Page 25 - 2012 Spring Lycoming Mag

1962.
Fraternity and sorority life still
comprises a large and comparatively
impressive percentage of the campus
population. Since 1988, it has ranged
from a low of 14 percent to a high of 38
percent. Currently, roughly 24 percent
of the student population is affiliated
with a fraternity or sorority. Volunteer
hours served and monies raised for
philanthropic causes both number into the
many thousands annually.
Governing bodies for Greek life have
also been thriving in recent years. As
student senate meets weekly to discuss
campus issues and provides a voice for
the student body, the Interfraternity and
Panhellenic councils function as the
governing bodies for the fraternities
and sororities, respectively. The IFC
Executive Board consists of nine
officers charged with programming
efforts ranging from community
service, recruitment, risk management,
academics and public relations. Similarly,
the Panhellenic Council, having
been recognized as an official NPC
Panhellenic Council in 2007, focuses on
providing a safe and positive recruitment,
abiding by the Unanimous Agreements
of the NPC (National Panhellenic
Conference) as well as leading efforts
on Alcohol Awareness Week, Women’s
History Month Recognition and Circle of
Sisterhood.
The leadership development
opportunities provided to leaders in
fraternity and sorority life are plentiful.
One notable example is the annual trip to
Hartford, Conn., to the Northeast Greek
Leadership Association Conference.
The conference provides members of
the council with invaluable training,
resources and networking by meeting
yearly to discuss best practices,
new initiatives and to share in the
accomplishments of Greek councils
throughout the Northeast. Large, small,
private, public, national or local, together
they are all Greek and therefore share in
something only a small percentage of the
college educated community partake in.
The commitment to professional
staffing reflects the importance of
fraternity and sorority life to the
Lycoming community. It plays a key role
in the support and advisement of all nine
of our chapters.
It is often said that membership in
a fraternity or sorority is the premier
leadership development opportunity
for a young man or woman. Working
in small groups, leading a meeting,
planning philanthropic events, holding
a position on standards boards and
judicial committees, revising bylaws
and educating a new member of an
organization to active status are all
transferable and desirable skills that
employers seek. Sharing your affiliation
on a resume is a great way to showcase
values, ideals, work ethic and character
to an employer before you even shake
hands. So toward that end, the College
has also recently undertaken a little
bit of research into the impact that
affiliation with a fraternity or sorority
has on the overall persistence of students
to graduation. The findings were quite
astonishing. Examining the classes of
2007-09
from the time they entered
Lycoming until graduation, the study
showed that students affiliated with
Greek life persisted until graduation
at a rate of between 21.7 and 24.3
percent higher than their non-affiliated
counterparts. In fact, it was shown that
having membership in a fraternity or
sorority was a bigger factor in graduating
than first semester grade point average or
high school class rank.
This information and a lot more was
shared recently at a lecture given to the
Lycoming Scholars class by the Office
of Student Programs and Leadership
Development. The lecture, as part of the
Scholars class celebration of Lycoming’s
bicentennial, covered the long history of
fraternity and sorority life dating back as
early as 1896.
If you are a member of a fraternity or
sorority, you know that you never take off
your letters. Once you pledge yourself to
a Greek letter organization, you
are forever affiliated with every
person who wears those letters
before you, and those who have
yet to wear them. Fraternity
and sorority life is arguably
one of the greatest traditions
on a campus; it truly provides
a lifelong bond for those
who fully take advantage of
everything it offers beyond the
years as a collegiate member.
To this day, Greek life still
plays a key role in the quality
and character of the campus.
If you haven’t had any contact
with your chapter in a while,
now is a great time to check in
to see what’s new and exciting.
Mannolini and Rivera serve as
director and assistant director,
respectively, of Lycoming’s
Office of Student Programs and
Leadership Development.
Lycoming’s fraternities and sororities offered their help during a recent Day of Service in downtown Williamsport.
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