Monday, October 26, 2020

Greek Pre-Recruitment Education Program Update

 


    The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs recently changed their pre-recruitment education program from Pregame to Greek PREP. Interested students who attended Pregame and did not join a Greek organization prior to Fall 2020 are not required to complete a Greek PREP session. Their Pregame attendance fulfills OFSA’s pre-recruitment education requirement. All students interested in participating in fraternity and sorority recruitment starting in Fall 2020 will be required to attend a Greek PREP session. Additionally, the program fulfills a 5x10 for freshmen through OFYE.

    The change of educational program name was intentional. Pregame was mostly alcohol-based with the presentation being based on statistics on Lehigh drinking culture. It largely encompassed educating freshmen and potential new members about what a standard drink is, rate of absorption of alcohol, and risk prevention measures to be taken while out drinking. The last part of the presentation went over the requirements to join Greek life which shows how the Pregame educational program focused mainly on the drinking aspect of joining Greek life. Because of this, OFSA made the change to Greek PREP which covers far more than alcohol safety and risk prevention. More specifically, Greek PREP goes over what membership in a Greek organization looks like, what recruitment looks like, and what the new member process looks like. It also goes in depth into the three different Greek councils on campus. There is still an included part about health, safety, and bystander intervention. However, this is more of a holistic approach to joining Greek life as it gives a more positive outlook on the community and better understanding of the process for potential new members.

    This change has been well received by the freshmen and potential new members attending Greek PREP with one stating that “Hearing directly from leaders about the process was really nice and put me at ease. This PREP helped to answer any initial questions I had.” Multiple members of each executive council attend the PREP sessions which allows them to field questions any new potential members might have after the presentation by OFSA. This addition has helped students get a better understanding of the entire greek community with a potential new member saying “I thought hearing directly from a member of the Panhellenic council as well as someone from OFSA gave me a really great overview of what greek life has to offer here at Lehigh.” Not originally a part of Pregame, this addition brings more insight as new members hear directly from people within the organizations they might be joining.  If you are interested in participating in Greek recruitment at Lehigh University and have not completed Greek PREP, visit go.lehigh.edu/gogreek to learn more. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Sigma Phi Delta joins the Lehigh Interfraternity Council

 

Sigma Phi Delta has recently been recognized as part of Lehigh’s Interfraternity Council. Since their founding in Spring 2013, the Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Delta (SPD) has had dual affiliation with the Professional Fraternity Association and the North American Interfraternity Council. They have struggled in the past to be recognized by Lehigh’s Interfraternity Council as both a professional and social fraternity. It is important to understand why SPD wanted to be a part of IFC as they continue to grow as a chapter and wanted the added support from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA). Over the last three years, SPD has seen tremendous growth in membership and struggled to find designated residences to fit over 50 brothers for meetings and events. Additionally, with membership growth, “the fraternity wanted to seek out resources and oversight that would allow for optimum function as a growing organization” according to Julian Tsang, the President of SPD. Their former executive board had been successful in creating the Professional Greek Coalition, but they did not find it was the solution for their growing problems. Being a part of IFC allows SPD to partake in the same events with other fraternities and sororities, recruit members in the same process, and receive guidance from OFSA. A general consensus from both new and current members of SPD is the priority of a residential living space for the entire brotherhood. From the side of the executive board of IFC, they were thrilled to add another fraternity to the community. Peter Jensen, the head of recruitment for IFC, explains that “The IFC average GPA last semester was higher than the all men’s average at Lehigh. Adding a fraternity that was based around academics will benefit our drive to strive academically.” An engineering fraternity like SPD was able to academically help IFC overall. For recruitment specifically, there is a declining IFC community population so it was mutually beneficial for IFC and SPD’s recruitment processes. SPD is going to be on a year long probationary period where the head of IFC’s judicial board, Josh Rutzick, will oversee a review of their standard board to make sure it is aligned with IFC’s. Overall, both IFC and SPD seem very excited about this addition to the Lehigh Greek community.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fall 2020 COVID Tri-Council Joint Statement

As we return to campus this week, the Lehigh Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council, and Interfraternity Council realize the complex circumstances this semester will entail. Our shared Greek community, which is operating much differently this semester, is committed to adhering to Lehigh University’s guidelines and local regulations in order to ensure the safety of our community. It is important to acknowledge that even though a large portion of our community may not be returning to campus, those of us who are in or around Lehigh’s campus have a responsibility to nurture a safe community experience for everyone in the Lehigh and greater Bethlehem area.

