Page 1

in this

issue – Allison Swick-Duttine, Editor


hange can often be confusing and intimidating, although sometimes exhilarating. As professionals, most of us realize that change is necessary to the survival of the fraternity/sorority community. Fraternal organizations must be relevant, productive, and positive contributors to student development. However, fraternity/ sorority life is often not valued in higher education because of the disconnect between the stated purposes of these organizations and their behaviors. I was recently asked how I have continued to remain optimistic about fraternity/sorority life over the years. My answer may be simplistic, but the fact is that I stopped focusing all of my energy on programs, policies, and procedures. Instead, I started having meaningful conversations with students about why values-driven change is necessary and possible. When I modified my approach, I began to see significant cultural change occur. While there were many personal and professional experiences that led me to this paradigm shift about change, one of the most valuable tools has been Margaret Wheatley’s book, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (2002). The premise of this book is:

“I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation, negotiation, problem-solving, debate, or public meetings. Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well” (p. 3). “…all change, even very large and powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another about something they care about. Simple conversations held at kitchen tables, or seated on the ground, or leaning against doorways are powerful means to start influencing and changing our world” (p. 9). While community-wide education in the form of workshops or guest speakers can be beneficial, and policies and procedures are necessary for practical reasons, I believe the majority of our time must be dedicated to values-based conversations with fraternity and sorority members about their reality and aspirations.

Barriers to Greatness:


Using the concept of fraternal relevancy to create urgency for change



Changing Wrong Into Right:


Starting a Fraternity/ Sorority Community-Wide Change Initiative


Using Assessment Results to Improve your Program

AFA Annual Meeting Review

award recipients


[2006 AFA Award Recipients]


Nominating Know-How: Your Guide to AFA’s Election Process

The Last Taboo: Male-on-Male Sexual Assault



membership milestones

[membership milestones]

I have found that only by truly connecting with students through meaningful, valuesbased conversations, am I able to empower them to create the change they (and I) desire. In fact, it is the relationships formed through these meaningful conversations that have resulted in my optimism about fraternity/sorority life.

regular columns


The Mighty Quill..................................... 3

Wheatley, M.J. (2002). Turning to one another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the future. San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koheler Publishers, Inc.

From the Top.......................................... 4 Core Competencies............................... 15 Putting It In Perspective......................... 22 Winter 2007 / Perspectives

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

Allison Swick-Duttine 2006 Editor Director of Fraternity/Sorority Life & Leadership Development State University of New York College at Plattsburgh Angell College Center 204 101 Broad Street Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681 518.564.4825 Fax: 518.564.4839 Perspectives is published four times per year. Submission deadlines: Spring 2007 February 15, 2007 Summer 2007 May 15, 2007 Fall 2007 August 15, 2007 Winter 2008 November 15, 2007 Send address corrections to AFA: Association of Fraternity Advisors 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032 317.876.1632 Fax 317.876.3981

Board 2006 Editorial

Monica Miranda Smalls AFA Vice President for Resource Development University of Rochester Jim Barber, University of Michigan Dan Bureau, Indiana University Kurt Foriska, Ohio State University Michael Hevel, Willamette University Megan Johnson, Dartmouth University Kirsten Siron Young, Jacksonville University Melinda Sutton, University of Texas, Tyler

Perspectives / Winter 2007

Presidential Remarks delivered on Friday, December 1, 2006

– Dr. Ron Binder, 2006 President

“We get far more accomplished  when we don’t worry about who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman, Lambda Chi Alpha and President of the U.S.


began my tenure as AFA President with that quote and it rings even more true today. The issues facing our fraternal movement, while seemingly intractable, will only be solved if we work together at all levels and don’t worry about who gets the credit. This is true on the campus as well as on the national level. Just like our students do not live on islands but rather exist in environments where they interact and influence each other, we also do so on the national level. As I say to my students, bad behavior does not exist in a vacuum. We need to continually bring all our umbrella groups together, and our ever-increasing emerging groups, to create a larger fraternal community both on our campuses and at the national level. Our students rely on us to role model this behavior whether we are on a campus, at a headquarters, on a foundation board, or a volunteer. If we all do our jobs right, our fraternities and sororities will enhance the undergraduate experience and our campuses. This is what drives us to spend time away from our families and loved ones in pursuit of this dream. If there is one thing we bring to our work, it is passion for fraternities and sororities. Without passion, it is just a job. Accomplishments this Year Looking back over this year, we can feel good about our accomplishments as an Association and as a fraternal movement. If change is to be sustained, it must come from a team approach. If I have been successful at all this year, it is because of the Executive Board, Central Office staff, and our more than 250 volunteers. Some of the accomplishments this year include the following:


Significantly increasing the interaction among interfraternal partners. As I mentioned earlier, it is crucial that we work together on the national level if there is ever to be hope of having our students work together on the campus level.

As part of the AFA strategic plan, our vision is to play a significant part in the unifying of the fraternal movement. To this end, we have committed our resources, both fiscal and human, to accomplishing this vision. Last year, we hosted an interfraternal breakfast at our Atlanta gathering that brought together members of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO), Fraternity Executives Association (FEA), North-American Interfraternal Foundation (NIF), and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Fraternity/ Sorority Knowledge Community. Never had such a gathering taken place to bring together the collective leadership of the fraternal movement. This year, we hosted a morning retreat of the leaders of the movement in yet another step to finding common ground and outlining how we collectively can solve our issues. To continue this dialogue, AFA hosted quarterly interfraternal calls this year, bringing together the national presidents of NIC, NPC, NPHC, NALFO and AFA, to discuss common issues and to keep abreast of what each of our groups are working on. This summer at the FEA meeting in Tucson, I was fortunate to be a part of a presentation with the NIC and NPC on how the collective movement can address our most troubling campuses. This led to AFA participating in our first campus visit along with NIC, NPC, NPHC, and NALFO at Pennsylvania State University. The administration of Penn State was appreciative of such collective leadership assisting them in creating a fraternity/sorority community that we can all be proud of.

All of these steps, which build upon those taken previously, are leading us to a more united fraternal movement and are already paying dividends.


Providing more opportunity for all our Association members to serve as leaders of AFA. Our Association is comprised of many professionals who work in various capacities, whether on a campus, headquarters, foundation, or as a chapter volunteer, all working with the same goal in mind: to enhance the undergraduate fraternal experience. These talented people bring diverse and essential leadership skills to our Association which can only enrich it. We welcome their participation in our election process.


Championing our profession and fraternities and sororities. As AFA takes on new roles in the fraternal movement, it is important that our voice is heard on issues that effect what we do. One such effort was AFA’s participation in the congressional lobbying efforts held in conjunction with the NIC’s spring Annual Meeting. Shelly Brown Dobek and Carrie Whittier represented AFA in this visit to advocate for a bill that will allow contributions to fraternity and sorority housing to be tax deductible. This year, AFA was also represented in several national publications on issues that were germane to our profession. AFA appeared in Congressional Quarterly about alcohol-free housing; in The Talking Stick, the publication for the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I) on issues surrounding on-campus fraternity/sorority housing; and in several newspapers about our core values as members of fraternities and sororities. AFA also challenged Barnes and Noble about comments in their national college promotional materials negatively portraying fraternities and sororities. We look forward continuing this advocacy.


Strengthening our partnerships with NPHC and NALFO. This year, NPHC hosted its board meeting at our Annual Meeting. At next year’s Annual Meeting NALFO will begin hosting its business meeting. Having NPHC and NALFO as part of our Annual Meeting provides our members with muchneeded education on these vital groups. AFA also provided more education to our members on emerging fraternities and sororities where significant growth will occur and where our advisors need more resources. This will also allow us to continue to diversify the leadership of our Association to more clearly reflect our membership.


AFA has created innovative programs such as the 1st 90 Days, which will provide the newest members of our profession the tools they need to survive and thrive during their first few months. Our workgroups are already busy on other programs and services that will provide resources to do our jobs better. As a result, membership in our Association and attendance at our Annual Meeting are at all-time highs. People see the value in our Association and all that we provide.

look around this room and at this meeting, you will see many such tenured advisors who make a difference on their campuses. For many of us being a campus-based fraternity/sorority advisor is a career and our institutions need to recognize this. Seasoned advisors make a difference.

Issues we still have not tackled

James Kouzes & Barry Posner, in their book The Leadership Challenge, spent a great deal of attention on what they call “Encouraging the Heart”. Since Barry Posner is a fellow Sig Ep it is fitting that we spend time encouraging our hearts, by thanking those who make our work possible. None of us could do this work without a high level of support from our host institution, colleagues, and family.

Last year I outlined a handful of issues that are imperative we tackle in order to improve the larger fraternal community. While we can be proud of our many accomplishments this year, there remain three of these issues that need to be addressed if we are to realize our collective dreams. The first deals with the issue of standards. For decades, the fraternal movement has relied on one-time standards such as those to receive a bid or go through intake and then another one-time standard for initiation, with virtually no continuing membership standards. Similarly, we have relied on chartering standards for our chapters as a one-time standard with virtually no continuing chapter standards either nationally or on the campus. This is not how the world works and it should not be for our members and chapters. We need to make it easier for our chapters to remove members who do not live up to our values and for our chapters to live up to their chartering requirements. For far too many of our chapters, we have problems of recruiting, training, and retaining qualified chapter advisors. This is a problem for both campus-based and inter/national organization professionals. While undergraduates are our focus, it is through working with our chapter advisors, among others, that we will find success. Too often these tireless volunteers are an afterthought at many levels. In the coming year AFA will market ourselves to this group and provide resources for them to do their job better, in hopes of addressing this situation. Finally, an issue left undone is the status of our campus-based fraternity and sorority advisors. On too many campuses this position is an entry-level one where longevity is not personally or professionally rewarded. The knowledge, skills, and talents required to be an effective campus-based advisor are ones that take time to develop and go beyond those needed to advise other student groups. We need good advisors to work on a consistent basis with our groups, their advisors, and inter/national headquarters if we are to make a difference. If you

These issues are not insurmountable, but they are ones that will continue to hold us back from our vision of a quality fraternal experience for our members.

I am fortunate to work at a very supportive host institution, Bowling Green State University. It is wonderful to work at a place that values the fraternity and sorority experience and to work with dedicated faculty, staff, and students. I thank my staff for “holding down the fort” this year while I spent much of my time working for our Association. Our Association is very fortunate to have a highly dedicated and passionate Central Office staff. Their good work throughout the year helps your executive board and our entire membership do our jobs better. Amanda Bureau (Director of Member Services) and Tracy Murphy (Member Services Assistant) continue to take us to new heights annually and we thank them. As you all know Sue Kraft Fussell will be leaving us as Executive Director after nearly nine years of dedicated service. AFA has benefited greatly by Sue’s knowledge, dedication, and passion for our work and we will miss her greatly. While we may never be able to fill her shoes completely, we have begun a national search for our new Executive Director who we hope to have in place by the end of spring. As I mentioned earlier, I am fortunate to have an outstanding Executive Board this year. Their dedication to the fraternal movement and AFA is impressive. As a working board, they spend countless hours to improve our Association and fraternity/sorority communities, for which I am grateful. In particular I want to thank Amy Vojta for her dedicated service to AFA not only for stepping up two years ago and taking on the role of President again, but also for her nine years of service on the AFA Board. We would continued on page 6 Winter 2007 / Perspectives

continued from page 5 not be where we are at in AFA without her dedicated work. And finally, while he does not arrive until this evening, I thank my partner Greg, for his support this year with the many conference calls, meetings, and time away. As you know, I like to use quotes for inspiration. A quote I found recently summed up this past year.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention  of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,  totally worn out and proclaiming ‘Wow, what a Ride’.”

