Friday, September 21, 2018

Feature Friday: Base Camp!

Base Camp is a three-day overnight retreat with Greek leaders fostering authentic dialogue and placing emphasis on Collaborative Connections and Inclusive Leadership. Participants develop meaningful relationships and support networks to aid them in creating positive change to move the fraternity and sorority community forward.

At Base Camp, participants with different experiences and backgrounds engage in a variety of exercises and activities, called to play the role of both the teacher and the learner at different times throughout the weekend. Authentic conversation about the reality for our students and our fraternity and sorority community is necessary for creating positive change, and requires participants to move from their comfort zone to their learning edge throughout the experience. Base Camp is a setting which fosters such conversations, while allowing participants to develop relationships and meaningful support networks to aid them through their present and future challenges.

Some thoughts from Aisha Abdulkarimu, sister of Mu Sigma Upsilon...

My biggest takeaway from Base Camp is that although Greek life is separated into three councils and we feel as if we are going to different experiences and challenges we are actually going through similar challenges as Lehigh students and Greek life.

One highlight or an unexpected experience from Base Camp was realizing how big and deep a lot of the issues surrounding Greek Life is. They cannot be solved with the snap of a finger or simply one event but requires a deep analysis of social norm or even culture.

I hope after Base Camp to collaborate more with organizations within IFC and Panhel for any events, see members of IFC and Panhel more where they know my chapter sisters and me more, and as the Cultural Greek Council find a way to connect more.

Jacob Dooley, Phi Sigma Kappa and IFC Exec member shares his experience...

Going into base camp I was honestly a little skeptical at what the participation from the greek leaders and execs would look like. For many of us this was the first time interacting with each other for more than an hour a week, so to expect us to act cohesively and engage in challenging conversations I believed was a stretch. But I was wrong to think that.

The weekend was scheduled from sunrise to sunset with discussion, problem solving, and team building. All of it productive and by the end of base camp I felt energized to tackle the rest of the semester. Everyone was so supportive of each other, felt comfortable enough in the space to speak honestly, and overall it was a surprisingly enjoyable albeit chilly experience.

Moving forward I believe that we have the opportunity to enact sustainable proactive change within the greek community. I personally have an ambition to make greek life at Lehigh more inclusive which everyone in greek leadership can agree with, but beyond that I think that the councils are going to more actively look into what being a part of the Lehigh and Bethlehem community means to them and how they can give back. I am looking forward to meaningful collaboration not only within and between the councils, but also outside of greek life incorporating organizations that exist throughout the entire student body.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Farewell Brigette Gardner

I’m writing to share bittersweet news. As many of you know, Brigette Gardner will be leaving us next week for an incredible opportunity as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at York College of Pennsylvania. In this new position, Brigette will be responsible for planning and implementing alumni events; working with undergraduate students and young alumni through the Student Alumni Association, Senior Class Officers, and Young Alumni Council; and managing marketing and communication efforts.

During Brigette’s tenure at Lehigh, she has served as the advisor to the Panhellenic Council alongside a dozen fraternities and sororities. Under her guidance, the Panhellenic Council worked to foster a more inclusive community; strengthened partnerships with the Center for Gender Equity to explore women’s leadership and empowerment; and made a conscious effort to dig into difficult conversations and make unpopular decisions that strengthened the sorority experience. She has been incredibly instrumental in supporting a student-driven Trans-inclusion Task Force that’s committed to creating an environment where transwomen feel welcomed and supported in pursing membership in our Panhellenic chapters. Brigette is also the leading expert behind OFSA’s social host training and risk reduction efforts, and she’s redeveloped curriculum for social host training alongside prevention messaging to students during high risk times across the year (e.g. Lehigh Lafayette Rivalry, Halloween Spring Break, etc.)

Brigette involvement also extends far beyond the fraternity and sorority community, as she’s worked closely with others across campus. Most notably, she’s participated in a collateral assignment with the Center for Gender Equity to gain a better understand feminist theories and engage in dialogue about gender equity. Through this work she has facilitated conversations regarding feminism, sexism, and gender equity as well as questioned policies, systems, and structures that perpetuate gender inequity. Her increased knowledge, awareness, and understanding in this area has greatly informed her work and several of our office’s signature programs.

