Page 1

FA LL 2 0 11

A PUBLICATION FOR MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FRATERNITY/SORORITY ADVISORS.

in this issue: AFA 2005-2011: Toward a Unified Movement | Research in Brief | Shifting Winds | UniLOA: Let’s All Take a Deep Breath | Fraternity/Sorority Participation Positions Student for Success | What is Your Green Dot?


Perspectives is the official publication of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, Inc. (AFA). Views expressed are those of the individual authors/ contributors/advertisers, and are not necessarily those of the Association. AFA encourages the submission of articles, essays, ideas, and advertisements. All Perspectives correspondence and submissions should be submitted to:

Allison St. Germain 2011 Editor Director of Educational Technologies Delta Zeta Sorority 14 Elgin Avenue Bethel, CT 06801 asg@dzshq.com Phone: 513.523.7597 Direct: 203.798.8777 Fax: 513.523.1921

Perspectives is published four times per year. Submission deadlines: Winter 2012 November 1, 2011 Spring 2012 February 1, 2012 Summer 2012 May 1, 2012 Fall 2012 August 1, 2012 Send address corrections to AFA: Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032 317.876.1632 Fax 317.876.3981 info@afa1976.org

2011 Editorial

Board Jason Bergeron, University of Houston Amanda Bureau, Zeta Tau Alpha Erin Huffman, Delta Gamma Christopher Kontalonis, Kappa Sigma Heather Matthews Kirk, Zeta Tau Alpha Sarah McCracken, Delta Zeta Jessica Pettitt, Kirkland Productions Lindsay Sell, Colorado State University Nathan Thomas, Bradley University Teniell Trolian, University of Iowa Rob Turning, Johns Hopkins University

2

Perspectives / Fall 2011

Monica L. Miranda Smalls It is two days away as I write this, so I cannot help but reflect on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The hurt, the pain, and the sadness of that morning and the days that followed easily rush back to me, as I know they do for many. I am an NYC girl, born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, with many trips to the World Trade Center, especially when my mom worked there during my childhood years. The sight of those Twin Towers, when I was about 9, was awe-inspiring. I used to love going to work with my mom in the summers just to see those huge buildings and ride the elevator. On that day, not only were those towers taken away, but our lives were changed forever. Some of that change was good; some, not so much. I remember the incredible hope, kindness, and pride in America that was expressed through that fi rst year. I also remember the lives that were lost. It was a transformational moment. This experience made many of us, including me, realize what is important. All too often we spend time fussing over the little things, complaining about the small stuff, or fighting over Greek Week themes. I just didn’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I wanted to think big, to dare, to go after the vision I wished to create. It is at this place—thinking big, daring, and going after the vision we seek to create— where the AFA Executive Board currently fi nds itself. We have been focused on the big things to come for the Association this year and beyond. This type of change, however, doesn’t come easy. While I do not remotely compare the type of change that happened after 9/11 to the change that is happening in our association, as they are very different, I do believe change brings with it similar sentiments of discomfort, transition, hope, and inspiration. I also believe that it is when we can be comfortable in the uncomfortable that change can truly be powerful and transformational.

“I also believe that it is when we can be comfortable in the uncomfortable that change can truly be powerful and transformational.”

While our association may fi nd itself in a transitional period, let me assure you that the behind-the-scenes work being done to propel us forward is significant. While space does not permit me to share each and every detail, what is most important is to recognize the almost 200 volunteers who are working diligently to support the future of our association. Transformational change requires much hard work, so I thank all those who are continuing to fight the good fight and lending your time and talent to create the future of AFA. I ask you, the members, to be comfortable with the uncomfortable as we as we set the foundation for the Association’s future and push our membership to think differently, dream big, and be daring. Here’s to a great academic year filled with endless possibilities!


Allison St. Germain Some days it seems like nothing can go right. One thing happens—maybe a negative phone call first thing in the morning that affects your attitude—and pretty soon it’s a snowball effect and everything seems to be going wrong. Life happens that way. Things are interconnected. They can also be connected in a positive way. Remember how amazing it feels to have an honest conversation with a student leader about a particular issue? You leave meetings like that feeling on top of the world and energized. In your role as a fraternity/sorority professional, you have probably seen the interconnectedness of our profession. Fraternity/sorority advising does not exist in a vacuum. Changes in higher education and trends on campus and with college-aged students affect the work that we do every day, and we must be aware of them. When AFA members saw the theme for this fall’s issue, some asked me: “What do you mean about policy and trends in higher education?” It seems like such a broad topic. The Editorial Board wanted to bring a variety of topics and issues facing both fraternity/sorority life and higher education in general to the surface. It was tougher than we thought. Perhaps we’ve become such specialists in our professional roles that we forget we need to be aware of trends affecting those students and communities we work with. Or maybe there are so many ways that the world affects the work we do that it was hard to pick a place to start. In this issue you will see a variety of topics that touch the work that you do on your campus or in your organization. Do you have additional thoughts on how current trends are affecting the fraternal world? We still want to hear them and encourage you to continue the dialogue on Twitter using the hashtag #Perspectives. I encourage every AFA member to share ideas and thoughts about what you would like to see included in your publication. Perhaps you have an idea or read something interesting that sparked your curiosity. Reach out to an Editorial Board member and share your ideas so we can continue generating great articles to share in Perspectives. And we hope this magazine will become a positive snowball that jumpstarts you in your role in the fraternal movement.

in this

“I encourage every AFA member to share ideas and thoughts about what you would like to see included in your publication. ... Reach out to an Editorial Board member and share your ideas so we can continue generating great articles to share in Perspectives.”

issue

4

AFA 2005-2011: Toward a Unified Movement

10

Research in Brief – Trends in Higher Education

regular columns

15

Shifting Winds: The College Upheaval and How Greek-Letter Organizations Can Capitalize

From the Top........................... 2

17

UniLOA: Let’s All Take a Deep Breath...

20

Fraternity/Sorority Participation Positions Student for Success

22

What is Your Green Dot?

Editor’s Notes .......................... 3 From Where I Sit.....................13

Fall 2011 / Perspectives

3


AFA 2005-2011:

TOWARD A UNIFIED MOVEMENT By Dr. Dan Bureau Efforts to organize fraternity/sorority professionals through an association began in 1972, and the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) was “born” in 1976 (Guernsey Riordan, 2003; Kraft Fussell, 2002; Lilly, 1974). Previous articles in Perspectives have explained AFA’s growth in stages: The Formative Years (1972-1981), Years of Progress (1982-1990), The Strategic Planning and Decision Making Years (1991-2001), and The Evaluative Years (2001-2005) (Bureau, 2006a; 2006b; 2006c; 2006d). These stages reflect a demonstration of emerging priorities for AFA while maintaining the organization’s founding objectives. In 2005, AFA leadership launched a new strategic plan for the next five years. The Association’s mission became, “AFA enhances its members’ ability to create fraternity and sorority experiences that positively affect students, host institutions, and communities.” The Association’s adopted vision was “A unified fraternal movement and an increased recognition of the value of the fraternity and sorority experience” (AFA, 2005).

CONVENER AND COLLABORATOR By late 2005, AFA had become a strong convener and collaborator within the fraternal movement. The Call for Values Congruence and the emergence of trade association and umbrella group standards in between 2003 and 2005 were influencing the members of AFA, and progress needed to be made on addressing some of the movement’s biggest problems. AFA leadership rationed that it could be the apolitical body that brings together key players in the fraternal movement. Through the past five years, AFA had opportunities to gather the diverse interests of the movement to speak with one voice. It also had the chance to be an integral partner in collaborative initiatives. The Coalition Assessment Project is likely the most visible effort in which AFA has been actively engaged as a collaborator. In 2007, AFA entered into an agreement with North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC), and National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) to form the Fraternity & Sorority Coalition Assessment Project, a selforganized, self-sustaining entity that oversees the implementation of a fraternity/sorority community assessment—an initiative emanating from the Call for Values Congruence (AFA Executive Board, 2009). The Coalition consisted of representatives from AFA and umbrella groups who visited campuses to evaluate the overall state of the fraternity/sorority community. Kyle Pendleton, 2007 AFA President, stated: It is an opportunity for your campus to delve deep in the current state of your community with the intent of taking your fraternity/sorority life program to the next level…TOGETHER! This initiative is an

4

Perspectives / Fall 2011

investment of all stakeholders—AFA, NIC, NPHC, NALFO, and NPC collectively coming together for the future of our movement! (Pendleton, 2008) It is evident that the overall effort to collaborate among umbrella groups and AFA demonstrates a significant shift in how the fraternal movement has been managed. There is a sense of “we’re in this together,” particularly since the Coalition Assessment Project was in part launched to respond to the Call for Values Congruence and demands from college presidents to improve the fraternal movement (AFA, 2007). Many new and existing partnerships were strengthened during the last five years. AFA joined the Council for Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA) in 2009 with the goal of building stronger relationships with peer associations in higher education and learning about how other professional associations achieve success in their operations and member services. Within CHEMA, AFA also is a member of the Student Affairs and Higher Education Consortium (SAHEC), a subgroup of associations focused on the various functional areas of student affairs (AFA Executive Board, 2009). AFA continues its now 30-year relationship with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), developing new Standards for Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs to be unveiled in 2012. AFA continues to be actively engaged in partnerships with the Coalition of Higher Education Associations for Substance Abuse Prevention (formerly Inter-Association Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs) and HazingPrevention.Org (HPO). HPO and AFA coordinated two years of National Hazing Prevention Week webinars. AFA also partnered with HPO to host the National Hazing Symposium in Denver, Colorado, in 2008. Finally, a formalized partnership with the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity (CSCF) was developed in 2011 so that AFA members can also be members of CSCF for a $15 fee. Such collaborations are intended to foster a greater sense of dependence on research to inform the work of fraternity/sorority professionals (AFA, 2006; 2007; 2009a; 2009b; 2010b). Other key partnerships were with the Fraternity Executives Association to provide educational sessions at the AFA Annual Meeting. This presented an opportunity for AFA, which held its first Annual Meeting without the NIC in 2006, to “ensure the provision of educational programs tailored to the needs of inter/national organization professionals and volunteers at the 2006 Annual Meeting” (AFA Executive Board, 2009). Emerging relationships with the National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) continue to provide AFA with opportunities to support the growing diversity of the fraternal movement. AFA continues to nurture partnerships with NALFO, NPC, NPHC, and NIC.


