Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A President's Perspective: Police Liaisons

A brief interview with Theta Chi's President, Adam Pittenger, '11, regarding his experiences with the Lehigh University Police Department Police Liaison program.

Based on your observations during your Lehigh University Police ride-along, what is the primary concern of LUPD?

I'd say the primary concern would be the safety of the students. Not once did I feel they were stopping someone just for the sole reason of "stopping them". Many times, the police were just trying to maintain things and the student dug themselves into a hole and got into trouble.

What did you learn from your Lehigh University Police ride-along experience and how will you apply it to your fraternity's risk management education and awareness initiatives?

I really try to stress cooperation within my chapter. It is simply not worth it to lie or try to deceive the police. If you are nice, courteous, and help the police out in any way that you can, they will show you the same courtesy and respect. A lot of problems could be avoided if the majority of students held this attitude.

Look for more brief interviews like this with chapter presidents and officers in the months ahead.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Chapter's Perspective: Risk Management


An interview with Kappa Alpha Theta's President, Kelsey Duffy, and Risk Management Chair, Jessie Jacobson. The chapter won the Panhellenic Council Risk Management Award at the 2009-2010 Greek Gala.

How does Kappa Alpha Theta encourage dialogue related to risk-management within the chapter? How do you think members and the chapter have benefited from these initiatives?
At each chapter meeting, the risk manager presents a module to the chapter related to a risk management issue. Some topics include: how to recognize depression, how to wrap a sprained ankle, etc. We also implemented longer modules presented each year on FIPG policies, NPC regulations and other risk management issues. We had one module that was facilitated by our advisors, as they put together a series of real-life insurance cases that occurred to fraternities. In groups we discussed what we thought was the result. Each group presented their case to the chapter and then the advisors gave us the real results. This helped all of our members to understand that risk management is not just alcohol related, but in many different aspects of our lives. I think our members have a much better understanding of what we do to prevent risk as well as what constitutes risk. Since implementing these initiatives, we have seen a change in our members and their personal responsibilities.


We have also implemented a risk management question/suggestion box for sisters to ask any question relating to risk management while staying anonymous. We also hand out index cards with the risk management team’s phone numbers so that in the event of a risk management issue, sisters can call us to assist. The names are in the “chain of command,” so sisters know who to contact first in case of an emergency. We also have a nine-member risk management team and at the beginning of each year with new members we stand and introduce our role at a chapter meeting.


What educational programming does Kappa Alpha Theta provide on risk management and/or on the dangers of alcohol misuse to its' members that you think is unique?
New members are required to meet weekly with the VP of Education to learn about the sorority, one of the topics being Theta’s risk management policies. Kappa Alpha Theta also requires all new members to complete GreekLife Edu, which covers many Greek issues including many related to risk management. Another program Theta has launched is the Sisters Supporting Sisters program; we have joined with Talk One-to-One, which is a 24 hour hotline that is available to all members of Theta. It is geared towards depression, anxiety, stress and other issues facing many college women. It is completely anonymous and can be used if you are feeling depressed as well as by someone in search of information about how to work with and help a friend who might be having a difficult time.


What proactive steps does Kappa Alpha Theta take to reduce risk and the likelihood of a tragedy?
The risk management team meets prior to every event to address possible risk management issues specific to each event we are planning. We assign party monitors as well, as they are responsible for watching out for other sisters and assuring that everyone is safe. After each event, we meet to discuss what went well and what we should change in the future. In addition, we are required to submit a pre-event checklist to Theta advisors two weeks prior to each event which serves the dual purpose of forcing the risk management team to systematically plan events in an organized fashion and assuring that we are engaging in the best risk management practices. This process is unique and effective due to our multiple levels of advisors. For an event to be approved it must go through three different advisors each who sign off. By having this, every detail is looked at and if anything is missed by one it is picked up by another. It is Theta’s way of ensuring that the undergraduates are not just saying they are following procedure, but that we actually are. It is an extra layer of someone asking “what if” questions and helping us to really manage our events. We also continually educate our members as to who to contact if a tragedy was to occur and how to remain calm if the situation arose.


What does Kappa Alpha Theta do to hold members accountable for their poor behaviors related to alcohol misuse?
Members who engage in poor behaviors related to alcohol misuse can be called in to speak with the Member Development Committee (MDC), a panel of sisters consisting of one member of each member class, the VP of Development, and the President. An advisor is also on call or present for MDC meetings. MDC is completely confidential and assesses each situation on a case-by-case basis. The way in which sisters are asked to hold themselves accountable varies depending on what the instance that occurred was. We also look to each sister to hold everyone accountable. We allow people to report problems to MDC without the fear of being “found out,” as well as encourage the use of the resources available to us as members of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Any other comments as it relates to Kappa Alpha Theta's risk-management initiatives?
We conduct walk-throughs of the facility on a monthly basis to assure the house is substance free and that there are no other risk management issues, fire alarms, broken windows etc.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Chapter's Perspective: Risk Management


An interview with Psi Upsilon's President, Bill Mistretta, '11, and Risk Management Chair, Ian Smyth, '12. The chapter won the IFC Risk Management Award at the 2009-2010 Greek Gala.


What educational programming does Psi Upsilon provide on risk management and/or on the dangers of alcohol misuse to its' members that you think is unique?
Each new member is required to complete Greek Life Edu in order to be initiated and this is a requirement from the Psi Upsilon International Office. The chapter leadership tells new members that the chapter is theirs as much as it is the current members’, and it is within their duties as future members of the organization to take risk management into their own hands and understand how their actions hold consequences for the chapter as a whole.

What proactive steps does Psi Upsilon take to reduce risk and the likelihood of a tragedy?
The majority of chapter members feel obligated to run their future actions by the Vice President or President if they feel there is even a small chance that the activity will lead to a risk management issue or tragedy. In the event that a chapter member notices another participating in an activity that could easily become a risk management issue or tragedy, he generally feels it is his duty to either confront the other member about the activity or find one of the chapter leaders. If the confrontation route is chosen and it does not resolve the issue, the member then goes to the chapter leadership.

What does Psi Upsilon do to hold members accountable for their poor behaviors related to alcohol misuse?
The executive board has the ability to fine chapter members for poor behavior related to alcohol misuse. Although such fines can be appealed by the guilty individual to the standards board, the board generally recognizes such behavior should not go unpunished. Additionally, rights have been stripped in the past when a member has acted poorly. An example of such is the ability to participate in social and/or recruitment events. Another method that works well to keep members accountable for poor behavior is peer pressure as this type of behavior risks chapter disapproval. Since our philosophy is that risk management is a group responsibility and not solely on the shoulders of a few individuals, each member will bear another’s poor actions from the past in mind and work to pressure him away from repeating such actions in the future.


How does Psi Upsilon encourage dialogue related to risk management within the chapter?
We encourage each member to take risk management upon himself. The Vice President, who has risk management amongst his duties, and the President can’t be everywhere or see everything, so each member understands that it is also his responsibility to think about how his actions will affect the chapter as a whole. In the event that a member feels he is unable to act and resolve a risk management issue, the Vice President and President are available to help.

Any other comments as it relates to Psi Upsilon's risk management initiatives?
Risk management is not simply a list of rules and regulations. No single policy could possibly cover every scenario the chapter might face, and through open communication between the chapter officers and general membership, Psi Upsilon has effectively kept good risk management at the core of the fraternity. Psi Upsilon also believes that risk management goes well beyond alcohol-related incidents, and the chapter works hard to recognize issues in all activities.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Panhellenic Pink Week


The 2010 Panhellenic Pink Week, in support of breast cancer awareness, kicks off today with a series of events on and off campus, with all proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Monday, 10/25
Pink Week Tie-Dying
UC Front Lawn
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sponsored by Kappa Alpha Theta & Pi Beta Phi

Monday, 10/25, Tuesday, 10/26, & Wednesday, 10/27
Asian Bistro Fundraiser
24 E. Third St, Bethlehem, PA
Bring flyer & 15% of your dine-in lunch or dinner check is donated
Sponsored by Delta Gamma & Theta Xi

Tuesday, 10/26, Wednesday, 10/27, & Thursday, 10/28
Penny Wars
UC Front Lawn, Ulrich, & Upper UC
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Alpha Phi, the Women's Lacrosse team, Gamma Phi Beta, & Lambda Chi Alpha

Wednesday, 10/27
Pink Pumpkin Decorating
Lamberton
12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Sponsored by Alpha Chi Omega & the Women's Center

Thursday, 10/28
Real Men Wear Pink Fashion Show
Lamberton
7:00 PM
Tickets $10
Sponsored by the Panhellenic Council

Friday, 10/29
Dave's Deli Lunch
3 W. Third St, Bethlehem
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Junior Panhellenic

Friday, 10/29
Breast Cancer Walk
Starts at the Delta Phi parking lot
4:30 PM
Sponsored by Delta Phi & Alpha Chi Omega

Friday, 10/29
Pink Out Women's Volleyball Game vs. Lafayette
Grace Hall
7:00 PM
Wear your Pink Week shirt in support!

