Relevant Legal Issues for Fraternity & Sorority Professionals
in this issue:
Annual Meeting Review | Enhancing Community Service | Violence Prevention Efforts
– Kyle A. Pendleton, 2007 President & Jay Anhorn, 2008 President
Annual Presidential Remarks delivered November 30, 2007 at the AFA Annual Meeting – Kyle A. Pendleton, 2007 President
t is hard to believe that a year has passed, and I am ending my term as President. Last fall, as I prepared for my time in office, I had breakfast with Ginny Carroll (yes, it was pro-bono work for her…THANKS!). After our hour or so together, she commented that it was going to be hard to accomplish all I wanted in one term and that many associations are moving towards two year terms for their presidents. No lie, I looked at her and said, if that were to happen, I think many of us would be fired from our institutions. So, before I proceed, I have to thank Purdue University, the Office of the Dean of Students, and my colleagues and students, especially the leadership of the Interfraternity Council, Multi-Cultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Association, for their support of the Association and me this past year. And what a year it has been. Jay [Anhorn, 2008 President] was joking the other day that as soon as we finished an Executive Board conference call, he would hold his cell phone in his hand, look at it, and wait for me to call. See, I am an ENFP – heavy on the F & P – and after our calls and board meetings, I needed to talk through the business we conducted. As I think back to our meetings and look back on the year and all we accomplished, I see CHANGE everywhere. Those who know me especially well, know that making change is something that is just a part of who I am, and I think everyone expected no less than that from me as President, but as a result of our work as an Association this past year, the members of the 2007 Executive Board can say we are leaving with a true sense of satisfaction with our work. Let me now highlight some of these changes for you: Shifting Board Focus/Volunteer Management. One change we anticipated to occur in 2007 was a shift to more staff supported and/or supervised committees and workgroups. At the June Board meeting, we unanimously adopted our new
organizational structure that the expanded the responsibility of the Central Office staff, allowing for centralized project management and ultimately a greater return on volunteers’ investments in the Association. By learning more about being an exceptional board, we shifted our focus to thinking and visioning; we empowered the volunteers and now see them achieving at higher levels. Central Office Staff. The Association began a new era in May as Linda Wardhammar replaced Sue Kraft Fussell and became only the third Executive Director in our Association’s history, and our staff grew with the addition of Karleen Dietrich as AFA’s first Director of Programs. Though not a paid staff member, I have to note that because of the outstanding fiscal responsibility of Shelly Brown Dobek and our new five-year proforma, we are in great financial shape. We are tremendously lucky to have her returning for two more years as the Vice President for Administration and Finance. We are going to miss Tracy Murphy, who served as Member Services Assistant for over three years. Thank you and best wishes! Coalition Assessment Project. Eleven campuses participated in the pilot semester for the Fraternity and Sorority Coalition Assessment Project; this fall, eight more campuses had evaluations from assessment teams. Anyone who has served on a visitation team, please stand. As you look around, I hope you notice an example of true partnerships. The Coalition is an initiative that is only growing. Our hope is that over the next ten years every campus in the U.S. and Canada with a fraternity and sorority community will participate in an assessment. It is an opportunity for your campus to delve deep in the current state of your community with the intent of taking your fraternity/sorority life program to the next level… TOGETHER! This initiative is an investment of all stakeholders – AFA, NIC, NPHC, NALFO, and NPC collectively coming together for the future of our movement! Now if some of you are sitting there thinking, “what is he talking about,” or you are wondering how you
can sign your campus up, please join us for the January Virtual Seminar, focusing on the what, how, and why of the Fraternity/ Sorority Coalition Assessment Project. Strategic Plan. Judson Horras, Administrative Secretary of Beta Theta Pi, worked with the Executive Board on Monday [November 26, 2007] as we shifted our focus to the “harder and more complex” initiatives. The outcome of our time with him is to focus now more on the clarity of our purpose and the communication of it to our members, continued utilization of volunteers and partners, and expanding our resources in order to better provide guidance and support to be inclusive of all members. I began my term as President offering you advice from Woody Hayes, a leader, coach, and fraternity man. As I leave office, and Jay will soon begin his term as President, I would like to offer you advice that again comes from a leader, coach, and fraternity man: John Wooden, a graduate of Purdue University and a proud member of Beta Theta Pi, and, I have to point out, the personal hero of Purdue’s IFC President, who I have to give credit for introducing me to John Wooden’s Six Ways to Bring Out the Best in People: 1. Keep courtesy and consideration for others foremost in your mind. Bad days, interrupted schedules, and sudden “late” meetings are common occurrences for us. As Libby Anderson [Director of Operations, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity] often says, “Check your ego at the door so we can get some work done!” Remember, it is not all about you, or all about them… it’s about US making a better fraternity and sorority experience. 2. Try to have fun without trying to be funny. Let me take you all back a few short weeks to the Annual “Greek Gala” at Purdue. This is a black tie banquet where the Fraternity and Sorority of the Year Awards are given out. After the formal program had concluded, dancing commenced. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show the students that YES, I do have a few continued on page 4
Perspectives / Winter 2008
– Kurtis Foriska, Editor
have always felt that a book should be published detailing the misadventures of advising sororities and fraternities. At the Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, I laughed my way through the conference listening to stories from colleagues. I find it cathartic to know that there are others who share the whimsical nature of our profession. Kristin Torrey [Vanderbilt University] had my favorite story of the year. She arrived at work on the first day of sorority recruitment and received a frantic call from a sorority member that a chicken was loose in the sorority neighborhood. Kristin called animal control, who arrived and removed the chicken. A short while later, another chicken was loose in the community. This time animal control was unwilling to return to campus. So, with a cardboard box in hand, Kristin chased the chicken throughout campus, eventually catching it and becoming the “heroine” of sorority recruitment. These stories all share the same theme: that our jobs are unpredictable. We think we know what each day has in store for us, but then someone lets the chickens out (figuratively speaking, but in Kristin’s instance, it can be taken literally). We call for help, we adapt, and we react to resolve issues. But there are those few instances where we have time to actually reflect and prepare. Jay Anhorn’s and Kyle Pendelton’s From the Top articles acknowledge our Association’s success while challenging us to look to our future. Michael Hevel’s article provides insight into legal issues impacting the profession. Additional articles provide opportunities to enhance community service and philanthropy initiatives, integrate theory into our daily practice, and increase sexual assault prevention efforts. This issue can help prepare us to be better impromptu responders when we find our ‘chicken’ loose on campus.
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:
Kurtis Foriska 2007 Editor Assistant Director, The Ohio Union The Ohio State University The Ohio Union @ The Ohio Stadium 1961 Tuttle Park Place Columbus, Ohio 43210 firstname.lastname@example.org 614-247-5878 Fax: 614-292-6061
Perspectives is published four times per year. Submission deadlines: Spring 2008 February 15, 2008 Summer 2008 May 15, 2008 Fall 2008 August 15, 2008 Winter 2009 November 15, 2008
Relevant Legal Issues for Fraternity & Sorority Professionals Examining Philanthropy and Community Service in Sororities and Fraternities
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Board 2007 Editorial
Monica Miranda Smalls AFA Vice President for Resource Development, University of Rochester Michael Hevel, University of Iowa Megan Johnson, University of Iowa Ray Lutzky, Lambda Chi Alpha Georgianna Martin, University of Iowa Jeremiah Shinn, Indiana University
Kirsten Siron, St. Mary’s College (IN) Todd Sullivan, University of Connecticut
From the Top........................2
Allison Swick-Duttine, SUNY-Plattsburgh
Putting It In Perspective.......24
Robert Turning, The Johns Hopkins University
Nathan Thomas, Bradley University
Winter 2008 / Perspectives
continued from page 3 moves left in me, BUT I knew that when Soulja Boy came on and everyone began to dance to it, it was my time to quickly exit the dance floor. Now, some of you might think this is a lesson better served to those of us…a little older. But I firmly believe Wooden’s lesson goes to heart of our role a fraternity and sorority Professionals…with an emphasis on the capital P! Skip the urge to put on that giant sumo suit at the next fraternity recruitment event; trust me, you’ll be glad you did. 3. While you can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you react. Make good manners an automatic reaction. Mandy Womack [Director of Student Organizations and Greek Life, University of San Diego] started a Facebook group many of us in this room are members of: “I made the school paper and NOT in a good way.” The reality is that if we are truly doing our jobs, the inappropriate letters to the editor about Deans Arnholt and Vojta [Rutgers University] will still be published, the “fire Dean Dye” [University of Illinois] petitions will still circulate, and the snide comments of “Dean Pendleton is trying to take away all of our fun” will always be a part of our lives. I commented at the recent NASPA Greek Summit that I felt I had gotten more “mellow” over the past few years, meaning I used to react with the “we need to close them” mentality or “how dare they say that.” The reality I’ve discovered is that true partnerships are
developed during these times. And besides, it still can be kind of fun to join in those conversations of how you “DO IN FACT” want to get rid of the fraternities and sororities…the looks on their faces alone are priceless when they think you are serious. 4. Remember that sincerity, optimism, and enthusiasm are more welcome than sarcasm, pessimism, and laziness. How great would it be if we all could approach our roles like the newly initiated members of a chapter? Often times, we become the “seniors” that sit in the back of the chapter meetings or, worse yet, we are the “live out” members of the organizations. Stay engaged, involved, and active in the lives of the students. 5. Laugh with others, never at them. Honestly, I struggled with this one. For me, it means sharing in the fun of the silly, good times such as deciding if whipped cream on hot chocolate is a formal recruitment infraction, but not at some of the bigger issues such as inappropriate party themes and t-shirts, lack of inclusiveness on the part of the collective council leadership, or our staggering statistics of binge drinking. If behavior like this continues to be cute or unimportant, then we will not be able to connect our purpose to the educational mission of our institutions. 6. Seek individual opportunities to offer a genuine compliment. As a young, young professional, I was paired with Mindy Sopher at a session of UIFI.
