Adopted March 2020
For more than forty years, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors has served as the professional association for people engaged in advising fraternities and sororities, including college/university administrators, inter/national organization staff and volunteers, and local volunteer advisors.
The Association adopted its first Statement of Professional Ethics in December 1993. Seven years later, the Association developed and adopted a Code of Ethics to promote and maintain the highest standards of advising and personal conduct among the membership.
In 2019, the Association convened a workgroup to examine the Code of Ethics and propose revisions to the Board of Directors to promote and maintain the highest standards of professional competence and ethical conduct.
In all professional interactions, fraternity/sorority advisors1 should be competent and diligent. An advisor’s conduct should conform to applicable legal requirements, as well as employment and volunteer policies. An advisor, however, is also guided by personal ethics. Advisors should continually strengthen their knowledge, skills, and abilities; improve the fraternity/sorority experience for all students; and exemplify values-based leadership.
Advisors will encounter conflicting responsibilities throughout their work, presenting difficult ethical problems. The Code of Professional Responsibility provides advisors with a framework for exercising discretion in these circumstances. Discretion should be grounded in thoughtful professional and moral judgment.
The Code of Professional Responsibility is a guide predicated on reason. Because the Code is not a policy document, it does not define imperative obligations. It also does not provide an exhaustive list of every moral or ethical consideration facing advisors.
The Code provides a framework for ethical practice. It should always be interpreted within the larger context shaping an advisor’s role — the legal, employment, and volunteer responsibilities defining an advisor’s specific obligations.
Upholding the Code relies on advisors’ understanding and voluntary compliance, as well as reinforcement from peers and supervisors.
AN ADVISOR’S RESPONSIBILITIES
- Maintain the highest standards of conduct in advising fraternities and sororities, volunteering, and interacting with others in a professional capacity.
- Engage in continual development to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform professional and volunteer responsibilities most effectively and recognize when referrals or outreach to experts may be necessary.
- Uphold all applicable laws, policies, and regulations when advising fraternities and sororities and performing volunteer responsibilities.
- Provide equitable opportunities for access and involvement by traditionally underrepresented voices.
- Perform professional and volunteer duties impartially and equitably.
- Maintain the confidentiality of privileged information.
- Refrain from discriminating on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation/identity, gender identity, disability, or any other protected class and confront bias perpetuated against any individual or group identified above.
- Refrain from engaging in conduct in a supervisory relationship that violates applicable laws, policies, or regulations.
- Truthfully and accurately represent individual professional qualifications, share institutional or organizational data, and explain applicable laws or policies.
- Refrain from using professional or volunteer positions for undue personal gain.
- Faithfully execute professional and volunteer responsibilities.
1 The term “advisors” encompasses all people engaged in advising fraternities and sororities, including college/university administrators, inter/national organization staff and volunteers, and local volunteer advisors.
The first tenant listed in the AFA Code of Ethics is to maintain the highest standard of personal conduct. All participants, included but not limited to members, attendees, speakers, vendors and staff are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics. Behavior that would be categorized as discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or bias of any type will not be tolerated at the Annual Meeting or related events. This includes events sponsored by organizations other than AFA but that are held in conjunction with the AFA Annual Meeting or related events. This incident form will be directed to the appropriate AFA staff member. If this incident involves a staff member, please contact the AFA president directly.
If you experience an incident that violates the Code of Ethics or reflects behavior described above, you are encouraged to complete the incident form. If you are the victim of a crime or are in immediate danger, please call 911 or venue security immediately. All reports are taken seriously and will be investigated. All reported incidents will be followed up within 5 business days from the time it is submitted. AFA reserves the right to take any appropriate action during or after the Annual Meeting or related events in response to a reported incident. This includes removal from the meeting or event without a refund or prohibiting attendance from a future meeting or related event.