Saturday, 10/30
Denim & Pink Tailgate & Football Game vs. Colgate
Goodman Campus
10:00 AM
Free giveaways for the first ones there!

The official Panhellenic Pink Week Shirts will be worn on Friday, 10/29!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lehigh's 2010 Hazing Prevention Week


Hazing Prevention Week will be a time to educate Lehigh’s Greek community as well as the campus community as a whole about the dangers of hazing and how to prevent hazing. Our focus is on holding honest dialogue with all participants throughout the week in order tailor hazing prevention programming leading into the new member education period in the spring.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Monday, October 4th

Event: “Haze Documentary”
Time & Location: Lewis Lab 270 at 6:30pm
The documentary “Haze” will be shown. Following the documentary, we will break out into small group discussions (2-3 breakout rooms upstairs) with an initial facilitation by Tim Wilkinson, Director of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, in order to discuss the major themes.

Tuesday, October 5th

Event: Speaker Reception
Time & Location: Multicultural Room at 6pm-7pm
Meet and greet with refreshments served in order to welcome Travis Apgar to campus.

Event: Travis Apgar, Speaker - "Hazing: The Fallout"
Time & Location: Packard 101 at 7pm
Travis’ keynote, “Hazing: The Fallout”, is a fresh, new look at hazing from the perspective of a victim with a background that contributed to the severity of the impact. Travis’ emotional and powerful story is a wake-up call about the hidden harm of hazing.

Wednesday, October 6th

Event: Book discussion of “Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities”
Time & Location: MG 101 at 6pm
Each sorority chapter will send at least 3 members to attend this book discussion. In advance, passages from the book will be selected and passed out to the attendees of the discussion. These passages will guide our discussion about the major themes of “Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities” which will be facilitated by Michelle Issadore from the Women’s Center. The discussion will be focused on the harmful effects of hazing on sorority women including (but not limited to) negative body image and substance abuse.

Thursday, October 7th

Event: New Member Educator Discussion
Time & Location: MG 113 6pm
Samantha Bello (Panhellenic VP Judicial), Lauren Koenig (Panhellenic President), Stu Harwood (IFC VP Judicial), and Brian Casey (IFC President) will oversee a discussion between the new member educators of each Lehigh chapter. The discussion will kick off with a role play debate run by Tim Wilkinson. Upon completion of these activities, an open, honest discussion with new member educators will occur regarding their concerns about hazing.
Questions about Hazing Prevention Week?
Contact Samantha Bello or Stuart Harwood.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Greek Gala

The inagural Greek Gala was held on Monday, 9/27 in the Asa Packer Dining Room at Lehigh University. In a switch from years past, the chapter awards and Accreditation plaques were handed out at this gathering, while the individual Greek awards were distributed at the annual Greek Awards banquet in April 2010.

Below is the list of chapter award winners, with the finalists noted in italics.

Interfraternity Council Awards

Most Improved GPA: Chi Psi

Highest GPA: Sigma Phi Epsilon

Alumni Relations: Sigma Chi
(Theta Chi, Delta Upsilon, Alpha Tau Omega)

Community Service & Philanthropy: Psi Upsilon
(Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Theta)

Greek Life Leadership: Sigma Phi Epsilon
(Theta Chi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha Tau Omega)

Risk Management: Psi Upsilon
(Phi Kappa Theta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha)

Scholarship Programming: Sigma Phi Epsilon
(Phi Sigma Kappa, Lambda Chi Alpha, Theta Chi)

Quay Cup (outstanding fraternity): Sigma Phi Epsilon
(Phi Sigma Kappa)


Panhellenic Council Awards

Most Improved GPA: Kappa Alpha Theta

Highest GPA: Alpha Gamma Delta

Alumnae Relations: Alpha Gamma Delta
(Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Phi)

Community Service & Philanthropy: Alpha Phi
(Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi)

Greek Life Leadership: Alpha Omicron Pi
(Delta Gamma, Alpha Gamma Delta)

Risk Management: Kappa Alpha Theta
(Alpha Omicron Pi, Pi Beta Phi)

Scholarship Programming: Alpha Gamma Delta
(Alpha Omicron Pi, Kappa Alpha Theta)

Outstanding Sorority Chapter: Delta Gamma
(Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi)


Multicultural Greek Council Awards

Outstanding Campus Involvement: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Commitment to Service: Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity, Inc.

Dedication to Scholarly Achievement: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


Residential Services Awards

Stewardship Chapters of the Year: Sigma Phi Epsilon & Kappa Alpha Theta

Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sorority Extension Presentations

As previously announced, the Lehigh Panhellenic Council voted to expand the sorority community this past April and the Extension Committee narrowed down the applications from National Panhellenic Conference organizations to invite four sororities to visit campus and present the week of September 13th.

The presentation schedule is listed below. All presentations are open to the Lehigh community.


Monday, September 13 - 4pm
Phi Sigma Sigma
PA 416

Tuesday, September 14 - 4pm
Delta Zeta
PA 466

Wednesday, September 15 - 4pm
Kappa Delta
PA 416

Thursday, September 16 - 4pm
Zeta Tau Alpha
PA 466
The Extension Commitee will convene in the weeks following the presentations and announce the final selection on Friday, October 8th. The new sorority will begin recruitment and colonization efforts in January 2011.

Questions regarding extension? Contact Veronica Hunter, Greek Life Coordinator, at vmh207@lehigh.edu

Monday, August 30, 2010

Learning and Leadership

By Sean Maloney, '12, Phi Sigma Kappa

This August, four brothers from the Nu chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa attended the Shonk Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. These brothers representing leadership roles in the house ranging from President to House Manager took it upon themselves to further their education in what it takes to be an excellent leader. The conference was three days long and consisted of a variety of different events. There were group activities including a barbeque at the National Headquarters for Phi Sigma Kappa that promoted brotherhood and communication. There were also smaller breakout sessions that taught valuable lessons on topics including recruitment, risk management, leadership, scholarship, and a variety of different issues. The overall goal was to capture the abilities to bring these ideas back to the chapter here at Lehigh and educate the other brothers, which the group plans on doing this year.

A special privilege was presented to one of the Phi Sig brothers, Sean Maloney, as he was nominated and chosen to attend the Zillgitt Institute. A group of 18 brothers from all around the nation were brought to the conference a day early to participate in a through leadership training. The day these brothers arrived they were put on a bus and arrived at the Damar Services facility. This is a living community for children ages 10 to 21 with Autism or other maladaptive behaviors. The brothers in Zillgitt were able to play games, get a tour of the facility, and connect with the young gentlemen in the program. Also during the Institute, the brothers had a crash course in leadership in an all day session of presenters. They then attended the rest of the conference and brought what they learned back to the other brothers.

