Occupancy

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Lehigh University

Housing Services & Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

Occupancy Policy

*revised August 2022, effective August 2023*

90% Occupancy Standard

  • Chapters must maintain a 90% occupancy standard of active, initiated chapter members living in the chapter facility, in order to retain residence in the facility.

  • Chapters are expected to set their own set of standards and expectations of individual members in order to meet and sustain the 90% occupancy standard. Upon request, chapters are expected to share the outlined standards and expectations with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and Housing Services.

  • The 90% occupancy standard will be determined by the available residence hall standard capacity specified by Housing Services, in conjunction with Facilities Planning.

  • Each chapter is guaranteed up to 8 single bedrooms, provided that no other bedroom is over-occupied beyond residence hall standard occupancy.

  • Chapters may receive occupancy exemptions for residents who are not living in the house due to participation in the following university sanctioned programs: working as a Gryphon, participating in Study Abroad or Co-op, or joining Theme Housing that requires residency.

  • If by the last day of classes in the third failing semester, the organization can demonstrate that they will be able to meet the 90% occupancy standard and have all those members committed to living in the facility for the following semester, they will be permitted to remain in the residential facility. If however, due to attrition between semesters (students withdraw, are academically dropped, etc.), the organization does not have the 90% required live-in members by the 10th day of classes into the following semester, they will either not be permitted to move into the residential group housing facility, or will be required to vacate the facility as directed by the Offices of Housing Services and Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. The organization will then lose their group housing privileges.

  • Between the beginning of the semester and the 10th day of classes; active, initiated members may commit to moving back into the facility from off-campus housing.

  • If occupancy in the fourth semester reaches the 90% threshold, the chapter must maintain the 90% occupancy standard by the 10th academic day of the fifth semester.   However, if the chapter fails to reach 90% occupancy standard in the fifth semester, (failing to meet the occupancy standard for four of five semesters) the chapter will lose its housing privileges.

  • A chapter can never fail to meet the 90% occupancy standard four out of five consecutive semesters.

 

Occupancy Requirements for Chapter Officers

  • House Manager positions will be staffed by students with class rank of Junior or Senior. House Managers will participate, along with Live-In GAs, in training and orientation.

  • Chapter Presidents will reside in their respective on-campus houses.

    • Chapters are strongly encouraged to consider members of junior or senior class standing to serve as chapter president.

    • At the discretion of, and with prior approval by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, the following exception may be granted. 

      • Chapter presidents elected on a calendar year with class rank of Junior will be expected to live in the chapter house during their first semester term (spring term). If the exception with prior approval is granted, the chapter president in said scenario may be given the option to live off-campus during their second semester term (fall term) if they are a class rank of Senior. 

      • Chapter presidents elected to office for the academic year will be expected to reside in their respective on-campus house regardless of class rank.

  • Recruitment Chairs and New Member Educators will reside in their respective on-campus houses.

 

Reorganization/Member Review Exception to 90%:

  • Chapters may request a one semester extension of the 90% occupancy standard if they plan, and implement, a well-conceived membership review process. Requests for an extension to the 90% occupancy standard will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Offices of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and Housing Services. A request does not guarantee an extension will be granted. OFSA and Housing Services will take into account multiple variables when making the decision including but not limited to: disciplinary standing/history of the chapter, the quality of the proposed membership review plan/process, support from Inter/National Headquarters and active alumni engagement in the membership review process, etc.

 

Details of the implementation of this policy as proposed are:

  • A fraternity, sorority must be occupied at 90% of its capacity. Failure to do so for three academic semesters in a row will result in the loss of privileges for an organization or a special interest group to reside in University group housing.

  • When a chapter has failed their third semester in a row to meet the 90% standard by the 10th day of the semester, it will be provided with a final opportunity or grace period to recruit members/students during that semester (fall or spring) to commit to living in the house for the following semester. Students must be fully initiated members of a fraternity/sorority and sign an updated university GPO by the dates prescribed during that semester (to be determined).

  • For organizations that have failed their third semester in a row and are in this grace period which gives them time to move in other members, the chapter/organization must adhere to a behavioral contract issued by Housing Services designed to maintain appropriate health and safety standards and minimize building damage.

  • While a chapter may appear to have enough students committed to meet the 90% occupancy standard for the following (fourth) semester, there remains potential that students may either be academically dropped or choose to disaffiliate or choose to transfer or withdraw in between semesters, potentially dropping the chapter below 90% at the beginning of the following (fourth) semester. Such a drop below 90% would result in the immediate loss of group housing. As a result, organizations in this situation are strongly encouraged to build in a cushion to protect them in case of drops, transfers or withdrawals in between semesters. It is recommended that such organizations get commitments from one or two members above the 90% capacity number to offset any attrition that may occur between semesters. If for any reason, prior to the first day of classes in the following (fourth) semester, a chapter drops below 90%, the group will not be permitted to move back into their house. If a fraternity or sorority loses group housing as a result of not meeting the 90% occupancy standard, the organization may choose to remain as a recognized non-residential chapter.

  • In the case of loss of group housing, sophomores must remain in the university housing system as space permits and will be informed about existing vacancies. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to request permission to be released from their on-campus lease to live off-campus. Decisions will be made by Housing Services based on a number of factors including residential system-wide vacancies.

  • It is an expectation of the Offices of Housing Services and Fraternity and Sorority Affairs that students who choose to move back into the facility to assist in achieving the 90% occupancy standard are expected to utilize the facility as their primary residence.

 

Notification of Occupancy

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will notify chapter undergraduate and alumni leadership via e-mail when a chapter receives a first or second Occupancy violation. It is the discretion of undergraduate and alumni/ae leadership to notify chapter and alumni membership. Upon a third Occupancy violation, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will notify the total undergraduate and alumni leadership, as well as parents/guardians of undergraduate members. It is the discretion of alumni/ae leadership to notify alumni membership.  If there is a fourth and final Occupancy violation, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will again notify the total undergraduate, the alumni membership, as well as parents/guardians of undergraduate members.

 

Occupancy Reports

Occupancy Reports contain the most updated information on: Chapter Membership Information, Capacity Information, Exemptions and (for chapters currently in violation of Occupancy) the Projected Date of Facility Loss. Occupancy Reports will be posted on the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs website after the 10th day of classes each semester.

Fall 2022 Occupancy Report