Mindy is a true testament to courage. After I returned home, I received a small package from her with a brass star included with a note that said: “Never forget that you are a star!” I still have it, and it serves as a constant reminder of the good work we are doing. Often times we get caught up in the day to day of our job, the problems on campus, and everything that is going wrong with fraternities and sororities. Stop and take time to offer a simple thank you, well done, or you are a “rock star” to those with whom you work. And try to remember, often times, they are just students, trying the best they can to manage problems that professionals struggle to grasp. It is certainly both a relief and a sad moment as I transition to the role of Past President. It truly has been an honor to serve as your President for the past year. It has been even more of an honor to work with those of you seated up here with me today. THANK YOU! To Jay, the 2008 Executive Board, and you, our members, I will leave you with the following quote from John Wooden:
“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
– Jay Anhorn, 2008 President
few weeks ago, I e-mailed all of the Association’s Past Presidents and asked for their advice and opinions about the future of the Association. It turns out they have a lot of advice and opinions… imagine that! The responses I received were tremendous. Of course, in typical student affairs fashion, everyone was hitting the “Reply All” button, and it turned into a reunion of sorts. Stories of how the Association used to be and of how far we have come filled my inbox for days.
Jay Anhorn and Kyle Pendleton enjoyed down time on the golf cart at the November 2007 NASPA Greek Summit, hosted by Phi Mu Fraternity.
Perspectives / Winter 2008
Although the Association has changed a lot over the years, the presidents agreed that one thing has stayed the same: the camaraderie among colleagues and the level of support they gave, and we continue to give, to each other. Of course, our circle of friends has expanded since the 70s and 80s. We have welcomed inter/national fraternity and sorority staff and volunteers
right along with the interfraternal umbrella organizations. We are excited about the new relationships with the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) and the National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC). We have over 1,600 members, over 1,000 Annual Meeting attendees, and the Association is inching toward a half million dollar budget. We are becoming an Association without borders, opening up to whoever believes in the true meaning of fraternity and sorority. Now I may be Captain Obvious here, but after reading through all of the comments from the Past Presidents, I think they are pretty proud of where we are headed! I was sitting in my office last week, head in my hands, trying to translate what my vision and goals for AFA are; Kyle left a tough act to follow. What IS our strategic plan? No, I mean what does it really tell us? Where will we be in 5 years? 10 years? Or the next 31 years for that matter? And who put me on this podium anyway? I never thought I would be part of the AFA legacy… the tradition… the presidential family tree so to speak. But if you know me, truly know me, you know I am a team player. People that have been on past Executive Boards with me know that I am also an internal processor. I like to listen and absorb conversations and then try to make sense of it all. I need to think before I act. Well, to my fellow Board members, we need to think. It’s our turn to step up, be creative visionaries and lead the Association. No problem, right? If it were ONLY that easy! As we hit our second wind with the Strategic Plan, now, more than ever, we need to link arms with our partners and move forward together. The Coalition Assessment Project is yielding good results and we are learning where our fraternity and sorority communities need to be in the 21st century. For the movement to be successful, we all need to be open to change. This means taking off our “cool caps” and humbling ourselves to realize that constructive criticism is a good thing. Change is good. I was reading the November issue of Essentials and there was an article by Shawn Hoke titled Pay It Forward. Remember that movie in 2000 with Hayley Joel Osmond as the little boy Trevor? One of his character’s quotes from the movie was, “I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the
way they are – even if they’re bad – to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.” If our interfraternal organizations and campus professionals do not communicate with each other as we initiate change, we will all lose. The people who suffer the most in the whole process are our students. And aren’t they the reason each of us got into the field of fraternity and sorority advising in the first place? As my friend Jenny Levering [University of North Carolina] always says, “Pony Up!” We need to be willing to throw all our cards on the table and expose ourselves for the advancement of the fraternity and sorority movement. 2008 brings with it identifying more action steps in completing our Strategic Plan. So how will our Board decide what happens next? Linda Wardhammar [Executive Director] and I attended a symposium in November hosted by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership. One of the topics was Strategic Program Analysis, which involves an assessment of both current and potential programs within an Association on three levels: 1. Program Attractiveness: Do our members need or want it? Is it central to our mission? 2. Competitive Position: Are we capable of doing it? Do we have the resources, time, money, and expertise? 3. Alternative Coverage: Are we uniquely positioned to provide it? Or is someone else probably better suited to do it? So given that, here are some things to chew on… • We are developing a resource for traveling staff from inter/national fraternities and sororities with the hope of launching an interactive resource by Summer 2008 so all field staff can be trained on how to be successful working with campus professionals. • We will be strengthening our relationships with our interfraternal partners through the second year of the Coalition Assessment Project. • We will be working even more closely with NASPA, not only through their Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community, but by involving chief student affairs officers more directly with our mission. NIC, NPC, NPHC and NALFO are partnering in this effort.
• We are building stronger ties with ACPA – their Commission on Student Development is exhibiting and hosting a reception here at our Annual Meeting, and we hope to more clearly define our common goals. • We will continue to support the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity and EBI with their assessment tools so we have a better understanding of our campus communities and our profession. • We will continue to develop ways to retain more seasoned fraternity and sorority professionals. A new buzz phrase I have learned is “reverse mentoring.” Essentially, for our purposes, I see this as utilizing our newer professionals to help educate our veterans (including myself) on how to be more savvy with our millennial generation. In fact, please stand if you have been working with fraternities and sororities professionally for over 10 years. Thank you! This is truly a sign that we are needed, and valued, as an integral part of the college experience. And our future is very bright. Thanks to our Regional Teams, under the guidance of Jennifer Jones, our Vice President for Membership, our graduate student membership increased by 26% from last year! • We will build our power and influence in higher education. How do I know this? We have street credibility. Check out this list of power players: – Jennifer Jones, the current AFA Vice President for Membership, was just elected as the President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. – L inda Wardhammar, our Executive Director, was elected as the Vice President of the National Interfraternal Foundation. – B ob Gordon has served in his AFA liaison role on the International Alcohol Task Force for several years. Doug Lange has been on the CAS Executive Board for three terms, and the Board of Directors even longer. We just recently appointed Dan Bureau to follow Doug’s lead in 2009 to keep the relationship strong. Longevity and consistency is crucial to build our power and influence with these entities. So that’s what I have for you. I may not be as funny as Amy Vojta, or as emotional as Jennifer Jones-Hall even WITH waterproof mascara. I may not have that deep, sexy, southern voice like Rick Barnes, or the continued on page 6 Winter 2008 / Perspectives
continued from page 5 longevity and experience as Ron Binder. But for all of you I just named, along with Charlie Warner, Melissa Flanagan, and the rest of the past presidents – thank you for your unending support. It truly means a lot to be part of your legacy. To the AFA Foundation: thank you in advance for approving all the funding the 2008 Board will be applying for this coming year! But honestly, if it was not for our Foundation, the Association would never have been able to accomplish all that it has over the years. To Elon University: I thank you every day for hiring me and fully supporting the ultimate professional development opportunity. Ok, so I will be out of the office for 60 days in 2008, have already traveled 20 days this fall, and will be shutting my door a lot for AFA business, but I promise I will still make a cameo appearance for my real job on occasion. To Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity: If you did not offer me a bid to be one of the charter members of the chapter at Lehigh University in 1992, I would not be standing here today. That experience blazed the trail
Perspectives / Winter 2008
for my professional career. Thank you, brothers. “Andreeth Estay.” I want to thank the first person I met at my first Annual Meeting, T.J. Sullivan. You have been the biggest cheerleader for my entire 12 years of membership. You are an amazing professional and a great friend. To my former colleague and someone I consider my soul mate, Jenny Levering. You listen to my daily drama via phone, email, text message, AIM, MySpace, Facebook, and any other way I need to vent. Thank you for not always agreeing with me and putting me in my place when I need it. I love you for that. To my parents, who are here with me today: Stand up Mom and Dad! This is the reason why I always have to leave Thanksgiving weekend early. The two of you never stop telling me how proud you are of me – and even for a 34-year old man, it is still an amazing feeling. I love you both. And finally, to Kyle Pendleton: Kyle and I went to the University of South Carolina for graduate school together back in 1995.
We both worked in different assistantships in Greek Life and the Vice President’s office. I have been so completely impressed with your leadership this year. It’s been an honor to shadow you. I only hope I can be the same mentor to Carrie [Whitter, President-Elect] as you have been to me. My job as President is to not only manage an already competent Board and Executive Director, but to also represent you and the profession to the best of my ability. It’s a tall order – but I won’t let you down. I may not please everyone all the time, but that comes with the territory. Just know that I will always have your best interests at heart. I want to leave you with a quote from one of the founders of Alpha Chi Rho, William Eardeley, who commented on the topic of principles and values. He said, “Although benevolent men cannot do all the good they would, their duty is to do all the good they can.” I promise to do all the good I can for the Association.
Relevant Legal Issues for Fraternity & Sorority Professionals – Michael S. Hevel
fter participating in a “Big-Little Night” that involved large and fast consumption of vodka, Gary DeVercelly, a Rider University freshmen and Phi Kappa Tau pledge, died with a blood alcohol content of .426 (Newmarker, 2007; Smothers, 2007). Four months after his death, the prosecutor charged not only three students, but also Rider University’s Dean of Students and Director of Greek Life with aggravated hazing, facing a maximum prison term of 18 months and a fine up to $10,000 (Santana, 2007). Rider University supported the two administrators by providing paid administrative leave, while fraternity/sorority professionals closely watched the development of the case, feeling a sense of relief when three weeks later the prosecutor requested a dismissal of the charges against the two administrators (Isherwood, 2007). The Rider University tragedy illustrates almost too well the difficult challenge facing fraternity/sorority professionals: advancing the fraternal movement during a time of heightened legal scrutiny on campuses. Although committed to improving the fraternal experience, few fraternity/sorority professionals would risk their personal liberty for the actions of the chapters and undergraduate members on a given campus. Bickel and Lake (1999) noted that “at the time of greatest need, the law of higher education relating to the allocation of risk and responsibilities is most complex and confusing” (p. 6). We work with students who might face criminal, civil, and campus punishments for their behavior. Institutions and individuals, including campus professionals, student leaders, and local chapter advisors, are also increasingly vulnerable to civil lawsuits resulting from injuries related to a fraternity or sorority event, typically ones that involve alcohol use. These lawsuits include expensive attorney fees and, if the party bringing the case is successful, often monetary awards. In addition to the criminal charges and the financial implications of a civil lawsuit, fraternity lawsuits may raise constitutional issues. In all, fraternity/sorority professionals need to have a working understanding of the legal issues relevant to their professional positions in order to advance the fraternal movement while also protecting students, their institution, and themselves from thorny legal problems. Although professionals must engage with senior level executives and institutional counsel to ensure they are aware of the institution’s prerogative and the local legal environment, this article aims to cover several important legal areas related to fraternity/sorority life.
