S U M M E R 2 012
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A PUBLICATION FOR MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FRATERNITY/SORORITY ADVISORS.
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in this issue: The Endu Enduring i UUsefulness f of Philosophical Statements for Fraternity/Sorority Professionals | Call for Values Congruence Reflection: Together Forward 2012 | Returning to Our Core Values: Using Scholarly Research to Enhance Academic Achievement | The Case for Moral Development | Professional Development Through NASPA for the Fraternity/Sorority Advisor
Shelly Brown Dobek – 2012 President
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:
e’ve Arrived? For those of you who read my update to the membership in June, maybe you thought that implied we were at a fi nal destination. Let me clarify. We’ve only just begun! While June 1st marked a historic day for the Association as we moved our Central Office to Ft. Collins, it was only one destination among many to follow on this journey of transformation. Since the decision was made to move to an association management model, the AFA Executive Board promised to remain transparent with updates and progress moving forward. Let me take this opportunity to provide some insight into the next leg of our journey.
Allison St. Germain 2012 Editor
The Executive Board recently conducted our summer meeting in Ft. Collins, Colorado. We were excited to see our new AFA Central Office, meet several of our new Central Office team members, but mostly to get back to the agenda before us to continue advancing the Strategic Plan and operations of the Association. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it was easy to see this as an opportunity for new perspective. It made me think about one of my favorite movies of all time: Dead Poets Society. I love the scene where Mr. Keating stands up on his desk. Why? To remind himself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.
Director of Educational Technologies Delta Zeta Sorority 14 Elgin Avenue Bethel, CT 06801 email@example.com Phone: 513.523.7597 Direct: 203.798.8777 Fax: 513.523.1921
Send address corrections to AFA: Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors PO Box 1369 Fort Collins, CO 80522 970.797.4361 | Fax 888.855.8670 firstname.lastname@example.org www.afa1976.org | @AFA1976
Perspectives is published four times per year.
Submission deadlines: Fall 2012 August 1, 2012 Winter 2013 November 1, 2012 Spring 2013 February 1, 2013 Summer 2013 May 1, 2013
Board Jason Bergeron, University of Houston
As we moved through our agenda, the Board quickly realized the need to adjust our paradigm when it comes to our “work.” As we went through reports, most were ending with, “shift to staff for implementation.” We were a little “geeked out” to feel a level of support we have not enjoyed given previous capacity limits of our staffi ng models. On the heels of that enthusiasm was the “aha” moment that increased capacity is going to positively impact our roles, as well as the roles of other volunteers moving forward. Each of us had pieces of our job description that were moving to the Central Office team.
in this 9
Kirsten Siron Fryer, University of Chicago Nathan Thomas, Bradley University Teniell Trolian, University of Iowa
Perspectives / Summer 2012
As we set out on the next leg of our journey, we must remind ourselves to continue to look at things in new and different ways.
The Enduring Usefulness of Philosophical Statements for Fraternity/Sorority Professionals
Call for Values Congruence Reflection: Together Forward 2012
Returning to Our Core Values: Using Scholarly Research to Enhance Academic Achievement
Sarah McCracken, Delta Zeta Lindsay Sell, Colorado State University
As we set out on the next leg of our journey, we must remind ourselves to continue to look at things in new and different ways. I am excited for the future of AFA as I see it from my new vantage point. I continue to believe that this journey is moving us along a continuum that will transform AFA into a better Association that better serves its members.
I have said repeatedly that we will continue to be a volunteer driven organization. That is not changing. But I do foresee a day when our volunteers are responsible for idea generation while our staff take on responsibility for implementation. It will be a good thing. It will increase the level of resources the Association provides and improve our deliverable timeline. For the Executive Board specifically, it will allow us to increase our strategic work and decrease our time in operations. This provides the opportunity
Amanda Bureau, Zeta Tau Alpha Heather Matthews Kirk, Zeta Tau Alpha
for considerable dialogue about what the Association’s leadership structure will look like moving forward. In the upcoming months our Board will continue work to advance the Strategic Plan around governance and infrastructure, ensuring greater efficiencies and effectiveness of our volunteer and leadership structures.
The Case for Moral Development
Professional Development Through NASPA for the Fraternity/Sorority Advisor
regular columns From the Top........................... 2 Editor’s Notes .......................... 4 From Where We Sit ................. 6
Summer 2012 / Perspectives
Allison St. Germain
very summer, I have conversations with other fraternity/sorority professionals and members returning from life changing experiences. They are abuzz with energy and excitement, and have all the answers to changing the world of fraternity/sorority life for the better. Perhaps I’ve become a bit of a cynic over the years, because it seems to be a little bit of the same thing, over and over. But I have to remind myself, change takes a long time and we have to have the same conversations many many times for learning and growth to happen. Think back to how you learned to ride a bike. At fi rst your legs might not have touched the pedals. Then you grew a bit, could touch the pedals, and you took off. Once you mastered riding with training wheels, your mom or dad switched things up on you and took them off. A few unsteady rides later, and maybe some bumps and bruises, you were cruising again. Then that old bike got a bit too small and you upgraded to something a bit larger, more cumbersome, and you had to retrain your legs to pedal in a new way. And so it went. You’d learn a new skill and then need to switch gears and learn again when the bike changed.
Call for Values Congruence from the Franklin Square Group. We focus on this document and place it in context with the history of AFA and fraternity/sorority advising, because of the importance to show our members where we have come from in our journey as a profession. It is important to realize that similar conversations have been had at different levels of our field for a lot longer than the past eight years. It is also important to acknowledge that many in the fraternity/sorority advising field have a lot less time under their belts and so such conversations have always been a part of their professional experience. We all need to realize the larger context values congruence resides in our collective history as a profession and were it needs to continue in the future. Thank you to all the contributors who provided their thoughts, fi rsthand accounts, and challenges to us as a profession to take another look at The Call. I appreciate the many phone calls, emails, and conversations you had with the editorial board as we developed this issue. If you have not read the document, or perhaps it has been a while and you need to refresh your memory, you can fi nd it on the Association’s website at www.afa1976.org/AssociationBusiness/ CallforValuesCongruence.aspx. Like I’ve said before, tweet me your thoughts on the content of this issue to @ALStGermain with the hashtag #AFAPerspectives. I promise to reply.
This issue of Perspectives focuses on a seminal document in the history of the fraternity/sorority advising profession, 2003’s The
...change takes a long time and we have to have the same conversations many, many times for learning and growth to happen.
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For more information about Erle or to bring him to campus this fall for National Hazing Prevention Week, contact CAMPUSPEAK at (303) 745-5545 or e-mail us at email@example.com. To watch a promo video of Erle, visit www.campuspeak.com/morring.
Perspectives / Summer 2012
By Amy Vojta 2003 and 2005 AFA President
“B From Where We 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could see your ideas in a future issue of Perspectives.
In an ideal world, The Call would have been the last time we would have discussed the necessity of aligning the fraternity/ sorority experience with its values. However...
eat the drum.” “Singing from the same page.” “Sounds like a broken record.” All of these musical references describe how an idea might be shared and/or accepted. On one hand, having college/university presidents author The Call to Values Congruence (The Call) was gratifying. Finally, someone noticed that institutions needed to do more to assist fraternal organizations in being congruent with their values. On the other hand, those same authors noticed fraternal organizations weren’t in congruence with their values. When the piper calls, you have no choice but to dance.
of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) presented a unique opportunity for the Association’s leadership to live up to our 2000-2005 Strategic Plan and serve as a convener, an educator, and a partner. The AFA Executive Board spent a great deal of time preparing and thinking strategically. Who would attend each event? What points did we want to express? What outcomes did we hope to achieve?
The Call became THE topic of conversation. Time was spent discussing the document on monthly AFA Executive Board calls, travel budgets were reconsidered so Association officers could participate in face-to-face meetings, and Annual Meeting programs were created to inform the membership. The interfraternal breakfast held during the 2005 Annual Meeting was a fi rst and was jokingly referred to as “a meeting of the five families” in that we hoped to put aside any differences and unite in a common effort. (“Leave the Green Book; take the cannoli.”)
