Hanover College plans enhancements to Greek Life

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For nearly two centuries the Hanover College experience has included a robust Greek system and will continue to do so. During that time, tens of thousands of students have joined fraternities and sororities, becoming part of a larger community, and have benefited from being so meaningfully connected to others. Greek-affiliated students:

  • Typically have higher GPAs and are more likely to stay at Hanover.
  • Retain at higher levels than non-affiliated students due to strengthened social connections.
  • Have multiple opportunities to demonstrate leadership and service skills.
  • Develop deep friendships that last a lifetime based on their shared experiences.
  • Become highly engaged alumni and generous donors.

Hanover has been and will continue to be a strong supporter of the role of Greek life on our campus and the College will work to strengthen the Greek system to ensure its long-term sustainability and continued desirability to future generations. The plans follow a robust two-year process involving input from campus stakeholders and trustees, as well as significant bench-marking of similar institutions and their plans for Greek life.

Today, Greek life and Greek housing is changing on many campuses similar to Hanover to address the fact that students enrolling in college in the 21st century prefer more modern housing options that provide more independent living and privacy, and the College has developed a long-term housing plan that includes Greek housing as a key component to respond to the needs of today’s students.

“As society and student preferences change, Hanover College must respond in a progressive, responsible way that honors the past, while paving the way for the future,” said Hanover President Lake Lambert. “This new approach to Greek housing will accomplish both those important objectives. Greek-affiliated students will be able to enjoy the benefits of expanded dining options, Greek houses and modern facilities for senior members, while retaining the bonds that make Greek life so special.”

“Greek life is a vital and important component of the Hanover experience. Interest in Greek life by 18-22-year-old students has changed significantly over the past 40 years; we must acknowledge these changes and evolve to address the interests and needs of today’s students. Modernization of Greek life and housing at Hanover College are integral to sustainable growth of the Greek experience at Hanover” commented Lisa Fleming ’82, Hanover Trustee and long-term national Greek life volunteer. “As many campuses move toward changes in housing and interfraternal experiences, it is vital for Hanover to step up and adapt to ensure the strength of our Greek system for our third century. Greek life at Hanover began in the 1860s and implementing changes that best support students today will ensure that it is robust and successful for the next 100 years.”

Hanover is announcing several enhancements to its Greek-affiliated program that will make it more progressive, equitable and sustainable. The new model will:

  • Invest in new housing for senior Greek students and preserve the current positives of Greek life by offering additional housing options and provide housing with physical accommodations not presently available in any Greek houses.
  • Improve the quality, consistency and variety of dining for affiliated students while retaining in-house dining options as determined by each organization.
  • Expand dining options for all Hanover students by increasing the number of students on the main dining plan.
  • Increase support for Greek life students by ensuring Hanover employees are more engaged in managing Greek life.

Hanover will implement a phased transition to the new dining model to be completed by July 1, 2023. New housing options may likely come later as fundraising permits. The new plan calls for:

  • Improving dining service by having Hanover’s partner, Parkhurst Dining, assume food service for the six college-owned Greek houses through a combination of catered dinners, meal swipes and Panther Bucks.
  • Creating two Hanover staff positions to support College-owned Greek houses.
  • Designing new, apartment-style housing options for senior students.
  • Studying the current facility design with the goal to eliminate or reduce the use of the “rack room” for sleeping thereby reducing the capacity of each house.
  • Creating a “menu” of Greek dining options through Parkhurst that best meet the needs of the chapters.
  • Clarifying staff and student leadership roles.

“We know that change – even for the better – can be difficult, and we certainly respect those concerns,” said Lambert. “Hanover must lead the way to ensure Greek life remains a vibrant part of college life, and for that to happen, it must keep up with the times.”