended or expelled member. In order to assist candidates in determining who may not contact them on behalf of the Sorority, below are descriptions of the suspension and expulsion penalties, and separate links to list all suspended and expelled members irrespective of the specific reasons for the punishment.

Member Suspension
Suspension of a member disqualifies the individual from participating in any and all Sorority activities, in any capacity, until restored to good standing by the Regional Director, upon approval of the International President.

Member Expulsion
Expulsion permanently revokes the individual’s membership in the Sorority.

By uniting individual efforts, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has built a strong, cohesive organization that positively impacts the lives of families and communities. The Sorority’s success is based on the depth of commitment, vision and confidence of its members.

Alpha Kappa Alpha seeks women who will promote, uphold, and extend its policies and programs. In return, the Sorority is a conduit through which individuals can grow and develop, personally and professionally, while simultaneously providing “Service to All Mankind.”

Membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is generally classified as undergraduate or graduate. In both classifications:

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated does not discriminate in its membership selection practices on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, creed, marital status or disability. Nor will Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated tolerate such discrimination by its chapters or its members. Federal law recognizes the right of college social fraternities and sororities to maintain single sex membership policies. Consistent with that right, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is a women’s organization and membership is open to women.
  • Prospective members must have high ethical and moral standards;
  • Membership can only be obtained by completing the Sorority’s official Membership Intake Process (MIP);
  • Interested candidates should not participate in demeaning, degrading or unkind acts. Should members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority ask you to perform tasks or participate in activities other than those outlined in our MIP, they are in violation of the Sorority’s policies and practices and do not represent the values of the organization. This behavior will not be tolerated.

Membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will not be extended to:

  • An individual who knowingly participates in activities outside of the official Membership Intake Process;
  • An individual who knowingly participates in activities which are demeaning, degrading or demoralizing;
  • An individual who knowingly submits falsified documents or credentials.

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Undergraduate Membership

Requirements

  • Matriculation as a full-time undergraduate student where the campus chapter is located; or matriculation as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited school affiliated with an undergraduate city chapter in the community;
  • Must have creditably completed* at least one grading period (or as defined by the college or university) as a full-time student at the institution affiliated with the chapter, immediately preceding submission of application;
    • *creditably completed is synonymous to earned full-time hours (12+ hours) for Spring or Fall session, whichever is applicable
  • A cumulative and semester average of C+, immediately preceding submission of application. (In those universities using pass-fail, required competency or good standing systems of grading, either shall be acceptable.)
    • C+ is equivalent to a 2.50 on a 4.0 scale if the school does not have a plus or minus on the grading scale,
    • Some chapters and/or schools may require a higher semester and/or cumulative average for undergraduate membership eligibility;
  • Attendance at the official Rush.

Process

An official Rush begins the undergraduate membership process for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Rush information such as location, date and time of the activity is posted a minimum of two weeks in advance; however, the college or university may impose additional requirements that will impact the process. Any prospective candidate that does not attend Rush is ineligible for candidacy consideration at that time.

The Sorority’s undergraduate Membership Intake Process (MIP) begins when a candidate receives a Letter of Acceptance.

  • There are no membership activities between Rush and issuance of acceptance letter;
  • MIP activities prior to and after Rush are prohibited; however, the school can require that prospective applicants fulfill or meet certain conditions prior to seeking membership;
  • Pledging is not a part of the membership process, and anyone who knowingly and willingly participates in pledging activities may be forbidden membership with the Sorority. Additionally, suspension and/or expulsion may result if it is discovered that an individual participated in pledging activities once a member.

The Undergraduate Membership Interest Application will assist with preparing for a Rush. Prospective applicants need to address any inquiries about the Membership Intake Process with the Graduate Advisor for that chapter.

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Graduate Membership

Requirements

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree, with at least a C+ cumulative average, or a graduate or professional degree (Ph.D., M.D., J.D., etc.) from an accredited college or university
    • C+ is equivalent to a 2.50 on a 4.0 scale if the school does not have a plus or minus on the grading scale;
  • Motivation and talents to help promote, implement and extend policies and programs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority;
  • Attendance at Information Session with the required documents listed in the Letter of Invitation

Process

Graduate membership is by invitation only and is not solicited through our graduate chapters. Graduate chapters host public events, such as forums, cultural presentations and social activities, so that prospective candidates can become acquainted with chapter members and learn about service activities they offer to local communities.

