Shukas, Wehage and Plew facilitate growth in FSL
It’s no secret that Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Oregon has grown tremendously over the past couple of years. Justin Shukas, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, has helped facilitate that growth. He and his assistant work hard in order to ensure that each chapter is given proper guidance and structure throughout the process.
Mallory Wehage, assistant director of FSL, has been in her position for about six weeks. Her position was added to ensure that chapters had better access to upper level communication.
“We split it up so we have the ability to meet more directly with chapters and spend more time and provide more support. Before that, it was just a one person office, so trying to advise 33 or 34 chapters with just one person is just not feasible,” Shukas said.
Morgan Plew, Panhellenic Council president, believes that their positions have been helpful to the community as a whole and has provided needed support for her position.
“I really go to them for things similar to what you would go to your academic advisor for. What should I do? What pathways should I take? Whatever I question, they are always there for me,” Plew said.
In addition to this, Interfraternity Council has used these positions to assist with large, important issues within the community.
“Justin Shukas was a huge aspect in designing new social policies that went into effect last year. Overall (the social policy) lowered our transportation rate of someone that is intoxicated and needed to be transported to the hospital by 50 percent, that was huge,” said Chase Salazar, president of the Interfraternity Council.
In addition to support for existing chapters and officers, Justin realizes that there is a want among the university for a larger Greek presence, and is working on making that presence known.
“I think that there is a desire here for Greek life to grow, and when I first got here that was one of the first things that I dealt with,” Shukas said.
With this in mind, the FSL community will welcome back the sororities Sigma Kappa in fall of 2015 and Delta Zeta in 2017.
Along with that, the community will also welcome back the fraternities Theta Chi, who is currently recolonizing, and Alpha Tau Omega, who will recolonize in the winter of this academic year.
With growth of the community, comes the need to hold these chapters to a high standard. Justin does this through a “strategic plan.” This plan includes reexamining standards that they have for all chapters, making sure the proper funding is allocated to better the needs of the community, making sure they support a diverse and inclusive FSL community and focusing on prevention efforts such as sexual assault prevention, alcohol and substance abuse prevention and hazing prevention.
“I think there’s a big value in Greek life when it’s done correctly, and that’s sometimes the challenge to make sure that we are holding all of our chapters to a high standard as well as our members and making sure that it continues to be an important piece that the university expects,” Shukas said.
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