Residence Life

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Gryphon Recruitment & Selection

  • Includes a two-session Gryphon Seminar as part of the selection process. The second session focuses on creating guidelines for effective dialogue at Lehigh about difference, creating self- awareness around candidates’ own identities and how those identities impact how they show up in different spaces at Lehigh, and how differing identities are an important part of the Gryphon position.

  • During the interview process, candidates are asked about what the terms diversity and inclusion mean to them, how the Gryphon role plays a part in promoting an inclusive environment respectful of difference, and to describe a time that they interacted with an individual or group whose identities different from their own and what they learned from that experience. 

Gryphon Training

  • Formally occurs twice during the year: August and January prior, to the start of each semester. In the August training schedule there is a diversity dialogue sequence of sessions intended to bring to light issues faced in the Gryphon position through a restorative practice model.  These sessions are intended to further highlight guidelines for effective dialogue, share information about campus resources, as well as support Gryphons with skill building. 

  • True Life sessions: returning Gryphons act out scenarios (supervised by professional staff) so that new Gryphons can better practice how to intervene in a bias related incident, among other scenarios. 

  • Principles of our Equitable Community: presented by Dr. Henry Odi, Deputy Vice President for Equity & Community and Associate Provost for Academic Diversity

  • Winter Recharge Training: includes peer-led discussion and reflection on topics of diversity, inclusion, and social justice issues. 

Ongoing Gryphon Development

  • In addition to training there are opportunities for ongoing professional development of the Gryphons throughout the year. This usually takes the shape of a Gryphon-wide in-service meeting in lieu of a weekly staff meeting, or at weekly staff meetings. In an effort to be more purposeful in creating ongoing professional development for the Gryphons we created an Assistant Director led Social Justice & Inclusion Committee for the department.  The SJI Committee created a Gryphon dialogue series intended for Assistance Directors and Head Gryphons to facilitate discussion and activities at recurring staff meetings throughout the year.

  • Semi-monthly Gryphon Advisory Board series.  Brings groups of Gryphons together for lunch to discuss a specific prompt or area of focus that is shared in advance.  Discussions have included diversity and inclusion concerns within Gryphon recruitment, selection, training, and curriculum initiatives. 

Residential Curriculum

  • During the first-floor meeting with their residents Gryphons spend time talking about the Principles of our Equitable Community  as the framework for creating community standards and floor expectations.

  • During one-one-one Gryphon chats (G-Chats), there is an opportunity for Gryphons to connect with each resident individually to build relationships and reinforce key ideas.

  • Individual curriculum strategies facilitated by the Gryphons throughout the year include topics such as accessing campus resources, an Identity Quest activity, healthy relationships, roommate dialogues, and a follow-up discussion on floor values. 

  • Additionally, there is passive programming that occurs through Gryphon bulletin boards that are updated throughout the semester in accordance with our department’s bulletin board strategies. 

Theme Communities

  • The theme community program is intended to serve as a point of connection for affinity groups as well as points of shared interest from students of different backgrounds.  Specific themes that are more active in areas of diversity and inclusion include our Umoja House, First Gen theme community, Creative Vibes, and Global Lehigh.  

Residence Hall Association (RHA)

  • As we have been working to more properly establish our RHA initiative within the context of regional and national guidelines/governance, RHA has added a statement of diversity and inclusion within their updated constitution as well as providing funding support to campus organizations that promote individual and group identity focused initiatives.

  • Moving forward in the upcoming year RHA is looking to expand and improve upon its diversity and inclusion statement, have all members of the RHA and RHC Executive Cabinets participate in a new diversity and inclusion training, continue to support on-campus organizations which promote inclusive programming, as well as charter a new National Residence Hall Honorary chapter which would be a more formal opportunity to support and recognize the efforts of students who specifically promote diversity and inclusion initiatives within the residential community.