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Office of Greek Life changes its name

July 3, 2013
by Cassa Niedringhaus

The Office of Greek Life officially has a new name -- the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Sonja Jensen said the new name is more consistent with national trends and standards of offices that support the fraternity and sorority community. The old name is an antiquated term and did not fully represent the mission of the office, she explained. Although the new name was approved in November of 2012, the switch was not made until the end of the 2013 spring semester because the office wanted to be fully prepared to roll out the name change for the 2013 fall semester.

Looking forward

Dean of Students Jody Donovan played a role in the approval process of the name.

“We’d been talking about changing the previous office name, Office of Greek Life, for a while,” Donovan said. “We recognized that as we internationalize our campus, that name was confusing for individuals not familiar with fraternities and sororities, as well as those believing this was an office just for individuals from Greece or with a connection with Greece.”

She said she approved the name because the staff in Fraternity and Sorority Life just completed their five-year program review and found that many other campuses also were changing their office names away from Greek Life. The new name better represents who the office serves and makes it clearer for students, parents, family members, faculty and staff who to contact to get information regarding fraternities and sororities.

“I supported the name change because the proposed name made sense; their thought process was thorough and the timing seemed right as we are transitioning to new space in the renovated Lory Student Center in a year,” said Donovan. “The staff in Fraternity and Sorority Life are the experts in this area. They are well-connected with their colleagues across the country and know the trends in this field. I trust their judgment.”

Still honoring tradition

Jensen said that such activities as Greek Week and Greek Night Out Awards, however, will not see a change in name, said Jensen.

“The names of the events will not be changing,” she Jensen. “The office name changed to reflect more adequately and properly who and what community we support – the fraternity and sorority organizations and their members. However, identifying our fraternity and sorority members as ‘Greeks’ is still a proper reference in that their history and names are based on the Greek alphabet and Greek mythology.”