Strengthening Greek Life Student Update
Dear Greek actives,
Welcome back. As we begin the 2005-06 academic year, I am optimistic and excited about the future of Greek life at Lehigh, as we position our Greek system to become one of the finest in the country. Working together with a shared commitment to excellence, we can certainly achieve this goal.
Last year, as teams of Greek actives, Greek alumni and administration began implementing the recommendations of the Greek Life Task Force, it was agreed that transparency was a crucial element of our approach. By doing so, everyone with a vested interest in the Greek system would be fully informed of our efforts and results.
In keeping with this spirit of openness, this e-mail is the first of what will be regular updates to keep you apprised of our progress in strengthening Greek life at Lehigh. Please take a few minutes to review the activity and result highlights during these past few months.
Integral to our current and future success is the collaboration among our key partners -- dubbed by Joe King, president of the Greek Alumni Council, as the triple A -- of actives, alumni and administration. We have built strong working relationships and look forward to the continued cooperation and progress that is sure to make Lehigh's Greek system a model for others to emulate.
If you have any questions or suggestions for achieving our goals, feel free to contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at 8-4157.
Best wishes for a great fall semester.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Letter from Meredith Anderson and Matt Diana, Panhel and IFC president
Dear Greek Actives,
An essential part of the Lehigh culture is the competitive spirit of being the best. Each student, faculty member, administrator, or alumni strives to achieve a life of integrity and excellence. In this same spirit, initiatives are currently underway to strengthen Greek life:
- The 2004-2005 academic year witnessed the successful implementation of several recommendations made by the Task Force for Strengthening Greek Life. The new accreditation system replaced RER as the standard by which the chapters are measured. Each fraternity and sorority worked hard to show its chapter pride and compiled a comprehensive portfolio and presentation that illustrated programming in the areas of leadership, scholarship, citizenship, partnership, and stewardship.
- The cleanliness of many of the chapter houses dramatically improved. A more organized cleaning staff worked hand-in-hand with the chapter members to create a healthier home environment for all Greeks.
- New initiatives to improve the physical plant and maintenance of the chapters continued into the summer as the University refurbished the bedrooms and common areas of the houses.
- A new fraternity recruitment process was introduced. Men's formal recruitment moved to the first four weeks of spring semester, allowing first-year students the entire first semester to acclimate to college before exploring Greek life. The IFC and the administration used the fall semester to market the merits of the Greek system as a whole. This additional time allowed the first-year students to gain a deeper, and more mature, perspective of each house. Consequently, new member numbers increased eleven percent from the previous year's recruitment period.
In the upcoming year the IFC hopes to work with every chapter to improve on the results of accreditation. Each chapter did an excellent job in preparing their portfolios and presentations. Additional guidance from the IFC and administration during the second year of the accreditation process will help clarify areas of improvement and build on previous successes. Recruitment also continues to be a top priority. Increased efforts to recruit quality members will only help to ensure a stronger overall community. The actives, in conjunction with increased alumni involvement, will ensure the rich tradition of Greek life at Lehigh will continue.
Panhellenic continues to excel in the area of service both outside and within the Lehigh community. The accreditation process highlighted the wide spectrum of organizations and causes to which the chapters donated their time and effort. Alpha Omicron Pi assisted a newly implemented chapter at St. Joseph 's University in Philadelphia with recruitment and ritual practices. Kappa Alpha Theta sponsored a free throw tournament to benefit diabetes research while Pi Beta Phi orchestrated a campus-wide book drive. Alpha Chi Omega's “lineage lunch” and Alpha Gamma Delta's joint scholarship dinner with Sigma Chi fraternity were recognized as “best practices” in the area of partnership. Alpha Phi hosted a faculty tea to facilitate stronger relations with the administration while Gamma Phi Beta reached out to their alumni with “G Phi B in NYC.” Chi Omega and Delta Gamma sponsored on-campus events such as the Thank-A-Soldier campaign and campus safety programming, respectively. Chapters have individually demonstrated excellence in the area of service. In the upcoming year, Panhellenic looks to unite these efforts into system-wide programming.
Additionally, Panhel looks to continue to increase senior involvement and strengthen relations with current alumni. Together, this will help build the foundation to bring alumni relations into the spotlight of Panhellenic life. Building on our current achievements in scholarship, new member education, and community service will continue to remain a priority.
In closing, we look forward to another great year marked by a growing relationship between the actives, administration, and alumni as well as continued joint efforts between IFC and Panhel. We hope you continue to take an active interest and embrace the traditions and transitions of Greek life here at Lehigh.