Partnerships were tested as a result of some AFA decisions over the last five years. In 2009, through the Interfraternal Umbrella Organizations’ Position Statements on Hazing (AFA, 2009b), there was an effort to disassociate with organizations that “continue to have hazing practices as an approved part of their new member/intake programs” and AFA leadership declared that these types of situations are “unacceptable” (AFA Executive Board, 2009). The resolution was brought before the membership and discussed at the 2009 Business Meeting of the Association. The resolution was highly controversial due to the language of “severing ties” with umbrella groups that do not have a public statement of their policy prohibiting the practice of hazing and an enforcement mechanism for member organizations (Karnes, 2010b). The result of the discussion on the resolution was to table the proposal, form a task force to review the resolution, revise if needed, and represent the revised resolution to the membership. The task force was appointed by the Executive Board and represented a wide range of constituents among the AFA membership. The work of the task force resulted in a revised resolution that was submitted and passed by the membership in fall 2010. The tension and dialogue created by the original resolution continues within the Association today in both positive and negative sentiments by the membership. AFA positioned itself as both a convener and a collaborator to fulfill its mission and reach toward the vision of a “unified” fraternal movement. The past five years presented both opportunity and challenge to meeting the Association’s goals. However, some of the challenges for AFA in this strategic area were also problems in another, that of inclusiveness and community.

INCLUSIVENESS AND COMMUNITY As 2006 began, the Association’s commitment to inclusion continued to be strong. Concurrently, the fraternal movement was becoming more organizationally diverse: the number of organizations with specific cultural affinities was growing. Between 2006-2010, AFA developed partnerships with National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA) and National Multicultural Greek Council, Incorporated (NMGC). The 2010 Association name change from Association of Fraternity Advisors to Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors also aimed to be more inclusive to the association's membership. Additionally, it was evident that issues of inclusiveness and community were coming to the forefront of fraternal movement priorities. Topics such as racial and ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disabilities, religious pluralism, and socioeconomics were addressed through AFA resources and publications (Bradley & Hunter, 2008; Martin & Johnson, 2008; 2009; Pettitt, 2008). These efforts were aligned with the 2005-2010 Strategic Plan, with inclusiveness and community as a strategic initiative (AFA, 2006). A significant challenge to members’ views of AFA as an inclusive and collaborative organization emerged as the Association was faced with a decision about maintaining the 2010 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona SB 1070 was introduced in early 2010 to address undocumented immigrants. The legislation would permit for the arrest of persons who could not provide documents as to their legal residency in the United States (Fairchild, 2010). The Association had a contract, established three years prior, to host its 2010 Annual Meeting that December in Phoenix. Via the

AFA Online Community and directly to Association leadership, many members expressed concern about how law officers could conduct racial profiling. Additionally, some members felt attending a conference in a state that would propose such laws would compromise their principles. Issues such as the Association getting involved in political matters, the financial fallout for the Association by changing the date and location, and the support of the Association’s minority members were voiced for consideration. Several culturally based fraternities and sororities developed statements informing the Association they would not attend the Annual Meeting if the location was not changed. An additional consideration was that the Association would have the opportunity to install the first racial minority as president: Monica Miranda Smalls. AFA leadership engaged in numerous conversations about what was in the best interest of the Association’s long-term stability and interfraternal relationships. President Kelly Jo Karnes led her Executive Board in a careful consideration of the implications of changing the Annual Meeting location at such a late date. Deciding to keep the Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Karnes (2010b) wrote: The Board decided it is in the best interest of the organization to focus on its core mission and not to engage in state/local legislative and political issues. Additionally, the Board considered its fiduciary responsibility, and moving the conference would have resulted in a six-figure penalty payment to the contracted hotel. AFA board members and staff appreciate and value the input received from many AFA members—several of whom asked AFA to consider moving the meeting out of Phoenix, after the passage of Arizona SB1070/HB2162. Attendance at the Annual Meeting was slightly down from the previous year. For those who wanted to have the education of the Annual Meeting but not travel to Arizona, the Association launched the “Annual Meeting LINK” program, which allowed members to view general session keynotes online and receive a DVD of eight individual programs (one for each of the Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession). In her Business Meeting comments, outgoing President Karnes eloquently explained the situation: We fully recognize that by making the decision to stay in Arizona, valued members and interfraternal partners would also have to make a tough decision whether or not to attend. I received over 80 personal emails and phone calls about our decision, and I responded to each member’s concerns to the best of my ability. I always shared with them that, ultimately, each person needed to make the best decision for him or her and that we would respect that decision. We are missing some important voices at this meeting, and I hope that we each have a chance to connect with these individuals following the Annual Meeting to share our new knowledge and ideas gained as a result of our time here. I hope they know and understand that their presence was missed. (Karnes, 2011, p. 2)

Fall 2011 / Perspectives

5


The long-term effects of the decision to stay in Arizona are yet to be determined. As Karnes (2011) stated, AFA leadership expressed a desire to be collaborative and inclusive.

GOVERNANCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE Since its inception through 2005, AFA had only permitted fulltime campus-based professionals to serve in elected positions on its Executive Board. Headquarters staff, graduate students, volunteers, and Associate members (defined broadly as companies/individuals who offer a service or product of interest to AFA members providing services and products to the fraternal community) could not serve in elected positions and some could not vote. The question of whether AFA could serve both higher education and the fraternal movement was a controversial one. Also, it was becoming evident to the Association leadership that those working at headquarters were becoming more aligned with the fundamental principles of higher education. It was a question that seemed strange given the nature of the Association, but it was a paradigm shift for members to think of the two objects as less divergent and more complementary. The Association’s 2006 President Ron Binder commented that: “the new Strategic Plan also called for AFA to be more inclusive of all those that advise fraternities and sororities, not just those professionals on the campus” (R. Binder, personal communication, June 1, 2011). Legislation overwhelmingly passed in the spring 2005, permitting non-campus professionals to vote and serve in certain elected roles (AFA, 2006). In 2008, Beth Conder from Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity was the first person from a headquarters staff to serve on the AFA Executive Board. Additional legislation in 2009 permitted graduate students to serve in elected and appointed positions and be eligible for certain awards. It was a significant change to the infrastructure of AFA and has

6

Perspectives / Fall 2011

changed the previously held view that the Association was useful only for a part of the fraternal movement. Now, AFA can be seen as an organization that brings together all who care about fraternities and sororities. AFA has benefitted greatly from increasing the rights and privileges of members: basic association management literature says that members stay when they perceive value from their experience (Allison & Kaye, 1997). AFA’s membership growth has coincided with increased rights of for all members. Since 2006, AFA has maintained an attendance of between 950 and 1,100 participants at its Annual Meeting, grown membership from 1,501 (2006-2007) to 1,728 (2008-2009), and increased its financial reserves from $348,000 to $561,000, ensuring the long-term financial viability of the Association (AFA, 2006; 2007, 2008, 2009a; 2009b; 2010b; Whittier, 2009).

INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING A product of increased collaboration has been the number of resources that AFA developed to serve its diversifying membership and realize the strategic objective of Information, Knowledge and Learning. The Consultant GPS: Guidance/Partnerships/Support debuted in July 2008. The program helped over 200 fraternity and sorority consultants prepare to build effective partnerships with campus-based fraternity/sorority professionals in their support of chapters across the country (AFA, 2009a). Working with all five umbrella groups, AFA produced new resources to work with governing councils and provide AFA members “the information needed to effectively work with the campus-based governing councils as well as the member organizations of these umbrella groups” (AFA, 2009a, p.2). There have been other resources developed to help AFA members serve their students when addressing difficult issues in their


chapters. A partnership with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights promoted the national Campaign to End Campus AntiSemitism; a generous grant from Zeta Tau Alpha helped campusbased professionals learn more about mental health; and AFA’s involvement in Lambda 10 Project’s Out & Greek initiative were just some of the educational resources provided to help AFA members know how to do their jobs and continue their education as student development professionals (AFA Executive Board, 2009). Many of the programs and services of the Association have focused on members’ personal and professional development: • launching the First 90 Days program for new professionals; • expanding the virtual seminar series, now known as Advance U: Thinking Differently. Working Differently; • developing numerous resource guides including those focusing on media readiness and working with campus fraternity/ sorority community governing councils; • developing resources to help in the assessment of student learning outcomes;

student affairs officers at over 600 institutions (AFA, 2008). The initiative helped to convey the evolving role of the fraternity/ sorority campus professional to those who make decisions in senior leadership roles. The Association attended to the advocacy and influence further by partnerships created with CHEMA, involvement in the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) initiative, and participation in the NASPA Placement Exchange. This area of the Association’s 2005-2010 Strategic Plan may be the most cumulative of the focus areas: ultimately, when AFA is seen as being collaborative and inclusive, managed well, and offering exceptional resources, it will be best positioned to advocate for the work of fraternities and sororities and align itself with higher education. Realizing this potential, the 2010 AFA Executive Board embarked on a strategic planning process that brought forth an ambitious vision of being well aligned with the overall goals of higher education. The efforts enacted as a result of the 2005-2010 Strategic Plan resulted in AFA’s ability to bring forth a 2011-2013 plan strongly infused with attention to advocacy and influence:

• strengthening Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and securing the journal’s indexing in the ERIC Database;

AFA Mission AFA enhances its members’ abilities to foster impactful fraternity/ sorority experiences.