Fraternity/sorority professionals work with students who may face criminal consequences for consuming alcohol as minors, purchasing alcohol for minors, providing and serving alcohol to minors, and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Although these consequences are applicable to all college students, research finds that members drink at higher levels and frequency than non-affiliated students, indicating that fraternity and sorority members may be more vulnerable to criminal legal proceedings than many other student populations. With this knowledge, professionals should design educational interventions that work to reduce arrests and criminal charges.
In addition to the criminal charges related to alcohol use, over 30 states have passed laws criminalizing hazing activities (Kaplan & Lee, 2006, p. 1086), as illustrated by the Rider charges. Some state statutes not only implicate those who perpetuate the hazing, but also extend criminal liability to individuals who “knowingly permit, fail to report, or acquiesce in hazing” (Hennessy & Huson, 1998, p. 67). Fraternity/sorority professionals should consult with institutional counsel to learn if the states in which they work have criminal hazing statutes and, if so, the extent of the liability. The passage of such statutes reflect expectations of lawmakers and the public that professionals will work to stop hazing and take serious steps to eradicate the practice if they become aware of hazing within a chapter or fraternity/sorority community.
Freedom of Association
Many national organization staff, undergraduate student members, campus professionals, and legal commentators have claimed fraternities and sororities at public institutions have a right to freedom of association under the First Amendment. Horton (1992) observed, “Fraternities seemingly fall under constitutional protection” (p. 475), and Hauser (1990) asserted fraternities and sororities were “ideally situated to assert that their associational activities should be constitutionally protected from unwarranted state interference or regulation” (p. 456). At least at public institutions, rights of association would appear to allow fraternal organizations to exist, require institutions to recognize fraternities and sororities, and require institutions to provide fraternities and sororities with privileges necessary for organizational maintenance and growth. In addition, this right might limit institutional policies against expansion, allow inter/national organizations to recruit members without an original student interest group, and limit the scope of institutional regulation of the operations of fraternities and sororities (Hauser, 1990). This interpretation considers many current professional practices towards fraternities and sororities at public institutions unconstitutional. However, two federal appellate decisions appear to contradict the argument that fraternities possess a constitutional right to freedom of association that limits the scope of college and university regulation. In Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, Inc. v. University of Pittsburgh (2000), the chapter members claimed the University violated their right to freedom of association by refusing to recognize the chapter’s “right” to a presence on campus after being suspended for a year following a police raid on the chapter house, which found a variety of illegal drugs and resulted in the arrest of four students, including a member who was serving as the IFC president and the chapter’s risk management officer. The chapter members were unable to persuade the court that the chapter was either type of the associations protected by the Constitution, intimate associations or expressive associations. Intimate associations exist on spectrum, with family relationships receiving the most protection. Expressive associations are those organizations that gather to further a specific cause, most often a political one. The Pi Lambda Phi chapter’s average size was too large, the chapter was “not particularly selective” in continued on page 8 Winter 2008 / Perspectives
continued from page 7 who it admitted to membership, aggressively recruited new members, and engaged in too many social activities to be considered an intimate association (Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, Inc. v. University of Pittsburgh). The court stated that although “the [US Supreme] Court has not set a very high bar for expressive association, the Chapter has failed to make a showing in the record that it meets even this standard.” By failing to demonstrate the chapter as either an intimate association or expressive association, chapter members could not claim a right to freedom of association. In a recent case, Chi Iota Colony of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity v. City University of New York (2007), colony members sought damages and an injunction to force the College of Staten Island to recognize the colony as an official student group, allowing it access to the privileges afforded to recognized student organizations. The institution required all registered organizations to comply with its non-discrimination policy. By only permitting men to membership, the colony could not be compliant with the policy. The colony claimed that the forced compliance with the policy violated their freedom of association. To determine if “the state’s interests, and its means of achieving them, justify the state’s intrusion on the particular associational freedom,” the court examined the strength and importance of the association claims to the colony, the degree to which abiding by the non-discrimination policy impacted the colony’s associational interests, the public interest served by the institution’s non-discrimination policy, and how the rule requiring registered student organizations advanced that public interest (Chi Iota v. CUNY, p. 14). Although the colony members were successful at the district court level, the federal appellate court found that the colony lacked strong claims of intimate association, that the denial of recognition did not prevent the colony from continuing to exist, and despite legislation that exempts fraternities from federal anti-discrimination legislation, the state (New York) and the institution have a “compelling” interest in prohibiting sex discrimination. Indeed, these two decisions undermine Hauser’s (1990) assertions that First Amendment rights to association protect chapters from many current professional practices and institutional policies.
Hennessy and Huson (1998) observed that the “majority of legal claims against Greek-letter organizations are for torts, or civil wrongs” (p. 63). Fraternal organizations appear to be most vulnerable to claims of negligence. Negligence is a common law claim giving individuals rights to sue for damages arising from the unintentional but injurious acts of others.
In order to successfully demonstrate negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant (a) owed the plaintiff a duty, (b) breached (failed to perform) that duty, (c) the breach caused or was the proximate cause of the damages, and (d) the plaintiff suffered damages (Bickel & Lake, 1999). If the plaintiff fails to demonstrate any aspect of the four-part test, the defendant cannot be found negligent. Bickel and Lake (1999) accounted for three distinct “eras” of negligence law as it pertains to college life. Bickel and Lake described the first phase as the “era of in loco parentis.” In loco parentis – a legal principle inherited from British common law that literally means “in the place of the parents,” but in a proper legal and historical context “in the place of the father” – provided institutions with a “paternal, male, often stern, disciplinary power” to apply to students (Bickel & Lake, p. 20). While our modern understanding of parental roles includes both discipline and care, in loco parentis did not create a special duty to protect students. Indeed, during this legal era, institutions typically avoided responsibility for student injuries by invoking the defenses of sovereign or charitable immunity. The bystander era emerged in the 1960s. As the courts began to recognize constitutional rights of due process in public institutions, legal analyses shifted to understand college education as an agreement or contract between parents and the institution to the modern understanding of higher education that involves students and the institution. Four “famous cases” – Bradshaw v. Rawlings (1979), Baldwin v. Zoradi (1981), Beach v. University of Utah (1986), and Rabel v. Illinois Wesleyan University (1987) defined the bystander era. These cases portrayed colleges and universities as “helpless bystanders,” owing no duty to protect students from the dangers of college life, despite facts implicating institutionally sponsored field trips, class picnics, alcohol policies, and fraternities (Bickel & Lake, 1999). By the mid 1980s, the bystander era gradually gave way to the duty era. Bickel and Lake (1999) noted that judges have become “increasingly willing to apply traditional negligence and duty rules to university life” (p. 105). The case that best illustrates this shift is Furek v. The University of Delaware (1991). Furek involved a student who suffered severe burns from oven cleaner poured on him during a fraternity hazing ritual. The university had a policy against hazing, the student health director reported hazing injuries to the chief student affairs officer, the dean of students issued a statement prohibiting hazing, and administrators admonished fraternity chapter presidents and threatened charter revocation if hazing continued. Yet the campus police had no procedures that instructed them how to respond when they observed the activities of hazing. In contrast to the bystander era courts, the Furek court wrote that “every aspect of student life is, to some degree, university guided… While we agree that the University’s duty is a limited one, we are not persuaded that none exists” (p. 516-517). Bickel and Lake argued that the Furek holding suggests that institutions generally owe students a duty of reasonable care, not absolute care. Elkins, Helms, and Pierson (2003) examined the aggregate of alcohol negligence case law regarding fraternities and sororities reported between 1970 and 2001. Elkins et al. identified 43 cases involving both a claim of negligence resulting from alcohol use and involvement of a fraternity or sorority chapter. Demonstrating the increased litigious environment as it relates to fraternity/sorority life, there were more reported cases in the latest two years of the
In addition to the criminal charges related to alcohol use, over 30 states have passed laws criminalizing hazing activities
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study (three cases), than all the reported cases in the 1970s (two cases). Claims resulted from driving accidents, assault, alcohol poisoning, falling from high structures (windows and roofs), and sexual assault, typically occurring at a fraternity chapter house. One-third of the cases involved wrongful death claims. The local fraternity/sorority chapters were named a defendant in 77% of the cases, followed by inter/national organizations in 63% of the cases. Individuals, mostly members of the local chapter but sometimes including fraternity/sorority professionals, were named defendants in 58% of the cases. Institutions of higher education were named as defendants in 48% of the cases. When named as defendants, institutions and inter/national organizations were more likely to have favorable outcomes than were local chapters and individuals. Elkins et al. concluded that student affairs professionals should engage students in educational conversations that protect students from legal, emotional, and physical consequences of alcohol use; that fraternity/sorority life professionals should work with chapter members to improve the culture of their organizations; and that future research should focus on differences in outcomes between states and the laws and legal reasoning behind court decisions.
