Page 1

Tackling the Tough Issues in this issue:

How Purdue Changed Social Policies | Addressing Body Image Issues | National Study of Student Hazing









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GRAFCOW Winter 2009 / Perspectives


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

Kurtis Foriska 2008 Editor Assistant Director, The Ohio Union The Ohio State University The Ohio Union @ The Ohio Stadium 1961 Tuttle Park Place Columbus, OH 43210 614-247-5878 Fax: 614-292-6061

Perspectives is published four times per year. Submission deadlines: Spring 2009 February 1, 2009 Summer 2009 May 1, 2009 Fall 2009 August 1, 2009 Winter 2010 November 1, 2009

– Kurtis Foriska, Editor


inter always reminds me of my freshman year at Allegheny College. Instead of living in a residence hall, I roomed with my 80-year-old grandfather in his house built in the early 1900s. The arrangement was part of a deal I made with my parents – in exchange for keeping an eye on him, I received a car. He used a wood-burning stove in the kitchen to heat the entire house, which was convenient for him with his bedroom directly above the kitchen. My room, however, was the farthest from the kitchen, and the first frost tested my tolerance for the cold. I complained to management, and my grandfather gave me an electric blanket. As I looked at the exposed wiring and the settings (on or off), I contemplated my options of being part of a potential fire trap or freezing. I thought to myself, “at least a fire would also provide warmth,” so I took my chances. While my colleagues were at the Annual Meeting, a situation arose on campus that made me put on my sorority and fraternity advisor hat. Calls to Student Judicial Services and fraternity presidents, emails upon emails, and meetings with advisors and students filled my entire day. I forgot how much was involved with putting out fires. I do not think I have ever been as happy as I was when our staff returned from the Annual Meeting or as appreciative of what they do every day. I learned a lot during my tenure as a sorority and fraternity advisor. Even when our communities look like the ratty, old blanket my grandfather gave me, remember that they can provide warmth, too. My advice is to take each sorority recruitment infraction as an opportunity to reflect on what is truly important; take each challenging conversation as a chance to grow your students and yourself; and take time to reassure yourself that you are making a difference, especially on the days when it does not feel like it. In my last issue as editor of Perspectives, I urge you to keep fighting the good fight and to not give up on a sorority and fraternity community just because of some frayed wires.

Send address corrections to AFA: Association of Fraternity Advisors 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032 317.876.1632 Fax 317.876.3981

Board 2008 Editorial

Michael Hevel, University of Iowa Megan Johnson, University of Iowa


14 The “Prevention Paradox” Indeed: Changing the Culture of High-Risk Drinking in Fraternities and Sororities

26 Body Image in College: How to Know if Students are Suffering and What You Can Do to Help

16 A Strategic Approach to Addressing Social Management Issues

regular columns

Monica Miranda Smalls, University of Rochester

20 AFA Annual Meeting: Peak Performance

From the Top ..................5

Todd Sullivan, University of Connecticut

24 2008 AFA Award Winners

Putting It In Perspective ................10

Nathan Thomas, Bradley University

25 Membership Milestones

Core Competencies .......28

Justin Kirk, Delta Upsilon Fraternity Ray Lutzky, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Georgianna Martin, University of Iowa

Robert Turning, The Johns Hopkins University


in this

Perspectives / Winter 2009

Editor’s Notes ..................4

– Jay Anhorn, 2008 President & Carolyn E. Whittier, Ph.D., 2009 President

Annual Presidential Remarks delivered December 6, 2008, at the AFA Annual Meeting – Jay Anhorn, 2008 President


fter last year’s Business Meeting in Cincinnati, I shook the hand of John Mohr, the first president of the Association. What an honor to meet one of our founders. Of course, my father took about 20 pictures of us (and I am pretty sure he wants to be on AFA’s payroll, Shelly, so you might need to make that happen). He’s baaaaack! As Mr. Mohr and I stood in the hallway talking about the 32 years of the Association and how far we have come, I asked him if this is what he had envisioned we could ever be. He cleared his throat, pulled down the glasses from his brow, looked me square in the eye and said, “It has truly been an incredible journey.” Then he glanced away for a split second and said, “Now about that shower comment…” My dream has always been to go back to a Business Meeting where you can hear all of the people you voted for get up and tell you what we are doing. I wanted to be sure you see the minutes of our Board meetings and be more transparent.

