The Greek Pre-Recruitment Education Program (PREP), implemented by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, prepares potential new members for fraternity and sorority recruitment in the spring.
Lehigh’s pre-recruitment programming changed between the fall of 2019 and 2020. Focused on Lehigh drinking culture, the previous alcohol-based “Greek Pregame” program educated students on what a standard drink is, the rate of absorption of alcohol, risk prevention and discussed the role alcohol plays in Greek life.
Chloe Soloman, director of fraternity and sorority affairs, explained that the Greek Pregame program depicted “a false narrative” of the fraternity and sorority experience to students.
Soloman said OFSA analyzed the program in place and realized a majority of the information provided through the programming was offered to students in other capacities, such as during orientation, as a new member and even before arriving to campus through online modules.
Soloman said the PREP programming articulates what Greek life is and is not. She said it focuses on potential new members as individuals, as she believes a focus on students’ values will better prepare them for formal Greek recruitment and beyond.
“It seems inappropriate that the required program was solely focused on alcohol education because that is not the only element that exists,” Soloman said. “That is not all-encompassing whatsoever.”
The new Greek PREP programming, which is currently in its second year, offers information to potential new members about the recruitment process and the new member experience for all three councils — the Cultural Greek Council, Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council.
The program sets clear expectations on these processes while informing students on how to make their decision come recruitment in the spring, Soloman said.
“The goal was not to remove (alcohol) education from the experience, just not to make it the primary topic,” Soloman said.
Soloman said OFSA has received positive feedback from students in attendance, as they now better understand the variety of organizations that exist on campus.
Marin Cormier, ‘25, said the programming has been a positive experience for her. Having previously based her conceptions of Greek life on other students’ experiences, Cormier said she felt overwhelmed prior to attending the programming.
“It was a good thing to hear facts from people who knew what they were talking about, instead of hearsay,” Cormier said. “Seeing how many people were on the (Zoom) call, if anything, just made me realize everyone is in the same boat.”
Cormier said if the program was still focused on alcohol, she would have been made to feel “uneasy” about the process, as it would have depicted the Greek community to be more alcohol centric than it truly is.
Madi DeMarchis, ‘22, vice president of Greek relations on the Panhellenic Council, was able to participate in the programming. As part of her role, she plans events co-sponsored by panhellenic chapters and organizes events that demonstrate Greek unity, show Greek pride and celebrate why members love “going Greek.”
“I hope that they take away the brotherhood and the sisterhood that they see in all of the chapters, and that they see themselves fitting in and want to go Greek,” DeMarchis said.
She said in prior years, not much was articulated to students about the Greek councils and the recruitment process prior to formal recruitment.
DeMarchis agrees the change in programming was beneficial. She said her new member experience would have improved if she had been able to attend the refined program, as opposed to the Pregame.
“Stressing why people join does help as a new member, because it reminds you of why you joined in the first place and what you want to take from it,” DeMarchis said.
Potential new members participating in PREP will have the opportunity to participate in formal Greek recruitment this coming spring, allowing them to take what they have learned through the programming and choose a chapter that best suits their needs.