1. The Piper Changed the Tune
There was a sense of urgency about how the Association would respond. In those early meetings immediately after The Call was released, it was exhilarating to be part of the process to transform this document into an action plan. For the fi rst time, the Association was invited to participate in discussions with higher education colleagues. Being in the company of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and the National Association
In an ideal world, The Call would have been the last time we would have discussed the necessity of aligning the fraternity/ sorority experience with its values. However, in a less than perfect world, I believe several factors prevented The Call from delivering what it intended:
Since The Call was published in 2003, most presidents or chancellors have moved onto other topics. This was an important topic, but likely not one that was going to maintain its status, given all the issues a president must address. Some would argue most campus fraternity/sorority communities are no different (or better) than when The Call was issued. Have some campuses bettered the relationship between the institution and the fraternity/sorority community? Yes. Is it because The Call for Values Congruence was embraced by university presidents or vice presidents of student affairs (because, let’s face it, university presidents delegate)? Unlikely. Bold choices by upper-level administrators to address the lack of congruence (i.e., Cornell University addressing the issues regarding new member/intake programs) are rare in comparison to those appearing to let the most egregious behavior continue (as was alleged in the recent Rolling Stone article about hazing at Dartmouth College).
2. The Dancers Dragged Their Feet Fraternal organization and campus-based professionals talk a lot about values and relevance, but I don’t know if anyone acts any differently. Have we seen less destructive behavior by undergraduates because of stricter adherence to values-based membership? Have we said “no” to colonization opportunities because a campus culture clashes with our values? Have we exercised our right to a campus recognition process because individual entities clash with institutional values? Have we closed more chapters because we have reached our limit as to how far we will let a chapter stray from its guiding principles? Most of us are still not making the hard choices necessary to bring about congruence.
3. The Lyrics Were Lip Synched The Call was initially issued due to the role alcohol was playing in most fraternity/sorority communities. I don’t think university presidents considered how this issue uniquely impacts different segments of the fraternity/sorority community (NIC, NPHC, NALFO, NPC chapters) or different types of university communities (commuter campus, housed fraternity/sorority community, etc.) or the resources needed in terms of institutional support to meet the expectations stated in the document. A onedimensional approach to any type of systemic-change is always bound to fail. Unfortunately, NPHC and NALFO were not part of discussions about The Call until almost a year into crafting a response. Perhaps because their leadership felt The Call was not addressing the experiences of their collegiate members? Perhaps these entities weren’t invited to be part of the discussion? Often, this led to AFA Board Members trying to represent NPHC and NALFO interests, yet likely not fully capturing their thoughts or reactions. Without an NPHC or NALFO voice at the table, AFA, NPC, and NIC leaders were challenged to consider how those entities might be affected by any plans of action that were created. Although NPHC and NALFO developed standards documents in response to The Call, as did NIC and NPC, most of the documents mirrored each other almost verbatim. Yes, all are values-based organizations, but values can be expressed differently. Documents varied in tone, tenor, and text in as much as the undergraduate experience they represent would have done, more to encourage support and buy in from their constituent groups. The Call is a bit like a song you can’t get out of your head. (Didn’t I hear this before? Isn’t it a remake of Select 2000 from the NIC?) Rather than becoming an anthem for all inter/ national organizations and campuses, The Call is like a one hit wonder … catchy, omnipresent, and easy to dance to, but in the end, is annoying, embarrassing, or occasionally played for nostalgic effect. Anthems, on the other hand, are not designed for commercial success as they are written to capture emotion, require a vocalist with much more sophisticated technique and range, and require confidence to be performed in public. In the end, it shouldn’t take another call, anthem, document, or edict to motivate us to act in congruence with our values. But you already know that; I’m preaching to the choir. – Amy Vojta is the Assistant Dean of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at Rutgers University. continued...
Perspectives / Summer 2012
Summer 2012 / Perspectives
continued from page 7 By Dan Bureau 2004 AFA President
“call to values congruence” has long been an approach to advising fraternities and sororities. The concept had been in place since the inception of the organizations and had certainly found its way into many of the books, monographs, and articles that had come to guide our work (Eberly, 1970; National Interfraternity Conference, 1998; Robson, 1966; Schreck, 1976; Scott, 1965). In particular, the Bicentennial monograph, of which an overview if provided in this issue of Perspectives, explained that values congruence was an objective of those within higher education who had long supported these organizations. The Call to Values Congruence (Franklin Square, 2003) was not launching a new concept; however, the power of the directive was different: college and university presidents were now the authors. The content of the document focused primarily on the culture of alcohol that seemed to be permeating fraternities and sororities. Specifically, this is a problem that is most relative to what we have come to call “social” fraternities and sororities, or those organizations that are part of the North-American Interfraternity Conference and National Panhellenic Conference. While the issue of alcohol misuse and abuse is not absent from those organizations within the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, the National Multicultural Greek Council, and the National PanHellenic Council (which at that time were the only other umbrella groups), The Call was really a call to action for addressing alcohol use. This made sense to many of us who see alcohol misuse and abuse as a symptom of the larger problem of values incongruence. If the mandate of The Call was about stopping college students from drinking too much and creating a culture in which they could strive for healthy behaviors such as excelling academically and serving their communities, it certainly allowed for the issues of culturally based groups to be largely neglected. Serving as President of AFA during this time, I had many feelings. One was angst because of the weight of the document and the perception that campus professionals (at that time AFA’s vast majority of members) had the ability to implement some of the recommendations, such as implementing a five-day class schedule. Another was excitement as I saw this as an opportunity for AFA to be engaged in discussions that matter to college presidents. I was excited that we could collaborate as interfraternal and student affairs partners in addressing some of the biggest issues of our movement and help our organizations strengthen their connection to values. When we went to Washington, D.C. in 2004 and sat around the table with members of the Franklin Square Group (each of whom was a college/university president with a very large and influential fraternity/sorority community), as well as leaders from NASPA and the umbrella groups, I felt like we could really collaborate on something, which has historically been difficult in our collective movement. It was also an exciting time as the four umbrella groups were working on their own sets of standards – an initiative that had
Perspectives / Summer 2012
begun prior to the publication of The Call but that I think was really moved along because of the document. For the rest of my time on the board of AFA, we spent hours in conversations about strengthening our partnerships with these groups in order to help campus professionals implement the Call for Values Congruence. At the 2005 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, it was most exciting to see an interfraternal breakfast occur, at which all groups unveiled their respected standards and AFA was invited to be a partner in realizing the goals of fulfi lling values congruence. Since then, the Call for Values Congruence has permeated our work. Numerous articles and AFA Annual Meeting and NASPA and ACPA Convention presentations have been grounded in the document. However, the salience of it has waned. While the issues are still prevalent and merit our time and attention, The Call is not as strong now because it was so absent of many in our movement; we need a document that addresses values incongruence across all members in all organizations and one that empowers all involved to have a role in its implementation. We also need everyone who works with these organizations at all levels: professional organization staff and volunteers, campus professionals with direct and indirect oversight, college vice-presidents, etc., to be committed to values congruence and development as core to what we do. It cannot be a conversation by happenstance, but one to frame all of our conversations: if we do not initiate the values conversation, we cannot be confident that students will seek out this conversation. Reinforcing The Call’s contents with a more holistic approach to addressing values congruence are needed today. If this happens, it will allow The Call to reemerge as a relevant directive for current and future management of the fraternity/sorority community. As I have stated, the values movement is not new, it is not driven by a document, and it will ultimately be a conversation we have for as long as fraternities and sororities have a place on college campuses. – Dan Bureau, Ph.D., is the Director of Student Affairs Learning and Assessment at the University of Memphis. REFERENCES National Interfraternity Conference (1998). Select 2000: An Initiative of NIC Member Fraternities – A Resource Book. Eberly, C. G. (1970). Critical thinking, attitudes and values associated with fraternity membership. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, East Lansing. Robson, J. (1966). The college fraternity and its modern role. Menasha, WI: George Banta Company. Schreck, T.C. (Ed.) (1976). Fraternity for the year 2000. American College Fraternity Bicentennial Commission. Scott, W.A. (1965). Values and organizations: A study of fraternities and sororities. Chicago: Rand McNally.
philosophical statements for fraternity/sorority professionals By Michael S. Hevel
his academic year marks an anniversary for two philosophical documents which, consciously or not, shape the work of fraternity/sorority professionals. First, the American Council on Education (ACE, 1937) issued the first philosophical statement for the field that became the student affairs profession, the Student Personnel Point of View (SPPV), 75 years ago. Second, the Franklin Square Group (2003), comprised of college and university presidents, inter/national fraternity presidents, and presidents of several coordinating organizations, published The Call for Values Congruence almost a decade ago.