In the time leading up to students’ return to on-campus or off-campus, Lehigh and the state of Pennsylvania have issued a number of guidelines and regulations. The Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council, and Interfraternity Council are committed to upholding and adhering to the rules both Lehigh and the local authorities have issued in an effort to Help Keep Lehigh Safe. Lehigh’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines can be found at Lehigh’s COVID-19 Community Responsibility & Commitments and within Lehigh's Fall 2020 Student Social Contract. The policies and guidelines outlined by Lehigh in the Social Contract have been signed by every Lehigh University student whether they are returning to live on-campus or off-campus. Every student is also obligated to complete the Fall 2020 Student Expectations Course, monitor their health through HawkWatch self-reporting, and also complete COVID-19 testing. Remember to take proper health and safety precautions, such as wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces frequently. If you do not feel well or are experiencing symptoms, stay home and do not come to campus until receiving further direction. Health & Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations have also been communicated.

Ensuring safety and adherence to the policies that have been outlined in Lehigh’s announcements is crucial to our success this semester. Lehigh has collected residential information for where students will reside this semester so that the health and safety of our community can be closely monitored. In the event that a student's behavior does not adhere to Lehigh’s policies, students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and investigated. Every student in order to return to campus or their off-campus homes has signed off on the social contract and subsequent guidelines, and the Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council and Interfraternity Council are committed to holding member organizations accountable for their actions with the guidance from the Office of Student Conduct. Any type of gathering must be a maximum of 10 people and social distancing guidelines including personal protective equipment must be adhered to. To further hold individuals accountable, all three councils have created an Anonymous Reporting Form for on and off-campus students to report unsafe behavior that could jeopardize the safety of our community. This reporting form will be monitored by tri-council leadership and every report will be considered. Lehigh University also has a COVID 19 - Behavior Expectation Reporting Form. It is essential that students hold themselves and their peers accountable in order to successfully complete the semester and stay safe. Please refer to these articles as a reinforcement of what could happen as a consequence of our actions. There have already been several campus populations that have moved all undergraduate courses online or removed students from campus and the surrounding areas as a result of the students’ actions. Please continue to use your best judgement and contribute to a safe and healthy Lehigh campus. 

Under these circumstances, it is clear that the ways of living in or around Lehigh University will very much be different. With that, our councils must adjust our recruitment processes to adhere to the rules and guidelines that we are enforcing in the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities. The Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council and Interfraternity Council will still be actively recruiting; however, all formal recruitment events will be virtual until further notice. In order to ensure a successful virtual recruitment, all councils will be utilizing ChapterBuilder as a tool to interact and engage with interested students in a safer manner. These matters will be discussed at our Go Greek Webinar on August 25th, at 4:30pm, and 26th, at 7:00pm. We highly encourage all interested students to sign up for a webinar time here to learn more about the Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council and Interfraternity Council and how we will operate in the midst of Covid-19.

It is important for us, both as fraternity/sorority members and community members, to acknowledge and understand the important roles we play in creating a safe learning environment. In an effort to ensure the safety of ourselves and others, it is critical that we follow the guidelines outlined by Lehigh and local authorities. We urge our students to be safe and to be smart.

As Governing Council Presidents, we are optimistic about the cooperation of our members, and are committed to enforcing these initiatives and being leaders on our campus. Our respective councils and other leaders on our Executive Boards will do our part to educate our community and work to provide structure and guidance to lead us all through these challenging times together. We understand the situation we are all in might not be ideal, but this semester must be different at Lehigh. Individuals in organizations that do not act according to these initiatives and the values outlined by Lehigh will certainly be held accountable. Organizations who fail to observe these guidelines will be dealt with on a case by case basis. To reiterate, all cases will be taken seriously and could result in the respective council’s judicial boards or referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations. We are depending on each other to get through this crisis — please follow the rules and stay safe and be smart.