– Author Unknown

Thank you for a allowing me to serve as your AFA President this past year and for providing me with a great ride! – Kyle Pendelton, 2007 President


arrak O’Bama, in his commencement address last June at Northwestern University, stressed the importance of not forgetting where you came from and who helped you get where you are today. “It all is important,” he said. I grew up in Southern Ohio, so I learned at an early age the importance of down home family values, hard work, and close personal connections. Couple that with the fact that I come from a family of educators. My grandfather, father, and mother all have their roots in teaching others. I think I got the best of both worlds when it comes to my folks…my mom taught high school students for 35 years, and my dad, as superintendent, made sure everything ran smoothly (and of course, that folks behaved). Combine my father’s quiet, stoic leadership with my mom’s desire for order in a chaotic world and I think you kind of begin to understand me. I am so lucky to have my parents here today. In fact, many of you might have met my mom yesterday as she worked the lobby, introducing herself. All joking aside, their love and support for me has been unconditional, even as I called them to tell them that I had accepted a job at San Diego State just as they moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My sister could not be here, but I have to give special thanks, because without her, I certainly would not be here today. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi, and encouraged me to not only “Go Greek”, but to not make the same mistake she made. She stressed the importance of getting involved, not only with my fraternity, but on campus. Aren’t I glad I listened to my big sis? I think most of you know that Jon Hockman was the president of the Delta Sig chapter at Ohio State when I was a pledge. Even though he had permed hair at the time, I thought this individual was just the coolest fraternity guy ever. Of course, I think most anyone who knows or has worked with Jon will agree that he is not afraid to make us all think BIG picture. His commitment, vision, 

Perspectives / Winter 2007

and advocacy for the fraternal movement has in some way, affected us all. Add Ginny Carroll, Jonathan Brant, and Karyn Sneath to that list! They are amazing mentors, professionals, and friends. Then there is my trio of friends that really have made me a better person: Scott Carter, Cathy Earley, and Mary Ellen Gillespie. Have you ever been asked the question, “Who would be the best AND worst people to write your biography?” Good times, bad times, they have coached me through it all. I owe so much to my fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. “Challenging Each Man to a Greater Good” was a tagline adopted in the late 90’s (circa the Hockman years as some of us refer to that period). I quickly adopted it as my motto for working with undergraduate students. Paul Lawson took me under his care the moment I arrived in Indy during the summer of 1993 as a new consultant. I am glad he was and is still there for me. How did I get to Indy? Well, that honor goes to Mike Hayes, my one-on-one when I was an undergrad participant at UIFI back in 1991, who said to me, “Have you ever thought about working for your fraternity?” Sue Kraft Fussell and Linda Wardhammar, my AFA mentors… I hope I can give half as much back to the Association as you have. Sue’s work for AFA can only be described as selfless, which was made quite clear to me when I began my transition in October. When the news that she was leaving AFA began to circulate I received many an email and phone call. I had a standard reply: “When Beta calls, you go!” I cannot wait until next year to stand up here and see her right there, in the middle of the Beta Theta Pi row. Mandy Womack, Andrea Gaspardino, Lisa Blockus, three of the most caring and kind individuals I know. Jennifer Jones Hall, Dan Bureau, George Miller, Ashley

Dye, Megan Vadnais, Libby Anderson, and Mark Manderino…I have been fortunate to have had you working side by side with me. They always were a clear reminder to me that if we are going to truly change things, we need each other! The Ohio State University, University of South Carolina, San Diego State, Columbia University, Northwestern University, and finally…Purdue University. As diverse as they are in their geographical locales, they are equally as diverse in terms of fraternity/ sorority communities. Each one has left an indelible mark on me as a professional. Doug Case was my first boss after I received my masters. He is a former AFA President, but more importantly, taught me the importance of perseverance. And to my current colleagues at Purdue, including Diane Blackwelder and Colleen Drazen here on the front row, thanks for welcoming me into the Boilermaker family. I truly feel at home. BOILER UP! And a shout out to the Big Ten! All of our institutions are steeped in tradition, but none better than that of the camaraderie of professionals working with the fraternities and sororities. You all are the best! Rivalries…maybe, but hey, Mary Beth Seiler has taught me that even I CAN learn from a Wolverine. (Still I just have to say… four outta the last five years, Mary Beth!) On Sunday, a few of us went to have our tarot cards read. At one point in the reading the woman turned over a card and sighed, “Oh my, this card represents a person that is constantly worrying about you…and I think it is your mother.” Well Mom, there was, and is, no need to worry. I have had an official group of surrogate mothers looking out for me, they are called NPC volunteers. Betty Quick, Marilyn Fordham, Patty Disque, Ellen Van Den Brink, Eve Riley, Martha Brown, Maureen Syring, and others have taken great care of me! WOW! That list certainly contains quite a few Delta Gammas.

And finally, Amy Vojta…Let’s see…we have laughed and laughed…UIFI, NGLA, dance marathon, Carlson, NYC skip days, and hundreds of AFA moments. Through it all, you never ever let me (or anyone that you work with) think for one minute that what we do does not matter. Fun! Laughs! Good times! Being a Buckeye, I was raised on football, script Ohio, and Woody Hayes. An article I recently read online commented that his basic coaching philosophy was that “nobody could win football games unless they regarded the game positively and would agree to pay the price that success demands of a team. His conservative style of football (especially on offense) was often described as “three yards and a cloud of dust”; in other words, a “crunching, frontal assault of will against will.” Hmm…doesn’t that sound a lot like the work we do as fraternity and sorority professionals and volunteers? The article went on to relate how Hayes was a study in contrasts. Hard-nosed, demanding, often ill tempered on the sidelines, but the bottom line, at the end of the day, he was genuinely concerned about the young Ohio State students in his care. He was a mentor. Something I hope all of us can relate to at one point or another. Well, here we are, maybe not fourth down and long, but certainly approaching a third down situation. Our battle out there on the field is adapting to the changing landscape of higher education while showing our relevance to the academic mission of our institutions. We continue to struggle as the penalties keep piling on negative yardage: alcohol, hazing, unhealthy choices, sexual assault, lack of concerned and involved alumni – you know the list. Parker Palmer says in the book The Courage To Teach, “When you love your work that much – and many of us do – the only way to get out of trouble is to go deeper in. We must enter, not evade, the tangles of teaching so we understand better and negotiate our problems with more grace, not only to guard our own spirits but also to serve our students well.”

I do not know about you, but I am ready for a few first downs! We have the courage, coaching, and experience to win the battle being fought on campus. The working relationships seen with the NALFO, NIC, NPC, NPHC, and FEA need to be re-created on the micro-level on each of our campuses. If we utilized this model, what would our playbooks consist of? Well, every campus would have an advisory board with representation looking exactly like our interfraternal partners models. ENGAGE THEM! If we utilized the AFA Liaison model, what would our practices consist of? I will use the Inter-Association Task Force (IATF) as an example. Every campus would have an Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force or Committee whose membership was representative of the campus’s different student service departments & the community. COLLABORATE WITH THEM!

• We will have piloted and evaluated a fraternity/sorority program review process that will truly begin to create transformative change on the campuses participating. • We will have continued the ongoing conversations with our interfraternal partners in order to strengthen our existing partnerships. Finally, I understand the practices, scrimmages, and games will not be the same, but keep in mind, we have what it takes to win. Family, friends, colleagues, mentors, and students: I am lucky to have had them all supporting, listening, encouraging, and thankfully, challenging me. I assure you, too, that AFA will be there for you, on the sidelines, cheering you on, reminding you all to stick with it, to not give up, to continue to challenge, and to not lose faith.

And who would be our Athletic Directors? That is easy, you would include your chief student affairs officers in your program model. They have to know first the fraternity/sorority students, then you, and finally the work that is being done on your campus. UTILIZE THEM!

I look forward to an exciting year as your President. Additionally, I look forward to working with the outstanding group of professionals sitting up here with me, as well as as well as Amanda, Tracy, and Sue (AFA’s Central Office staff), as we embark on the next 30 years.

This time next year, what I will consider to be a victory for the Association includes the following:

I will leave you with one of Woody’s most famous quotes:

• With the 1st 90 Days Program, we will have implemented a new training model for young professionals. • We will have developed an advocacy campaign to increase funding, support, and status of those advising fraternities and sororities.

“Paralyze resistance with persistence.” Let’s get to WORK!

• We will have successfully recruited AFA’s third Executive Director and added (and hired) AFA’s third full time staff member.

In order to truly change the landscape of the fraternal movement, we have got to get past the woe is me attitude & the fraternity/sorority advisor bashing that has become a popular sport. Panic stricken by the demands of being leaders, they simply need scapegoats for the problems they cannot solve. We, though, cannot continue to bear their sins.

Winter 2007 / Perspectives

Barriers to Greatness:

Using the concept of fraternal relevancy to create urgency for change – Dan Bureau


ociety influences organizational change. Shifts in the external environment force organizations to reply with different tactics to remain relevant. As external influences continue to dictate how people perceive fraternities and sororities, our greatest challenge lies ahead of us: how do we sustain relevance and gain credibility? This article provides 10 areas that merit our attention as ways to maintain relevancy on college and university campuses. This, however, assumes we already have relevance. For some, fraternities and sororities are completely irrelevant and always have been. Persons invested in fraternal organizations perceive fraternities and sororities as crucial to creating connections to college and university campuses, which positively impacts retention. We see how fraternal organizations contribute to the betterment of society through acts of service and charitable work. We look to the sometimes amazing curricula focusing on personal and professional development that shape many new member and intake programs. There are many things we believe our organizations do well, but fraternities and sororities do not have the market cornered on these outcomes. What else challenges the niche we have on college and university campuses? Living and learning communities nurture personal development and create connections to institutions through meaningful involvement with faculty and cohort-like experiences (think of new member education with a more intellectual twist). Many campuses have service and collaborative learning initiatives connecting students to community agencies in need of support. Leadership workshops and courses are offered to aid in student development. Career centers provide training to help students meet their professional goals. Ultimately, our contribution to any relevancy movement is examining how practitioners do our work and what can be done differently to make the experience better than it is today. Being the same will render us increasingly irrelevant. We can continue to exist on campuses even as the most irrelevant organizations out there, but the manner in which we are supported by institutions will determine our fate. How do we increase the relevancy of fraternities 

Perspectives / Winter 2007

and sororities in 2007? We must tackle issues differently than we have.

