Friday, December 4, 2009

Greek Heritage Project

Earlier this year, the Lehigh University Alumni Association, in cooperation with the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, Greek Alumni Council, and Interfraternity, Panhellenic, and Multicultural Greek Councils, launched a Greek Hertiage website at

The interactive "Wiki" website highlights the tradition and history of Lehigh's Greek community. Each chapter, both recognized and formerly recognized, has a dedicated area of the site, where any alumnus or current member can add information, stories, and photos.

This is a great way to represent your organization to alumni and friends, so make sure you take the time to update your page! Some groups have already done a great job of updating the site to showcase their organization.

To login, just use your Lehigh login and password, and follow the instructions on the site. If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni Help Desk, 866-758-ALUM, or email

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sexual Violence Prevention: Join our team

Two Greek students reflect on their experiences throughout the past semester in the course WS291: Sexual Violence, taught by Assistant Director of the Women's Center, Michelle Issadore.

By Steve Bialick, '10, Theta Chi Fraternity

Although it has been merely one semester in my first course ever to fall under the heading of "Women's Studies", my brain has already begun to rewire its innate neural workings in order to perceive human behavior in a new light. Prior to registering for a course entitled "Sexual Violence", I was always given the impression that humans are a special species - more complex, more intelligent, and more diverse than any particular animal on the never-ending list of Earth's plethora of species. This theory, I am quickly learning, is a mirage. The illusion that humans are unique is simply that - an illusion. Humans, particularly males, are in fact frighteningly similar to, say, birds. Forget flying, chirping, nest building, and grass nibbling; rather focus on a seemingly distinctive quality of the Egyptian Nightjar, for example. This dessert bird is a fairly rare breed, but it shares a characteristic that runs rampant in the human male community: the ability to utilize the method of camouflage. Albeit unfortunate, it is true that blending in and changing who you are promotes survival through social, cultural, and evolutionary changes. Most people would never realize, myself included, but through readings, discussions, and other activism projects, I have opened my eyes to the fact that human males are puppets whose strings are pulled by societal norms. Some think that an individual responsibility is to change society; yet, it is beginning to become clear how society changes an individual. Whether portrayed by the media, teachers, family, or friends, the male attitude is defined by society, and we are obliged to guise in camouflage.

Maybe this theory about male masculinity is a fallacy, I thought; perhaps it is a trick by sexual violence advocates to grab the attention of the male community. I toyed with this idea for a moment, until I realized that my masculinity mask is a part of my everyday wardrobe; I wear the imaginary camouflage on a daily basis. When I first decided to register for a course offered by the Women's Studies department, for example, I kept it secret from my family and friends. Yet, I suddenly realized how my behavior paralleled that of most self-conscious men, and instantly gave up on hiding the fact that I am enrolled in a "Sexual Violence" class. The problem, though, was that while I thought I had completely removed this guise, this projection, it turned out that the camouflage runs layers thick. On one hand, I was enthusiastic about informing my parents and peers about the course I plan to take; on the other hand, I was still putting on a front depending on my audience. When I explained the course choice to my mother, sister, and female friends, I put a lot of stress on the fact that this class offers the opportunity to discuss controversial, yet important issues, in a small group setting - one that will teach me to help others and support the common goal that each student in the room shares. These are my true reasons for stepping inside the "Sexual Violence" classroom. Nevertheless, when I explained the choice to my father, fraternity brothers, uncles, and grandfathers, I put a heavy stress on the fact that this class fulfills my "writing intensive" requirement - one necessary to receive my college diploma - and that this reason is the basis behind my decision making. Why, I ask, do I alter my stance on the course based on who is listening? Why, I ask, do I challenge my true beliefs when in the company of other men? Sadly, the correct response is: society.

A neuroscientist at heart, I used to question the biology behind why humans act the way they do, why men behave the way they do, and why women are the way they are. Evidence shows that 85% of murderers are men, men perform 90% of physical assaults, 95% of date rapes are committed by men, and 95% of domestic violence is committed by men. Thus, it is apparent that rather than classifying violence against women as a "women's issue", we should be calling the attention of men. Perhaps the true question, instead of "why we are who we are", is how to make the human population aware of its flaws so a change in behavior results sooner than later.

This opportunity arose at Lehigh University with the help of Michelle Issadore and the entire Women's Center on campus. WS291: Sexual Violence, a seminar course offered in the Women's Studies department this semester has enabled facilitated discussions regarding the global issue of sexual violence that directly impacts us, even within our tiny Lehigh bubble. Appropriate readings were assigned - some written by advocates, others written by survivors, but all of them written by supporters strongly dedicated in the fight to end violence everywhere. Movie clips, research papers, and activism projects enhanced the dialect of the discourse fostered in the classroom, but the underlying message of the course leaves a lasting impression for all enrolled to share with the outside world in the future. Kudos to the Women's Center for conjuring up the curriculum for such an impactful course, but I give most props to the students who read this blog and join our team by demonstrating interest in our cause.

