From the monthly archives: March 2012

On March 29th, Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL pronounced eagle) posted its metrics for review and comment from the Lafayette Community. The announcement by the Chair is available here.

The metrics cover three of the four Board’s four objectives for Greek Life, which are described in the announcement. IAGGL is still working on the metrics for the fourth objective.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity offered by the College for commenting on the metrics developed by IAGGL thus far. Comments may be submitted at this link. Because comments appear to be private, we’d appreciate any comments to be reposted publicly so the entire community can know the issues raised by students, parents, alumni, and faculty. You can repost comments to Lafayette in the comments thread of this post and the LinkedIn discussion on this topic under the Lafayette Alumni LinkedIn group.

The Board’s objectives are:

  • Fraternities and sororities must facilitate demonstrated learning opportunities for students and provide benefits to the College as a whole.
  • The academic performance of students affiliated with fraternities and sororities must be comparable to the student body as a whole.
  • The disciplinary profile of members of fraternities and sororities, as well as the individual organizations, must be comparable to the student body as a whole and other student organizations.
  • Fraternities and sororities must provide open access and engagement opportunities to all students at Lafayette (non-discriminatory in selection of members).

The metrics are:

Integration with Campus Learning Opportunities (Greek organizations and students where applicable):

  • Does each Greek organization plan/host five academic programs per year?
  • Do each of the five programs meet the following criteria: open to campus, have faculty involvement, not social as primary focus, directly planned by Greek organizations, approved by the director of fraternity and sorority life, have active member participation?
  • Are Greek members actively involved in a leadership role of one non-Greek organization (total cases and ratio of leaders to membership)?

Academic Performance  (Greek students to non-Greek students, separated where possible by Greek organization and also by gender):

  • GPA 3rd semester students
  • GPA 5th semester students
  • GPA 7th semester students
  • Major distribution (numbers and ratio)
  • Academic probation (total cases and ratio)
  • EXCEL Scholar (total cases and ratio)
  • Thesis participation (total cases and ratio)
  • Departmental honors participation (total cases and ratio)
  • Study abroad participation (total cases and ratio)
  • Other honor recipients/Dean’s List (total cases and ratio)
  • Co-curricular (academic major) organization membership (total cases and ratio)
  • Internship participation (total cases and ratio)

Disciplinary Profile  (Greek students to non-Greek students where possible, separated where possible by Greek organization and also by gender):

  • Conduct probation of individuals (total cases and ratio)
  • Conduct violations (total cases and ratio))
  • Individual repeated offenses (total cases and ratio)
  • Sanctions issued
  • Administrative hearing cases by group
  • Administrative panel cases by group
  • Sexual assault Public Safety Reports (total cases)
  • COMPASS compliance
 

Once again The Lafayette published several articles touching on the topic of Greek Life at Lafayette College.

Brett Billings ’12 reports in the article Tough rush getting tougher:

Lafayette sororities have dug their heels in.

Banning [sic] together, they engaged an Ohio law firm to craft a response to Lafayette’s request for information regarding each sororities’ selection and initiation practices.

Lafayette General Counsel Leslie Muhlfelder and Dean of Intercultural Development John McKnight were notified this past Sunday in separate documents of the sororities’ commitment “to continue their single sex status,” according to the legal opinion of the law office of Manley Burke.

Another article about VP Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Lafayette College, highlights the fraternal experience of Biden’s Deputy Chief of Staff Alan Hoffman ’88:

Hoffman, an American Studies major when at Lafayette, was the 1988 Pepper Prize recipient, participated in Student Government and served as president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for two years. Reflecting on his four years on College Hill, Hoffman spoke to The Lafayette heavily of his involvement in Greek life after he was awarded the Pepper Prize.

“I was confronted with the same old line that no matter what we do, we will never accomplish anything,” Hoffman wrote. “Cause some commotion, create some controversies, but most of all, do something. Do not wait for someone else to take charge, do it yourself. The opportunities to affect change are there, use them.”

EDIT:

There’s an Op-Ed titled On Alcohol Patrols by Brett Billings ’12 addressing the issues of alcohol patrols targeting fraternities in the wake of the withdrawal of charges against Delta Upsilon following improper search of private student rooms. After reviewing the documents describing the past 20+ years practice of targeted alcohol patrols in fraternities, Brett concludes:

 This document pertains to and affects all students. Just as water flows around a barrier placed in the middle of a stream, so too will the alcohol flow around — somehow, someway — the barriers the college has placed in the social settings of its students.