The Student Personnel Point of View (SPPV) The SPPV originated out of a gathering of higher education stakeholders “to clarify the role of ‘student personnel workers’” in 1937 (Evans & Reason, 2001, p. 361). Confronted with swelling numbers of students during a time of economic strife and the resulting challenges on campus, especially in terms of psychological and vocational counseling, student affairs administrators faced expanded but largely unguided roles in the 1930s (Caple, 1998; Evans & Reason, 2001). Although the meeting had been convened to focus on practice, the resulting document ending up being “foremost a statement of philosophy” (Evans & Reason, 2001, p. 361). The most enduring aspect of the SPPV occurred at the beginning of its second paragraph—“This philosophy imposes upon education institutions the obligation to consider the student as a whole” (ACE, 1937, p. 18)—which has been condensed by subsequent generations of student affairs administrators as concern for the “whole student.” Put another way, the SPPV articulated a philosophy that emphasized “the development of the student as a person rather than upon his intellectual training alone” (ACE, 1937, p. 18). Along with the creation of deans of women, deans of men, and personnel workers, and the professional associations they subsequently established, scholars point to the original SPPV as a formative moment in the development of student affairs (Caple, 1998; Dungy & Gordon, 2011). Indeed, Melvene Hardee, who memorably commemorated its 50th anniversary at the opening session of the ACPA/NASPA joint conference in 1987, claimed the SPPV “was an idea that became a profession” (Click & Coomes, 2012, ¶ 8).
The SPPV did not become the definitive and final philosophical statement for the emerging student affairs profession, but rather served as the foundation for subsequent statements. The field’s second philosophical document shared a name with its first (ACE, 1949). The SPPV of 1949 devoted more attention to the organizational structure and implementation of student services, while largely reaffirming the philosophy of its predecessor. In the 60 years since, philosophical statements for the student affairs profession have followed with some regularity, including Student Personnel Work as Deeper Teaching (Lloyd-Jones & Smith, 1954), Tomorrow’s Higher Education (Brown, 1972), Student Learning Imperative (ACPA, 1996), and Learning Reconsidered (Keeling, 2004).
The Call for Values Congruence The Call for Values Congruence (The Call) falls into place in a long line of philosophical documents in student affairs, albeit different in that it focuses on a specific functional area (Franklin Square Group, 2003). The Call is also different from many of the broader philosophical statements by placing primary responsibility on the college or university president, although there seems to be little evidence that the document has had more influence on that constituency than for fraternity/sorority professionals. While the document provides several steps for campuses to take in relation to its fraternity/sorority community, it promotes an overarching goal of closing “the gap between what fraternities and sororities espouse and how local chapters behave” (p. 5). That is, if fraternity and sorority members acted in ways compatible with the values of their inter/national organizations, concerns about these organizations would decrease drastically or disappear altogether. The release of the student affairs philosophy statements, traditionally spaced about a decade apart but becoming more frequent in the last 20 years, have primarily been spurred by educators’ concerns about greater numbers of students seeking higher education, the resulting increase in campus diversity, and the broadening societal role of higher education (Evans & Reason, 2001). Paradoxically then, changes in the higher education continued... Summer 2012 / Perspectives
continued from page 9
landscape lead to the creation of student affairs philosophical statements, but these changes are broadly conceived and consistent over time. Similarly, the genesis for The Call came from increased concerns from higher education leaders about fraternity and sorority members’ behaviors—privileging social pursuits over academics, especially heavy alcohol use among members—and the resulting negative consequences. However, these concerns, behaviors, and negative ramifications, at least for traditionally white fraternities, were far from new at the start of the 21st Century (Syrett, 2009).
Student Affairs’ Evolution Although the causes and the contents of these documents are largely similar, the context in which they were created and their meanings have evolved. For example, student affairs professionals have claimed to be concerned about the “whole student” since the publication of the original SPPV, but what has constituted the “whole student” has changed, sometimes drastically, over time. Today, most student affairs professionals (including fraternity/ sorority professionals) proactively work to ensure that gay and lesbian students feel safe on campus and are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, but many student affairs administrators led the persecution of gay students in the recent past (Beemyn, 2003; Dilley, 2002). Today, the “whole student” includes sexual orientations beyond heterosexuality; it did not 40 years ago. If these philosophical documents are generated in response to similar external developments and their contents are largely consistent, even as their meanings evolve, of what usefulness are they? First, philosophical statements provide an overarching framework and guide for all student affairs professionals, regardless if they work in the same functional area at different campuses or if they work in different functional areas at the same campus. That is, student activities professionals can design programs that adhere to the overarching goals of the profession (e.g., developing the whole person), but these programs might be quite different between a residential liberal arts college and
a community college. Likewise, career services and residence life professionals at the same campus can offer services that take into account the diversity of student population, although those services will differ in purpose and scope. Second, philosophical statements are broadly written to encourage consensus, often by prioritizing outcomes over processes and measurements. For example, The Call argued that presidents should put forth a requirement of “an acceptable level of academic performance for Greek membership and chapter existence” (p. 6). For organizations that purport to value scholarship, this expectation hardly seems controversial. What this acceptable level is, however—a chapter GPA that meets the minimum GPA for a student to be in good academic standing, a chapter GPA that meets the university average, or a fraternity chapter GPA that meets the all-men’s GPA and a sorority chapter GPA that meets the all-women’s GPA for sororities—would likely cause consternation between and among college presidents, chief student affairs officers, inter/national staff members, campus professionals, and undergraduate members. Finally, these philosophical statements can also help professionals, viewed by many faculty members as performing work on the periphery of the academy, articulate the educationally purposeful experiences they provide students. In sum, as Reason and Broido (2011) recently argued, these documents combine to articulate for student affairs professionals “what we believe; what we value; what we do; and, ultimately, who we are” (p. 80). For fraternity/sorority professionals, The Call nicely overlies these broader documents in articulating what we do, what we expect from undergraduate members, and why we do it. It may be impossible to measure the influence of The Call on the beliefs, goals, and behaviors of college presidents, chief student affairs officers, inter/national staff members, campus professionals, and undergraduate members; it is also impossible to ignore its influence. As a former campus fraternity advisor, I was aware of, but not consciously thinking about, The Call when I, along with another former fraternity/sorority advisor, concluded in a research article about the effects of fraternity/sorority membership that “aligning fraternity and sorority programming and initiatives with key educational outcomes … offers an opportunity to close the gap between espoused and enacted values while also working to contribute to the overall mission of higher education” (Martin, Hevel, Asel, & Pascarella, 2011, p. 557). This rhetorical flourish in a research article (hopefully) only underscores the quantity and quality of values-based conversations that occur between undergraduate students and
the professional staff who serve them. The extent to which those educators who work with fraternities and sororities continue to use the rhetoric of aligning actions with espoused values reveals the usefulness of the field’s first philosophical document. – Michael S. Hevel is an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Arkansas and a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. REFERENCES American Council on Education (1937/1997). The student personnel point of view. In E.J. Whitt (Ed.), College student affairs administration (pp. 17-24). Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster. American Council on Education (1949/1997). The student personnel point of view. In E.J. Whitt (Ed.), College student affairs administration (pp. 25-35). Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster.
Evans, N. J. & Reason, R. D. (2001). Guiding principles: A review and analysis of student affairs philosophical statements. Journal of College Student Development, 42(4), 359-377. Franklin Square Group (2003). A call for values congruence. Washington, D.C.: Author. Keeling, R. P. (Ed.). (2004). Learning reconsidered: A campus-wide focus on the student experience. Washington, D.C.: American College Personnel Association & National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Lloyd-Jones, E. M., & Smith, M. R. (1954). Student personnel work as deeper teaching. New York, NY: Harper. Martin, G. L., Hevel, M. S., Asel, A. M., & Pascarella, E. T. (2011). New evidence on the effects of fraternity and sorority affiliation during the first year of college. Journal of College Student Development, 52, 543-559.
American College Personnel Association. (1996). The student learning imperative: Implications for student affairs. Washington, D.C.: Author.
Reason, R. D., & Broido, E. M. (2011). Philosophies and values. In J. H. Schuh, S. R. Jones, S. D. Harper, & Associates (Eds.), Student services: A handbook for the profession (5th ed., pp. 80-95). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Beemyn, B. (2003). The silence is broken: A history of the first lesbian, gay, and bisexual college student groups. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 12, 205-223.
Syrett, N. L. (2009). The company he keeps: A history of white college fraternities. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.
