Friday, February 26, 2010

Reflections on NGLA

As described in a previous blog post, 12 Lehigh students attended this year's Northeast Greek Leadership Association conference in Hartford, CT. Reflecting on their experience, students and staff members discussed the impact of this year's conference:

"Jessica Pettit said 'Listen to everyone as if they were wise'. I really like the quote in the sense that none of us are perfect and we can always learn more, especially in places we never expected to."
Kevin Miller, Kappa Sigma

"NGLA was an eye opening experience because it brought together student leaders from many different schools to address concerns facing the Greek community. The underlying theme throughout the weekend was to learn how to stand up and speak up for our rights as well as the rights of our peers. On too many occasions we become bystanders, so as leaders we must learn to intervene in situations where our help is needed."
Mario Paredes, Lambda Sigma Upsilon

"NGLA was a great, interactive learning experience. I met Greeks from other schools, and we gave each other great tips and ideas to bring back to our respective campuses. The speakers and facilitators were enthusiastic and motivating, and their ideas really resonated with me. I went to a workshop about marketing one's chapter for recruitment and brought some great ideas back to my chapter that we have already begun to implement."
Jenn McCusker, Delta Gamma

"For someone who is always looking for that next ray of sunshine, NGLA was a truly positive experience. This conference re-energized me just when I needed it! The students were fantastic and they truly engaged in the programs that were offered."
Christa Wessels, Greek Life Coordinator

"My favorite speaker at NGLA was David Stollman and his speech, 'Buy In or Get Out'. His basic premise is that Greek life has lost its way. It used to be an organization that someone could be proud to be part of, but now some people don't even claim to be Greek because we have disgraced ourselves so completely. The points that particularly struck a cord with me: (1) It is shameful that the all campus and all male GPAs have become goals rather than starting points; (2) According to the principles we live by, Greek houses are supposed to be the safest places on a college campus for a woman to be, but statistically they are the places where a woman is most likely to be raped. We are supposed to be the best of the best in every aspect, and yet we cannot even hold our academics down, so how can we assume leadership when we can't control the most basic reason to be in college: learning. As a community, it is time to go back to basics. What are our principles and what exactly do they mean when translated to day-to-day life? How can we live our principles everyday?"
Chris Cassidy, Sigma Phi Epsilon

"I really enjoyed my NGLA experience because it provided a number of networking opportunities that I took advantage of. Meeting and talking with dozens of Panhellenic presidents from across the Northeast helped me think of new ways to continuously improve our council."
Lauren Harte, Alpha Omicron Pi

"NGLA was a great way to meet Greek leaders from other schools and to hear how their Greek communities work. Being exposed to different programming ideas and speakers like David Stollman and Jessica Pettit gave me an inspirational push towards bringing new, community building ideas to our own Greek system here at Lehigh, even as a senior."
Eurie Choi, Alpha Gamma Delta

"One of my favorite aspects of NGLA is that it is held in mid-February. Things are hectic on campus and life feels like one endless to-do list. Heading to Connecticut for the NGLA conference helps remind me of the potential that fraternities and sororities have to impact change and grow college leaders. The speakers are dynamic and challenge you to think differently about your peers and organizations. One speaker really challenged me to investigate my own judgments and perceptions. She told the audience that it is only after such observation that we can truly listen to and learn from others. After heading this advice, I found myself listening more intently to everyone that I met at the conference."
Jess Diehl, Greek Life Leadership Coordinator

"NGLA was a great experience. It was great to see a refreshed curriculum in which both students and professionals could enjoy."
Veronica Hunter, Greek Life Coordinator

"I have to say that this was by far the best NGLA I have attended yet! The students from Lehigh were engaged and excited throughout the conference, the educational programs and speakers were phenomenal, and it was a great reminder of the positive things we're doing at Lehigh both as a Greek community and as the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs. I look forward to seeing all that the students will implement on campus as a result of attending NGLA 2010."
Michelle Marchand Rebholz, Greek Life Coordinator
"My favorite part of NGLA was the opportunity to meet, get to know, and exchange ideas with Greeks from all other schools in the northeast. I particularly enjoyed David Stollman's presentation and the notion that we, as Greeks, hold the power to change the perception others have of us; in order for the negative perceptions and stereotypes to change, we need to start changing the way we present ourselves and also start breaking down the stereotypes we, ourselves, may have of Greek life. Change can certainly be created, but we must initiate that change and thus will inspire others to do the same."
Meaghan Phipps, Alpha Gamma Delta

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lehigh Brings Home Awards

From Thursday, February 18th to Sunday, February 21st, 12 Lehigh Greek students attended the Northeast Greek Leadership Association (NGLA) conference in Hartford, CT. Representing IFC, MGC, Panhellenic, and GEM, our students participated in various educational sessions and programmatic options designed to further their leadership within the Greek community at Lehigh.

A highlight of the conference was the annual Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. Lehigh has traditionally done well in the NGLA awards process and this year was no exception!

The Amy Vojta Imact Awards:

Awarded to outstanding programs and initiatives that have made a great impact on the Greek community and/or the college/university

Philanthropy & Service
- Lehigh Panhellenic Council for Pink Week 2009

Membership Recruitment
- Lehigh Panhellenic Council for sorority recruitment 2009

Greek Leaders of Distinction:

Awarded to outstanding members of the Northeast Greek community who exemplify the ideals of fraternity/sorority membership in their daily lives

Lauren Harte, Panhellenic President, Alpha Omicron Pi

Brian Weisser, Interfraternity Council Communications Chair, Phi Sigma Kappa

NGLA Involvement

A special recognition also goes out to Tim Wilkinson, Director of Lehigh's Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs (OFSA), who is currently serving NGLA as its Executive Director. Congratulations to Tim on another great NGLA conference!

Additionally, Lehigh's OFSA staff volunteered for NGLA and/or served as educational program presenters:

Veronica Hunter, Greek Life Coordinator - NGLA Board of Directors/AFA Liaison, Conference Staff coordinator, presented Intake Equation, coordinated the Order of Omega case study competition

Danny Grzesik, Greek Life Coordinator - NGLA Awards Committee member, Response Ability chapter meeting facilitator

Michelle Marchand Rebholz, Greek Life Coordinator - NGLA Registration coordinator, presented Values: Intersecting Fraternity/Sorority and Spirituality

Christa Wessels, Greek Life Coordinator - Presented Breaking down Barriers: Unifying the Greek Community, Response Ability chapter meeting facilitator

Jess Diehl, Greek Life Leadership Coordinator - Presented Group Auction: How your Chapter Bids on their Reputation Everyday, Response Ability chapter meeting facilitator

Brian Casey, IFC Community Service Chair & GEM Mentor - Presented Group Auction: How your Chapter Bids on their Reputation Everyday

Congratulations again to all and thank you for representing Lehigh in such a positive manner!!