In their 2006 update to The Law of Higher Education, Kaplan and Lee divided their analysis of fraternities and sororities into three sections: institutional recognition and regulation; institutional liability relating to acts of fraternities and sororities; and liability of fraternal organization and the individual liability of their members. Although the regulation of fraternal organizations at both public and private institutions has been challenged in the courts, institutions retain wide latitude regarding their policies towards fraternities and sororities. The policies that institutions create must be “vigorously” enforced. The majority of court decisions have found that colleges do not have a duty to protect individuals from injuries related to or resulting from fraternities. Fraternities or their members have typically been found liable when the courts consider the dangerous behavior or activity that created the injury to be coerced and required for membership (i.e., hazing of new members), but not liable when the courts consider the dangerous behavior to be voluntary. “Educational programs regarding the responsible use of alcohol, swift disciplinary action for breaches of the code of student conduct, and monitoring (rather than regulation) of the activities of fraternal organizations may reduce the likelihood of harm to students or others and of liability for the college” (Kaplin & Lee, p. 1090). Lawsuits that involve fraternities and sororities typically include both public relations problems and tragedy. At the close of their book, Bickel and Lake (1999) articulated a “facilitator university” model, a framework that envisions administrators who provide “as much support, information, interaction, and control as is reasonably necessary and appropriate in the [given] situation” (p. 193). Fraternity/sorority professionals face a daunting task as “facilitators.” Professionals must work with inter/national organization staff and volunteers, senior-level campus administrators, institutional counsel, and other campus and community resources to improve the fraternal experience and educate student members regarding their responsibilities. While educating students on all possible legal issues that might arise from the fraternal experience may be too broad a mandate, professionals, knowledgeable about relevant legal areas and about the values of the fraternal movement, are well positioned to create change. Fraternities and sororities are based upon espoused values. Chapters focused on scholarship, community service, and developing deep friendships risk far fewer legal consequences than those focused on social pursuits, especially ones associated with alcohol. A Call for Values Congruence
(Franklin Square Group, 2003), the document endorsed by college presidents and fraternal leaders, described fraternity chapters that improved the collegiate experience of members by positively affecting intellectual development, instilling fraternal and institutional values, and developing leadership, close friendships, and citizenship. Such chapters limit exposure to liability and the costs of litigation for themselves, their members, their national organization, and their host institutions. – Michael Hevel is a doctoral student in the higher education program at the University of Iowa. He served as the fraternity advisor at Willamette University (OR) for three years and currently volunteers for AFA and his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi.
References Baldwin v. Zoradi. 123 Cal. App. 3d 275 (1981 Cal.). Retrieved November 1, 2007, from LexisNexis database. Beach v. University of Utah. 726 P.2d 413 (1986 Utah). Retrieved November 1, 2007, from LexisNexis database. Bickel, R. D., & Lake, P. F. (1999). The rights and responsibilities of the modern university: Who assumes the risks of college life. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Bradshaw v. Rawlings. 612 F.2d 135 (3rd Cir. 1979). Retrieved November 1, 2007, from LexisNexis database. Chi Iota Colony of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity v. City Univ. of N.Y, 502 F.3d 136 (2nd Cir. 2007). Retrieved November 1, 2007, from LexisNexis database. Elkins, B., Helms, L. B., & Pierson, C. T. (2003). Greek-letter organizations, alcohol, and the courts: A risky mix? Journal of College Student Development, 44, 67-80. Furek v. University of Delaware. 594 A2.d 506 (1991 Del.). Retrieved February 15, 2003, from LexisNexis database. Hauser, G. F. (1990). Social fraternities at public institutions of higher education: Their rights under the first and fourteenth amendments. Journal of Law and Education, 19, 433-466. Hennessy, N. J., & Huson, L. M. (1998). Legal issues and Greek letter organizations. In E. G. Whipple (Ed.), New challenges for Greek letter organizations: Transforming fraternities and sororities into learning communities (pp. 61-77). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Horton, N. S. (1992). Traditional single-sex fraternities on college campuses: Will they survive in the 1990s? Journal of College and University Law, 18, 419-482. Isherwood, D. R. (2007, September 9). Attorney defends rider charges: New criticisms of county prosecutor. [Electronic version]. The Times (Trenton, NJ), pp. A01. Retrieved September 24, 2007 from LexisNexus Academic database. Kaplin, W. A., & Lee, B. A. (2006). Law of higher education: A comprehensive guide to legal implications of administrative decision making (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kaplin, W. A., & Lee, B. L. (1997). A legal guide for student affairs professionals. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Newmarker, C. (2007, April 3). Dead frat pledge had alcohol level five times legal driving limit. [Electronic version]. The Associated Press State & Local Wire, Retrieved September 24, 2007 from LexisNexus Academic database. Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, Inc. v. University of Pittsburgh, 229 F.3d 435 (3rd Cir. 2000). Retrieved November 1, 2007, from LexisNexis database. Rabel v. Illinois Wesleyan University. 161 Ill. App. 3d 348 (1987 Ill.). Retrieved November 1, 2007, from LexisNexis database. Santana, R. (2007, August 13). Rider president defends 2 officials charged in hazing death. [Electronic version]. The Associated Press State & Local Wire, Retrieved September 24, 2007 from LexisNexus Academic database. Smothers, R. (2007, March 31). Freshman’s drinking death stuns a New Jersey university. [Electronic version]. The New York Times, pp. B2. Retrieved September 24, 2007 from Lexis Nexus Academic database.
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Examining Philanthropy and Community Service in Sororities and Fraternities – Colleen Rose
s fraternity and sorority professionals, it is likely
Starting with the “what”
that you hear the phrases “community service,”
My position is a unique hybrid of working with students engaged in service both in a curricular and co-curricular context within the university. In half of my position I supervise students deemed Advocates for Community Engagement (ACEs) that act as liaisons between service-learning classes and local non-profit or government organizations. ACEs are hired because of their strong commitment to volunteering, and they grow to become advocates for social justice and social change. Much of that growth can be attributed to the purposeful reflection they engage in, consistent participation in the daily life of their agency, and the education they receive regarding the social issues their agencies address. The other half of my position involves connecting fraternity and sorority members to the local community. I also provide an educational context for the injustices that predicate needing volunteers in the first place. Between the ACEs and fraternities and sororities, I oftentimes find myself asking the question, “Why aren’t fraternity and sorority members getting as much from their experience as what ACEs get? Isn’t the fraternal experience built on values that encourage inspiring ideals like the advancement of justice and the diffusion of liberal cultural?”
“philanthropy,” and “volunteering” used a lot. These
words evoke different meanings for students depending on their life experiences. For one student “service” may be sanctioned by the university and/or inter/national organization as repercussion for hazing, abusing alcohol, or any other violation of behavioral standards. In the best case scenario, those who work with students and sanctions try to sensitively frame the experience as an opportunity for growth and reflection; despite those good efforts, the majority of students see their peers being “punished” by means of community service. Beyond punishment, there are students who view community service as a requirement for participation in their chapter and another box on the checklist of to-dos (or else be fined!). LastLY, there are students whose only motivation is good intentions – the students who choose to go well beyond basic expectations. These students engage in service with the community because they want to and believe in their ability to make the world a better place.
When ACEs graduate, I ask how they might best describe their ACE experience. “Life-changing” is the typical response. Having just interviewed more than a dozen chapters for fraternity/sorority awards in the area of citizenship, I never heard one person mention that their service or philanthropy experience changed their life or
Research suggests that students experience enhanced learning, increased critical thinking skills, and personal development when they engage with the issues and constituents they serve and then reflect on those experiences When sorority and fraternity advisors work with members on service and philanthropy, professionals have to acknowledge the preconceptions and motivations they bring with them about the subject: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In doing so, we not only validate the experiences of students but can also begin to establish common definitions of those distinct terms that are used interchangeably. Most importantly, however, fraternity and sorority professionals must be equipped with information on how to successfully implement service and philanthropy initiatives to encourage student development, leadership, and the success of students beyond their collegiate experience. There are more opportunities for students to learn and grow beyond event planning and the ability to create the most unique t-shirt, right? So, what is the difference between service and philanthropy, and how can students get the most out of serving others?
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changed their thinking about the world. No one said they reconsidered how they live their life or their organization’s purpose to serve others. I did hear a lot about dollars raised, t-shirts designed, and awards won. I heard even more about what we have taught our members about what makes philanthropy “good” and what does not. Date auctions are fun and draw a crowd, even though they reinforce physical and emotional insecurities. “Keggers for Cancer” has the potential to raise far more money than any other event could. But do the ends really justify the means and is the purpose of these events lost in the perceived fun of the activity? And I heard about service too… or was it philanthropy? Students would commonly describe their involvement in fundraising events as “community service” even though these events were detached from working with under-served populations or regions. For those chapters that did talk about working with groups of people different from themselves, they read from a list of one-time service agency drop-ins that required little more commitment than an hour or two. It was uncommon to hear of chapters that had established
committed relationships with local agencies by performing hands-on service unrelated to fundraising (i.e. tutoring a child in math, serving food to guests at the local soup kitchen, or greeting patients at the free medical clinic). Where were the stories of students stepping outside of their everyday world to engage consistently in the lives of others? To be fair, fraternities and sororities raise a lot of money that benefits our world. Entire medical wings have been built because of their hard work and dedication. Play rooms in after-school agencies have been given a fresh face and women with low incomes have been given professional clothes to apply for jobs. It would be a shame to lose those contributions of fraternities and sororities in our communities, and it is important for students to recognize the value of philanthropic involvement and its place in society. Too often, however, professionals have failed to teach students about being citizens, remaining comfortable in perpetuating detached philanthropic giving and haphazard volunteering and failing to challenge students to examine the difficult issues of oppression and equality (i.e. the advancement of justice). Professionals may be forced to prioritize risk management and reduce service to a minimum standard, ignoring that the two might just go hand-inhand. It is our responsibility as fraternity and sorority professionals to educate students about the difference between service and philanthropy. More importantly, we can begin to connect those things to their organizations’ purpose and challenge students to examine their individual and collective capacity to change the world and change themselves.
Now the how Admittedly, when I first started in my position, I was ready to wage a campaign against philanthropic giving in fraternities and sororities. From my observations, students were more likely to be harmed than helped by the false sense of power and influence they walked away with by raising money while never having to engage with the issues or populations related to their cause. I even witnessed students pulling money from their organizations’ excess funds instead of fundraising and then receiving praise for their commitment to philanthropy. What I realized, however, is that it is not philanthropy itself that doesn’t work, it’s how the philanthropy is carried out that’s not working.