Utilize the Chapter Locator in About AKA to locate graduate chapters and contacts in or near your community.

The Graduate Membership Intake Process (MIP) begins with a Letter of Invitation, signed by the graduate chapter president AND membership chairman on chapter stationery. There are no membership activities prior to receipt of an official invitation letter, and the Sorority prohibits partaking in MIP activities prior to receiving an official letter.

  • Pledging is not a part of the membership process, and anyone who knowingly and willingly participates in pledging activities may be forbidden membership with the Sorority. Additionally, suspension and/or expulsion may result if it is later discovered that an individual participated in pledging activities once a member.

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Legacy Requirements

Legacy Candidate Status

A legacy candidate is the daughter, granddaughter, adopted daughter, stepdaughter or legal ward* of an active or deceased member and submits a legacy application.

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority defines a legal ward as one in which an appropriate court of law legally places permanent care, control, and custody with a member of the Sorority; court documentation will be requested.

Legacy Provision

The living family-member must have been active for at least two years immediately preceding the submission of an Undergraduate or Graduate Legacy Application. Two years is defined as twenty-four (24) consecutive months. Undergraduates and graduates that apply via legacy provision still must fulfill all other membership requirements.

  • Family member can verify eligibility prior to candidate submitting a legacy application.

Undergraduate Legacy Application Guidelines and Form
Graduate Legacy Application Guidelines and Form

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If a member of the Sorority asks me to attend meetings or study sessions, wear specific apparel or perform certain tasks, am I am allowed to participate in those activities?

A: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority prohibits such activities, and membership may not be extended to individuals that knowingly participate.


Q: Is it possible for me to become a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha if I attend an accredited four-year college or university that that does not have a chapter?

A: A nearby graduate chapter in your college community willing to sponsor you can recommend you to the Regional Director for General Membership in the Sorority. Use the Chapter Locator to identify nearby graduate chapters and contacts.


Q: What is the process for chartering an Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter on my campus?

A: Contact the Regional Director for information concerning a possibility of chartering a chapter on your campus. Utilize the Regions section through About AKA to determine the region a campus is located, and click the region’s name for the Regional Director’s contact information.



Q: Can I participate in the membership process at another school if my campus has an inactive chapter?

A: You cannot participate in a Membership Intake Process at another school because your campus has an inactive chapter. Candidates must successfully complete at least one grading period, immediately preceding intake, at a school affiliated with the chapter.


Q: Can I become a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha if I attend a community college?

A: Candidates must attend an accredited four-year college or university that confers baccalaureate degrees.


Q: If I conferred a baccalaureate degree, can I still seek membership if I am going for my second baccalaureate degree and considered an undergraduate at the college or university?

A: You are only eligible for graduate membership, invitation only, once you confer a baccalaureate degree.


Q: I received an invitation to membership from a local graduate chapter. Am I eligible for graduate membership if I have not graduated?

A: You are ineligible for graduate membership until you confer a baccalaureate degree.


Q: Can I seek membership if I am or was a member with another Sorority?

A: If that Sorority belongs to the National Pan-Hellenic Council or National Panhellenic Conference, you are ineligible for membership with Alpha Kappa Alpha. Individuals that falsify applications will have their membership revoked and will be expelled from the Sorority.


Q: I applied as a legacy candidate but my family member is ineligible. Can I switch to a non-legacy candidate?

A: A candidate’s classification cannot change from legacy to non-legacy once a chapter accepts the legacy application and forwards to the corporate office for review. The family member can contact AKA corporate office to verify eligibility for legacy provision prior to submitting a legacy application.


Q: What other steps are necessary if I have not received an invitation to membership although I attended all of the graduate chapter’s public events?

A: Attendance at activities does not guarantee an invitation to membership. Members of the chapter will recommend women aligned with the Sorority’s mission, service to all mankind. Please continue to network and provide service to your local community and beyond. We appreciate your interest in the sorority.

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