Embrace Change

First and foremost, relevancy is about change. How fraternities and sororities change with the times will reflect our ability to maintain, increase, or lose relevancy. Good models to examine when considering change efforts to maintain viability and relevancy are seen in the business world (Collins, 2001; Overholt, 2004). Companies such as Starbucks maintain relevancy through change. The largest retailer in the world, Starbucks saw an opportunity to expand its market to the music business. While they made this leap, they remained true to their mission and values. Howard Schultz, CEO, stated, “Great companies recognize who they are and who they are not. But they must have the courage to examine transformational opportunities” (Overholt, 2004). If this ability to transform is an indicator of relevance and vision, then fraternal organizations are failing on the whole. While some change initiatives have been embraced, our members hold on to traditions that have no place in fraternal organizations: underground pledging in NPHC organizations and excessive alcohol use in NIC and NPC organizations are two examples. Helping students and constituents understand the environmental factors influencing change initiatives, as well as education regarding how to implement change in tradition-laden organizations is one way practitioners can aid the fraternal relevancy movement.

Tackle hazing

The literature on hazing in fraternities and sororities is extensive (Association of Fraternity Advisors, 2004; Nuwer, 2004; Nuwer, 1999). It is deeply woven into the fabric of some organizations (Kimbrough, 1997, Reed Jr., n.d.; The Gordie Foundation, n.d.). Hazing hinders relevancy in numerous ways. It creates dissonance from the mission and values, jeopardizes the health and welfare of persons who choose to join these organizations, and negatively influences the perceptions (and sometimes confirms the suspicions) of people outside of the fraternity and sorority community. All of these factors force fraternities and sororities to the margins as some people dismiss them

as gangs and cults rather than values-based organizations. Practitioners can challenge this by addressing issues of how hazing fails to create and undermines the relationships we advocate, rather than solely focusing on the legal aspects to deter hazing practices.

Address alcohol misuse and abuse

While numerous studies indicate fraternity and sorority members drink more than other students on campus (Griffin, 2006; Pace & McGrath, 2002; Spratt & Turrentine, 2001), the issue is not only about the individual consumption of alcohol, it is the manner in which alcohol controls the organizations we support. Fraternities and sororities are collectively held hostage by alcohol, and it is vital to tackle this as practitioners. The actions of members impact the culture of the organization, creating an environment where constituents such as campus professionals, headquarters staff, and alumni are always responding to alcohol issues, which minimizes the time available to address other important aspects of the fraternal movement such as leadership training and program development. Fraternity and sorority students focus community building on alcohol activities (Bureau & Barber, 2006). Such dependence forces the responsibility to manage abuse and misuse to those involved in the community. Accountability becomes difficult when those managing the process appear to frequently violate socially acceptable alcohol use, unable to enforce policies they cannot follow. Relevancy is often jeopardized when people cannot understand the reasons behind a decision. Increased attention to explaining the reason policies exist over explanation of the policy itself may help us send a caring and developmental message and aid in the efforts towards increased relevancy. The issue of alcohol leads well into our next area of relevancy.

Hold persons accountable

In fraternal organizations, systems must be developed, maintained, enforced, and evaluated to hold members accountable. Fraternity and sorority community norms and policies are frequently disrespected by fraternity and sorority members, when in

reality they are agreed-upon systems for participants to coexist. When these norms are violated, people should be removed from the environment. Fraternities and sororities have a strong history of failing to hold members accountable. The quality of the experience for many who want to have a positive and developmental membership is lowered by those who wish to only contribute the minimum. Accountability means addressing

non-affiliated students watch us combust, wondering why we do not get along and how we are relevant. Much like Lost, we create great drama on campuses, viewed as entertainers rather than a relevant and meaningful community. Purposeful programming by campus practitioners focused on commonalities while understanding differences can be a powerful tactic to engage persons in a common pursuit of fraternity and sorority community.

technology. The problem with technology is how it is used to replace some of the essential face-to-face experiences students have in fraternities and sororities. Technology in the fraternity and sorority community is important to monitor. It impacts our relationship building, our community development, the communication between individuals, organizational management such as voting, and the recruitment of members (Bureau, 2006).

“Great companies recognize who they are and who they are not. But they must have the courage to examine transformational opportunities.” issues hindering fraternal organizations. Practitioners can advise fraternal organizations on this process and create supportive systems to address conflict. Education on conflict management can be found through speakers and printed resources.

Engage Others

If you are a fan of the television show Lost, you will understand the interesting dynamics of how plane crash survivors learn to deal with each other. Contrasting personalities are forced to work together in order to survive. Once this population of survivors begins to adapt to their new environment, it is discovered others are also present: others who were there before them and others who survived the crash but landed on a different part of the island. Their need to build community and create a caring environment in order to exist and focus on the common goal of survival is often impeded by their inability to get along and understand themselves and others. This has deep comparisons to the communities we aim to serve as fraternity and sorority practitioners: professionals attempt to bring them together, but their investment appears strained if not non-existent; members in the same organization often find themselves having different experiences under the guise of the same values; organizations often fail to recognize that the existence of the others is essential to their own; members of predominantly White groups and members of culturally-based organizations often fail to create common ground (with both parties responsible for dismissing the other); and progress is stalled due to competing priorities, which impacts those who work with these organizations to examine their own priorities. All the while, community members, faculty, staff, and

Assess performance and outcomes

Student affairs practitioners are increasingly asked to provide information on outcomes of co-curricular activities (Desler, 2000; Upcraft & Schuh, 1996). Fraternity and sorority practitioners can advance relevancy by embracing assessment. Simple ways to assess performance may be collecting grade and retention reports. Qualitative efforts may include common questions asked to chapter presidents during semester meetings. Any assessment is better than no assessment. It does not have to be rocket science, but it has to happen (Bureau, 2005; Butler, 2004). Not conducting assessment will prove us irrelevant for two reasons. First, higher education has embraced the concept. Other facets of student engagement such as learning communities, service organizations, and residence hall groups are demonstrating their relevance with data (Eyler, Gyles, & Gray, 1999; Jones & Jones, 2004). Continued failure to incorporate assessment will render fraternities and sororities worthless as we have no data to prove our value. Second, if we do not assess the experience, the outcomes we espouse cannot be proven. In a data driven society, hard facts speak louder than anecdotal assumptions. We must, however, also be prepared for the data to reflect problems. This does not mean we are a lost cause: how we use the data to improve practice may be the best indicator of relevancy for practitioners.

Monitor technology’s role

Facebook is fun. MySpace is an interesting communication tool. These methods of communication are not the problem with

Technology has an important role in all of these facets, but if weekly meetings are cancelled and business is conducted over a listserv, then important dialogue on organizational issues may never occur. One of the things fraternities and sororities espouse is their personal and professional development and relationship building. While technology can aid those goals, it does not replace the importance of face-toface interaction. Technology can enhance and undermine relevancy all at the same time. We should model good behavior by our own appropriate use of technology. In addition, we should provide resources to help chapter members learn to properly use technology in the management of chapter relationships and operations.

Incorporate diversity

By 2015, 40 percent of college and university students will be of color (Pike and Kuh, 2004). High schools are more ethnically diverse than ever, but when they come to our campuses, students often become separated by issues of race (Howe and Strauss, 2000). According to the landmark Workforce 2010 study, 30 percent of new entrants into the U.S. labor pool between now and 2010 will be women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, and immigrants. This reflects a broader demographic shift across our society – a shift literally changing the face of the U.S. (Gans, Gans & Assoc., 2006). There are some inherent challenges in promoting organizations where people of similar values and backgrounds come together to support each other. The aim is not the problem. The issue lies with the inability to recognize that people with different continued on page 11 Winter 2007 / Perspectives


Perspectives / Winter 2007

continued from page 9 backgrounds can embrace similar values and advance them in different but still meaningful ways. Fraternities and sororities provide powerful forums for people to develop and learn to interact in “the real world.” When the “real world” is not homogenous and people must work together to accomplish similar goals in spite of their differences, how then can fraternities and sororities say they truly prepare people for entrance into society? Their experience often prepares them to get along with people who think and look just like they do. To change this culture, we must address the inherent challenges in helping people who look, believe and think differently to get along. Creating forums to openly discuss challenges with diversity can be difficult. The discussion will not be easy. Annual leadership retreats can focus on this topic with students creating action plans to increase interaction across diverse populations.

Serve the community

Fraternities and sororities claim a powerful purpose of supporting charitable causes by raising millions of dollars annually and participating in hands-on service such as tutoring children and cleaning highways. This sounds virtuous and appropriate for fraternal organizations. Relevancy will be defined by what role service plays in the existence of an organization: are service and philanthropy prioritized over other organizational functions? An increasing number of students come to colleges with strong records of volunteer involvement. The decision to join fraternities and sororities as a vehicle to help others will be based on the visibility when conducting these activities. Many NIC and NPC chapters can take a lesson from culturally-based organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to helping others by volunteering time, rather than writing a check. If undergraduate fraternal organizations lived their purpose more intentionally, then the role of service would be increasingly valued in these organizations. People will recognize we conduct service because our organizations encourage this action. We will become relevant because we have a greater purpose than strictly helping ourselves.

Challenge members to live their mission and values

College and university campuses typically provide many forums for students to get involved. On some campuses, hundreds of organizations exist to create meaningful communities for students. Many organizations reflect similar objectives, so what

sets them apart? Considering fraternities and sororities, powerful rituals developed in the hopes of understanding and living the mission and values of the organization make us unique. This is, perhaps, the most important area to address as practitioners seek to ensure relevancy. Websites allow anyone to view the mission and values of fraternal organizations. While these are open for all to view, so are the actions of members. The lack of congruence between stated values and actions speaks volumes about the relevance of fraternal organizations today. Missions can guide actions; actions occur with some consideration to values. When the public views fraternity and sorority member actions, they often make presumptions about what these organizations value. Unfortunately, many actions are inconsistent with our documented missions. Fraternity and sorority practitioners should be concerned about the values movement. We must be focused on this whenever we advise students. However, students often set the agenda, so while we can see the values movement as important, what they perceive as important drives our time. We should be purposeful in gearing conversations about any program, event, incident, policy, or practice toward values. One method is to start conversations with, “Before I give advice, I need to know your organization’s values to best support you.” If we are not having the values conversation with students, no one will.


For decades, students, professionals, and volunteers have sought to address the challenges facing fraternities and sororities by creating intake programs, increasing service and programmatic requirements, and providing leadership development. Practitioners must understand we can make some difference, but our power is limited. These challenges are manifested in many parts of society: all we can do is tackle them in the environment we serve. Fraternal relevancy is not a new concept. The difference now is that new organizations compete with fraternities and sororities as “the best opportunity for a well-rounded involvement experience.” However, when we look at our opportunities, practitioners should feel confident we can become relevant and meaningful for many students with a renewed manner in which we do our work. Focusing attention on the challenges we face, with an emphasis on values and mission, may help us advance the fraternal movement in ways we never imagined.

