NAPA is a collective group of leaders within the APIA community who work together to advocate, collaborate, and educate our members and constituency for the greater good. We represent our member organizations within the fraternal and university communities. By setting the highest standards of membership, university administrations know that they have a partner in the success of our member organizations’ chapters. When issues arise affecting our community, we are able to mobilize and advocate as one strong, unified voice.
Our member organizations benefit through NAPA’s involvement in a variety of efforts and initiatives:
- Representation to other associations including NIC, NPC, NPHC, NALFO, NMGC, AFA, NASPA
- Representation at the Fraternity/Sorority Summit and Knowledge Community
- Representation on the Coalition Assessment Project
- Membership Standards to ensure our chapters bring value to host universities
- Policies on Open Expansion and Anti-Hazing
- Educational initiatives for our member organizations’ leadership
- Networking opportunities, professional development, and access to resources
- Programming initiatives such as our Mental Health and Voter Registration Initiatives
Why join an APIA Greek-letter organization? It’s not so much a question of remaining relevant so much as one of providing relevance. In the melting pot of America, where nearly all of us have family who came here for better opportunities and have assimilated to American culture, we feel a void where our ancestral community should be. We feel a yearning to discover more about our heritage and the traditions that made it beautiful — to connect with others from similar backgrounds to learn from and share with them. Joining an APIA Greek-letter organization affords that opportunity to become part of an extended family of individuals with similar histories toward exploring your heritage while sharing in the richness of the college experience. It promises the opportunity for personal growth through cultural education, leadership through service, and a broadened network through involvement.
— Ari Stillman, Sigma Beta Rho
In the last 4 years of being a member of the Greek community, I developed a strong pride for what we stand for as Asian Greeks and a passion for helping us develop our infrastructure to collectively reach new heights. My long-term vision is for Asian Greek life to be recognized as a long-standing, cultural organization. Our traditions, diverse cultures and legacy are what develop us into the strong leaders we are today.
— Alicia Chau, Sigma Psi Zeta
My first introduction to fraternity life came as a child when my grandfather took me to his annual fraternity alumni picnic. Even at that young age, it was obvious how important that aspect of his life was. It was through my grandfather that I learned fraternal values; not only through his words, but how he applied the values of integrity, networking, accountability, philanthropy, and cultural pride and awareness throughout his life.
— Brian Gee, Pi Alpha Phi
College is a time of personal growth and development for many people. We become independent, learn who we really are, and realize what we really want to do in life. There are many ways that people achieve this during college – people meet new friends, participate in clubs, study abroad, take challenging courses, and do internships during the summer. I have done them all, but whenever friends ask me what experience in college changed me the most, I always reply, ‘Being a part of Greek life.’ Four years have passed since I first became a sister of my sorority, but I am only beginning to realize the lasting impacts that Greek life has made on me. I have met some of my best friends, I have established an invaluable network on campus and at other schools, but most of all I have learned how to be a leader.
— Rachel Wang, Sigma Psi Zeta
I see all of our organizations challenging the status quo today and know that NAPA can and will do the same. I will forever be an advocate for the power and value of fraternities and sororities overall because I know that when done right, we can have a significantly positive impact on young men and women.
— Hannah Seoh, Delta Phi Lambda
Originally I joined Greek life to meet new people and find my niche in college because I had never really stayed in one place for more than a couple years. However, it grew to something more as it became the reason I started to become a strong advocate within the Asian American community. It strengthened my desire to gain a legal education and advocate for underrepresented communities. And having the opportunity to meet not only my sorority sisters, but other NAPA members has brought me a sense of community that I never truly had growing up because I was constantly moving.
— Teri Chung, Kappa Phi Lambda
I’ve always been an involved and engaged student. Whether in sports, the arts, or clubs and organizations, giving back to the community and world around me was important. The mission, vision, and core values of my fraternity exemplified the leadership development and alumni network I sought in my collegiate experience and beyond. I now stand proudly as a pioneer in my field as one of the few NAPA-affiliated, Campus-Based Fraternity/Sorority Professionals.
