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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Fraternity & Sorority Housing

Amenities

Break Housing

Expectations & Regulations

Furniture

Housing Requirements

Lease Agreement & Insurance

Maintenance and Damage

Opening-August

Safety & Security

 

Amenities

Are bathrooms co-ed?

What about telephone service in my room?

What are the dimensions of the room?

Whom do I contact about network (STAR) services?
 

Break Housing

Are the chapter houses open over Pacing Break?

Are the chapter houses open over Thanksgiving Break?

Are the chapter houses open over Semester Break?

Are the chapter houses open over Spring Break?
 

Expectations & Regulations

What is the occupancy standard that houses must maintain?

What is the role of Facilities Services in Fraternity and Sorority Housing?

What is the role of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs in Fraternity and Sorority Housing?

What is the role of Residential Services in Fraternity and Sorority Housing?

What is the University's expectation for houses at academic year-end?

Who is required to live in the house?

May I have a refrigerator in my room?

What do I do if I am locked out?

What do I do if I want to change rooms?

What do I do if something is wrong with my room?

What items are not permitted due to fire safety regulations?

 

Furniture

Can I bring my own bed or build a loft?

Who is responsible for providing bedroom furniture in the houses?

Who is responsible for the common area furniture in the house?

Can I store unwanted University furniture off-campus if I bring it back?

 

Housing Requirements

Are students guaranteed housing on campus?

 

Lease Agreement & Insurance

Who owns the fraternity and sorority houses? .

What type of Lease and Housing Agreements are required by the University?

What type of insurance must the Fraternity and Sorority houses have?

How are room charges, meal plan rates, and house and parlor fees set?

Is the personal property of the Fraternity and Sorority residents covered by the house or University insurance?

What right of entry to the leased premises does Lehigh (landlord) have?

 

Maintenance and Damage

Are air conditioners permitted in Fraternity and Sorority houses?

How is student damage processed?

What are the guidelines for painting individual bedrooms and common areas?

What contracted services does the University provide to the fraternities and sororities?

What inspections does the University perform throughout the academic year?

Who develops long-term facilities maintenance and capital renewal plans?

Who is responsible for custodial services in the houses?

Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs in the houses?
 

Opening-August

Can I move in early?

Can I see my room before moving in?

What furniture will be in my room when I arrive and what do I need to bring for the room?

What should I do if I want to forward some personal belongings to campus?
 

Safety & Security

Are there penalties for tampering with fire safety equipment?

Whose responsibility is it to keep the Fraternity and Sorority Houses secure?

 

Amenities

Are bathroom co-ed?
Gender inclusive bathrooms facilities exist in the common areas of fraternity and sorority houses if the chapter has requested to have a gender inclusive bathroom. Bathrooms on the residential floors are gender specific.

What about telephone service in my room?
A landline is provided in each room. Students must supply their own telephone.

What are the dimensions of the room?
Floor plans and 3D images are available under each individual building listing on our housing website. You will need to sign in using your Lehigh username and password.

Whom do I contact about network (STAR) services?
The Lehigh Office of Library and Technology Services is located in Linderman Library and can be contacted via phone or e-mail for network questions and/or problems:
Network (STAR) services 610-758-2666
General help 610-758-4357

 

Break Housing

Are the chapter houses open over Pacing Break?

 There are limited dining options during breaks. Students interested in staying during breaks should consult the Lehigh Dining Services website for further dining information.

Are the chapter houses open over Thanksgiving Break?

The chapter houses are open over Thanksgiving Break. Students who will be remaining on campus over Thanksgiving break must register with Residential Services. There are limited dining options during breaks. Students interested in staying during breaks should consult the Lehigh Dining Services website for further dining information.

Are the chapter houses open over Semester Break?

The availability of break housing over the Semester Break will be limited during the upcoming academic year to only students who are required to remain on campus for NCAA sanctioned practices and events and/or international students. All other residents are expected to make alternative housing arrangements during these break periods.

Are the chapter houses open over Spring Break?
The availability of break housing over the Spring Break will be limited during the upcoming academic year to only students who are required to remain on campus for NCAA sanctioned practices and events and/or international students. All other residents are expected to make alternative housing arrangements during these break periods.

 

Expectations & Regulations

What is the occupancy standard that houses must maintain?
The occupancy standard for fraternity and sorority houses is 90% based upon established house capacity counts. Only chapter members living in the house and exempt members living outside the house will be counted toward the occupancy number. Chapters falling below the 90% occupancy rate for 3 semesters in a row will lose group housing privileges.

What is the role of Facilities Services in Fraternity and Sorority Housing?
The Office of Facilities Services reports to the Vice President for Finance and Administration and is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our Greek Houses to ensure a safe and healthy living environment for our residents.

