Several fraternity and sorority chapters failed to achieve accreditation in this year’s Expectations for Excellence annual review, which is a University initiative focused on creating a college-centered, interactive Greek life at UR.

While many fraternities and sororities received accreditation, four fraternities and one sorority, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Psi Upsilon Fraternity, Theta Delta Chi Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, did not. Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity did not receive accreditation last year, but was reinstated this year.

More fraternities were unaccredited this year than in previous years. A general feedback report released to the groups presented comments on common problems. The comments suggested increasing the specificity of the chapters’ timelines for achieving goals, increasing collaboration with more diverse groups on campus and increasing connections with college-sponsored events and setting realistic goals for improving involvement.

“Many groups lacked this focus and seemed to focus on external constituencies too much,” a general report the fraternities and sororities received stated. “Not every program or event has to be connected intimately with the College, but the plans of the group should reflect a focus on the fact that it is part of the college community.”

The Expectations for Excellence Committee also stated that many organizations had hasty, vague plans that were not implemented effectively.

“Vague plans often lead groups to procrastinate until the last minute, when such plans get implemented hurriedly, frequently during the least effective period of the year and especially when other groups are attempting to do the same thing,” according to the general report.

Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Monica Miranda Smalls explained that the process to become accredited involves several meetings with University faculty and members of the respective fraternity or sorority to develop a plan where they establish and reaffirm their links to UR.

In December 2007, fraternity and sorority chapters submitted a report of their past accomplishments and future goals. A group then reviewed these statements and listened to oral reports by chapter members.

Accreditation is granted based on the committee’s evaluation of how well these chapters meet previous and current expectations. If an organization is not accredited two years in a row, it may lose standing and campus housing privileges.

“The College greatly values this process,” Smalls said. The program follows a success-driven model that encourages the chapters to become a larger part of the campus community rather than exist as insular groups on the periphery of the college,”

Several fraternity and sorority presidents were contacted for comment about not receiving accreditation, but most denied comment and preferred that their fraternities not be ostracized.

However, President of Delta Kappa Epsilon and senior Joe Price said he is unsure of the implications of this status.

“What we do know is, this spring semester and continuing into next fall, our organization will be under even more pressure from the University to live up to the standards set by the University Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs,” he said. “Attaining accreditation is important for our organization; however, it is not the end of the world. In this past year, we at ??? feel that we went above and beyond our expectations as a student organization. Thus, accreditation or not, we at ??? are proud of our accomplishments and the accomplishments of our brothers. In the upcoming year, ??? will take all steps necessary to attain accreditation.”

Price addressed the need for the increased pressure on fraternities and sororities.

“I question why the University, namely the OFSA, has placed a burden such as this on strictly members of the fraternity and sorority community,” Price said. “Why should organizations such as the Drama House, Community Learning Center, Computer Interest Floor, etc. not be required to participate in the Expectations for Excellence?

“I am not complaining about participating in University programs and volunteering in the greater Rochester community; these are things we have done and will continue to do. I just do not see why fraternities and sororities are subject to this type of scrutiny while other organizations are not.”

According to Acting Dean of Students Matthew Burns, these special interest floors must already adhere to a similar program, simultaneously established with Expectations for Excellence. The University asserts that the accreditation holds its organizations to high standards.

“This process has prompted new and innovative programs for the campus community that are welcomed and appreciated,” Smalls said. “The College is proud of the Expectations for Excellence program as the hallmark of a number of new initiatives in the last few years.”

Sahay is a member of the class of 2010.



Life and college students: a mutual hatred

It’s been a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day. I hate everyone and everyone hates me. I crawl into bed at 8 p.m., face my pillow, and scream into the void.

Please don’t look at me while I’m studying

I almost felt like a real college student for a second, instead of the precarious pyramid of nocturnal raccoons (in sunglasses and a trench coat, of course) that I actually am.

What how you spend your weekends really says about you

When the weekend comes around, I overthink and start to get a rush of anxiety. Why? Because I might be judged for not going out.