Thursday, December 16, 2021

Live-in GA Program Reinstated


To: Headquarters Staff, Alumni Advisors, Faculty and Staff Advisors, Chapter and Council Presidents, Graduate Student Senate, Graduate Student Life, NIC VP of Campus Operations, NPC Area Advisor

From: The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, Lehigh University


Date: December 16, 2021


RE: Live-in Graduate Assistant Program Reinstated


In March 2020, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority (OFSA) announced that due to the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic, the Live-In Graduate Assistant (GA) program previously scheduled to launch in Fall 2020 would be postponed. Earlier in the Spring 2020 semester, OFSA and Housing Services met with each residential fraternity and sorority’s leadership, advisors and headquarters. During these meetings, we discussed the renovation plans to accommodate a private suite for each Live-in GA within each house. We also discussed the position description, recruitment and selection timeline, and the onboarding process.


We are excited to announce that we have begun taking the appropriate steps towards reinstating the Live-In GA program and are prepared for the program to fully launch in Fall 2022.  With that in mind, we are aware that the student leaders we are working with today were very likely not a part of the conversations OFSA was having with student leaders back in Spring 2020; therefore, we have been working with Housing Services to construct a plan to best share the previously discussed implementation of Live-In GAs in each fraternity & sorority residential facility. 


The Live-In GA Position Description was crafted in Fall 2019 with assistance from various key stakeholders, including our partners in Housing Services and Residence Life. We are looking forward to starting the recruitment and selection process this month as we begin reaching out to graduate programs at Lehigh and local accredited higher education institutions. We will soon be posting the application and finalized timeline on our website fully dedicated to the Live-In Graduate Assistant Program. To best prepare for this process, we want to be sure you are aware of a few important dates to hold for the recruitment and selection of Live-In GAs.


2022 Recruitment, Selection & Onboarding Timeline

  • Week of Jan. 10 – Spring 2022 Chapter Coaching Calls, OFSA & Housing Services will meet with each chapter to review renovation and floor plans, changes to occupancy capacity standards, recruitment and selection process, and meal plan options

  • Feb. 7 – Live-In GA Q&A Resource provided to chapters

  • March 8 – Priority application deadline

  • March 10 – OFSA initial candidate screening

  • March 11 – Eligible candidates will be shared with chapters via a GoogleFolder. Chapters will be provided interview resources, including interview tips & guidelines, interview questions, interview rubric

  • March 21 – Chapters must submit candidate interview interest list via provided GoogleForm (anticipated: minimum of 6, maximum of 10)

  • March 22 – Candidates will be notified whether or not they will be interviewed

  • March 26, 11 am-6 pm – Virtual Interview Day (2-3 officers + alumni advisor and/or HQ staff)

  • April 1 – Chapters must submit candidate preferences

  • April 11 – OFSA final placements

  • April 15 – Offers extended to candidates; chapters notified once accepted

  • April - June – Contihttps://forms.gle/iWQyAJpEMU513N949nue screening and interview process, as needed

  • Aug. 1 - 17 – Live-In GA Move-In, Training and Onboarding

  • Aug. 17 - 19 – House Manager Arrival, Training and Onboarding

  • Aug. 22 – Fall 2022 First Day of Classes


We look forward to working with each of our chapters on the implementation of the Live-In GA program.  If there are any questions between now and the Chapter Coaching Calls or publication of the Q&A resource for chapters, please contact OFSA at infrasor@lehigh.edu.


Sincerely,


The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Report of Hazing

Dear Students and Lehigh Families,

As President Helble shared in his message last week, being together in a residential learning environment and fostering a strong sense of community are central to the Lehigh academic and co-curricular experience. 

It is with deep concern that we must inform you that last week an anonymous report indicating serious hazing violations of our Anti-Hazing Policy within our fraternity and sorority community was brought to our attention and is being investigated by the Lehigh University Police Department and Student Affairs. We want to bring attention to the seriousness of this report and to impress upon all members of the community—both new and returning—the importance of taking action to report such instances so they can be stopped, and most importantly, of not engaging in hazing or any behavior that may harm others. 

