Policies and Philosophies

ZTA prides itself on fostering sisterhood among its members. Part of committing to sisterhood means taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, as well as showing care and concern for others. Following ZTA policies and making safety a priority is big part of every Zeta’s personal responsibility.

Zeta Tau Alpha is an international women’s social fraternity, founded in Christian traditions, that has chosen to adopt membership selection policies that do not discriminate based on race, creed, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability. Zeta Tau Alpha membership is open to individuals who consistently live and self-identify as women.

ZTA is a private sisterhood organization operating through Nine Key Values, whose object is “to intensify friendship, to promote happiness among its members, and in every way to create such sentiments, perform such deeds and to mould such opinions as will conduce to the building up of a nobler and purer womanhood in the world.”

Zeta Tau Alpha is a sisterhood made of many individual women and it celebrates the uniqueness each sister brings. We respect and support each member’s personal identity, and we seek to provide an accepting environment within every chapter. We believe in creating a space of belonging for every member. We expect everyone to treat their sisters with love, the greatest of all things.

ZTA has an Inclusion Committee that continues to integrate diversity and inclusion conversations throughout the membership experience. ZTA believes topics related to diversity and inclusion do not happen in a bubble or a one-time program. ZTA is committed to this being an ongoing conversation through one of ZTA’s Nine Key Values focusing on openness to diversity and challenge, called Seeking Understanding That We Might Gain True Wisdom in ZTA’s Creed.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Zeta Tau Alpha is an international women’s social fraternity that does not discriminate based on race, creed, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability. Zeta Tau Alpha membership is open to individuals who consistently live and self-identify as women.

ZTA is a private sisterhood organization operating through Nine Key Values, whose object is “to intensify friendship, to promote happiness among its members, and in every way to create such sentiments, perform such deeds and to mould such opinions as will conduce to the building up of a nobler and purer womanhood in the world.”

Zeta Tau Alpha is an international women’s social fraternity that does not discriminate based on race, creed, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability. Zeta Tau Alpha membership is open to individuals who consistently live and self-identify as women.

The primary policies ZTA has concerning alcohol and drugs boil down to following local, state and federal laws.

Alcohol: The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages while on chapter premises or during a Fraternity event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or at any event an observer would associate with the Fraternity, must be in compliance with any and all applicable policies of the Fraternity and laws of the state, province, county, city and institution of higher education.

Alcoholic beverages must either be: (1) provided and sold on a per-drink basis by a licensed and insured third-party vendor (e.g., restaurant, bar, caterer, etc.); or (2) brought by individual members and guests through a bring-your-own-beverage (BYOB) system. The presence of alcoholic beverages above 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) is prohibited, except when served at an event by a licensed and insured third-party vendor.

Illegal Drugs and Controlled Substances: The chapter, members, new members and guests must follow the federal law regarding illegal drugs and controlled substances. No person may possess, use, provide, distribute, sell and/or manufacture illegal drugs or other controlled substances while in Zeta Tau Alpha facilities or at any activity or event sponsored or endorsed by the chapter.

Members’, new members’ and guests’ health and safety are of primary concern for the Fraternity. As such, in cases of significant intoxication as a result of alcohol or other substances, Zeta Tau Alpha encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others.

If medical assistance is sought for consumption of alcohol or other substances, a member or new members may be exempt from Fraternity judicial proceedings; however, it is the expectation chapter leadership will meet with the members or new members involved and apply educational measures. When an exemption from chapter judicial proceedings is granted, it applies to the member or new member for whom medical attention was sought and any members or new members who were present and assisting in care.

Assisting requires an individual to:

  • Call 9-1-1 or seek assistance from a campus professional (e.g. Resident Advisor/RA)

  • Monitor the intoxicated student’s condition until help arrives

The following are not covered under the My Sister, My Responsibility® Policy:

  • Members or new members waiting until the police, chapter leaders or other authorities arrive before seeking assistance, as this is not affirmatively seeking assistance

  • Action by police or other law enforcement personnel

  • Violations of Zeta Tau Alpha policies other than the alcohol/drugs policy

Other things to consider:

  • The intoxicated member or new member (and possibly those who were attending to/assisting the student) will be required to meet with the appropriate Executive Committee officer and General Advisor and to discuss

  • Educational requirements that may include, but are not limited to, alcohol or other drug prevention, assessment for any damages, or referral to campus wellness office (or similar facility) for screening.

  • Serious or repeated incidents may prompt a higher degree of concern/response.

  • Failure to complete the educational assignments or referral recommendations may result in additional disciplinary action.

Application to chapters:

In circumstances where a chapter is found to be hosting an event where medical assistance is sought for an intoxicated member, new member or guest, the chapter (depending upon the circumstances) may be held responsible for violations of Fraternity policies. However, the willingness to seek medical assistance for an individual may be considered by National Council as a mitigating factor in determining a sanction for any violations of social practice policies and procedures.

No chapter (new or installed) or member (collegian or alumna) shall conduct, participate in or condone hazing activities. Permission or approval by a person being hazed is not a defense. Hazing activities are defined as: “Any action taken or situation created either intentionally or unintentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.”