Throughout the conference awards were given out to the chapters on various levels. The brothers of the Lehigh Chapter had a successful leadership school as they walked away with 7 awards for the chapter. They were in the areas of Scholarship, Community Service On Campus, Community Service Off Campus, Campus Involvement, Philanthropy (participation), Philanthropy (sponsorship), and New Member Education. James Trollo also received special acknowledgement when he was presented with an award for scoring over 70% on the Phi Sigma Kappa Ritual History Test, which he opted to take during the conference. Overall, the brothers of the Nu Chapter feel that they were recognized for their excellent year and plan on continuing this tradition again this year.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Greek Week 2010

Throughout the 2009-10 academic year, the three Greek governing councils, in conjunction with the Offices of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and the Dean of Students, convened a joint student/faculty/staff Greek Week Revisioning Committee, tasked with assessing all aspects of Greek Week including its purpose, content and timing. Emerging from this process was a vision for a new Greek Week that would, “Be a time for Lehigh’s fraternities and sororities to promote our high standards and deep sense of pride and respect for community by showcasing the talents and uniqueness of members through a variety of philanthropic and entertainment-based events”. The committee centered all events on the shared fraternity and sorority values of Scholarship, Leadership, Citizenship, Partnership, and Stewardship, as well as utilized the Core Competencies Skill Development Map in creation and assessment.

The revised Greek Week will occur September 19 - 24, 2010. Major changes include the Greek Week conduct policy and behavioral contract, events being held on Asa Packer campus rather than at individual houses, chapters competing on teams rather than alone, participation of faculty/staff advisors in events, and the designation of Wednesday as Philanthropy and Community Service Day.

Schedule of Events:
Sunday, 9/19
6pm - Opening Ceremonies

Monday, 9/20
4pm - Kickball
7pm - Dodgeball

Tuesday, 9/21
4pm -Volleyball
7pm - Trivia/Quiz Bowl

Wednesday, 9/22
Community Service & Philanthropy Day

Thursday, 9/23
4pm - The Amazing Race
7pm - Game Show

Friday, 9/24
4pm - Tug of War
6pm - Closing Ceremonies

More information and the full Committee report is available on the OFSA website:
http://www.lehigh.edu/~indost/greek/GreekWeek.shtml

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Psi Upsilon Pride

By Dan Grande, ’11, Psi Upsilon

The Psi Upsilon Fraternity’s 167th convention took place at the University of Illinois (Omicron Chapter) in Champaign, Illinois from June 25th through June 28th. Overall there were 141 brothers in attendance representing 30 different chapters. But what really stood out was the fact that there were 66 active delegates compared to 75 alumni delegates ranging from age 22 to 75. Immediately I understood that these brothers held the phrase “lifelong friendship” as highly as we at the Eta do.

I was joined by my fellow brothers Dan Coviello ’13, Ian Smyth ’12, Todd Jenkins ’12 and alumni Jeremy McKeon ’08 and Alexander Senchak ’06 over the three day trip. Our schedule included a Leadership Institute for undergraduates and alumni, committees on Awards, Budget & Development, Nominations and Credentials, and a special memorial service for those brothers who had recently passed. I found the Leadership Institute to be particularly helpful as we learned how other chapters deal with different situations. Through a three hour session we explored ways we can better ourselves as well as help the new chapters shape their futures. In typical fashion Psi U fashion, we also managed to fit in a few social events such as a cookout at the Omicron chapter house, a banquet and awards ceremony, and a special Centennial Dinner honoring the Omicron for its 100th year. It was at these events that delegates from different chapters really got to interact with one another and share stories and experiences with one another. In particular, I liked to hear stories from brothers whose chapters were located outside of the northeast, as they often had very different fraternity experiences than I have had.

But perhaps the highlight of the entire ordeal was recognition of the Eta via two awards, the Clasped Hands Award and the Award of Distinction. The Clasped Hands award is “presented to chapters that have devoted significant time and effort to philanthropic efforts and community service” while the Award of Distinction “recognizes a chapter when they perform in an extraordinary manner [in philanthropic service] which merits special recognition.” Being recognized at this high of a level with such prestigious awards has made me really value what I have here at Lehigh- a great brotherhood. After attending convention this summer I can say with conviction and absolute certainty that I am a proud member of the Eta and a proud member of Psi Upsilon as an international fraternity.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gamma Phi Beta Convention Memories

By Katie Beattie, '12, Gamma Phi Beta

The Gamma Phi Beta Convention was held this summer in Orlando, Florida. Over 850 collegiate members, alumni and advisors gathered in Disney World to reconnect, participate in ritual and business sessions, and share best practices to bring back to their respective chapters. I attended the convention in the company of Kate McCarthy, our Financial Vice President. We both found the days to be informative, helpful and an interesting insight into the international aspects of Gamma Phi Beta.

During Convention, we elected the new International Council members and conducted the business of the sorority. Every International Council member went through their officer reports, detailing the news in their respective departments over the past two years. Kate and I also had the opportunity to attend workshops during the afternoons; the collegiate workshops covered everything from recruitment advice, standards board procedures and positive public relations practices. We are excited to bring this information back to Lehigh and start the academic year on the right foot. This was the first year that the Delta Kappa chapter had applied for awards at an International Convention; though we didn’t win anything, we were proud of our accomplishments over the past few years and took note of the impressive things other chapters were doing on their campuses.

Gamma Phi Beta Convention was also a wonderful opportunity to connect with sisters from around the country and our alumni base. Kate and I traveled with Denise Vollert-Parrotto, our chapter’s long-standing Financial Advisor and Debra Dalrymple-Kleinfeldt, a new addition to our House Corporation Board. It was great to spend time with Gamma Phi alumni who contribute a great deal to our chapter. The Gamma Phi Beta Convention was a fulfilling experience and a great leadership opportunity for all who attended.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Awards & Achievement with AGD


By Taylor Kite, '12, Alpha Gamma Delta

When I found out that I was going to be attending this summer’s Alpha Gamma Delta Convention a few months ago, I was not sure what to expect. Would it be fun? Overwhelming? Informative? Exhausting? Well, I can honestly say that my experience at Convention this June in Tampa, Florida was all of these things, but all in a good way. I was fortunate enough to have Gwen Hauck ‘12, Ari Stillman ‘13, and our advisor Montana Clelland ’09, accompany me on this adventure. It was fun getting to know sisters from all over the country, including two special alums from our Zeta Beta chapter here at Lehigh University. One of these women, Mary Beth Morabito ’85, currently serves on International Council. It was such an honor to be able to sit down and talk with her about both Lehigh and Alpha Gamma Delta memories. Another sister I connected with was a woman who was 80 years old and had been to many Conventions. After talking with her for a little while, I asked where she went to college. As it turns out, she grew up just down the street from my home in Cincinnati, Ohio. We talked more about her college and high school experiences, and by the end of the conversation we determined that she graduated with my grandfather and remembered him quite vividly. This remarkable encounter touched me in ways that I cannot articulate in words, but I am positive it will stick with me forever. It is moments like this one that Convention was all about.

The Leadership Institute sponsored the break out meetings and discussions, which were enlightening, engaging, and spirited from start to finish. We learned everything from the best way to handle conflict to how to better relate to alums, from recruitment ideas to how to make each chapter dollar spread even further. All the attendees were eager to share their respective best practices and ideas with everyone else, which reflected the general atmosphere of sisterly bonding and encouragement that surrounded Convention. It was rewarding to see how your own ideas really helped one chapter, and to in turn learn some things from them.

At the awards ceremony, our chapter was honored to receive several awards including Strive for Pi, which awards chapters with an overall GPA of 3.14 or higher; a Quota and Total award; the Myra Vedder Foxworthy Panhellenic Honor Roll; Rose Bowl Honor Roll; and Annulet Honor Roll, the highest honor for an Alpha Gamma Delta chapter. To be able to accept these awards on behalf of my Zeta Beta sisters and the hard work and dedication they put into the chapter helped me realize how incredible my sisters really are. It also inspired the four of us to work over the next year as leaders in our chapter to ensure that we continue to maintain this high standard and even raise the bar. While it is always nice to see when your hard work pays off, there is always room for growth. Keeping this in mind, we look forward to incorporating everything we learned at this summer’s Convention into our daily chapter functions back at Lehigh, and it never hurts to work towards these awards for the 2012 Convention!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Convention Connections

By Adam Pittenger, '11, Theta Chi

Incredibly, with over 500 brothers in attendance, the central region of Florida was more appropriately named “Brolando” from June 30th-July 3rd. Though this is seemingly only a small inside joke from the 154th Anniversary Convention of Theta Chi Fraternity, the nickname proved to be true. It seemed everywhere you turned you were running into a brother. Men from all across the nation (and Canada) traveled to the home of Disney World in order to take part in this spectacular event. I, along with Jon Pribis ‘12, Jason Raschiatore ‘12, Todd Ferreira ‘13, and Alex Lass ‘13, represented Lehigh University’s Beta Sigma chapter.