–D  an Bureau is a doctoral student at Indiana University and a facilitator for CAMPUSPEAK, Inc. REFERENCES Association of Fraternity Advisors (2004). Hazing on campus. Indianapolis: Association of Fraternity Advisors. Bureau, D. (2005, Summer). Using assessment to guide strategic planning. AFA Perspectives. pp. 6-9. Bureau, D. (2006, Fall). Putting it in perspective. AFA Perspectives. pp. 22-23. Bureau, D. & Barber, J. (in press). The role of alcohol in student community development: Challenges for student affairs practitioners. NASPA NetResults. Butler, D. (2004, Fall). Improving members’ perception of the fraternity/sorority organization. Retrieved November 17, 2006 from Perspectives/2004_Fall_Perspectives.pdf (members only page). Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don’t. Good to Great. Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. Desler, M. (2000). Translating theory and assessment results into practice. In Barr, M.J. & Desler, M.K. (Eds.) The handbook of student affairs administration (2nd ed.) (pp. 285-310). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Eyler, J., Gyles, D.E. and Gray,C. (1999). At a glance: What we know about the effects of service-learning on college students, faculty, institutions and communities, 1993-1999. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, Retrieved November 17, 2006 from http://www.compact. org/resources/downloads/aag.pdf Gans, Gans and Associates (2006). Homepage. Retrieved November 12, 2006 from divwork.html Griffin, A. (2006, September 13). Perceptions of sororities: Stereotypes of risky alcohol-related behaviors. NASPA NetResults. Retrieved November 10, 2006 from http:// (members only page). Howe, N. & Strauss, W. (2000). Millennials rising: The next great generation. New York, NY: Random House Inc. Jones, J.B. & Jones, D.P. (2004, October 26). Student residence environment survey: Assessing residential learning communities. NASPA NetResults. Retrieved November 17, 2006 from cfm?id=1470 (members only page). Kimbrough, W. M. (1997). The membership intake movement of historically Black Greek-letter organizations. NASPA Journal, 34, 229-239. Nuwer, H. (1999). Wrongs of passage: Fraternities, sororities, hazing, and binge drinking. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Nuwer, H. (2004). The hazing reader. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Overholt, A. (2004, July). Do you hear what Starbucks hears? Fast Company. Retrieved November 17, 2006 from http:// Pace, D. & McGrath, P. (2002). A comparison of drinking behaviors of students in Greek Organizations and students active in a campus volunteer organization. NASPA Journal 39(3). pp. 217-232. Pike, G. & Kuh, G.D. (2004). Structural diversity, informal interactional diversity and the campus environment. Presented November 2004 at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Conference in Kansas City, MO. Retrieved November 12, 2006 from paperdepot2004%20f06%20pike%20kuh%20structural% 20diversity.pdf Reed Jr., T.T. (n.d.). Water of life, water of death. Retrieved November 17, 2006 from -essay-water.html Spratt, J.T. & Turrentine, C.G. (2001). The leader factor: student leadership as a risk factor for alcohol abuse. Journal of College Student Development 42(1). pp. 59-67. The Gordie Foundation (n.d.). Gordie’s story. Retrieved November 17, 2006 from http://www.thegordiefoundation. org/home/gordiesstory_story.asp Upcraft, M.L. & Schuh, J. (1996). Assessment in student affairs: A guide for practitioners. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Webber, S.S. & Donahue, L.M. (2001). Impact of highly and less job-related diversity on work group cohesion and performance: a meta analysis. Journal of Management 27. pp. 141-162. Retrieved November 12, 2006 from http://jom.

Winter 2007 / Perspectives



Changing Wrong Into Right:

Using Assessment Results to Improve your Program

– Sally Vestal


ertain assumptions of the fraternity/sorority experience are accurate as determined by the results of the 2006 AFA/EBI fraternity/sorority Assessment. The findings reveal that the enhancement of interpersonal skills has a greater degree of influence on member perceptions of the effectiveness of the fraternity/ sorority program than other factors included in the assessment. Enhancement of interpersonal skills is not only the top predictor of Overall Program Effectiveness; it is also the highest performer. Participating schools can proudly proclaim that they are excelling in this area! While this news is excellent, other factors impact member perceptions of the effectiveness of the programs which are not performing as well. Institutions need to increase the performance of certain factors in order to continue to improve fraternity/sorority programs. By improving in specific areas, overall effectiveness of their programs and the quality of the student experience can be enhanced. They need to determine what is wrong and work to make it right. Clearly “right” and “wrong” are relative terms. These terms are being used to make the point that it is possible to know what is working well and what needs improvement. Furthermore, by improving what is “wrong,” it is possible to improve the overall fraternity/sorority experience, making it more “right” for students and our institutions. The goal of the annual AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment is to provide benchmarking information to each institution regarding the perceptions of their students for the purpose of continuous internal improvement.


TOP PRIORITY Anticipated Alumni Activity Experience Contributed to Personal Growth MAINTAIN OR IMPROVE Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Interpersonal Relationship Skills MAINTAIN Safety and Security Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Leadership Skills Opportunities to Participate in Community Service MONITOR Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Personal Development Skills Satisfaction with Housing Satisfaction with Fraternity/Sorority Programming Attitude Changes Regarding Diversity Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Self Awareness Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Academic Abilities Satisfaction with Fraternity/Sorority Office Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Career Development


Perspectives / Winter 2007

There are 77 perception questions on the AFA/EBI Fraternity/ Sorority Assessment (referred to in this article as the Fraternity/ Sorority Assessment) that utilize a seven-point Likert scale where 1 represents “very dissatisfied” and 7 represents “very satisfied”. There are also 14 categorical questions (e.g. gender, ethnicity, study hours per week, hours of community service, etc.) asked of each respondent. The 77 perception questions are used to comprise 15 factors. Factors, also called “constructs”, are groupings of related questions with a statistical foundation. For example, in the Fraternity/Sorority Assessment, the factor “Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Interpersonal Relationship Skills” is derived from a series of questions which ask members their perception on items such as whether the fraternity/sorority experience enhanced the member’s ability to meet new people, establish friendship, etc. One of these 15 factors, “Overall Program Effectiveness”, is designated as the dependent variable while the remaining 14 factors are designated as the independent variables. A multi-variant linear regression establishes the relationship between the 14 independent factors and the dependent factor, “Overall Program Effectiveness”. Those factors that have a strong relationship with Overall Program Effectiveness are termed “predictors” meaning that if these factors are improved, then a corresponding improvement in Overall Program Effectiveness should be seen. Table 1 below contains the aggregate results (analysis of the responses from all institutions) of this analysis. Notice the factor “Fraternity/Sorority Enhanced Interpersonal Relationship Skills” is in the section labeled Maintain or Improve. The Maintain or Improve category contains the factors that have high predictive value and are also high performing factors. It is desirable to see all of the factors that have a major impact on Overall Program Effectiveness in this category.

Regression Variables

Impact on Overall Program Effectiveness Description





Value Description

2nd Predictor 3rd Predictor

0.20 0.28

0.09 0.08

4.64 4.43

Moderate Impact Moderate Impact

5.18 5.20

Good Good

Top Predictor




Moderate Impact



4th Predictor 6th Predictor 12th Predictor

0.32 0.39 0.52

0.04 0.03 0.01

3.82 3.65 2.39

Slight Impact Slight Impact Negligible Impact

5.69 5.58 5.75

Excellent Excellent Excellent

5th Predictor 7th Predictor 8th Predictor 9th Predictor 10th Predictor 11th Predictor Non Predictor Non Predictor

0.36 0.42 0.45 0.48 0.50 0.51 0.00 0.00

0.04 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.01 0.00 0.00

3.72 3.60 3.49 3.43 2.93 2.47 0.00 0.00

Slight Impact Slight Impact Slight Impact Slight Impact Negligible Impact Negligible Impact No Impact No Impact

5.02 5.15 5.28 4.87 5.14 4.98 5.12 5.04

Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good

The section labeled Top Priority contains factors that have moderate or high impact on Overall Program Effectiveness that are not performing as well as one would hope. In order to improve the fraternity/sorority program, institutions need to improve the performance of the factors in the top priority category. These are the areas we should strive to make “right.” From Table 1, we can see that for the aggregate data those factors are Anticipated Alumni Activity and Experience Contributed to Personal Growth. Ideally, we would like to see these factors move into the Maintain or Improve section. Improving the performance of the top predicting factors should lead to an increase in the performance of the Overall Program Effectiveness factor. Comparing the performance of the factor among different populations may yield clues as to how to improve the factor. If one population is more satisfied than another, then institutions should look for the cause of the gap in the perceptions. When something is not “right” for only some sub-populations, focusing improvement efforts on that group is advised, rather than using time and money to seek improvement for the entire population. A task force can be established to determine why one population is being underserved and how to increase their level of satisfaction.

Chart 3: 2006 AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment Anticipated Alumni Activity 5.6

Chart 3: 2006 AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment Experience Contributed to Personal Growth Establishing effective social skills Learning self discipline Commitment to community service Ability to drink responsibly Academic success


Identifying a career direction 4



The second factor in the Top Priority category is Experience Enhanced Personal Growth and it is the third predictor of Overall Program Effectiveness. The factor is comprised of six questions which assess to what degree the fraternity/sorority contributed to the member’s growth on a personal level. The mean response to these questions, as seen in Chart 3, range from a high of 5.75 for establishing effective social skills to 4.56 for identifying a career direction. Members are less satisfied with the fraternity/sorority’s contribution to their career and academic success than with the organization’s contribution to their social success. Increasing the mean for the lower performing questions will increase the factor mean. Again, this should, in turn, increase member perception of overall program performance.





question mean


female gender

Examination of the Anticipated Alumni factor from the Top Priority category reveals a statistically significant difference between the perceptions of males and females. Chart 2 shows that males feel they are more likely to remain involved in the organization as alumni than females. Increasing the degree to which females feel connected to the organization and want to stay involved after graduation will increase the mean of the factor. This, in turn, should lead to an increase in member perceptions of the overall effectiveness of the fraternity/sorority program. Another option in the improvement process is to examine the questions that comprise a factor; look for underperforming questions. Improving performance on those questions will result in an increase in the performance of the factor. This is a more cost effective approach to improving what is “wrong” than trying to improve the entire factor.

Knowing where to focus resources in order to achieve the greatest impact is crucial to any continuous improvement effort. The regression analysis points institutions in the right direction. As you consider the results presented here, please bear in mind that they are based on aggregate data from all participating institutions and do not necessarily reflect your institution. Each institution is unique. Schools that already participate in the AFA/EBI Fraternity/ Sorority Assessment have their own campus information and can use their findings to guide their planning. Without assessment to support action planning, it is possible that interventions may be misdirected. For more information on the assessment or how your institution can become involved, please contact Dave Butler, Project Director: 302-286-0230 or EBI assessments are also available for College Housing, Campus Union/Student Centers, the First-Year Initiative and many academic areas in higher education. Please visit for more information. – S ally Vestal is the Production Manager for Educational Benchmarking, Inc.