Zeta Tau Alpha does not condone any form of hazing by any member, new member or alumnae member. Such activities conflict with the Fraternity’s ideals and traditions and project a negative image of the organization. ZTA collegiate chapters must develop new member programs that reflect the true meaning and high standards of sisterhood. These programs must not demean, embarrass or endanger members or new members.

Scavenger Hunts: No chapter may coordinate or participate in a scavenger hunt or similar activity (i.e., treasure hunt, photo quest, etc.). If a chapter’s host institution or a university organization sponsors a scavenger hunt as part of a recognized program, the chapter must contact the Vice President Collegiate or Extension Director through International Office to discuss a possible policy waiver.

The Fraternity’s Harm Reduction initiatives seek to instill confidence in its members to make decisions based on Zeta Tau Alpha’s Nine Key Values. The vision is that all members will make healthy choices with a goal of continued personal growth for a lifetime.

Through facilitated conversations, Harm Reduction advances students in making intelligent, fair and reasonable choices within the boundaries of laws, policies and educational mission. Harm Reduction emphasizes concern for the safety and well-being of all undergraduate and alumnae Zeta Tau Alpha members.

The Harm Reduction Philosophy upholds the following:

  • All members are expected to show respect and civility to those “within and without our circle.”
  • Individuals are expected to make safe, responsible and legal choices. When incongruent behavior occurs, corrective action should be facilitated through informal accountability or the chapter’s judicial process.
  • “Members are responsible for keeping themselves, each other, the chapter and the overall organization safe.”
  • Zeta Tau Alpha chapters and their members share responsibility to lead innovative community prevention in partnership with other organizations.

Harm Reduction promotes intentional chapter programming, social practice education and well informed individual decisions of ZTA members.

Zeta Tau Alpha is a women’s fraternity committed to developing sisterhood through loyalty, responsibility, service, leadership, and commitment.

The Fraternity’s aim is to eliminate sexual misconduct perpetrated against or by any of our members. Zeta Tau Alpha is highly concerned about any activity that could be considered mentally, physically or emotionally unsafe. Our Fraternity believes very strongly in promoting the development of healthy relationships and social environments through our chapters.

Our organization upholds the following philosophy specifically related to sexual misconduct and relational violence:

  • The Fraternity works to address the underlying causes of sexual misconduct and relational violence. As such, Zeta Tau Alpha supports an educational approach that encourages healthy interactions among all people and reinforces the Fraternity’s emphasis on creating a supportive sisterhood and the sharing of mutual respect.
  • The Fraternity is unequivocally opposed to all acts of sexual misconduct and relational violence and expects our members to follow the laws across the United States that have made these behaviors illegal. Additionally, the Fraternity expects members to follow campus-specific policies that prohibit such behaviors.
  • The Fraternity supports and enhances the mission of the host institution by encouraging our chapters to participate actively in local university programming and resources and to take a leadership role in initiating and supporting prevention activities.
  • As a subset of the campus community, the Fraternity collaborates with the host institution to address the problems of sexual misconduct and relational violence including leveraging campus resources to educate our members and assist all parties.
  • The Fraternity utilizes the “stop, report and support” process as a resource and guide to assist our members that have been the target of sexual misconduct of any kind, including but not limited to sexual assault.

The Fraternity will not tolerate or condone any form of sexist or sexually abusive behavior on the part of its members, either in person, virtually or online, that:

  1. Is demeaning to any person on the basis of their gender or sexual identity, including verbal or physical harassment

  2. Is sexually abusive, physically or emotionally, toward any member, new member, or other individual

  3. Contains inappropriate sexual content

This is to include any actions, T-shirts, social themes, activities or events, whether on chapter premises or an off-site location, which are demeaning to any person, ranging from but not limited to verbal harassment to sexual assault by individuals or members acting together.

The employment or use of strippers, exotic dancers or similar, whether professional or amateur, at a Fraternity event as defined in this policy is prohibited.

Any individual or entity who creates or maintains digital media and any individual or entity using the Zeta Tau Alpha name or letters in Internet communications shall comply with the following terms and conditions. Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity reserves the right to (although it shall be under no obligation to) remove links or access to sites that do not comply with these policies

Communication may take place in the form of public or private email, newsletters, bulletins, social networking sites and apps, co-sharing, chat rooms, message boards, discussion groups, etc.

Communication Shall:

  1. Comply with any and all appropriate federal, state and local laws; college and university rules and regulations; and The Constitution & Bylaws of Zeta Tau Alpha and policies.

  2. Be in good taste and promote a positive image of college students, alumnae, the college/university and Zeta Tau Alpha.

  3. Be kept as up-to-date as possible. When possible, each website shall provide the ZTA email address (zetataualpha@zetataualpha.org).

Communication Shall Not:

  1. Defame, abuse, harass or threaten other individuals.

  2. Contain material that is obscene, pornographic or otherwise offensive to a person of ordinary sensibilities.

  3. Include references to alcohol, illegal drugs or hazing with the exception of educational material about these issues

  4. Use inappropriate language.

  5. Share sensitive Fraternity information (e.g., information revealed to members through ritual services, judicial hearing information, or closed chapter business).