Take away Monroe Street housing, and the party scene will migrate. Students will walk further from campus, and they will cross more streets, walk more blocks to find a social release that challenges the barriers imposed on them. This is not a Greek issue. It is a student issue.

 

Stuart Umberger, the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Lafayette College, rolled out a cohort model for leadership development within the Greek community at Lafayette College since the beginning of this academic year. Under this model, he’s identified eight cohorts comprised of leaders from each chapter in addition to the traditional Presidents meetings and governing council (IFC and PHC) meetings. The eight cohorts are:

  • Values and Standards
  • Academic Integration
  • Recruitment
  • Membership Development
  • Civic Engagement
  • Public Relations
  • Finance
  • Marquis (the new COMPASS)

Leaders from each chapter receive training and advising services from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life as a group. As you’ll read in the upcoming Rho News, we’ve identified several alumni to serve as dedicated resources to DKE representatives in certain cohorts. These alumni will provide year over year support to institutionalize DKE best practices.

We still need volunteers to help our students in Public Relations, Civic Engagement, and Membership Development. If you want to get involved, please contact Michael De Lisi at delisim@comcast.net. You do not need to be local to Lafayette College. Volunteers from all age groups are welcome.

 

On March 7, 2012, DKE Rho ’01 Alumni Christos Katsiaouni’s photographs were featured in a New York Times Article, “Make Art, Not Commerce, ” by Nancy Macdonell. Please take a second to read the article, view the slide show, and congratulate our brother. The link can be found below.

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/make-art-not-commerce/

 

Once again The Lafayette published several articles touching on the topic of Greek Life at Lafayette College.

Brett Billings ’12 reports in the article DU avoids probation that the College is walking back its punishment of DU for unattended alcohol inside of a refrigerator and in a student room.

In the early morning hours of February 4, Officer Carl Faulkner and Patrolman Craig Marshall entered a room considered a common area in search of “unattended alcohol.” The door to the room was left open. A bottle of alcohol was found inside a fridge, according to incident reports. In the common area, another door leading to a student room was left open as well. There, they discovered another bottle of alcohol on a student desk.

Read the full article for more complete reporting and a description of Delta Upsilon’s appeal.

Another article Greeks: to give or not to give by Anda Totoreanu ’15 poses the question if Greek alumni will continue to give to Lafayette College if the Board of Trustees eliminates fraternities and sororities. Referencing VP of Development and College Relations Jim Dicker ’85, the article states,

Greek participation in giving has dropped only slightly (from 35 to 33 percent) since the recent removal of some fraternities

A related piece, Alumni giving remains steady by Jon Dumais ’13 addresses alumni giving in general. What is surprising is the giving percentages offered by the newspaper appear to conflict with the percentages cited by Dr. Limas in the IAGGL town hall. From The Lafayette:

According to Lafayette’s Office of Development, 40 percent of Lafayette’s alumni donated money to the school from 2008 to 2009, but that number was reduced by 15 percent for 2009 to 2010. In 2011, however, the number of alumni who donated rose to 37 percent.

This is in contrast with Dr. Limas’ statements that in 2011, the percentage of alumni giving to the college was 33%, and 34% for Greek and non-Greek, respectively, both of which are lower than the 37% quoted in The Lafayette article.

From the IAGGL town hall transcript,

Dr. Celestino Limas: Yeah. We do have some data. This is from the Office of Development obviously of course. Some initial Greek giving rates in terms of participation, I can tell you. 2011, the Greek giving rate was 33%. The non-Greek giving rate was 34%. 2010, the Greek giving rate was 30%. The non-Greek giving rate was 31%. So I think we see strong parallels between Greek and non-Greek giving rate.

This conclusion of strong parallels ignores the historical data that the WGGL analyzed over 15 years from 1994-2009, which showed that Greeks consistently gave at much higher rates 37% Greek versus 25% non-Greek (p. 16-17 of the WGGL full report, which is available in hard copy to all members of the Lafayette College community by calling (610) 330-5200).

This difference between IAGGL’s and The Lafayette‘s reporting of alumni giving rates emphasizes the importance of comparing apples to apples, especially when discussing the percent change of percentages. Come on guys and gals, it doesn’t have to be this hard, does it?

Only time will tell if students paying over $200,000 to attend Lafayette College will donate money to the College after graduation despite their experiences as a student having Public Safety search their private refrigerators looking for “unattended alcohol.”

 
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