By Kristen Mason, '10, Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Upon first registering for the Women's Studies course entitled Sexual Violence, I truly had no idea what to expect. As a Greek student here at Lehigh, I wondered whether or not the issues we would discuss would have any relevance to my daily life. As a Behavioral Neuroscience major, I rarely find myself taking courses aside from major science classes and I knew that this course would be different than any other course I have taken at Lehigh. Although I knew this course would be different, I did not expect my mind and outlook on so many situations and issues to be so significantly impacted. I can honestly say that I will forever be changed by what I have learned in the past fourteen weeks of this semester.

Prior to my participation in this course, my knowledge of most sexual violence issues was certainly lacking. Although I was aware that sexual violence is absolutely a worldwide epidemic, I was unaware of the extent of the horrific crimes committed against so many individuals and I did not realize how pertinent many of these issues are to my daily life. Although I take pride in being a member of Greek life because I do believe we have wonderful Greek organizations on campus, it is impossible to deny that instances of sexual violence occur within Greek life.

I think that many people lack knowledge of sexual violence issues either because it is not readily available or they do not wish to pursue further knowledge. As we have learned in class, many college students admit that they have performed actions that legally meet the definition of rape or sexual assault, however they explicitly state that they have never committed this crime. Victims too often lack knowledge and admit to certain violations that meet the legal definitions of rape without explicitly defining these actions as rape.

I think that it is imperative that action be taken to increase awareness on issues of sexual violence. In the course, one of our most fun and effective means of promoting awareness on campus was our Flash Mob project. In this project, we recruited approximately sixty students, the majority of which were actually involved in Greek life, and performed our flash mob where all of us laid on the ground of Linderman Library for ninety seconds wearing t-shirts that were made during the Clothesline Project. Every ninety seconds, a women in the United States is raped, and that was the significance of our chosen time period. After the ninety seconds, we handed out a list of facts and statistics pertaining to sexual violence. It was amazing that we were able to recruit so many individuals who only knew that they would be involved in an activism project concerning sexual violence and not what the project exactly entailed.

As a member of Greek life, I think that it is important that people become aware of these issues of sexual violence in order to stop them. These crimes are occurring on campus; there is no way to deny that. In order to minimize and hopefully one day eliminate these crimes, students need to be aware that what they are doing is not only morally wrong but also illegal. It is often said that knowledge is power. By increasing the knowledge of sexual violence on campus, we will have the power to stop it.

For more information on the Sexual Violence course and other prevention and education initiatives, please visit the Women's Center website at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get to Know...

Rosa Guzman
Administrative Coordinator, Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Length of time at Lehigh: 1 year, 3 months

What do you enjoy most about working in the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs?
I enjoy my interaction with the students and meeting new people.

What has been the most interesting thing you've learning about Lehigh's fraternities & sororities so far?
It's been interesting to see the compassion the students have for those in need and the hard work they put into raising money for different charities/organizations.

What has been your most memorable moment at Lehigh so far?
My most memorable moment here at Lehigh so far was when I first started here and how welcomed the staff made me feel. I felt like part of the DOS staff instantly.

Rosa is helpful voice on the other end of the phone and the smiling face you see when you first walk into the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs. Make sure to stop in & say hi!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fraternity Convocation

Meet Lehigh's Fraternities this Tuesday, 11/10 from 7:30 - 9:00 PM in UC 303.

Jr. Panhellenic Progressive Dinners This Week!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Lehigh Greek Goes Global

Michelle Lumino, '12, a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, reflects on her involvement and experiences in Lehigh's Global Citizenship program:

I was first introduced to the Global Citizenship (GC) program while being interviewed for admittance to Lehigh. Immediately, I jumped at the opportunity, hoping that it would bring a global aspect to my education. After three semesters and a trip to Ghana, the program as connected me to Lehigh and the community in more ways than I could have ever expected.

The Global Citizenship program is a four-year, multi-disciplinary tract course, created upon the virtues of ethical responsibility and global awareness. First semester freshmen year, we were enrolled in two courses designed to prepare us for our trip, and then that winter break we traveled to Ghana. We are a very tight group, and although we individually have varying interests and involvements on campus, the experience we shared in Ghana will continue to connect us throughout our time at Lehigh. Senior year, we will come together again to work on a capstone project - an either individual or group assignment created and enacted by our cohort, either on campus or abroad.

