The fraternity and sorority community is an important part of the campus experience for many students at Lehigh University and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA) strives to create a distinctive learning-centered experience. We also take, very seriously, our obligation to inform students about all of their options within the fraternity and sorority community to assist them in making educated decisions about their choices to affiliate with Greek-letter organizations. To that end, we provide many information sessions for students, and also provide opportunities for parents to learn about the options. This letter is another initiative to provide you with important information that we encourage you to review.
Lehigh University currently has 20 officially recognized international fraternities. We also want to make you aware that some fraternities may exist off campus that are not recognized by the University. It is important that you are aware of some potential issues if you choose to affiliate with one of the unrecognized off campus chapters rather than one of Lehigh’s 20 recognized fraternities.
To provide some context, over the years, several fraternities have lost recognition from the University and/or from their international headquarters. In most cases, these fraternities lost recognition because they failed to comply with University and/or international headquarters policies or guidelines. To view a list of formerly recognized (currently not recognized) chapters from Lehigh University, please refer to the attached enclosure. You may also refer to the Lehigh Greeks BlogSpot at www.lehighgreeks.blogspot.com to learn more detailed information about specific chapters that have lost recognition in recent years.
We have come to learn that some of these formerly recognized chapters have continued to operate without University recognition, oversight, or approval and are considered unrecognized chapters. Unrecognized chapters are not permitted to use Lehigh University's name or image, reserve University spaces, secure University group housing, or represent themselves as an official part of the University community. This situation concerns us because we do not have confidence that unrecognized chapters operate with the same diligence to promote student growth and development; provide proactive and preventative measures to foster wellness and safety; nor abide by University guidelines with regard to recruitment, new member education, academic support, and other areas vital to the successful management of a chapter. Additionally, unrecognized chapters operate in the absence of reasonable and prudent oversight by the OFSA professional staff and therefore lack resources and support provided to other student organizations.
While we cannot predict the outcome of membership in an unrecognized fraternity, it is important to alert you to the possible concerns and consequences regarding the well-being of students that choose to affiliate with or join an unrecognized fraternity. There exists no meaningful partnership between the University and students, alumni volunteers, and international headquarters staff associated with unrecognized fraternities. These unrecognized fraternities will not receive an invitation to regain University recognition in the near future or in subsequent academic years while they continue to exist in direct violation of University policy.
We also invite you to review our website at www.lehigh.edu/ofsa to learn more about Lehigh’s recognized chapters. These chapters have rich and lengthy history at Lehigh and many have been recognized for excellence by Lehigh University and/or their respective international headquarters in the areas of membership development, academic excellence, leadership, and community service efforts. The content of the OFSA website is robust and you will find a number of resources, including Accreditation reports, grade reports, membership statistics, and conduct history for our recognized groups. All of these resources are valuable tools to you as you consider membership in a fraternity and if you choose to participate in recruitment in January 2016. The current recognized Lehigh University fraternities are:
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Phi Alpha
Alpha Tau Omega
Kappa Alpha Psi
Lambda Sigma Upsilon
Phi Delta Theta
Phi Kappa Theta
Phi Sigma Kappa
Pi Kappa Alpha
Sigma Phi Epsilon
If you have questions regarding any this information please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at (610) 758-4157 or by e-mailing Infrasor@lehigh.edu.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs