FROM: Chloe Abshire, Assistant Dean and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Ozzie Breiner, Director of Housing Services
DATE: August 5, 2020
RE: Fraternity and Sorority Community Update Fall 2020
We are disappointed that our fraternities and sororities will not be able to experience the in-person activity and connections that normally constitute our thriving on campus student experience. However, this decision was necessary for the health and safety of the Lehigh and South Bethlehem community. For those planning to live locally and study remotely off campus, we want to be clear that in-person events will be limited in size and scope and must comply with COVID-19 expectations. In addition, all students living locally and studying remotely off campus will be held to the same health and behavior expectations, as all who are enrolled in Lehigh coursework are considered students, and are therefore expected to uphold the Lehigh University Code of Conduct. As student leaders, we expect our fraternity and sorority members to model this behavior.
We are encouraging those who are able to do so to consider taking classes fully remotely and staying home if at all possible, as access to campus resources and opportunities for extracurricular and social engagement will be significantly limited.
- Chapters and Councils are strongly encouraged to begin working on innovative and creative plans for a virtual membership experience, including membership recruitment and retention.
- Guidelines for students living locally and studying remotely will be communicated in the very near future.
- OFSA will be offering Chapter Coaching Calls Part 2 August 10th through August 18th. Chapter Presidents should be on the lookout for an invitation to sign-up for a Chapter Coaching Calls appointment.
- Guidelines for virtual recruitment and new member education will be shared with chapter leadership in the coming days. Please note that some of these guidelines may come from the governing council; OFSA will continue working closely with Council Presidents throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
- Details pertaining to Accreditation for 2020-2021 have yet to be determined.
- Chapters and their respective alumni corporations or graduate chapters assess dues and fees per semester, and often work with an independent billing agency to do so. If individual members are curious about Fall 2020 membership dues, they should contact their chapter leadership directly.
- Fraternity and sorority chapter houses will not be accessible for any reason throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
- Chapters are permitted to leave chapter belongings and paraphernalia in the chapter facility throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
- If Alumni or House Corporation Officers have questions or issues regarding the chapter facility they should contact Housing Services at 610-758-3500 M-F 8:15-4:45pm.
- Storage units can remain on campus property and stay throughout the Fall 2020 semester, at the expense of the chapter.
- Dining services and kitchens will not be available and any contracts should be discontinued/cancelled for Fall 2020.
- Housing Contracts were not signed, therefore students planning to reside in the chapter facility will not need to worry about cancelling a contract with Housing Services.
- Additional Liability Insurance beyond chapter General Liability Insurance will not be required for the Fall 2020 semester.
- Bursar Accounts will have the Housing charges removed sometime during the week of August 3rd.
- Welcome first year students to Lehigh and introduce them to the Fraternity and Sorority community through virtual engagement.
- Provide ongoing chapter support through leadership and education virtual initiatives designed for chapter and council leaders.
- Assist fraternity and sorority chapters as they navigate these challenging times, educating the organizations on best practices, safety guidelines and the virtual membership experience.
- Offer virtual training and coaching sessions for the fraternity and sorority community.
- Collaborate with industry experts, council officers and chapter leaders to prepare for Spring 2021 recruitment and intake.
OFSA and Housing Services are committed to offering support and resources as we navigate the complexities of these challenging circumstances. We are proud of our Fraternity and Sorority community at Lehigh and are confident that through collaboration and perseverance, we will continue to offer a thriving virtual membership experience for both our current and future fraternity and sorority members. Together we will endure and look forward to welcoming our community back to campus stronger than ever once it is safe to return.
Fraternity and Sorority Affairs