— Toubee Yang, Lambda Phi Epsilon
I joined an Asian American Greek Letter Organization because I found a family, a home away from home. When I went to school hours away where I didn’t know anyone, it was lonely. But meeting the sisters at UVA made me feel like I had a close, tight knit group of friends I could depend on. They were very down to earth, easy to talk to, and dependable leaders. Joining Greek life has made such a big impact on my college life and my personal development that I’m always looking to give back.
— Michelle Wu, Sigma Psi Zeta
Having graduated from a high school with a pretty significant Asian American student population, I knew going into college that I wanted some way to hold on to my heritage and continue to explore my identity as an Asian American. Fast-forward nearly 7 years and I truly cannot imagine who I’d be without my sorority. From my identity as an Asian American woman, to how I foster new & old friendships, to how I continue to strive to lead where I can and give back to my community when I can – the values and experiences instilled in me as an Asian American Greek have been, and will continue to be, an integral part of who I am.
— Angela Ju, alpha Kappa Delta Phi
Joining an Asian American Greek Letter Organization during my undergraduate years was an enlightening and enriching experience to say the least. Growing up living in a place where my culture was shunned lead me to join an organization filled with progressive, strong women who were proud of their cultural backgrounds and could share the same experiences with me. I not only found a family, but I found a network, a place where I could excel, shine and grow amongst a community of leaders. NAPA is the sole reason I have continued to work towards advancing the AAGLO fraternal movement as an alum because of the resources and support they have provided to us. I am confident that NAPA will continue to be the strength and representative of the underrepresented APIA Voice. Even after eight years of involvement, I can still confidently say that being an APIA Greek is a significant part of my life and it is the reason I am the strong woman that I am today, and will be in the future.
— Kiran Wadhwa, Sigma Sigma Rho
When I graduated from high school, I had very few South Asian friends, and I honestly never thought I would join an Asian American Greek Lettered Organization. However, when I was rushing different fraternities my first semester in college, fraternities seemed like a true family, versus just a group of friends. I was drawn by how close they were with each other, how driven they were, how much they cared for the national fraternity and nationwide network, and their emphasis on spreading cultural awareness on campus. I have met amazing people all over the world as a result of being a brother that have had a strong impact on my life. — Prashant Kher, Beta Chi Theta
Growing up as an Asian American in the Midwest, I wasn’t truly aware of my identity until college. Being an overly engaged design student, I saw further development and community by becoming a fraternity member. As an alum and higher education professional, I see so much potential in our members and bridging the gap between members of Asian American Greek Letter Organizations and campus-based professionals.
— Vigor Lam, Pi Delta Psi
In the interests of collaborative work and the growth of the NAPA community, NAPA embraces an open expansion policy:
- To educate undergraduate chapters about the benefits of open expansion and the growth of the fraternity/sorority community at their respective institution.
- To ensure that when a NAPA member organization would like to expand to a campus at which there already exists NAPA member organizations, full support will be given to the interested organization.
- The support which will include, but shouldn’t be limited to, will be:
- Supporting and voting to approve the opening of expansion to the council in which NAPA member organizations are members of.
- Voting Yes to allow the interested NAPA member organization to charter(may not abstain).
- Please remember that you are a representative in the council by being affiliated with your organization; an organization which holds membership in NAPA. All policies set forth by NAPA must meet compliance.
When many people hear the words “open expansion,” they envision a chaotic rush of random groups coming to campus and overwhelming the community and administrative resources. True open expansion is that the opportunity to call a university home should always be available, but that the national organizations should collaborate with the local councils and the university for mutual success.
Open expansion can take many forms:
- University realizes the need for new national fraternities or sororities and markets the opportunity. Potential member organizations express an interest and the campus works closely with interested organizations to create a timeline for all of them to expand on campus in a manner that increases the chance of success.
- Students on campus come together to create an interest group that seeks recognition from an organization that is not already represented on campus. Interested students are supported by the national organization as they see recognition from the university and a local greek council. The interest group is given the opportunity to recruit and participate in fraternity and sorority community activities.
- The national organization identifies a campus they believe fits its values and growth plan. The national organization works closely with the university and council to identify strategies for success while building a collaborative relationship centered on new opportunities for students on that campus.
