Friday, September 30, 2016

Feature Friday: Molly Bankuti, Zeta Tau Alpha

Each Friday, we'll be featuring a different member of the Greek community and sharing their reflections on their Lehigh experience!  Check out our first, Molly Bankuti from Zeta Tau Alpha!

I've noticed over my past two years as a Lehigh student that it’s really easy to forget that we’re part of a larger community outside of this campus.  It’s pretty common to see students turning their nose up at people in the South Bethlehem community who haven’t been afforded the same opportunities that us Lehigh students tend to take for granted.  As a student coordinator in the Lehigh Community Service Office, I’m really lucky to work in an office centered on reminding people how important and enjoyable it is to stay engaged with the surrounding community.  The CSO works not only to create opportunities to become active members in our community, but also to emphasize how much we as people stand to benefit through building these relationships and looking beyond the Lehigh bubble.

But I think if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s also really easy, as members of the Greek community, to even forget we’re a part of a bigger community on Lehigh’s campus, let alone South Bethlehem. We become focused on building a strong sisterhood or brotherhood, creating opportunities for leadership and growth within our chapter, contributing to our philanthropy, and building a strong relationship with our national organization. This leads us to overlook, or maybe just not realize, how much our chapters and the Greek community as a whole stands to gain through integrating ourselves with the rest of campus and other groups and organizations. 

Almost everyone who knows me is well aware that I participated in The LeaderShape Institute last January because I really haven’t stopped talking about it since.  The whole idea behind LeaderShape is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable: it’s about having tough conversations and forcing yourself to confront any reservations, misunderstandings, or assumptions you might have.  While I was at LeaderShape, and as I have ever since, I chose to prioritize confronting the lack of inclusivity on Lehigh’s campus.  When we compared the diversity statistics of students at LeaderShape to the statistics of Lehigh’s population, the discrepancies were shocking.  Without the numerous backgrounds and perspectives that were part of LeaderShape, the connections made, the personal growth, the development of confidence, and the increased understanding of all participants wouldn't have occurred.  The experience made me realize I don’t have the ability to reach my full potential, as an individual or as part of a group, if I’m limited to a very specific population and one way of thinking.

It was this diversity of perspectives and varying backgrounds that enabled us at LeaderShape to have real, honest conversations about why the student population at Lehigh feels so divided, and what we as members of the community can do to bring the campus together.  A lot of the conversations that we had blamed the campus divide on Greek Life.  But rather than turning me against my chapter, it inspired me to become more invested in its growth and more invested in working to break down any unspoken barriers between Greek life and the rest of campus.  While I could talk forever about the leadership opportunities, philanthropic involvement, and the strong sisterhood I find in my sorority, I could talk just as much about growing as a leader and as an overall person through LeaderShape.

My experiences at Lehigh have made me realize that creating a more inclusive Lehigh community, both on campus and as a part of South Bethlehem, is a goal we all need to focus on in order to strengthen our chapters and every other organization on campus.  Sharing our viewpoints and listening to the perspectives of others enables us to learn and grow instead of allowing these divides to remain.  A main way we can do this is by becoming further involved in the South Bethlehem community; through service we can create a more positive, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere on and off campus. My work at the CSO and my experience at LeaderShape have shown me that an increased sense of unity would only stand to enhance every student’s Lehigh experience—even if we don’t realize it.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Meet Brigette Gardner!

Brigette Gardner
Assistant Director, OFSA

Hometown: Springboro, OH

Educational Background: Ohio University, B.S. in Communications
Wright State University, M.Ed. in Student Affairs and Higher Education