in which, if you remember last year, we were deep in the middle, and looking for what was our next step. So many amazing things have happened that were unexpected, and we as a Board were more efficient than we realized. On your chairs, you can see that I asked the Executive Board to list the accomplishments in their areas based on our five Strategic Goals. So check this out… Advocacy and Influence • We revised the fraternity and sorority contextual statement within the CAS Standards. • W  e represented the Association and institutions across the country in meetings related to the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act during the Capitol Hill visits in April. • W  e started looking into new ways for our members to connect through affinity groups within the Association beyond regions. • A  nd I believe we influenced Nintendo to change their Wii Beer Pong game to Pong Toss … ok, I know … small wins. TM

I wanted us to debate, discuss and challenge each other to make major shifts in our thinking and know it’s okay not to feel like we have to hold hands, sing songs, and get a big hug from Ron Binder because someone disagreed with you. I am finally feeling like we are getting over ourselves, asserting ourselves, and ruffling some feathers … in a good way. Good for us. “Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences, but rather it is a tapestry of acts that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan.” This quote is from the movie, Serendipity, with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, in 2001, right at the time I stepped onto the AFA Executive Board. Serendipitous acts are discovered by accident, usually when you least expect it or you are following a certain path. That is how I am going to explain 2008. Serendipity. Our path is the Strategic Plan,

Convener, Facilitator, and Partner • We attended NASPA in Boston and the Greek Summit in Atlanta, and participated in discussions with senior student affairs officers through the Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community. When I asked at the Summit who was a member of AFA, all but one person raised their hands. • W  e attended ACPA and participated in panel discussions with the Commission on Student Involvement regarding hot topics in the fraternity and sorority movement. When I asked in the Commission meeting who was a member of AFA, well over 50% of the attendees raised their hands. • W  e sponsored a breakfast the FEA Annual Meeting in Doral, Florida and presented a workshop on building

partnerships with campus and headquarters professionals and volunteers. • T  he Association had eight members serve on half of the nine campus visits this past year for the Fraternity & Sorority Coalition Assessment Project. Four of the nine visits had an AFA volunteer serving as the team lead. • I f you are a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., please stand. These women represent the first historically Black sorority. This year is their 100th Anniversary. Congratulations ladies! • T  he Western Region Greek Association is the oldest of the regional conferences and has met regularly since its establishment in 1948. Presently there are approximately 60 campuses throughout the 14 Western United States and two Western Canadian Provinces who hold membership in WRGA and attend the annual conference. This year, AFA recognized their 60 years of service to the fraternal movement. Congratulations! • A  nd our interfraternal partners are using time at this Annual Meeting to host their Board meetings: the NIC, NPC, NALFO, NAPA, and NMGC are all here this weekend. And a special welcome to Symphony and Derek Oxendine representing Native and American Indian fraternities and sororities. Derek is a former student of mine from UNC-Chapel Hill. Governance and Infrastructure • AFA is on Facebook. The Technology Committee has launched the Association into the world of social networking, and members can now connect on a different virtual level alongside our Online Community. • O  ur 2009 Nominations and Elections Committee now includes three past presidents, one of whom is a senior student affairs officer, as well as Dr. Walter Kimbrough, a long-time member of the Association and the President of Philander Smith College, a historically Black college in Arkansas. continued on page 6 Winter 2009 / Perspectives


continued from page 5 • W  e have our first headquarters staff member on our Executive Board. Congratulations to Beth Conder, Associate Executive Director of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, our 2009 Executive Vice President. Information, Knowledge, and Learning • In an effort to be more transparent, Board meeting highlights are now posted in the Association Update, so members can learn more about the inner workings of the Executive Board throughout the year. • O  ur partnership with HazingPrevention.Org has grown, as our volunteer liaison has been appointed to the Chair of the Board for the organization. Congratulations to Allison Swick-Duttine. • T  his year, we launched the Association’s first resource targeted specifically toward inter/national fraternity/sorority staff. Over 200 consultants currently traveling across the U.S. participated in the program, experiencing how to work closely with campus based professionals, and are making the most of their campus visits. • W  e published two issues of Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors with a huge response of member submissions. In fact, the Stetson Law Review asked permission to reprint one of our research articles. Um, we said ‘YES.’ • W  e are working on a draft of a Judicial Affairs guide (due out in 2009), a much anticipated resource for our members, which will include a review of different models of student conduct administration. Inclusiveness and Community • We hit over 1,700 members this past year and welcomed members of the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association and the National Multicultural Greek Council.

