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Division of Student Affairs

New advising model builds stronger bonds with fraternities and sororities

Department: Division of Student Affairs

Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life Assistant Director Megan Harre during an advising session this week with Hannah Lee, chapter president of Chi Omega. A new advising model implemented by Washington State University’s Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life is bringing about more face-time and better communication with its many member organizations.

When center Director Dan Welter arrived at WSU last year, he noticed the advising load among his three assistant directors varied. Each, as well the director position, was assigned to advise one of four governing groups of varying sizes—Panhellenic (14 sororities), Interfraternity Council (29 fraternities), National Panhellenic Council (3 multicultural organizations) and the United Greek Council (15 members).

After consulting with staff, fraternity and sorority leaders, WSU administrators, and alumni, Welter decided to switch to a more common advising model that allows staff members to advise groups within each of the communities.

“Now everyone gets a fair split that averages out to about 20 organizations per person and 10 for me,” he said.

The change was made in July and is already receiving positive feedback from students and staff alike.

Joe Kurle, director of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council (IFC), said he thinks the change will be noticeable throughout the community.

“It will provide a more holistic approach to how IFC chapters receive advising from that office,” said Kurle. “Utilizing the expertise of each professional in that office to spread the wealth among all IFC, Panhellenic and Multicultural Greek organizations will provide more support, especially in a time when the third assistant director position, who would work primarily with IFC, remains vacant.”

As part of the new model, assistant directors are now asked to meet with the presidents of their assigned chapters at least twice a semester and attend a full chapter meeting once per semester. They are also encouraged to attend at least one fundraising, philanthropy, and social event for each chapter.

Welter said the new model requires more information sharing among his team members and staff meetings have been restructured to allow for more discussion and proactive planning. With increased communication happening both internally and externally, he is noticing closer bonds are forming all around that will foster a stronger fraternity and sorority community.

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