Research suggests that students experience enhanced learning, increased critical thinking skills, and personal development when they engage with the issues and constituents they serve and then reflect on those experiences (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005; Eyler and Giles 1999). When I work with chapters individually, we often talk about ways for chapters to both learn about their inter/national philanthropic cause and educate others about it. For example, a sorority’s rocking chair marathon to raise money for an abuse prevention organization could simply have a table with information about abuse or hang abuse statistics from the chairs and incorporate a trivia game about those statistics to engage students in the issue. Allowing time both at the beginning and end of any philanthropic event to have chapter members speak publicly about the issues to their peers is a powerful way to inspire others and encourage members to become the expert on their cause. Students should be encouraged to seek out local opportunities for service or philanthropy in the same vein of their inter/national philanthropy. I connected the aforementioned sorority supporting abuse prevention to our local shelter for women and children of domestic violence. Not only can the students volunteer there, but they can also utilize the shelter staff as a resource for local experts on the issue of abuse instead of paying hundreds of dollars to bring in a speaker about the issue. I love to utilize ACEs for fraternities and sororities to facilitate reflection, or critical thinking about service and social justice, in regard to the volunteer experiences chapters have in local agencies. In the example of the domestic violence shelter, the ACE for that agency could be contacted by the sorority to meet at their house to facilitate a discussion on what their experience was like, how it challenged them personally, and how issues of poverty and sexism contribute to domestic violence. They could reflect on the purpose of their sorority in regard to their new relationship with the shelter and knowledge of the injustice of domestic violence. As these young women think critically about their experience, they have the opportunity to reconsider assumptions and create a new framework for their understanding of the world. If we continue to send students out to volunteer without reflecting on those experiences, we run the risk of reinforcing negative stereotypes students bring with them about populations different from their own (Sheckley, Allen, and Keeton 1993). continued on page 12
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continued from page 11 Volunteering in the domestic violence shelter is also the kind of opportunity that a national survey of employers by the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that businesses believe students need. Engaged, real-world experiences that prepare students to work in diverse settings with diverse populations, knowledge of global issues and their implications, and a sense of integrity and ethics (AAC&U, 2006) are key to success beyond college. Hands-on service offers no shortage of opportunities for students to be involved with real-world challenges and people different from themselves. Based on what research tells us about the potential of student learning through community involvement, professionals are asked to think more critically about the ways we advise students in regard to philanthropy and service. As we work with emerging adults who are experiencing identity exploration, instability, selffocus, and possibility (Arnett 2004), professionals in the field are required to help students responsibly – not flippantly – consider their role in the world. As we continue to demonstrate the modern relevancy of fraternity and sorority life on the college campus, we can no longer do service for the sake of service; we must think critically about what role service plays in social justice. We must take our students into the community to engage in the lives of people who live in our city year-round. We must lovingly and supportively explore the uncomfortable issues of poverty, racism, sexism, and environment with students who will graduate to become the leaders of a global society. As professionals, we have to be willing to personally explore those uncomfortable topics ourselves and model the power of knowledge in changing lives.
Looking ahead I have seen the power of knowledge at work as fraternity and sorority members are hired into the ACE program. A sorority member, Lauren, is using her role as an ACE to create a community service program in which each sorority is paired with a local
non-profit organization. She has even incorporated an element of reflection using her ACE co-workers. She said to me just the other day, “You know, being an ACE has opened my eyes to what it’s like for people living in our city. What if everyone knew what we did?” I am convinced that if we give students permission to be uncomfortable, to think about difficult issues, and to do things differently, we will begin to see students open their eyes through the lens of service. We would know the answer to what would happen if every one knew what Lauren did. – Colleen Rose serves as the Coordinator for Civic Engagement at Indiana University, Bloomington.
REFERENCES Arnett, J. (2004). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (2006). How should colleges prepare students to succeed in the global economy? Retrieved December 16, 2007 from www.aacu.org/ advocacy/leap/documents/Re8097abcombined.pdf Eyler, J., and Giles, D. E., Jr. (1999). Where’s the learning in service-learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pascarella, E. T., and Terenzini, P.T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of Research. Vol. 2. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Sheckley, B. G, Allen, G. J., and Keeton, M. T. (1993). Adult learning as recursive process. Journal of Cooperative Education 28:56-67.
Simple Steps to Purposeful Service and Philanthropy: 1. Develop a relationship with the community service or service-learning office on your campus; they are the experts and have connections. 2. Start talking with students about the difference between philanthropy and service. 3. Encourage students to develop a committed service relationship with a local agency, just as they have with their inter/national philanthropy. 4. Connect students to local experts and resources related to their inter/national philanthropy. 5. Evaluate student service and philanthropy by learning, not by numbers. 6. Encourage students to look for creative ways to infuse education into their service or philanthropy events. 7. As a professional, begin to explore topics of social justice such as racism, poverty, and educational inequality to learn more about what you are asking your students to consider.
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Winter 2008 / Perspectives
[ A FA 2 0 0 7 A n n u a l M e e t i n g • C i n c i n n a t i , O H • N o v. 2 8 - D e c . 2 ]
AFA Annual Meeting – Beth Conder, 2007 Conference Coordinator
he 2007 Annual Meeting was an event to remember! The week included celebrations, networking, programming, food, fun, and friends. An amazing group of staff and volunteers worked all year to plan a great conference experience to meet the needs of all Annual Meeting attendees. We are pleased to report that this year we hit a record number of AFA Annual Meeting
Attendees: 1,037 campus professionals, inter/national fraternity & sorority professionals and volunteers, and vendors/service providers came together to create Our Envisioned Future. Through dynamic and engaging learning experiences, the 2007 Conference Committee emphasized the importance of creating connections with colleagues and provided exceptional educational programming.
Highlights and statistics of the 2007 Annual Meeting include: General Sessions: The educational programming of the Annual Meeting was bookended by two amazing general session speakers. We examined future trends in higher education as they relate to the value of fraternities and sororities and considered the challenges they may face as the 21st century progresses through the words of Dr. Nancy Zimpher, President of the University of Cincinnati. She provided us with insight to help us better understand where our organizations are headed and what we need to understand to help them survive. We were also encouraged at the Saturday general session with Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Philander Smith College. Dr. Kimbrough spoke about the history and emergence of culturally-based fraternities and sororities. He provided us with ways to learn about these groups ourselves, to facilitate awareness and understanding among others, and how to support and empower individual member and chapter growth and development. Media Presentation: We were welcomed to the Annual Meeting through a five-minute media presentation challenging us to determine our relevancy and make a choice on the fraternal world’s future action: watch the world pass us by or adapt. We thank MediaSauce for working with the Association to create this thought-provoking opening presentation. This presentation is now available on the AFA website for use with your campus or organization. Educational Programming: Educational programming is the foundation of our Annual Meeting and the offerings continue to grow every year. The Call for Content yielded topics and ideas that members wanted us to address during the eight educational session blocks. More than 80 educational programs, including five pre-conference opportunities, were offered by over 150 presenters. We secured quality session facilitators and programs to engage, educate, and provide resources to our members. Each educational session block included a wide variety of topics and training opportunities designed to meet the needs of conference attendees. 14
Perspectives / Winter 2008
Topics ranged in issues such as legal liability, technology, multicultural fraternities and sororities, and assessment. Handouts from many of the educational sessions are available on the AFA website. Thank you to everyone who presented an educational program and submitted information through the Call for Content process. First Timers Programming: Did you know that nearly 25% of our Annual Meeting attendees are first time attendees? In an effort to support our new attendees, the First Timers Committee hosted the First Timers Reception, a very successful Peer Network Program, and the popular First Timers Meal Gatherings. The Peer Network Program was regionally focused, resulting in stronger relationships and support networks for both first time attendees and seasoned professionals. A record number of First Timers participated in meal gatherings providing fun and friendship for all who participated. This year’s first time attendees brought new energy and excitement to the Annual Meeting. The future of our Association definitely looks bright! AFA Speaker Showcase: The AFA Speaker Showcase highlighted five Associate Members in 20-minute lecture excerpts. Campus Computing: From Free Speech to Facebook by C.L. Lindsay, BassSchuler Entertainment; Be Heard: Talking about Eating Disorders and Mental Health by Colleen Coffey, National Mental Health Awareness Campaign; Money Management for Fraternity and Sorority Members by Peter Bielagus, Young America’s Financial Coach; The PR Warm Room by Ray Lutzky, CAMPUSPEAK; and The Happy Hour Tour by Bernie McGrenahan, Admire Entertainment informed, educated, and entertained attendees. On-Site Arrangements & DRC: The On-Site Arrangements Committee delivered 4 newsletters to Annual Meeting attendees that included detailed information about programs and topics. This year the newsletter highlighted the overall daily schedule and provided participants with space to take educational program notes. The Developmental Resource Center (DRC) displayed publications and materials from over 30 institutions and organizations. The DRC Idea Exchange, which highlighted 13 facilitated topic tables, was also back by popular demand.
ee t t i m m o C ff e c n e r e f n uate Sta o C A F A nd Grad a Pictures are courtesy of GreekYearbook. All photos from the 2007 Annual Meeting can be viewed and purchased from GreekYearbook.com
Fireside Antonio-Chats Partici p Phillip Lytle, aants: Drew Th a nd Apri l Roblews ley,
Graduate Student Experiences: The Graduate Training Track, funded by a grant to the AFA Foundation by Rho Lambda National Honorary, celebrated its fifth anniversary by providing a specialized learning experience to 70 graduate students. The program’s goal was to prepare emerging professionals for careers in fraternity/sorority advising.
Fireside Chats: Nearly 900 scheduled meetings brought together inter/national organization representatives and campus professionals to develop an envisioned future of partnerships, collaboration, and action. Thank you to the record number of professionals and volunteers this year who took the time to participate in Fireside Chats and the Meet & Greet.
Project Job Search, in its second year, has quickly become an Annual Meeting staple. Participants were given the opportunity to participate in a mock interview or have their résumés reviewed with professionals in the field. More than 40 annual meeting attendees participated in this professional development experience.