Our first night at the Rosen Plaza was one to remember. The five of us were honored to receive awards for Chapter Excellence for New Member and Member Education Programming, The Ritual, Community Service & Philanthropy Programming, Alumni Programming, Chapter Finances, Chapter Operations, Internal Cooperation, Campus Involvement, Risk Management Practices, and Social Programming. While that served as great recognition for our past achievements, we realized that convention is about meeting new people and learning for the betterment of our chapter.


Throughout the next three days, the five of us took part in numerous challenges, team-building exercises, and listened to a variety of speakers. Personally, I felt the breakout sessions were the most valuable learning tool in regards to the future growth of our chapter. Also, having never been to a national event before, it was great to meet brothers from different chapters and learn about the changes taking place within our international headquarters. Not only were we able to take part in the election of a new Grand Chapter, but Beta Sigma got to take pictures with the group during our formal banquet. Finally, the brothers of Theta Chi spent Saturday night out on the town as we all went and explored City Walk in Orlando. In all, the experience was invaluable and the lessons we learned will certainly carry over to our chapter in the 2010-2011 school year. And since the 2012 Convention is in sunny Palm Springs, California, I’ve already told our younger members that if they need an alumni delegate… I’m their man.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Leading with Integrity


By Jennifer McCusker, '12, Delta Gamma

I learned a lot about myself as a leader during my time at The LeaderShape Institute in June. I appreciated learning how to develop my vision for the future and planning action steps to reach my vision. The vision I developed at LeaderShape is very broad, but I plan on using my experience from the program to create and act upon visions for Delta Gamma and teach other chapter management team members how to do the same. My favorite part of LeaderShape was taking the DiSC leadership style assessment. I found that learning about my leadership style and those of my peers helped me work better in groups, and I think taking this assessment would also benefit DG’s chapter management team.

The most important thing I learned at LeaderShape is to lead with integrity and have a healthy disregard for the impossible.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention


By Tim Wilkinson, Director, Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs

From June 9th through June 13th, I had the opportunity to attend the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention, hosted by Hazingprevention.org and held at The State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo. The Institute is an annual educational opportunity that brings together college campuses to discuss all aspects of hazing. Some of the discussion points included the perceived intent and psychology behind hazing, ways to educate students on the effects and dangers of hazing, and tips for building campus coalitions to eradicate hazing from an entire institution. Some of the interesting takeaways from the Institute included…

• The problem of hazing begins well before college. Nearly half (47%) of college students reported being hazed in high school, according to the National Student on Student Hazing.
• Over half (55%) of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing.
• In 95% of the cases where students identified their experience as hazing, they did not report the events to campus officials.
• 69% of students who belonged to a student activity reported they were aware of hazing activities occurring in student organizations other than their own.

One of the things that most impacted me was the way we can all take a new approach on recognizing hazing. As students and staff, we are always arguing about what is hazing. How often when we debate hazing do we hear the following statement?

“According to the definition, everything’s hazing!”

We need to stop thinking of hazing in terms of a list of activities. Think of hazing the way it has been reframed at Florida State University.

“Students should not be demeaned or exposed to harm when pursuing involvement in campus life.”

If you are on a sports team, a member of a fraternity or sorority, or in a club or campus organization, and you can’t answer that statement, then you know it is hazing! OFSA is continuing to lead the charge in understanding and eradicating hazing at Lehigh. We are continuing the Bystander Initiative, Peer Values Educators, 888-NOT-HAZE, the on-line hazing reporting system, as well as all of the educational programming we do with chapters. Look for OFSA to continue to build campus coalitions in 2010-11 with faculty, athletics, student organizations and university alumni. This is the number one way to make hazing prevention the priority that it needs to be.

Lehigh will continue to take the lead in hazing prevention, as we have been chosen as the host site for the 2011 Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention. When we come together as a Lehigh community, it can be a very powerful thing. Isn’t eradicating hazing worth coming together for?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2009-2010 Accreditation Results

The 2009-2010 Accreditation reports for each of Lehigh's fraternities and sororities are now available on the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs website, under the "Reports and Statistics" page.


GOLD:

Alpha Gamma Delta
Alpha Omicron Pi
Alpha Phi
Delta Gamma
Kappa Alpha Psi
Kappa Alpha Theta
Phi Sigma Kappa
Pi Beta Phi
Sigma Phi Epsilon

SILVER:

Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Tau Omega
Chi Psi
Delta Phi
Delta Upsilon
Gamma Phi Beta
Kappa Alpha
Kappa Sigma
Lambda Chi Alpha
Lambda Sigma Upsilon
Lambda Theta Alpha
Phi Kappa Theta
Psi Upsilon
Sigma Chi
Theta Chi


BRONZE:

Delta Chi
Phi Gamma Delta
Pi Kappa Alpha
Theta Xi


POOR:
Delta Tau Delta

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome, Joe!

Joe Gurreri
Leadership Programs Coordinator

(formerly the "Greek Life Leadership Coordinator")

Hometown:
York, PA

Educational Background:
B.A. Political Science, Gettysburg College
M.Ed. Higher Education Administration, Vanderbilt University

Fraternity Affiliation:
Lambda Chi Alpha

Professional Highlights:
Member of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA)
Training for Intervention Procedures (TiPS) Trainer
Past advisor: Order of Omega, Dance Marathon, Panhellenic, IFC
Areas of Interest: Leadership, new member education, risk management, member wellness

Why did you decide to pursue a career in fraternity and sorority affairs?
My undergraduate experience as a member of the fraternity community was highlighted by the formation of a steadfast support network, numerous opportunities to enhance my leadership abilities, and an understanding that we were part of a larger group that was more important than just one or two individuals. That being said, I also recognized that not all of our organizations could claim to provide the same opportunities to their members. It was my desire to help others have positive, meaningful experiences that inspired me to enter this field.

What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University?
I hope to build on an already impressive offering of leadership programs available to our organizations and continue advancing the Lehigh Greek community. I also hope to challenge and support members so that they can make the most of the incredible opportunities that come with their fraternity or sorority membership.

What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far?
While it is the summer and not many students are on campus, it is clear to me that there is a great deal of passion and pride in the Greek community at Lehigh that I am sure will be even more exciting to experience when everyone returns to campus in the fall!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mini-Golf Masterpiece

Psi Upsilon fraternity received recognition for their hard work and commitment to building and maintaining a portable mini-golf course for the Bethlehem Area Public Library.




Thursday, June 10, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 10


By Nick Anderson, '10, Theta Chi

As a senior reflecting on my experience at Lehigh as a member of the Greek community, I can’t help but reminisce and procrastinate in writing this entry. I have shared so many great experiences with not only my brothers but the entire Greek community. I believe a Lehigh Greek experience is truly beneficial to those who participate. I can honestly say that part of my success as an undergraduate can be attributed to the Greek experience. I believe this is true for three reasons:

First, as a member of the Greek community, I was able to participate in numerous service and philanthropic events that I would not have had the opportunity for otherwise. The community service and philanthropy that come from the Greek community arise from student interest. The students believe they should support or donate, and the means of doing so are all student driven. It is truly rewarding to see a philanthropic effort that contributes to a good cause and that students have fun not only planning and running, but participating in as well.

Secondly, the Greek community is a fantastic way to meet people. I feel that I was able to establish many connections and network effortlessly through the Greek community. I was able to use contacts from the Greek community to help bridge connections between my other involvements on campus. As the first Greek to be President of the Association of Student Alumni (ASA), I feel as though I was able to effectively unify the entire campus (both Greek and non-Greek) at key points in the year such as Lehigh-Lafayette week and Hawk’s for Haiti.

Finally, being Greek helped me to develop as a leader. I learned how a room full of 40 different viewpoints can be combined to achieve a common goal. As my chapter’s Accreditation chair I was able to collect input, articles and perspectives from the entire chapter to produce a report that the chapter as a whole could agree with and be proud of.

