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  #1  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:22 PM
katphishchick katphishchick is offline
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Lehigh forcing academic year officer schedule

I am an alumna, but I can see this creating problems...and can the school even do this when it directly violates the international bylaws of many fraternities/sororities?

http://www.bw.lehigh.edu/story.asp?ID=17485

Has anything like this happend on other campuses? If so, has it had a positive or negative impact?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2004, 11:18 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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When it comes to something like this the GLOs will cave. They're not going to piss off the host institution for anything less than forced pledging.

I personally think the academic year schedule is better...officer transition right around the holidays & finals combined seems like it would be a real PIA. Plus I think the nationals' insistence (well maybe that isn't the word...preference) that seniors do not hold high office is one of the things that makes seniors drop out. I know they think it's to make the senior year "easier" but not everyone wants that.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2004, 12:20 AM
PsychTau PsychTau is offline
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I think Univ. of Central Arkansas is moving to academic year officers this year, so we'll see what happens. It'll screw up elections for a year (our chapter there will have officers serve for only a semester before it's time to vote again, but I think they have it all figured out otherwise).

I don't think it's a bad idea....the only concern would be the recruitment director's job if formal recruitment is first thing in the fall. The chapter would have to work out a smooth transition there (same thing for NM director I guess). UCA's formal recruitment is in the spring, so it shouldn't be too bad.

PsychTau
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2004, 12:30 AM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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Academic-year transition would never work at a number of schools because of housing. Because certain officer positions require you to live in the house, you basically need to know what position you'll be holding for the next year by late fall/early winter in order to sign a lease if you're not living in. By the time spring rolls around, it's too late to decide who's living in and who's living out. Is this not going to be an issue at Lehigh? I think that most of the organizations have houses . . .
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2004, 07:02 AM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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There are some organizational problems with this. One of the advantages of having it follow a calendar year is that the previous officer is still around while the new officer is getting their feet wet, so officer training can be ongoing. When the senior who held an office graduates in April, you lose a resource person.

For AGD, we hold regional officer training sessions (called The Leadership Conference or TLC) in February and March to train the new officers. It isn't beneficial for the old officers to attend this training after they've been officers for most of the year. It's geared toward the new officers.

I also agree it could cause housing contract problems. You need to know by February on most of the campuses in Michigan where you're living for September.

What bothers me most though, is when "outsiders" make rules for an organization. A GLO should be able to have elections whenever that GLO wants to. It's not up to Panhellenic or IFC or the university, etc. What do they care? They say that they are trying to keep seniors more active. It seems that there are other ways to accomplish this... by providing programming and activities that will keep them interested and active as they get ready to move into the next chapters of their lives. What if seniors decide not to run for office at all because they know how busy that last semester will be? How dedicated will they be to training the new officer during their last 3 weeks of school? They kept referring to people who study abroad. Is this a really common phenomena now? I don't see it in the chapters I oversee. The individual GLO should decide when elections are best for their own chapter. It's nobody elses business!

Dee
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2004, 10:04 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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For people mentioning that you have to live in-house to hold certain positions...is that chapter law or sorority as a whole law?

But at any rate I'm confused...don't most sorority houses have academic year housing contracts? Ergo if you get elected prez in fall 2003, and your term is for 2004, you still wouldn't move in till you are halfway through your presidency.

All our student housing on campus is for the academic year and off-campus (which includes Greek housing) goes by semester or academic year. There's really no such thing as signing a lease for a calendar year.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2004, 12:06 PM
Little E Little E is offline
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The thing that my chapter has been working on is who is in charge over the summer. The new Pres hardly has her feet wet and we are gone and there is stuff that needs to be done. We still do semester elections, exemption from nat'l, but it is tough on us.
I also don't like this acadeimic year thing because it is really tough to be a spring senior and have that comitment to your house. that, i feel, should be internal programing rather than the emotional stresses that come w/grad on top of a sorority. You honestly, have no idea what it is like spring sem of sr year until you are there, and then it is too late...
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2004, 12:26 PM
MooseGirl MooseGirl is offline
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We've been running on academic year since I was a new member.

Granted we don't have the housing issues as stated above since we don't have a house (but looking to change that next year).

We have elections in february so that the e-board can start training right away. The 2nd-last meeting is officer installation, and the last meeting (usually early april) is run by the new e-board.

