Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Frat Stars and Mean Girls

Frat Stars and Mean Girls: Courageous Conversations about Gender in the Fraternal Experience
Hey, you there - big things are coming this spring and you can be a part of the action!  Read on to find out about an innovative and engaging opportunity the OFSA and OSLD are collaborating on to bring to you:

What is this opportunity you’re alluding to?  
A new Courageous Conversation opportunity!  This isn’t your usual program, though.  We’re looking for a select group of students interested in participating in a bi-weekly seminar devoted to exploring and examining the topic of gender and its influences on the fraternity/sorority experience.

Why Would I Be Interested In This? 
...Maybe the better question is, why wouldn't you be interested??
If you’re interested in discussing what it means to be a “real man” or “real woman”, learning more about how gender is defined in our society, and how this shows up and influences your fraternity or sorority experience, then this is for you!! Not to mention, you get the opportunity to spend more time with Brigette and Carter since they’ll be leading the seminar!

Okay sure, but what will I actually get out of it?
We know you’re busy and we value your time! Here’s what we’re hoping you’ll gain from this experience:
      You’ll build relationships with members from different chapters of the fraternity/sorority community
      You’ll learn more and discuss the role, influence, and impact of gender in fraternities and sororities, including topics like:
      The development of gender identities and innate vs learned behaviors, norms, customs, and expectations
      Intersections with other social identities such as sexual orientation and race/ethnicity
      Impacts of privilege and oppression within the context of gender
      Gender-based violence and harm, particularly within social settings
      You’ll engage in courageous conversations about topics above, to explore and deconstruct how gender-based experiences are informed and impacted by fraternities and sororities.
      You’ll become a more effective inclusive leader within the fraternity/sorority and Lehigh community.

Cool!  What else do I need to know?  There will be two cohorts, one of masculine-identified folks, and one of feminine-identified folks, which will allow for opportunities to discuss real experiences without fear of shame or judgment from others.  While the two cohorts are distinct and will often meet separately, there will also be opportunities for the cohorts to engage together in intergroup dialogue. These ongoing discussions will culminate in a capstone project of the participants’ choosing.

I'm In!  How Do I Apply?
Just follow this link to fill out the interest form by Friday, January 27. Once all submissions have been reviewed, we’ll follow up with you to let you know the status of your participation!

Wait… I still have questions! If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please direct them to Carter Gilbert at cag414@lehigh.edu and/or Brigette Gardner at bcg216@lehigh.edu.

*Note: this new program will be open to members of the fraternity and sorority community for this pilot semester.  Future semesters may include opportunities to engage with members of the campus community.