Brown, R. D. (1972). Tomorrow’s higher education: A return to the academy. Washington, D.C.: American Personnel and Guidance Association. Caple, R. B. (1998). To mark the beginning: A social history of college student affairs. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Click, S. & Coomes, M. D. (Eds.). (2012). Melvene Hardee’s “A transcendent Idea: The Student Personnel Point of View,” ACPA Developments, 10(1). Dilley, P. (2002). 20th century postsecondary practices and policies to control gay students. The Review of Higher Education, 25, 409-431. Dungy, G. & Gordon, S. A. (2011). The development of student affairs. In J. H. Schuh, S. R. Jones, S. D. Harper, & Associates (Eds.), Student services: A handbook for the profession (5th ed., pp. 61-75). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
...The Call nicely overlies these broader documents in articulating what we do, what we expect from undergraduate members, and why we do it. 10
Perspectives / Summer 2012
Summer 2012 / Perspectives
CALL FOR VALUES CONGRUENCE REFLECTION:
TOGETHER FORWARD 2012 By Steve Veldkamp and Dan Bureau, Ph.D.
hen we reflect on the fraternal values movement it is important to compare our progress to the broader landscape of assessment and accountability in higher education. Pete Ewell wrote Assessment, Accountability, and Improvement: Managing the Contradiction in 1987. Twenty-two years later, Ewell reflected about higher education accountability and stated: On the one hand, this is depressing. After almost a quarter of a century and a lot of disputation and spilled ink on assessment, we might have expected more progress- or at least more nuance and sophistication when the topic is discussed. On the other hand, the apparent timelessness of these issues suggests they are hard and important – factors prompting their reexamination (p. 5). The same can be said about the fraternity/sorority values movement and specifically The Call for Values Congruence (hereafter referred to as “The Call,” Franklin Square Group, 2003). While interpreted as a mandate, The Call is truly an invitation for campuses and fraternities and sororities to prove our collective worth. Excitingly, some are stepping up to the challenge and sadly, others are motionless. Written almost a decade ago, some lament that we may not have seen the changes called for within The Call yet, while some say we have. It is easy for us to see both perspectives (and argue for the other if forced). The reality is that the original intent of the document was to be an accreditation process: A “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,”
if you will. In fact, it outlined the development of an independent entity to facilitate the review of campuses and organizations. However, this portion of the Call was edited. Appropriate to its name, The Call became a set of accountability expectations. This may be where the document’s potential was weakened. As the document expected individual organizations and campuses to develop their own strategies for ongoing assessment of values congruence, it became another guiding document in the field of fraternity and sorority advising. While we had a call for values congruence, we did not have the protocol for campuses and organizations to implement ongoing and meaningful assessment, and this is where we are in 2012. From our vantage point, we see only a handful of campuses and organizations that are working toward congruence in an assessment-driven way. The good news is more and more are beginning to start an assessment process. Many campuses and organizations who are reflecting on their relevance in the higher education landscape are establishing partnerships in a way that results in positive (possibly revolutionary) change in the fraternal values movement. To some extent, the Coalition Assessment Project is one vehicle to accomplish this goal and provides a cursory assessment of the fraternal movement. Additionally, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Educations (CAS) Standards could be seen as a framework for assessing values; however, until its recent revisions, it did not have the focus on values needed to be a good tool for this purpose.
The next incarnation of our collective efforts will possibly lead us to a firm set of performance standards for campuses and organizations.
Though these excellent new practices have ensued from The Call, the mechanism for widespread change in the form of a presidential request for a certification process has been reduced to individual action. Additionally, history teaches us that The Call will not be the last effort, whether internally driven or externally forced, to help those who are invested in the fraternal movement to diminish the gap between espoused and enacted values. Evidence of this can be found in the 1976 American College Fraternity Bicentennial Commission Report. Many of the concepts in The Call itself are a replication of the work done by the 1976 American College Fraternity Bicentennial Commission Report: Toward the Year 2000: Perspective of the American College Fraternity Movement by Kent C. Owen and Susann M. Owen (1976) (Hereafter referred to as “The Commission Report”). The university presidents, executive directors, and student leadership which created this 1976 Commission Report on the literal eve of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Phi Beta Kappa, penned a visionary set of recommendations for fraternities and sororities to achieve by 2000. In review of The Call against the Commission Report the similarities may be viewed as depressing, and when we examine the progress that has been made since 1976, one may also be excited and validated about the work that has been done. Figure 1 highlights some of the main commonalities and differences between the documents. While The Commission Report emphasized the potential of what (mainly representing the historical white and social) fraternities (and possibly sororities) could someday become, The Call was more practical and responsive to student deaths due to high risk drinking: Recent studies indicate a widening gap between the rhetoric of Greek chapters and the reality of their practices on college campuses (Kuh, Pascarella, & Wechsler, 1996). Fraternity and sorority mission statements eloquently and clearly define these cocurricular organizations as supporting and enhancing the mission of higher education. However, illegal and abusive alcohol consumption and its second hand effects-sexual assault, vandalism, violence, negative community relations, anti-intellectual environment, and lack of civility-continue to plague Greek systems (p. 4).
Another commonality we see in the documents is an acknowledgement of progress (just not enough). In The Call, presidents suggested that a number of colleges and universities have worked diligently to shift behavior of fraternity/sorority chapters which was incongruent with their stated values to practices more consistent with those of higher education. However, they suggested transformational and systematic change within the fraternity/sorority community had yet to occur. The presidents cited that the “diffusion of responsibility between campuses and headquarters has failed to align Greek chapters’ behavior with their espoused values” (Franklin Square Group, 2003). The Commission Report (Owen & Owen, 1976) expounded that “fraternities have the capacity to adapt themselves to new conditions, especially as they come to the reality that such developments will eventually work a positive effect on their communal life” (p. 2). In the Commission Report (1976), authors contemplated that fraternal life will have to adapt to age, social and economic backgrounds, academic preparation, ethnic and religious influences, and find a meaningful way of incorporating these differences into a harmonious experience. They finish by stating the “universality of ritual, warmth of fellowship, vitality of traditions, authenticity of commitment of brotherhood and service – may transcend whatever incidental difference separate the members of a chapter” (1976). In The Call, presidents recommended that those responsible for the administration of fraternal organizations should emphasize “the core values implicit in an academic culture; namely, academic achievement, career preparation, civic engagement, intellectual inquiry, racial and cultural understanding, and mutual respect (p. 7). Finally, both The Commission Report and The Call discussed the importance of the relationship between campuses and headquarters to foster increased levels of leadership, civic engagement, and inclusion. A significant difference of The Call was a recommendation for assessment and performance certification. The Commission recommended the creation of a national fraternal research center now known as the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity. The power of the two documents together is suggested in the Commission’s preamble to their 1976 guidelines stating: In the words of Walter Lippmann: Our civilization can only be maintained and restored only be remembering and rediscovering the truth, and re-establishing the virtuous habits on which it was founded. There is no use looking into the blank future or some new and continued...
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American Bicentennial Commission crafted a set of “compromises” as a “matter of consensus” as they projected what a strong fraternity and sorority community would look like in the year 2000 (Fraternity For The Year, 2000, p. 22).
The Franklin Square presidents created a Model Collegiate Greek Community Standard (CGCS). They proposed that all campuses, inter/national fraternity and sorority organizations, and their chapters support a set of shared standards and expectations.
Fraternities will continue to base their existence on the lessons of their rituals.
Fraternities will integrate the stated values of their organization and their host institution throughout their organizations.
Fraternities will strengthen their identities as communities of shared values.
Fraternities will instill the values of their organizations and their host institution.
Fraternities will continue to serve as important agencies for personal development.
Fraternities will sponsor personal development programs designed to help members understand, clarify, and integrate their personal values into their daily lives.
Fraternities will continue to be self-governing groups.
Fraternities will develop, implement, and enforce policies and procedures which govern the problem of high-risk alcohol use and its second hand effects.
Fraternities will continue to maintain some definite, probably positive, relationship with academic institutions.
Fraternities will integrate and demonstrate the stated values of their organization and their host institution throughout their organizations. Fraternities will develop and implement a standards board that holds members accountable to the “Greek Community Standard,” the membership expectations of each organization, and the student code of their college or university.
Fraternities will continue to provide important experiences in leadership training.
Fraternities will encourage members to take a positive leadership role within their chapters, Greek community, campus, local community, public, and society. Fraternities will support ethical leadership development.
Fraternities will increasingly receive support through the involvement of their alumni.
Fraternities must enlist effective alumni, parent, community member, faculty, and/or staff advisors for individual members and chapter officers.
Fraternities will gradually become more diverse and heterogeneous in their memberships.
Fraternities will respect the dignity of all persons, and acknowledge this respect with positive action based upon the aspirations and ideals of each fraternity/sorority.
fancy revelation of what man need in order to live. The revolution has been made… (p. 22) In conclusion, The Call is yet another in a line of documents that have aimed to help frame fraternal movement priorities. It attempted to provide suggested performance habits to right the course, which in some aspects of our movement has become terribly off-centered. The document was not the first to make this request, though the influence of college presidents makes it feel more powerful than predecessors. The Commission Report in 1976 provided an earlier impetus to align members’ actions with their espoused values and the priorities of higher education. The next incarnation of our collective efforts will possibly lead us to a firm set of performance standards for campuses and organizations. We may even need the certification program the Call suggests we develop. Regardless, remembering and revising are important habits we all need to practice. – Steve Veldkamp is the Assistant Dean of Students and Executive Director for the Center of the Study of the College Fraternity, Indiana University and Dan Bureau, Ph.D. is the Director Student Affairs Learning and Assessment, University of Memphis. REFERENCES Ewell, P. T. (1987). Assessment, accountability and improvement: Managing the contraction. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education Franklin Square Group (2003). A call for values congruence. Washington, D.C.: Author. Owen, K. C., & Owen, S. M. (1976). Toward the year 2000: Perspectives on the American fraternity movement. In T. C. Schreck (ed.), Fraternity for the Year 2000. Commission on the American College Fraternity for the Year 2000, American College Fraternity Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
Fraternities will positively contribute to the campus’s multicultural climate Fraternities will continue their commitment to the ethic of service.
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Fraternities will establish and maintain a community service and service-learning program of hands-on assistance and support for campus and community agencies.
FIGURE 1. Side by Side Comparison of the American Bicentennial of the American College Fraternity Report Guidelines (1976) and the 2003 Franklin Square Group Call for Values Congruence (2003). Please note fraternities are used to describe both sororities and fraternities. Summer 2012 / Perspectives
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By Natalie Shaak
ook to any fraternity/sorority Ritual, creed, or purpose and one is guaranteed to find scholarship or academics as a core value of that organization. This is not surprising given the history of fraternal organizations and their genesis from literary societies. Attend any campus new student orientation or recruitment information session and one will certainly hear that academics are the number one priority of the organization or community. One of the primary responsibilities for fraternities and sororities noted in the Call for Values Congruence (The Call) was to positively affect intellectual development through maintaining academic performance and graduation rates equivalent to our peers and provide support for members through academic programming, faculty interaction, and positive recognition (Franklin Square Group, 2003). But since the publication of The Call, how much has changed? Are academics and scholarship really the priority for each of our organizations, campuses, and chapters? Are we truly meeting this call to action? Look to the budget of an average chapter. Is there even an academic line item in that budget? Looking to campus-based professionals, how much time is set aside on our calendar to work on academics? How does that compare to the time we are spending on risk management issues or recruitment? How about our inter/national organizations? How many have paid or volunteer positions focusing solely on academics? We all know scholarship is important but are we giving academics the time and attention they need? But it is not a lost cause; we do have a number of things in place that have kept us moving toward these standards and kept us somewhat competitive over the years. Each year, Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society recognizes many campuses where the fraternity/sorority community has been achieving academically above their peers through its honor roll program. In 2010, the organization recognized 37 campuses in the spring and 38 in the fall for achieving above the all student average on their campuses. According to academic information submitted to the NorthAmerican Interfraternity Conference (NIC) in spring 2011, the all-fraternity average of 2.893 did exceed the all-men’s average of 2.878. In that semester, 51% of campus fraternity communities exceeded the all-male average on their campus (J. Root, 2012).
Data reported to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) shows that 65% of campuses reporting had sorority communities achieving above the all-women’s average on campus in fall 2011 (N. Meneley, 2012). However, on many of our campuses and in many of our organizations, our members are severely underperforming and not even meeting the all-men’s/women’s academic performance, let alone achieving academic excellence. Is just barely meeting the all-men or all-women’s GPAs how we define academic success? Is allowing organizations to lean on the same old academic programs with no proven record of success really fulfilling the call to action set before us? Are we doing a disservice to our students and the fraternal movement by not challenging our organizations to try something new?
“Are we doing a disservice to our students and the fraternal movement by not challenging our organizations to try something new?” Martin, Hevel, Asel, and Pascarella (2011) stated: Most fraternities and sororities purport to share in a pursuance of excellence in scholarship, high moral character, and deep friendships. Therefore it seems reasonable that educators might expect a significant and positive unique impact of membership in such organizations on educational outcomes. Should we be asking more of fraternities and sororities than to simply not have a negative impact? (p. 557) Of course, students cannot undertake this on their own. As advisors, we can look to the copious studies and literature on
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academic excellence in college students to stay current and cutting edge and share that information with students. Before we can jump into the research, we must understand our baseline. For this article, I made calls to inter/national fraternities and sororities from a variety of umbrella groups yielded the following information as to what is currently in place (based on 20 organizations from three umbrella groups that responded): • National minimum GPA requirements to join ranged from 2.25 to 2.5. • Minimum GPA requirements for members to stay active and/or hold positions ranged from 2.0 to 2.5. • Minimum GPAs for chapters to remain in good standing ranged from 2.25 to 2.5. • Organizations typically left the raising of academic standards in each of the above areas up to the individual chapters. • Most organizations did not have any required academic programming for new members, members in good standing, or members not meeting academic standards. However, many did provide sample programs that chapters could use if they chose to. • One organization required study hours for new members only. • Most organizations either do not have any set measure of academic success or base their view of chapter academic success on a chapter’s ranking among fraternities/sororities on campus and/or how their GPA compares to the all-male/female average.
But the responsibility for academic success does not rest solely on the inter/national organizations. A similar call made to campusbased professionals around the country identified the following: • Individual minimum GPA standards to join the campus fraternity/sorority community ranged from 2.0 to 2.5, but many campuses did not have any minimum requirement. • Campuses did have minimum GPA requirements for chapters to stay in good standing on campus. They ranged from 2.0 to 2.5, with one campus requiring a 2.8. • Based on campus professionals’ observations, most chapter academic programs or academic improvement plans included required study hours for members not meeting academic standards. A few included tutoring, study buddies, and social probation in addition to study hours. A small number included goal setting and academic plan creation for those not meeting GPA requirements. • No one identified chapters using academic programs for members who are meeting academic minimum standards. • For most campuses, the only incentive for chapter academic success provided by fraternity and sorority life offices are end of the year awards or points as part of an accreditation program. • Most campuses did not identify having any defined measure they are looking to as a determination of academic success. For those who do, it is the all-male/all-female average.
“One of the primary responsibilities for fraternities and sororities noted in the Call for Values Congruence (The Call) was to positively affect intellectual development...”
Current research on academic excellence in college students can assist us in transforming academic practices at the national and local level. A review of how various characters do or do not contribute to student academic achievement can be found on the AFA website. To make the fraternity/sorority community even more relevant in the field of higher education, we need the factors identified in the research conducted for this article to inform policy, programming, and support at both the campus and national level. Below are a number of suggested actions that use the reviewed research to influence our practice related to academics. Increase and enforce academic minimums to join and to stay active in the organization. With prior academic experience as the number one predictor of academic excellence, focusing on recruiting students with higher academic achievement should raise the overall academic performance of the organization. Additionally, current members should be held to a higher standard of academic achievement as they have taken the organization’s oath and committed to being more than the average college student. Allowing current members to not meet academic standards, while requiring new members to, sets a standard and sends the message that only new members need to focus on academics. Eliminate local exceptions to national minimum academic standards to join. Encourage chapters to offer provisional bids/invitations to students not meeting their high academic standards instead of allowing exceptions. Offer them the opportunity to join the next new member/ intake process once they meet the academic standard. The chapter can then assist them in the goal setting process, which the research shows will help them be more academically successful while also allowing the potential new members to show they are committed to the values of the organization and willing to put in the work to meet them. Create academic standards and benchmarks based on the university where each chapter is located. A 2.5 GPA on one campus could be the average student performance but on another it would be considered extremely low. Consider having an academic standard that has chapters look at the all-male/female/student averages to determine their minimum GPA requirements for members/new members. Use the all-student GPA as the benchmark for chapter performance in annual accreditation and awards. Consider increasing the weight of academic performance as part of national and campus-based awards programs. Utilize questions related to work ethic and attitude for education when conducting Potential New Member (PNM) interviews. The research finds that attitude is key. Finding out the reason a student is attending college could more accurately predict the potential new member’s motivation and ability to perform related to academics than just finding out a student’s major. Provide chapters education on what actually works to achieve academic excellence and provide sample programs for them to utilize. Understanding that
every student will need an individualized academic plan is important. However, chapter academic chairs need to know what options or resources are available and effective before they can provide assistance to students who need it. Inter/ national organizations and campuses can provide these resources to the chapters to utilize. Eliminate required study hours as part of academic programs/academic improvement plans and new member programs, specifically those that require study time in one specific location such as a library. The research clearly shows the number of hours studied has no affect on academic performance and distracting environments such as the library can actually have a negative effect on academic achievement. Allow members to identify the location and timing that works best for them based on their academic program and study style. Create class attendance requirements and incentives. Replace required study hours with required class attendance. The research clearly shows us this will be effective. Find a way to change the culture in your organization/community related to class attendance, and you will see improvement. For example, utilize chapter family structures to hold members accountable for attending class. Give out awards or dues discounts each semester to members who do not skip any classes. Base social involvement each week on whether or not members attended all their classes. Create the culture of accountability in housed chapters by having members post their class schedule on their door. Encourage the elimination of week night events with alcohol. Because class attendance is so important, and engaging in the party environment can inhibit students from attending classes, social events with alcohol should be planned for Friday and Saturday nights only, so as not to interfere with class attendance. Have all chapter members, no matter their academic performance, create an annual individualized academic plan including goals. Then reward members based on those goals. We do not need to wait until a student falls below our minimum standard to make a plan for improvement. Very few members achieve a 4.0 each term. Therefore, all members can plan for better academic performance through goal setting, individual to their situation and style. Evaluate the academic environment created in chapter housing. Every chapter house should be an environment conducive to academic success. While some organizations have formalized programs and processes, it is possible for every organization and campus to evaluate the environment of their living-learning communities. The physical space can be reviewed: Are there quiet spaces in the facility to work alone? Are there separate spaces for group work? Is internet accessible where students are most comfortable working? We also need to look at the standards and expectations of the space as well. Do we have quiet hours? Is there an expected time when music is turned down? Another important point of discussion is related to setting continued...