• providing research mentors; revising the Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession;

AFA Vision AFA is the catalytic force in aligning the fraternity/sorority experience with the changing dynamics and enduring principles of higher education.

• appointing a Volunteer Coordinator who expanded the evolving volunteer management plan (which in 2011 provided guidance for almost 200 Association volunteers); • creating a Facebook page as well as LinkedIn and Twitter accounts; • strengthening the Association’s connection with the AFA Foundation; • coordinating Annual Meetings in New Orleans, Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, and Phoenix. An additional benefit was the creation of the Professionals Institute, which met members where they are rather than requiring that everyone come to the Annual Meeting. This program happens in cooperation with SEIFC, AFLV – Central, AFLV – West, and in 2012 will be at SEPC and NGLA. The Professionals Institute also was part of the response to the call for cultural competence and then the 2011 topic was Conduct Boards in direct relation to the new resources on Student Conduct in partnership with Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA).

ADVOCACY AND INFLUENCE In March 2007, AFA and the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity (CSCF) launched the inaugural AFA/CSCF Fraternity/ Sorority Advising Profession and Community Status Survey to help accomplish the 2005-2010 strategic objectives of Advocacy and Influence. All college and university campuses with a fraternity/ sorority community received the survey, and a 28% response rate yielded data about the state of the profession. An executive summary of the survey results was produced and primarily focused on staffing and funding for the fraternity/ sorority advising department/office which was sent to senior

The area of advocacy and influence, a strategic priority from 20052010, is still strongly woven throughout the Association’s current strategic plan: the movement can best advocate for the work of professionals when the students they serve enact a fraternity/ sorority experience that is relevant and contributes to higher education’s goals. In 2010-2011, AFA saw the departure of four professional staff members. The challenges that come with such departures at a time when the Association has declared a vision to move forward and help align the objectives of fraternities and sororities with those widely held in higher education has been a challenge. In the immediate future there will be decisions made about the Association’s future staffing model, and the current leadership is examining the opportunities carefully.

CONCLUSION AFA is a relatively young organization in the fraternal movement and student affairs, yet it has had a rich history of contributions to its members and higher education. In the last five years, the Association has seized opportunities to convene and collaborate with stakeholders, become a more inclusive organization grounded in a sense of professional and personal community, examine new approaches to governance, develop resources to support members’ learning and development, and continue the task of advocating for the fraternity/sorority profession. In 2011, AFA has set its sights on aligning the fraternity/sorority experience with the fundamental principles of higher education, which ultimately can allow the Association leaders and all invested in the fraternal movement to truly advocate for a value-added positive undergraduate fraternal experience. Fall 2011 / Perspectives

7


– Dr. Dan Bureau is the Director of Student Affairs Learning and Assessment at the University of Memphis. He worked for the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity while completing his doctorate in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program at Indiana University.

Bureau, D. (2006c, Summer). AFA: The first 30 years (Part 3). Perspectives, 8-9.

REFERENCES

Fairchild, R.C. (2010, April 23). Arizona enacts stringent law on immigration. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/ us/politics/24immig.html

Allison, M., & Kaye, J. (1997). Strategic planning for nonprofit organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Eberly, C., & Wallace, J. (2006). Form and function in the college fraternity. Perspectives, 12-14.

Anson, J. L., & Marchesani, R. F. (Eds.). (1991). Baird’s manual of American college fraternities (20th Ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird’s Manual Foundation.

Guernsey Riordan, B. (2003). The role of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In Gregory, D.E. (Ed.), The administration of fraternal organizations on North American campuses (pp. 179-195). Asheville, NC: College Administration Publications Inc.

Association of Fraternity Advisors. (2005). Year in review: July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/ uploads/PublicDocuments/Year_in_Review_FY2005.pdf

Jones Hall, J. (2002). The role of the fraternity/sorority professional. In Association of Fraternity Advisors (Eds.), Advising fraternities and sororities (Chapter 8). Indianapolis, IN: AFA.

Association of Fraternity Advisors. (2006). Year in review: July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/ Uploads/PublicDocuments/Year_in_Review_FY2006.pdf

Karnes, K.J. (2010a, February). A minute with the board. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/Association_Update/201002/ Board.aspx

Association of Fraternity Advisors. (2007). Year in review: July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/ Uploads/PublicDocuments/Year_in_Review_FY2007.pdf

Karnes, K.J. (2010b, May). Message from the AFA president regarding 2010 annual meeting and Arizona SB 1070. Retrieved from http:// www.fraternityadvisors.org/Association_Update/201005.aspx

Association of Fraternity Advisors. (2008). Year in review: July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/ Uploads/PublicDocuments/Year_in_Review_FY2008.pdf

Kraft Fussell, S. (2002). The Association of Fraternity Advisors, Inc. In Association of Fraternity Advisors (Eds.), Advising fraternities and sororities (Chapter 7). Indianapolis, IN: AFA.

Association of Fraternity Advisors. (2009a). Year in review: July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/ Uploads/PublicDocuments/Year_in_Review_FY2009.pdf Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. (2009b). Resolution on interfraternal umbrella organizations’ policies and position statements on hazing. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors. org/Resolutions/Partner_Hazing_Stmts.aspx Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. (2010a). AFA commitment to diversity and inclusion. Retrieved from http://www.fraternityadvisors. org/Business/Diversity_Inclusion.aspx Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. (2010b). Year in review: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www. fraternityadvisors.org/Uploads/PublicDocuments/Year_in_Review_ FY2010.pdf Association of Fraternity Advisors Executive Board. (AFA, 2006). Business meeting reports. Retrieved from http://cl.exct.net/?ffcb10fe3415707462007c7d1773-fde510727d6201757c12717cff2816787262-fe9b15737565027b76-fe0516707560007a74147774 Association of Fraternity Advisors Executive Board. (2008). Business meeting reports. Retrieved from http://e2ma.net/ go/1518572485/1387353/50974622/goto:http://files.e2ma.net/17512/ assets/docs/2008_exec_brd_eoy_compiled.pdfAssociation of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Executive Board. (2009a). Summary of accomplishments 2005-2010. Retrieved from http://www. fraternityadvisors.org/viewfile.aspx?file=2009Strategic_Framework_ Highlights.pdf Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Executive Board. (2009). 2009 AFA Executive Board year-end report. Retrieved from http://www. fraternityadvisors.org/viewfile.aspx?file=2009EOY_Report.pdf Bradley, D., & Hunter, V. (2008, Fall). To cultural competence and confidence: One step at a time. Perspectives, 18-19. Bureau, D. (2006a, Winter). AFA: The first 30 years (Part 1). Perspectives. 7-10. Bureau, D. (2006b, Spring). AFA: The first 30 years (Part 2). AFA Perspectives. 10-11. 8

Bureau, D. (2006d, Fall). AFA: The first 30 years (Part 4). Perspectives, 5-9.

Perspectives / Fall 2011

Lilly, J. (Ed.). (1974, December). Fraternity Newsletter, 2(3). Lilly, J. (Ed.). (1976, December). Fraternity Newsletter, 4(4). Lilly, J. (Ed.). (June, 1977). Fraternity Newsletter, 4(10). Kansas State University. Copied with permission from files at the Association of Fraternity Advisors Central Office in Carmel, Indiana during October of 2003. Miranda Smalls, M. (2002). The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, Inc. In Association of Fraternity Advisors (Eds.), Advising fraternities and sororities (Chapter 6). Indianapolis, IN: AFA. Miranda Smalls, M. (2011, July 15). Important message from the president: Staffing update and long-term strategy. Email delivered to AFA members. Martin, G., & Johnson, M. (2008, Spring). The intersection of responsibility and freedom: Anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses and your role as an educator. Perspectives, 10-11. Martin, G. & Johnson, M. (2009, Summer). Using religious and spiritual differences as a catalyst for change. Perspectives, 4-6. NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. (2011). About us. Retrieved from http://www.naspa.org/about/default.cfm Pendleton, K. (2008). Annual presidential remarks. Perspectives. 2-4. Pettitt, J. (2008, Spring). Social justice: When diversity isn’t enough. Perspectives, 12-13. Rudolph, F. (1990). The American college and university: A history. (2nd Ed.). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. Smithhisler, P. (2002). The North-American Interfraternity Conference. In Association of Fraternity Advisors (Eds.), Advising fraternities and sororities (Chapter 4). Indianapolis, IN: AFA. Whittier, C. (2009, Spring). From the top. Perspectives, 2.


IW

interactive workshops

min minus nus

What they are saying about Intake Equation: The Intake Equation is another dependable program that I’ve come to rely on from the folks at CAMPUSPEAK. The facilitators were effective because they were knowledgeable about the content, skilled presenters and funny. They get the point across in a way that our students can relate to and in a way that compliments what they hear from our Greek Life staff on a daily basis. Amy Vojta Assistant Dean Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Rutgers University

This program ignites reflection within organizations and encouragement to unify and build and expand in positive ways. Student University of Wisconsin, Madison

A real and hard-hitting approach to the most critical issues affecting African-American, Latino/a, Asian-American and other multicultural Greeks Through interactive discussion and activities, students will develop actionable ideas to help them build and maintain a legacy of success. Best of all, they will learn how to shape their memberships in a manner consistent with the mission and values of their organizations. Whether your campus has a fledgling multicultural Greek community or one steeped in decades of tradition, The Intake Equation meets your students where they are. Because this workshop is facilitated by members of NAPA, MGC, NPHC and NALFO groups, students will appreciate the participation of brothers and sisters who share the values and concerns about the future of culturally oriented fraternities and sororities. Issues Addressed • Hazing • Intake • Values Clarification • Risk Management • Community Building • Communication

Many organizations are formed and operated without having workshops like these. This would help to create leaders and benefit many organizations. Student University of Arkansas, Little Rock

For more information, contact us at (303) 745-5545 or e--mail us at workshops@campuspeak.com.

www.campuspeak.com


RESEARCH IN BRIEF By Teniell L. Trolian and Nathan P. Thomas In cooperation with this edition’s theme on issues in higher education, the Perspectives Editorial Board has compiled a summary of current research. Citations are included to encourage additional reading and review of the literature on this important topic.