We don’t know what we’ll miss most about Brigette. Perhaps watching her growth as she transitioned from an unpaid summer intern to professional staff member. Perhaps her #bosslady skills in event planning that grew the Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Awards program to a scale which rivals the Oscars. Perhaps her love of assessment and willingness to nerd out with others on measuring learning outcomes and capturing students’ insights to better inform our work. In short, we’re incredibly grateful to have called Brigette a colleague and friend.

Please join us in congratulating Brigette on this well-deserved opportunity. Her last day will be Friday, September 21, 2018.

We'll be in touch with details shortly regarding transition plans to cover Brigette's responsibilities following her departure.



Feature Friday: Meet Erin Andersen!

Meet Erin, the newest addition to our team!  She'll be advising IFC so stop by and say hi!

Name: Erin Andersen
Position: Assistant Director
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Educational Background: B.A in English and a M.Ed. in English Education from the University of North Georgia
Affiliation: Delta Zeta

Professional Highlights: For the past four years, I served as the Director of Member Education for Chi Phi Fraternity’s National Office in which I designed curriculum for national programs, worked with Chapters in regards to risk management, and helped to create a standardized new member education program. Previous to that I taught Freshman Composition courses at the University of North Georgia.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in fraternity and sorority affairs? While I was teaching on campus, I began serving as an advisor to a couple of different organizations. I found very quickly that this was my passion: working with students outside of a classroom setting where I could truly mentor them personally, professionally, and academically. And, given that my undergraduate Greek experience was a positive one, I knew I wanted to give back and help others see all the positives that Greek life had to offer (especially in regards to alumni support and networking).

What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University? I hope to build strong partnerships with students, faculty, and fellow staff as well as work with as many people as possible to help achieve the goals identified by OFSA, the Greek Councils and individual Chapters. My hope is that I can play a small roll in growing Greek life on campus along with showing the community the benefits that Greek Life has to offer.

What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far? I have been incredibly impressed by everyone’s passion and energy! The one-on-one conversations I’ve had have shown that students are aware of their challenges, proud of their successes, and looking forward to this year being one of positive change. I am really looking forward to diving in and working with everyone, sharing ideas, and making this year a great one!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Feature Friday: Meet Phoebe Galbraith!

Meet Phoebe!  She started as an Assistant Director in July and is advising CGC.  Read on to learn more!

Name: Phoebe Galbraith
Position: Assistant Director
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Educational Background: B.S. in Psychology & Child and Family Studies - Boise State University
M.S. in College Student Personnel - University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleAffiliation: Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity 

Professional Highlights:During graduate school I held an assistantship in New Student and Family Programs, where I had the opportunity to work with the Parent's Council, a leadership group comprised of parents and alumni of the university
  • I also had the opportunity to facilitate the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to students and staff across campus through my work with the Center for Leadership and Service
  • For my graduate capstone, I created a Diversity and Inclusion based recruitment program for NPC Chapters
Why did you decide to pursue a career in fraternity and sorority affairs? Being a sister of Alpha Xi Delta led me to many amazing opportunities during my undergraduate career and shaped me into the person I am today. The more involved I became, the more I realized the power of the fraternity and sorority experience and the positive impact our organizations can have on a college campus and beyond. When I started graduate school, I made it a point to get involved with other areas of Student Affairs, but always found myself drawn to fraternity and sorority life. After completing two internships with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life at UTK, I knew this was the only career for me!

What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University? I hope to create positive, supportive relationships with as many students and staff as possible! I want the students I work with to grow from their experiences here at Lehigh so I will strive to support that growth however I can. I'm also looking forward to truly becoming a member of this community and embracing all that Lehigh and South Bethlehem have to offer!

What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far? So far, it seems that everyone I've met has been passionate about their organizations and the work you all are doing, which is exciting! I can tell that you all are incredibly driven and intelligent and are capable of taking our community to the next level.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Message Regarding Unrecognized Groups

The following message was shared with first-year male students as well as their families

The fraternity and sorority community is an important part of the campus experience for many students, and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA) strives to create a distinctive learning-centered experience.  We feel strongly that you should be informed about options across the fraternity and sorority community so that you have the opportunity to make educated decisions should you choose to affiliate with a Greek-letter organization.  To that end, we provide many information sessions for students to learn about the fraternity and sorority experience, and this letter is another initiative to provide you with important information.