• W  e have identified that our seasoned professionals need love too – and as I mentioned the concept of Reverse Mentoring at this meeting last year, we are excited to pursue the concept of a Senior Professionals Institute in 2009 for our 10-year-plus members. • W  e are reviewing the current regional structure and finding new ways for our members to connect with our Affinity Groups Workgroup. Do you connect by state? By athletic conference? By school size? By years of experience? I think the answer is YES to all of those definitions and more. • W  hen the NIC and FEA set out serendipitously to create ways to support campus-based professionals, who knew the Association of Fraternity Advisors would be created? Somehow I think it was always meant to be – and here we all sit together in a unified fraternal movement. As my term comes to a close, I cannot walk away without saying a few more comments. When I was writing this report and thinking of serendipity, I realized that this podium is quite serendipitous. What I mean is that there have been a lot of unexpected discoveries that have come from it. As outgoing president, I can’t help but share some of the famous quotes from the AFA podium over the years: Tom Jelke, our Foundation Board Chair: “And in the beginning, there was Jennifer Jones Hall.” Apparently, our 1999 President has been known to milk the podium over the years.

• W  e created a new “Recruiting Supervisors” workgroup which, although may not have a real flashy name, is intended to recruit and educate supervisors of front line fraternity/sorority professionals.

Jennifer Jones Hall, 1998. Crying. A lot of crying.

• A  membership guide for NALFO and information guides for NAPA and NMGC are nearing completion in an effort to include information about the history and cultural significance of these organizations, terminology you may hear, and answers to general membership intake questions.

Bill Jenkins, 2000. People actually paid money to the Foundation to see how many times that man could incorporate “Chaka Khan” into his time at the mic.

Looking forward to 2009 as I pass off the gavel to Carrie, I want to thank


Kyle Pendleton for guiding us through the Strategic Plan. As I enter into the realm of the past presidents’ circle, I am tasked with wrapping up the final stages of the Plan before 2010.

Perspectives / Winter 2009

Scott Wolf, 1999. “Bailey” from Party of Five. That was actually in Denver. Enough said.

Amy Vojta, 2003. We just laughed and laughed, because we knew she would come back and be president a second time. Dan Bureau, 2004. A slide show about a marriage proposal. And I believe Amanda and Dan are both here in the audience!

Amy Vojta, 2005. We laughed and laughed, because she did come back as president a second time. Ron Binder, 2006. Did he just say “partner” in his speech? The delayed reaction in the audience response was priceless. We love you Ron, just the way you are. Do you want a hug? Kyle Pendleton, 2007. He mentioned Barack Obama and tarot cards in the same speech. Isn’t that foreshadowing? Then again, he also mentioned NPC being his group of surrogate mothers. Now, come on, Kyle. They are way too young to be your mothers… And then there was last year, where apparently I butchered the word “shadow” to make it sound like I showered with the immediate Past President. Kyle and I are close, but not THAT close. • I want to thank my colleagues and friends on the Executive Board, for an intense year where we have pushed the envelope and made new strides. And thanks to all of you for supporting us in our efforts to lead the Association through yet another incredible year of progress. • C  ongratulations to the 2009 Executive Board as we move into another great year under Carrie’s leadership, and I get to be the cranky past president in the corner of our meetings. • A  special thanks to Elon University and especially the student leadership. The IFC President and I went to lunch a few weeks ago and he said to me, “Do we get you back now? We missed you!” I was a bit shocked, and somewhat saddened by that comment, that I wasn’t there for them as much as I wanted to be. But then I quickly realized, I must be making a positive impact on students, and isn’t that why we’re all here? • T  hanks to all the past presidents, Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, Zach Thomas (my Assistant Director at Elon), Jenny Levering (my colleague and friend) and, of course, my parents who are here with me today. And for those of you who have been texting me during this meeting to try to incorporate random words into my report: “Torpedo” “Ono-mono-peia”

“Frock” “Chaka Khan”

I am proud of this Association and it has meant the world to me to serve as your 2008 President. Thanks for the support. Thanks for the memories. Let’s continue moving forward.