Julia Voelzke, Panhellenic President 
Mariah Lopez, Cultural Greek Council President 
Preston Read, Interfraternity Council President

    

Thursday, August 20, 2020

A Message from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Expectations; To organizations, athletic teams, club sports teams, and Greek chapters; Re: Fall 2020

Student Conduct & Community Expectations
31 Williams Drive, Room 320
Bethlehem, PA 18015-3126
Tel: (610) 758-4632 | Fax: (610) 758-5153
Web: https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/conduct

TO: All members of recognized student organizations, athletic teams, club sports teams, and Greek chapters

FROM: Holly Taylor, Assistant Dean/Director of the Office of Student Conduct, with support from Dean of Athletics Joe Sterrett, Assistant Dean Aarsenio Perry, and Assistant Dean Chloe Abshire

DATE: August 20, 2020

Dear Students,

As you already know, this semester is going to be unlike any other we have experienced before.

Students, staff, and faculty all have a shared responsibility to keep our Lehigh and South Bethlehem communities safe and healthy. This semester, Lehigh University has implemented several policies specifically related to the COVID pandemic that apply to all of you as members of the Lehigh community, South Bethlehem community, and members of Lehigh student organizations. You can find this information here: https://coronavirus.lehigh.edu/students

All off campus events (specifically at off campus residences) have been limited to 10 or less attendees, including residents of the home. This includes scheduled social events, impromptu social events, or any other organizational meetings or gatherings.

While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has stated that events with under 25 attendees are appropriate, we know that the South Bethlehem homes that you reside in are not capable of hosting this number of attendees safely, either in your homes or within the boundaries of your outside space.

If your organization needs to host a meeting with more than 10 people, there are spaces available on campus for reservation. You will need to complete the Event Planning Form via LINC.

We understand that this is not how you envisioned this semester and that this may be difficult, however it is imperative that you comply with this policy in order to protect both the health and safety of yourself, your fellow Lehigh students and community members, and the residents of South Bethlehem.

Failure to comply with the COVID related guidelines or other policies outlined in the Lehigh University Code of Student Conduct will result in charges being filed against you and/or your organization. These types of violations could result in suspension from Lehigh University for individuals or removal of university recognition for student organizations. This could also include interim action being taken against individuals and/or organizations prior to the resolution of the conduct process (ex: off campus students could be banned from campus, students living on campus could be required to self quarantine).

As a reminder, a “student” is defined in the Lehigh University Code of Conduct “all persons taking or scheduled to take courses at Lehigh University, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, post graduate, or professional studies. Persons who are not enrolled at Lehigh University for a particular term but have a continuing relationship with the University.”

A “student organization” is defined as “any number of persons who are recognized in a formal manner by Lehigh University.”

Lastly, the organizational accountability statement in the Lehigh University Code of Conduct states: “any group or organization may be held accountable for the actions of any of its members if the violation of the Code of Conduct is in any way related to the group or organization. Group misconduct need not be officially approved by the entire membership in order to be considered grounds for possible disciplinary action against the group. There is no minimum number of group members who must be involved in an incident before disciplinary action may be taken against the entire group. In some instances, the conduct of a single member may provide sufficient grounds for action against the entire group.”

If you know of any gatherings of this nature that are occurring, or see students or groups failing to comply with COVID related expectations, please report this to the University using this link: http://lehigh.edu/go/covidreporting

Lehigh wants you and your organizations to be safe, healthy, and successful during this unprecedented semester. It’s up to you and your organizations to commit to hosting events that are in compliance with these policies, and we fully support you in these efforts.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to keep the Lehigh and the South Bethlehem communities safe and healthy.

Be well.