The Lehigh Greek experience is truly unique and positive in so many ways. I would highly support the decision to go Greek for anyone who is interested. I had a blast, and will never forget it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 9


By Avi Lessner, '10, Delta Tau Delta


My Lehigh career has been more than incredible. This is due in large part to the Greek system. My experiences in Greek life have been extraordinarily memorable. Coming to Lehigh as a freshman I had no concept of Greek life. My freshman year roommate, who has turned out to be my pledge brother and is still my housemate, convinced me to trek up the Hill. What I found was a system with an incredible amount of diverse perspectives, students of every background and a general feeling of welcoming to every chapter. My freshman Greek experience could not have been better and becoming involved is certainly one of the best decisions I have made in college.

From then on in I became more involved in the system, becoming my Fraternity President and then a Vice President of the Inter-Fraternity Council. These leadership positions helped me grow tremendously as a person and create bonds that I am sure will last for a very long time. While my involvement at Lehigh has not solely been Greek, it has in many cases been my Greek brothers and sisters that have pushed me to excel in a variety of areas and the common link we share as a community has empowered us to do great things both on and off of Lehigh's campus.

Looking back it is almost impossible to take it all in and appreciate how much I have gained but I am sure that my life has been more that significantly impacted by my Greek experience and I am elated to say I am a Lehigh Greek alumnus.

Senior Reflections - Part 8


By Becca Raphael, '10, Gamma Phi Beta
(top row, 3rd from the left - with 09/10 Panhellenic exec)

On August 24, 2006 I wore a white and navy polo shirt, jean shorts and Rainbow flip-flops. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that my mom had made me for lunch and I wore my hair in a half-ponytail. I can remember these details because it feels as though today is August 25 and just yesterday, my parents moved me into my first dorm room at Lehigh. The last four years have gone by so quickly that they hardly feel like they ever happened at all. It’s as though I woke up after my first day of Freshman Orientation and the whole experience was over. In what feels like a few short hours, I’ve made a ton of memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and owe a lot of them to being a part of Lehigh’s Greek life.

I came to college knowing for sure that I would join a sorority. With a middle-sized student body, I knew it was the best option for me to make a solid group of friends and to hopefully find my niche at Lehigh. After meeting a slew of sorority girls my first semester, I began the recruitment process already having an idea of which chapter I’d like to join. What I think is so great about Lehigh’s recruitment process is that it gives you ample amount of time to get to know the sororities and for them to get to know you, rather than coming to school in the middle of August and receiving a bid from a house that selected you based on fake premises. I joined Gamma Phi Beta after the recruitment process without any regrets. I am graduating in just a week, and while I am leaving the school behind, I am not leaving any friends behind—my friends have really become my family.

While yes, I’ve enjoyed the date parties, the Greek Weeks and the permanent sleepovers with my best friends, the most important thing I’ve taken from this whole experience is my own self discovery. If there is anything I can tell to an incoming student about taking advantage of the Greek system here at Lehigh, it’s to never hold back. Find a leadership position within the chapter and pursue it without hesitation. As a new member, I became the Jr. Panhellenic delegate and saw potential for myself in this realm. I became Gamma Phi’s Panhel Delegate during my sophomore and junior year which led me to my position on Panhel’s executive board my senior year. I have no regrets for pursuing positions as a part of the larger community, and because of it, I’ve made friends outside of my house.

Coming to Lehigh was the best decision I’ve ever made, and joining a sorority is what made my experience here so amazing. So, to anyone on the fence about the whole recruitment process, I hope you jump to the Greek side. I can guarantee your experiences will rival anything else.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 7


By Dana Giallonardo, '10, Gamma Phi Beta

I’m sitting at my desk in the off-campus house I share with five other Gamma Phi Beta seniors and I’m thinking. I’m graduating in less than a month. What have I learned? What do I know? And what do I have to show for it?

As a journalism major, I know how to write an article. I know how to edit your paper. As a writing and communications minor, I could write you a fairy tale or a poem. I could tailor a public relations plan for your company. I’ve been in an A Cappella group for four years. I’ve been an editor of the Brown and White. I’ve been a Big Sister to a little girl at a Bethlehem elementary school. I’ve made the Dean’s List, I’ve volunteered my time, and I’ve learned the art of time management. All valuable. I’ve packed my “future suitcase” tight with knowledge and work ethic and social skills.

But, above anything else, what I’ve really learned over the past four years are the lessons that I’ve learned about myself. I attribute a vast majority of these lessons to having been involved in Greek life at Lehigh.

When I came to Lehigh as a freshman I knew I was a smart person. I knew that I was skilled in the social arena, I was athletic, and talented, and creative. I knew that I had excelled in high school and was ready to excel as a college student – whatever that meant.

Joining a sorority was a no-brainer. From the beginning of sorority recruitment, I knew that Gamma Phi Beta was where I was meant to be. I had known girls already in Gamma Phi and they, along with the girls I kept seeing come back along with me, would soon become my Lehigh family.

I would eventually spend the next two years living in the sorority house. I would be elected assistant to the New Member Educator as a sophomore. I would be elected President as a junior. I would attend the International Gamma Phi Beta Convention. I would deal with both older and younger members on a day-to-day basis. I would learn how to balance my social and academic lives. I would be forced to deal with the conflict and controversy that sometimes occurs when fifty women live together. I would learn to live by my own value system, which was reinforced not only by the values of my sorority, but by the women who were members alongside of me.

Being in a sorority has put me in situations unlike any other. It is through these types of situations that I have learned how to manage my likes, my dislikes, my personality traits, the types of things that really make me tick and the types of things that really don’t make me tick. I have discovered the kind of the woman I am becoming and the woman I am meant to be. This intuitiveness reaches far beyond the realm of surface realizations, but has allowed me to really reach inside of myself and open the door to a life of personal fulfillment and happiness.

When I look back, I can honestly say that this has been the most fun four years I have ever had in my entire life. I can also say that I’ve met the most amazing people and have garnered friendships that I know will continue on well past these college days. But what I know, what I really know, is me, and that Gamma Phi Beta certainly played a part in this knowledge. That is the most important thing I could have ever learned in college.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 6


By Eurie Choi, '10, Alpha Gamma Delta


Four not-so-short years ago I was a senior in high school and knew that I was going to Lehigh University in the fall. Being clueless about the Greek system in general, I didn’t know what to tell all of the people who congratulated me and then asked me if I was going to join a sorority at Lehigh. I had no idea what a sorority was beyond the stereotypical movie-esque Greek house, let alone if I wanted to join one. So I let it stew in the back of my mind and came to Lehigh in the fall. Amidst the freshmen orientation and new friend making frenzy we were all in, I began noticing the Greek letters and advertised events for something called “sorority recruitment” (a term which I know well now, but had no idea of back then). Right before the deadline, I decided to sign up for recruitment, went through the blurry five days of endless small talk and conversations, and found myself with a bid to Alpha Gamma Delta.

I could not have asked for a better thing to happen to me. Being a part of Alpha Gam has been an incredibly rewarding and stimulating experience for me. It got me involved in so many ways across campus from joining different organizations to meeting a plethora of people – and, especially, making some of the best friends I’ve ever had. The women I met in Alpha Gam have been there for me through thick and thin and, with my graduation date approaching faster and faster and my nerves flying along with it, I know for certain that even though my Lehigh career is ending, at least these friendships will be long-lasting. They have truly helped to make my Greek and Lehigh experiences remarkable and truly life-changing.

However, joining Alpha Gam is only half of what has made my Lehigh Greek experience what it was. At the beginning of my junior year I applied to be on the Panhellenic Council and served as a chair to the board. This was the first time in my sorority career that I got to step out of my own chapter and act as a voice for the entire sorority community here at Lehigh. I had friends in other sororities, but this was the first time that I worked with women with different Greek letters and saw them beyond their letters. It was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to truly see the Lehigh Greek Community as a whole community instead of thirty or so individual chapters.

I won’t lie – the Greek pride in me swelled a bit at this point and with my growing appreciation for the Greeks on our campus and what we are all capable of doing here, I ran for and got elected to the Panhellenic Council for my senior year. This past year has been, by far, the most rewarding with friendships, accomplishments, and a general pride for our Greek Community. I truly believe that our Panhellenic Council along with IFC and MGC have made great efforts and strides in uniting our Greek community and showing Lehigh what we’re capable of accomplishing when we all work together. I’m incredibly excited to come back and visit in the coming years to see the progress that I know the community will be making.