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Perspectives / Winter 2007

– Michael Hevel & Megan Johnson

Utilizing the Core Competencies to Affect Positive Change


hange is difficult and necessary. Communities rich with history and tradition, such as fraternities and sororities, must continuously evolve to remain relevant to modern college students. The Association of Fraternity Advisors’ Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession provide a comprehensive framework for professionals leading change initiatives. The Core Competencies also help professionals minimize resistance to change. Developing coalitions, providing learning opportunities to stakeholders, articulating shared values, communicating effectively, utilizing technology, and maintaining ethical standards allow professionals to manage almost all issues facing the fraternity and sorority community. If properly applied, the greatest beneficiaries of these competencies are fraternity/sorority undergraduate members. The Core Competencies guide professional practice. Each of the Core Competencies can help create positive changes in the fraternal movement. For example, they can assist a fraternity/sorority professional in addressing inappropriatelythemed events. While students plan these events with humor, inappropriately-themed events illustrate the ignorance of the planners while often disrespecting women and minorities. These events also create negative perceptions of fraternities and sororities by campus and community members. The Core Competencies encourage the development of partnerships and coalitions with all stakeholders, including campus administrators, faculty members, inter/national headquarters staff members and volunteers, undergraduate leaders, and chapter advisors. Convening these stakeholders can promote dialogue and educational opportunities for the community surrounding themed events.

challenges this brings up across campus. The fraternity/sorority advisor could arrange for educational programming about how planning and participating in these events negatively impact the fraternity/sorority community. Additionally, the advisor might design a workshop for chapter leadership focusing on developing multicultural awareness. By utilizing technology, the advisor could upload information to the fraternity and sorority life web page, including appropriate party themes and information about minority student populations. In fact, helpful resources from colleagues might already be available on the Association’s Online Community or web-based Knowledge Center. Addressing the problematic role inappropriately-themed functions play in a fraternity/sorority community requires multiple efforts. As professionals strive to improve the undergraduate fraternal experience, the utilization of the AFA Core Competencies can be a beneficial resource to address the many areas requiring change. – Michael Hevel is a doctoral student at University of Iowa. –M  egan Johnson is the Assistant Director of Coed, Fraternity, Sorority, & Senior Society Administration at Dartmouth College.

The professional might provide insight to the coalition members regarding the effects these functions have on oppressed student populations, the history of these events, and specific

Winter 2007 / Perspectives


Starting a Fraternity/Sorority Community-Wide Change Initiative – Karyn Nishimura Sneath


t more than 20 Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) Annual Meetings, I have watched our membership present sessions on the same issues of hazing, alcohol abuse interventions, work/life balance, whether or not to pursue a Ph.D., etc. Those topics remain relevant, but those who monitor conference workshop topics will notice more sessions on campus-wide standards, research on the impact of fraternity/sorority membership on students, and behavioral change based on organizational and personal values congruence. Today’s upper-level student affairs administrators and college/university presidents have a greater awareness of fraternity/sorority issues. Over the years, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and ACPA: College Student Educators International conferences have offered topics related to fraternity/sorority life, particularly in relation to outcomes of participation in these organizations and accountability issues. The influence of college and university presidents as part of the Franklin Square Group initiatives and The Call for Values Congruence document continues today. Presidents and their cabinet members are increasingly less patient as they wait for cultural change in fraternity/sorority communities and are tired of incremental improvements. They want quick, sweeping changes. They are hiring campus fraternity/ sorority professionals who are determined and capable of creating and sustaining change. They have high expectations as practitioners advance a clear vision of the future and provide evidence of progress on initiatives to create substantial change.

Fraternity/Sorority Community Evaluations: A First Step In the early 1990s, the National Interfraternity Conference (now NorthAmerican Interfraternity Conference) staff, in conjunction with a fraternity headquarters staff member or campus professional, were invited to campuses to conduct a one-day evaluation of the fraternity


Perspectives / Winter 2007

culture on a campus. Conversations with Interfraternity Council (IFC) officers, chapter leaders, and campus representatives were sprinkled with tours of fraternity chapter houses. At the end of the evening, an open forum would be held to share findings, assessing the community in the hopes of laying a foundation for change. After sifting through all of the notes and observations at the open forums, a report was written for the campus IFC with suggestions for improvement. The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) also had volunteer-led evaluations aimed to improve the Panhellenic sorority community on a campus. Since my time as a NIC staff member, I continue to participate in similar efforts often coordinated by a campus professional in need of a consultant to assess opportunities and challenges on their campus through my consulting company, Npower. The evolution of the campus visit process has resulted in new initiatives to gather perspective on a campus: interviews, focus groups, and feedback-gathering examines the community from a variety of stakeholder lenses. The purpose of Npower’s The Ripple Initiative is to strengthen and transform a campus fraternity/sorority community through true partnership, unbiased evaluation identifying critical issues and common themes, custom-designed community and chapter interventions, and a follow-up plan for success. This next stage of the campus assessment process aspires to not only assess and evaluate, but aid in the implementation of powerful change for campus communities. While the days are busy and full, the process allows for rich data and opinion gathering. The process educates identified stakeholders on the purpose of assessment and evaluation, invites them to identify as critical partners in improving the community, and challenges them to advance change sideby-side with the alumni, students, campus partners, and headquarters personnel. Higher education circles have always shared best practices. Members of the

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) often joke at their meetings that CASE stands for Copy and Steal Everything. In the larger fraternity/ sorority community, we have a lot of good ideas on programs, initiatives, and interventions. We share them via listservs and websites, in our publications, and at our conferences. AFA provides samples of good programs and practices on the Association website. Inter/national organizations provide the same to their members. Sometimes I get frustrated that our “best” is not good enough. We cannot treat one campus’s great idea as a plug-and-play program that will work on another campus whose culture, students, administrative support, and alumni person-power is completely different. Change is uniquely structured by the persons invested in the process. Common issues does not mean common solutions. Lately I have been repeating an original quotation from Dr. Tisa Mason, a former executive director of Sigma Kappa Sorority. As she reflected on the state of fraternity/ sorority leadership she said, “I notice that we share a lot of recipes but we don’t teach people how to cook.” So, let’s cook. John Kotter (1994) wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review entitled “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail.” It was based on a fifteen-year analysis of dozens of change initiatives to produce significant and useful change. The concepts were met with open arms as organizations everywhere sought to create change for the long-term preservation of their groups. In 1996 Leading Change was printed with many examples of what seems to work and what does not and it also provides Kotter’s eight-stage change model. It is a practical guidebook on what drives change. While the examples are corporate, one needs only to consider the fraternity/sorority perspective to see the relevance of the model and think of examples of successful and failed change initiatives happening at the inter/ national and campus levels.

John Kotter’s Eight Stage Change Process 1. Establishing a sense of urgency

6. Planning for and creating short-term wins

– E  xamining market and competitive realities – Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities

– P  lanning for visible performance improvements – Creating those improvements – Recognizing and rewarding employees involved in the improvement

2. Forming a powerful guiding coalition – A  ssembling a group with enough power to lead the change effort – Encouraging the group to work together as a team

3. Creating a vision – C  reating a vision to help direct the change effort – Developing strategies for achieving that vision

4. Communicating the vision – U  sing every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies – Teaching new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition

7. Consolidating improvements and producing additional change – U  sing increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that do not fit the vision – Hiring, promoting, and developing individuals who can implement the vision – Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents

8. Institutionalizing new approaches

5. Empowering others to act on the vision

– A  rticulating the connections between the new behaviors and corporate success – Developing the means to ensure leadership development and succession

– Removing obstacles to change – Changing systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision – Encouraging risk taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions

From Fast Forward: The Best Ideas on Managing Business Change edited by James Champy and Nitin Nohria. Chapter title: Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail, author John P. Kotter pp. 93.

John Kotter’s Lessons: Why Transformation Efforts Fail Error #1: Not establishing a great enough sense of urgency Creating a sense of urgency may sound like an easy step, but the lack of a sense of urgency results in a lack of action. Chapter and council leaders may be visionary, well-intentioned, and energetic individuals; however, if they fail to embrace the purpose for a large-scale change effort or downplay the importance of the impending change in their communications with other highlevel student leaders and general members, things will stall before they even begin. In addition, urgency is difficult to create when the investment of those leading a group will transition in just a matter of months. This is where campus professionals, often the only institutional memory, can be helpful. A fraternity/sorority community evaluation forces the potentially unpleasant conversation about declining membership, weak programming and hazing, failure to partner among councils and chapters, lack of senior engagement, the condition of housing, lack of standards, poor judicial systems, lack of effective local volunteers, and other issues emerging in troubled communities.

Npower evaluation teams tour chapter facilities to get a sense of the quality of the structures and a sense of chapter culture (i.e. wall paper made of beer boxes, empty kegs used as table legs, party pictures on bulletin boards, that funky smell of ammonia, beer, and bleach, etc.). One campus client’s evaluation report created an initial sense of urgency about chapter housing. It was not until upper level administrators, Foundation leaders, and University trustees themselves took a tour through the chapter houses did they fully understand what their students experience every day and parents see when their students move in to the buildings. Urgency was created when the conditions of the community were brought to life in the report. Creating a sense of urgency to impact substantial community-wide change does not necessitate a full campus evaluation. Professionals can examine current campus examples as opportunities to create change. Some questions may be: •W  hat are the effects of crises on creating a community-wide sense of urgency for change?

•D  oes the immediate suspension/dissolution of a chapter due to hazing cause a total revamp of other chapters’ new member education programs? •D  oes a chapter house fire create enough urgency for local house corporation and chapter leaders to make significant changes in the chapter structures? Does it create a movement toward creating a long-range plan for the future of the chapter facility? •D  oes a student death from alcohol poisoning truly change behaviors and systems in a fraternity/sorority community? Error #2: Not creating a powerful enough guiding coalition Major change efforts often start with just one or two people. For example, often new and passionate campus fraternity/sorority professionals start change initiatives as soon as they begin their positions because they are excited to impact their communities. Unfortunately, the average 24-year old professional fresh out of graduate school, does not have the credibility or decision-making authority to make deep change happen at a systemic level regardless of their previous experience and their passion for the cause. continued on page 18 Winter 2007 / Perspectives


continued from page 17 John Smeaton, Lehigh University Vice President for Student Affairs, shares, “It is difficult for mid-level staff to manage deep cultural change in a [fraternity/sorority] community: there needs to be a commitment from the top of the student affairs division as there are different resources and access points that a Vice President has from a Director of [Fraternity/Sorority] Life. This is reassuring for the front-line staff to know that they had deep and direct support. If this does not happen a ceiling of accomplishment can exist.” Kotter found that in successful transformation efforts, a powerful coalition – with a range of professional experience, information and expertise, reputations and relationships must be in place. Of course there is value in having undergraduate members in the coalition but a successful fraternity/sorority professional uses a long view. They find the people and systems that can direct what must be in place in seven to 10 years. Unfortunately, students rarely connect to long-term change initiatives. Error #3: Lacking a Vision Employees at my gym recently went through a mission/vision development session. One day their newly adopted statement was written on a huge dry erase board at the registration area. It was four sentences long and took up the entire 3’x 5’ board. I cannot remember a single word. I am also willing to bet none of them remember the mission. Six months later, the statement was gone. In the book Deep Change, Robert O. Quinn (1996) described organizations “engaged in the strategy of change by telling” (p. 34). He watched many managers give a speech or write a memo about needed change – it goes on his/her to-do list, as well as supervisees’ to-do list, creating a “check list mentality” of cultural change. Busy campus professionals are inundated by crises, urgent issues, timely programs, and hundreds of stakeholders warranting their attention. It is easy and expedient to have a to-do list for a process of prioritizing and implementing. Need a program on high-risk drinking? Add it to the to-do list. Need a stronger judicial board? Add a training program to the to-do list. This dynamic also plays out in undergraduate organizations: council and chapter leaders often go on a retreat to build relationships and determine goals for their leadership term. Throughout the year, the goals are addressed at meetings and crossed off the


Perspectives / Winter 2007

An evaluation process is a healthy start to a change initiative because it forces everyone to evaluate the community through different lenses – the good, the bad, and the ugly. list with a sense of accomplishment. What change has occurred other than another item off the list?

Others love change. For these people, change implies new ideas, energy, and life. They enjoy the unexplored maze.

