Lehigh’s Greek community has seen many changes this semester.
In addition to changes to Panhellenic Council policies, two fraternities lost university recognition and a sorority is relocating to a new house on the Hill.
According to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs’ website, a total of 21 fraternities and three sororities have lost university recognition throughout Lehigh’s history. Twelve fraternities and one sorority lost their recognition within the last 10 years.
“I’m somewhat concerned for Lehigh Greek life,” Nikki Chellaswami, ’19 said. “I thought it was really surprising that they kicked off two houses within a semester, but this is obviously a trend that has been going on for quite some time.”
Some students feel Greek life will always be a part of the Lehigh experience.
Grace Eckstein, ’19, said despite recent conduct violations, Greek life will remain an integral aspect of the university. However, she thinks it might become less of a selling point for potential students.
In light of a changing campus culture, the Panhellenic Council is creating new policies to promote inclusion.
“Strict rules don’t work for our community,” said Molly Bankuti, the president of the council. “People can find ways to get around the rules. At Panhel, we want to change that and deal with situations from an ethical versus unethical standpoint.”
New policies and initiatives will change the recruitment process for a wider audience of women.
Up until this year, first-year students and upperclassmen were placed in the same recruitment pools. Now, a secondary quota has been put in place, meaning that sophomores and juniors who want to rush will be placed in an entirely different selection pool, so they are not competing with first-years.
Panhel is also making efforts to speak with chapters about becoming more LGBTQ friendly.
“We want everyone to feel included and encourage them to rush,” Bankuti said.
In addition to the chapters vacating houses as a result of lost recognition, Kappa Delta sorority will move into House 104 in fall 2018.
Lehigh plans to knock down the current Kappa Delta house along with Trembley Park to build the Bridge West residence hall, which will house up to 750 students.
Nicole Malofsky, ’19, the president of Kappa Delta, said Lehigh gave the chapter the option to move into either the previous Kappa Sigma house or House 104, which is the current home of the Fit Living community.
“We, as a sorority, voted to move to House 104,” Malofsky said. “The location is great, it’s pretty and has a lot of history.”
Kappa Delta has prepared for the move by creating a decorating committee that current and past members can join.
Malofsky said most members feel positive about the move. Though some seniors are sentimental about leaving the previous Kappa Delta house behind, most members are looking forward to the change.