Everything Old is New Again delivered December 6, 2008, at the AFA Annual Meeting – Carolyn E. Whittier, Ph.D., 2009 President


o you know the saying “everything old is new again?” Currently this applies to things like skinny jeans, argyle, and boat shoes. Brooke Shields is popular again, and Beverly Hills 90210 is back on the air. This statement also applies to the Association of Fraternity Advisors in many ways. I believe that to understand where you are, you need to understand how you got there; so we need to understand the old to prepare for the new. I thought it might be important to share a bit about my personal history and the history of the Association, so we can all prepare for 2009. I was born the third daughter of a Tau Kappa Epsilon and a Kappa Delta who were pinned on the front porch of the Kappa Delta House at Bowling Green State University in 1957. I am proud to say that they have been going strong for over 50 years, and they are here with us today. I am the youngest sister to a Sigma Kappa and a Delta Delta Delta. When I enrolled at DePauw University, I had the opportunity to go through formal recruitment, but none of my immediate family’s organizations had a chapter there. So the Theta Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi and I had the opportunity to mutually select one another in the fall of 1993. I am also proud to share that I am the granddaughter of a Phi Beta Kappa and a Delta Tau Delta on my father’s side and a Zeta Tau Alpha and a Phi Kappa Tau on my mother’s side. My very interfraternal family spans three generations of men and women on both my mother’s and father’s side, and I am now the aunt to two potential new members of the entering classes of 2022 and 2024; plus my cousin is the mother to a PNM in the class of 2025. These three have the potential to be the fourth generation of fraternity men and sorority women in my family. The men and women in my family have been very influential in my life in so many ways, but I have also been impacted by so many more. I have two of the very best friends a person could have in a Sigma Kappa and a Sigma Phi Epsilon, who both professionally serve as Executive Directors of fraternal organizations attending this Annual Meeting. I mentor two younger professionals – a Kappa Alpha Theta and a Delta Gamma. I have had two great loves – and losses – in my life: one a Sigma Phi Epsilon and one a Pi Kappa Alpha. One worked for his national fraternity and helped me gain a better understanding of the professional work that occurs at a fraternity/sorority headquarters, and the other was a chapter advisor and regional volunteer and helped me understand the true passion and dedication it takes to be an advisor to undergraduate chapters. All of these men and women are actively engaged in their fraternities/sororities and are wonderful products of a strong undergraduate fraternity/sorority experience. I also supervise a staff of 16, of whom many are fraternity men and sorority women including members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc, Pi Kappa Phi, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Omicron Pi, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Finally, I serve as the primary advisor for the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Virginia Commonwealth University, where we are proud to state that we have all of the Divine Nine affiliate organizations in good standing.