Hurley, D. J., McBain, L., Harnisch, T., & Russell, A. (2010, January). Top 10 higher education state policy issues for 2010. A Higher Education Policy Brief: American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 1, 1-6. Daniel Hurley et al. in the Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2010 identified issues important to the “public higher education policy landscape” (p. 1). These key 10 issues address changing expectations for higher education, a challenging economic climate, and issues related to our ever changing student population. In their report, the authors identify critical policy issues facing higher education, which include: • States’ Fiscal Crises: State governments continue to face growing debts and insufficient funding sources to provide for state-funded programs. Many states have made significant cuts to colleges and universities, forcing higher education leaders to make tough decisions about funding priorities and student tuition increases. • President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative: President Obama called for America to again lead the world in the number of college graduates and for all American adults to complete at least one year of post-secondary education. While much attention has been focused on community college enrollment, four-year colleges and universities are still being called to increase enrollments and graduation rates by the goal year of 2020. • Tuition Policy and Prices: With significant state funding cuts for higher education, many colleges and universities have chosen to increase their tuition rates for students to make up the difference. These increases may make state institutions unaffordable for students and families, and could create attrition issues for returning students. • Enrollment Capacity: A recent surge in college enrollment (comprised partly of unemployed and underemployed workers and partly of a large population of recent high school graduates) has created headcount issues in classrooms and limited resources. Capacity issues may continue to surface as states roll out sweeping budget cuts for higher education, making resources even more sparse and student needs more plentiful.

10

Perspectives / Fall 2011

• State Student Aid Programs: “The proportion of state aid for students with financial need continues to erode from 90 percent in 1992-93 to 72 percent in 2007-2008” (p. 3). With continued increases in tuition for students, shrinking student aid programs may make college unaffordable for many students and families. • Veterans’ Education: The Post-9/11 GI Bill entered “its first full year of implementation in 2010” (p. 5). An influx of veteran students into higher education raises questions about enrollment capacity and appropriate services to help meet their needs. These and other key issues will require much attention and debate in the coming months and years, and have the potential to have a significant impact on the future of higher education, on student affairs professionals, and on fraternity/sorority organizations.

Russell, A. (2011, March). State policies regarding undocumented college students: A narrative of unresolved issues, ongoing debate, and missed opportunities. A Higher Education Policy Brief: American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2, 1-10. Alene Russell (2011), in A Higher Education Policy Brief from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, provides an overview of state policies affecting undocumented students in the United States. The overview examines federal and state enacted and pending legislation, along with decided and pending court cases involving the education of undocumented college students. Within the United States there are about 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants—making up 3.7% of the population, 5.2% of the labor force, and 65,000 undocumented high school graduates. Only about 5-10% go to college and most attend community colleges. Over the past several years, in many different forms, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has not been passed by Congress. Most forms of this legislation have involved providing legal residency status for undocumented students and the ability for these students to garner federal work study monies and loans. Undocumented students are provided K-12 education through the 1982 Supreme Court ruling in Pyler v. Doe. With no federal legislation, this issue has been left up to the states to decide, with some guidance provided in the federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. State legislation discussions have revolved around three main topics: “In-state tuition for undocumented students; ability of undocumented students to enroll in college; eligibility for financial aid” (Russell, 2011, p. 3). As of March 2011, 10 states (CA, IL, KS, NE, NM, NY, TX, UT, WA, WI) have passed legislation granting undocumented students in-state tuition; these states are home to approximately half of the nation’s undocumented immigrants. Several of these states have


proposed legislation, or defeated legislation, to repeal the ability to receive in-state tuition benefits for undocumented students and only one has been successful (Oklahoma). Many states continue to debate whether undocumented students can enroll in two- and four-year state institutions, while fewer states are considering legislation making undocumented students eligible for financial aid; currently only Texas and New Mexico offer such benefits. The courts, at all levels and in several states, have upheld the ability for states to make the decision and to enact legislation to provide instate tuition for undocumented students (Russell, 2011).

Titus, M. A. (2009, July-August). The production of bachelor’s degrees and financial aspects of state higher education policy: A dynamic analysis. The Journal of Higher Education, 4(80), 439-460. Marvin A. Titus (2009), in The Journal of Higher Education, looks at the impact of state funding of higher education and its impact on the number of students pursuing and receiving bachelor’s degrees, and provides a comparison to higher education funding against other state-funded programs, such as welfare. Utilizing his quantitative study, several federal policy and program studies, and U.S. census and labor statistics from 1992-2004 involving 49 states with public and private institutions, Titus formulates the research question: “How do selected financial aspects of state higher education policy influence the production of bachelor’s degrees within a state?” (p. 446). This article uses theoretical approaches from the higher education production function, principal agent model, human capital theory, and several economic theories and approaches to frame the impact levels and quantitative variables of federal studies and statistics (Titus, 2009). The research offers several statistically significant conclusions and finds that funding state higher education is “complexly interrelated” (p. 457) with other funding priorities and external factors of the state (Titus, 2009). Notable conclusions are: • Tuition increases at four-year colleges typically follow state cuts in higher education. • State funds for public welfare and higher education are often direct competitors with one another. • States that currently have low numbers of bachelor’s degrees awarded are increasing the number of degrees awarded at a faster pace than other states.

• The overall number of bachelor degrees awarded is positively related to the amount of funding the state provides to higher education. • The amount of nonneed financial aid awarded is not statistically significant to the number of bachelor degrees awarded in the state.

Wilson Brenneman, M., Callan, P. M., Ewell, P. T., Finney, J. E., Jones, D. P., & Zis, S. (2010). Good policy, good practice II: Improving outcomes and productivity in higher education: A guide for policymakers. Retrieved from National Center for Higher Education Management Systems website: http://www.nchems.org/pubs/detail.php?id=135 Wilson Brenneman et al. (2010) offer a second installment of their report Good Policy, Good Practice, which draws on several research studies conducted by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. In their report, they take a two-part approach to addressing good practice—strategies for higher education administrators and strategies for state and federal policymakers. In Part I of Good Policy, Good Practice the authors identify data-driven strategies, programs, and practices that may enhance productivity and efficiencies in the academy. These strategies include developing partnerships with secondary educators to help students increase their level of college readiness, utilizing learning communities to engage students in deepened classroom learning, modifying existing curricular structures to include accelerated degree programs and online learning components, and utilizing competency-based education models. In Part II, the authors discuss potential policies that may have an impact in promoting good practice on college campuses. Such policies include development of financial incentives for colleges and universities to improve educational productivity, development of state-funded financial aid programs, and engaging in statewide policy audits to determine “the disconnect between current policies and the state’s goals for higher education” (p. 25). This research-based approach to higher education policy also provides many state and institutional examples of good practice sin making policy decisions that can have a positive affect on college student learning, retention, and graduation rates.

• Tuition increases do not influence the number of bachelor degrees awarded.

Fall 2011 / Perspectives

11


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Endows Annual Meeting Scholarship At the 2010 AFA/AFA Foundation Recognition Luncheon Michelle Guobadia, Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and AFA Foundation Board Member, presented Marqueta Bloodsoe, Arizona State Director of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. an AFA Foundation President’s Society Glass Brick for their recent gift. The recognition comes for a $10,000 donation to the AFA Foundation, which was made by International Grand Basileus Sheryl P. Underwood on behalf of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., will endow one AFA Annual Meeting scholarship for a Fraternity/Sorority Advisor whose is a member of a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization. The endowment was made in honor of all members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. who are members of AFA and do exceptional work in their community. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is the first National Pan-Hellenic Council organization to endow a scholarship with the AFA Foundation. “We cannot express how grateful we are for this gift. The generosity of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. will allow us to continue providing critical financial support to members of the Association” said AFA Foundation Chair, Amy Vojta.

The Foundation’s Mission To secure, invest and distribute the necessary resources to support the educational objectives of AFA and other relevant research, scholarship and educational programming that further the fraternity/ sorority advising profession. As a registered 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation raises money through individual, organizational and corporate donations to provide the highest quality professional development opportunities for AFA members. Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent the law permits.

Michelle Guobadia presented Marqueta Bloodsoe, Arizona State Director of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. an AFA Foundation President’s Society Glass Brick for their recent gift.