We should frame the idea of open expansion as one where the university, local councils, and interested national organizations want to be successful by working together to increase the opportunities available to students to find the right fit. It should not be a selection process where national organizations are required to jump through proverbial hoops.
A common university practice is to require national organizations to submit detailed reports about their expansion plan, alumni engagement, ideal members, or any number of other relevant statistics. These reports are then scrutinized by the campus, a select number of “finalists” are chosen for a presentation, and the campus selects a specific number of “winners” who will get the opportunity to expand in a pre-determined order. The Standard of Open Expansion should be thought of as a conversation of mutual success where the national organization wants to use resources on a campus where they can establish a chapter and the university wants a national organization that will enhance the lives of the students on their campus.
NAPA member organizations all agree that expansion will enhance the fraternal community when it is done freely and in collaboration with the university. The national organization and the university are partners in the expansion effort and neither wants to fail.
Ultimately, every fraternity and sorority started with a group of students coming together and choosing to be called by the letters they represent. Today, the university, local greek councils, and national fraternities/sororities must unite around the common goal of success and support one another in the collaborative effort of advancing the fraternity community. Open expansion creates an environment of growth that is sustainable and relevant to the campus community.
The principle of open expansion is supportive of the associational rights of students to freely associate with peers and organizations of their choice. NAPA supports the associational rights of its members, while encouraging them to work as a good faith partner with colleges and universities. As we work together, NAPA and its member organizations seek equity in the application of student policy that permits students to form groups and organizations through established student organization registration processes. Expansion also represents an opportunity to elevate a fraternal community by bringing in new groups that will infuse energy into a community, challenge the status quo, and create additional opportunities for personal and leadership development. Below are responses to responds to commonly expressed concerns.
We aren’t ready for another chapter.
As is the case with any student organization, students and student interest will decide if and when a campus is ready for another fraternity chapter. NAPA has confidence in the students deciding if a particular chapter is offering something of value to its members. If it is, then students will join the organization and if it isn’t, then it will die out quickly. It’s up to the students to decide which organization provides value.
We have to build up the weak chapters before we expand.
Chapters become weakened due to many factors: Poor recruitment techniques, cliques, hazing, lack of enforcement of risk management policies, lack of interest, poor internal leadership, weak mentoring by alumni, financial mismanagement, etc. Students listen to what is being promised during recruitment and if it isn’t delivered after they become a member then they become disenchanted and drift away. Membership at that point has lost its value. The college/university and the fraternity/sorority advisor are not responsible for the success or survival of a chapter. Continued support for struggling chapters is only advantageous if there is a clear road to recovery and all parties are heavily invested in the process. Additionally, adding a new, strong chapter will force weak chapters to “up their game” or risk dying out. Either way, a rising tide lifts all boats.
We don’t have the resources to provide to another chapter.
A campus fraternity/sorority advisor, already overworked and overburdened, may think of expansion and become concerned about their ability to continue to support additional chapters. That shouldn’t be the response. A new chapter is one more opportunity for developing leadership, and the development of lifelong friendships; which will result in more invested alumni for the college/university, and additional philanthropic and community service efforts. Expansion represents an opportunity to work with an additional national fraternity, and in doing so, brings more resources and support to a campus community. Expansion is an investment in a group of students and a campus community. Through this, there are significant opportunities to develop long term partnerships that are beneficial to the organization, campus, and most importantly, the students that are seeking a fraternal experience. Undergraduate students have the right to determine with whom they will associate, and if a particular experience is right for them. The university won’t recognize a new chapter because the student greek council won’t recognize them and vice-versa. This circle is unprincipled and intended to protect those who restrain free-trade and protect their perceived turf. Additionally, it is an inequitable application of student policy.
Each fraternity chapter can be considered a small business whose products should be the development of lifelong friendships, the development of leadership qualities and experience, the achievement of high academic accomplishments, and the development of philanthropic and community service activities. Chapters that fulfill those promises will find long-term success. For chapters that fall short, the chances of success are dubious. We owe it to students to continue to provide them an opportunity to choose. Expansion creates competition that promotes growth and progress. Expansion builds opportunities for values based fraternal experiences that are a benefit to individual students, host institutions, and the local community.
Is your organization interested in joining us? Please complete the following steps in order to apply for NAPA membership.
