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Student Life Feasibility Study

cu denver photo.jpg

Location: 

Denver, CO

Client:

University of Colorado Denver

Project Type:

Program Development and Evaluation, Policy Analysis and Research

Project Status:

Closed

The Project:

In response to numerous student inquiries, the University of Colorado Denver's Office of Student Life commissioned a feasibility study for a Greek Life community at CU Denver. The study addressed the following objectives:

  • Assess CU Denver students' attitudes towards Greek Life 

  • Conduct a literature review to examine the impacts of Greek Life institutions on academics, student retention, student engagement, and diversity and inclusion

  • Research similar universities' Greek Life policies

  • Assess housing opportunities on and around the campus

Our Role:

Lindsay designed and completed the 9-month feasibility study as the Graduate Assistant for Greek Life. She wrote and conducted campus-wide surveys, focus groups, and interviews of students; conducted a literature review of the effects of Greek Life on college campuses; and drafted a model Greek Life program and budget that was informed by best practices. 

The results of the study showed that

  • The majority of CU Denver students welcomed the idea of Greek Life on campus

  • CU Denver students (both for and against Greek Life) were concerned about Greek Life's exclusive history, cost, and image 

  • Greek institutions have historic and institutional biases towards people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, and other marginalized populations

  • Many fraternities exhibit issues with sexism and sexual assault 

  • Cultural or ethnically-based Greek organizations have a positive impact on students' academics, retention, and engagement, especially for students from historically marginalized groups or backgrounds 

  • Greek organizations have a positive impact on academics, student retention, and student engagement

Following the presentation of the feasibility study to the Office of the Provost, Lindsay was asked to author a Diversity and Inclusion Plan for Greek Life that would help ensure that CU Denver's Greek Life program will be equitable, inclusive, transparent, and affordable.

Outcomes:

Utilizing Lindsay's recommendations and the Diversity and Inclusion Plan, the university hired a Greek Life Coordinator to begin the process of instituting an intentionally-inclusive and multicultural Greek Life program on campus. Still in its beginning stages, the CU Denver's Sorority and Fraternity Life has the following mission: "By 2023, CU Denver Sorority and Fraternity Life will be one of the leading sorority and fraternity community models with a national reputation for excellence in leadership development, cultural sensitivity and inclusion, and community contribution."

Publications:

  • Diversity and Inclusion Plan for Greek Life (2016)

  • Greek Life Feasibility Study (2015)

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