Deep cultural change will not happen with a “check list mentality.” True visionary leadership involves the collective vision of all stakeholders – a picture of where they want their community to be in 10 years. It involves asking different questions so one does not end up with something like my gym’s vision statement: absent from the minds of employees and members. Some questions to examine vision clarity are:

An evaluation process is a healthy start to a change initiative because it forces everyone to evaluate the community through different lenses – the good, the bad, and the ugly. It gives a voice to those who have not been engaged in the community, such as disconnected alumni and neighbors. It gives a louder voice to those who feel they have not been really listened to (oftentimes new members and culturally-based chapter members). It digs for the real reasons unaffiliated students are turning their back on a fraternity/sorority experience. It helps people honestly discuss the “elephants in the room” such as hazing, alcohol abuse, abysmal housing, disengaged local advisors – all in the spirit of interfraternalism and a desire for community-wide improvement. The evaluation process quickly unearths the critical issues that must be addressed, as well as identifies opportunities for growth and improvement.

•W  hat do we want our fraternity/sorority community to be “world famous” for? • How are we treating each other? • How are members and alumni behaving? • How are we being supported? •W  hat mechanisms are in place for us to become a world-class fraternity/sorority community? Error #4: Failing to Sustain Change Deep change in a complex fraternity/sorority community does not occur in a year. Or two years. Or three years. An unbiased evaluation by an outside party does create a sense of urgency and direction. They have their coalition and a vision and must begin the process of implementing action. Most importantly, they have a commitment to change. Dr. Bill Nelson and Jason Pierce, University of Iowa, have a very clear vision of where their campus fraternity/sorority community is going. Together with their implementation team, they consistently use the words “vibrant” and “relevant” in their descriptions of their future community. They acknowledge with their stakeholders there are no quick fix solutions. They openly and honestly share that they cannot do it alone. This is an effort that requires the passion and action from all parties for their community. Enduring change is the end product: requiring patience, persistence, and constant follow through.

Starting Your Transformation People either love or hate change. For those who hate it, change implies loss. It forces a different way of living because the cultural maze of habits, expectations, and rules are different.

Many colleagues have gone through evaluation/improvement processes to help navigate that uncharted maze. In order for us to affect cultural change in our communities, we must stop merely trading interesting programs and ideas and using the “BandAid approach” to community improvement. We must start “cooking” and working through a real process of partnership, honest acceptance of flaws, celebration of the good, and common commitment to lasting and important change. –K  aryn Nishimura Sneath is the CEO of Npower.

REFERENCES Champy, J. & Nohria, N. (1996). Fast forward: The best ideas on managing business change. Harvard Business Review. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Quinn, R. O. (1996). Deep Change: Discovering the leader within. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The Value of the AFA Foundation How Your Gift Dollars are Used for Your Development

How Are Your Gift Dollars Used? In 2006, the AFA Foundation utilized the gifts received to support the following programs and initiatives: ● Opening educational program at the Annual Meeting ● Graduate student training track at the Annual Meeting made possible by a gift from Rho Lambda National Honorary ● Five Jennifer Jones-Hall Scholarships for graduate students to attend the Annual Meeting ● Three registration grants for the ACPA Mid-Level Management Institute ● Rick Barnes Interfraternity Institute Scholarships ● Support for AFA’s strategic planning to advance the Association ● Educational program grant: National Hazing Prevention Week

With additional support the AFA Foundation could: ● Provide professional development scholarships or program grants for regional conferences and drive-ins ● Offer research grants for masters and doctoral studies ● Grant funding for Oracle, the Association’s research journal ● Provide even more scholarships for graduate students to attend the annual meeting.

Every gift is valuable, regardless of the amount. Please take a few minutes and contact the AFA Foundation to learn how you can make a gift today. Your support helps ensure our future.

Does My Gift Matter? Absolutely! Just ask Liz Schafer, the Director of Greek Life at the University of New Orleans. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit Southeast Louisiana. The resulting financial impact caused all travel budgets for state employees to be frozen which prevented Liz from attending her first AFA meeting as a full-time fraternity/sorority advisor. Liz had a strong desire to attend the meeting to discuss her situation with other professionals and fraternity staff members and work with them

on how to best rebuild their fraternity/sorority community. She shared her dilemma with the AFA staff and they helped her apply for an AFA Foundation scholarship. Through the support of the AFA Foundation, she received a special conference scholarship, allowing her to make arrangements to attend the meeting in Atlanta. Liz said, “I cannot begin to describe the emotions that flowed when I finally arrived. Knowing that I benefited from the generosity of fellow advisors and fraternity professionals was moving. My experience at the AFA Annual Meeting in Atlanta was a tremendous experience

The Foundation’s Mission

and provided me with a much needed boost to head back to New Orleans, both professionally and emotionally.” Liz is a perfect example of how your generosity can positively affect so many people. The support she received impacted her in many ways and she says will continue to help as she interacts with and guides the many students that she advises. Will you help ensure that our organization is able to further our profession and provide critical resources when they are most needed?

How Can I Help? There are several ways you can make a gift to the AFA Foundation:

To secure, invest, and distribute the necessary resources to support the Association of Fraternity Advisors’ educational objectives. As a registered 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation raises money through individual, organizational and corporate donations to provide the highest quality professional development opportunities for AFA members. Gifts are taxdeductible to the extent the law permits.

1. One-Time Annual Cash gift (check or credit card) 2. Set-up automatic monthly or quarterly credit card payments For online credit card gifts, please visit: 3. Have the AFA Foundation listed as a beneficiary in your will, estate, or life insurance policy. Please consider making a gift of $25, $50, $100 or more and send to: AFA Foundation, 9640 Augusta Drive, Suite 433, Carmel, IN 46032 For one-time or recurring credit card charges or information on estate or life insurance gifts, please call the AFA Foundation at 678-654-6207. Winter 2007 / Perspectives


AFA Annual Meeting Review – Kelly Jo Karnes, 2006 Conference Coordinator

The 2006 Annual Meeting was an event of many celebrations. As we hosted our first stand alone Annual Meeting and celebrated the “rebirth of New Orleans”, we also reflected on the last 30 years of the Association. A record number of Annual Meeting attendees participated in our conference this year. The Conference Committee emphasized the importance of creating connections with colleagues through dynamic and engaging learning experiences.

A few highlights and statistics of the 2006 Annual Meeting include the following: Habitat for Humanity Service Plunge: Almost 90 members spent most of the day on Wednesday working on Habitat for Humanity houses located in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Participants arrived in the lobby at 6:30 a.m. ready to spend the day in service to others and put into practice the principles of our organizations. Special thanks to the event coordinators, Dr. Mari Ann Callais and Megan Johnson. General Sessions: The educational programming of the Annual Meeting was book-ended by two general session speakers. We were encouraged by the work of Dr. Cathy Small, a university professor who enrolled as an undergraduate student to learn what it is like to be a student today. She provided us with insight to help us better understand our students and to program to their needs. We were also inspired at the Saturday general session with Dr. Marvalene Hughes, the President of Dillard University located in New Orleans. Dr. Hughes spoke about the devastation of her university as a result of Hurricane Katrina and provided a moving message about how to mentally and physically prepare for any type of tragedy that might occur on our campuses. Educational Programming: More than 70 educational programs, including five pre-conference opportunities, were offered by more than 150 expert presenters. Each program block included a variety of topics and training opportunities designed to meet the needs of conference attendees. A special 90-minute program block was included this year to address the top 10 critical issues of the profession, as identified by Association members during the Call for Content process in the spring. Networking Sessions: Thanks to the participation of attendees and expert facilitation of our 10 Networking Session Facilitators, the two networking sessions were a success. The focus of this initiative was to provide a smaller forum to connect with colleagues, both by years in the profession and location. First Timer’s Programming: Did you know that approximately 20 percent of our Annual Meeting attendees were first time attendees? The First Timers Committee again hosted the Peer Network Program to connect new attendees with colleagues within AFA. The Mardi Gras- themed First Timer’s Kick Off was an energizing success for the more than 200 participants. The First Timers Meal Gatherings also proved to be huge success with the best attendance in recent years at each of the meals. AFA Speaker Showcase: In its second year, the AFA Speaker Showcase highlighted eight Associate Members in 15-minute lecture excerpts to inform, educate, and entertain attendees.


Perspectives / Winter 2007

On-Site Arrangements & DRC: The On-Site Arrangements Committee delivered four newsletters to the Annual Meeting attendees that included detailed information about programs, topics, and 30th Anniversary information. The Developmental Resource Center (DRC) displayed publications and materials from over 20 institutions and organizations. The DRC Idea Exchange, which highlighted 16 facilitated topic tables, was also back by popular demand. Graduate Training Track: The 4th Annual Graduate Training Track (funded by a grant to the AFA Foundation by Rho Lambda National Honorary) provided a specialized learning experience to the more than 50 graduate students who participated in this twoday curriculum. The curriculum focused on educating emerging professionals in fraternity/sorority advising. As an addition to the Graduate Training Track, Project Job Search was launched this year. The Graduate Training Track participants were given an opportunity to participate in mock interviews and/or a resume review with professionals in the field. Graduate Staff: The Annual Meeting was again enhanced by the service of this year’s eight Graduate Staff members. Special thanks to Andrea Brown, University of Kansas; Melissa Clarke, University of Dayton; Amy Colvin, University of Tennessee; Jenni Glick, Bowling Green State University; Veronica Hunter, Western Illinois University; Keith Lopez, Colorado State University; Darris Means, Clemson University; and Lauren Moran, Bowling Green State University (with an assistantship at Baldwin Wallace) for their hard work and dedication. Fireside Chats: More than 600 connections were made this year during Fireside Chats, and countless others during the Meet & Greet. Nearly 125 inter/national organization and 189 campus representatives participated, strengthening foundations and discussing new possibilities while working with our undergraduate collegiate members. $30 for 30 Campaign: The Association of Fraternity Advisors, in conjunction with the AFA Foundation, partnered with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity. Members were encouraged to donate $30 in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Association. Fifty percent of the profits went to aid New Orleans Habitat projects and fifty percent went to the Foundation to fund educational experiences and opportunities for our members. Our thanks to all conference attendees who participated in this year’s conference philanthropy project, as well a special thank you to Capstone Development for presenting a matching gift to Habitat for Humanity. May we each be inspired by Strong Foundations and New Possibilities until we gather again next year in Cincinnati for the 2007 AFA Annual Meeting.

award recipients

[2006 AFA Award Recipients] [Jack L. Anson Award]

[Robert H. Shaffer Award]

Ginny Carroll, inGiNuity

Jennifer Jones-Hall, Valparaiso University

[Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Awards] The Distinguished Service Award was renamed for AFA’s Executive Director, Sue Kraft Fussell. In honor of her many talents, contributions, and leadership, her strong work ethic, commitment to the Association, dedication to our vision of a unified fraternal movement, and in recognition of her many years of distinguished service, the Association will now award the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award to those who best express the values of our Association. Also, in honor of the Association’s 30th Anniversary, more than the typical five awards were granted to recognize many individuals who have impacted the Association, the profession, and the fraternal movement. The following 18 individuals received the first Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Awards. Ginny Carroll, inGinuity

Suzanne Kilgannon, DePaul University

Mike McRee, LeaderShape

Cari Cook, Delta Delta Delta Fraternity

Mark Koepsell, Colorado State University

Betty Quick, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority

Mitch Crane, CAMPUSPEAK Jeffrey Cufaude, Idea Architects

Sue Kraft Fussell, Association of Fraternity Advisors

Patricia H. Goodfriend, Herff Jones, Inc.