How Can I Support the Foundation? RECURRING GIFTS For more information on setting up a regular, automatic donation on your credit card, contact the AFA Foundation office: foundation@fraternityadvisors. org or 678-654-6207 or go to www.fraternityadvisors.org/donate_today. aspx and select “Donate Monthly” or “Donate Quarterly.” Your recurring gift ensures that your donation continues to have a positive impact on the AFA Foundation and the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. ONLINE GIFTS To make a gift online, please go to www.afa1976.org/Foundation/ MakeADonation.aspx — you will complete one page on the AFA Foundation site then complete a PayPal page. ESTATE GIFTS List the AFA Foundation as a beneficiary in your will, individual retirement plan, or life insurance policy. You may wish to keep your gift anonymous, but if you would like to notify the AFA Foundation of your intent, you will be listed as a member of the Amicus Sequentes Circle. ENDOWMENTS Individuals, businesses and organizations are welcome to endow a gift to provide continued funding for an AFA program. Many of these gifts are in honor of specific individuals. AFA Foundation, 9640 Augusta Drive, Suite 433; Carmel, IN 46032

12

Perspectives / Fall 2011


From Where I Sit

So, Why is the House on Fire? By Bob Kerr I was very interested in Mike McRee’s recent article in Perspectives (Summer, 2011), “The House is On Fire and You’re Mowing the Lawn.” McRee used an insightful analogy with a clear call to action for those of us in the fraternity/sorority professional advising world. Urging us to examine ways in which we can create positive change, in a nonhierarchical manner, elevates our collective thinking. It also opens the door for a deeper examination as to why the “house” is on fire. Fire needs fuel, oxygen, and heat to leap to life. If we are to extinguish the fire, we need to separate and examine these three elements and learn how we can be better equipped to fight the fire. First, is the house on fire? Depends on what “house” you are talking about really. If it is the house that Syrett (2009) describes in his archival historical review of the white male fraternity movement starting in 1825, then, yes, it is on fire. This book reveals, through authentic documents, a history of academic indifference, white privilege and a masculine identity of power over women. The “house” described in the book is on fire and the fire needs to be extinguished. If it is the house constructed of the North American fraternal movement’s core values, I think it is possible to prevent the fire from igniting.

membership’s lived behavior. This means we need skilled volunteers who are present and engage the chapter members in deep conversation about the core values, vision and mission of the organization. When advising students, it is possible to be both respected by the members and consistent with the core values and the ritual oaths that all members take. It is a job that requires much effort and time. But, when done effectively, the chapter does not deviate far from their core values. When the gap closes, between values and behavior, the wind dies down and the chapter extinguishes fire. Again, a partnership between the inter/national organization and the campus fraternity/sorority professional can provide the skill sets to elevate the competency of volunteers and thus their capacity to close the gap between values and behavior.

Remove the Fuel. No fuel, no fire. What is the fuel facing the fraternal movement? Perhaps, it is the quality, or lack of quality, of the undergraduate membership. I am not talking about the academic grade point averages, the number of community service hours, or the number of members involved in campus leadership. I am talking about the interest or ability of the membership to defend the core values of the organization and resist the temptation to engage in highrisk behavior that defies the vision and mission. The quality of the membership is determined by the membership doing the actual recruitment through the choices they make. How we, as the combined partnership of alumni/alumnae/organizations and campus advisors working with college students, support them to make informed and difficult choices on potential new members is the real influence in the recruitment process. Perhaps, fraternity/ sorority recruitment needs to be examined to allow for a more deliberate process to really engage in discovering the character of those who seek admittance. Reducing the number of people who join our communities who are not committed to our organizations’ work and values will reduce the amount of fuel for the fire.

Deprive the Fire of Oxygen. What is the “oxygen” that feeds the fire in the fraternity and sorority community? Perhaps it is the breath of life that comes from the gap between an organization’s core values and the

From Where I Sit is a section in Perspectives featuring a personal perspective on the interfraternal community. Do you have an opinion to share on fraternity/sorority life? Tell us how things look from where you sit by emailing your thoughts to the editor at asg@dzshq.com, and you could see your ideas in a future issue of Perspectives.

Fall 2011 / Perspectives

13


Identify the Heat Source. Finally, where is the heat source in the fraternal movement? It seemingly comes from all directions. It comes from the “hidden privilege” that Syrett (2009) talks about in the book. It comes from the campus risk management officer who implements controls designed to limit the liability of the university with regards to fraternities and sororities and their activities. It comes from influential alumni who want to preserve the traditions of their experience and ensure the prosperity of the fraternal community. It comes from students themselves who struggle for identity and are unable to find the tools to combat hazing, sexual assault, eating disorders, and stress-related challenges. It comes from angry parents who have buried children due to undergraduates’ mistakes in judgment. It comes in the form of chapter advisors who are concerned about popularity and are uninformed about the changing identity of contemporary university students. It comes from leadership consultants who tell the campus fraternity/sorority advisor they expect the chapter president to meet with them on a weekly basis. These are all examples of heat sources that fuel our fraternity and sorority communities’ fire. To extinguish that “heat” we need to find a win-win scenario built by a partnership between all stakeholders.

Preventing a Fire in the Fraternal Movement. Both the campus-based and organization-based professional can take steps to prevent a fire in our fraternal movement. First, I examine some opportunities for the campus-based fraternity/ sorority professional. 1) Offer education to chapter advisors on student development theory, current trends in student affairs and the markers for the current cohort of students. Read Not Quite Adults, by Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara E. Ray. It is an engaging, research-driven book on the 20-somethings. This is a good publication to get a book discussion going with chapter advisors. 2) Engage members in deep conversations on topics of integrity, courage, commitment, and loyalty. Ask them how they separate their commitment to the core values of their chapter and the behavior of members who put the chapter at risk. 3) Develop a community-focused forum for conversation with chapter presidents. Help them learn there are more similarities than differences in the vision, values and mission of their organizations. 4) Include chapters represented by NALFO, NMGC, NPHC, and other national structures in your work. We must be a model of inclusion and support if we expect our students to evolve and build a world of equality and inclusion. 5) Communicate your concerns with inter/national organizations, and make sure you document these concerns. 6) Engage the CAS Standards. Become more of an educator and less of a cop.

Create a three- to five-year strategic plan by engaging a comprehensive community-driven group that is focused on the vision and mission of the fraternity/sorority community on your campus.

Now, what about the inter/national structures? 1) All fraternal organizations should have a clearly written and defined four-year membership development program. Students need different support than they did 10 years ago. Inter/ national organizations are in a great place to provide this type of experience. 2) The NIC should reengage the topic of substance free housing. Binge drinking in our fraternity/sorority communities is a real threat and continues to exact a high toll in injury to both persons and reputations. 3) Develop a commitment to attaining the highest quality of membership and support that commitment. Poor membership quality is as threatening as low membership numbers. 4) Engage the Social Change Model as a way of attaining highly effective, prosperous and sustainable chapters. 5) Support the model of building a comprehensive coalition, including the local citizenry, that develops campus-based strategies to fulfill the expectations of a fraternal community on a campus. 6) Support the concept that the fraternal movement is a cocurricular experience not an extracurricular experience. 7) Build an authentic level of trust and transparency with the campus-based professional. The partnership works best when we all exit our silos and extend the hand of trust to achieving the core values of the fraternal organization and the campus. I suggest the world is changing faster than the fraternal movement. It seems to me, that instead of resisting the change, the fraternal movement should be leading the change. I am reminded of the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I believe we can go farther when we chose to work together and share, equally, the responsibility for the outcomes of the fraternal experience. – Bob Kerr is the Coordinator of Greek Life at Oregon State University. He has published several articles in Perspectives and has held leadership positions in AFA. He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and has received the Order of the Golden Heart, the highest honor for a member of the fraternity. REFERENCES McRee, M. A. (2011, Summer). The house is on fire and you’re mowing the lawn. Perspectives, 6-11. Syrett, N.L. (2009). The company he keeps. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Settersten, R., & Ray, B.E. (2010). Not quite adults. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

14

Perspectives / Fall 2011


Shifting Winds: The College Upheaval and

How Greek-Letter Organizations Can Capitalize By Brandon Busteed At Outside The Classroom, our research using one of the largest datasets ever collected on college students, has shown that since 2006, the percentage of incoming college freshmen who do NOT drink alcohol has risen from 38% to 62% (Outside the Classroom, 2010). Another national student (Johnston, O’Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2009) has also reported the same trend among high school students. These findings represent a significant shift for college students and for fraternities and sororities. To be clear, a sea-change has occurred in the behaviors and attitudes of the current and coming generation of college students, and fraternal organizations must seize the opportunity to recruit the best of these students. In addition to this trend of alcohol nonuse among college students, there are also several other challenges facing higher education in America. Graduation rates in higher education are presently at an all-time low. As fewer and fewer students complete college, student loan debt has also risen 511% in the last decade compared to all other household debt, which rose 204% (Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2011). Grade point averages are at an all-time high (Rojstaczer, 2010; Rojstaczer & Healy, 2010), while hours students spend studying are at an all-time low (Babcock, 2009; Babcock & Marks, 2009). Online and for-profit universities are making major strides in questioning the status quo of education by dramatically reinventing it (wide adoption of online curricula, streamlined academic calendars and self-paced programs, greatly reduced physical infrastructure) and represent the fastest growing segment of higher education (Aud et al., 2011). Students, families, and the federal government are also questioning the value of a college degree. One thing is certain: We are amidst a significant change in the culture of higher education. What’s not clear is how best to address it. How do students spend the limited time they have while in college? Do they maximize the opportunity or waste it? Do they view college as a four-year vacation from the real world or a serious opportunity to prepare for the real world? Several studies have been conducted on how college students spend their time and how that time spent correlates with their success in college (Babcock & Marks, 2010; Porter & Pryor, 2007; Wolver, 2002). At Outside The Classroom, we conducted a recent study (sample size of 13,868 students) to determine how students spend their time, and the results were nothing short of stunning and yet surprisingly not surprising! We asked questions about how much time students spend sleeping and eating, exercising, surfing the Internet, doing homework, watching TV, and using