Ronald McDonald House: This year the Association supported the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati as our Annual Meeting philanthropy. Attendees were asked to provide phone and gift cards as well as toys and clothes. Additionally, we collected pop can tabs to be recycled, generating funds to help offset operating costs of the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you to everyone who donated items, gift cards, and pop can tabs.
The AFA/Order of Omega Case Study Competition was extremely successfully this year, with an abundance of graduate students seeking to participate. Congratulations to Julia Roberts, Grand Valley State University, and Kelvin Rodriguez, Florida International University, on winning the first place prize! Graduate Staff: The Annual Meeting was again enhanced by the service of this year’s eight Graduate Staff members. Special thanks to Devin Bucke, Clemson University; Curtis Burrill, Springfield College/Tufts University; Colleen Grosch, University of South Carolina; Christopher Jefferson, University of Missouri, Columbia; Michelle Marchand, Indiana University of Pennsylvania/Clarion University; Sarah McCracken, University of Iowa; Kari Murphy, University of Pacific; and Laurel Peffer, Bowling Green State University for their hard work and dedication. These individuals created an amazing team and will be joining our workforce in a few short months.
May we each be inspired to work together to create Our Envisioned Future until we gather again next year in Denver for the 2008 AFA Annual Meeting.
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AFA Annual MeetinG PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS
vice s r e S d e guish th colleague n i t s i D ell Sopher wi iversity s s u F t f Sue KWrainner: Mindroylina State Un Awardrom North Ca f 2007 Outstanding Volunteer Award Winners: Thad Doyle, Will Foran, Anne Arseneau, and Chad Ellsworth
Sue Kraft F Service Aw ussell Disting ard Winner: u Tracy Misahxewd ell 16
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red e h t a g s t n e t presidnual Meeting. s a p s â€™ A F A Thirteeneaokf fast during the An for br
ive t a i t i n I e niversity g n a h C ing Lehigh U d n a t s t Ou Winner: Award S
ue Kraf Award Wt Fussell D inner: A istinguis llison S hed Serv wick-Du ice ttine
Robert H. Shaffer Award Winner: Mike Hayes (L) Jack L. Anson Award Winner: Mike McRee (R)
The men of Kapp Fratern a Alpha P ity, Inc. si Winter 2008 / Perspectives
[2007 AFA Award Recipients] [Jack L. Anson Award]
[Diversity Initiative Award]
Michael A. McRee
Northwestern University, Bridging the Gap
[Robert H. Shaffer Award] Michael Hayes •
[Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Awards] Bethany Deines, Sigma Sigma Sigma Tracy Maxwell, HazingPrevention.org Mindy Sopher, North Carolina State University
[Excellence in Educational Programming Award] Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority, Collegiate Advisor Development Program HRH/Kirklin & Co., LLC, Personal Consequences: Understanding the Personal Liability of Your Greek Experience •
Allison Swick-Duttine, SUNY Plattsburgh
[Gayle Webb New Professional Award]
Amy Vojta, Rutgers University
Amy Rosen, Otterbein College
[Perspectives Awards] Mike McRee & Martin Cobb, Why We Should Close More Chapters Dan Bureau, Beyond Rhetoric and Into the Action of the Values Movement •
[Outstanding Volunteer Awards] Anne Arseneau, Volunteer Coordinator Thad Doyle, Region III Director Chad Ellsworth, Research Advancement Committee Chair Will Foran, Essentials Editorial Board Lea Hanson, Essentials Editor
[Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors Award] Dennis C. Roberts, Ph.D., & Matthew Johnson, Involving Students in Securing a Future for Fraternal Organizations •
[Outstanding Change Initiative Award] Lehigh University
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Casey Stevens, First 90 Days Program Chair •
[AFA/Order of Omega Case Study Competition] 1st Place: Julia Roberts, Grand Valley State University & Kelvin Rodriguez, Florida International University 2nd Place: Sarah Decker, Bowling Green State University & Renee Piquette-Wiedenhoeft, Bowling Green State University 3rd Place: Sharrell Hassell, Miami University & Antonio Lytle, Miami University
[membership milestones] [30-Year Members]
Bill Brennan Doug Case Dick McKaig Gayle Webb
Debbie Heida Margaret Meek
JoAnn Arnholt Trish Goodfriend Jennifer Jones-Hall Debbie Morris Melanie Schild
[15-Year Members] Rosalind Alderman Lisa Blockus Brown Mari Ann Callais Ginny Carroll
Sally Cobb Cari Cook Anita Cory Chuck Eberly
Lisa Fedler Swiontek Andrea Gaspardino Kovachy Levester Johnson Melanie Lampertz
Andy Robison Tracy Stuck Mike Wiseman
Martin Cobb Kenneth Corbett Bill Davenport Gary Dickstein Pat Frilot Cottonham Mark Geller
Cassie Gerhardt Mary Ellen Gillespie Lisa Holliday Kelly Jo Karnes Marissa LeClaire Shari Malone
Renie Moss Gretchen Osterman Joe Rosenberg Jennifer Walker Bonnie Warren Timothy Wilkinson
Suzanne Gerety Marlon Gibson Glenn Gnirrep Matt Goodwin Hayden Greene Chrysalis Grodhaus Jennifer Gunn Michelle Guobadia Kim Haines Andrea Handzus Jody Hare Allison Harris Shelby Harris Tyler Havens Erin Huffman Chris Hutchison Lennon Jackson Steven Jacobson Betty James Sonja Jensen Arthur Jones Jerri Kallam Ryan King Kassie Kissinger
Mel Krueger Troy LeForge Matt Lenno Jenny Levering Amy Long Clarissa Lonn Laura Malley-Schmitt Matt Mattson Sarah McDaniel Al McLaughlin Deborah Miller Donald Mills Karri Moore-Knoblauch Michelle Mouton Erin Munton Christian Murphy Nellie Nevarez Matt Noble Liz Olivieri Josh Orendi Gail Owen Laura Parrillo Brooklynn Parrott Megan Pendley Pickett
Lorin Phillips Leslie Quint Wheeler Louis Ragsdale Whitney Rice Caitlin Roberts Gregory Roberts Amanda Rose Megan Ruble Mark Schuelke Chris Schuler Cheyenne Schultz Krystal Slivinski Ed Spencer Mark Starr Kate Steiner Kelly Sullivan Mendy Tarwater Craig Templeton Nikki Weston Sarah Williamson Andy Wilson Heather Wilson Mandi Wise Gary Wiser
[10-Year Members] Libby Anderson Mark Anderson Elysia Balster Gallivan Cassie Barnhardt Amanda Bureau Cara Dawn Byford
[5-Year Members] Linda Ablard Ruby Alvarado Hernandez Ellen Awad Amy Ayres Rhen Bass Scott Bass Lee Boone Kevin Boston-Hill David Butler Deborah Catchings-Smith Jack Causseaux Colleen Coffey Rennie Cook John Cooke Jenny Dodson Peter Dudley Anne Emmerth Tricia Fechter Beth Fisher Holly Flynn Tom Fox Joy Fulkerson Misty Garrett Ed Gerety
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– Georgianna L. Martin and Dan Bureau
Understanding and Using Developmental Theory: A New Approach to Actualize Values Congruence
he use of student development theory to inform fraternity and sorority advising is not a new concept. However, integrating theory into our professional work as educators is a task with which many struggle. It is easy to dismiss theories as abstract frameworks that are difficult to apply in practical situations. Some practitioners simply do not understand how theories work or how to use them. Theories are an important foundational consideration for student affairs educators (Evans, 2003). Studying student development provides an opportunity to acknowledge the science behind how students grow and how they use co-curricular experiences to shape their time in fraternal organizations. How these students develop in the environment of a fraternity or sorority should be important to persons invested both in these organizations and in student success. Additionally, the pursuit of ways to create meaningful and learning-centered experiences for students in fraternal organizations will add to the credibility of fraternity and sorority advisors as student life practitioners. A few notes on developmental theory The purpose here is not to present a primer on student development theory in hopes of refreshing the memories of readers who have long forgotten the specifics of Chickering & Reisser’s (1993) vectors of psychosocial development or Carol Gilligan’s (1982) contribution to the literature on moral development. Rather, the goal is to provide a framework in which fraternity and sorority life professionals can best understand and utilize college student developmental theory. Knefelkamp, Widdick, & Parker (1978) authored one of the first published resources connecting developmental theories to working with college students. Four areas of knowledge for student affairs professionals to learn are addressed:
Perspectives / Winter 2008
1. Who is the college student in developmental terms? What developmental changes occur and what do they look like? 2. How does development in the college years occur? 3. How does the environment influence development? 4. What should be the end goal or outcome of development? When this monograph was published in the late 1970s, the imperative for the profession was to learn more about the ways in which college students develop and grow. Nearly 30 years later, we have an impressive body of literature that addresses student growth and development during college. With an existing body of student development literature, the imperative today is applying theory to understand students and to improve students’ co-curricular experiences. Implementing standards documents is one concrete way to integrate the theoretical foundations of student affairs into practice. In 2003, A Call for Values Congruence (CVC) set forth an initiative of college and university presidents to address collective issues and create common standards for fraternity and sorority communities in North America (Franklin Square Group). Through the lens of the CVC, this article discusses some opportunities, challenges, and recommendations associated with implementation of standards documents in the context of a student development framework. Putting the CVC into action The CVC recommends “a specific set of strategies for campuses with negative Greek behavioral issues to close the gap between what fraternities and sororities espouse and what their chapters do” (Franklin Square Group, 2003, p. 2). Five action areas are identified including addressing alcohol misuse, convergence with academic culture of the host institution,
the facilitation of common values, healthy lifestyles, and strategies for validation of campuses engaged in the congruence effort. The document has become a model for other efforts to develop similar standards documents by the four umbrella groups (NALFO, NIC, NPC and NPHC) that serve as organizing bodies for over 100 social and cultural fraternal organizations. Inherent in all of these actions is a need for encouraging student engagement toward a greater change process. The vital question continues to be whether students can meet these standards. Understanding theoretical applications that drive student learning and development is a good starting point to develop implementation strategies. What follows are four summative recommendations for integrating theory with the implementation of the CVC: 1.) U nderstand theory and how to use it Collectively, fraternity and sorority life practitioners must know about and understand how theory works. First, Strange (2004) argues that we know students differ in developmental tasks relative to their age. An important consideration is that the majority of new recruits into fraternities and sororities are 18 to 20 years old (typically first year through junior year). Developmental theories indicate that some young adults in the transitional phase that this age group is going through may not always be conducive to congruence between actions and values. For example, Chickering & Reisser (1993) highlighted seven vectors in which students’ developmental progress is age-related. In the existing new member education and intake models practiced by most undergraduate fraternal organizations, a student who has yet to develop competence or learn to manage emotions will have difficulty completely grasping and internalizing tasks related to establishing integrity despite the efforts of values congruence programming.
