On Sunday, 8/27, Rho kicked off their annual DKE Fall Conference in the Oechsle Center for Global Education. The conference was spearheaded by current chapter President James Cochran ’18 and President of the Rho House Association Mike Rupolo ‘12. Alumnus and Vice President of Campus Life for Rho, Jared Piette ’12 was also in attendance.
Structurally, the day was divided in two sessions: the morning was spent with the undergraduate executive board, while the afternoon encompassed the entire chapter. Conference topics of focus included fall recruitment, member development and strategic planning for events throughout the upcoming academic year. The brotherhood of Rho is looking forward to converting another strong recruitment class this fall, maintaining their good standing as part of the campus Greek community (through Lafayette’s own accreditation process) and ultimately, furthering their ability to compete for the Lion Trophy again in 2018!
“A fraternity returns: DTD gains college approval” by Ian Morse appeared on The Lafayette’s website last Friday. The article announces that the 18 member Recognition Committee decided to grant Delta Tau Delta (DTD) colony status.
President of DTD Dan Lupia ’16 (Full disclosure: Lupia copyedits for us. He did not copyedit this story) said the 26 members of DTD are excited about the decision. A ceremony to recognize them as a colony will be held at a nearby DTD chapter within about three weeks, according to Lupia.
“We’re just really happy to have finally made a step at Lafayette College moving in the pro-Greek life direction and bringing something back to the school,” he said.
DTD has a strong group of alumni who have always been inclusive and welcoming at their tailgates and golf outings. They’ve fostered connections with the Delta Delta Delta women occupying the former DTD house, including co-hosting events with the chapter.
DKE wishes DTD well. We want every fraternity and sorority chapter to succeed at Lafayette College to enrich the student experience. Moving forward, DTD will operate with the support of their national and local alumni as a colony for 2-4 semesters.
DTD and Chi Phi had both applied to the Recognition Committee; however, the process limits expansion to one chapter per year within a given type of group (social, service, or culturally based organizations). Word is Chi Phi received feedback on their application and is encouraged to reapply next year with a stronger application.
Hopefully they do reapply.
For those interested in keeping track, there are three active fraternity chapters on campus (DKE, DU, and Phi Psi), one colony (DTD), one suspended fraternity chapter (Zeta Psi, 11/25/2018). Chi Phi is the only social fraternity that has students actively seeking recognition. There are also students interested in service oriented groups such as Alpha Phi Omega (the world’s largest service fraternity, which was founded at Lafayette), as well as culturally based chapters, none of which would conflict with or compete with Chi Phi’s reapplication.
“A new chapter for Greek life” by Editor-in-Chief William Gordon appeared in last week’s edition of The Lafayette. The article addresses the new process the College is implementing to allow Greek organizations to apply to be recognized.
The new three-part application process is an extension of the President Alison Byerly’s Connected Communities program, according to co-chair of the committee that developed the application process Connor Heinlein ‘15, in which all student organizations are viewed on the same platform by the college.
Heinlein said by confirming Greek life as a part of the Connected Communities program, the college is showing they are open to these organizations.
Richard S. Gilbert ’62, former President of Chi Phi, commented on the article:
I am very much pleased to see that the College has finally made official the process by which Greek organizations may return to the campus. As a 55 year plus member of the Chi Phi Fraternity and having lived as an undergraduate student in Vallamont, the home of the Rho Chapter of Chi Phi on Lafayette’s campus, I do believe that the unique experiences of undergraduate membership in a fraternity or sorority can have life long benefits which help the graduate succeed in life. I look forward to Rho Chapter’s return to Vallamont and again becoming a positive contributor to the mission and objectives of Lafayette College.
We at DKE certainly support this initiative by the College and look forward to assisting organizations applying for membership to the existing Greek community.
President Alison Byerly and DKE brothers Michael De Lisi ’03 and Trustee J.B. Reilly ’83 led a groundbreaking ceremony during Reunion Weekend 2014 to renovate the DKE House. DKE announced that the renovation will include all alternates under consideration including key additions of a solarium and a cupola, thanks to the College keeping their investment in DKE fixed, passing all project cost savings on to DKE, and a recent generous gift putting DKE fundraising over a million dollars to date with $250k more to go to fully fund the renovation.
Scores of Rho Dekes from the ‘50s through 2015 were joined by many friends of DKE including family, fellow alumni, trustees, campus administrators, and a representative from DKE International. This event capped a beautiful reunion weekend.
Check out pictures of the event at the College’s flickr page.
Thank you to all supporters of this project, which marks a watershed moment in DKE and Lafayette College history. If you haven’t lent your support towards this cause, make a gift or multi-year pledge today!