It is these men and women, old and new, who influence me on a daily basis. It is these men and women who remind me of the great power of fraternity/sorority membership. It is these men and women who inspire me to work to ensure that fraternity/ sorority membership will be an option for my niece and nephew and for their children in the future. It is these men and women who have been a part of my past and have helped form the person I am today. When I was doing my research to complete my Ph.D., I interviewed college and university presidents and asked them a series of 10 questions related to their career paths. One of the questions was “What have been the watershed moments of your career that influenced your career path and career choices?” I found this question to be the most inquisitive and intriguing of all the questions, and so I have reframed this question to help inform other areas of my professional and personal life. The definition of a watershed moment is “an experience or a choice, which at the time does not seem significant, but in the long run has proven to influence many of the next major experiences or decisions in your life.” So, I would like to ask you: as you reflect on your life, for how many of you was joining a fraternity or sorority a watershed moment in your life? When I reflect on my own life, joining a sorority was not a watershed moment for me specifically, as I always knew that I would be a sorority woman based on the powerful impact undergraduate membership had on the men and women in my family. However, joining Alpha Omicron Pi has proven to be influential in a series of watershed moments in my life. I joined a chapter that was not the strongest on campus, but would provide me with the best opportunity to grow as a leader and a woman. I served two terms as Chapter President and learned a great deal about how isolating leadership can be within an organization. I use the skills and realities from that first major leadership position today when talking with young men and women who are going through the same experience of being a change agent, being unpopular in the chapter, and trying to balance the realities of today with the possibilities of tomorrow. Because our chapter had some challenges, I had a lot of interaction with the fraternity/sorority advisor at DePauw University. The fraternity/sorority advisor at the time was amazing. She was strong, direct, and opinionated – so, of course, I was drawn to her as a mentor immediately. She is the first person who mentioned to me that there was a potential career in higher education for people like me who loved working to improve the world around me. As many of you know, I enjoy structure and I am a planner, so this new career possibility was not in the plan. I was going to be a high school choral director, but this one conversation was very watershed for me, as it allowed me to begin the exploration of this career in higher education administration. My understanding of the significance of watershed moments led me to ask some questions of the past presidents of the Association of Fraternity Advisors about the watershed moments of their presidency or of the Association’s life in general. I was so pleased that many were willing to share their experiences and thoughts on the question, and thought these stories might be of interest to you as well. continued on page 8 Winter 2009 / Perspectives


continued from page 7 Two of the most influential entities in the formation of the Association of Fraternity Advisors were the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA) and the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). AFA was approved as a concept at the December 1976 meeting of the NIC, and the President and President-Elect of AFA met with FEA and NIC leadership at the Phi Kappa Tau Headquarters to develop the plans. The Association went from a dozen or so advisors in 1976 to 185 members by the 1978 meeting. A past president shared that “those early elections were key because the credibility of the organization depended to a great extent on the people involved.” I think this is a great example of “everything old is new again” in our profession. The credibility of the Association today is in the actions and knowledge of the men and women who are members. If AFA has members who are not educated on the current realities of fraternity/sorority membership, or are not acting on that knowledge appropriately, then our credibility is challenged. If we do not work to ensure that our members are working to fulfill all of AFA’s Core Competencies, then our credibility is challenged. While our original quest to gain credibility as an Association was the goal 30 years ago, today our challenge is more pervasive as our membership has grown, and the actions of one can reflect on the perception of the whole. In 1979 and 1980, the AFA annual conference was opened up to delegates of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and representatives. While the meeting was a joint NIC/AFA meeting, the invitation to NPC came from AFA. This would be one of the first times that the NIC and the NPC leadership would have the opportunity to sit down and discuss issues and concerns together. In 1983, AFA hosted and facilitated a breakfast for the chairs of the NIC, FEA, editors, NPC, the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity (CSCF), and others to encourage dialogue and conversation. This meeting was the first of its kind, and while it has evolved over time, the tradition continues today as members of the 2008 AFA Executive Board attended the Interfraternal Breakfast during the 2008 AFA Annual Meeting. In 1986, the Association produced the first “Greek Advisor Manual.” Everything you needed to know about being a campusbased fraternity/sorority advisor right at your fingertips – who knew it was possible? With this resource, the Association began to fulfill its role in providing ongoing professional development and learning to campus-based professionals, and today the Association offers a wide variety of resources to our members. In addition to resources, the Association has partnered with organizations such as the Inter-Association Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs (IATF) and the Council for the Advance of Standards (CAS) to advance the learning of our members. In 1989, the first strategic plan for the Association was in its development and started the advocacy movement within the Association. Also that year, the American Council on Education (ACE) produced a paper regarding restrictions that college and university presidents said should be put on fraternities/sororities. The AFA leadership had the opportunity to meet with college and university presidents to discuss what should really happen to improve the fraternal experience. Today, the Association is in a formal partnership with the NIC, NPC, NPHC, and NALFO as the five member organizations of the Fraternity & Sorority Coalition Assessment Project, a program that was born out of The Call for Values Congruence, which was a paper developed by a group of college and university presidents stating their concerns about the current state of the undergraduate fraternity/sorority experience.


