Phi Delta Theta and Delta Chi fraternities have both been awarded chapter houses for the 2015-2016 school year. Both fraternities applied to live in House 97, pictured, but after the removal of Delta Phi, another chapter house became available for occupation. (Nan He/B&W photo)

Lehigh fraternities begin application process to live in House 97


Lehigh’s Fraternity Facility Selection Committee is now accepting applications from fraternities who wish to move into House 97, a non-affiliated residence hall, which was formerly the Lambda Chi Alpha house.

Delta Chi and Phi Delta Theta, two fraternities without chapter houses at Lehigh, will both be applying for the house.

“The fraternities will hand in a packet of information based on the questions that were posted on the (Greek) blog,” said Timothy Wilkinson, Senior Assistant Dean of Students and director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, in an email. “The chapters will then present to a seven-person committee, and have a question and answer session after the presentation.”

Wilkinson said the committee will then recommend one of the fraternities to John Smeaton, the Vice Provost of Student Affairs, who can either accept the recommendation or return it to the committee to review again.

Colin Orr, ’15, and a member of Delta Chi, said the application process has several sections. These sections include an accreditation section, a membership plan for the house and a residential transitional plan.

According to the Lehigh University website, listed under “Fraternity and Sorority Affairs,” accreditation is an annual process and it is a “comprehensive review and assessment of all facets of chapter operations and is a key process in the development and maintenance of chapter standards.  Chapters are required to submit an annual report and conduct a 40 minute presentation to a panel of faculty, staff, students and alumni.”

The five areas that fraternities are asked to focus on include “intellectual development, leadership development, community development, organizational development, and facilities management,” according to the Lehigh website.

According to the blog, the applying fraternity must also have a comprehensive recruitment plan to assist in the sustainability of the organization, and must be able to account for any necessary recruitment changes. In addition, members must be able to explain why moving to a facility will affect their recruitment strategy.

“It’s actually pretty similar to the accreditation process, but it focuses more on the facilities management aspect of it,” said Greg Potter, ’16 and president of Phi Delta Theta.

Criteria for the application include explanations of how the chapter has used accreditation to grow as an organization, and how the chapter can adapt accreditation to assist in operations as a residential chapter.

Last June, Lambda Chi Alpha’s Gamma Psi chapter lost their housing privileges for House 97, as well as their university recognition, when the chapter received an “unacceptable” accreditation rating for Code of Conduct violations, as confirmed by the Lehigh Greeks blog.

Orr said that both Delta Chi and Phi Delta Theta would have a lot to offer the Lehigh community as a whole if they were to become residential.

“It would allow a more central place for our members to further strengthen the brotherhood,” Orr said. “That being said though, I think both Phi Delta Theta and Delta Chi agree a house isn’t what a brotherhood is about and that it would only strengthen us, it’s not a necessity.”

Orr also said it would allow them to have a centralized place to meet for chapter. Currently Delta Chi holds their chapter meetings in Maginnes Hall.

Adam Pollack, ’16, the vice president of Phi Delta Theta, said holding committee meetings is very difficult because they do not have a residence on campus. Instead of being able to meet in one centralized place, they must meet in different off-campus locations.

“If we all met in the same location, such as a house, we would be able to function a lot more efficiently as a chapter,” he said.

According to the Lehigh Greeks blog, the committee will be composed of one member from each of these areas: Residential Services, Dean of Students, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Alumni Association/Greek Alumni Council, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council.

“The committee will review the packets that are submitted as well as the presentations, and meet to make a decision as to which chapter would best represent the Lehigh Greek Community as a residential chapter,” Wilkinson said.

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