In addition to the obvious benefits of this program, GC has been an amazing connection to events and activities on campus that I would otherwise have been unfamiliar. The program makes it easy to be exposed to such things as a UN representative on campus or an international film showing, for example, and have fifteen other students that are also willing to attend makes becoming involved much easier. In general, the Lehigh Global Citizens are a group of socially dedicated and internationally aware students wanting to make change in the global community. GC is an outstanding program that I strongly recommend for interested incoming freshmen!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Greek EMerging Leaders Program

Reflections from GEM Mentor Rachel Smith, '10

As a member of the Greek EMerging Leaders Program (GEM) since I was a sophomore, I have watched the program grow and change drastically over the past two years. As a mentee two years ago, I attended leadership classes that seemed more like lectures, making the experience somewhat boring and non-interactive. Over the past two years GEM has transformed into a significant, beneficial, and exquisite program for potential emerging Greek leaders, compelling me to remain in the program as a mentor.

The current sessions we have held this fall are completely different than my experience as a mentee. The eight GEM Mentors lead the sessions for the 35 mentees, teaching them about leadership while providing continuous interaction among the members and adding our own experiences that we have had within our chapters and expressing our opinions and views. We offer advice that can help them in the future. I am confident that the mentees look up to us and would feel comfortable calling, emailing, and asking us for help and guidance in the future. The atmosphere of GEM is one that bonds the group together and motivates people to become better leaders.

The Greek EMerging Leaders Program is a great way to expand your horizons and meet new people from all other chapters while also gaining insight and knowledge about leadership. My experience has not only shown me how much the program has grown and expanded, but has also provided me with a new network of friends and a group to look towards for guidance and suggestions. As mentors, we go through a training period in which we learn more about ourselves as leaders and also share our experiences, providing each other with ideas we can take back to our chapters. GEM Mentors has made me a more confident and self-assured leader and I believe that many others have the same experience.

The bond GEM has brings the entire Greek Community together. By sharing insights and providing different ways of leading within chapters, GEM gives Greek life a way to become a unified community. As a Greek Community, we are always looking for ways to work together and build strong relationships which is something that Greek EMerging Leaders Program has done. My experience with GEM has been remarkable and rewarding and I think the program will continue to grow and impact many individuals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Images from Panhellenic Pink Week

IFC Exec Board Members blowing up balloons for Pink Week

Pink Week!

It's Panhellenic Pink Week!

This week Lehigh's Panhellenic Council is celebrating the 5th Annual Panhellenic Pink Week to raise awareness for breast cancer. Proceeds from each event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Please show your support for the following events:

Monday, October 19th:

"Bouncing for Breast Cancer" 9am - 6pm, UC Front Lawn (Pi Beta Phi & Chi Phi)

Tuesday, October 20th:

"Bouncing for Breast Cancer" 9am - 4pm, UC Front Lawn (Pi Beta Phi & Chi Phi)

"50 Hour See Saw Marathon" 4pm - 12am, UC Front Lawn (Alpha Omicron Pi & Sigma Chi)

"Cheers for a Cure" 6pm - 8pm, Gander Room (Colleges Against Cancer)

Wednesday, October 21st:

"50 Hour See Saw Marathon" 12am - 12am, UC Front Lawn (Alpha Omicron Pi & Sigma Chi)

"Pink Night" 5pm - 7pm, Rathbone & Cort Dining Rooms (Panhellenic Council & Student Senate)

Thursday, October 22nd:

"50 Hour See Saw Marathon" 12am - 6pm, UC Front Lawn (Alpha Omicron Pi & Sigma Chi)

"Pink Pumpkin Decorating" 12:30pm - 3:30pm, Lamberton Hall (Alpha Chi Omega & the Women's Center)

"Walk for a Cure" 4:15pm - 5pm, Delta Phi (Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, & Delta Phi)

"Real Men Wear Pink Fashion Show" 5pm - 7pm, PA 101 (Panhellenic Council, University Productions, WLVR)

"Strykes for Tykes" 9:30pm - 11am, Town & Country Lanes (Alpha Gamma Delta & Theta Chi)

Friday, October 23rd:

"Pink Lunch" 11am - 1pm, Johnny's Bagels (Gamma Phi Beta & Kappa Alpha Theta)

Saturday, October 24th:

"Pink Week Dodgeball Tournament" 4pm - 7pm, Grace Hall (ASA & Theta Chi)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Expansion at Lehigh

Reflections on the experience of starting a new fraternity at Lehigh...

Lambda Sigma Upsilon - By Mario Paredes, '11, President

Starting a new chapter of Lambda Sigma Upsilon was a year long process that was not easy, but the benefits are already paying off. In the summer of 2008, current Vice President Randy Tavarez, '10, gathered a group of guys who were in search of an organization on campus that would fill our thirst for diversity, and in fall 2008 we began our recognition process.

With a limited number of options, we felt that it was in our best interest to found a new chapter of Lambda Sigma Upsilon at Lehigh University. With hard work and dedication, we began putting together paper work required for both Lehigh and our national headquarters. We then went through a long and vigorous process of putting together presentations for the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs (OFSA), the Panhellenic Council, and the Interfraternity Council in order to gain recognition on campus. We were officially established as the new Uman Chapter of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc on April 18, 2009 and since then we have been actively engaged in various events on and off campus.

