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.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fall 2020 COVID Tri-Council Joint Statement

As we return to campus this week, the Lehigh Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council, and Interfraternity Council realize the complex circumstances this semester will entail. Our shared Greek community, which is operating much differently this semester, is committed to adhering to Lehigh University’s guidelines and local regulations in order to ensure the safety of our community. It is important to acknowledge that even though a large portion of our community may not be returning to campus, those of us who are in or around Lehigh’s campus have a responsibility to nurture a safe community experience for everyone in the Lehigh and greater Bethlehem area.

In the time leading up to students’ return to on-campus or off-campus, Lehigh and the state of Pennsylvania have issued a number of guidelines and regulations. The Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council, and Interfraternity Council are committed to upholding and adhering to the rules both Lehigh and the local authorities have issued in an effort to Help Keep Lehigh Safe. Lehigh’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines can be found at Lehigh’s COVID-19 Community Responsibility & Commitments and within Lehigh's Fall 2020 Student Social Contract. The policies and guidelines outlined by Lehigh in the Social Contract have been signed by every Lehigh University student whether they are returning to live on-campus or off-campus. Every student is also obligated to complete the Fall 2020 Student Expectations Course, monitor their health through HawkWatch self-reporting, and also complete COVID-19 testing. Remember to take proper health and safety precautions, such as wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces frequently. If you do not feel well or are experiencing symptoms, stay home and do not come to campus until receiving further direction. Health & Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations have also been communicated.

Ensuring safety and adherence to the policies that have been outlined in Lehigh’s announcements is crucial to our success this semester. Lehigh has collected residential information for where students will reside this semester so that the health and safety of our community can be closely monitored. In the event that a student's behavior does not adhere to Lehigh’s policies, students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and investigated. Every student in order to return to campus or their off-campus homes has signed off on the social contract and subsequent guidelines, and the Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council and Interfraternity Council are committed to holding member organizations accountable for their actions with the guidance from the Office of Student Conduct. Any type of gathering must be a maximum of 10 people and social distancing guidelines including personal protective equipment must be adhered to. To further hold individuals accountable, all three councils have created an Anonymous Reporting Form for on and off-campus students to report unsafe behavior that could jeopardize the safety of our community. This reporting form will be monitored by tri-council leadership and every report will be considered. Lehigh University also has a COVID 19 - Behavior Expectation Reporting Form. It is essential that students hold themselves and their peers accountable in order to successfully complete the semester and stay safe. Please refer to these articles as a reinforcement of what could happen as a consequence of our actions. There have already been several campus populations that have moved all undergraduate courses online or removed students from campus and the surrounding areas as a result of the students’ actions. Please continue to use your best judgement and contribute to a safe and healthy Lehigh campus. 

Under these circumstances, it is clear that the ways of living in or around Lehigh University will very much be different. With that, our councils must adjust our recruitment processes to adhere to the rules and guidelines that we are enforcing in the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities. The Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council and Interfraternity Council will still be actively recruiting; however, all formal recruitment events will be virtual until further notice. In order to ensure a successful virtual recruitment, all councils will be utilizing ChapterBuilder as a tool to interact and engage with interested students in a safer manner. These matters will be discussed at our Go Greek Webinar on August 25th, at 4:30pm, and 26th, at 7:00pm. We highly encourage all interested students to sign up for a webinar time here to learn more about the Panhellenic Council, Cultural Greek Council and Interfraternity Council and how we will operate in the midst of Covid-19.

It is important for us, both as fraternity/sorority members and community members, to acknowledge and understand the important roles we play in creating a safe learning environment. In an effort to ensure the safety of ourselves and others, it is critical that we follow the guidelines outlined by Lehigh and local authorities. We urge our students to be safe and to be smart.