Lafayette College featured this event on their Facebook page, embedded below:
During the May 2014 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved spending up to a total of $4.3 million in total project cost to renovate the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) House on March Field. The groundbreaking with President Byerly is scheduled during reunion on Saturday June 7th at 2PM. Brother JB Reilly ’83 will be introducing President Byerly for her remarks.
Over 30 Rho Dekes across all generations already confirmed they will attend this momentous occasion. We expect many walk-ons, so please join us in celebrating this occasion for DKE. Kevin MacDonald from DKE HQ will also be joining us for the groundbreaking.
The renovation calls for donations of $1.2 million from DKE fundraising. The only exclusion at $1.2 million in DKE funds would be the cupola topped by a Rampant Lion weather-vane. We are currently at only $800k funds committed to date, so Board approval of the full $4.3 million and beginning construction now shows significant good faith from the College.
This project reflects the significant commitment of Lafayette College to DKE, and vice versa. Together we are breathing new life into one of the most effective living learning laboratories on Lafayette’s campus – the DKE House.
This project is the centerpiece of the Rho DKE 160th Anniversary Campaign. We are also endowing a scholarship and a faculty award to commemorate our 160th Anniversary. Both gifts are above and beyond the $1.2 million required for the renovation, which the Rho House Association has been prioritizing.
We hope you’ll join us to kickoff this exciting project at the DKE House on June 7th at 2PM. All are invited and welcome!
Last week’s edition of The Lafayette contains an editorial “The Greek Crossroads: Board of Trustees needs to pick a path” by Editor in Chief Michael A. Kowaleski ‘14. Mr. Kowaleski calls for the Board of Trustees to make a decision with regards to the future of fraternities and sororities at Lafayette College.
I consider myself neutral in the Greek life debate. I have friends in Greek life and I’ve seen its advantages (confirmed social scene, connections, etc.), but I understand the problems that can stem from Greek culture (Alabama sororities, fraternity hazing, etc.). Instead of arguing for either side, I’m asking for something simpler: Board of Trustees, just make a decision already.
Although we’re a bit late highlighting this editorial, several alumni commented on the newspaper’s website including Brother Ames.
I heard often from my dad (Temple U. ’41) that the things one learned in college were not always learned in a classroom or library. I learned about budgets and payroll taxes, employee relations and social interactions as a 17-year-old because that was part-and-parcel of being a fraternity member. We had to make the plans and decisions and live with the results of our decisions.
It will certainly be interesting to the results of the upcoming Board of Trustees’ meeting (May 23-24).
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post listed the incorrect title of Mr. Kowaleski’s editorial. It is “The Greek Crossroads: Board of Trustees needs to pick a path” not “IAGGL is landing: Report on Greek life will be released later this month” which is an article written by Amelie Yeager ‘16 earlier this year.
The IAGGL Draft Report is out! Let’s cut to the chase. The Board of Trustees called for demonstrated progress towards four objectives for fraternities and sororities. How did we do?
- IAGGL assessed fraternities and sororities achieved the objectives for academics and discipline.
- IAGGL found fraternities and sororities met the objectives for demonstrated learning opportunities and benefits to the College as a whole as measured through existing residence life programs.
- IAGGL found fraternities and sororities demonstrated progress at improving transparency and communication in recruitment including practiced non-discrimination policies. IAGGL concluded open access such as a lottery for membership is not a realistic expectation of values based groups such as fraternities and sororities that select membership according to their groups’ values.
The chair of the Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL) posted the draft report today for the entire Lafayette community to review and comment:
To facilitate community feedback, two open forums will be held to discuss the draft and to answer questions regarding the data or recommendations:
- Monday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. in Colton Chapel – students
- Tuesday April 22, 4:15 p.m. in Hugel 103 – faculty, staff, and other interested members of the community
You should read the full announcement.
The IAGGL draft report makes several recommendations. Here is my personal take for DKE, which applies to my perspective on fraternities and sororities as a whole:
- Revamped accreditation program is good. Accreditation itself is not new; only the multimedia format is new, which should help students showcase the benefits of fraternity and sorority affiliation. I look forward to working with the College to strengthen the accreditation program. We can, should and must be held accountable to our shared values with the College. The College already knows from STEPS and COMPASS that accreditation programs successfully predict struggling chapters. It is good to see a recommendation to use an accreditation program to justify expansion as well.