So I’m still not entirely sure what convinced me to join a sorority back when I was a freshman. It might have been my hall mates. Or perhaps the great advertising of Panhel. Or maybe it was all of those people back home who asked me about it in high school. But whatever the reason was, I am incredibly thankful that I did because joining Alpha Gam and thus becoming a member of the Lehigh Greek Community was by far one of the greatest decisions of my life.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 5


By Jaclyn Weissman, '10, Alpha Phi


Many students at Lehigh choose to join Greek life after a full semester of witnessing all of the positive aspects it offers - strong friendships, leadership opportunities and social advantages – but my reason for joining was different than most.

I began my freshman year at Muhlenberg only 20 minutes away from my older sister who was a student at Lehigh and a junior in Alpha Phi. I had visited her many times before and had always loved the college atmosphere that Lehigh had to offer but had originally planned to study dance and theater, which Lehigh doesn’t specialize in. Before spending much time at Muhlenberg I began to realize that the extremely small class size was not going to provide the college experience I wanted, nor allow me to reach the full potential and gain influencing experiences that I believed I could during my four undergraduate years. The disappointment of beginning at a college that I felt unattached to, coupled by the fact that I had began to grow interests in new and different fields of study, left me looking for a change.

Only a few weeks into school I began visiting my sister regularly at Lehigh and spending time with many of her friends in Alpha Phi. I became increasingly close with them and it wasn’t long before they had convinced me to apply to Lehigh mid-year and join Alpha Phi as soon as I arrived in January. To be honest, I didn’t decide to transfer because of my sister, as close as I was with her, but rather because of her close-knit group of friends. I was jealous of their relationships and how they were fun, had a great sense of humor in open honesty, and closeness that allowed them to raid each other’s closets for clothes to every occasion. I wanted to study at Lehigh and have friends with the same group dynamic that my sister had. When I finally received my acceptance letter shortly after Thanksgiving there was no question that I would attend Lehigh and follow in the footsteps of my sister in Alpha Phi.

Without rambling on I will say this – being a part of Greek life has significantly enhanced my college experience and I can’t imagine having found the close friendships that have resulted from being a part of it in any other way. It has provided me with a network of girls that will be my close friends for the rest of my life. To add, many of the positions that I’ve held in Alpha Phi, including co-recruitment chair my junior year, have helped me to develop my leadership skills and confidence. This year I served as VP Communications on the Panhellenic Council and formed strong friendships with girls in many other chapters as well. I believe that my experience goes against all of the negative stereotypes that surround fraternities and sororities, and I’m lucky to have had such a positively influential experience during my college years.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sorority Expansion


The Lehigh University Panhellenic Council is very excited about the opportunity to add another chapter to the sorority community. It has been 13 years since the addition of our last chapter, Pi Beta Phi. Since switching over to the Priority Recruitment Method, Lehigh has seen a record number of interest, retention rates and the number of women being placed. OFSA has properly notified the NPC Extension Committee of the vote to move forward and exploration visits will begin this summer. The official bulletin was released on Wednesday, April 28th. Lehigh's new NPC sorority will be notified later in the fall semester and will prepare to participate in formal recruitment in the spring 2011 semester.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 4


By Nathalie Martin, '10, Lambda Theta Alpha


When I first started my undergraduate career, I had a plan: get a degree in Biology, get a PhD, and do brilliant lab research for the rest of my life. Joining a sorority had absolutely no place in this plan. If I could go back in time and give myself some solid advice, it would be to shut up and quit pretending that you can make a life trajectory for yourself at 17 years old. One of the most important lessons I learned at Lehigh was not that I am terrible at Organic Chemistry, but that the best opportunities come along when you kick the plan aside and let life happen. When I finally figured that out, I changed my major a couple times, traveled way outside of my comfort zone to make new friends, and became a founding sister of the Delta Upsilon chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.


My junior year, I moved in with two women who were part of the LTA interest group. A couple months later, Gabriela Saade, who is now my line sister, best friend, and mentor, asked me to join the interest group. LTA was one of the most inspiring organizations I had ever come across. The principles of Unity, Love, and Respect were carried out by every sister I met, and the organization’s passion for community service and strong sisterhood were unlike anything I’d ever experienced. And even though I am not Latina, I had a strong desire to give women a different option for Greek life. For all these reasons, I became a sister of LTA by the end of the Spring 2008 semester, and I haven’t looked back since.


The new member education process allowed me to discover my strengths and acquire a strong sense of self-respect. I met four women who, aside from my mother, have been the most influential and unwavering sources of friendship in my life. My four line sisters, Stephanie Huiza, Gaby Saade, Diana Camejo, and Brittany Lewis, have taught me more about myself than I could possibly imagine. Together, we built the foundation of our chapter. We poured our hearts, energy, and way too many study hours into making our vision a reality. With five members, extremely limited funding, no alumni support, and no sisters within a 60 mile radius, we built strong relationships with Lehigh Greeks, clubs, and administrators, and sponsored entirely too many events. Through this long, difficult process, my sisters taught me how to become a better leader, how to be honest with both them and myself, and how to accept people for who they are. Because of this, my constant focus on people’s negative attributes turned into a never-ending fascination with people who have strengths so different from my own. To me, what it came down to was that differences in leadership styles, beliefs, and personalities are what make an organization stronger. When a group has so many different strengths at their disposal, what is the point of focusing on an individual’s weakness?


If you had told me five years ago that this is the kind of person I would become, I would have told you that you’re out of your mind. Back then, I had no idea I actually disliked science, had natural leadership skills, and had the ability to not be so judgmental. Five years ago, I hated Lehigh. Today, I am overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of leaving this place behind. In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of being the chapter president of LTA and watch our chapter flourish in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I am so proud of our accomplishments, and I truly hope that the community has benefitted from our strong presence on campus. Today, I can walk away with the certainty that LTA, members of the mainstream and multicultural Greek community, my friends, Lehigh administrators, and professors have given me the tools to take on any challenge thrown my way. To the students lucky enough to remain in this safe haven a little while longer, I leave you with one piece of advice: don’t leave here with any regrets. Push your limits, stay open to new experiences, and never be afraid to make mistakes. That way, when you finally do reach graduation day, you can be sure you’re walking away with more than just a diploma

Monday, May 3, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 3


By Walter Joseph, '10, Lambda Chi Alpha


When I reminisce on my undergraduate years, it is often quite difficult to recall all of the Date Parties, trips to Philly for Pat’s Cheesesteaks, plunges into the Lehigh Valley River at the Rope Swing, late night adventures at Pantry 1, or mosh-pits to Steppenwolf’s ‘Magic Carpet Ride.’ Yet, despite the haziness in this whirlwind of memories, one thing never ceases to remain a vivid, indelible part of my Lehigh career – the people who I have shared those memories with.

My involvement in Lambda Chi Alpha has provided me with the best friends I could have ever asked for. Growing up a middle child surrounded by two sisters, I always yearned for a brother figure to toss around a ball with or get birthday punches from. Now, on the brink of college graduation, I can say with confidence and conviction that I have 65 other brothers who have had a profound impact on my undergraduate career at Lehigh, and moreover, on my growth as a person. These guys will be the ones who will stand beside me at my wedding, hit the golf course even when our knees grow stiff, and will be there when I need them most. Their support is unwavering – I have never known and been a part of a group of friends so dedicated to each other and so selfless to one another.

Fraternity life has taught me the importance of accountability and responsibility – two valuable lessons that college students often neglect to truly understand. Whether it may be showing concern for a brother whose grades were dropping, or fining a brother for damaging our house, we all look out for one another and hold each other accountable for our actions. Just like a true brother would. Just like a family would.

For the current Greek students who are fortunate to have some time left at Lehigh: I implore you to make the most of your experience – words cannot describe how fast the time here goes. Make a difference in your chapter, and inspire change. Do not settle for the status quo. Help your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters when they need it – there will be a time when you’ll need it, too. Yet, most of all, do not lose touch with those people who have been so instrumental in the your development – and your successes.