What is the role of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs in Fraternity and Sorority Housing?
Fraternity & Sorority Affairs work closely with chapter alumni and actives in promoting fraternity and sorority life on campus. They are responsible for advising houses on issues such as recruitment, membership, education, leadership, meeting University standards, and accreditation.

What is the role of Residential Services in Fraternity and Sorority Housing?
The Office of Residential Services is part of the Office of Student Auxiliary Services that reports to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and has the responsibility of acting as landlords for the University. All leases with alumni corporations and housing agreements with residents, originate in the Office of Residential Services. Residential Services works closely with the Office of Facilities Services to ensure that these University assets are well maintained. Residential Services also provides billing services for all fraternity and sorority student charges related to room charges.

What is the University's expectation for houses at academic year-end?
The University expects students to maintain a clean and safe environment throughout the year. It is, therefore, the expectation at year-end that the facility will be clean and in good order and condition; reasonable wear and tear is expected. This condition holds true for common areas as well as bedrooms. In addition, students must remove all personal property from their student rooms. The only items remaining in the room should be the University supplied furniture. The University reserves the right to remove and dispose of any personal property that remains. Students shall pay any charges or expenses incurred in the disposal of such property.

Who is required to live in the house?
All second-year students are required to live on campus. If they are a member of a Greek organization, they are required to live in their fraternity or sorority house as a second year student. Although junior and senior members will not be required to live in the houses, it will be an expectation that they will, unless the chapter is at the required occupancy. It is felt that the privilege of membership and of independent group living on the campus should carry responsibilities for sustaining continuity and stability within the chapter. Making the commitment to live in the chapter house should, therefore, be a fundamental expectation of membership, with exceptions allowed. Each fraternity and sorority has a particular set of rules and regulations which may affect which members are required to live in a house. Additional information can be obtained from individual fraternities or sororities regarding this question.

May I have a refrigerator in my room?
Personal refrigerators may be brought, but are not to exceed 4.6 cubic feet. MicroFridge units are available for rental from Campus Specialties.

What do I do if I am locked out?
If locked out, students are encouraged to find a roommate or their House Manager or President to let them into the room. Between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM on weekdays, students may go to the IDEAL Office. Upon presenting identification, a temporary key will be issued. 

What do I do if I have lost my keys?
Individuals who have lost their keys should go to the IDEAL Office.

What do I do if I want to change rooms?
All room changes go through House leadership. Students should meet with their House Manager to discuss room change information.

What do I do if something is wrong with my room?
Problems related to a student room or common areas within the building can be directed to the House Manager.

What items are not permitted due to fire safety regulations?
Halogen lamps, candles of any kind (including decorative), incense, automatic drip coffee makers, percolators, all cooking appliances such as hot plates, hot pots, microwave ovens, toasters, toaster ovens, electric fry pans, grills/griddles, portable heating units of any kind, electric blankets, and sun lamps. See GPO for a more complete list.

 

Furniture

Can I bring my own bed or build a loft?
Each year, members of fraternity and sorority houses will be given the opportunity to request or deny a university provided bed. Residents are permitted to construct lofts; however, they must meet University loft requirements.

Who is responsible for providing bedroom furniture in the houses?
The University is responsible for providing all bedroom furniture in all University owned houses.

Who is responsible for the common area furniture in the house?
Common area furnishings (furniture, area rugs, draperies, etc.) are the collective and shared responsibility of the chapter, including alumni, but must be reviewed and approved by the University through the Office of Residential Services, prior to any additions to the house.

Can I store unwanted University furniture off-campus if I bring it back?
It is expected that all University provided furniture remains in a student's room throughout the academic year. Some furniture can be disassembled and stored within the room if not wanted. The only exemption to furniture remaining in the room is with your university provided bed. If you requested a university bed set on your Housing Contract and later change your mind contact Residential Services to ask to have the bed set removed.

 

Housing Requirements

Are students guaranteed housing on campus?
First-year and Second-year students are required to live on campus and therefore guaranteed housing.  Second year students with a Greek affiliation within a chapter that has a residential house are expected to live in the chapter’s house. All upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) are currently offered one opportunity to live on campus. If the Greek house is not full, then their housing option is to live in the house. If their house is full, then they are eligible to compete in the lottery for a residence hall space.

 

Lease Agreement & Insurance

Who owns the fraternity and sorority houses?
Lehigh University owns all the fraternity and sorority houses. All University owned houses are leased to Greek Alumni Associations on a yearly basis through the Office of Residential Services, which acts as landlord in coordinating room changes and managing leases, among other services.

What type of Lease and Housing Agreements are required by the University?
The University requires a Lease to be signed between the University and the Fraternity/Sorority House Corporations or Alumni Associations. This lease is for the academic year and is renewable on a yearly basis. The University requires a separate housing contract to be signed between the residents living in fraternities and sororities and the University.