social media. We weren’t so interested in the raw hours students spent on these various things but rather whether time spent on those various activities made a difference in their academic performance. In other words, do lots of hours spent on Facebook lead to lower grades? Or did hours spent in class lead to higher grades? Here’s what we learned: While there are many ways to use the hours in a day, the vast majority of students do not have a strong predictive relationship with academic performance. Only three activities had a “strong, predictive correlation” with academic performance: hours spent studying, hours spent drinking, and hours spent in class. Hours spent studying and hours spent in class were positively correlated with higher grades, while hours spent drinking were negatively correlated with higher grades (Wyatt, 2011). What does this mean for fraternal organizations? It points to a dramatic about-face regarding who we seek to recruit, how we recruit them, and most importantly how we uphold our values while they are members. Because, you see, our values—such as upholding high academic and personal standards—are already consistent with tapping into the above trends and opportunities. What is not always consistent is our execution of those values. Execution of simple principles is what we should focus on moving forward. Who do we want to recruit? Students who want to study more, drink less, and get to class. What do we want to help them achieve while they are members? More structured time, emphasis, and support for studying, doing fun social activities without alcohol, and reinforcing the importance of getting to class and making the most of it. A common critique of fraternal organizations is that they are exclusively social organizations fueled by alcohol. That same critique can be made of all college students in general —regardless of their affiliation with fraternal organizations. There have been many reasons in the past for fraternal organizations to try to ignore this image/reality, ranging from high liability to reputation, but now there is a different reason to vigorously remove ourselves from the alcohol-linked equation. The trends of the future are pointing to an environment where alcohol-free will be the accepted norm and alcohol-fueled will be an embarrassing outlier. And if success in college and in life is part of our values, then we ought to get down to the brass tacks of executing on “more studying, less drinking, and getting to class.” Fall 2011 / Perspectives

15


– Brandon Busteed is the Founder and President of Outside The Classroom, a global leader in student alcohol prevention research and program.

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2009). Monitoring the future: National survey results of drug use, 1975-2008 (Vols. I & II). Retrieved from http://www. monitoringthefuture.org/pubs.html.

REFERENCES

Outside The Classroom. (2010, November). The future of alcohol prevention: Navigating changes in higher education. Retrieved from http://www.outsidetheclassroom.com/Upload/PDF/FAP_summary.pdf

Aud, S., Hussar, W., Kena, G., Bianco, K., Frohlich, L., Kemp, J., Tahan, K. (2011). The Condition of Education 2011 (NCES 2011-033). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Babcock, P. (2009, March). Real costs of nominal grade inflation? New evidence from student course evaluations. (Abstract). University of California, Santa Barbara. Babcock, P., & Marks, M. (2009). Leisure college USA. Retrieved April 4, 2010 from http://www.aei.org Babcock, P., & Marks, M. (2010, August). Leisure college USA: The decline in student study time. AEI Outlook Series, 7. Retrieved from http://www.aei.org/outlook/100980. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Bureau of Economic Analysis. (2011). Quarterly report on household debt and credit. Retrieved from http:// www.newyorkfed.org/research/national_economy/householdcredit/ DistrictReport_Q22011.pdf.

Porter, S. R., & Pryor, J. (2007). The effects of heavy episodic alcohol use on student engagement, academic performance, and time use. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 455-467. Rojstaczer, S. (2010, February 3). No they are not all there to learn. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://fortyquestions.blogspot. com/2010/02/no-they-are-not-all-there-to-learn.html Rojstaczer, S., & Healy, C. (2010, March 4). Grading in American colleges and universities. Teachers College Record. Retrieved from http:// gradeinflation.com/tcr2010grading.pdf. Wolaver, A. (2002). Effect of heavy drinking in college on student effort, grade point average, and major choice. Contemporary Economic Policy, 20(4), 415-428. Wyatt, T.M. (2011, January). Spare-time university: An in-depth analysis of how college freshmen spend their time and its impact on academic and social success. Paper presented at the annual strategies meeting of the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Miami, FL.

Give your students something to brag about….

Start a Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter today! Gamma Sigma Alpha is the premier academic honorary for Greek students. If you are looking for opportunities to advance academic achievement within your fraternity/sorority community, contact us today!

Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Academic Honor Society

www.gammasigmaalpha.org – director@gammasigmaalpha.org - 317-876-4695 -4695

16

Perspectives / Fall 2011


UniLOA: Let’s All Take a Deep Breath…

By Gentry McCreary

In the last year, numerous press releases from inter/national fraternity or sorority headquarters have announced their partnership with the University Learning Outcomes Assessment (UniLOA), administered by the Center for Measuring College Behaviors and Academics at Indiana State University. The assessment instrument aims to measure student learning, growth, and development along a list of seven domains—critical thinking, self-awareness, communication, diversity, citizenship, membership and leadership, and relationships. The UniLOA instrument has now been administered nationally to over 120,000 students at a wide variety of institutional types (Center for Measuring College Behavior in Academics, 2010). Campus-based fraternity/sorority offices are also beginning partnerships with UniLOA to assess and advance the growth and development of fraternity and sorority members on their campuses. The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) has created a website touting the UniLOA data, making these findings the centerpiece in its “case for fraternity rights.” Everyone, it would appear, is joining in on the excitement. So why all the fuss about UniLOA? The UniLOA data suggests fraternity membership may actually be a positive thing! The 20092010 UniLOA National Report of Means contains comparisons between fraternity and nonfraternity members, and the data suggest a statistically significant difference between fraternity members and non-members in each of the seven measured domains (Center for Measuring College Behavior in Academics, 2010). The UniLOA report is one of few assessments of learning outcomes to suggest that membership in a fraternity has a positive cognitive or developmental impact on its members (Pascarella, Edison, Whitt, Nora, Hagedorn, & Terenzini, 1996; Pike & Askew, 1990). Caution, however, should be advised. We need to take a closer look at exactly what is being reported, and what is not being reported, by UniLOA. Upon closer examination of the data, there are a few issues worthy of some scrutiny: 1) The UniLOA instrument must overcome some serious concerns related to validity. There is a great deal more research that needs to be conducted to ensure the validity of the UniLOA assessment and to confirm its usefulness as a measurement tool. The Center for Measuring College Behavior in Academics, which administers the UniLOA survey, suggests that we compare the UniLOA instrument to other instruments relying on selfreported student data, such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ; Center for Measuring College Behavior in Academics, 2009). These are two instruments that are widely used as measurements of student learning and engagement. The authors of the UniLOA Validity and Reliability Report cite a number of articles suggesting that student self-reported data is a reliable measure of student learning and engagement (i.e., Kuh, Hu & Vesper, 2000). There is a key difference, however, between the NSSE survey, in particular, and the UniLOA assessment. The NSSE survey asks students to report time on tasks—specifically, the amount of time, on average, that a

student spends each week on a wide array of activities inside and outside the classroom. A sample NSSE question would be, “In the last year, how often have you had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity?” (NSSE, 2011). UniLOA, on the other hand, asks for students’ perceptions of their behaviors or involvement with certain activities and not necessarily a specific measurement of time. An example of this would be, “I am a role model for others. For example, I am aware of how others see me and I act in ways that provide a positive example for others to follow” (Center for Measuring College Behavior in Academics, 2010). In essence, the UniLOA instrument is asking for students’ self-reported opinions of their involvement or behaviors related to, for example, leadership or civic engagement. The wording of many of the items on the UniLOA instrument lends itself to measuring students’ opinions of their own behavior, and not necessarily time on task, which could lead to increases in attribution error (Pronin, Lin, & Ross, 2002). Rating the frequency with which you have conversations about diverse perspectives (NSSE) would appear to be much more straightforward than rating the frequency with which you consider your impact as a role model (UniLOA). Additionally, it is quite conceivable that fraternity members may have much higher perceptions of their leadership or civic engagement than nonfraternity members, which may explain some of the differences found in the UniLOA data. While the Cronbach’s Alpha statistics reported for the internal reliability of the seven domains are impressively high, these statistics still do not reveal whether the instrument is actually measuring what it purports to measure. The UniLOA researchers also cite internal validity measurements related to discriminative, concurrent, and criterion validity but do not address a number of other validity measurements. No published studies have correlated UniLOA data with other established measurements of student learning or engagement. No published longitudinal studies using UniLOA have examined development or change over time. No published fakability studies have been conducted. Research has suggested that all of these measurements are useful in validating an assessment of learning or cognitive development (Rest, Thoma, & Edwards, 1997). The UniLOA instrument requires a great deal more validation before it can become the centerpiece for any pro-fraternity argument. 2) The UniLOA National Report of Means does not control for socio-economic status (SES) or other pre-college variables. In the early piloting phases of the UniLOA assessment, researchers asked only one question related to SES—specifically, whether students received a Pell Grant. Administrators (M. Frederick, personal communication, January 11, 2011) have provided data showing a basic means comparison on the overall pilot dataset to suggest minimal and nonsignificant differences between those students who received Pell Grants and those who did not. Since they found no means differences when the Fall 2011 / Perspectives

17


instrument was being piloted, they stopped asking for SES information altogether. Therefore, it is impossible to determine if the differences currently being reported between fraternity members and nonmembers are related to their membership status or are actually an indication of some other unmeasured demographic variable, such as SES (Astin, 1993). It is generally accepted as fact that fraternity and sorority members come from higher SES backgrounds than their nonaffiliated counterparts. The UniLOA researchers need to conduct and report the results of analysis of variance testing to determine if the differences between fraternity members and nonmembers remain significant after controlling for SES and other demographic and pre-college variables. A simple report of means simply does not do enough to explain the differences observed between members and nonmembers.