Student Life Leadership Awards

Lehigh Greek students were represented well at Lehigh Unviersity's 25th annual Student Life Leadership Awards Celebration held on Thursday, April 29 on the UC Front Lawn.

Congratulations to the following:

Student Life Leadership Award
This award is given to seniors in recognition of extraordinary performance as a student leader at Lehigh University. The following areas are used as a basis for evaluating outstanding performance: overall impact on Lehigh students, program development and implementation, bridging cultural differences, and student governance by taking a role to improve student faculty and staff interactions.
  • Gregory Anderson, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Nicholas Anderson, Theta Chi
  • Steven Bialick, Theta Chi
  • Nora Diehl, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Todd Dobry, Theta Chi
  • Karl Saxe, Delta Phi
  • Nickolas Welton, Delta Upsilon

Ujima Award
"Ujima" is the third principle of Kwanzaa and means "collective work and responsibility". This award recognizes a student who has taken responsibility for and worked collectively with others to create a more inclusive campus community.

  • Karl Brisseaux, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Allegiance Award
This award is presented to seniors in recognition of their dedication and continuous improvement focused within a specific organization. Outstanding performance in this area includes: the senior's impact on the organization, being an organizational member for a substantial portion of their time at Lehigh, serving in a variety of roles within the organization, and being instrumental in overall organizational management such as visioning, goal setting and yearly transition for the organization.

  • Walter Joseph, Lambda Chi Alpha

Student Club/Organization of the Year Award
This award recognizes the club or organization that has been the most active on campus throughout the academic year and has pursued to the highest degree their overall purpose as a club.

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Alumni Association Undergraduate & Graduate Merit Award
The recipients of the Undergraduate & Graduate Merit Award shall be members of the graduating class or a graduate student, respectively, who by exemplary character, personality, scholarship, and participation in extra-curriculuar activities, represents the highest traditions of Lehigh University.

  • Nicholas Anderson, Theta Chi (Undergraduate)
  • Zahir Carrington, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (Undergraduate)
  • Divya Nayar, Alpha Omicron Pi (Undergraduate)
  • Uhuru Aseto, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (Graduate)

Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup
Selection shall be guided by the following considerations: (1) The leadership shall be such as to contribute primarily to the best interest of the University. (2) Leadership shall be defined chiefly in terms of moral character and the definition of character shall be Theodore Roosevelt's: "Resolution, courage, energy, power of self control, combined with fearlessness in taking the initiative and assuming responsibility; a just regard for the rights of others, together with unflinching determination to succeed, no matter what obstacles and barriers have to be beaten down. There is, moreover, one quality too often wholly lacking in men of high intellectual ability, with or without which real character cannot exist - namely, the fundamental gift of common sense."

  • Zahir Carrington, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

University Service Award
The intention of the University Service Award is to honor the senior whose influence, ideals and activities have been devoted unselfishly to serve the best interests of his or her Alma Mater and fellow students. It is not so much a measure of the number of activities in which a student has participated, as it is a measure of their devotion to the groups in which they have accepted leadership responsibilities. It is not so much a measure of the extensiveness of a student's campus activities, as it is a measure of the unselfishness with which he or she has given of their time and effort to make those activities serve their fellow students.

  • Divya Nayar, Alpha Omicron Pi

Friday, April 30, 2010

Senior Reflections - Part 2


By Jessica Gehl, '10, Delta Gamma


When I was looking at prospective colleges, Greek Life was an absolute priority for me. My dad was involved in his Fraternity in college and I loved hearing his stories and meeting his old-frat-buds all grown up with families. Even further, my nanny growing up was my dad’s fraternity chef, Flo. He recruited her when I was born to help my parents who both worked full time. Thus, from the beginning, I knew I liked the world of Greeks.

Lehigh Greek Life is a significant part of the overall campus. Even non- members of sororities or fraternities still are affected and involved in some way, whether it is participating in an activity hosted by Greek life or even roaming The Hill certain nights. It was from this insight freshman year that I decided I wanted to go through formal recruitment. I had an amazing group of friends in my freshman dorm and at a point I wasn’t sure I wanted to extend myself outside of that group. “What the heck”, was the overall thought process that led to one of the best experiences of my life.

I met so many people.


On so many levels.


I have an incredibly close pledge class. We all live on the same block of Hillside as seniors, even the same side of the street. Last night we went out for Hibachi to celebrate Lauren’s birthday- old lady at 22. But in addition to my amazing pledge class and sorority, I met leaders in all extensions of campus. A casual BBQ led to meeting an accounting major (just like me) who could give me advice from being a year wiser. I am SO EXCITED to have friends from different schools visit so I can show off my sorority and my friends through different activities, fundraisers, and social events. Lehigh has been an amazing experience, and the Greek system has obviously contributed a lot to that experience.

We’ve all seen the movies. Animal House and Van Wilder have given a narrow perception of what college and Greek Life are all about. As a na├»ve freshman, of course I expected the same thing. What I would never have believed if you told me, was that by junior year I would be President of my sorority. In fact, I probably would have laughed and skipped away without thinking about it twice. However, when our Nationals wanted to change the election year from school year to calendar year, I stepped up as the transition President, with a promise from everyone in my house to work with me and support me through the term. It was one of the best decisions of my collegiate career. I gained new respect for girls in my house that I knew on a personal basis but not necessarily as a “leader.” I was so refreshed and pleasantly surprised to see my own pledge class support me and the younger girls really step up to grow individually and as a sorority. My advice is to absolutely push yourself as a leader. Take on as much responsibility as you can so that you can be pleasantly surprised like I was. Plus, you’ll expand your network and differentiate yourself even further to impress future employers. The Greek system is a great thing to get involved with, to expand with, and to make even better. You can make a difference, and what a better place to do it than a support system consisting of 40% of the University you love.

Senior Reflections - Part 1


By Brian Weisser, '10, Phi Sigma Kappa

As I prepare to attend my final day of class as a Lehigh undergraduate student, I have to take a moment to reflect on my career here over the past four years. As many of my peers would agree, Lehigh has certainly prepared me very well to take that step outside of academia and into the ‘real world.’ However, I can easily say that knowledge and experience I have gathered has not only come from the classroom, but also from the roles I have assumed in various organizations.


Greek life at Lehigh is an excellent stage for students to develop their leadership skills and build their character. The culture of Lehigh is one that challenges its students to continually grow as a person and strengthen the talents needed to lead a successful career. In addition to that, a leadership role in the Lehigh Greek Community affords students an early experience in managing time, people, and money.


Having been involved with my fraternity’s chapter leadership, IFC executive board, and the Peer Value Educators program, I personally feel that I am a better person having applied myself outside of the classroom in addition to schoolwork. In the process, I have truly defined myself and am very grateful for the choices I have made. While I owe much of my experience and gained knowledge to the dedication of my peers and the Lehigh staff, I will carry these with me after I leave Lehigh. When I look back on my college days, I may forget a few of the topics covered in class, but I will never forget the personal growth that being a leader has provided me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Greek Leadership Legacy


By Kristen Klingler, '10, Alpha Gamma Delta


As a senior enjoying my last few weeks at Lehigh University, I’m finding myself reflecting on the experiences that I’ve had over the past four years. It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, I will be on Goodman Campus with the rest of my 2010 classmates, waiting to receive my diploma. What is it that makes the college years go by so fast? Is it the lifetime friends, the unforgettably fun times? Of course, the people you meet and the times that you share with them make a college experience memorable. But the most incredible aspect of college life, I think, is something that people may not even recognize while they’re students - it is the transformation that a person goes through during their time at Lehigh that makes the experience so unforgettable. I am certainly not the same person that I was four years ago and I would never have become the person I am today without the experiences I’ve had at Lehigh and as a part of Greek Life…


If you would have told me during my first semester of freshman year that I was going to join a sorority, I would have told you that you were crazy. To make a long story short… I fell in love with Alpha Gamma Delta, and when I received a bid there, I accepted, thinking that it would be a great way to get more involved on campus and to meet some new people. What I didn’t realize was that by accepting my bid at Alpha Gam, I was getting myself into much more than “just another extracurricular activity.” I was about to make some of the most incredible friends of my life: Friends that would laugh with me through the most ridiculous scenarios… friends that would provide their shoulders to cry on when I needed it the most… and undoubtedly, I met the friends that would motivate and inspire me to work passionately to improve my Alpha Gam chapter, the Greek community and Lehigh’s campus during my four year stay.