I guess another difference is we rarely have anyone graduate in December.

Anyway, it can work if you figure it all out.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2004, 01:00 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 33girl
For people mentioning that you have to live in-house to hold certain positions...is that chapter law or sorority as a whole law?

But at any rate I'm confused...don't most sorority houses have academic year housing contracts? Ergo if you get elected prez in fall 2003, and your term is for 2004, you still wouldn't move in till you are halfway through your presidency.

All our student housing on campus is for the academic year and off-campus (which includes Greek housing) goes by semester or academic year. There's really no such thing as signing a lease for a calendar year.
We have certain positions that are required to live in the house by Fraternity guidelines and additional (optional) ones that the chapters can write into their rules.

The housing contracts follow an academic year but they are signed in February for the following September. So, women have already signed their housing contracts for September now. The problem is, you don't know if you're elected until April, if elections are by the academic year and you've already committed to a lease elsewhere.

My main point still remains.. shouldn't this be up to the chapter or GLO and not up to CP or IFC? Why would they care? It seems like micromanagment of the chapters.

Dee
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2004, 01:27 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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So in other words, you would actually have to live in the house for two academic years?

When we did academic year elections I think they were right before spring break...that was plenty of time for housing contracts for the next year but I realize w/ huge chapters/houses it might be a different story.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2004, 06:38 PM
dakareng dakareng is offline
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I have seen both systems work, and have worked with chapters that transitioned from one to the other. As a chapter officer attending a school on quarters, we held elections at the end of march (end of Winter qtr) and still had the senior officers around for questions spring qtr. I liked that calendar then, and like it now for continuity of officers. It also accomodates the need for officers to be housed for their entire term. It does pose a quandry if the custom is to sign leases for the following academic year in January but if you really want to hold an office, would you not simply sign a housing contract with your GLO? That shows commitment to the organization.

BTW, contrary to the message that 33girl is getting from her national, Pi Beta Phi strongly prefers higher chapter officers to be seniors (elected during junior year) but it is the CHAPTERS who continue to elect sophomores. Yes, we want senior year to be one that meets the varied and different needs of senior members but that can include holding high office. In the past, our leadership seminars were held in the summer (at one time that did reach officers who were fairly new to their positions) but because the vast majority of campuses elect officers in Nov/ Dec, changed them to be held in Jan/Feb.

Can the college do this? Well, they are a private institution so yes, they can basically do just about anything they want. Many of the changes that have occured to new member programs over the past 25 years have been because of pressure from college administrations. It would still fit within the requirements already in place for Pi Phi chapters.
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2004, 06:49 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 33girl
So in other words, you would actually have to live in the house for two academic years?

When we did academic year elections I think they were right before spring break...that was plenty of time for housing contracts for the next year but I realize w/ huge chapters/houses it might be a different story.
No, they don't end up living in the house until part way through their officer term. I'm not really arguing for one or the other. I have also seen both ways work. My ideal is having elections in January, with February for a training month, officers officially take over in March and cover April as well while the old officers are still around. This isn't working with our new TLC schedule.

Like I said, I get a little hot under the collar when I feel like other orgs are trying to govern the individual GLOs. In some instances (like alcohol or hazing) it may be necessary, but in this situation, I don't see the point!

Dee

ETA: Our Presidents are required to be seniors. This can be waived by going through the proper channel, but only in extenuating circumstances.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2004, 12:25 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dakareng
BTW, contrary to the message that 33girl is getting from her national, Pi Beta Phi strongly prefers higher chapter officers to be seniors
I hate to pick a nit but I didn't mean this was only coming from my group - I was under the impression that most GLOs preferred exec board to be juniors rather than seniors. If I'm all wet, believe me, I'm glad!
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2004, 04:50 AM
mommag2 mommag2 is offline
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My sorority just changed elections from academic year to calender year. We did it because our national convention ( it was changed from 1 per semester in Spring 03) is in the summer and we are required to have our president and our national rep at convention for the business meeting, so if a senior was the president or the national rep and they have graduated they are considered alumni ( as we all know) and have resigned their office. With an academic calender the new person in the position wouldn't take office until Fall semester, a calender year just works better for us.

There are a few sororities on my campus that do the calender year because it's easier to transition offices come spring semester.
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