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5 Things We Know Now That We Are 20
expectations about members returning to chapter facilities under the influence and causing disruptions to others. Alcohol-free housing may also be a part of this discussion. Provide education and resources for members related to study skills and time management. Host workshops focused on developing specific skills such as test taking, reading comprehension, note taking, etc. Utilize various campus offices to provide these. Include these as a part of the standard programming chapters participate in.
Celebrating 20 years of serving the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Create campus and organizational programming schedules that take into account “busy” times such as mid-terms and finals. This includes new member education, recruitment, awards application processes, Greek Week, etc. This may be more difficult with campuses on a variety of semester and term schedules, but consider using a rolling deadline schedule if possible.
Social media has been overwhelmed lately with reflective pieces from people who have achieved a milestone birthday and have identified some life lessons for their years of experience. This year, as the AFA Foundation turns 20, there are some life lessons for each of us to consider. The AFA Foundation exists to better your experience as members; take advantage of the legacy we’ve built together over 20 years.
Create opportunities for interaction between students and faculty outside of the classroom. Utilize faculty advisors effectively. They are not just a name on paper. For example, invite faculty members to lunch or dinner to discuss their current research or their interests within their field with members. This can be done in groups by major or by area of interest. Bring faculty members to inter/national conventions to lead educational programs and engage in informal conversation with students.
Inboxes are flooded with opportunities to learn and grow. The AFA Foundation provides scholarships and sponsorships to attend several remarkable programs. AdvanceU, sponsored by a gift from Zeta Tau Alpha, provides a free opportunity for professionals to learn more about how to best serve our population. Make time to serve as a facilitator, sign up for that webinar, attend IFI—the opportunities are all around us.
2. INVESTING IN THE FUTURE IS ESSENTIAL.
Change the culture of academic success in the organization/community by taking the emphasis away from how members perform on exams to the value of learning new material and skills. Encourage the discussion of academic material outside of the classroom and for more than just studying. This can be modeled in an organization’s new member education process by engaging all members (not just new members) in educational sessions and encouraging discussion of the meaning of material. Additionally move focus away from how new members perform on memorization-focused tests to how they understand the mission and values of the organization and can explain them in their own words. Academic performance is more important than ever for students in the current economy and job market. The best thing we can do to prepare our students to be successful is to ensure they are achieving academically. Overall, the research available provides clear opportunities to improve our students’ academic performance. Implementing one or more of these suggestions can be effective in changing the culture on our campuses and in our organizations. Improving the academic performance of the fraternity and sorority community overall not only helps our students but will also ensure our place on college campuses for the future. Average or below average academic performance is not positively impacting our campus communities. We must recommit to a focus on academics to stay relevant and continue to grow. – Natalie Shaak is the Assistant Director for Fraternity & Sorority Life at Drexel University. She serves as a volunteer for AFA, HazingPrevention.org and her sorority, Delta Zeta.
Perspectives / Summer 2012
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1. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES.
How are you investing? Are you donating your time, talent, or treasure to the future of our profession? Giving money to the AFA Foundation is not the only way to be involved. Consider volunteering with the Silent Auction at the Annual Meeting, coordinating a special project, or serving on the Board. The investment we make now builds into us—and into those who will come after us. The Foundation sponsors research grants for those who are providing assessment and academic proof to the work that we do. Moving our profession forward and focusing beyond the “here and now” is critical.
3. CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK, STRETCH YOURSELF TO CONNECT. The fraternal movement is built on relationships. Our commodity, for lack of a better word, is brotherhood and sisterhood—an opportunity to learn, grow, and be more collectively than we ever could on our own. So, why do we work in isolation? Challenge yourself to connect. Don’t worry that someone will judge you—push yourself to be the first to extend. All professionals have something they need from others. Pick up the phone and call a professional on a nearby campus; ask a colleague to serve as your mentor and connect with them via Skype. The work we do as a Foundation is dependent upon you, our members.
4. THE ANNUAL MEETING CAN BE LIFE-GIVING. The Annual Meeting can be an overwhelming and, sometimes, intimidating space. It can also be the most renewing experience of your year. For many professionals, we are never in a space where we don’t have to explain and justify why we do our work. Take advantage of all this opportunity has to offer. The Foundation sponsors keynote speakers and educational resources for your benefit. Seek out new friends, find the author of an article you appreciated, creep around to find the #1 Twitter user among us.
For additional content from this article, including a full reference list, please use this QR code to visit the AFA website.
5. IF YOU GIVE A LITTLE ALL OF THE TIME, IT BECOMES A HABIT. Really. $10 a month is a $120 donation for the year. Giving is a habit. One that is difficult to cultivate, but easy to continue once it has begun. Consider enrolling for an automatic monthly gift to support the AFA Foundation. Your dollars matter. The AFA Foundation could not do the work that we do without your financial support. In the May Association Update there was information about our new relationship with OmegaFi. Take a moment right now to commit to a monthly gift to further our work as a profession.
Scan the QR Code at the right or visit the AFA Foundation website to make your annual gift, prepurchase Because You Believe stickers or make a tribute gift to celebrate the accomplishments of friends and the influence of colleagues. Thank you for your continued support … here’s to the next twenty years!
The Case for
Moral Development By Gentry R. McCreary, Ph.D.