Perspectives / Winter 2009

The most significant watershed moment in the life of the Association, without question, was the vote in 1992 to fund a central office and hire a full-time professional to manage the business of the Association. Through the gracious offer of the NIC, the AFA Central Office found a home within the NIC Office in Indianapolis, IN, and we hired a past president to serve as the first AFA executive director. The Association has continued to draw on the knowledge of our past leaders in hiring our fourth and current executive director who served as president of the Association in 2002. The year 1992 also saw the official formation of the AFA Foundation, which has grown in size and scope, and in support of the Association over the years. Programs such as the Graduate Training Track, the Opening General Session, the First 90 Days program, and Annual Meeting scholarships are all provided to members of the Association due to the success and growth of the Foundation. As a tribute to our founding, AFA continues to value our interfraternal partners in new and innovative ways. Our partnerships with the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO), National Asian and Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA), and the National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) on resource manuals related to intake and general chapter operations for the culturally-based fraternities/sororities continue to strengthen our partnerships with our interfraternal partners old and new. Today, AFA continues its work to advocate for the fraternal movement and for the professionals and volunteers who dedicate their time to working with fraternities/sororities. We work with NASPA and other higher education partners to advance this part of our overall mission. The past presidents also shared some of the Association’s challenges over the past 30 years, and I found the saying “everything old is new again” also applies to the Association’s challenges. So I ask the following questions: Why is there a disconnect between campus-based professionals and headquarters-based professionals? Why have we not yet developed a way to engage our seasoned professionals in continued educational development and professional growth? How do we address the transient staffing population within our profession? How do we continue to gain credibility with both our interfraternal and higher education partners? How do we, as professionals and avid volunteers, help to fulfill the AFA vision of a unified fraternal movement? There are some amazing examples of men and women in this room who understand both sides of the Association’s professional membership. Pete Smithhisler serves as the President and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, however he started as a campus-based fraternity/sorority advisor with his final position at Colorado State University. AFA Past President Amy Vojta worked for Alpha Gamma Delta before becoming a campus-based fraternity/sorority advisor. Julie Burkhard, Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference, started as a campus-based fraternity/ sorority advisor at the University of Georgia. Kyle Pendleton, Past President of the Association, started his professional career as a staff member for Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. Jennifer Jones works with the fraternity/sorority community at Southern Methodist University and also serves as the President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Linda Wardhammar, Executive Director of AFA and Past President, worked for Delta Phi Epsilon during her career of serving as a campus-based fraternity/sorority advisor. These are just a few examples of many of the men and women sitting in this room who understand the realities of both

sides of the advising aisle, but would also state that we are all on the same team, with different functions. Using a sports analogy, one part of the team is offense and one part of the team is defense, and depending on the play, it may depend on who plays which part. But at the end of the day we are all on the same team. Let me repeat – at the end of the day we are all on the same team. So, welcome to the AFA team with a vision to unify the fraternal movement. Every person in this room plays a vital role in the success of the team. Will it be today that you make a choice for true partnership instead of pre-judgment? Will it be today that you choose to learn and continue to grow professionally instead of assuming that you have no more to learn? Will it be today that you share the positive stories of working with fraternities/sororities rather than the horror stories? Will it be tomorrow that you choose to share with your row mate on the airplane that you work with fraternities/sororities? Will it be today that you actively join the team instead of sitting on the sidelines? In 2009, the Association leadership will continue to complete its work to wrap up our current strategic plan and begin the preparation for the next set of strategic initiatives. I would like to invite members of the Association to provide thoughts and feedback to the 2009 Executive Board on new ideas, suggestions, or perspectives, so that we can be better informed on our members’ needs as we work to prepare our next chapter in our history. We will have a series of new workgroups creating new resources, enhancing our current and new partnerships, and other Association initiatives. In 2009, we will be presenting a new IATF Award; we will continue our commitment to the Fraternity & Sorority

