Dear Lafayette Community,

The fraternity and sorority community strives to provide an inclusive environment for our members regardless of race, socioeconomic status, sexuality, class, and other distinctions. We recognize that our members have different intersecting identities including age, ability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status which helps generate a unified community dedicated to enhancing our cultural competency. While many of our members have been doing important work within the system to address the inequities that exist, we also acknowledge that we have a further journey to make the fraternity and sorority system more representative of the Lafayette community as a whole.

Lafayette fraternities and sororities strive to provide a safe community for men and women based on mutual respect and understanding. We are committed to promote an environment of inclusion across race, ethnicity, gender, identity, religion, and sexuality. Diversity and inclusivity are principles that allow all our voices to be represented on an individual, chapter, and communal level.

Moving forward, we will be taking the following actions to help build a more diverse and inclusive Greek system at Lafayette:

  1. Both the Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council (IFC) will be revising their bylaws to implement a mandatory executive position of a Diversity and Inclusion Chair within individual chapters and within both Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils.
  2. Both Panhellenic and IFC will move to require each chapter to conduct diversity and inclusion training (including Safe Zone Training and meeting with Kaleidoscope for SJ101s). While many of our chapters participated in much of this training in the past, we want to ensure that this educational training is promoted and required system-wide.
  3. Similarly to the Panhellenic Council’s Emergency Relief Fund, IFC will create a fund to support members who struggle to afford fraternity dues.
  4. We will actively work to improve relationships with organizations that represent students of color and other underrepresented groups. Along these lines, we will seek to co-sponsor various academic, philanthropic, and social events with these groups regularly.
  5. In an effort to increase the diversity of Greek membership, both Panhellenic & IFC will be implementing biannual informational panels of Greek Life students of color. We will also be reaching out to organizations that represent students of color and other underrepresented groups to invite the members of these groups to go through Greek recruitment.

IFC and Panhellenic are always open to cosponsorship and increasing our education and awareness of important causes. We are participating in Student Government’s implementation of a school-wide fundraiser to support the families of those who lost their lives and to support those who are fighting for change. IFC and Panhellenic are donating directly to Black Lives Matter NY, Lehigh Valley Bail Fund, and the Homelessness Black Trans Women Fund. We will continue facilitating and seeking co-sponsorship opportunities with POC-run organizations in the future.

We recognize the history of elitism and discrimination that is tied to the Greek Life system and acknowledge how it has perpetuated various forms of oppression. Knowing this, we are diligent in continuing our work to dismantle these principles within our own system and seek to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the Lafayette community. This statement is the beginning of a larger discussion within our community, and we look forward to the work that lies ahead to create these necessary changes. We are an organization that loves feedback that can help us improve our community, so if you have any suggestions or input, please let us know!

Sincerely,

Nicholas Davatzes ‘21                        Sandra Manfreda ‘21
Interfraternity President                     Panhellenic President

Categorized in: Announcements
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1 Comment

  1. Wendy Wilson-Fall says:

    Hello and thanks for your announcement. Please consider urging your memberships to take more classes in Africana Studies, for example from myself or from professors Jeremy Zallen, Christopher Lee, Randi Gil-Sadler, and Robert Blunt. As we move further away from the current political circumstances, only understanding history and social dynamics allows us to adequately analyze what is happening and our positionalities in the current social environment.

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