Spring 2021 Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs Updates

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The information below is based on current University recommendations. Additional updates may be necessary as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Please continue to check Lehigh’s website for up-to-date information.

OFSA Spring 2021 Operations

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs is committed to providing support for students and chapters during remote, in-person and hybrid mode instruction. We will primarily be using technology to facilitate the delivery of services. If you would like to contact a member of the OFSA team, click here to view inquiry-specific contact information. Otherwise, please do not hesitate to call (610-758-4157) or email (infrasor@lehigh.edu) with any questions. 

Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:15am - 4:45pm

Spring 2021 FAQ

How will Greek recruitment happen?

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA) will work with our fraternity and sorority organizations to provide guidance and resources focusing on membership recruitment and retention through the Spring 2021 semester. OFSA will continue to encourage chapters to recruit and extend membership invitations to eligible potential new members based on Lehigh’s eligibility requirements

Can fraternities and sororities interact with first-year students?
  • First and foremost, all students are held to the same guidelines in the Spring 2021 Community Member Statement of Expectations and expected to follow guidelines for gatherings and abide by all health & safety measures they’ve agreed to. 

  • Chapters are not permitted to recruit in the presence of alcohol or other drugs. First-year students should not be attending events where alcohol or other drugs are present. 

  • As stated in an email from Student Affairs on 8.6.20, "Some of you may be drawn to informal social gatherings off campus. These events are a particular area of concern, not only related to the spread of COVID-19 among our students, faculty and staff, but also among our South Bethlehem neighbors as well. Students are expected to follow the Gathering/Meeting Size found on the Campus Status chart. Students and student organizations who host or attend events that violate attendance expectations will be held accountable by the Code of Conduct. Outcomes for violating these expectations could include removal from housing, removal from in-person classes, suspension, or expulsion for individuals and dissolution or termination for organizations."

References: 8.6.20: Fall 2020 Return to Campus Protocols for Returning Undergraduate Students: A message sent from Student Affairs / 8.10.20: Action Required by 8/14: Complete Student Expectations Training: An email sent from Student Affairs / Lehigh University - Student Code of Conduct / Campus Status

Will membership dues be reduced?

Chapters and their respective alumni corporations or graduate chapters assess dues and fees per semester, and often work with an independent billing agency to do so. If individual members are curious about Spring 2021 membership dues, they should contact their chapter leadership directly or view our Cost of Membership website for ongoing updates. 

Why are students required to pay dues when they cannot live in the chapter facility and participate in normal chapter activities?

Paying dues is part of the membership requirement. Chapters have to cover their fixed operating costs, such as insurance. Our chapters are working hard to modify their membership experience for a virtual world, which also requires the use of funds. If members are having trouble paying their dues, contact the chapter leadership or alumni corporation.

Reference: Cost of Membership

If I select the fully remote option, am I allowed on campus?

Students who elect "fully remote" status and the 10% reduction in tuition are not eligible to come to campus at all.

Reference: Campus Access Status

How can the University dictate what students do off campus?
  • Whether living on campus or off, all who are enrolled in Lehigh coursework are considered students, and are expected to uphold the Lehigh University Code of Conduct. The following expectations align with Article III, Section 2: Respect for Others, which states, “Lehigh University expects that all students will act in a civil manner that reflects maturity, social responsibility, and respect towards others and the Lehigh Community” and Article III, Section 4: Respect for Community, which states, “As members of the Lehigh University Community, students are expected to serve as ethical representatives. They are expected to know and follow the Code of Conduct, and show respect for the faculty, staff, community members and administrative processes that are in place to maintain and support our community standards.  Students are expected to hold themselves and others accountable and report violations of the Code of Conduct or other violations to the University.”

  • The term “student” includes 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 are considered students.

  • For the purposes of this Code, a person shall be considered a student when they have been accepted and paid a deposit and they remain a student as long as they have a continuing relationship with the University.

References: 8.6.20: Fall 2020 Return to Campus Protocols for Returning Undergraduate Students: A message sent from Student Affairs / 8.10.20: Action Required by 8/14: Complete Student Expectations Training: An email sent from Student Affairs / Lehigh University - Student Code of Conduct

How can students help mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
  • Completing a daily self-screening (download the HawkWatch app to access)

  • Maintaining 6' social distancing

  • Wearing a cloth face covering in any public space and in any circumstance where interacting with others on campus. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is requiring the use of cloth face coverings when in public. Coverings may be removed when working in a private, single-occupancy office or when eating 

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause respiratory infections can live on your hands and regular hand washing can help protect you from getting sick 

  • Avoiding touching your face

  • Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

Reference: Mitigating the spread of COVID-19

Will fraternities and sororities be able to host events, programs, meetings or gatherings on campus?
  • Student organizations should continue prioritizing the virtual membership experience and limit congregating in groups. Should a chapter or council with to explore some in-person membership engagement opportunities, they must have their event/activity approved using the procedures outlined in the Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations. Approved events/activities will be limited to the expectations discussed in the approval meeting with the Campus Events Advisory Group (CEAG), with guidance from the COVID Response Team (CRT). To view the most current and updated information, visit COVID-19 FAQs: Events, Meetings and Gatherings and Campus Status. Following the approval meeting, student organizations will receive a confirmation outlinng all specific expectations. 