Affiliation: Delta Gamma Fraternity

Professional Highlights: 
  • Throughout graduate school, I worked in Alumni Relations at Wright State University where I planned and implemented events for alumni as well as advised a student organization, Student Alumni Association.
  • As part of my work in Alumni Relations, I also had the opportunity to travel across the country to coordinate our Rise. Shine. Campaign gala events in NYC, LA, Cleveland, and, last but not least, in Dayton where Tom Hanks was our keynote speaker!!
  • I interned in OFSA at Lehigh University during summer 2015!! Some of my projects included writing curriculum for the 2015 Greek Leader's Retreat, working with the three council presidents on various projects, and developing OFSA's hazing website (check it out!!).
  • I also interned at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England for three weeks this past spring where I consulted on how to increase inclusion efforts across their clubs and societies (their equivalent to our student organizations).
Why did you decide to pursue a career in fraternity and sorority affairs?I t was during my time on Panhellenic Council as an undergraduate member of Delta Gamma that I realized a career in fraternity and sorority life or student affairs, in general, was even possible! I was so passionate about the work Panhellenic Council at Ohio University was doing, growing the community and further developing members, that I decided to go to graduate school and pursue student affairs as a career. Fraternities and sororities have so much power to leave a lasting impact, whether that be positive or negative. I see the value in our Greek-letter organizations and it is my goal, as a professional, to make sure that impact is positive. 

What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University? Our organizations were originally founded to further social change in this country whether it be around the women's suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, or others. It is my goal as a professional to help fraternity and sorority members realize the power y'all have and help you to create positive change in your communities: the Greek community, the Lehigh University community, and the Bethlehem community! Apart from that, another hope I have is to make a difference for you all as individual students, however that may look.

What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far? With the start off the year and attending my first Base Camp, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful leaders in the fraternity and sorority community! There are a lot of passionate members who want to make this community the best version of itself! It's also truly impressive to see how high of achievers you are, in and out of the classroom!! Shout out to those of you who are studying abroad! What an amazing experience and it's great to see how many people participate in that. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Congratulations to...

Congratulations to all of our chapters that received recognition from their National Organization!  Here are the highlights that we've received so far!  


-Achievement in Member Education
-Achievement in Alumni Relations
-Achievement in Financial Management
-Achievement in Manpower
-Achievement in Involvement
-Achievement in Housing
-The 'E' Key for excellence in alumni relations
-Outstanding 'C' award 
-Chapter Luminary award
-Alumni Meritorious Service award for Bill Glaser, president of our Alumni Board of Trustees


25 Man Commitment -- Sent 25 men or more to Pike University events during the year
Scholarship Plate -- Chapter had a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Alumni Advisory Board of the Year 
Raymond L. Orians Excellence Award -- awarded to top 20% of performing Pike chapters


President's Special Achievement Award for Diversity Initiatives


Community Service Award 


Outstanding Performance in Recruitment Award  


Outstanding Recruitment 
Outstanding Community Service


Stephanie Behrens-recipient of the Harriet Fox Grant Scholarship Award


Margaret Burnett received a Confidence U Grant


Award for participating in the 150 Days of Service


Named one of seven finalists for its Sweepstakes Trophy 


Crown Chapter Award

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Meet Corey Gant!

J.Corey Gant
Assistant Director, OFSA

Hometown: Leesburg, Virginia
Educational Background:
     B.A. Public and Urban Affairs - Virginia Tech
     M.S.Ed. Higher Education and Student Affairs - Indiana University

Affiliation: Delta Tau Delta Fraternity
Professional Highlights:-Coordinated the Greek Assessment and Awards Program (GAAP) at Indiana University, a rubric submission and interview process holding 73 chapters on campus accountable to the five Pillars of Excellence
-Participated as a member of the core planning team for Marian University's SOAR orientation program as well as selected and trained the orientation leaders
-Conducted IRB-approved research at Indiana University regarding student organizations' impact on international students' sense of belonging that was published in the IUSPA Journal

Why did you decide to pursue a career in fraternity and sorority affairs?
When I joined Delta Tau Delta, it was the first time I was ever asked to reflect on my values and how they would impact my undergraduate experience. I soon got very involved on campus in areas such as new student programming, LGBTQ+ awareness, and the larger fraternity and sorority community. It is my hope to help fraternities and sororities realize the importance of being values-based organizations in order to help further develop their members.
What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University?
While at Lehigh I want to work with as many fraternity and sorority members as possible. However, I really hope to work with students outside of the fraternity and sorority community as well, specifically first-year students. This semester I'll be facilitating one of the evoLUtion seminars and am really looking forward to that experience!