Our goal this year is to establish our names around the Lehigh community and give students another options when it comes to Greek life. We want to collaborate with as many different organizations around campus as possible. We want students to know that our organization is for everyone, even if you never thought about joining Greek life at Lehigh. We are the most diverse fraternity in the nation and we are looking to spread this idea of open-mindedness here at Lehigh.

So far the OFSA has been very helpful in guiding us in the right direction in becoming a well-respected and established chapter and we are excited to be taking part in the new pilot Accreditation process. Our chapter is still new and small, but with the development of the Multicultural Greek Council and the help and support of many others around campus, we are ready to make a big impact.

Lambda Sigma Upsilon Fraternity

Delta Chi - By Tim Malacrida, '10, President

Starting a new fraternity at Lehigh has been far from easy. Designing and testing the basic operating procedures for a group which is supposed to mesh together and operate successfully is, however, a challenge that has been met by the founding fathers of the Lehigh Colony of Delta Chi.

Excellent alumni support, advising from headquarters staff, and OFSA assistance in all matters have marked the early portion of the founding experience. Over the past six months, the brothers of Delta Chi have worked tirelessly and embraced one another and built bonds that I myself did not think would exist at this point. The members have striven for greater accomplishments and continue to set lofty goals for themselves and their brothers.

Defining the fraternal experience at Delta Chi's Lehigh Colony has been a rich and rewarding experience, providing important life lessons, and opening up the eyes of men who did not know each other to the potential life-long bonds that might exist with shared goals and values.

Delta Chi Fraternity

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Welcome MGC!

By Greg Anderson, '10, President, Multicultural Greek Council
The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) is a new organization that was first constructed at Lehigh University during the spring 2009 semester. While cohesively uniting the culturally-based Greek organizations on campus, MGC also aims to strengthen and maintain a positive, as well as constructive, relationship with both the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council.

Through the open discussion of ideas, the implementation of programs, and the dedication to providing service to others, the members of the Council will promote diversity across the university via unification.

This year, the current culturally-based Greek-letter organizations comprising the Council are: Lambda Sigma Upsilon fraternity, Lambda Theta Alpha sorority, and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Through their determination within MGC, Lehigh University will help foster a stronger and more united multicultural Greek community.

A few current and graduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi
Lehigh members of Lambda Sigma Upsilon along with brothers/friends from other area chapters

Two current members of Lambda Theta Alpha

Members of MGC, along with two Lehigh staff members

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Planning Process for NHPW

Two students reflect on the planning process for Lehigh's observance of National Hazing Prevention Week, September 28 - October 2, 2009.

Planning National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) wasn't a simple task. With help from many of our peers and advisors, we spent a lot of time researching NHPW, including the programming and events that other universities do on their campuses during the week. It was important to choose programming that would be relevant and effective for the Lehigh culture, and our planning committee took this into account. The last thing we wanted to do was to utilize scare tactics or outdated programming. We thought that an interactive speaker focusing on a proactive approach to hazing prevention would be best received on campus, so after some negotiation with outside sources, we were able to finally decide on Hank Nuwer. Hank is nationally recognized for his ability to connect with students. Additionally, Hank had previously visited campus and was extremely well-received, which made our decision to invite him even easier. Aside from choosing Hank, we also very selectively chose promotional materials. We chose "Hidden Harm" posters that would relate to the situations of students at the University and would be noticeable around campus. Similarly, we chose buttons and ribbons that students will appreciate and wear in support of NHPW. Through planning NHPW, we were able to identify countless hazing prevention programming ideas to use at Lehigh. We hope to offer more programming throughout the academic year, even after NHPW has passed.

Rae Williams, '10, Panhellenic Council VP Judicial

Planning and facilitating National Hazing Prevention Week has been a very interesting experience over the past few weeks. Other than working on the general organization of the week and administrative tasks, it has given me a chance to reflect on the issues surrounding hazing and how it is pertinent to the Lehigh culture. The planning process provided the opportunity to reflect on my Lehigh career and my own personal views on hazing. I certainly learned a great deal more about the subject and its implications, as well as gained the opportunity to discuss the issues with a variety of peers and administrators in settings rarely available. I hope that students from around campus will benefit from the activities scheduled this week and, if nothing else, take the opportunity to reflect on how hazing has played a role in their own lives and perhaps use this week as a stepping stone for the future.
Avi Lessner, '10, Interfraternity Council Judicial Chair

Monday, September 28, 2009

Upcoming Events

Write these dates on your calendar and plan to be there!