o study The Call for Values Congruence (Franklin Square, 2003), herein referred to as The Call, is a study in wasted opportunity. Wasted in that if you really read the document, you realize it has done little more than shape 10 years of rhetorical bluster for those of us involved in the “fraternal movement.” Some campuses have adopted published standards for their fraternities and sororities, yet many chapters continue to fall short of those standards. Campuses have adopted new and improved alcohol policies and have developed new alcohol education programs, yet high-risk underage drinking continues to rise (Leinwand, 2007). Fraternity/sorority advisors talk about values congruence a great deal, yet a large number of fraternities and sororities continue to operate in ways inconsistent with their stated values. The Call, however wellintentioned, can only be described as a missed opportunity. Very little has changed in the last eight years. What was intended to be a catalyst for significant change has instead become an overused talking point. Why is this the case? Why has a document that had support from the highest levels of our higher education, one that called for significant cultural change, failed to produce that change? The answer surely lies in the fact that we have seen little innovation in our field during those years. As a profession, we continue to attack the same problems with the same tired approaches, and we continue to expect different results. In the meantime, hazing persists (Allan & Madden, 2008), alcohol use continues to rise (Leinwand, 2007), and we continue to provide fodder for critics who call for the end of fraternities and sororities. As a field, it is time for new approaches in the battle to align behavior with values. As we consider approaches to combat our issues, we must consult the literature to examine what, if any, empirically-validated approaches are available. Anyone who has ever heard me talk about hazing has heard me use the ’bad apples/bad barrel’ analogy used by Phil Zimbardo (2007) to describe the behavior of the guards in his now-famous Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo argues that instead of dealing with “bad apples,” what he created with
his simulated prison was a ’bad barrel,’ in which normal, decent people committed extraordinary atrocities. I have long argued that hazing in fraternities happens in much the same way – otherwise good, decent students are placed in a novel setting where they have complete power and authority over new members. Throw in some of the other cultural norms typically associated with fraternity membership (alcohol, hyper-masculinity, conformity, and a desire for social status, to name a few), and now a situation arises that is ripe for decent, upstanding young men – men who are rarely, if ever, violent outside of this context – to commit some rather atrocious acts, all in the name of brotherhood. While I would argue that the best tools in the fight to prevent hazing lie in fixing the “bad barrel” in which the behavior takes place, research has shown at least one effective tool that we, as a profession, can utilize to make the “apples” more resistant to the “bad barrel” and to help students align their behaviors with their values: the construct of moral development. Any student affairs professional that has earned a graduate degree in higher education or student affairs, and has taken a course in student development theory in the last 20 years, is likely familiar with Kohlberg’s theory of moral judgment (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). Kohlberg’s original theory has been altered somewhat over time, but the basic premise of his theory remains intact under what current researchers call a “neoKohlbergian” approach to moral development (Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, & Thoma, 1999). The neo-Kohlbergian approach to moral judgment differs only slightly from Kohlberg’s original theory. Instead of Kohlberg’s rigid stages, neo-Kohbergian theorists suggest a theory that consists of three primary schema: personal interest, maintaining norms, and postconventional. In the “personal interest” schema (akin to Kohlberg’s stages 2 and 3)where individuals do not presume the concept of an organized society, but make decisions based on the personal stake they may have in the consequences of an action. In the “maintaining norms” schema (derived from Kohlberg’s stage 4), individuals make moral decisions based
on a need for norms, a society-wide scope, and a need to conform to the norms of a group and maintain the established social order. It is worth noting that most fraternity and sorority members find themselves in the maintaining norms schema (Derryberry & Thoma, 2000; Pike, 2006). Finally, in the postconventional schema (derived, but different, from Kohlberg’s stages 5 and 6), decisions are made with regard to moral criteria (as opposed to de facto norms), an idealized way that humans interrelate, and a notion of full reciprocity (uniform application of social norms in an unbiased manner). The instrument developed to measure moral judgment along with this approach, the Defining Issues Test (and the subsequent DIT-2), is among the most empirically validated measures of moral development (Rest, Thoma, & Edwards, 1997). So why is moral development and the more specific construct of moral judgment (the mechanism by which one makes a decision regarding a moral dilemma) a useful construct for those involved in fraternity/sorority advising? Research has consistently shown two things: increased levels of moral development are strongly related to pro-social behavior, and college students are amenable to interventions aimed at increasing their moral judgment. Moral development has been linked to pro-social behavior in a variety of ways. Carroll (2009) found strong linkages between moral judgment, moral disengagement, and rape-supportive attitudes of fraternity members. McCreary (2012) found linkages between moral judgment, moral disengagement, and
In a meta-analysis of moral judgment research done with college students, King and Mayhew (2002) found that students are amenable to moral interventions as a means to increase levels of moral judgment. Their study found that the most effective means of increasing moral judgment appeared to be semester-long classroom experiences that emphasized on social justice or out-of-class experiences with service learning. These two findings, taken in combination with the consistent finding that fraternity members exhibit lower levels of moral development than their non-affiliated counterparts (Carroll, 2009; Derryberry & Thoma, 2000; McCreary, 2012; Pike, 2006) highlight the importance of focusing attention and resources on promoting the moral development of college students, particularly fraternity and sorority members. Such studies suggest that those involved in values alignment efforts with fraternity and sorority members may be successful at reducing negative behaviors, thereby helping students live in a manner more congruent with their values. To borrow Zimbardo’s (2007) analogy, by increasing moral development, we can make the apples more resistant to the bad barrels in which they may exist. Derryberry and Thoma (2000) also suggested that the lowdensity friendship networks of fraternity members are a likely cause of the lower levels of moral judgment displayed by fraternity members. Fraternity members are likely to identify closely with those in their group, limit their interactions with “outsiders,” and have an “us versus them” attitude. Pike
Why has a document that had support from the highest levels of our higher education, one that called for significant cultural change, failed to produce that change? pro-social bystander behavior and hazing-supportive attitudes. Another study found strong negative correlations between moral development and cheating and academic misconduct (Cummings, Dyas, Maddux, & Kochman, 2001). The student affairs literature is teeming with studies showing linkages between moral development and pro-social behavior.
(2006) has suggested that these attitudes lead to pressure for fraternity members to conform to group norms, leading to a lag in moral development. Practitioners should intentionally design programs and interventions to assist fraternity and sorority members in broadening their friendship networks and engaging in more depth with those outside of their organizations. This may be accomplished through delaying the time in which firstcontinued...
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As a field we must begin to pay more attention to the moral development of our students. Everything that fraternities and sororities stand for – the notion of making better men and women – naturally lends itself to conversations about moral development. year students are able to join fraternities. By creating programs specifically designed to increase the moral development of students that indicate an interest in joining fraternities before they are able to do so or by creating programs specifically designed to engage fraternity members with a broader crosssection of students, broader friendship networks can be developed outside of the fraternity. King and Mayhew (2002) found that social justice training and service learning shows promising gains in moral development, the development of an ongoing (one semester or longer) common learning experience that emphasizes social justice and service learning could significantly boost the moral development fraternity and sorority members and serve as a means to reduce anti-social behaviors within these organizations. Some in the fraternity/sorority advising field already place an increased emphasis on service-learning. The number of experiential service opportunities provided by campuses and inter/national organizations in recent years has grown exponentially. Expanding those “one-shot” programs into ongoing conversations about social justice should be viewed as a priority for our field. Campus culture also plays a key role in strategies related to values alignment. A study by the author found that campus climate towards hazing was the strongest predictor of individual students’ hazing-supportive attitudes, regardless of their moral development (McCreary, 2012). Studies have consistently shown that a majority of fraternity members are in the “maintaining norms” schema (Derryberry & Thoma, 2000; McCreary, 2012). As noted by Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, and Thoma (1999), individuals in the “maintaining norms” schema
Perspectives / Summer 2012
define morality through adherence to the established social order. These students abide by a duty orientation, in which they cling to a perceived “chain of command.” Decisions are made not out of respect for authority, but out of respect for the established social system (Rest et al., 1999). In an organization or on a campus where hazing, high risk drinking, drug use, or other anti-social behaviors are part of the accepted system, students in a “maintaining norms” schema are likely to be quite beholden to that system and have little inclination to act in a way that runs contrary to widely held views. Thus, the overall culture at a particular college or university is of particular importance as it relates to the practicalities of preventing high risk behaviors and helping students live in alignment with their values. Practitioners must work with stakeholders, particularly inter/national organization staff and officers, to develop campus-wide approaches (as opposed to isolated, chapter-bychapter approaches) of culture change aimed at changing social norms and increasing moral development. As a field we must begin to pay more attention to the moral development of our students. Everything that fraternities and sororities stand for – the notion of making better men and women – naturally lends itself to conversations about moral development. Leadership development has always had a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources are devoted to it by both campuses and organizations. What if, as a field, we spent as much time, energy, and effort on moral development as we currently spend on leadership development? In our battle to align behavior with values, moral development may be the best weapon we have at our disposal. – Dr. Gentry McCreary is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of West Florida. His doctoral dissertation investigates the relationship between moral development and hazing, and his ongoing research involves the development of a theory explaining how fraternity members define and conceptualize brotherhood, and how brotherhood schema and a variety of other constructs impact attitudes towards hazing.
Cummins, R., Dyas, L., Maddux, C., & Kochman, A. (2001). Principled moral reasoning and behavior of preservice teacher education students. American Educational Research Journal, 38 (1), 143-158. Derryberry, W. & Thoma, S. (2000). The friendship effect: Its role in the development of moral thinking in students. About Campus, 5 (2), 213-219.
Pike, G. (2006). Students’ personality types, intended majors and college expectations: Further evidence concerning psychological and sociological interpretations of Holland’s Theory. Research in Higher Education, 78-90.
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.
Rest, J., Narvaez, D., Bebeau, M., & Thoma, S. (1999). A neoKholbergian approach: The DIT and schema theory. Educational Psychology Review, 11 (4), 291-324.
Kohlberg, L. & Hersh, R. (1977). Moral development: A review of the theory. Theory Into Practice, 26 (2), 53-59.
Rest, J., Thoma, S., and 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.
Leinwand, D. (2007, March 15). College drug use, binge drinking rise. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/ nation/2007-03-15-college-drug-use_N.htm. McCreary, G. (2012). The Impact of Moral Judgment and Moral
Carroll, A. (2009). Impact of Moral Judgment and Moral Disengagement on Rape-Supportive Attitudes in College Males. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama.
Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York: Random House.
Congratulations to the fraternity/sorority communities recognized in the 2011 calendar year through the Gamma Sigma Alpha 20 National Academic Honorary Honor Roll! Na
If your fraternity/sorority community is consistently above the all campus GPA, submit Spring 2012 grades now and Fall 2012 grades next Spring. Need more information? www.gammasigmaalpha.org
REFERENCES Allan, E. & Madden, M. (2008). Hazing in view: College students at risk. Initial findings from the National Study of Student Hazing. http://www.hazingstudy.org.