As Governing Council Presidents, we are optimistic about the cooperation of our members, and are committed to enforcing these initiatives and being leaders on our campus. Our respective councils and other leaders on our Executive Boards will do our part to educate our community and work to provide structure and guidance to lead us all through these challenging times together. We understand the situation we are all in might not be ideal, but this semester must be different at Lehigh. Individuals in organizations that do not act according to these initiatives and the values outlined by Lehigh will certainly be held accountable. Organizations who fail to observe these guidelines will be dealt with on a case by case basis. To reiterate, all cases will be taken seriously and could result in the respective council’s judicial boards or referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations. We are depending on each other to get through this crisis — please follow the rules and stay safe and be smart.

Julia Voelzke, Panhellenic President 
Mariah Lopez, Cultural Greek Council President 
Preston Read, Interfraternity Council President

    

Thursday, August 20, 2020

A Message from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Expectations; To organizations, athletic teams, club sports teams, and Greek chapters; Re: Fall 2020

Student Conduct & Community Expectations
31 Williams Drive, Room 320
Bethlehem, PA 18015-3126
Tel: (610) 758-4632 | Fax: (610) 758-5153
Web: https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/conduct

TO: All members of recognized student organizations, athletic teams, club sports teams, and Greek chapters

FROM: Holly Taylor, Assistant Dean/Director of the Office of Student Conduct, with support from Dean of Athletics Joe Sterrett, Assistant Dean Aarsenio Perry, and Assistant Dean Chloe Abshire

DATE: August 20, 2020

Dear Students,

As you already know, this semester is going to be unlike any other we have experienced before.

Students, staff, and faculty all have a shared responsibility to keep our Lehigh and South Bethlehem communities safe and healthy. This semester, Lehigh University has implemented several policies specifically related to the COVID pandemic that apply to all of you as members of the Lehigh community, South Bethlehem community, and members of Lehigh student organizations. You can find this information here: https://coronavirus.lehigh.edu/students

All off campus events (specifically at off campus residences) have been limited to 10 or less attendees, including residents of the home. This includes scheduled social events, impromptu social events, or any other organizational meetings or gatherings.

While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has stated that events with under 25 attendees are appropriate, we know that the South Bethlehem homes that you reside in are not capable of hosting this number of attendees safely, either in your homes or within the boundaries of your outside space.

If your organization needs to host a meeting with more than 10 people, there are spaces available on campus for reservation. You will need to complete the Event Planning Form via LINC.

We understand that this is not how you envisioned this semester and that this may be difficult, however it is imperative that you comply with this policy in order to protect both the health and safety of yourself, your fellow Lehigh students and community members, and the residents of South Bethlehem.

Failure to comply with the COVID related guidelines or other policies outlined in the Lehigh University Code of Student Conduct will result in charges being filed against you and/or your organization. These types of violations could result in suspension from Lehigh University for individuals or removal of university recognition for student organizations. This could also include interim action being taken against individuals and/or organizations prior to the resolution of the conduct process (ex: off campus students could be banned from campus, students living on campus could be required to self quarantine).

As a reminder, a “student” is defined in the Lehigh University Code of Conduct “all persons taking or scheduled to take courses at Lehigh University, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, post graduate, or professional studies. Persons who are not enrolled at Lehigh University for a particular term but have a continuing relationship with the University.”

A “student organization” is defined as “any number of persons who are recognized in a formal manner by Lehigh University.”

Lastly, the organizational accountability statement in the Lehigh University Code of Conduct states: “any group or organization may be held accountable for the actions of any of its members if the violation of the Code of Conduct is in any way related to the group or organization. Group misconduct need not be officially approved by the entire membership in order to be considered grounds for possible disciplinary action against the group. There is no minimum number of group members who must be involved in an incident before disciplinary action may be taken against the entire group. In some instances, the conduct of a single member may provide sufficient grounds for action against the entire group.”

If you know of any gatherings of this nature that are occurring, or see students or groups failing to comply with COVID related expectations, please report this to the University using this link: http://lehigh.edu/go/covidreporting

Lehigh wants you and your organizations to be safe, healthy, and successful during this unprecedented semester. It’s up to you and your organizations to commit to hosting events that are in compliance with these policies, and we fully support you in these efforts.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to keep the Lehigh and the South Bethlehem communities safe and healthy.

Be well.








Holly A. Taylor
Assistant Dean of Students for Student Conduct & Community Expectations