National Hazing Prevention Week - Keynote Address
Hank Nuwer - Hazing in Society
Wednesday, 9/30
7pm in PA 101

Interfraternity & Panhellenic Council's
Meet the Greeks
Wednesday, 10/7
5:30-7:30pm in Lamberton

Campus Safety Week
Monday, 10/12 - Friday, 10/16

Panhellenic Council's
Sorority Open Houses
Tuesday, 10/13 & Thursday, 10/15

Greek Alumni Council
Fall Meeting
Sunday, 10/18
10am-2pm, Rauch

Panhellenic Pink Week
Monday, 10/19 - Friday, 10/23

Upcoming Greek event that you would like to see posted? Email with the details!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Phi Sigma Kappa Convention Honor

By Kevin Abel, '11

My summer was almost half complete when I received a call from Lehigh's former Director of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, Michael Carey, now the Executive Director of Phi Sigma Kappa. The call was simple, and yet confusing. He asked me to be a member of the Nominations Committee at the upcoming Phi Sigma Kappa Convention in Boston, MA. The first confusion was to the meaning of my involvement in this new task. Was this a joke? Was this committee involved in anything actually relevant?

As it turns out, the Nominations Committee is the most prestigious committee in all of Phi Sigma Kappa. It is the group of brothers that determines, out of many qualified candidates, who is to be in the slate of candidates for Grand President and Grand Council Directors. These being the two most important positions in the entire fraternity, I knew that my position would somehow be relevant.

The other obvious question was: why, over everyone else in the fraternity, would our International Headquarters choose me? Was it because I was randomly chosen? Was it because I was so loyal? (I mean, I have been a lifelong Orioles fan, but I seriously doubt that would help.) Most likely, it was our lovely Accreditation system that helped to show that our individual chapter was a terrific representation of not only Lehigh University and Phi Sigma Kappa, but the fraternity system as a whole. (I believe the Accreditation Committee should give us Gold this year purely based on that answer.)

Regardless, it was my job to positively influence the success of the fraternity. Unfortunately for me, I found out once I arrived at Convention that this committee is known as the most difficult, intensive, and important committee in the fraternity because of the vast influence that it had on the fraternity's future. It was an enormous honor, but I hadn't seen who I was working with yet. Those who composed the committee were past Grand Presidents, Grand Council Members, Medallion of Merit recipients (the highest honor of Phi Sigma Kappa), and alumni who not only remain dedicated to the fraternity, but were founding fathers of their respective chapters. And now realize that there were only seven of us. I was definitely the odd man out.

There were many hours of interviews. There were multiple hours of deliberation. I missed several fraternity-organized events and quality programming. It was all worth it.

I not only learned about our personal international fraternity system, but I met and became friends with extremely dedicated brothers. I began to see the true meaning of fraternity and what my place in it was. The fraternity is larger than any individual, and the greater good of the brotherhood is what should prevail over everything else.

Choosing between the candidates was difficult, but in the end we nominated three qualified Grand Council Directors and re-nominated the current Grand President. As tough as it was to choose the four men out of the entire group of qualified brothers, I was amazed at how brilliantly every brother on the committee came together. Whether it was talking about nominees or talking about our respective chapter over lunch (purchased by the alumni on the committee, of course), we remembered why we became Phi Sigs in the first place.

With the Convention wrapping up, free shirts give out (once again courtesy of the alumni on the committee), and the slate of nominees accepted, the only last thing to do was to join together in one last truth: we were all damn proud to be Phi Sigs!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Students Attend UIFI

This past summer, seven Lehigh Greeks attended sessions of the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. UIFI, sponsored by the North-American Interfraternity Conference, is a 5-day experience designed to challenge participants to explore, define, and enhance their leadership skills, personal awareness, commitment to their fraternity or sorority, and grow to expect values-based action from themselves and those they lead. Throughout the weeks ahead, we will be featuring testimonials from several of the students that attended this summer's UIFI sessions.

Steph Albano, Alpha Gamma Delta

Attending UIFI gave me a unique chance to share ideas with Greeks across the country. We had structured group meetings that taught us important information about hazing and the general perceptions of the Greek community, as well as informal conversations with students in positions similar to ours that gave us the chance to hash out our ideas, goals, and dreams. I learned how to not only improve my chapter through philanthropy, alumnae relations, and ritual events, but also how to improve the Lehigh Greek community as a whole by proving the negative stereotypes to be false. However, the most important thing I learned at UIFI was having Greek pride: that no matter how bad the stereotypes are, how many times select individuals mess up, or how many problems we face, we are a community united by fraternity and ritual - and that is something worth fighting for.

Steph and her UIFI small group

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reflections on the Greek Leadership Convention

Two student members of the Greek Leadership Convention planning committee reflect on their experiences leading up to, and including, the event on September 12th.