What type of insurance must the Fraternity and Sorority houses have?
Fraternities and Sororities are required to carry insurance coverage (e.g. Commercial Liability, Fire Legal Liability, Loss of Income, Extra Expense etc.) as outlined in the Lease between the House Corporations and the University. Please refer to the Lease for more detailed information.

How are room charges, meal plan rates, and house and parlor fees set?
The University acts as the billing agent for all fraternities and sororities and works with the Bursar's office to apply all charges to individual student accounts for room charges only.

Room charges - The room charge for all fraternity and sorority members is set by the University and it is the same amount for all residents of our Greek housing system. All fraternities and sororities as well as the residence halls are included in a common residential financial system. The University projects the costs for such items as; building maintenance, custodial services, utilities, insurance related to Lehigh's role as landlord (this is not to be confused with insurance procured by each house, the costs of which are included in House/Parlor fees), trash removal, cable television, exterminator services, etc. These costs are absorbed by the single room charge set for fraternities and sororities.

Meal plan rate, House and Parlor fees - Meal plan rate, House and Parlor fees are all set and billed by the house leadership through a third party billing agent. These rates and fees cover the cost of supplying a meal plan to the house, as well as other important fraternity and sorority costs. These costs include: content insurance for house owned items and other insurance costs related to lease required coverage, recruitment, house supplies, business meeting expenses, misc. expenses, composite photography, national organization expenses, etc. The costs are then charged to all members as determined by the house. Any questions about meal plan rates, house fees or parlor fees should be directed to the House Leadership.

Is the personal property of the Fraternity and Sorority residents covered by the house or University insurance?
Personal property of the residents living in fraternities or sororities is not covered by the house or University insurance. Residents should cover their personal property through student personal property insurance purchased by the resident at his/her option, or their parent's homeowner's insurance.

What right of entry to the leased premises does Lehigh (landlord) have?
In addition to all the rights of entry, lessor (Lehigh) has by-laws and under other provisions of the house lease, lessor may enter the leased premises at any time in case of emergency and otherwise at reasonable times for any of the following reasons:

  • to inspect the condition of the building;
  • to inspect for fire and health hazards;
  • to make repairs, installments, additions, or alterations to the rooms or to the building, to paint same, or to perform housekeeping functions;
  • to remove both university and personal property, equipment, placards, signs, fixtures, alterations, or additions to the leased premises that are in violation of the lease;
  • to verify room occupancy, and
  • to search by authorized University officials when there is cause to believe that a violation of University regulations is being, or has been, committed. (See lease agreement for more details on this.)

 

Maintenance and Damage

Are air conditioners permitted in Fraternity and Sorority houses?
All air conditioners are owned and installed by Lehigh University hired staff and will remain in windows year round. Maintenance concerns regarding the air conditioning units are to be reported as a work order to Facilities Services. Air conditioner filters will be checked and changed as necessary over breaks.

Air conditioners are not to be removed or tampered with by the resident(s) under any circumstance. Unauthorized air conditioner units will be removed and the resident responsible will be fined.

How is student damage processed?
Residents of the house, coordinated through the house manager, and University personnel report work orders for maintenance concerns in the house. Work orders are reviewed by University personnel and those that fall out of the realm of normal “wear and tear” are sent to House Leadership as student damage. The house leadership will assign the charges to those individuals responsible for causing the damage. In the event that those individuals cannot be identified, the cost of the repair will be shared among the residents of the fraternity/sorority. It should be noted that the student damage billing process described above will only be initiated for University property. Any costs associated with Fraternity/Sorority property must be recouped outside of the University billing procedures and done through the House Corporation.  

What are the guidelines for painting individual bedrooms and common areas?

Common Areas

  • Hallways and Bedroom Doors - each Greek organization supplied a standard color "scheme" for hallways, including wall color, trim color, and bedroom door color. All fraternity and sorority hallways and bedroom doors will be painted the selected color and will be maintained each subsequent summer with patching and repainting as needed. This will ensure that all fraternity and sorority hallways and bedroom doors will be returned to excellent condition prior to fall arrival each year.
  • Existing Murals - murals located in fraternity and sorority hallways, stairwells, and common areas were evaluated by Alumni/ae and administrators; and these members evaluated whether the mural should remain as part of the décor.
  • Other House Common Areas (e.g. living room, dining room, kitchen, stairwells) - if it is determined during the facilities audit that a common room, such as a living room or a dining room, would be repainted during the summer months, a paint color scheme will be requested from the house leadership and alumni/ae.