Coalition Assessment Project; and we will host monthly focus group calls with members of the Association to gain insight and feedback. I am also thrilled to share a new partnership between the Association of Fraternity Advisors and Zeta Tau Alpha Women’s Fraternity to provide access to MentalHealthEdu to every campus-based Professional member of the Association. Zeta Tau Alpha has graciously offered to provide this resource to professionals, so they can gain a better understanding of their unique opportunity to assist students in distress, using an approach that fits their individual comfort level. We will be unveiling this new partnership and resource to our members early in 2009, and I personally hope each and every campus-based Professional member will take advantage of this amazing gift. Please help me thank the women of Zeta Tau Alpha for this new partnership. TM

Finally, I want to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to serve as the leader of the Association for the upcoming year, and thank you for entrusting your Association into our hands. I want to thank my parents and my sister for being here for this very special moment in my life, and thank you for your continued love and support for all the things I choose to do. I hope in the coming year we will continue the conversations that have been started at this Annual Meeting, and I look forward to being an active participant in those conversations. Thank you.

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


– Megan P. Johnson

Understanding and Applying the Initial Findings of the N ational S tudy of S tudent H a z ing to F r ate r nity and S o r o r ity L ife


pon reviewing the findings of the National Study of Student Hazing, when they were released in spring 2008, I was intrigued. As a former campus-based fraternity/sorority professional, I am reminded of the complexities inherent in addressing hazing; as a current doctoral student, I

understand the importance of conducting sound research and using it to guide practice. In reading this report, my mind alternates between practitioner and graduate student. I am transported back to my time as a student affairs professional working to address issues of hazing, and at the same time my graduate student lens forces me to think about the research methodology and implications of the research.

S tudy B ackground and B asics Dr. Elizabeth Allan and Dr. Mary Madden at the University of Maine piloted The National Study of Student Hazing throughout 2005 and 2006. The study was fully implemented in April-May 2007; survey responses came from 11,482 students at 53 colleges and universities. The following fall, the two education professors and their research team conducted over 300 personal interviews with students and college administrators at 18 of the 53 institutions participating in the study. Reading through this research, it is hard not to be impressed with the scope and magnitude of the analysis. Allan & Madden (2008) note that “this study fills major gaps in the research and extends the breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding about hazing” (p. 6). To reduce confusion, this study defined hazing as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate” (Allan & Madden, 2008, p. 2). The survey utilized 100 items related to hazing, including: experiences with hazing, policies about hazing, perceptions of hazing, consequences of hazing, behaviors associated with hazing, etc. The list of hazing behaviors was formulated with input from focus groups, hazing-related literature, and an advisory group (Allan & Madden, 2008). Of the 11,482 respondents, 64% identified as female, 36% identified as male, and 75% identified themselves as white. In general, some have a propensity to find fault with research – to criticize the respondent rate, the number of people surveyed, the questions asked, etc. However, this research is one of the most comprehensive studies on hazing in existence.


Perspectives / Winter 2009

C lass S tanding of R espondents ( n = 1 1 , 4 8 2 ) More than 4 years 6%

4th year 18%

3rd year 23%

1st year 30%

2nd year 23%

Although it can be innocuous at times and “dismissed as nothing more than silly pranks or harmless antics,” hazing often includes dangerous, abusive, and potentially illegal high-risk behaviors The researchers executed a carefully designed study, the results of which are easy to understand and navigate. Additionally, the report provides thoughtful analysis that is useful for both student affairs practitioners and students. If this research is used appropriately by inter/national fraternity/sorority staff and volunteers, chapter advisors, chapter leaders, and colleges and universities, the potential to move toward reduction and elimination of hazing is within reach.

H ighlights / K ey F indings As I finished reading the study, I was reminded of how overwhelming it is to tackle hazing and how it feels to be seen as the hazing expert on campus. Many fraternity/sorority life offices are the only place on campus from which hazing education is generated. As a graduate student, I realize the power of this research. Briefly looking over what I believe to be the major components of this study, I find myself wishing I had been afforded access to research of this magnitude when I was attempting to address this issue as a campus-based professional. The research establishes a platform from which to assess the nature and extent of hazing across different types of institutions and throughout different geographical regions. It provides a foundation from which to measure change over time. Those working with fraternities and sororities have gained a certain amount of knowledge through their experiences; this research affirms those experiences with tangible information that can be used to aid in combatting hazing. The research findings make it more difficult to dismiss hazing as a problem associated only with fraternity and sorority life. A body of evidence regarding hazing behaviors happening across the nation is now available.