- Letter of Intent indicating your reasons for joining NAPA. Please address the following questions:
- How can NAPA support your cause as an organization?
- What attributes can you bring to NAPA?
- Application Packet demonstrating how your organization meets NAPA membership eligibility requirements.
- Submit all items to the Vice Chair at vicechair @ napa-online.org.
Organizations interested in pursuing membership in NAPA must meet the following requirements:
- Must have at least five undergraduate chapters recognized as fraternal organizations in four-year colleges or universities.
- Must have a chapter in at least two states.
- Must have been in existence for at least 10 years.
- Must have a central governing body.
- Must have current incorporation status.
- Must be prepared to submit membership dues determined by the Association.
- Must be insured with liability coverage.
- Must have risk management policy that addresses alcohol use, fire safety, hazing, and sexual assault/abuse.
- Enforce and maintain an Anti‐Hazing Policy.
- Must be prepared to send a representative to attend scheduled conference calls and the annual NAPA retreat.
- Agree to and support open expansion policies and practices.
- Promote collaboration, unification, and empowerment of all APIA fraternities and sororities.
The National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association, recognizing the importance of recognition or other endorsement which provides all rights and privileges bestowed to students and student organizations by host institutions, and further recognizing the importance of accepting all fraternal chapters into membership in local councils as student fraternal organizations, with all rights and privileges, applauds those institutions and councils which provide such recognition and membership on a free and open basis.
- The Association recognizes the obligation of colleges and universities to create a positive student life atmosphere. Furthermore, the Association recognizes that the overwhelming majority of institutions of higher education believe that fraternities/sororities are integral components in the creation of a positive student life atmosphere.
- The Association believes that the best way to create a positive student life atmosphere is through the recognition that all personas have the right to freely associate with each other and with the organizations on such terms and conditions they may choose in the exercise of their judgment.
- The Association further believes that this position is grounded in the historic American freedom of association and speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and reaffirmed in exemptions from Title IX by the Educatiments of 1972 as it applies to fraternal organizations.
- The Association further believes that it is unfair and biased for an institution to express that they can only have so many like historical cultural groups on a campus. This would seem to violate the principles of being inclusive and creating diversity on a college campus.
- The Association acknowledges that colleges and universities have the right to establish fair and reasonable rules and regulations, applicable to all student organizations to receive and maintain recognition. The Association believes that colleges and universities do not have the right to infringe on any organization’s right to recruit members at any time or on students’ rights to associate with an organization, if so selected by the organization – or to establish any other standards or regulations, which go beyond those applicable to all students and student organizations.
- The Association will be supportive of the expansion of NAPA member organizations onto colleges and universities, provided that the member organization attempting to expand meets the requirement set forth by the university administration and follows procedures set forth by the university.
The National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association, therefore, states its support for the rights of students to assemble into or to associate with fraternal and other student organizations, free from restriction in that decision by anyone and to that end the Association fully supports the notion that all rights and privileges should be granted to such students and their organizations as provided by the host institution and the local councils.
Because hazing and other pseudo-initiation practices have not been rejected and eradicated completely in undergraduate activities and therefore remain a menace to the well-being of the College Fraternity System, the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association affirms its position on this question.
- The Association believes that true fraternalism is nurtured in an atmosphere of social and moral responsibility, respect for duly constituted authority and loyalty to the principles of higher education.
- The Association further believes that while social behavior cannot be legislated, a fraternity/sorority without morally sound precepts and practices is not a constructive influence upon college students.
- The Association further believes that a fraternity/sorority has a solemn obligation in the development of its pledges/associations and members and that this responsibility extends alike to the institutions where it is represented; to parents and others who make possible the education of pledges/associates and members; to the communities where chapters are accountable for good citizenship; and to the college fraternity system of which it is a part.
- The Association further believes that while much progress has been made, one of the most damaging instruments to the fraternity system is the employment of a program of education which includes hazing, and that this unproductive, ridiculous and hazardous custom has no rightful place in the fraternity/sorority system.
- The Association defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities and situations includes paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, or any other such activities; wearing, in public, apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities, and any other activities which are not consistent with fraternal law, ritual, or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution.