Ohio University, along with other Ohio universities, acted as unofficial hosts for the inaugural national Fraternity and Sorority Life Convening held on Jan. 31 at The Ohio State University.
The event brought vice presidents for student affairs and fraternity and sorority life advisors from more than 70 institutions around the country together to dig into issues surrounding fraternity and sorority life. The one-day convening was sponsored by three trade associations: The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; and the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.
One of the representatives for OHIO was Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Jason Pina.
“I thought it was just amazing to have the opportunity to spend that whole day with Jason, focused in on the thing that I’m really passionate about,” said Kristen Kardas, assistant director for OHIO’s sorority and fraternity life. “Having that opportunity to get to show what I do and the connections I have within the field was really great. To know that I had his support, specific to sorority and fraternity life, was really invaluable.”
According to Kardas, attendees had high-level conversations about the core competencies of fraternity and sorority advisors; relationships between campuses and national Greek organizations; discussions about supporting culturally-based Greek-letter organizations and much more. Additionally, Dr. Pina facilitated a conversation about self-governance in fraternities and sororities.
“This is really a first step in bringing people together to create that sense of urgency for environmental and systemic change within fraternity and sorority life, but really getting some of those key people, like vice presidents for student affairs, at the table to really showcase that fraternities and sororities are a priority,” Kardas explained.
Dr. Pina said for a division of student affairs composed of several departments, it is critically important to spend some focused time on each department. This event gave him the chance to do that — and see how OHIO stands out and how he can be more involved.
“OHIO’s culture has created some unique attributes that were not existent at some other campuses,” Dr. Pina noted. “Another important realization is the need for me to personally spend more time at fraternity and sorority events to better connect their successes to the university.”
Dr. Pina added that he strongly believes OHIO’s fraternity and sorority system is an important piece of the student experience and it has the potential to positively impact Ohio University at a higher level.
“Given our size of 34 chapters and over 2,500 members, we have an obligation to be on the leading edge of reform and enhancement nationwide,” Pina said. “This meeting and future gatherings will ensure our ability to support our students’ success and life after graduation.”