Center forms to provide focus on leadership programs, Greek life
The space labeled 52 University Center Underground was previously occupied by the Commuters’ Services office, and occupied by the old University Copy Center before that. Today, it houses the Center for Leadership and Fraternity & Sorority Life.
CLFSL began working in its new space in August 2010, but to say it is a completely new organization is not exactly accurate.
CLFSL was once a division of Campus Activities, but when that department became the Center for Student Involvement, it was decided that leadership programs and Greek life were in need of their own office.
“It became really clear that our fraternity and sorority life here at the University of Houston would benefit from even more support and attention,” CSI Director Marcella Leung said. “Leadership fell into that same category.”
As a result of the split, CLFSL took responsibility for leadership programs, service programs and the fraternity and sororities. The Metropolitan Volunteer Program and Forensics Society also fell under the CLFSL umbrella.
The goals of CLFSL are to provide an integrated leadership experience that includes educational programs aimed specifically at student leaders, and to also develop opportunities for student leadership through fraternity and sorority involvement.
“We identified that our fraternity and sorority programs are growing a lot; it made sense to pull them out into their own office,” CLFSL Associate Director Jason Bergeron said.
The center has taken this opportunity to provide more support and a better focus on the fraternities, sororities and leadership programs.
“The office was really established to grow those [leadership] programs, so a lot of that is currently in development,” Bergeron said. “Some folks around the University are helping us roll out some programs within the next few years,”
While CLFSL tackles its new mission, the Center for Student Involvement will continue to supervise the major student organizations — a list of over 400 registered student organizations. It will also maintain and supervise Frontier Fiesta and the Student Programming Board.
The major change for CSI was the larger focus on UH’s registered student organizations.
“They have a lot of needs in terms of getting resources from the University, such as access to office space, event registration and services,” Leung said. “[It] gives us more opportunity to support student success and help the university reach its Tier One objective.”
The change is not only in the new names for the two separate centers, but also, as Bergeron describes, the additional opportunities that are being provided to the larger community.
“When we think long term, [the office] is really a central space for development of leaders who are really going to impact this community, impact their organizations, impact this city, impact the state and impact this world,” Bergeron said.