  • As a reminder, studetns who elect "fully remote" status and the 10% reduction in tuition are not eligible to come to campus at all. 

References: COVID-19 FAQs: Events, Meetings and Gatherings / Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations

Can a chapter be held responsible for the behaviors of individual members?
  • The answer to this question is directly answered in the Student Code of Conduct. All student organizations are encouraged to read and understand the Student Code of Conduct.

    • “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. An appropriate but not exhaustive test to determine whether a group may be held accountable for the conduct of individuals is to ask whether it is likely that the individuals would have been involved in the incident if they were not members of the group or, if, by group action, the incident was encouraged, fostered, or might have been prevented.”

    • “Organizations are responsible for educating their members on the Lehigh University Code of Conduct as it relates to student organizations.”

    • “Organizations are responsible for fully cooperating with University officials in investigations of violations of the Code of Conduct.  Organizations are responsible for ensuring that their members provide complete, accurate, and truthful information and any potentially relevant documentation in any format.”

    • “Organizations are responsible for having a representative appear before a Hearing Panel when called.”

    • “Organizations are responsible for ensuring that their members provide truthful and complete information when providing information to a Hearing Panel or the Conduct Officer. Students representing organizations are required to answer questions asked by the Hearing Panel.”

  • Additionally, we encourage our fraternities and sororities to utilize Holmes Murphy and MJ Insurance guidance.

  • Alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct and Social Contract will be investigated on a case by case basis and the outcome, sanctions and consequences will depend on whether or not the individual or club/organization is/are found responsible.

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

Are student organizations allowed to host events at off-campus locations that would require travel?
  • As outlined in the Social Contract, students are expected to, "Avoid all non-essential travel out of the immediate area and adhere to the university’s prohibition against inviting guests to your residence or to campus. For students who must travel, consult with the University Health and Wellness Center about any related quarantine requirements. Since quarantine requirements may change quickly, we recommend reviewing quarantine requirements both before leaving and prior to returning."

  • If students must travel for organization specific activities (conferences, retreats, etc.) they will still need to complete the Event Planning Form and the CRT (COVID Response Team) can help advise.

Reference: Health & Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations

If fraternity and sorority chapters offer membership statuses such as inactive, partially inactive, early alumni/ae, etc., will that member be excused from responsibility to the organization?

If a fraternity or sorority chapter offers membership statuses differentiating active members from other statuses such as inactive, partially inactive, early alumni/ae, etc., OFSA will continue to consider a member a member if they continue to remain on the chapter roster on file with the national organization and are an enrolled student at Lehigh University. Unless a member is officially disaffiliated, they will continue to be considered a member on record with Lehigh University. OFSA will keep track of different membership statuses in partnership with the chapter leadership. Different statuses do not excuse individual Lehigh students who are members of a fraternity or sorority from behavioral expectations under the Student Code of Conduct related to student organizations.

General OFSA Updates

Health & Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations

For Student Organizations interested in hosting an in-person, on-campus event, specific guidelines need to be followed. View the guidelines here. 

New Member Education

Chapters have been asked to work with their Assistant Director, chapter advisor and headquarters staff to develop a plan for primarily virtual new member education. All in-person activities must be approved by the Campus Events Advisory Group (CEAG) and follow all guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations - Spring 2021. New Member Education plans must be approved using DocuSign; approved plans will be updated on our New Member Education page. 

Accreditation

Given the impact the COVID pandemic has had on our community and chapter operations, OFSA has elected to alter Accreditation for 2020-2021. 

For the 2020-2021 academic year, chapters will not be assessed based on Accredited with Excellence, Accredited, Unaccredited or Unacceptable. Instead, each area will be assessed by a panel of students, faculty, staff and advisors. The combined average will produce a numerical average value signifying Exceptional, Above Average, and Average. This is not only based on performance, but also on effort made to prioritize these essential areas during a pandemic in lieu of more traditional efforts. 

2020-2021 Year End Evaluation Report Areas

  1. Prioritization of membership engagement & accountability
  2. Dedication to educational initiatives & chapter priorities
  3. Commitment to diversity, inclusion & equity
  4. Ability to adapt and implement creative and innovative methods
  5. Emphasis on new member education and the onboarding of Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 new members

Chapters will be given an opportunity to select their panel interview date. Interview dates will occur between April 15th and April 30th. The selected interview date will determine when the Year End Evaluation Report is due. OFSA will share the report template with each chapter no later than November 6th and intends the format to be similar to the 2019-2020 Year End Report from last year. In order to provide time for the panel to review the report prior to the interview, it will be due to OFSA one week prior. During the interview, the chapter will be responsible for covering each topic with the panel and answering questions from the panelists. The panel will then have an opportunity to deliberate and submit their final evaluation to the OFSA Assistant Director (AD). The OFSA AD will produce a final evalutation to be shared with the chapter and publicly on the website by June 15, 2021. 

