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How is Greek Life changing for the better at Penn State? This article provides information on the University's new initiative, Greek Pride: A Return to Glory. Take a look to see what Penn State officials are doing to strengthen the Greek community.

Greek life at Penn State is experiencing a major renovation. The birth of a campaign entitled "Greek Pride: A Return to Glory" has brought about many changes for the Greek community including a new set of standards and a Chapter of Excellence award. "Animal House" copycats are no longer the norm as chapters struggle to meet standards and raise money.

  • Greek Pride: A Return to Glory: Penn State Greeks have teamed up with faculty, alumni, national headquarters and the community to organization an initiative called "Greek Pride: A Return to Glory". The initiative is designed to strengthen the health and well-being of our Greek community. Two summits took place in April 2006 to brainstorm ideas, focus on the positive aspects of Greek life and make a plan for future improvement. A detailed outline of expectations, standards and rewards is a result of these summits and was created to motivate chapters to realize their full potential.
  • Minimum and Reasonable Expectations: The eight "Minimum and Reasonable Expectations for Social Sororities and Fraternities" include specific standards in the following areas: non-hazing agreements, academic minimum, advising, financial management, compliance, administrative management, new member period and national status. Chapters that meet these requirements will be recognized by the University and provided with the proceeding services and supports. Failure to meet these requirements will result in a disciplinary action on behalf of the University ranging from a warning to loss of University recognition and removal from campus.
  • Service and Support: Chapters that achieve the Minimum and Reasonable Expectations will receive service and support from Penn State in the following areas: staff advising, designated advisory support, marketing and external relations, university facilities and financial accounts.
  • Chapter of Excellence Award: The Chapter of Excellence award will the given to chapters that meet the Minimum and Reasonable Expectations as well as standards in the following areas: social policy requirements, responsible citizenship, intellectual development, defined and organized recruitment and strategic planning.
  • Chapter of Excellence Awards and Recognition: Potential awards and recognition for chapters achieving the Chapter of Excellence award are in the following areas: university billing, university certification, recognition and promotion, faculty and staff rewards, low-interest loans, support for leadership development, development and fundraising, facilities management, programming funds and chapter funding. The Chapters of Excellence for 2006 include three Interfraternity Council fraternities (Acacia, Beta Sigma Beta and Sigma Phi Epsilon); four Panhellenic sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Zeta Tau Alpha); and two National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations (Kappa Alpha Psi and Zeta Phi Beta).

Abbey Donates $3.5 Million to Beta Theta Pi: Don Abbey, a 1970 Penn State alumnus, has raised his commitment to the Beta Theta Pi house restoration from $1.2 million to $3.5 million. Abbey's gift is said to be the single most significant gift in the history of the entire fraternity system. His increased commitment provides a wonderful example of loyalty for the rest of the Greek community, especially during the Greek Pride Initiative. Alumni involvement is an important factor in the success of a chapter and his support will serve as a model for other chapters.

Sprinkler Systems Required for Fraternity Houses: The Centre Region Code Administration is requiring all fraternity houses to install sprinkler systems by September 1, 2008. The installment is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $100,000, which places a major financial burden on all fraternities. Capital campaigns and fundraising efforts have been coordinated. Many of the houses are over 100 years old and beautiful so an additional challenge will be figuring out how to install the sprinklers in an attractive manner.