  6. Include any copyrighted material from other sources or trademarks owned by third parties without the express written consent of the copyright or trademark owner.

  7. Include links to personal/commercial sites that are inconsistent with the values and standards of ZTA, including endorsements or other personal/commercial advertising.

Zeta Tau Alpha will not tolerate retaliation in any form against any member, new member or non-member who makes an allegation, files a report, serves as a witness, assists a complainant, or participates in a policy violation investigation.

Overt or covert acts of retaliation against an individual or group for exercising rights or responsibilities under this policy will be subject to appropriate and prompt judicial action. Violators will be held accountable through the Fraternity’s judicial process and face disciplinary action.

Chapter Funds and Common Source Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages must not be purchased with chapter/ organizational funds or funds pooled by members or guests (e.g., collecting funds in person, admission fees, cover fees, collecting funds through digital apps, etc.). The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage (e.g., kegs, punch or cases) is prohibited.

Co-sponsorship with Alcohol Distributor: A chapter/organization must not co-host or co-sponsor an event with a bar, event promoter, or alcohol distributor. However, a chapter/organization may rent a bar, restaurant, or other licensed and insured third-party vendor to host a chapter/organization event for a closed event held within the provisions of this policy, including the use of a third-party vendor and guest list.

Co-Sponsorship with Organizations:

  • Purchase of Alcohol: No chapter may co-sponsor, co-finance, attend or participate in a function at which alcohol is purchased by any of the host chapters, groups or organizations.
  • Organizational Insurance: If a Zeta Tau Alpha chapter co-sponsors an event, the co-sponsoring organization must be adequately insured.
  • Co-sponsorship with Non-Recognized Organizations: Zeta Tau Alpha chapters are prohibited from holding events with organizations that are not recognized by the college or university that hosts the charter.

Defining Period for ZTA Collegiate Chapter Events: All collegiate chapter ZTA events must occur while classes are in session as designated by the host institution’s academic calendar for the respective fall/spring semester or fall/ winter/spring quarter. Events should not be coordinated, planned nor be held seven days prior to nor during, reading/finals week or winter/ spring/summer breaks.

Dry Recruitment: All recruitment activities associated with any chapter will be nonalcoholic. No recruitment activities associated with any chapter may be held at or in conjunction with a bar or alcohol distributor.

Responsible Drinking: The chapter, members, new members or guests must not coordinate, permit, encourage, coerce, glorify or participate in activities where the focus is solely on drinking or that encourage the rapid consumption of alcohol, such as bar crawls or drinking games.

New Members & Alcohol: No alcohol shall be present at any new member program, activity or ritual of the chapter. This includes but is not limited to activities associated with “Bid Day/Night;” “Big Sister/Little Sister” events or activities; “family” events or activities; and Initiation.

Open Parties and Guests: For any event where alcohol is present guests may attend by invitation only and the chapter must utilize a guest list system.

At ZTA date functions, members and new members are permitted to invite one individual to attend. At certain functions, ZTA may allow for a maximum of two guests per member at the event. Please note: Any event that exceeds 1:1 ratio of members to invited guests must have approval from the appropriate Collegiate National Officer. At any ZTA event, total number of attendees should not exceed the facility capacity

Out-of-Town Social Events: Zeta Tau Alpha does not allow overnight or weekend social events, nor does it condone out-of-town social events. In the event a chapter must hold a social function away from the college or university area, all members and guests attending shall travel to and from the event by bus or commercial transportation within the same day or evening. Exceptions are permitted only with written approval from the Vice President Collegiate or Extension Director.

When commercial transportation is used, no alcohol will be transported in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. No special privileges or boarding times for transportation should be given. This includes but is not limited to assigning a “senior bus” or “seniors to board first.”

Purchasing for Minor: No members, collectively or individually, shall purchase for, serve to or sell alcoholic beverages to any person under legal drinking age.

Philanthropic Events: Zeta Tau Alpha chapters are prohibited from holding philanthropic events and/or fundraisers in bars or in conjunction with any alcoholic beverage company, manufacturer, distributor or retailer. No philanthropy event or fundraiser may include alcohol, even if served legally, per Zeta Tau Alpha guidelines

Report a Concern

If this is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1

As part of Zeta Tau Alpha's commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our members and campus communities, this form has been created to allow individuals to report incidents of concern. The goal is to increase accountability while maintaining an overall sense of belonging and inclusion for new members, members and alumnae.

While you can report anonymously, the inability to validate the source of the complaint does limit ZTA's ability to investigate and respond. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent practicable and permitted by applicable laws. Our ability to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action may be impeded if your identity is not provided in the complaint. Depending on the nature of the allegations(s) raised, conducting a fair and complete investigation may require that the full details of the incident, including your identity be shared. In those instances, all parties will be advised of the Fraternity’s policy against retaliation for making complaints.

Please fill out all applicable fields providing as much information as possible. This will afford an opportunity to offer the most effective, appropriate support

1. Name of Individual Reporting Concern

Example: Alpha Alpha Chapter or Imaginary University

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