Access to Chapter Houses

Spring 2021

At the end of the Fall 2020 semester, OFSA held Chapter Coaching Calls with each chapter. During these calls, we communicated the possibility that chapters may be permitted to utilize their chapter house for programming and education activities. We will be extending a License Agreement to each residential chapter via DocuSign. In order to utilize the chapter house, the organization will be required to sign and agree to the License Agreement, follow the procedures and expectations outlined in the Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations and abide by the Spring 2021 COVID-19 expectations. In addition to these terms, chapter houses will only be accessible for events and programs from 9:00am-7:00pm on weekdays and 11:00am-9:00pm on weekends. 

Fall 2020

Fraternity and Sorority chapter houses were not  accessible  throughout the Fall 2020 semester. Chapters were permitted to leave chapter belongings and paraphernalia in the chapter facility throughout the Fall 2020 semester. Storage units can remain on campus property and stay throughout the Fall 2020 semester, at the expense of the chapter. Dining services and kitchens will not be available and any contracts should be discontinued/cancelled for Fall 2020. Additional Liability Insurance beyond chapter General Liability Insurance will not be required for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Housing Contracts were not signed, therefore students planning to reside in the chapter facility will not need to worry about cancelling a contract with Housing Services. If Alumni or Housing Corporation Officers have questions or issues regarding the chapter facility, they should contact Housing Services at 610-758-3500 M-F 8:15am-4:45pm.

University Code of Conduct

All University policies and expectations of the Code of Conduct for students remain in full effect and policy violations will continue to be adjudicated virtually. 

2021-2022 Fraternity and Sorority Housing

OFSA and Housing Services will work with residential chapters to ensure a strong opening once Lehigh determines it is safe to open campus more fully. The fraternity and sorority residencial experience remains a priority for Lehigh University and we will continue to monitor state guidelines and conditions as we begin preparing for the Fall 2021 semester. While we are confident and hopeful that we will be able to open the Fraternity and Sorority chapter houses at some capacity for the Fall 2021 semester, answers to these matters may not come until later in the Spring 2021 semester. Our offices continue to be dedicated and devoted to the success of the fraternities and sororities at Lehigh University. 

Live-in Graduate Assistant Program

The LIve-in Graduate Assistant (GA) Program has been postponed until the 2022-2023 academic year. More information can be found on the LIve-in Graduate Assistant webpage. 

Programming & Eduacation (P&E) Fund Requests

The processing of P&E requests will be completed virtually. Chapters should review the Programming & Education Fund Guidelines before beginning the P&E process. All questions should be directed to Ashley Strause at ams718@lehigh.edu.

Chapter & Council Meetings, Events & Programs

Student organizations should continue prioritizing the virtual membership experience and limit congregating in groups. Should a chapter or council wish to explore some in-person membership engagement opportunities, they must have their event/activity approved using the procedures outlined in the Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations. Approved events/activities will be limited to the expectations discussed in the approval meeting with the Campus Events Advisory Group (CEAG), with guidance from the COVID Response Team (CRT). To view the most current and updated information, visit COVID-19 FAQs: Events, Meetings and Gatherings and the Current Campus Status Page. Following the approval meeting, student organizations will receive a confirmation outlining all specific expectations. 

COVID-19 Communication from Headquarters

CHAPTER HEADQUARTERS RESPONSE/COMMUNICATION
Alpha Epsilon Pi AEPi Member Communication
Alpha Gamma Delta Coronavirus Update
Alpha Omicron Pi AOPi Monitoring the Coronavirus/COVID-19
Alpha Phi Alpha Phi COVID-19
Alpha Tau Omega ATO: COVID-19 Protocol
Chi Phi Chi Phi Fraternity COVID-19 Resource Guide
Chi Psi specific to school, contact HQ
Delta Chi 2020-2021 Operations Guidance
Delta Upsilon Delta Upsilon COVID-19 Planning & Support
Gamma Phi Beta Gamma Phi Beta Chapter Resource Guidelines for COVID-19
Kappa Alpha Psi specific to school, contact chapter
Kappa Alpha Theta Kappa Alpha Theta Coronavirus Update
Kappa Delta Kappa Delta Responds to Coronavirus 
Lambda Theta Alpha specific to school, contact chapter
Mu Sigma Upsilon specific to school, contact chapter
Phi Delta Theta Phi Delta Theta Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from General Headquarters
Phi Sigma Kappa COVID-19 Chapter Operations Guidance
Pi Beta Phi Pi Beta Phi COVID-19 Updates
Psi Upsilon Psi Upsilon Fall 2020 COVID-19 Resources
Sigma Phi Epsilon COVID-19 Guidance
Theta Chi Theta Chi COVID-19 Updates
Zeta Tau Alpha COVID-19 Update

 

General Communications

 

Additional Questions

OFSA is aware that additional questions may exist. Please know that we will continue to update this webpage to provide answers to existing questions as we work through this remote instruction period. Please contact infrasor@lehigh.edu if you have specific questions.