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:

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!