I was initiated into the Zeta Beta chapter of AGD in the spring of 2007 and was later elected to be President during my junior year. While I was president, I transformed as a leader and as a person. I learned the importance of communication skills and mastered the arts of organization, time management, and planning ahead. But most of all, I learned how to push myself beyond the limits of what I thought I could do. I learned that with the right attitude and the right people backing you up, no task was too difficult to take on. This was probably the most valuable lesson I learned throughout my entire college career.


So what is the right attitude? And who are the right people?


Well, the right people are those who are willing to support you undoubtedly through anything you may encounter – these people and the support, guidance and assistance they provide will be invaluable as you push through the good times and the hard times. In the Greek community, we have our brothers and sisters and each other to rely on as an incredibly strong network of support. This gives Greeks an advantage when it comes to having the ability to create positive change within the campus community as a whole. And what is the right attitude? For me, the right attitude was realizing that even small changes now may have a large impact in the grand scheme of things on Lehigh’s campus. It is difficult for one individual or one student organization to do something so monumental that it changes the way that the Lehigh community functions or the way that it perceives its Greek population. However, with many student organizations and individuals working together to carry out small initiatives and programs over time, the impact becomes much greater and takes place much more quickly.


I challenge Lehigh’s future Greek leaders to continue inspiring their brothers and sisters to tear down the negative stereotypes that our Greek community is all too often labeled with and rebuild them into the positive reputation that our community deserves. I hope that when I revisit Lehigh in the years to come, I find a Lehigh Greek system that has exchanged its competition from within for more collaboration among chapters and with the rest of the campus community. Lehigh Greek Life attracts some of the most innovative leaders and the most passionate individuals on this campus… we have the potential to positively impact both the image that we portray and the campus climate in which we live.


The path towards creating positive change is not always easy and pleasant. The reality is that nobody ever feels comfortable addressing a problem that is difficult to fix or changing something that has been done a certain way for years. But always remember that no matter how difficult it may seem to carry out your vision as a leader, it is not impossible… especially if you learn to rely on the amazing support system and resources that we have all have access to as members of the Greek community.


So, my advice to future leaders is: Don’t be afraid to stand by your beliefs and challenge tradition. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is never a good answer. Over the past four years, I’ve seen countless “traditions” change for the better, and the result has only made our Greek community, and this campus, stronger. Keep up this forward momentum and don’t hesitate to leave your mark on this campus before you graduate.


Now, as a senior, I look back on my time involved with Greek leadership. I’m reflecting on all of the work that needed to be done, all of the meetings that needed to be attended, and all of the spur-of-the-moment problems that seemed to arise at the busiest times of all. I think about whether or not I would re-do it all, knowing what I know now about the time and dedication it takes to be a leader within the Greek community. I immediately answer, “YES” – I would do it all again in a heartbeat because the experiences I had taught me so much and made me the person that I am today. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I never joined Alpha Gam… I never would have met my best friends and I never would have learned that it is possible to make an impact on something so much larger than yourself or your organization.

Monday, April 26, 2010

2009/2010 Greek Awards

The Interfraternity, Panhellenic, & Multicultural Greek Councils sponsored the annual Greek Awards banquet on Thursday, April 22 at Candlelight. In a change from years past, only individual awards were distributed, as the chapter awards will now be based on Accreditation results and will be awarded in the fall along with the alumni and faculty advising awards.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Interfraternity Council
Chapter President of the Year: Jeremy Selwyn, Sigma Phi Epsilon
Emerging Greek Leader: Jonathan Pribis, Theta Chi
Interfraternal Award: Avi Lessner, Delta Tau Delta
Lifetime Achievement Award: Derek Lutchko, Lambda Chi Alpha
Greek Man of the Year: Nick Welton, Delta Upsilon

Panhellenic Council
Chapter President of the Year: Liza Zawarski, Delta Gamma
Emerging Greek Leader: Brittany Wiesen, Alpha Chi Omega
Philippi Sorority Service Award: Dana Giallonardo, Gamma Phi Beta
Stephanie A. Phillips Panhellenic Award: Eurie Choi, Alpha Gamma Delta
Greek Woman of the Year: Lauren Harte, Alpha Omciron Pi
Mary Ann Mikitka Award: Jess Diehl, Greek Life Leadership Coordinator

Multicultural Greek Council
Apollo Award: Mario Paredes, Lambda Sigma Upsilon
Humanitarian Award: Kelvin Castillo, Lambda Sigma Upsilon
Savant Award: Gregory Oshode, Lambda Sigma Upsilon
Distinguished Service Award: Greg Anderson, Kappa Alpha Psi

2009/2010 MGC Wrap-Up


By Greg Anderson, MGC President


The Multicultural Greek Council has finished its first year at Lehigh University! In order to promote unity amongst its members, the MGC hosted a leadership retreat at the ropes course before the start of the fall semester. This was a time to begin forging new relationships, develop an understanding for one another, and establish the specific goals that the council hoped to accomplish by the end of the year.


One of the initial goals of the council was to not only build a foundation for itself on the campus, but also make their name known to the entire Lehigh community. With this objective in mind, the council hosted one of its first events in the fall: Meet the Greeks. This event focused on informing students about the traditions and history of each of the organizations comprising the council. It also served as a time to highlight each fraternity and sorority’s accomplishments and goals for the upcoming year.


Weekly meetings ensured that all council members were aware of not only events that individual MGC organizations were hosting, but of programs being held throughout the entire campus. By utilizing the meetings, members were able to voice their opinions and promote activities that further bonded the council while also serving as positive events for students and faculty. Each organization hosted workshops and presentations to inform those interested of exciting concepts and topics that may not have been discussed otherwise, including programs dealing with sexuality, violence against women in the form of the event “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes”, and a presentation on different rites of passage used in cultures all across the globe.

One of the biggest accomplishments for the MGC was their role in Dancefest. Members from the council served as instructors and were able to teach different steps and strolls to students comprising both the IFC and Panhel. They were also given an opportunity to perform at Dancefest and represent their organizations with pride. This event served as a way to strengthen the Greek community as a whole, and showed that great things can happen when various groups work together.


The MGC has accomplished its goal of establishing its name on campus. It was not always an easy task, but every member upheld the ideals of the council in the highest regard and worked towards promoting a stronger Greek community. With their continued work and dedication, there is nothing that this council could not accomplish with the next upcoming year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2009/2010 IFC Wrap-Up

By Derek Lutchko, Interfraternity Council President


This year the IFC set its sights on one primary goal: building a stronger sense of community among Greek chapters at Lehigh. As leaders, our executive board officers know the underestimated value of close personal relationships and looked to help develop those relationships in hopes of that effect trickling down.

From the get-go, we planned several things including: a chapter presidents vs. delegates football game (in the rain), an all-Greek "Hill Opening" pig roast with Greek performers, and icebreakers at every IFC meeting.

Each of these small, intentional undertakings played a big role in cultivating new relationships. To further develop these relationships, monthly "presidents club meetings" allowed for a relaxed setting to chat about stresses and take a break from the job.

In other larger community building moves, we reached out both to assist and ask for help. We helped kick off Panhel's wildly successful Pink Week by covering Lehigh's campus and off-campus community with pink balloons and a schedule of events. We also provided the handsome models for their first annual Pink Week Bra Show.

While we supported the brand-new Multicultural Greek Council throughout the year, our fondest memory is DanceFest, when we received guidance from MGC members. We reached out to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi to help us, the IFC Dance Team, to choreograph a crowd-pleasing dance. While the dance was great, the time leading up to it, learning the dance and sharing ideas with Karl, Greg, and our interfraternal team was most rewarding.

Our year-long efforts culminated with "Beat It for Charity". This philanthropy-focused week saw numerous chapters cultivate new partnerships ans raise a ton of dough for various charities, including the American Diabetes Association, Children's Miracle Network, and the American Cancer Society.

While we could go on about our programs and progress, the above-mentioned times represent the best successes of our year. In working together, we became closer as a Council and were able to take down some of the barriers that separate fraternities from each other and divide the Greek community.