Hazing can take different forms and can occur in many areas—not just in our fraternity and sorority communities. Hazing can touch athletics teams, clubs and organizations, the arts and residential activities—which is why community-wide awareness of hazing prevention is key. Hazing prevention programming and resources are available on Lehigh’s Student Affairs website. Lehigh takes any reports of hazing and their investigation seriously. As this recent allegation specifically references the fraternity and sorority community, this correspondence is also being shared with chapter alumni advisors and national headquarters. 

As you may know, the university also reports any hazing-related incidents publicly twice throughout the year in accordance with the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, which was signed into legislation in 2017 following the tragic death of a Penn State University student due to hazing. Under this law, organizations and their leaders and members involved in hazing can face criminal penalties for hazing that occurs in their organization. In addition to criminal charges, organizations and their leaders and members can also face civil liability for physical and psychological injuries resulting from hazing.

The true purpose of the fraternity and sorority experience is centered on the values of leadership, service, scholarship, integrity, and friendship, which foster a positive, safe and uplifting environment for members as well as the whole Lehigh community. Just last week, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA) hosted National Hazing Prevention Week programming, which included the Panhellenic Council’s anti-hazing event, “These Hands Don’t Haze,” on the Clayton University Center’s front lawn. Hazing awareness is an important component of ending the behavior within our teams, clubs, and organizations. 

Lastly, with our return to in-person instruction and activities has come an elevated interest in club and organization membership. Based on Greek Pre-Recruitment Education Program (PREP) 5x10 attendance, we anticipate a robust spring fraternity and sorority recruitment. However, any behavior by individual members and/or organizations that is unsafe, harmful, or related to hazing would necessitate the interruption or even cancellation of formal recruitment activities for some or all fraternity and sorority organizations. We sincerely hope that taking such action is not required, but will not hesitate to do so if needed in the interest of student health and safety.


Ricardo Hall

Vice President for Student Affairs

Katherine W. Lavinder

Dean of Students

Chloe Abshire

Assistant Dean/Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Award Recipients!

 The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs is proud to recognize individuals and organizations on their outstanding accomplishments during the 2020-2021 academic year. Though the past year has certainly posed unexpected obstacles and challenges, our community has shown true leadership and demonstrated what it means to be members of Greek letter organizations.


Though we could not celebrate in person, OFSA moved forward with Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Awards in our second virtual celebration! We are proud to recognize the following individual and organizational award recipients. 


Individual Awards


Greek Leader of the Year

This award recognizes individuals for their achievements and contributions to the fraternity and sorority community and larger campus community.   Leadership is not limited to those holding positions, therefore consideration will be given to individuals who exemplify many, if not all, of the values of brotherhood or sisterhood, strong character, leadership, scholarship, and service in their daily lives.

Nathaly Rodriguez, Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc.

Outstanding IFC/Panhellenic/CGC President of the Year

Awarded to the chapter president who has demonstrated superior leadership and service to his/her chapter, as well as to the fraternity and sorority community.  This leader is one who consistently represents their organizational values, communicates a clear vision for success, and leaves their organization in a better place than when they took office. 

CGC - Nathaly Rodriguez, Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc.
IFC - Hunter Segal, Alpha Epsilon Pi
Panhellenic - Rebecca Landau, Kappa Delta

Emerging Leader of the Year

Awarded to a newer member of the fraternity and sorority community who has shown leadership characteristics within their peer group, fraternity and sorority community, and greater Lehigh community.  These members are enthusiastic about their experience as new members and are eager to pursue leadership opportunities and bring about positive change to the fraternity and sorority community.

Haley Gill, Kappa Delta

Advisor of the Year

This award recognizes the extraordinary efforts of an advisor who has helped to positively shape the experiences of fraternity/sorority members.  Advisors willingly, often without receiving anything in return, give of themselves to contribute to overall chapter excellence, daily operations, university and headquarters relations, and role modeling through leadership, and thus we encourage nominations for any advisor whom you feel is worthy of this distinction. Nominators should indicate whether the nominee advisor is an alumni or faculty/staff advisor, so that we can recognize and thank the advisors for their contributions from these distinct roles.

