First Year Experience open to Greek life
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 02:02
As of yesterday, Oregon State University will allow select fraternities and sororities to apply as additions to the First Year Experience program.
The program, established in 2012, will require first-year students to live in residence halls and co-ops on campus and, as of now, selected Greek life organizations.
“There was significant interest on behalf of Greek alumni to exempt fraternities from the First Year Experience program,” said Steve Clark, vice president for Oregon State University Relations and Marketing. “Our decision was not to provide for an exemption, but to allow them to become certified and allow them an opportunity for approval.”
Out of the organizations on campus, 25 are eligible to apply to take part in the program, and two more could join the group.
“The selected fraternities and sororities have recognized status with the university,” Clark said.
Eligible organizations have the option to write letters of intent by April 1, and then the university will set a deadline for applications.
Houses expressing intent will complete applications during the summer for next year to ensure the university can accurately show the approved organizations for incoming students. The application will determine whether the groups can be included as housing facilities and the evaluation to follow will show whether the houses are consistent with experiences in the residence halls and co-ops.
Based on a projection of 15 participating organizations, each organization will pay $10,000 for the application and $15,000 annually. This number could vary based on how many organizations participate, but the overall cost projection hovers around $400,000 for all houses, Clark said.
Expenses will cover inspections for recognition as student housing and insurance and guarantees of safety including building, health and fire safety codes.
The money will also employ a student success coordinator, who would create student support services to help Greek organizations fulfill First Year Experience requirements.
Brendan Sanders, President of the Interfraternity Council at OSU, voiced his approval of the plan and recognized the proposal as only an outline.
“I like the idea of what the university is going after,” Sanders said. “I would say it’s a good option and could help Greek life. I still hope that there’s some way other chapters not included can participate.”
The money spent in the application process will have to come from the organizations one way or another.
“That will be a difficult discussion for most houses to decide fees and will depend on where they are at this point,” Sanders said.
Jack Lammers, news reporter