First-Year Students Arrive at UNH Tomorrow; Student Affairs Staff Step Up Visibility to Make Sure Move-In Goes Smoothly

By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau

August 30, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- Student affairs staff at the University of New Hampshire will be out in force this weekend, both during the day and through the evenings, to ensure that move-in activities for first-year and returning students go as smoothly as possible.

Two University of New Hampshire fraternities lost their national and chapter recognition over the summer and one, Lambda Chi Alpha, responded to the news by returning to Durham early this week and vandalizing the chapter house and property which is privately owned. Durham Police are investigating.

"The behavior of a few will reflect poorly on the whole, which is unfortunate because both fraternities and sororities have the ability to be a positive influence on our campus," says UNH President Ann Weaver Hart. She adds UNH has numerous first-year orientation and residential life activities planned when freshmen arrive tomorrow that will set a positive tone for the coming year.

"We make a real effort to introduce students to campus life in a responsible manner," according to Leila Moore, vice president for student affairs. "The real focus for us in these first few weeks is to make sure our students are becoming adjusted in a safe, responsible and fun way to college life."

Already, staff from both academic affairs and student affairs have spent this past week with new students. The new Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience in Service (PrOVES) has met with great success, according to organizers Marianne Fortescue, director of the Partnership for Social Action, and Judy Spiller, associate provost of academic support and director of first-year programs. In addition, there have been orientation activities for students of color and international students.

A welcome ceremony, class picture and freshman barbecue are just a few of the many events planned through the weekend. There also is a student theatre production, WildActs, which raises key issues about the transition to college. It has become one of the more popular events for freshmen in recent years.

Steve Pappajohn, UNH's Greek coordinator and student leaders from the fraternities condemned this week's vandalism and vowed to work with all Greek houses over the weekend and throughout the year to ensure that students behave responsibly. The first assignment will be to patrol the streets of Durham this weekend, assisting chapters with move-in and making sure first-year students are not part of any Greek gatherings. "The acts of vandalism that members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity committed are unacceptable and do not reflect the ideals of the Greek system at UNH," he said.

Sean Kay, UNH student body president and president of the fraternity council added, "Our system is committed to the promotion of leadership development, citizenship, service and lifelong friendship. We're looking forward to a fun and successful year."

According to Pappajohn, there now are eight recognized fraternities and five recognized sororities at UNH. In addition to Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon lost its charter over the summer. Because they were closed by their national headquarters, both chapters are no longer recognized by the university. Two other fraternities are experiencing difficulties -- Phi Kappa Theta was placed on suspension of recognition with UNH through December, 2002, and Sigma Nu is suspended through May, 2003.

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