Josh Greenberg, Alpha Epsilon Pi

Tradition of Excellence

This award is presented to one or more individuals who consistently exceed expectations in one or more of the following focus areas for college students and active fraternity/sorority members.  This award is intended to affirm the efforts an individual can make in one area that was deserving of significant focus, or in several areas that showcase their ability to impact a community in several ways.  Nominators should identify the appropriate focus areas for which they believe the nominee should be recognized (listing is appropriate), and provide examples for each area of, to ensure recognition is given for all selected areas:

Living the Ritual; Inclusive Leadership; Empowering Others; Inspiring Change

Alda Saba, Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc. - Inclusive Leadership
Ethan Mascot, Alpha Epsilon Pi - Inspiring Change
Hailey Kraft, Kappa Alpha Theta - Living the Ritual
Sarah Steffens, Alpha Omicron Pi - Empowering Others

Organization Awards 


Fraternity/Sorority Chapter of the Year

This award is given to a chapter that excels in all of the following areas: Leadership and Member Development, Organizational Operations, Community Service and Engagement, and Academic and Intellectual Advancement. In addition, this chapter has positively contributed to both fraternity and sorority life as well as the Lehigh community. This chapter served as role models for their fellow members and led by example. 

Kappa Delta
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Outstanding Philanthropic Effort 

This award is given to an organization that has gone above and beyond in supporting a cause, effort, or agency in a sustainable and meaningful way.   This is typically represented by groups who recognize the nature of philanthropy as efforts to raise both awareness and support (e.g. financial, goods, time, and energy), while collaborating with others for a shared purpose.  Efforts that are distinguished in this category can be either ongoing or one-time programs.

Kappa Delta

Commitment to Service 

This award recognizes meaningful service efforts and action where participants gain exposure, develop an understanding, and respond to the needs of the community voice.  This typically includes building and developing positive relationships, developing active citizens, and incorporating reflection.  These criteria, when established and achieved, are indicative of dedicated efforts to create and inspire sustainable change.  Efforts that are distinguished in this category can be either ongoing or one-time programs.

Alpha Omicron Pi

Program of Distinction

This award is given to an organization that is proud of a particularly successful event, program, or effort they executed in the past academic year.  Consideration will be given to those efforts that incorporated collaboration, innovation, and/or education components as well as addressed a problem and/or met a need.  

Alpha Epsilon Pi, “Behind the Headlines” and “The Rise of New Antisemitism” Webinars

Most Improved

This award is given in recognition of the efforts an organization has taken to address a substantial challenge or issues they were/are facing.  Change can be hard and waiting for the effects can feel slow, so this award was established with that in mind; this award is meant to affirm the actions an organization has taken and remind them that all the hard work is worth it.  Nominations for this award should include identification of the particular need to be addressed, examples of action taken to create change, and reflection on the improvement that has been observed.  

Alpha Omicron Pi

Tradition of Excellence

This award is presented to an organization that excels in one or more of the foundation areas of success for fraternities and sororities.  This award is intended to affirm the efforts an organization can make in one area that is deserving of significant focus, or in several areas that showcase their ability to multitask, delegate, and impact a community in a significant way.  Nominators should identify the appropriate focus areas for which they believe the nominee organization(s) should be recognized (listing is appropriate), and provide examples for each area of, to ensure recognition is given for all selected areas:

Living the Ritual; Inclusive Leadership; Empowering Others; Inspiring Change

Alpha Gamma Delta - Inspiring Change
Kappa Alpha Theta - Inclusive Leadership
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. - Empowering Others
Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc. - Living the Ritual

We would also like to recognize and thank the numerous staff, alumni, and students that served on the Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Awards Selection Committee - this is possible because of you!