In addition, undergraduate members are not likely engaging in conversations that involve standards (Bureau, 2004). To that end, promotional literature, informational sessions, and any marketing materials for the fraternity and sorority community should address common standards. In addition, practitioners should prioritize their responsibility to encourage students to incorporate the community’s mission and values into all promotional materials to best inform potential members of the purpose of fraternal organizations. Next, potential for growth occurs when students experience developmental dissonance and thus a state of disequilibrium (Strange, 1994). When students simultaneously hold two things to be true that conflict with one another, disequilibrium occurs. This is the “challenge” portion of what is typically described as a perceived balance of challenge and support. For example, when we take the opportunity to point to an organization’s espoused mission and challenge students about how individual or organizational behavior contributes to fulfillment of the objectives of their organization, we must be cognizant of a student’s perception of the level of support that exists in the environment in which this conversation occurs. In a culture where fraternities and sororities are consistently criticized for their negative behavior, but seldom rewarded for their positive contributions, a conversation like the example above may present too much challenge with too little support. 2.) Incorporate mission and values early into students’ fraternity/ sorority experience As we advise the creation of experiences for new members of fraternities and sororities, practitioners should be intentional about early incorporation of organizational
mission. Presently, there is some review of mission and values built into the new member education period of many fraternal organizations, but we know intent does not always lead to actualization. Students often review their mission early in their membership experience, but become distracted by competing aspects of membership and lose site of the organizational purpose. Critical thinking contributes to cognitive capacity, which helps students through both the cognitive and moral development process. Revisiting the organization’s mission with newly initiated members and advising chapter leaders to use mission as a framework for decisions may make a difference. When meeting with students, practitioners should provide them with a copy of their organizations’ missions and ask them how they believe the members have fulfilled this purpose. This may allow practitioners to best advise an organization, using the mission as a foundation for any direction. 3.) V isit and revisit mission and values in action with fraternity/ sorority students Another approach is to revamp current recognition processes to reflect mission and action congruence. Our current models encourage students to look at their accomplishments in terms of numbers of members, grade point average, and community service hours served. If awards structures focused on mission accomplishment and how the organization demonstrated their mission through action, perhaps more members would connect their mission to their experience. Current systems tend to promote cognitive and psychosocial approaches grounded in competing to be the best against others, when we could focus on being the best of what we say we want to be.
4.) B uild a network of students who “get it” Finally, as our communities are diverse, sorority and fraternity advisors need to individualize some efforts. Mission and action congruence reflects how an organization or a person lives their values. This focus is often on the deficiencies in organizations and fails to connect opportunities to help individuals accomplish this difficult task. If we know that individuals have challenges that are developmental in nature, and we want to see mission and action congruence, then we may have a more pronounced impact by engaging those persons who most want to have a positive and developmental experience rather than waiting for all to get on board. Astin (1993) highlighted the importance of peer influence in the lives of college students. An approach that empowers individuals one at a time with the encouragement that they empower others around them to live their missions might be an effective tool for encouraging values and action congruence. Other important considerations Student affairs practitioners should also take into account how the increasing plurality of fraternity and sorority communities will be impacted by standards efforts. Development theories must be applied across a broad spectrum of organizational culture (Kuh, 2003) and the diversity within each organization must be evaluated (McEwen, 2003). Expectations should be amended to deal with how culturally based fraternal organizations exist on college campuses as well as how historically white fraternities and sororities have diversified with regard to not only race, but also sexual orientation, religion, and persons with disabilities (Becque, 2005; Bureau, 2005; Miller, 2007). continued on page 22
Practitioners should prioritize their responsibility to encourage students to incorporate the community’s mission and values into all promotional materials to best inform potential members of the purpose of fraternal organizations. Winter 2008 / Perspectives
continued from page 21 The assumption that all fraternal organizations will respond the same is a gross generalization. The diversity of organizations and their management is significant. While the concept of common principles and their implementation is appropriate, how each organization attempts to educate their members and impose such standards may be different. Conclusion The emergence of standards documents has presented fraternity and sorority professionals with an opportunity to engage students in evaluating the congruence between actions and rhetoric regarding organizational values. While this article focused primarily on developmental theories, student affairs practitioners also need to be aware of how other groups of theories such as environmental and organizational theories might impact the facilitation of values congruence. Fraternities and sororities can be forums for some of the best and worst opportunities for development. Cognitive, moral, identity, and psychosocial theories expose the challenges students have in their development as they navigate not only college but also their personal growth. Intentional practice by fraternity and sorority professionals can go a long way to address the theoretical challenges to mission and action congruence. This can be achieved by incorporating student development theory, addressing environmental deficiencies, focusing on organizational purpose in our work with students, and examining processes to better reflect organization objectives.
Perspectives / Winter 2008
– Georgianna L. Martin is a doctoral student in the Student Affairs Administration and Research program at the University of Iowa. She also serves as a research assistant in the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education (CRUE). – Dan Bureau is a doctoral student in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University. He served AFA as the 2004 President, is currently a board member of the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity, and has been actively involved in the fraternal movement for over 10 years.
References Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Becque, F. D. (2007, Spring). Religion and Pi Beta Phi. The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, 7-12. Bureau, D. (2004, March 5). The conversations we’re having. AFA Association Update. Bureau, D. (2005, Fall). Fraternity and sorority professionals as allies for GLBT fraternity & sorority members. Perspectives, 18-22. Chickering, A. W., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Evans, N. J. (2003). Psychosocial, cognitive, and typological perspectives on student development. In S.R. Komives, D.B. Woodard, Jr. & Associates, Student services: A handbook for the profession (4th ed.) (pp. 179-202). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Franklin Square Group (2003). A call for values congruence. Retrieved April 6, 2004 from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/pdf/ resources/Call_for_Values_Congruence.pdf Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Knefelkamp, L., Widick, C., & Parker, C. A. (Eds), (1978). Applying new developmental findings. New Directions for Student Services, No. 4. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kuh, G. D. (2003). Organizational theory. In S.R. Komives, D.B. Woodard, Jr. & Associates, Student services: A handbook for the profession (4th ed.) (pp. 269-296). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. McEwen, M. K. (2003). New perspectives on identity development. In S.R. Komives, D.B. Woodard, Jr. & Associates, Student services: A handbook for the profession (4th ed.) (pp. 153-178). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Miller, R. (2007, August). Students with disabilities and involvement in fraternities and sororities. Retrieved November 11, 2007 from http://www.fraternityadvisors.org/ Essentials/200708/Disabilities.aspx Strange, C. C. (1994). Student development: The evolution and status of an essential idea. Journal of College Student Development, 35(6), 399-412.
Are your culturally-based and Black Greek organizations ready to solve...
â€œThe Intake Equation?â€?
The Intake Equation Facilitators Michelle Guobadia
Assistant Director of Student Activities, Greek Life George Mason University Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
The Intake Equation is a six-hour workshop experience that takes a very real and hard-hitting approach to
Monica Miranda Smalls
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs University of Rochester Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
the most critical issues affecting the future of Black and culturally-based Greeks. Created by members of these organizations, The Intake Equation, hits the core challenges surrounding hazing and intake and
Assistant Director, Greek Life and Activities Kennesaw State University Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Greek Life Coordinator Lehigh University Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Darnell J. Bradley
Assistant Professor College of Education and Leadership Cardinal Stritch University Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
challenges your student leaders to action. Through interactive discussion and activities, your students will develop actionable ideas to help them build and maintain a legacy of success. Best of all, they will learn how to shape their memberships in a manner consistent with the mission and values of their organizations. To learn more about how the program could help your councils NOW, call (303) 745-5545.
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Winter 2008 / Perspectives
– Zachary D. Nicolazzo
Violence Prevention Efforts: A
Due to space constraints, it should be noted that while this article focuses primarily on sexual violence in terms of men victimizing women, men are also survivors of such crimes. For more information on fraternity men as survivors of sexual violence, please reference Mitch Crane’s article “The last taboo: Male-on-male sexual assault” in the Winter 2007 issue of Perspectives.
ew people are excited to talk about sexual violence within fraternity and sorority communities. As potential new members arrive on college campuses with hopes of joining the “perfect” fraternity or sorority, sexual violence is probably not on their radar screens. If this issue is covered in new member education programs, its effectiveness is often limited by the approach. Although it is an important issue deserving of significant attention, educators can only begin to scratch the surface of sexual violence prevention in the one-shot program format commonly used within fraternity and sorority communities. While those working with fraternities and sororities may not feel they have the expertise, time, support, or resources to give the topic of sexual violence prevention appropriate attention, it will only continue to plague the fraternal movement if it is not addressed. Fortunately, there are precedents and best practices by which sexual violence can be confronted, discussed, and hopefully eradicated. One best practice, outlined in this article, takes a step-by-step approach in confronting the realities of sexual violence, building a coalition and creating professional networks, and developing a healthy skepticism. These steps create a positive institutional ethos regarding violence prevention and aid in successfully engaging the entire community in primary prevention efforts. First, the philosophical foundations of primary prevention versus risk reduction efforts need to be discussed. Prevention v. Risk Reduction Many previous efforts to address sexual and interpersonal violence focused on what is known as risk reduction – an approach that addresses how one can reduce his or her risk of being victimized. These messages usually center on potential victims (e.g. women) not walking alone in dark places, carrying pepper spray, walking in groups, etc. While these are potentially good ways for women to reduce their risk, there is a serious flaw in only using this approach to end sexual violence. In a pure risk reduction paradigm, if someone assaulted a woman, the assault could be viewed as her fault since she did not take all the necessary steps and precautions to prevent the attack. To the contrary, sexual violence is never the fault of the victim/survivor. No one asks to be victimized and no one deserves to be as a result of what she is wearing, saying, or how she is acting. If consent is not given, a crime has occurred.
