Strengthening Greek Life Q & A
1. What are the changes to the rush process and when do these changes go into effect?
The new rush process will be implemented for the '04-'05 academic year. Fraternity rush will begin in January and last four weeks. The six-week new member education will begin immediately after bid signing. Fraternity rush events will be limited to 2 or 3 nights a week during rush.
Sorority rush will remain the week prior to the start of the spring semester.
A formal fall rush process will be established for chapters wishing to recruit members who are sophomores or above. Chapters wishing to rush upper class students must adhere to this process.
During the fall semester, system wide events highlighting Greek life will be held monthly, and sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and the university. There should be no individual chapter rush events during the Fall '04.
Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority will still need to have 12 Lehigh credits earned and a 2.25 GPA.
For more information on the changes to the rush process, visit Appendix J of the Strengthening Greek Life report at: www3.lehigh.edu/greeklife/Task_Force_Report.pdf
2. Will Wood Company be the food service provider for the 24-hour diner and what is the timetable on getting that up and running?
We know that in order for the 24-hour diner to be successful it should offer food choices that will taste good at 2 a.m. Foods like burgers, wings, and other selections are what we are hoping to offer. We are currently working to determine what options are available for us in terms of using an outside food vendor.
Student Senate, the Dean of Students office and others are currently working on the project.
For more information on the 24-hour diner, visit Page 30 of the Strengthening Greek Life report at: www3.lehigh.edu/greeklife/Task_Force_Report.pdf.
3. What exactly are the roles of the Greek Life Coordinators? Are they just glorified gryphons?
The Greek Life Coordinators (GLC) are not glorified gryphons. The GLCs are Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs staff members that act as the point of contact person for 6-7 fraternities and 1-2 sororities. The GLCs will assist with issues regarding the daily and long term operations of their chapters. They will also serve as the primary point of contact for alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff for all concerns involving the chapters that they are responsible for. Issues include, but are not limited to, maintenance, facilities, new member education, rush, etc.; facilitation of Greek leadership classes for their chapters in partnership with the Student Leadership Development staff; serving as a liaison to their chapter's alumni and (inter)national organizations, and assisting with the regular inspections of health and safety, maintenance and facility issues.
They are here to help each chapter become successful and help in the growth and development of its members.
For more information on the Greek Life Coordinators, visit Appendix B of the Strengthening Greek Life report at: www3.lehigh.edu/greeklife/Task_Force_Report.pdf.
4. What are the changes to the officer election cycles and when do they go into effect?
The Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council have voted on a new spring election cycle system. New executive board members will be elected in the spring and hold office for an academic year, rather than the calendar year, as it has been in the past.
The Panhellenic and Interfraternity councils voted unanimously that all current executive board members may finish out their terms, and elections will be held this coming December for a term of just one semester. These members or new candidates can then run again for that single semester.
5. What are the changes to the occupancy rules and when do they go into effect?
The university is currently looking at adjustments in housing capacities to improve the quality of living space in each Greek house.
Effective in the '05-'06 academic year, chapters will be required to meet 90% occupancy (based upon the new capacity counts and counting only active members, not boarders) in order to preserve the privilege of leasing a chapter house. Failure to meet this requirement for 3 semesters in a row (or 4 out of 5 semesters) will result in loss of lease privilege.
Note: the current 65% requirement (using existing occupancy totals) remains in effect through the '04-'05 academic year with the same 3 semester (or 4 out of 5) rule.
For more information on the occupancy rules, visit page 28 of the Strengthening Greek Life report at: www3.lehigh.edu/greeklife/Task_Force_Report.pdf.
6. What does a consolidated campus housing system mean?
The Greek Life Task Force Report recommended strongly that the landlord-lessee relationship between the university and members of the Greek community living in university owned houses be clarified. As landlord, the university takes seriously its obligation to ensure that housing for Greek chapters be clean, safe, financially viable and conducive to learning and personal development. To help fulfill this landlord obligation, Lehigh has adopted a consolidated campus housing system that makes it possible for the university to invest in Greek residences to improve living conditions wherever necessary. The model, which starts in '05-'06 and calls for investments of up to $6-$8 million over the next five years, will make it possible to improve the quality of Greek housing stock. This approach reduces significant financial burdens from individual chapters by spreading costs for housing improvements across all university housing assets.
7. What is the new occupancy standard that fraternity and sorority houses must maintain?
A new housing occupancy standard has been adopted and will go into effect in the '05-'06 academic year. Chapters must meet the 90% occupancy rate (only members count toward this) to preserve the privilege of leasing a chapter house. A chapter that fails to meet the occupancy standard three semesters in a row or four out of five semesters will lose the privilege of University housing but may retain their recognition as a non-residential fraternity or sorority. House capacities are being examined and where possible, will be adjusted to improve the quality of living space by enabling the assignment of more single rooms. The privilege of membership and of independent group living on the campus carries responsibilities for sustaining continuity and stability within the chapter. Making the commitment to live in the chapter house is a fundamental expectation of Greek membership, with exceptions handled on a case-by-case basis.
8. Are first and second year students required to live on campus?
The Task Force recommended that first and second year students be required to live in on-campus housing, which includes residence halls, fraternities and sororities, effective as soon as sufficient campus housing is available. The university is reviewing this recommendation and issues of timing and should be able to make an announcement by early fall. We expect to be able to provide this housing within the next two to three years.
9. What are the changes to the officer election cycles and when do they go into effect?
The Panhellenic (Panhel) and Interfraternity (IFC) councils approved shifting the officer election and service cycle to coincide with the academic year. To accomplish this recommendation, the students developed a transition plan which will be implemented for the fall '04 semester, which includes the commitment of the current Panhel and IFC executive board officers to remain in office through the entire '04-'05 academic year. The transition plan also prescribes a method for all fraternities and sororities to be in full compliance with this recommendation by the '05-'06 academic year.
10. What progress has been made with the recommendations?
Groups comprised of students, faculty, staff and alumni have already made considerable progress on many of the more than forty Task Force recommendations. It is important to remember that, while some of the Task Force recommendations have been implemented fairly quickly, others will take months and years to be fully realized.
- A statement entitled, "A Vision for Greek Life at Lehigh" has been completed.
- A working group comprised of students from a wide range of organizations and university staff members gathered and affirmed Lamberton Hall as the future venue for a variety of social events and the home for the "24 hour diner".
- A study of floor plans of individual houses continues with the goal being to eliminate quads, reduce the number of triples, and in some cases doubles, and create additional singles in an effort to enhance the overall living experience.
- A communications policy and related procedures have been created to notify key constituent groups in the event a chapter is not meeting performance standards.
- A new accreditation system was successfully piloted with two fraternities and two sororities. This system replaces Greek Review and will be fully implemented in the fall '04 semester
- Four positions for professional Greek Life Coordinators (GLC) were added for '04-'05, with three of the new positions filled and an offer pending on one other.
- Work has begun to develop a credit-bearing curriculum in life skills and leadership services.