What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far?
Everyone is so passionate about what they do, whether that be research for a class, being involved in other student organizations on campus, community service, etc. I am impressed over and over again when I meet with students from our fraternity and sorority community and hear about everything they do in addition to their chapter membership.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Meet Malcolm McDaniel!

Malcolm McDaniel
Assistant Director, OFSA

Hometown: Queens Village, New York

Educational Background: 
B.S. in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Long Island University, Post Campus. 
M.S. Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at Hofstra University

Affiliation: Latino America Unida/Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc.

Professional Highlights: Being both a Fraternity and Sorority Life Graduate Assistant at both Hofstra University and The New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury Campus in the same year!

Why did you decide to pursue a career in Fraternity and Sorority Affairs: Going through the expansion process to join my organization, I saw that there were differences in the way my campus was bringing IFC and Panhellenic organizations vs Culturally based groups. I wanted to understand why that was, learn what goes into advising Fraternities and Sororities, as well as be a supporter and advocate for Cultural Greek Lettered Organizations.

What do you hope to do during your time at Lehigh University: Besides enhancing the Fraternity and Sorority Life community here, I've quickly learned that Lehigh is a place with so much tradition that I want to learn and understand. I also hope that I am able to make a long lasting impact here in whatever form that may look like!

What has been your impression of the Lehigh Greek Community so far: There's so many members!! Haha. But so far everyone that I have had interactions with are friendly, welcoming, and inquisitive in learning more about myself as well as my fellow ADs. They're also very smart and do a lot of internships both nationally and internationally (which is way more than I ever did)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Message Regarding Unrecognized Groups


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 19 officially recognized international fraternities.  We also want to make you aware that some groups 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 groups rather than one of Lehigh’s 19 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 unrecognized) groups from Lehigh University, please refer to the attached enclosure.  You may also refer to the Lehigh Greeks BlogSpot at 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 groups have continued to operate without University recognition, oversight, or approval and are considered unrecognized groups.  Unrecognized groups 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 groups 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 an organization.  Additionally, unrecognized groups 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 group, 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 group.  There exists no meaningful partnership between the University and students, alumni volunteers, and international headquarters staff associated with unrecognized groups.  These unrecognized groups 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 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 should you consider membership in a fraternity and if you choose to participate in recruitment in January 2017.  The current recognized Lehigh University fraternities are:

Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Tau Omega
Chi Phi
Chi Psi
Delta Chi
Delta Upsilon
Kappa Alpha
Kappa Alpha Psi
Kappa Sigma
Lambda Sigma Upsilon
Phi Delta Theta
Phi Kappa Theta
Phi Sigma Kappa
Pi Kappa Alpha
Psi Upsilon
Sigma Chi
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Theta Chi
Theta Xi

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   

Thank you,

Ashley M. Baudouin
Assistant Dean of Students/Director

Christopher J. Mulvihill
Interim Associate Dean of Students

Katherine W. Lavinder
Interim Dean of Students

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Reflections of an Orientation Leader: Lauren DiNapoli, Alpha Phi

Here are some thoughts and reflections from 2016 Orientation Leader and member of Alpha Phi, Lauren DiNapoli: 

It’s no secret that Orientation is an amazing, life-changing, and highly valued experience here on Lehigh’s campus. The bonding that OL’s take part in throughout training and the challenges that we all face together, result in an incredibly tight-knit, supportive, and inclusive family of students from every corner on campus. As a member of the Greek community, I couldn’t have possibly foreseen how applicable, let alone beneficial, this experience would prove both to my Chapter and myself.

I participated in the program along side four other women in my sorority, and we can all agree that it has truly opened our eyes to everything Lehigh has to offer. Yes, we are active members and yes, it is a large part of our college experience, but there’s no reason we can’t all expand our network of community and work towards a more inclusive and caring Lehigh that reaches outside the Greek “bubble”.

Throughout these past two weeks, I’ve watched countless fellow students experience personal growth that we can all benefit and learn from. We learned to love and appreciate one another, respect every single person on campus, and truly be ourselves. I can’t help but imagine what our campus would be like if everyone followed these ideals. I can’t wait to bring these lessons and experiences back to my Chapter and continue in spreading the campus-wide inclusiveness, love, and leadership that Orientation was able to give.