Perspectives / Winter 2008
Knowing the limitations of utilizing only a risk reduction mindset, it becomes important that professionals approach ending sexual violence through the lens of primary prevention before incidents occur. This new paradigm allows those engaging in prevention work to share risk reduction techniques not only with potential survivors but also with those who may be potential perpetrators in an effort to proactively stop sexual violence. Not only does this approach recognize and respond to the agency of the potential perpetrators by challenging them to change their perspective, it also engages a large segment of the population that was not previously invested in helping to end violence (e.g. men) and reduces the potential for victim blaming, because women no longer carry the full burden of ending sexual violence. Anti-sexist activist Jackson Katz (as cited by Wright, 2000) stated, “it’s not enough to say, ‘I’m a good guy, I don’t abuse any women.’ You have to send a message that if you abuse women you will lose status with your peers” (¶10). Engaging men in violence prevention is crucial to the overall success of the movement to end sexual violence. Since men are perceived to comprise an overwhelming majority of perpetrators, it is important to work with them on being positive bystanders who intervene when they see dangerous and risky behavior or actual violence. It is also important to teach men that multiple modes of masculinity exist rather than only the restrictive view sold to them via mass media outlets (Davis, 2002). Focusing on primary prevention is not an easy task, but this should not deter professionals from investing in this educational opportunity. Working with men can lead to frustration, as you expose and counter privilege and defensiveness, but also to excitement as you see them start to “get it.” Similarly, it is important that we take the time to recognize the ways in which we personally contribute to and combat oppression and sexual violence in our daily practice. While it may be challenging to accept the role we play in perpetuating such cycles of violence, it is essential to do this introspective work. If the fraternal movement is ever to realize the goal of eradicating sexual violence within sororities and fraternities, confronting such challenges and engaging the entire community in both the internal and external work of primary prevention must be a professional priority. That being said, we can now turn our attention to confronting the realities of sexual violence in our communities.
The First Step is to Admit You Have a Problem While the above statement evokes the cliché of 12-step programs, the overall sentiment is consistent with ending sexual violence. In order to address a problem, it is imperative to become fully aware of the extent of the issue. In relation to sexual violence within fraternity and sorority communities, these realities include the following:
• J ust over 10% of on-campus assaults (both attempted and completed) happen within a fraternity house (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000).
Once you have an understanding of how the culture in which you are working functions, it becomes easier to create positive change. Working with other stakeholders to end sexual violence while simultaneously addressing other concerns (i.e., high risk drinking, hazing) may positively transform a campus community. It will also have the added benefit of building a network of professionals invested in forwarding the fraternal movement in an attempt to inspire a shared vision for the future of fraternities and sororities. Unless collaboration is at the forefront of our work, professionals will be perpetually doomed to attempting to solve problems with an inadequate set of educational strategies and interventions. continued on page 26
• W omen aged 16-24 are at the most risk of being a victim of sexual violence (Crowell & Burgess, 1998). • A pproximately 90% of those who are sexually victimized knew their assailants (Warshaw, 1998). • T here is an inverse relationship between a victim knowing his/her assailant and his/her likelihood of reporting the incident (Buchwald, Fletcher, & Roth, 2005).
Such statistics should also be coupled with the sobering reality that over 98% of those convicted of sexual assault are men who have victimized women. This does not mean men cannot be survivors of sexual assault themselves. However, it does help reframe the issue of sexual and interpersonal violence prevention as something that should no longer be seen as only a women’s issue. This outdated conceptualization further polarizes the matter at hand rather than inviting both men and women to come together and think of ways in which they can effectively work together to stop sexual violence as a human issue. Extend the Olive Branch It is unfair and inappropriate to assume that one person can single-handedly put an end to sexual violence; indeed it takes many invested entities to shift a culture. It is important to take stock of: (a) the culture in which you work and your organizations exist, (b) other stakeholders in the fraternal movement, and (c) others invested in ending sexual violence in your community.
Winter 2008 / Perspectives
continued from page 25 Tying it All Together Sexual and interpersonal violence within fraternity and sorority communities is nothing new, but what is new is the way in which we conceptualize and approach the work of preventing these issues. Focusing on primary prevention and engaging colleagues, students, and other stakeholders are two integral pieces to the complex maze of ending sexual violence. While no one has the perfect answer to ending sexual violence, there are steps we can take in addressing and preventing the likelihood of these events. Below are some ideas for putting this knowledge to use practically as well as some resources for continued education. Suggestions for Practical Implementation • Identify your desired target population – are they men or women? Are you looking to reach a certain fraternity/sorority? Do you want to reach a specific governing council?
• Sexual Violence Prevention: Starting the Dialogue (www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/SVPrevention.pdf). • Men Can Stop Rape (www.mencanstoprape.org). • The White Ribbon Campaign (www.whiteribbon.ca). Violence prevention is everyone’s business and, while addressing the issue may be difficult, sexual violence is something that can be stopped. We all have the power to make positive systemic, institutional, and organizational change that will serve to better develop the men and women who are our brothers and sisters, we just need to be willing to make it happen. – Zachary D. Nicolazzo is the Violence Prevention Specialist, Oasis Program for Sexual Assault & Relationship Violence for The University of Arizona.
• Establish a connection and reach out to your target population.
It is also important to teach men that multiple modes of masculinity exist rather than only the restrictive view sold to them via mass media outlets. • Allow for open dialogue that is free from judgment – this will help reduce the potential for the defensiveness that sometimes comes up when discussing sexual violence, especially with men.
Buchwald, E., Fletcher, P. R., & Roth, M. (2005). Transforming a rape culture. (Rev. ed.). Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions.
• Discuss points of intersection between your values and agendas as well as ways in which students can promote and become involved in prevention efforts.
Davis, T. L. (2002). Voices of gender role conflict: The social construction of college men’s identity. Journal of College Student Development, 43(4), 508-521.
• Reach out to colleagues who are similarly invested in ending violence in your community to talk about possible collaboration – for an example of such collaboration, reference the Greek Life Health Advocate Program at The University of Arizona (http://www.health.arizona.edu/ webfiles/hpps_oasis_program_services_greeklife.htm). • Provide multiple levels for students to be involved. Ideas can range from passively gaining knowledge through attending a program to groups putting on one-time programs and could be as involved as student internship focused on how fraternities and sororities can be leaders on campus in ending sexual violence. Resources for Continued Education • Your campus or local rape crisis center – a simple web search will yield this information. • Men’s Work by Paul Kivel (published in 1992 by Hazelden). • Getting Inside the House: The Effectiveness of a Rape Prevention Program for College Fraternity Men by Tracy L. Davis and Debora L. Liddell (published in the January/February 2002 issue of the Journal of College Student Development).
Perspectives / Winter 2008
Crowell, N. A., & Burgess, A. W. (Eds.) (1996). Understanding violence against women. Washington DC: National Academy Press. Fisher, B. S., Cullen, F. T., & Turner, Michael G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. National Institute of Justice. Retrieved August 30, 2007, from http://www.ncjrs.gov/ pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf Warshaw, R. (1988). I never called it rape: The Ms. report on recognizing, fighting, and surviving date and acquaintance rape. New York: Harper & Row. Wright, P. (Winter 2000). Broad daylight: The campus community responds to a “terrible turbulence.” UMass Magazine Online. Retrieved September 25, 2007, from http://www.umass.edu/ umassmag/archives/2000/winter2000/pond.html
Peers Helping Peers! The Value of Your Gifts to the AFA Foundation
Record Number Participate in Graduate Training Track! The Graduate Training Track, now in its 5th year, is designed with graduate student education in mind. The curriculum of this program includes concepts and skills related to the following topics: • Applying student development theory to advising fraternities and sororities • Adopting a code of ethics and utilizing ritual to guide your professionalism • Commitment to creating an inclusive community • Change management, advising skills, assessment • Resources available through AFA • The overall role of fraternity and sorority advising in higher education
The Graduate Training Track program provided me with great insight about the direction the fraternal movement is heading and the challenges that lie ahead. It allowed me to
The Graduate Training Track is made possible in part by a grant from the AFA Foundation. Funding for that grant is contributed annually by Rho Lambda National Honorary.
connect with some well known individuals within the field and establish relationships and resources as I begin to enter the field. The greatest reward was connecting with fellow graduate students who shared the same enthusiasm and
passion for Greek life and the fraternal movement.
Thomas Whitcher Coordinator for Community and Leadership Development The University of Vermont
The Foundation’s Mission
This year, the Graduate Training Track set a new record with over 70 participants. AFA Foundation Chairman Tom Jelke asked the following at the Recognition Luncheon. “Wouldn’t it be awesome . . . if every graduate student could come to the conference and participate in this program for free?” You can help make that a reality! If we all give just a little, together we can accomplish a lot!
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 educational objectives of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. 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. Annual cash gift (check or credit card). To make an annual gift online, please visit: www.fraternityadvisors.org/foundation.aspx 2. Set-up automatic monthly or quarterly credit card installments. 3. List the AFA Foundation as a beneficiary in your will, estate, or life insurance policy. For recurring credit card charges or information on estate or life insurance gifts, please call the AFA Foundation at 678-654-6207. Please consider making a gift of $25, $50, $100 or more and mail to: AFA Foundation, 9640 Augusta Drive, Suite 433, Carmel, IN 46032
Association of Fraternity Advisors www.fraternityadvisors.org 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032
Presorted First-Class Mail U.S. Postage PAID Ames, Iowa Permit No. 307
Published on Aug 8, 2012
Perspectives provides a forum for research, innovative ideas, and information related to the advisement of fraternal organizations. It promo...