Doug Lange, Evolve Learning

H. Robert Gordon, University of Arizona

Gregory S. Mason, University of Central Florida

Thomas B. Jelke, t.jelke solutions

[Perspectives Awards] Douglas N. Case & Shane L. Windmeyer, The Emergence of GLBT Issues in Fraternity and Sorority Life Dana Becker, The Challenge of Values Congruence

Wesley Schaub, Case Western Reserve University David L. Westol, Theta Chi Fraternity Shane L. Windmeyer, Lambda 10 Betty Jeanne Wolfe Taylor, University of Texas, Austin

[Outstanding Volunteer Awards] Dan Bureau, Oracle Associate Editor, Perspectives Editorial Board, NHS/NHPW Liaison Beth Conder, 2007 Conference Chair

[Oracle Award]

Erin Huffman, Essentials Editorial Board

Douglas N. Case, Grahaeme A. Hesp, & Charles G. Eberly An Exploratory Study of the Experiences of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Fraternity and Sorority Members Revisited

Zach Nicolazzo, Essentials Editorial Board

[Outstanding Change Initiative Award] Dartmouth College

[Educational Programming Award] Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, The Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy

Allison Swick-Duttine, Perspectives Editor

[AFA/Order of Omega Case Study Competition] 1st Place: Phil McDaniel, University of South Carolina & Colleen Grosch, University of South Carolina 2nd Place: Jennifer Styron, University of Southern Mississippi & Amy Griffin, Miami University of Ohio 3rd Place: Amber Sibley, Ball State University & Jamie Ehlinger, University of Kansas

[Gayle Webb New Professional Award] Shannon Greybar Milliken, DePaul University

Winter 2007 / Perspectives


– Kurtis Foriska

Maintaining Change through Standards of Excellence

can offer a more inclusive affirmation of the change initiative rather than it appearing as a mandate (Galdwell, 2002; Moss Kanter, 2006).

n 2001, the sorority and fraternity community at the Ohio State University implemented the Standards of Excellence, a set of expectations for achievement within each chapter. Though the initial implementation created a cultural shift in the community, the Standards of Excellence emphasize the critical management of change after a new initiative is created. Throughout this piece, the Standards of Excellence will be used as an example, although the concepts are transferable to most change efforts. The lessons learned provide some methods for ensuring the longevity of a change initiative.

Continuous Education. Four years after the implementation of the Standards of Excellence, students no longer articulated to their peers and others why the standards were necessary; rather they began delivering the message that they were obligated to complete them as part of a requirement. Due to the turnover of student leaders and alumni advisors, professionals need to constantly re-educate the community about why the change process started, why it continues, and how to communicate the necessity of change to fellow members. The impact of change on student learning is heightened when students understand the ‘why’ rather than only performing tasks to satisfy a requirement.

Cultivate Supporters. An ongoing theme in literature focused on change is stakeholder investment in the initiative. Campus professionals often call this “buy-in,” but the effectiveness of change is dependent on supporters evolving into advocates who encourage others to believe in the new direction. Successful changes rely on identifying respected individuals in each of the key constituency groups (i.e. sorority and fraternity members, alumni, faculty, non-members, etc.) who are willing to take a risk and possess the talent to persuade others to follow and then educating them about the change initiative. Once they become supporters, they

Integration. The change should pervade every part of the culture within the community. Kurt Lewin (1936) purposed that behavior is a function of a person interacting with environmentIn creating a community change, it is easier to modify the environment to affect behavior rather than change each individual to reach the same result. Implementing the Standards of Excellence impacted various aspects of the fraternity/ sorority life office – including professional job descriptions, chapter recognition, and educational program offerings, among others. Changes in nomenclature and branding of artifacts foster a change in


the learning environment, but professionals must have recognizable actions and differences in their approach (Strange & Banning, 2001). For example, completed standards reports now guide meetings with chapter presidents, and programs are evaluated based on how they accomplish the goals of the Standards of Excellence. Engage Students in Active Learning. If we acknowledge that a new initiative will be met with resistance and confusion on how participants should operate in the new context, establishing a framework of standards allows students to understand new expectations. Once students understand these concepts and comprehend the learning opportunities, a natural transition should be made to help students become active participants in what is being learned in the new environment (Baxter Magolda, 1999). The Standards of Excellence challenged chapters to fulfill risk management, community service, and diversity education programs. Initially, University staff provided these programs and dictated what topics would be covered. In the third year of the program, the University approached chapters to help sponsor these programs. Today, chapters are solely responsible for implementing programming that meets the needs of the community. Set a Time for (Re)Evaluation. Assessment often intimidates professionals, but is necessary to monitor change. The performance of the community and the continued on bottom of page 23

The Ohio State University Standards of Excellence Academics • Chapters must be at or working toward the all undergraduate average. • Students must obtain a 2.25 cumulative g.p.a and 12 college credits to join. Community Service • Each member must complete one hour of community service. • Chapters annually plan one hands-on service event where 75% of the chapter attends. Risk Management • Quarterly, 75% of the chapter attend or host and event that educates its 22

Perspectives / Winter 2007

membership on potential risks facing the chapter. Diversity Education • Chapters annually host or attend a diversity event that educates members on a topic unlike the general demographic of the organization. Alumni & Advisors • Each chapter must have one alumni advisor and one University faculty or staff advisor. •A  t least one chapter advisor must attend an annual certification program.

Recruitment • Chapters complete quarterly evaluations and planning reports to maintain or increase chapter size. Fiscal Management • Chapters complete quarterly fiscal reports to evaluate chapter financial operations. For information, please visit www.

Nominating Know-How: Your Guide to AFA’s Election Process – Dr. Ron Binder, AFA Past President



During the recent Annual Meeting, AFA’s Nominations and Elections Committee held its first meeting and kicked off the election process for 2007. The Committee is chaired by the Past President and is comprised of three Professional members from each of the Associations Regions, one representative appointed by the Past President, an additional representative and an alternate elected by the membership at the Regional Meetings. I am pleased to report that the following members will serve as the 2007 Nominations and Elections Committee: Region I

•H  ayden Greene, Montclair State University (alternate) • Charlie Warner, West Chester University • Tim Wilkinson, Lehigh University

Region II

• Anne Arseneau, College of William & Mary •C  ara Dawn Byford, Phi Mu Fraternity (alternate) • Dan Richter, Emory University

Region III

• Diane Blackwelder, Purdue University •B  ob Dudolski, Eastern Illinois University (alternate) • Melissa Flanagan, University of Dayton

Region V

• Anita Cory, Washington State University • Lea Hanson, Colorado State University •K  ate Steiner, University of Wyoming (alternate) Over the next few months, it will be the responsibility of the Nominations and Elections Committee to perform the following tasks: •E  ncourage and solicit members to run for elected positions; •E  ducate the membership about the responsibilities and qualifications of each position; •E  nsure candidates meet all eligibility requirements;

Region IV

•E  valuate and consider candidate applications;

• Bryan VanOsdale, Baker University

•N  ominate two candidates for each position, whenever reasonably possible, for the membership’s consideration;

•L  ibby Anderson, Central Missouri State University •L  inda Wardhammar, Saint Louis University (alternate)

•E  ncourage the voting members of the Association to participate in the election process. I am sure you will agree that these tasks are important ones. The Committee cannot complete these tasks alone; they need the support, cooperation, and participation of the membership in order to ensure a successful election process. In upcoming issues of Perspectives, as well as in the Association Update, our electronic newsletter, you will find more information about this process. On behalf of the Nominations and Elections Committee, I urge to you participate in the Association’s process of identifying new leadership by being informed about the process, nominating others (or yourself!) for a position, voting in our elections, and being a full participant in selecting the Association’s future leadership. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me ( or one of the Committee members from your region.

continued from page 22 service rendered by the university improve when current systems and structures are evaluated and restructured to meet the changing needs of the community and students. Moreover, assessment makes the initiative defendable (Pascarella & Whitt, 1999). The Ohio State University community completed a three-year assessment, which compared change in performance from baseline data. The results indicated that the Standards of Excellence was beneficial on almost all levels of implementation. The data cleared the doubts of many, provided empirical evidence to assumed anecdotal changes, and defended efforts to continue the change. The community also gathered nine focus groups that carefully scrutinized each of the current standards. Not only did this opportunity allow the community to confirm the relevancy of the document four years later, it allowed a renewed investment of those key constituency

groups to promote the continuation of the Standards of Excellence. The opportunity for self-initiated scrutiny elevates those groups who will be able to respond to changing environments and continue to succeed (Moss Kanter, 2006). The sustainability of campus change hinges on the ability of professionals to recognize that once change happens it must be maintained through a renewal of excitement and commitment to that movement. The Standards of Excellence won the Outstanding Change Initiative Award at the AFA Annual Meeting in 2001 for what the standards did. In 2005, the standards were again recognized for how the program was maintained. Professionals ensure their change initiative will be successful by thinking about longterm goals and how to achieve them through constant evaluation and reinvigoration.

– Kurtis Foriska is the Senior Coordinator of Greek Life at The Ohio State University. REFERENCES Baxter Magolda, M. B. (1999). Engaging students in active learning. In G. S. Blimling & E. J. (Eds.), Good practices in student affairs (pp. 21-44). San Franscico: Jossey-Bass. Gladwell, M. (2002). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. New York: Little, Brown, and Company. Lewin, K. (1936). Principles of topological psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill. Moss Kanter, R. (2006). Confidence: How winning streaks & losing streaks begin & end. New York: Three Rivers Press. Pascarella, E. T. & Whitt, E. J. (1999). Using systematic inquire to improve performance. In G. S. Blimling & E. J. (Eds.), Good practices in student affairs (pp. 21-44). San Franscico: Jossey-Bass. Strange, C. & Banning, J.H. (2001). Educating by design: Creating campus learning environments that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Winter 2007 / Perspectives


[Risk Management Update]

The Last Taboo: Male-on-Male Sexual Assault – Judge Mitch Crane

The recruitment chair at a private, religious university treated him like a best friend and the parties were great! Weeks later he awakened from a deep, alcohol-induced sleep to find the same brother raping him. Months later, after intense and discrete investigation, it was determined that other young men were assaulted, molested, and raped after being supplied with alcohol and taken to “safety” by those they trusted.


ame-sex rapists are part of a problem that has long existed in same-sex institutions, such as prisons, athletics, the military, and even the college fraternity. Male-on-male sexual assault can be a well-hidden result of alcohol and hazing in fraternities. While documented same-sex rape in fraternities is rare, documentation does exist for sexually-explicit behavior. Without intervention from universities and/or inter/national organizations, hazing could become more aggravated and result in rape. Some notable instances include: •A  fraternity was suspended for stripping two pledges, taping them together, coating their genitals with Vaseline and cake frosting, and writing on their bodies in lipstick. • A fraternity was banished from campus after their pledges were found with bricks tied to their genitals by cords and two pledges were forced to have sex with a goat. •P  ledges in a since-banned fraternity were forced to strip and “elephant walk,” holding on to each other with thumbs inserted into anuses.