- Tracking men’s recruitment via ICS solves an issue DKE has pushed for over the past several years. This scalable process will help cut through red tape that Scott Harris ’95 and Dr. Asela Gunawardana ’95 have been fighting to obtain accurate academic profiles of potential new members BEFORE the start of the fall semester (this is difficult due to FERPA requirements protecting privacy of students). Implementing this change will also help rising sophomores, juniors and seniors express interest in joining any fraternity. An additional on-ramp into the fraternal experience is helpful.
- Waiting on expansion is right, but also wrong. It is right because there are no applications for recognition available to be acted upon due to the moratorium. Any decisions the College makes regarding expansion should take into account the existing community of recognized fraternities and sororities as well as the direction of the College, as the draft report suggests. However, the recommendation as written is wrong because it stops short of recommending the lifting of the temporary moratorium on recognition of new chapters, which was supposed to be in place until IAGGL’s conclusion. The moratorium should be lifted immediately with the conclusion of IAGGL so that groups may begin preparing their applications with the knowledge gained through the IAGGL process. No applications for recognition should be acted upon without considering the critical issues of 1) Context of the application with currently recognized chapters and 2) Fit with the overall direction of the College, including sustained demand among students for new chapters.
DKE believes there is significant demand among students today to join fraternities beyond the capacity of the four currently recognized fraternities (DKE, DU, Phi Kappa Psi and Zeta Psi). We want additional chapters, but we only want successful chapters.
The Lafayette covers the IAGGL draft in an article today “Back to Square One: IAGGL report draft provides no clear answers regarding Greek Life’s future” by Michael A. Kowaleski ‘14:
President Alison Byerly, who inherited the program from Weiss, said that there is no timetable for a final ruling.
“I expect the administration and the Board will respond formally to the report, saying ‘thank you’ for the report, we anticipate doing X, Y and Z,’” she said. “When that would happen, I don’t know.”
There are still two open forums that will be conducted before a final report is filed to the Board of Trustees in May.
In the meantime, it would appear that those in the Lafayette community looking for a conclusion to the “Greek discussion” will have to wait for the Board of Trustees to decide the future of Greek life on campus. IAGGL didn’t provide a smoking gun condemning Greeks, but there was no ringing endorsement.
The article also reports on student reactions.
The Alumni Interfraternity Sorority Board (AISB) had a productive conversation with Dr. Annette Diorio, VP of Campus Life and Senior Diversity Officer (and IAGGL Chair) after receiving the draft report. We are also actively engaged with the Alumni Association and the relevant committees on the Board of Trustees.
You can always provide me input at email@example.com, by leaving a comment below, or contacting your chapter’s AISB representative.
As Annette pointed out in her announcement, there is a tremendous amount of common ground among all stakeholders at Lafayette College, including students and alumni in fraternities and sororities. We will continue to lay out a vision of how fraternities and sororities can help fuel the College’s success if we build on that common ground, and highlight immediate steps the College can take towards that vision.
Join us in an outpouring of support from DKE brothers, families and friends.
In honor of the Rho Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon turning 160 next year, we are renovating our beloved DKE House, endowing a scholarship, and endowing a faculty award. We need gift commitments by April 20th to finalize the scope of the renovation. Shovels go in the ground this summer, so the DKE House can reopen in all its glory in August 2015 in time for our 160th that October.
You can find details at http://160years.rhodke.org/
Today’s edition of The Lafayette contains the article “IAGGL is landing: Report on Greek life will be released later this month” by Amelie Yeager ‘16, covering the report due to the Board of Trustees from the Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL – pronounced eagle).
Ayala said that the IAGGL group has not found anything regarding Greek life that should alarm the administration.
“I can report at this time, in my judgment, there is nothing on paper that would be classified as a red flag,” he said.
Ayala is hopeful that “as the…committee begins to develop its final recommendations to the Board of Trustees, whatever those end up being, it recognizes that first and foremost Fraternities and Sororities at Lafayette College contribute immensely to the mission of this institution through a variety of ways.”
Lafayette College’s VP of Campus Life Annette Diorio posted an update from the Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL). Read the full update here.
- President Byerly’s participation at the Jan 24 meeting
- A document for the President and Board of Trustees to be delivered in March
- Fall grade report demonstrates strong academic performance by Greek students
- Lower rate of conduct violations by Greeks than percentage of Greeks in the overall student population
- An accreditation program (e.g., successor to STEPS and COMPASS) that recognizes high achievement by fraternities and sororities in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service & Philanthropy, Chapter Development, and Administrative Duties
- A review of membership statistics
Want to know more? Read the full post.
Overall, it looks as though fraternities and sororities have met the objectives set forth by the Board of Trustees:
- Fraternities and sororities must provide open access and engagement opportunities to all students at Lafayette (non-discriminatory in selection of members).
- 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.