Bedrooms

  • Paint color in Greek houses is limited to chapter’s selected standard color in bedrooms and common areas.
  • Upon chapter request, a mural of significance to the chapter’s identity, history, or culture may be placed on common area walls or one wall in bedrooms.  This request requires submission of a Mural Request Form by the chapter, including documented approval from the chapter president, house manager, and alumni. If the painting of the mural is satisfactory at the end of the year, the paint may remain. An inspection will be completed by Residential Services and Facilities Services.
  • Murals or other unique paint work already in place prior to the 2014-2015 academic year, will be “grandfathered in” and remain in place; however, no new paint, unless deemed as a mural of significance approved by the Director of Residential Services, will be permitted.

If, during closing inspections in May, any bedroom that is painted an alternative color that was approved prior to 2014-15 or a an approved mural that is found to be in unsatisfactory condition by Residential Services will be painted back to the original house color and billed to the Chapter. Any unapproved painting found in bedrooms will be repainted and billed to the resident(s) of the room. Any unapproved painting in a common area will be repainted and billed to the chapter. 

What contracted services does the University provide to the fraternities and sororities?
Contracted services provided by the University include the following:

  • Annual cleaning of kitchen hood fans and duct work, as well as monthly hood filter service.
  • Trash and recycling pick-up five times per week.
  • Cable TV service
  • Extermination Services
  • Snow removal
  • Cleaning/custodial services
  • Grounds maintenance  

What inspections does the University perform throughout the academic year?
The following inspections are performed by the University or contracted professionals in all houses:

  • Monthly-Emergency lighting
  • Monthly-Fire extinguisher
  • Monthly-Fire system – includes smoke and heat detectors, pull stations, horns and sprinklers
  • Three times each semester-Cleaning inspections (common areas only)
  • Life Safety inspections in common areas twice a semester
  • Once each semester-Room inspections.  

Who develops long-term facilities maintenance and capital renewal plans?
The Offices of Residential Services and Facilities Services meet yearly to discuss the long-term facilities needs of each fraternity and sorority house. Input is solicited from maintenance staff and other University personnel, as well as from alumni and undergraduates. The VFA report (an independent engineering analysis) also used as a guide identified many facilities needs in each house.

Who is responsible for custodial services in the houses?
In fraternity and sorority houses, a professional cleaning contractor will supply full cleaning services in the common areas of the houses five days per week and general clean up and trash removal on weekends. This cleaning includes all hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, dining areas, and kitchens. NOTE: The cleaning in kitchens does not include pots, pans, dishes, and dining tables etc., which, along with other cleaning not handled by the contractor, are the responsibility of the house actives.

Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs in the houses?
As owner and landlord of the houses, Lehigh is responsible for all day-to-day maintenance and repairs in University owned houses. Facilities Services oversees a staff of maintenance technicians who perform maintenance services in the houses. The individual crafts include electric, carpentry, plumbing, locksmith, preventive maintenance and HVAC. On some occasions, outside contractors are also used. Fraternity and sorority members, usually through the house manager, are responsible for reporting repairs or maintenance that they are aware of in a timely fashion, but should not perform any maintenance repairs on their own. Students are responsible for maintaining a clean and safe living environment.  

 

Opening-August

Can I move in early?
The Office of Residential Services recognizes that specific individuals may need to be permitted to occupy their Greek housing rooms earlier than the scheduled check-in. Early arrival information will be available in mid-July. Early Arrival requests must be must be submitted by the first Friday in August. Residential Services will review your request and notify you by e-mail if your request has been approved. If so, you will be informed of the date, time, and check-in location that have been scheduled for your arrival.

Can I see my room before moving in?
Throughout the summer months, residential areas at Lehigh University are utilized for conference programs. Since rooms are in use, they are not available for viewing. You may view floor plans for your chapter house.

What furniture will be in my room when I arrive and what do I need to bring for the room?
A desk, desk chair, closet or wardrobe, and dresser are provided. A university provided bed frame and mattress are provided based on the information you provide on your Housing Contract.

What should I do if I want to forward some personal belongings to campus?
Personal belongings should be shipped after the student arrives on campus and should be addressed directly to the University box number where you will receive all mail being sent to you. This box number will be available for you to view through the portal in July. For more information regarding sending items to your student mailbox see Student Mailing Tips on the Mail Center website.

 

Safety & Security

Are there penalties for tampering with fire safety equipment?
There are severe financial and disciplinary penalties for tampering or disabling fire safety equipment. Repeated offenses may result in individuals being removed from housing or groups losing their housing privileges.

Whose responsibility is it to keep the Fraternity and Sorority Houses secure?
The security of the houses is a collective responsibility shared by the residents of the house and University personnel. Residents of houses are encouraged to keep all exterior doors, bedroom doors and security windows locked so that only residents of that community and their guests can have access. University personnel, including the University Police/Security Guards and University administrative offices all work together to keep the fraternities and sororities safe and secure.