They add that sexual assault is a crime of violence and power, not lust or passion. Interestingly, 98 percent of those who rape men are heterosexual (Department of Justice, 2003). Reactions of male victims are usually the same as female: feelings of guilt, powerlessness, concern for safety, denial, shock, and anger ensue after these encounters. In addition, male victims are concerned about the following: (perceived) masculinity, fear of medical procedures, fear of reporting to police, and lack of resources and support networks. These concerns were more prevalent for female sexual assault victims before the issue began receiving more public attention. One of the most difficult aspects is that male rape victims rarely report the crime. Men’s reasons for not reporting rape overlap with women, but men also have unique concerns. Men have trouble believing male rape happens outside of prison or violent homosexual relationships. Men face the prospect of their masculinity being called into question. (Nicoletti et al, 2001). Sexual orientation may also play a role in sexual assault reports. “Gay men have little faith that the criminal justice system will

humiliation, defeat, and failure in regard to the tests of manhood... When a male is sexually victimized by another male, this is literally (although in most cases not psychologically) a homosexual event, and the victim’s manhood has been tampered with and compromised. This leads to a failure to disclose the attack.” Not being familiar with the rape experience, male victims are confused by not only what happened to them, but also by how they (and their body) reacted. Citing The National Center for Victims of Crime, Nicoletti, Spencer-Thomas and Bollinger (2001, p. 126) found “Rapists frequently succeed in getting male victims to ejaculate. These are normal, involuntary physiological responses to stimulation.” Cooperation is not consent. Consent requires the complete realization of what is happening. Both parties must have the psychological and physical freedom to refuse cooperation (Preble & Groth, 2002). A male being sexually abused by another male is not a determining factor in sexual orientation. The fact that the victim was physically aroused and even ejaculated is also not an indicator of sexual orientation. Neither

Male-on-male sexual assault is an underreported crime, but that should not be a surprise. Even today, 58 percent of rape victims do not report the assault (Department of Justice, 2003). One in 10 victims of rape are male and only 12 percent of gay male victims report the offense (Schwartz & Rutter, 1998).

Men’s reasons for not reporting rape overlap with women, but men also have unique concerns. Men have trouble believing male rape happens outside of prison or violent homosexual relationships.

According to Nicoletti, Spencer-Thomas and Bollinger (2001), forcible rape is “the carnal knowledge of a person forcibly and/or against their will; or not forcibly or against that person’s will where the victim in incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity” (p. 123).

Boys don’t cry. Men are not expected to be vulnerable. They are expected to “fight their own battles.” They are expected to be tough. Preble & Groth (2002, p. 4-5) state, “To acknowledge the experience of being victimized is to subject oneself feelings of

Perspectives / Winter 2007

take their account of acquaintance rape seriously.”(Nicoletti et al, p. 125).

will the experience make a heterosexual homosexual (Preble & Groth, 2002). The victim needs to understand that when he is sexually assaulted, it is not the sexual activity that was wrong. The exploitation was wrong and criminal. “If someone steals money from you, it is not the money that is bad. It is the stealing that is bad” (Preble & Groth, 2002, p. 57).

Another factor in the male victim’s reluctance to come forward is the lack of protection afforded by some state laws. Originally, rape law was “common law”– rape involved penile-vaginal penetration of a woman, not the perpetrator’s wife, by force. These laws changed in the 1970s. All states enacted statutes that included spouses as victims. Most adopted gender-neutral laws that defined rape as sexual assault without regard to gender and included penetration of any body part and with any instrument. These changes, however, did not always include shield laws to protect male victims. Without shield law protection, male rape victims can be forced to reveal prior sexual activity. Male victims may be forced to testify about prior sexual activity, raising “reasonable doubt” in juries that hear of previous same-sex activities. This lack of protection discourages many male victims from turning to the legal system for help. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have gender-neutral rape laws. In 13 states a male cannot be a rape victim. Male rape is often criminalized as “deviate sexual intercourse,” “crime against nature,” “sodomy,” or something similar. Shield laws do not protect these male victims and the penalty for conviction is less severe than it is for rape. Male victims lack a strong support network. Support groups are centered on female victims as a result of the progress of the women’s movement publicizing the issue and in receiving governmental funding. Little funding is available to train professionals and volunteers for the five to 10 percent of victims who are male (Scarce, 1997). In addition, the male rapist profile is that of a white male in his early to mid-20s who is usually heterosexual. “His motivation is to overpower, humiliate and degrade his victim rather than one of lust, passion, or sexual desire” (Scarce, p 17-18). These factors explain why so many male on male rapes occur in all-male environments. Athletic teams, prisons, the military, and fraternities are all institutions where the exertion of power and masculinity are paramount (Scarce, 1997). This reasoning helps explain why sexual assault on females is so often tied to all-male environments with access to women: athletics, the military, and fraternities. Over the years, many experts have indicated that fraternities are a natural place to expect sexual assault on females. Many writers and speakers have used the oft-quoted but undocumented statistic that the most dangerous place for a female to be on a college campus is in a fraternity house. Peggy Reeves Sanday (1990), a University of Pennsylvania

anthropology professor, premised in her controversial book, Fraternity Gang Rape, that the social psychology of fraternities led to homoerotic feelings that resulted in homophobic behavior and the assault of women. That environment combined with hazing is a cause of male sexual assault in fraternities. Why? Often hazing during pledging is designed to humiliate and debase new members. They are told to honor, respect, and trust their senior brothers. They, and often the hazers, are plied with alcohol, which reduces inhibitions and the ability of a victim to recognize and defend against dangerous situations. “Modern hazing, however, is the phenomenon of members taking tests out of the realm of symbolism and catapulting them into reality. Instead of the initiate being threatened with torture to prove his fraternal worth and manliness, he is actually tortured” (Jones 2002, p. 57). Sanday posited that the purpose of these activities is to “feminize” the pledge (as a “cleansing” ritual) and then teaching them to do the same to subsequent pledge classes. What “feminizes” a young man more than to be the unwilling recipient of a sexual assault by another male? Campus professionals must understand that the problem of male-on-male sexual assault is not new, it is merely beginning to receive needed exposure. A dialogue must begin among fraternity/sorority professionals about this subject to begin to de-stigmatize it. It is my hope that this article will start that dialogue.  – J udge Mitch Crane is a speaker with CAMPUSPEAK.

REFERENCES Department of Justice (2003). National crime victims survey. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Vital Statistics. Jones, R L. (2004). Black haze. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Nicoletti, J., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Bollinger, C. (2001). Violence goes to college. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher; Ltd. Preble, J. M., & Groth, N. (2002) Male victims of same-sex abuse. Townson, MD: Sidran Press. Sanday, P. R. (1990). Fraternity gang rape. New York: New York University Press. Scarce, M. (1997) Male on male rape: The hidden toll of stigma and shame. Jackson, TN: Perseus Publishing. Schwartz, P., & Rutter, V. (1998). The gender of sexuality: The gender line. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Peer Network Leaders Annual Meeting 2006 The following individuals gave their time in New Orleans to assist first time attendees navigate the Annual Meeting. Many thanks for their guidance and support of AFA’s first timers! Olivia E. Acosta Northwestern State University Robyn Oates Brock Florida State University Michelle Castro University of Miami Marsha Carrasco Cooper Washburn University Dean Harwood George Washington University J.D. Louk Florida International University Gentry McCreary Middle Tennessee State University Lynne (McCaul) Miller Marietta College Shelly Reynolds Wittenberg Sabrina Ryan Lehigh University Josh Schutts Centre College Carrie Smith Middle Tennessee State University Michael Steele Roanoke College Allison Swick-Duttine SUNY Plattsburgh Andrea Webber Lehigh University Carrie Whittier Virginia Commonwealth University Michael Wolford Beta Theta Pi

Winter 2007 / Perspectives


membership milestones

[membership milestones] [30-Year Members] Bill Bernier Jonathan Brant Wayne Colvin Kent Gardner

Sonia ImMasche Bill Jenkins Doug Lange Larry Lunsford

John Mohr Barb Robel Judy Sindlinger Shelley Sutherland

Barbie Tootle Dave Westol

Dan Maxwell Rick Morat William Muir

Greg Singleton Mardie Trask Sorensen Charlie Warner

Bonnie Wunsch

Beth Deines Patty Disque Anita Ellis Victor Felts

David Hotz Rueben Perez Charley Pride Katherine Sermersheim

Steve Veldkamp Amy Vojta J.J. Wales Jaime Woody

Jamison Keller Ned Kirklin Peter Lafferty Anne Lombard Larry Mansfield Chip Marrara Andrea Miller Pound

Billy Molasso Matt Morrin Larry Moses Pat Mouille’ John Mountz Michael Osborn Allison St. Germain

Beth Stathos Todd Sullivan Allison Swick-Duttine Nathan Thomas Megan Vadnais Bryan VanOsdale Carrie Whittier

Sarah Danley Kathy Deppe Eddie Dominguez Thad Doyle Becky Druetzler Chad Ellsworth Abbey Erford Bill Foltz Kathleen Gillan Tommy Gilpin Beth Gittons Dominic Greene Shannon Greybar Milliken Cori Hammock Ryan Henne Mona Hicks Tom Hicks Jeff Hill Stephen Hirst Lynnda Hoefler Rebecca Jamrozik Maribeth Johnson

Megan Johnson Stacy Jones Kyle Jordan Barb Kautz Kevin Kerr Amanda Lammers Susan LeGalley Jennifer Leung Jayme Little Kerri Lovegrove Eric Lucrezia Steve Malin Georgianna Martin Amber Mathews McCreery Sara Mayer Sandi Meinsen Jill Moore Christy Myers La Tonya Nelson Eric Norman Brad O’Hara Alex Perdomo

Susan Pile Todd Reaves Laurel Reed Rosch LuAnn Riegl Ryan Ripperton Paul Rittof Linda Schwartzkopf Amber Simmons Kirsten Siron Young Michael Steele Moe Stephens Casey Stevens David Strauss Mindy Sutton Carl Swanson James Vredenburgh Scott Walter Terry Weber Kerry Welch Terry Wilkinson Laura Williams

[25-Year Member] Beth Saul

[20-Year Members] Deb Ensor Melissa Flanagan Will Keim

[15-Year Members] John Beckman Joe Bertolino Angela Carver Dale Clark

[10-Year Members] Shelly Brown Dobek Dan Bureau Mark Constantine Lenny Dave Jason Feiner Carol Gallman White Jane Hix

[5-Year Members] Olivia Acosta Mande Adams Bart Andrus Monica Bebie Patrick Biddix Felicia Blakeney Jacob Bolin Michael Bowie Parice Bowser Darnell Bradley Darryl Bridges Kris Bridges Vicki Calonge Cindy Carey Michelle Castro Sam Centellas Natalie Cleary Angelo Colon Shannon Corr Phil Covington Shelah Crear Adam Culley


Perspectives / Winter 2007

Association of Fraternity Advisors 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032

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AFA Perspectives Winter 2007  

Perspectives provides a forum for research, innovative ideas, and information related to the advisement of fraternal organizations. It promo...

AFA Perspectives Winter 2007  

Perspectives provides a forum for research, innovative ideas, and information related to the advisement of fraternal organizations. It promo...