Emily Rojer, Kappa Alpha Theta

Planning the Greek Leadership Convention was an awesome experience. The other three students who were chosen were all friendly and had great ideas, and it was great having each of us be from a different chapter, to get the broadest range of perspectives. We all also came in with different leadership roles and experiences, which helped us to really incorporate topics relevant to Lehigh Greek leaders today, as well as take into account things we liked or disliked most from other leadership conferences. Also, it gave me an opportunity to get to know the GLCs, especially Michelle and Jessica, better. Having this experience made me very interested in being on Panhel next year, and hopefully getting to work more with the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs. They're a great group of people who really care about making Lehigh Greek life the best it can be, and I would like to continue to be a part of that.

Kyle Schreiner, Sigma Phi Epsilon

Looking back to the Greek Leadership Retreat from 2008, the student committee saw many areas in which the program could be improved. Two of the most noticeable were the name change from "Retreat" to "Convention", as well as the location change from our own campus to DeSales University. Now that the experience has reached a full circle and there is no more planning to be had, I am proud to say that I think that we made some improvements. One of the personal goals that I had as part of the committee was to give attendees the opportunity to meet other Greek students in similar leadership positions to their own. I believe that we were able to achieve that, as I saw many different students conversing with others throughout the day. I heard some great conversations taking place throughout the various sessions, ranging from relationship issues to perception of older/younger members to goal setting. Overall, I think that the day was a success and all that attended the Convention were able to get something out of it.

A special thank you to Emily & Kyle, along with Meaghan Phipps (Alpha Gamma Delta) and Bob Malys (Psi Upsilon) for all their hard work on the planning committee!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lehigh plans for National Hazing Prevention Week

The Lehigh University Greek community will sponsor National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW), September 28 - October 2, 2009. NHPW is celebrated at college campuses across the nation to educate and promote awareness, training, and intervention on ways to confront and address hazing as a barrier to a respectful campus community.

The highlight of Lehigh's NHPW will be a keynote address by renowned author, scholar, and expert on the topic of hazing and bystander intervention - Hank Nuwar. Set for Wednesday, September 30 at 7pm in Packard 101, Nuwar will give his powerful presentation, "Hazing in Society: Athletics/Sorority/Fraternity/High School".

Nuwar has authored four books on hazing, with two more close to completion. He has been featured on The Today Show, ESPN Sportscenter, CNN, and Court TV, and in the pages of Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and the NCAA News.

Additionally, the Interfraternity, Multicultural Greek, and Panhellenic Councils will sponsor NHPW activities including:
  • Tabling in the University Center with buttons, flyers, and advertisements related to hazing prevention and Nuwar's keynote
  • Hidden Harm posters and information
  • Banners with hazing facts
  • Availability of Bystander Intervention training to chapters, athletic teams, and student organizations

For more information on National Hazing Prevention Week, please contact Veronica Hunter at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lehigh Alum Joins SigEp HQ Staff

By Mitch Goldich, '09

Shortly after graduating from Lehigh last May, I began working for Sigma Phi Epsilon's Headquarters as a Regional Director. The position began with a two month training program in Richmond, VA before I hit the road as a traveling consultant for the fraternity. Now I oversee 24 chapters in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

I work with alumni, volunteers, undergrads, and university officials to help SigEp chapters improve their operations and serve as leaders on campus. The position focuses mainly on volunteer engagement, recruitment, retention, academics, finances, and housing situations. But rather than advising my chapters over the phone, I'm constantly traveling to see them. I live out of my car, and crash at a new chapter house every couple of nights.

You may be wondering, "What would make somebody want to do that?" Well, I had an incredible experience as an undergrad in SigEp, and it's very rewarding to help ensure that others around the country can enjoy the same opportunities I had.

It's interesting to see that every campus is different, yet they all share a lot in common. Greek communities nationwide are facing the same challenges, in overcoming old stereotypes to promote positive change and serve as leaders on college campuses.

I learned a lot from my experience at Lehigh, which has been valuable to me on the road. By getting involved with the Accreditation process, I had learned to think a lot about not just what my chapter does, but why. This perspective has been crucial to keep in mind as I advise my chapters in the Midwest.

It's a little stressful living out of my car all the time, but it's an adventure that you can only really have when you're 22. And even though I'll be driving more than 20,000 miles this year, it's probably not as bad for my car as four years of driving up and down The Hill, and bottoming out on the speed bumps down Taylor Drive. This job has been an incredible opportunity for me to grow and learn about myself, while helping to give back to others. I'm really excited to be able to share the value of my experience with the Lehigh Greek Community.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meet the New GLC!