Lehigh University currently has 14 officially recognized international fraternities.  We also want to make you aware that some groups may exist off campus that are not recognized by the University.   It is important that you are aware of some potential issues if you choose to affiliate with one of the unrecognized off campus groups rather than one of Lehigh’s 14 recognized fraternities.

Several fraternities have lost recognition in recent years from the University and their international headquarters because they failed to comply with policies or guidelines.  The 2017-2018 academic year was particularly difficult and unprecedented as three fraternities—Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Kappa Alpha—lost recognition and no longer exist at Lehigh University.  Some of these formerly recognized groups may continue to operate without University recognition, oversight, or approval and are considered unrecognized groups.  Unrecognized groups are not permitted to use Lehigh University's name or image, secure University group housing, or represent themselves as an official part of the University community.  We do not have confidence that unrecognized groups operate with diligence to promote student growth and development; provide proactive and preventative measures to foster wellness and safety; nor abide by University guidelines with regard to recruitment, new member education, academic support, and other areas vital to the successful management of an organization.  Additionally, unrecognized groups operate in the absence of reasonable and prudent oversight as well as lack resources and support provided to other student organizations. 

While we cannot predict the outcome of membership in an unrecognized group, it is important to alert you to the possible concerns and consequences regarding the well-being of students that choose to affiliate with or join an unrecognized group.  There exists no meaningful partnership between the University and students, alumni volunteers, and international headquarters staff associated with unrecognized groups.  These unrecognized groups will not receive an invitation to regain University recognition in the near future or in subsequent academic years while they continue to exist in direct violation of University policy.  

We also invite you to review our website to learn more about Lehigh’s recognized chapters. These chapters have rich and lengthy histories at Lehigh and many have been recognized for excellence by the University and their respective international headquarters in the areas of membership development, academic excellence, leadership, and service efforts.   The content of the OFSA website is robust and you will find a number of resources, including Accreditation reports, grade reports, membership statistics, and conduct history for our fraternities.  All of these resources are valuable tools should you consider membership in a fraternity and choose to participate in recruitment in January 2019.  The current recognized Lehigh University fraternities include the following:

Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Tau Omega
Chi Phi
Chi Psi
Delta Chi
Delta Upsilon
Kappa Alpha Psi
Phi Delta Theta
Phi Kappa Theta
Phi Sigma Kappa
Psi Upsilon
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Theta Chi
Theta Xi

If you have questions regarding any this information please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at (610) 758-4157 or by e-mailing   

Thank you,

Ashley M. Baudouin
Assistant Dean of Students/Director

Christopher J. Mulvihill
Associate Dean of Students

Katherine W. Lavinder
Dean of Students

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Mark your calendars!

Using powerful stories grounded in personal experiences, Tim Mousseau uses his passion and vulnerability to guide conversations that will leave students inspired to combat sexual violence, redefine masculinity, and provoke change.

Tim received a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga in 2013, but is a Lobo at heart, having graduated from University of New Mexico in 2011. For the past few years, he has spent some time researching how innovation relates to leadership and the need for service in creativity.

In the past he has worked for his fraternity, Sigma Chi, as well as spending time working with close to 175 campuses through the NIC. Having grown up an Air Force kid, he has never lived anywhere longer than four years. Throughout his travels, Tim began to study the arts and in his spare time is a painter, having designed his 20+ tattoos.

Please join us for Tim's programs on Wednesday September 26th.  The following small group breakouts will take place in UC 303. 

4-5pm: Hacking Your Organization: Tools for Meaningful Growth (Closed Session)

5:30-6:30pm Conversations on Meaningful Change (Dinner provided, RSVP required here)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Greeks like to MOOV it, MOOV it!

Over 500 Greek students volunteered for MOOV on Thursday August 23rd assisting first year students get settled into their new homes at Lehigh.  President Simon thanked the "Brown & White army" for providing a warm welcome to new students and their families.  Housing services said it was "the smoothest, most successful MOOV in years!"

Congratulations to Alpha Epsilon Pi for winning the First Annual Greek MOOV Volunteer Challenge!  

For more information, see the video and article from Lehigh news here: