Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chi Phi: A Year in Review

Please see below for a message from Chi Chi Phi Fraternity.

On December 6, 2013, the Psi Chapter of Chi Phi hosted an unregistered social event
in the chapter house. During the event, there was an irresponsible distribution of alcohol and
drinking games. Both the university and the alumni of Chi Phi issued several sanctions that
included Deferred Dissolution, Probation, Dry House and Social Probation for one year, and a
“Realignment Retreat” for actives and alumni.

The event occurred at the very end of the semester: a time notorious for poor risk
management. With leadership in transition and a groupthink mentality, responsibility fell by the
wayside and no one stepped up to make the right decision. Since the event, Chi Phi has
taken many strides toward a more accountable brotherhood that will not let this type of event
occur in the future. These include, the “Realignment Retreat”, creation of a Standards Board
points system, a productive visit from the national office, mandating TIPS training for a large
percentage of the brotherhood, a silver standing in Accreditation for the 20132014
academic year, and holding several programs with officers from the LUPD. The December 6th event
happened partly because of an issue within the brotherhood of personal accountability, but
the brothers of Chi Phi have realized that their actions affect a much larger organization and
that every action they make is a representation of the fraternity and Lehigh.

The creation of a Standards Board points system contributed to the development of
brotherhood accountability. Brothers now have the opportunity to earn points for going above
and beyond their requirements as a brother that can be redeemed for rewards. This has led
to an increase in brotherhood participation and has made the fraternity a more efficient
system. On multiple occasions, different officers representing the LUPD have held meetings
and joined the brotherhood for dinner. These visits have been incredibly productive and
informative. The brotherhood now has a much deeper understanding of the larger picture of
the Lehigh community. The brotherhood has realized that the LUPD officers job is to ensure
our safety and not to get us in trouble.

With change comes adjustment, but as a brotherhood, we recognize the need for
these changes to occur. A few bumps in the road mean nothing when it comes to the big
picture. The retreat was initially met with worries of futility as a difference in opinions is
frequent with the new and the old. After the retreat, however, all involved were not just
satisfied, but excited about the outcomes. The same sort of sentiment was felt about the
meetings with LUPD, but in the same fashion was quickly dismissed. Standards points are
now an integral part of our organization and are adjusted as we feel fit. We have begun to
realize that everything is constantly in motion within our organization and that we have to
expect the unexpected, be proactive, and appreciate those that are there to guide us.

It is a testament to how strong the Chi Phi fraternity is that the brotherhood has been
able to bounce back so strongly after as unfortunate an incident as the one that happened on
December 6th. The Chi Phi fraternity has had no risk management issues in the year since
the incident. In order to better to prepare for the upcoming wet semester, Chi Phi has had two
successful, university-approved alcohol reintroduction events. These events consisted of a
parents weekend dinner, and an alumni cocktail party. Both events went off without any
issues. This resilience should keep the Psi Chapter of Chi Phi strong for many years.