Danny Grzesik
Greek Life Coordinator

Ozone Park, NY

Educational Background:
B.A. Criminal Justice, Quinnipiac University
M.Ed. College Student Personnel, Ohio University

Fraternity Affiliation:
Sigma Phi Epsilon

Professional Highlights:
Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) facilitator
Certified Sigma Phi Epsilon volunteer
Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) volunteer
Past advisor, Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol (GAMMA)
Areas of Interest: Hazing/sexual assault/substance abuse prevention & education initiatives

Why did you decide to pursue a career in fraternity and sorority affairs?
As an undergraduate, I had the unique opportunity to be part of a new brotherhood on campus that pledged to be different. Sigma Phi Epsilon provided me the avenue to become an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, IFC Vice-President, Admissions Volunteer, and to attend multiple leadership development activities throughout my four years in college. The faculty and staff valued relationships, were very supportive of student leaders, and challenged us not to maintain the status quo. I was fortunate enough to have a Greek advisor who I was able to learn so much from, and she now someone I consider my professional mentor. The Greek experience made me the individual that I am today and I can't imagine myself doing anything else other than working with tomorrow's community leaders.
What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University?
I hope to help students connect their undergraduate involvement to their future careers and to help them value their fraternity and sorority experience for years to come.
What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far?
The Greek community is full of students that are involved outside their individual organizations. The students value scholarship, participating in intramurals, community service, and philanthropy events, and taking care of each other.
Welcome to Lehigh, Danny!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fraternity Member Interns for Psi Upsilon

By Robert Malys, '11

When I heard back from Psi Upsilon's International Office in Indianapolis about my summer internship, I became eager and excited over what the next two weeks would bring. The fraternity had just contacted me about an application I sent in about a month before for an opportunity to serve as an intern and help with the daily duties in the International Office. I soon received the information on my plane ticket and was told that I would be living upstairs in the office in a section furnished as an apartment.

Upon arrival in Indiana, Tom Fox, Psi Upsilon's Director of Chapter Services, gave me a quick tour of some of the different offices for Greek organizations operating in Indianapolis. The city passed legislation offering tax breaks to non-profit organizations, which drew many fraternities and sororities to relocate to Indiana years ago. I felt welcomed at Psi Upsilon's office immediately when I walked in and looked up to see a painting modeled after our membership badge on the wall. I slowly took a tour of the office, trying to take it all in. I was surrounded by the original constitution laying down the structure and values of Psi Upsilon, membership badges of our fraternity's founders, and other interesting artifacts that played an integral role in some portion of Psi Upsilon's history.

It soon came time to begin the work I came to Psi Upsilon to complete so I moved to my office. During the course of my two weeks there, I worked on several different projects. Nearly every Greek organization has booklets to advise the appropriate chapter officers concerning new member education, finances, academics, etc. It was my task to read through the different literature Psi Upsilon has produced on the subject and to edit the texts while making new additions and restructuring it. I also worked hard to make sure that all of the documents necessary for our annual convention were flawless and presentable for the brothers who would be in attendance. I worked on several other tasks, one of which included researching universities according to different criteria to evaluate the possibility of founding colonies and expanding. Along with this I offered a report on changes to be made to Psi Upsilon's website to make it more accessible and relevant to undergrads who are members or those who may be looking for the right fraternity to sponsor the new colony they wish to create. During my free time I searched through the archives and recovered some interesting histories, documents, and correspondence from the earliest years of Eta, Lehigh University's Psi Upsilon chapter.

I gained more than just work experience while at Psi Upsilon; I earned an appreciation for the hours of hard work on the corporate level which makes Greek life possible for undergrads across the globe. On my various projects I had the opportunity to work with Executive Director Mark Williams, Mariann Williams, the Director of the Psi Upsilon Foundation and Alumni Services, and Tom Fox, Director of Chapter Services. It is important to understand that some organizations have many more employees while Psi Upsilon's daily business is executed by three people. Working in the office side by side with them taught me what true dedication to the fraternity meant and has inspired me to stay involved as an alumni in the years ahead.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lehigh's Award Winning Chapters

Each summer at fraternity and sorority inter/national conventions and conclaves, the best of the best chapters are recognized for their outstanding achievements over the past one to two years. In addition to Lehigh's comprehensive Accreditation process, many of our chapters completed similar processes for their inter/national organizations, often receiving awards as a result of their hard work and commitment to the values and ideals of their fraternity or sorority.

We're proud to announce that this summer three Lehigh chapters were recognized as a top chapter in their respective inter/national organizations - Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement and thank you for representing the Lehigh Greek community so well!

Included below is a list of all Lehigh chapters that received recognition from their inter/national organizations this summer. Please note that not all inter/national organizations distributed awards this summer, as some occur on a biennium basis and will be awarded again in 2010.