Disengagement on Hazing Attitudes and Bystander Behavior in College Males. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Alabama.
Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Academic Honor Society
Albi College Albion Ball State University Binghamton University + Bing Birmingham-Southern Birm College Coll Brenau University Bren Case Western Reserve University Univ Centre College Cen Clemson University Clem Dartmouth College Eastern Illinois University Elmhurst College Jacksonville State University Longwood University + Loyola Marymount University Missouri State University + Muhlenberg College Northwestern University Oklahoma State University
Pennsylvania State University Rutgers Univresity-New Brunswick Saint Francis University Samford University San Diego State University Southern Illinois University of Carbondale St. John’s University (Queens) + Susquehanna University University of Alabama University of California, Los Angeles University of Central Florida University of Georgia University of Illinois University of Iowa * University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of Miami University of Michigan University of Puget Sound + University of San Diego University of South Carolina University of Southern California University of Washington Valdosta State University Valparaiso University + Washington & Jefferson College Wittenberg University +Fall semester only *Spring semester only *Honor Roll designation is given to the fraternity/sorority communities whose GPA is above the non-fraternity and sorority GPA.
Summer 2012 / Perspectives
Professional development through NASPA
NASPA houses 26 knowledge communities representing a wide range of student affairs functional areas, identities, and special interests.
for the fraternity/sorority advisor By Dr. Scott H. Reikofski
s student affairs practitioners, we recognize the myriad of contributions that professional development opportunities provide to our own constant growth and mental health as well as increasing the impact we may have on our students and our institutions. Since its inception, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) has been among the best sources of professional development and support, particularly for young professionals. Another increasingly important source for professional development is NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). NASPA houses 26 knowledge communities representing a wide range of student affairs functional areas, identities, and special interests. Knowledge communities serve as gateways to the profession to connect professionals and to generate and share knowledge and best practices through research, programs, and technology. NASPA’s Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community (FSKC) represents practitioners from university presidents and vice presidents to undergraduate and graduate students to professionals at various levels who have an interest in or experience with campus fraternity/sorority communities. The FSKC sponsors numerous programs and resources at the NASPA Annual Conference and throughout the year, working actively and collaboratively with many interfraternal partners. The FSKC seeks to increase the frequency and substance of communication and programming in the coming year and is always looking for those interested in getting further involved. At the 2012 NASPA conference in Phoenix, a number of fraternity/sorority related programs were presented. This article seeks to provide a glimpse at several of these interesting and thought provoking sessions, as well as provide contact information for a number of experienced colleagues who shared their expertise, research and best practices. One of the more publicly discussed sessions presented recently released findings in The Greek Experience Exposed: Findings from the AFA/NASPA Consortium Study. The session was an overview of the national benchmarking study at 40+ campuses using Campus Labs. The presentation includes the national data and then a discussion led by panelists from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Florida, all participating campuses in the study. Participating campuses are still mining the data and there are possibilities of follow up articles, particularly from the
Perspectives / Summer 2012
University of Florida. Primary contact for this session is Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Florida (352) 392-1265 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Babson College has made wonderful progress on addressing hazing on their campus and shared valuable insights in Hazing Prevention: A Student-driven, Community-wide Initiative. While hazing prevention is a priority for many staff members in student affairs divisions, campus efforts are rarely inclusive of all members of the community or driven by students. In spring 2011, initial conversations about hazing at Babson resulted in the formation of the Hazing Prevention Task Force at Babson College. This session presented information about the formation and evolution of the Task Force and how student-led efforts have allowed this initiative to grow and flourish into a true community-wide concept named “Babson's No Place for Hazing.” Session participants had an opportunity to engage in planning exercises and discussions to determine how this type of effort could work on their campuses. Primary contact for this session is Dr. Shannon M. Finning, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Babson, (781) 239-4309 or email@example.com. Global college education is increasingly a crucial part in today’s job market, and students want increased options to individualize their experiences while oversees. The United Kingdom (UK) remains the top destination for U.S. students studying abroad and Zeta Beta Tau has started chapters for UK undergraduates. GreekConnect: Stoking Fraternity Passion in the United Kingdom discussed steps taken to keep alight the fraternal passion while students and alumni are oversees, while also igniting the uniquely North American concept of Fraternity with UK students. This presentation helped participants understand the benefits of studying abroad and the challenges this can bring to undergraduate fraternity/sorority members while evaluating the challenges of developing the fraternity concept in the UK. Participants offered suggestions for possible best practices for expanding interfraternity connections internationally with both alumni and undergraduates abroad. Primary contact for this session is Dr. Grahaeme A. Hesp, Associate Academic Officer, FIE: Foundation for International Education in London, England, +44 (0) 207 591 7815, firstname.lastname@example.org. Since 2007, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity has conducted a study whereby it utilizes psychological maturation surveys to measure the psychometric development of its members and the overall
efficacy of its educational program interventions. Replicated, significant data has shown the organization’s interventions positively impact the development of self-awareness, self-esteem, intimacy, empathy, and altruism of its undergraduate members. Given self-awareness’ correlation with the misuse of alcohol, Lambda Chi Alpha designed a new study to measure the impact of its educational interventions on alcohol-related incidents within its chapters. An Empirical Study: Reducing Alcohol Incidents in Fraternities presented this Lambda Chi Alpha study that resulted in impressive, significant decreases in alcohol-related incidents within their chapters. These results indicate the benefits of Lambda Chi Alpha’s educational interventions extend to effectively reducing the number of alcohol-related incidents among chapters properly implementing the curriculum. These findings are consistent with research literature that links poor self-awareness with alcohol abuse (Verdejo-García & Perez-García, 2006). Form more information on this session please contact Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at (317) 872-8000 or email@example.com. Conversations Creating Change: Social Class and Fraternity/ Sorority Life was an interactive session that engaged attendees in conversations around the taboo topic of social class and fraternity/sorority life. Participates shared experiences with one another and reflected on moments in their lives where they noticed their privilege or lack of privilege. Special guests included an undergraduate and graduate student who shared their experiences navigating social class conversations in their organizations as well as the idea of covering. Participants left with activities to use on their own campuses and recommendations on how to start talking about social class. This session was based upon doctoral research by primary contact Kim Monteaux, firstname.lastname@example.org. Are the liabilities of undergraduate NPHC chapters overwhelming the benefits for its students? NPHC Undergraduate Chapters: A Dialogue on Successes and Challenges During the Past 20 Years looked at the research behind the advantages of being involved in an NPHC organization, which included having a support system, interpersonal skill development, and professional development. The presenters then presented challenges within NPHC undergraduate chapters that included the robust party culture, academic challenges, and hazing culture. At what point will a critical incident in one of these fraternities or sororities impact the rest of NPHC? The session included an intense dialogue
about the state of NPHC and what campuses can do to bring the organizations back their roots and founding values. Primary contact for this session is Ashlei Tobin-Robertson, Coordinator for Rights & Responsibilities, Department of Resident Life, University of Maryland, College Park, (301) 314-7598, email@example.com. Finally, Inspiring a Greek Community to Lead and “Do The Right Thing!” discussed the collaborative efforts taken by the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Office and the Illinois Leadership Center to provide an educational opportunity about personal values and the importance of integrity to the members of the fraternity and sorority community at the University of Illinois. As a result of the Fraternity and Sorority Experience Survey, it was determined that students in the fraternity and sorority community at Illinois were below the Big Ten average in leadership training/ development opportunities and indicated a low response regarding the positive effect that the fraternity/sorority experience was having on their personal integrity. This collaboration took the Illinois Leadership Center’s curriculum for their daylong program called Integrity and implemented this curriculum with an all fraternity/sorority audience, opening the program to the general membership of each chapter, regardless of their year in school or position within their chapter. This program proved important as it set the stage for students’ daily discussions regarding their personal values and how those are matched up to the values of their organizations. Contacts for this session are Andrew Hohn, Assistant Director, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Ahohn@ illinois.edu, (217) 333-7062; Brandon Common, Assistant Director, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Common1@illinois. edu, (217) 333-7062; La Tanya Cobb, Program Director, Illinois Leadership Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, (217) 333-0604. For future professional development programming through the Fraternity Sorority Knowledge Community, watch their website on the NASPA website, or contact current national co-chairs, Dr. Ron Binder, University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, Binder@pitt.edu and Dr. Todd Adams, Duke University, Todd.email@example.com. – Dr. Scott H. Reikofski is the Director of the Office of Fraternity/Sorority Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania and Past National chair, NASPA Fraternity Sorority Knowledge Community.
Summer 2012 / Perspectives
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