Holly A. Taylor
Assistant Dean of Students for Student Conduct & Community Expectations


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Fraternity and Sorority Community Update Fall 2020



TO: Chapter and Council Presidents, Alumni Chapter Advisors, Faculty and Staff Advisors, Headquarters Staff, NIC VP of Campus Operations, NPC Area Advisor

FROM: Chloe Abshire, Assistant Dean and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Ozzie Breiner, Director of Housing Services

DATE: August 5, 2020

RE: Fraternity and Sorority Community Update Fall 2020

With the recent decision announced by Lehigh to limit the number of students returning to campus this Fall 2020, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will be orchestrating an entirely virtual fraternity and sorority experience. Fraternity and Sorority chapter facilities will not be open for Fall 2020 and both OFSA and Housing Services will work with residential chapters to ensure a strong opening once Lehigh determines it is safe to open campus more fully. Our offices continue to be dedicated and devoted to the success of the fraternities and sororities at Lehigh University.

We are disappointed that our fraternities and sororities will not be able to experience the in-person activity and connections that normally constitute our thriving on campus student experience. However, this decision was necessary for the health and safety of the Lehigh and South Bethlehem community. For those planning to live locally and study remotely off campus, we want to be clear that in-person events will be limited in size and scope and must comply with COVID-19 expectations. In addition, all students living locally and studying remotely off campus will be held to the same health and behavior expectations, as all who are enrolled in Lehigh coursework are considered students, and are therefore expected to uphold the Lehigh University Code of Conduct. As student leaders, we expect our fraternity and sorority members to model this behavior.

We are encouraging those who are able to do so to consider taking classes fully remotely and staying home if at all possible, as access to campus resources and opportunities for extracurricular and social engagement will be significantly limited.

OFSA Updates
  • Chapters and Councils are strongly encouraged to begin working on innovative and creative plans for a virtual membership experience, including membership recruitment and retention.
  • Guidelines for students living locally and studying remotely will be communicated in the very near future.
  • OFSA will be offering Chapter Coaching Calls Part 2 August 10th through August 18th. Chapter Presidents should be on the lookout for an invitation to sign-up for a Chapter Coaching Calls appointment.
  • Guidelines for virtual recruitment and new member education will be shared with chapter leadership in the coming days. Please note that some of these guidelines may come from the governing council; OFSA will continue working closely with Council Presidents throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Details pertaining to Accreditation for 2020-2021 have yet to be determined.
  • Chapters and their respective alumni corporations or graduate chapters assess dues and fees per semester, and often work with an independent billing agency to do so. If individual members are curious about Fall 2020 membership dues, they should contact their chapter leadership directly.
Housing Services Updates
  • Fraternity and sorority chapter houses will not be accessible for any reason throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Chapters are permitted to leave chapter belongings and paraphernalia in the chapter facility throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
  • If Alumni or House Corporation Officers have questions or issues regarding the chapter facility they should contact Housing Services at 610-758-3500 M-F 8:15-4:45pm.
  • Storage units can remain on campus property and stay throughout the Fall 2020 semester, at the expense of the chapter.
  • Dining services and kitchens will not be available and any contracts should be discontinued/cancelled for Fall 2020.
  • Housing Contracts were not signed, therefore students planning to reside in the chapter facility will not need to worry about cancelling a contract with Housing Services.
  • Additional Liability Insurance beyond chapter General Liability Insurance will not be required for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Bursar Accounts will have the Housing charges removed sometime during the week of August 3rd.
Fall 2020 Focus Areas
  • Welcome first year students to Lehigh and introduce them to the Fraternity and Sorority community through virtual engagement.
  • Provide ongoing chapter support through leadership and education virtual initiatives designed for chapter and council leaders.
  • Assist fraternity and sorority chapters as they navigate these challenging times, educating the organizations on best practices, safety guidelines and the virtual membership experience.
  • Offer virtual training and coaching sessions for the fraternity and sorority community.
  • Collaborate with industry experts, council officers and chapter leaders to prepare for Spring 2021 recruitment and intake.

OFSA and Housing Services are committed to offering support and resources as we navigate the complexities of these challenging circumstances. We are proud of our Fraternity and Sorority community at Lehigh and are confident that through collaboration and perseverance, we will continue to offer a thriving virtual membership experience for both our current and future fraternity and sorority members. Together we will endure and look forward to welcoming our community back to campus stronger than ever once it is safe to return.