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Expansion Update - Phi Sigma Chi Multicultural Fraternity

  

    Lehigh University has welcomed a new multicultural fraternity to campus, Phi Sigma Chi Multicultural Fraternity. The fraternity was founded in 1996, but the expansion process for them to attain membership at Lehigh has been a year-long process. They provided the proper documentation proving they were organizationally efficient, as well as established enough footing on campus for there to be serious interest from the student body. Before Lehigh and two chapters in Trinidad and Tobago, it was mainly a New York City and SUNY-based organization. Phi Sigma Chi was founded at New York City College of Technology by 6 men on November 16, 1996. For Lehigh, their national president, Luis “Thor” Blanco, spearheaded the expansion and was in constant contact with Devore McIntosh, one of the OFSA Assistant Directors, as well as other Lehigh faculty members.

    One of the biggest efforts in the fraternity is multiculturalism. The organization was founded with the intention of bringing all men from all walks of life, races, religions, and backgrounds together and elevating them as distinguished gentlemen. They are apart of the National Multicultural Greek Council along with the multicultural sorority Mu Sigma Upsilon on our campus. This fraternity has many different philanthropic events to support different organizations. One of the endeavors is the 363 campaign which is about doing good deeds on a daily basis instead of on the 2 major holidays of Christmas and Thanksgiving. This is why it is called 363 because 365 -2 = 363 days left to give back besides those holidays. They are very excited to bring that energy to our campus.

    Lastly, we want to introduce the 5 founding members of this organization. First, there is the President, Ray Campbell, a sophomore who is double majoring in Molecular Biology and Spanish. Next, there is the Vice President, Anthony Crespo, a sophomore majoring in biology for the predental tract. The Minister of Information, Adam Walters, is a sophomore majoring in supply chain management. Next, there is the Minister of Finances, Yafet Menjetta, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. Finally, there is the Brother of Conduct, Giovanni Vargas, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. OFSA is very excited to welcome Phi Sigma Chi and their newest members onto our campus!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Spring 2021 Panhellenic Recruitment Update


With another year of recruitment complete, it’s important to highlight how it went for each chapter and for the Panhellenic community at large during a fully-virtual recruitment. This year, the quota was set at 25 and the average member class is 27. One of the more surprising statistics is 7 out of 8 chapters are eligible for COB this semester which is not normal for Lehigh. Panhellenic had a very successful virtual formal recruitment and that was partially due to National Panhellenic Council (NPC) policy, which stated that total would be the same as Spring 2020. This allowed Panhellenic chapters to be able to recruit more members in a much less stressful environment than the formal process. In the month since formal recruitment ended, an additional  26 bids have been signed through Continuous Open Bidding (COB) and Panhellenic will continue to welcome more members throughout the semester. 
           In a year like none other, we felt it was important to hear from our chapters about the virtual experience, specifically the added challenges and benefits that came along with it. Erica Dougherty, the Chief Recruitment Officer for Kappa Alpha Theta said, “Virtual recruitment was definitely not how we expected recruitment to look this year, but we were thrilled with how well our chapter members and the PNMs were able to adapt to it. Recruiting in any year or format is not easy for anyone, and I am so incredibly proud of how our members rose to the challenge and thrived.” For the benefits of virtual recruitment vs in-person, Kate Brady of Alpha Phi said, “Being virtual made certain aspects easier. For instance, our members could focus on just getting to know each PNM instead of things like memorizing chants, lining up at the door, what to wear, etc. We also were able to utilize Zoom backgrounds and slides to match the themes of each day, which was super fun!” 
            The experience did come with unique challenges, such as each chapter had to adapt and focus on making the recruitment process as seamless for PNMs and the chapters missed out on the bonding experience of doing recruitment at their houses. Vice President of Recruitment for Alpha Gamma Delta, Yasmine Azzouz, explained that, “One of the challenges of being completely virtual was missing out on the experiences we usually have together in our chapter house during recruitment. Our chapter did our best to include these experiences virtually, however we missed out on some things that we would typically have like eating dinner all together after a long day or getting ready together! The small things that we would do together in the chapter house were missed and I look forward to being able to do them again hopefully next year” The chapters are really excited to return next year in person with all of their sisters. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Greek Pre-Recruitment Education Program Update

 


    The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs recently changed their pre-recruitment education program from Pregame to Greek PREP. Interested students who attended Pregame and did not join a Greek organization prior to Fall 2020 are not required to complete a Greek PREP session. Their Pregame attendance fulfills OFSA’s pre-recruitment education requirement. All students interested in participating in fraternity and sorority recruitment starting in Fall 2020 will be required to attend a Greek PREP session. Additionally, the program fulfills a 5x10 for freshmen through OFYE.

