An almost entirely new staff for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs was hired after most members left their positions last year. The staff includes four new chapter advisors: Chloe Abshire, Andrew Dorriere, Devore Mcintosh and Olivia Miller.
With the exception of one coordinator, all of the professional roles in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs have turned over in the department.
“It wasn’t a switch….one member left because their spouse got a position at another university, so there was no clearing house,” Vice Provost of Student Affairs Ric Hall said. “Folks just left over time to pursue other opportunities.”
Abshire was the first to come on board as assistant dean and director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, starting about two months ago. She said she’s adjusting well to the new environment, but is tentative to make any dramatic administrative changes before she fully understands the dynamic of the campus.
“It’s not every day on campus that an office gets to have this fresh start,” Abshire said. “I am really excited for what it means for Lehigh. We have the opportunity to evaluate our practices as a community and see it through a fresh lens.”
She wants to create a unified brand for the office ideology before any new strategies are implemented.
Dorrier started a week after Abshire, followed by Mcintosh the next week and Miller four weeks later. The new staff members had time to learn how to align their practices and past experiences to best benefit the community.
“They’re learning the institution together, they’re learning and building relationships with the students…they get to experience the learning curve together,” Hall said. “At the same time, the student population and the institution gets to learn them.”
To become more integrated with the campus community, the new staff and student members on the Panhellenic board went on an overnight trip to “Base Camp,” a leadership development camp for various campus leaders, including Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council and Cultural Greek Council presidents.
During this excursion, they discussed campus issues and visions for the future of Greek Life.
Julia Wise, ’20, vice president of campus relations of Panhellenic Council, attended the trip. She believes this new staff will put extra effort back into Lehigh’s Greek life resources.
Despite several chapters being disaffiliated from the school over the past two years, Wise said she thinks the attitude of the new Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs staff indicates that Lehigh is ready to take a more optimistic outlook on Greek Life.
“I really thought it was all going downhill, that (sororities and fraternities) were doomed,” Wise said. “However, I think they really do want to keep us around because Greek life is such an attractive aspect of the school, for applicants, for funding, for alumni. They really don’t want to get rid of us, and they’re ready to ramp us back up.”
Hall is also hopeful about the future of Greek life.
“I believe we’ve started to work on a way forward to something greater than what we have,” he said. “Our goal, or one of the goals, is for Greek life at Lehigh to be the gold standard, one that other campuses and universities look to and say, ‘Well, that’s Greek life done right.’”