had significantly lower COMP scores than their nonaffiliated counterparts. Studies have also associated fraternity/sorority membership with higher levels of academic dishonesty and cheating behaviors (Kirkvliet, 1994; McCabe & Bowers, 1996). Greek membership has also been strongly linked to alcohol and drug abuse (Cashin, Presley, & Meilman, 1998; Wecshler & Nelson, 2008), lower levels of moral judgment (Derryberry & Thoma, 2000; Marlowe & Auvenshine, 1982; Sanders, 1990) and increased sexual assault and rape-supportive attitudes (Bohmer & Parrott, 1993; Carroll, 2009; Sanday, 1990). The findings from UniLOA are indeed encouraging for our profession and those of us who care so deeply about the fraternal movement. The concerns stated in this article are not meant to take away from that spirit of encouragement. Rather, they are to urge us to all slow down and take a deep breath before we

“...let us consider a wide array of research that, taken collectively, can inform and educate us as a profession regarding ways the fraternal experience can be enhanced and remain a valuable and positive experience for all college students.” 3) There have been no published articles using UniLOA data in any refereed or peer-reviewed academic journals. One of the best indicators of the usefulness and value of any survey tool is the degree to which it is used by researchers and published in refereed academic journals. To date, no studies have been published citing data from the UniLOA assessment. To be fair, the UniLOA data are relatively new, and it is reasonable to assume that these publications are forthcoming. On the other hand, measurements that have described the negative impacts of fraternity membership, such as the Defining Issues Test, have been reported widely in top-tier academic journals. 4) An overwhelming number of studies have suggested that fraternity membership is detrimental to student learning and development. In a press release on the UniLOA data, Pete Smithhisler, president and CEO of the NIC, stated: “Often, arguments both for and against the fraternity experience focus on personal experience and anecdotal information” (North American Interfraternity Conference, 2010). Yet, previous research has found broad-based negative effects of fraternity/ sorority affiliation on the cognitive development of college freshmen. Through their research, Pascarella, Edison, Whitt, Nora, Hagedorn, and Terenzini (1996) found fraternity membership to have a significant negative effect on cognitive measures of reading comprehension, math skills, and critical thinking. Pike and Askew (1990) used the College Outcomes Measurement Project (COMP) Objective Test developed by the American College Testing Program to investigate the cognitive impact of fraternity/sorority affiliation in a single institution study. Their results indicated students in fraternal organizations 18

Perspectives / Fall 2011

collectively declare UniLOA the answer to all of our problems. While the results of UniLOA appear to be promising for the fraternal movement, there are many methodological and validity concerns that need to be addressed before this tool’s data become the centerpiece of arguments regarding the benefits of fraternity/ sorority involvement. If the goal of those signing on with UniLOA is a renewed focus on research related to the impact of fraternity membership, then they should not just focus on research they think will make fraternities look “good.” Rather, let us consider a wide array of research that, taken collectively, can inform and educate us as a profession regarding ways the fraternal experience can be enhanced and remain a valuable and positive experience for all college students. Organizations should consider partnerships with other research centers such as the Center for the Study of Ethical Development whose Defining Issues Test paints a less rosy picture of fraternity membership but could still provide useful information to fraternity/ sorority professionals. The argument should be as much for the case for fraternal relevance as it is in making the case fraternal rights. Supporting quality research is the best way for the NIC, member organizations, and offices of fraternity and sorority life around the country to help the fraternal movement make its case for fraternal rights and relevance. UniLOA should be one of many instruments used in helping make that case. – Gentry McCreary is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of West Florida.


REFERENCES Astin, A. (1993). What matters in college? Liberal Education, 79(4), 4-16. Bohmer, C., & Parrot, A. (1993). Sexual assault on campus: The problem and the solution. New York, NY: Lexington. Carroll, A. (2009). Impact of moral judgment and moral disengagement on rape-supportive attitudes in college males. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama. Center for Measuring College Behaviors in Academics. (2009). University learning outcomes assessment validity. Retrieved from http://www. measuringbehaviors.com Center for Measuring College Behaviors in Academics. (2010). University learning outcomes assessment national report of means. Retrieved from http://www.measuringbehaviors.com Cummings, R., Dyas, L., & Maddux, C. (2001). Principled moral reasoning and behavior of preservice teacher education students. American Education Research Journal, 38, 143-158. Derryberry, W., & Thoma, S. (2000). The friendship effect: Its role in the development of moral thinking in students. About Campus, 5, 13-18. King, P., & Mayhew, M. (2002). Moral judgment development in higher education: Insights from the defining issues test. Journal of Moral Education, 31(3), 247-270. Kirkvliet, J. (1994). Cheating by economics students: A comparison of survey results. Journal of Economics Education, 25, 121-133. Kuh, G., Hu, S., & Vesper, N. (2000). They shall be known by what they do: An activities-based typology of college students. Journal of College Student Development, 41(2), 228-244. National Survey of Student Engagement. (2010). Major Differences: Examining Student Engagement by Field of Study – Annual Results 2010. Retrieved from http://nsse.iub.edu/NSSE_2010_Results/pdf/ NSSE_2010_AnnualResults.pdf

North-American Interfraternity Conference (2010). New NIC website focuses on fraternity rights. Retrieved from http://www.nicindy.org/ uploads/files/relwebnew_web_fraternity_rightsvFinal.pdf. Marlowe, A., & Auvenshine, C. (1982). Greek membership: Its impact on the moral development of college freshmen. Journal of College Student Personnel, 23, 53-57. McCabe, D., & Bowers, W. (1996). The relationship between student cheating and college fraternity or sorority membership. NASPA Journal, 33, 280-291. Pascarella, E., Edison, M., Whitt, E., Nora, A., Hagedorn, L., & Terenzini, P. (1996). Cognitive effects of Greek affiliation during the first year of college. NASPA Journal, 33(4), 242-259. Pike, G., & Askew, J. (1990). The impact of fraternity or sorority membership on academic involvement and learning outcomes. NASPA Journal, 28, 13-19. Pronin, E., Lin, D., & Ross, L. (2002). The bias blind spot: Perceptions of bias in self versus others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(3), 369-381. Rest, J., Thoma, S., & Edwards, L. (1997). Designing and validating a measure of moral judgment: Stage preference and stage consistency approaches. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(1), 5-28. Sanday, P.R. (1990). Fraternity gang rape: Sex, brotherhood and privilege on campus. New York, NY: New York University Press. Sanders, C. (1990). Moral reasoning of male freshmen. Journal of College Student Development, 31, 5-8. Wechsler, F., & Nelson, T. (2008). What have we learned from the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study: Focusing attention on college student alcohol consumption and the environmental conditions that promote it. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 69(4), 481-490.

Fall 2011 / Perspectives

19


Fraternity/Sorority Participation Positions Student for Success By Lisa Hickey, Director of Marketing at EBI Fraternities and sororities bring untold positive impacts for students who participate—fraternity/sorority professionals see it with their own eyes every day. Now, with the results from the AFA/ EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment, these positive impacts have been documented in detail. AFA, in partnership with Educational Benchmarking Inc. (EBI), developed the AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment to gauge the return on institutional resources and the overall educational experience of your chapters. In 2009–10, the AFA/Fraternity/Sorority Assessment was completed by 10,410 respondents representing 17 institutions nationwide. According to the results, students who participated in fraternities or sororities believed the experience significantly improved their ability to successfully interact with diverse populations. An impressive 69% reported their fraternity/sorority experience helped them to value and respect people who are different from themselves, while 61% said their fraternity/sorority involvement increased their interactions with people who are different from themselves. Almost 63% responded that fraternity/sorority life increased their ability to work with populations that were culturally, ethnically, and politically diverse. Considering the increasing globalization of the modern workplace, this ability to communicate comfortably and effectively with a range of cultures has become an extremely valuable asset in the working world. Similarly, the results show that fraternity/sorority involvement prepares students well for leadership in the workplace. Not only do nearly 80% of those surveyed report their fraternity/sorority helped them to establish potential networking relationships, but they also cite increased ability to motivate others (71%), listen effectively (70%), and manage conflict (69%). Their fraternity/sorority interactions have taught them to define problems (63%), solve problems (65%), and think critically (57%). Perhaps because 66% report holding a leadership position within their organization, 73% of respondents cite increased ability to assume positions of responsibility and 67% say they are more comfortable organizing events. In addition, respondents reported improvements in leadership skills such as running meetings (63%), publicizing events (63%), and managing finances (52%). When the survey evaluated students’ overall learning outcomes from fraternity/sorority involvement, it showed overwhelmingly positive results. 79% of students reported improved social skills through participation in their chapter, while 78% felt they increased their ability to work effectively with others. 69% of students surveyed said they achieved a greater understanding of their own personal values through fraternity/sorority involvement, and 63% reported a greater commitment to community service. These positive results were not isolated to extracurricular improvements: Nearly 68% said they developed greater self-discipline, nearly 66% reported improvement in setting academic goals, and approximately 62% said their fraternity/ sorority contributed to their achievement of greater academic success.