Alpha Omicron Pi sorority
  • Jessie Wallace Hughan Cup (chapter of the year)
  • Academic Development Cup
  • Alumnae Advisory Committee Performance Certificate
  • Campus Total Honor Roll
  • Contingency Management
  • Corporation Board Performance Certificate
  • Initiation Honor Roll
  • Membership Recruitment & Retention
  • Philos Award
  • Ruby Award

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

  • Undergraduate Chapter of the Year

Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity

  • Member Recruitment Award
  • Campus Involvement Award

Phi Kappa Theta fraternity

  • George Uihlein Alumni Engagement Award
  • Michael T. McSweeney Leadership Development Award - Honorable Mention

Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity

  • President's Special Achievement Awards in:
  • Scholarship
  • Philanthropy
  • Campus Involvement
  • Recruitment
  • New Member Education

Psi Upsilon fraternity

  • Clasped Hand Award for Outstanding Philanthropy & Service
  • Award of Distinction - for benefit concert to aid the Alpha Omicron chapter house fire

Sigma Chi fraternity

  • Significant Sig Achievement Award - Bobby Buckheit '09

Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity

  • Buchanan Cup (chapter of the biennium)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Wheelhouse Award
  • Recruitment Cup
  • Manpower Award
  • GPA Award

Theta Chi fraternity

  • Chapter Achievement Awards in:
  • Recruitment Programming
  • New Member/Member Education Programming
  • Community Service & Philanthropy Programming
  • Alumni Programming
  • Chapter Finances
  • The Ritual
  • Chapter Operations
  • Theta Chi Procedures & Involvement
  • Campus Involvement
  • Risk Management Practices
  • Social Programming

Theta Xi fraternity

  • Accreditation Recognition Award
  • Superior Academic Achievement Award
  • Outstanding Recruitment Award

Congratulations to all of Lehigh's award-winning fraternities and sororities! Keep up the great work!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Review/Semester Preview from the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs

While the Greek community was away over the summer, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs (OFSA) was hard at work preparing for the 2009/2010 academic year. We said goodbye to four-year veteran Greek Life Coordinator (GLC) Tiffany Showalter, and welcomed Danny Grzesik as a new GLC. We hosted a graduate student intern, Cynthia Rose, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania's master's degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. And we congratulated our own Tim Wilkinson, as he was named Executive Director of the Northeast Greek Leadership Association, and Veronica Hunter, as she was awarded the 2008/2009 CAMPUSPEAK Facilitator of the Year.

Below are some highlights from this summer, as well as things to look out for in 2009/2010:

Accreditation -
The 2008/2009 Accreditation results were announced in July, with nine chapters receiving Gold, twelve chapters receiving Silver, five chapters as Bronze, and one chapter as Poor. The full Accreditation reports can be found on the OFSA website:

Greek Allies -
The spring 2009 semester saw the official launch of the Greek Allies program, a student group formed to provide a communicative outlet for current Greeks who identify with and/or struggle with LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, & Ally) issues at Lehigh and in the Greek community. Starting this fall, the group will offer educational programs and panels for students who want to learn more about what it means to be "Out and Greek".

Greek Leadership Convention -
With the help of a great student planning committee, major changes were made to this fall's Greek Leadership Convention, set for Saturday, September 12 at the DeSales University - University Center. Twelve Lehigh faculty/staff members will be serving as facilitators for the day and students will participate in a shared curriculum through a small group format. Look for a recap article in mid-September.

Greek Week -
Led by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council Vice Presidents, a student, faculty, staff committee is being formed to examine the purpose and intended outcomes of Greek Week, in light of its cancellation for the 2009/2010 academic year. Look for a committee update mid-semester regarding ideas and proposals for 2010/2011.

Hazing Awareness & Bystander Intervention -
In addition to the 888-NOT-HAZE hotline, students, faculty, and staff will now be able to report hazing allegations online via a hazing reporting form on the OFSA website. Look for training modules on Bystander Intervention to be offered to the Lehigh community this fall. Mark your calendars for Lehigh's observance of National Hazing Prevention Week, September 28 - October 2.

Multicultural Greek Council -
The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) has officially become the governing body of Lehigh's three culturally-based fraternities/sororities - Kappa Alpha Psi, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, and Lambda Theta Alpha. Look for a mid-semester MGC update right here in October.

Peer Values Educators -
The Peer Values Educators (PVE) program continued its growth and development over the summer, in preparation for its full launch this fall. PVE student facilitators assisted with Gryphon Training in August, both through a mock session of their alcohol/social responsibility program, as well as through a hazing-related "Behind Closed Doors" training.

Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute -
Seven Lehigh Greek students attended the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) this summer on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, sponsored by the North-American Interfraternity Conference. GLCs Danny Grzesik and Michelle Rebholz also served as facilitators for UIFI. Look for a blog entry from the student participants in late September.

In the semester ahead, this blog will be updated regularly with posts from students, alumni, and staff on the topics listed above, as well as: Expansion/Colony updates from our three newest fraternities, the Greek EMerging Leaders program (GEM), Greeks Against Sexual Violence, Greek Alumni Council, Preparing for Spring 2010 Recruitment, and much more.

You can also keep up-to-date on the Lehigh Greek Community by following our daily updates on Twitter @ LehighGreeks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Welcome to the new Lehigh Greek Community blog!

In the coming days, weeks, and months, this site will be updated with news, announcements, stories and more from members of Lehigh's Greek Community, both undergrads and alumni.

Thank you for your interest in our fraternities and sororities!