    The change of educational program name was intentional. Pregame was mostly alcohol-based with the presentation being based on statistics on Lehigh drinking culture. It largely encompassed educating freshmen and potential new members about what a standard drink is, rate of absorption of alcohol, and risk prevention measures to be taken while out drinking. The last part of the presentation went over the requirements to join Greek life which shows how the Pregame educational program focused mainly on the drinking aspect of joining Greek life. Because of this, OFSA made the change to Greek PREP which covers far more than alcohol safety and risk prevention. More specifically, Greek PREP goes over what membership in a Greek organization looks like, what recruitment looks like, and what the new member process looks like. It also goes in depth into the three different Greek councils on campus. There is still an included part about health, safety, and bystander intervention. However, this is more of a holistic approach to joining Greek life as it gives a more positive outlook on the community and better understanding of the process for potential new members.

    This change has been well received by the freshmen and potential new members attending Greek PREP with one stating that “Hearing directly from leaders about the process was really nice and put me at ease. This PREP helped to answer any initial questions I had.” Multiple members of each executive council attend the PREP sessions which allows them to field questions any new potential members might have after the presentation by OFSA. This addition has helped students get a better understanding of the entire greek community with a potential new member saying “I thought hearing directly from a member of the Panhellenic council as well as someone from OFSA gave me a really great overview of what greek life has to offer here at Lehigh.” Not originally a part of Pregame, this addition brings more insight as new members hear directly from people within the organizations they might be joining.  If you are interested in participating in Greek recruitment at Lehigh University and have not completed Greek PREP, visit go.lehigh.edu/gogreek to learn more. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Sigma Phi Delta joins the Lehigh Interfraternity Council

 

Sigma Phi Delta has recently been recognized as part of Lehigh’s Interfraternity Council. Since their founding in Spring 2013, the Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Delta (SPD) has had dual affiliation with the Professional Fraternity Association and the North American Interfraternity Council. They have struggled in the past to be recognized by Lehigh’s Interfraternity Council as both a professional and social fraternity. It is important to understand why SPD wanted to be a part of IFC as they continue to grow as a chapter and wanted the added support from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA). Over the last three years, SPD has seen tremendous growth in membership and struggled to find designated residences to fit over 50 brothers for meetings and events. Additionally, with membership growth, “the fraternity wanted to seek out resources and oversight that would allow for optimum function as a growing organization” according to Julian Tsang, the President of SPD. Their former executive board had been successful in creating the Professional Greek Coalition, but they did not find it was the solution for their growing problems. Being a part of IFC allows SPD to partake in the same events with other fraternities and sororities, recruit members in the same process, and receive guidance from OFSA. A general consensus from both new and current members of SPD is the priority of a residential living space for the entire brotherhood. From the side of the executive board of IFC, they were thrilled to add another fraternity to the community. Peter Jensen, the head of recruitment for IFC, explains that “The IFC average GPA last semester was higher than the all men’s average at Lehigh. Adding a fraternity that was based around academics will benefit our drive to strive academically.” An engineering fraternity like SPD was able to academically help IFC overall. For recruitment specifically, there is a declining IFC community population so it was mutually beneficial for IFC and SPD’s recruitment processes. SPD is going to be on a year long probationary period where the head of IFC’s judicial board, Josh Rutzick, will oversee a review of their standard board to make sure it is aligned with IFC’s. Overall, both IFC and SPD seem very excited about this addition to the Lehigh Greek community.