sororities and 13 NIC fraternities. For the past 10 years, Gerhardt has utilized the AFA/Fraternity/Sorority Assessment to examine the strengths and weaknesses of Greek life at UND, drilling down into the data to find gaps between male and female achievement and helping each chapter grow and improve. “We’ve seen increases over time as we’ve focused on learning and its impact on retention,” says Gerhardt. “Every two years, when we get our AFA/EBI survey results, I sit down with each chapter’s president and advisor to look at the results in detail. We then use this analysis to inform chapter decisions and promote improvement.” For example, when Gerhardt dove into her institution’s 2010 AFA/ EBI Fraternity/Sorority assessment survey results, she saw that fraternity and sorority members met or exceeded the EBI goal of a score of 5.5 out of 7 on learning outcomes such as interpersonal relationship skills, leadership skills, and healthy behaviors. However, for one factor, a disparity caught Gerhardt’s eye. When asked about their ability to engage in principled dissent, members of fraternities scored the goal of 5.5, but sorority members fell short with a 5.35. Gerhardt wondered whether female students at UND “struggled with niceness” as a result of the non-confrontational culture on their Midwestern campus. Examining the criteria that contribute to the factors of principled dissent, she saw that it encompasses not only listening to the ideas of others but also feeling able to dissent without fearing reprisal, discussing differing opinions in a respectful manner, and supporting decisions different from their own positions on an issue. “What strikes me is what an important issue principled dissent is for our times,” Gerhardt said. Acknowledging its importance to the values of a liberal arts education, she began to formulate a plan to help sorority members engage in spirited debates within their chapters. Gerhardt is dedicated to the value of fraternity/sorority life as an element of student success. “Student affairs has an unexpected but important impact on student retention,” she said. The emphasis that Gerhardt and UND place on assessing and improving student life is vindicated in their numbers: Among students who entered as freshman in 2008, 82% of fraternity/sorority members have continued to their third year of school, compared to 68% of students overall. It’s not surprising that factors such as positive interactions with peers and academic success correlate to increased retention. As a result, fraternity/sorority participation positions students for success in the post-school world, with improved leadership and social skills and, mostly likely, a completed degree in hand. REFERENCES

At the University of North Dakota (UND), Cassie Gerhardt, Program Director for Student Involvement, has seen firsthand the positive impact of fraternities and sororities on students’ lives. This four-year public institution of 11,139 undergraduates hosts six NPC

20

Perspectives / Fall 2011

AFA/EBI Assessment Committee (2010). AFA/EBI fraternity/sorority assessment: Summary report 2009. Retrieved from http://www. fraternityadvisors.org/Uploads/PublicDocuments/AFA_EBI_ Summary_Report_2009_FINAL.pdf.


“v er

ys

m

al

lc

ho

ic e

sc

an

ch

an

ge

ev

er

yt

hi

ng ”

our most unique speaker whose quirky stories come from different angles, but inspire students to discover powerful ways to create real change

whitby

STEVE WHITBY gives his audiences new ways of thinking about old, entrenched challenges. He wants to encourage your leaders—even the best of them who already “get it”—to act. He believes they should act now on the choices in front of them, instead of complaining about how hard, complex or un-winnable they think those problems are. Steve believes that radical change is possible when we stop listening to the rules others have put on us and use our imagination and learned skills to tackle challenges in smart ways. His keynote Shaving the Yak helps to adjust our focus, rediscover our purpose and make those critical first steps toward something new and meaningful. In Gravity Is Broken, Steve imparts that the things we hold to be the most constant—our ritual, our social interactions, our values, our campus culture—are completely misunderstood. Unless we understand the real depth of how broken our gravity is, we can never create change that lasts. Contact us today and find out how Steve can impact your students, staff, professionals and anyone who could stand to hear a story that will completely change their perspective on the staus quo.

steve

For more information about Steve, contact CAMPUSPEAK at (303) 745-5545 or e-mail us at info@campuspeak.com. You can also visit Steve at www.campuspeak.com/whitby.


“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of (us all)” — Abraham Lincoln Every day, college students make hundreds of small decisions. Should I really buy that book for class? Do I eat at the student union or get fast food somewhere? Do I walk to class or ride my bike? These seemingly easy decisions can have unintended consequences, and that is the basis for the grassroots movement called Green Dot.

What is Your Green Dot? By Moe Stephens

These choices seem simple enough: Do one thing or the other. However, choosing one or the other in the face of power-based personal violence can have consequences that send shockwaves through a community. In the majority of cases of partner violence, stalking, or sexual misconduct, people surrounding the perpetrator are able to recall situations and see the signs indicating they may become a perpetrator. Many of these witnesses look back and regret not having taken action (Valier, 2005). The Green Dot program is designed to give students the skills and techniques to take action when faced with these signs. How often does something happen in fraternity and sorority communities that could have been stopped if someone had simply chosen to intervene? The simplicity and the power of the Green Dot Program puts it into students’ hands. The movement began at the University of Kentucky in 2004. Dr. Dorothy Edwards, Director of the Sexual Assault Center, found herself questioning the current practices of sexual misconduct educators. The number of incidents at UK was not changing, no matter how much education was being done. With each new case that crossed her desk, she began to realize at least one person was present who could have made the decision to intervene and prevent the situation from occurring. Following this train of thought, Green Dot was born. Employing diffusion theory (Rogers, 1983; Kelly, 2004), Edwards’ staff began identifying the popular opinion leaders on campus. Each of these individuals was invited to a one-day training on bystander intervention. These trained individuals were then asked to apply what they learned at the training in their various communities. The idea was to replace the “red dots” on campus (instances of power-based personal violence) with “green dots” (situations averted due to intervention by an outside party). After the first year of the program, assessment results showed a slight decrease in “red dots” on campus (Edwards, 2010). Just as important, the students who received the training in that first year were given a substantial amount of ownership of the program. The program has now begun to spread across campus, and more and more students are being trained every year. Each year, Edwards and her staff conduct several train-the-trainer programs across the country. While the focus for trainers began on college campuses, high school administrators and the military are among the community partners that have participated. Once certified as a trainer, the Green Dot program can then be implemented on their campus. The training that both educators and students receive focuses on the barriers, real or perceived, that prevent action when the question of whether to intervene arises.

22

Perspectives / Fall 2011


The bystander intervention model borrows heavily from several researchers’ findings. The body of research suggests several reasons for lack of bystander intervention. The first reason, diffusion of responsibility, indicates that individuals are less likely to respond to an emergency or crisis if others are present (Chekroun & Brauer, 2002, Darley & Latane, 1968). The next barrier to intervention, evaluation apprehension, shows that bystanders often do not intervene because they are afraid of looking foolish (Latane & Darley, 1970). Pluralistic ignorance, the third barrier, states that bystanders will often defer to the cues of those around them when deciding whether to respond (Clark & Word, 1974; Latane & Darley, 1970). Modeling theories also state that a bystander is more likely to intervene if the appropriate response has been modeled beforehand (Bryan & Test, 1967; Rushton & Campbell, 1977). Finally, research also suggests that a bystander is more likely to intervene in a high-risk situation if they are confident in their skills and abilities. Research into perpetrator behaviors and patterns as well as marketing and rebranding were also utilized to better inform the training students receive with the Green Dot Program. Using the bystander theories, the Green Dot program teaches students ways to deflect, delegate, or distract, and enables them to brainstorm ideas for different social situations that often occur on their campus. Intervention strategies are developed and the students commit themselves to performing at least one Green Dot within the 24 hours after the training.

A common phrase used in Green Dot training sums up the situation perfectly: “No one has to do everything. Everyone has to do something.” The idea of bystander intervention is not a new one, especially in the context of fraternity and sorority life. However, the Green Dot program is a unique opportunity to provide focus to current prevention strategies. Imagine a scenario in which a fraternity member intervenes on behalf of a new member who is being hazed or a sorority member walks home with one of her sisters instead of leaving her at a party. These two small, individual choices could make a fraternity and sorority community a safer place. A common phrase used in Green Dot training sums up the situation perfectly: “No one has to do everything. Everyone has to do something.” For more information on the Green Dot program, please contact Dr. Jennifer Sayre at sayre@livethegreendot.com or visit www. livethegreendot.com. – Moe Stephens currently works at the University of Puget Sound as the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Greek Life and Leadership. Previously, Moe was the Greek Advisor at

California State University, Sacramento and the Director of Expansion for Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He also lends his time and talents as a CAMPUSPEAK facilitator and is actively involved as a Province President for Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. REFERENCES Bryan, J. H., & Test, M. A. (1967). Models and helping: Naturalistic studies in aiding behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 400–407. Chekroun, P., & Brauer, M. (2002). The bystander effect and social control behavior: The effect of the presence of others on people’s reactions to norm violations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 853-868. Clark, R. D. & Word, L. E. (1974). Where is the apathetic bystander? Situational characteristics of the emergency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29, 279-287. Darley, J. M., & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377–383. Edwards, D. (2010). Origin of Green Dot. Retrieved from: http://www. livethegreendot.com/gd_origins.html Kelly, J. A. (2004). Popular opinion leaders and HIV prevention peer education: Resolving discrepant findings and implications for the development of effective community programmes. AIDS Care, 16, 139-150. Latane, B. & Darley, J. M. (1970). The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Rogers, E. M. (1983) Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press. Rushton, J. P., & Campbell, A. C. (1977). Modeling, vicarious reinforcement and extraversion on blood donating adults: Immediate and long-term effects. European Journal of Social Psychology, 7, 297-306. Valier, C. (2005). Complicity and the Bystander to Crime. UC Berkeley: Center for the Study of Law and Society Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/ item/7rj7808m SUGGESTED READING ON PERPETRATOR BEHAVIOR Koss, M. P., Leonard, K. E., Beezley, D. A., Oros, C. J. (1985). Nonstranger sexual aggression: A discriminant analysis of the psychological characteristics of undetected offenders. Sex Roles, 12, 9-10. Lisak, D., & Miller, P. M. (2002). Recent rape and multiple offending among undetected rapists. Violence and Victims, 17(1), 73-84. Lisak, D., & Roth, S. (1988). Motivational factors in nonincarcerated sexually aggressive men. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55(5), 795-802. Rapaport, K., & Burkhart, B. R. (1984). Personality and attitudinal characteristics of sexually coercive college males. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2(2), 216-221.

Fall 2011 / Perspectives

23


Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors www.afa1976.org 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032

This program is made possible through a gift from Zeta Tau Alpha

Presorted First-Class Mail U.S. Postage PAID Ames, Iowa Permit No. 307

Perspectives Fall 2011  

AFA Perspectives Fall 2011

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you