Sincerely, 






Chloe Abshire
Assistant Dean and Director
Fraternity and Sorority Affairs







Ozzie Breiner
Director
Housing Services

--
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs
Lehigh University
University Center B013
610.758.4157
infrasor@lehigh.edu

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fraternity & Sorority Housing Assignments Plan Fall 2020

TO: Chapter and Council Presidents, Alumni Chapter Advisors, Faculty and Staff Advisors, Headquarters Staff, NIC VP of Campus Operations, NPC Area Advisor

FROM: Chloe Abshire, Assistant Dean and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Ozzie Breiner, Director of Housing Services

DATE: June 12, 2020

RE: Fraternity & Sorority Housing Assignments Plan Fall 2020

Housing Services and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs appreciate the efforts and patience exhibited by student chapter and alumni corporation leadership over the course of the past two weeks as we have worked to navigate logistics related to returning to campus this fall. We recognize that some of our fraternities and sororities are afforded the opportunity to experience on-campus chapter housing and that the members joining these organizations look forward to residing in their respective chapter houses during their membership. While we are still in the process of finalizing the Chapter House Lease Agreements, we continue to work with the Housing Corporations and Alumni Associations to finalize logistics related to assigning chapter members residing in the chapter house based on each house’s capacity. Below is the plan we will utilize to move forward with Fall 2020 Fraternity and Sorority Housing Assignments.

Fraternity and Sorority Residential Students

Alumni Presidents and House Corporation Presidents will assist the Housing Services Office in assigning spaces in the on-campus fraternity and sorority chapter houses. They will be provided guidance from Housing Services as to who receives priority and steps to take if there is insufficient space to accommodate all chapter members who want to live in the chapter house. Each chapter, as the Lessee under the Lease Agreement with the university, will make the final decisions as to who will be displaced based on chapter standards.
  1. In order to ensure each chapter has in-house leadership for its members, priority for housing will be given to the President and House Manager regardless of their class year.
  2. Rising second-year students will then be housed based on their survey responses. Students who requested a single room due to COVID-19 will be placed in a single room.
  3. Any Rising Second-year student who has a medical accommodation through Disability Support Services will receive that accommodation.
  4. The capacity of each chapter will be adjusted to comply with residence hall standards for square footage in individual rooms, resulting in an increased capacity for many houses.
  5. Any remaining spaces will be available to rising juniors or seniors. If the remaining spaces are not enough  to accommodate everyone in the house, juniors and seniors who are displaced will be guaranteed a space on campus in Sayre Park Village.
On Monday, June 22, members of OFSA and Housing Services began meeting with Alumni and Chapter Leadership in F/S Coaching Meetings to inform them of new capacity information so they can make their housing decisions.
  • Coaching meetings are being held June 22-June 30.
  • Fraternity and sorority assignment lists are due to Housing Services by July 7.
Fraternity and sorority chapter houses will not need to set aside quarantine housing, as Housing Services is setting aside Isolation and Quarantine Housing options for students when necessary.

Sincerely,

 

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Chloe Abshire
Assistant Dean and Director
Fraternity and Sorority Affairs
 
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Ozzie Breiner
Director
Housing Services

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

We're All In This Together: #BlackLivesMatter Resources From OFSA

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and will continue to be updated as additional resources are identified.


OFSA recognizes that improvements are essential to ensuring education, understanding and accountability occurs surrounding racism within the Fraternity and Sorority community at Lehigh. It is our goal to create a space where voices are heard. OFSA is in the process of auditing our curriculum, programming and staff training as we collectively work towards a better community together. It is on all of us to ensure we are properly educating ourselves and each other during this time. Our hope is that these resources will serve as a starting point if you have not already begun. OFSA will continue to serve all students and advocate for a socially and equally just experience and environment both in the Fraternity and Sorority Community and Lehigh University Community..


Here are some resources we have found helpful as we work to become an anti-racist community. 


Media


How to Help


Articles

Lehigh Resources


Mental Health

 

Books