In the fall of 2016, Vice President for Student Affairs, Levester Johnson initiated and led a task force to develop recommendations to elevate the fraternal community at Illinois State toward a unified, nationally recognized system.
Illinois State’s fraternal community currently consists of 38 fraternities and sororities; membership is equivalent to approximately 14 percent of the total undergraduate population. Because of their commitment to academics and leadership development, the fraternal system possesses the opportunity to become a significant factor in student retention.
Members of the Task Force for Greek Life included two dozen faculty and staff members, students and affiliated alumni. Over the course of the 2017 spring semester, they met to discuss topics such as diversity and inclusion, safety, residential facilities, and leadership development in the Greek community.
Out of these discussions came several recommendations to advance the fraternal community. Some of these goals include identifying housing management strategies that encourage proper maintenance of facilities, creating new leadership opportunities for members and establishing standards that promote both Greek and campus unity. Furthermore, the task force suggested fostering educational programming initiatives that align with the mission and values of Illinois State University.
Alex Snowden, coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life and co-chair of the task force, said, “The Greek Life Task Force laid the foundation to guide our fraternal community through establishing attainable goals. This task force has also allowed the fraternal community to gain the support that will be necessary for long term success at Illinois State University, for our organization members and alumni.”
While the recommendations serve as a solid foundation, the work of the Greek Life Task Force continues. They will meet throughout the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year to hold further discussions related to feasibility, budget and implementation strategies.
Lori Lenahan, long-time advisor to Illinois State’s Chi Omega sorority and member of the task force, shares that she “was honored to be asked to participate in the Greek Task Force. The recommendations from the task force will help bring awareness to the ISU community and Normal-Bloomington. I’m hoping for a lot of positive changes in the future.”