Matthew Diana, IFC President 2005-2006
Meredith Anderson, Panhellenic President 2005-2006
Accreditation process and results
One of the key Strengthening Greek Life Task Force recommendations - creating and instituting a process of annual accreditation of each chapter - has recently been concluded. At the end of the spring semester each chapter presented a report of their year-long efforts and results in five essential domains of Greek life: scholarship, leadership, citizenship, partnership and stewardship. Presentations were made to members of the Accreditation committee comprised of Greek actives, Greek alumni and university administrators.
The results of this process are available on the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs website at: http://www.lehigh.edu/~indost/greek/accreditation.html .
New Assistant Dean for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Hired
We are excited to introduce our new Assistant Dean for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Tim Wilkinson. Tim comes to us from the College of New Jersey where he held the position of Fraternity and Sorority Program Director for four years. In his previous role, he managed all aspects of 25 Greek chapters, including planning, implementation, budgeting and assessment. Tim also advised the Inter-Greek Council, the Panhellenic Council, Order of Omega, Union Latina and the Homecoming Spirit Committee.
Tim is also well known in Greek circles, having served as the Region I Director of the Association of Fraternity Advisors in 2004 and 2005. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Greek Leadership Association in 2004 and 2005, and assisted in the creation of the first North American Interfraternity Sexual Assault Summit.
Tim received his M.A. in human service administration from Rider University and a B.A. in communications studies from West Chester University .
Tim can be contacted at 610.758.4157 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
New Greek Life Coordinator's
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs recently hired three Greek Life Coordinators.
Justin, a Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumnus, received his M.S. in education from Purdue University and his BA in communications from DePauw University . Justin served as a resident educational advisor for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, providing leadership and membership development to 70 live-in members. He also assisted the chapter with risk management and managed its educational budget. Justin was also a project consultant for the Purdue Alumni Association, where he coordinated alumni events/activities and advised a 25-member student alumni group in team building, time management and budgeting.
Tiffany, a Chi Omega alumna, received her M.S. in counseling with an emphasis on college student personnel from Shippensburg University and a B.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh . While at Shippensburg, Tiffany worked as a Greek Affairs intern in the Office of Student Activities at Dickinson College assisting in sorority recruitment, the Greek life accreditation program and the emerging leaders retreat. Tiffany also worked as an intern in the Offices of Student Activities and First-Year Programs and was a graduate assistant in the Career Development Center .
Andrea, an alumna of Alpha Delta Pi, received her M.A. in college student personnel from Bowling Green University and a B.S. in human resource development from Oakland University . At Bowling Green , Andrea served on the fraternity house staff for two years, overseeing the operations for a 38-member house. She also served as the graduate advisor for the National Pan-Hellenic Council where she advised eight of the nine historically black fraternities and sororities and also planned leadership conferences and an annual retreat. Prior to Bowling Green , Andrea was a traveling consultant for Alpha Delta Pi.
Greek Life Leadership Coordinator
Beth Greenberg , former Greek Life Coordinator, has taken on a new role as Greek Life Leadership Coordinator. With her extensive knowledge of our system, as well as her passion for leadership development, Beth will work with chapters and the larger Greek system to develop leadership programs for new members, upper-class students and officer groups. She will also work to continually assess and develop programs to meet the existing and emerging needs of the Greek system and its students.
Leadership development for the Greek system and its individual chapters was identified, through the Greek accreditation process, as an area that needed strong improvement and enhancement. Thus, resources were reallocated to create a Greek Life Leadership Coordinator to help meet this vital need and to provide as much assistance as possible to chapters.
Facilities Services was very busy this past summer renovating Lehigh's 22 fraternity houses. More than $3 million was spent to: replace old flooring; repair or remove damaged built-in bedroom furniture; patch and paint bedroom walls and ceilings; and install university provided bedroom furniture.
Numerous houses also received upgraded kitchen cabinets and counters, toilet partitions, electrical work and new bedroom doors. Rooms in Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Kappa Alpha were restructured in order to add single bedrooms. Chi Psi, closed for the past two years due to interior issues, was completely renovated with focus on a new roof, windows, doors, plumbing, wiring, alarm systems and sprinklers.
Policies and Procedures
Throughout the 2004-05 academic year, Greek actives, alumni and university administrators have worked together creating and implementing numerous policies related to recommendations put forth by the Strengthening Greek Life Task Force.