It is evident that a lot of work needs to be done to address the destructive behavior of hazing. Regarding hazing behaviors, “55% of respondents report that they have experienced at least one of these [behaviors] in relation to their involvement in a campus club, team, or student organization” (Allan & Madden, 2008, p. 14). Additionally, students continue to “associate hazing with Greek-letter organizations…yet survey responses indicate that students who were members of a range of different types of groups and teams reported experiencing hazing behaviors” (p. 14). Furthermore, the two groups of students who are most likely to experience hazing are varsity athletes and social fraternity/sorority members. Simply stated, students are experiencing hazing at an alarmingly high rate, and although hazing happens across all student organizations, the fact is that hazing happens predominantly in fraternities, sororities, and varsity teams. When asked to identify hazing behaviors, members of the following organizations listed ‘participation in drinking games’ as the most frequent form of hazing: Varsity Athletics (54%), Social Fraternities and Sororities (53%), Club Sports (41%), Intramural Sports (28%), Service Fraternities and Sororities (26%), Recreation Clubs (20%), and Academic Clubs (10%). The two organizations that did not report ‘participation in drinking games’ as the top hazing behavior were Performing Arts Clubs (which identified it as the second most prevalent hazing behavior) and Honor Societies (which reported it as the third most common form of hazing). These numbers indicated that social fraternities and sororities and sports-related organizations engage in this dangerous behavior at a rate much higher than other student groups. continued on page 12

participation in drinking games

varsity athletics

social fraternities/sororities

club sports

intramural sports

service fraternities/sororities



28% 26%

recreation clubs




academic clubs








Winter 2009 / Perspectives


continued from page 11 Overall, 26% of the survey respondents listed ‘participate in drinking games’ as the number one hazing behavior. The next two commonly cited hazing behaviors are ‘sing or chant by self or with select others of group in public in a situation that is not a related event, game or practice’ (17%) and ‘drink large amounts of alcohol to the point of getting sick or passing out’ (12%). In each of these situations, students are engaging in destructive behaviors – some of them to the detriment of their mental and physical health. Another noteworthy result is that students are coming to college having been previously exposed to hazing. In fact, the study finds that students are so accustomed to hazing, they perceive it as part of the campus culture, and many may want to be hazed. Due to the fact that coaches, advisors and, in some cases, family members are aware of hazing behaviors, hazing may be seen by students as sanctioned by the institution. The research indicates hazing has become so common and accepted on college campuses, that even though students are experiencing hazing, they are hesitant to identify it as such. When asked to identify the results of hazing, given four positive and sixteen negative outcomes, students were more likely to cite positive aspects of hazing; these were usually based on the outcome of unity or group cohesion. Given access to and popularity of websites such as Facebook and MySpace, it should not come as a shock that “in more than half of the hazing experiences, students reported that photos of the activities were posted on public web spaces” (Allan & Madden, 2008, p. 26). The evidence is undeniable; hazing on college and university campuses across the nation is highly prevalent. This is hardly surprising to either college administrators working with social fraternities and sororities or to inter/national organization staff and officers. The question emerging from this research is “Now what?”

I mplications and R ecommendations Although it can be innocuous at times and “dismissed as nothing more than silly pranks or harmless antics,” hazing often includes dangerous, abusive, and potentially illegal high-risk behaviors (Allan & Madden, 2008, p. 37). Even the somewhat ‘minor

activities’ can quickly snowball into more dangerous activities if left unchecked. In their report, Allan and Madden identify solid recommendations to combat this dangerous practice plaguing students across the country. The first recommendation suggests that hazing prevention should extend beyond new members seeking admittance to the student organization or team. It must be broader and include all students on campus. Although “anti-hazing policies were introduced to 39% of students as they were joining a team or organization,” students are not aware of hazing prevention except for the statement that “it is not tolerated” (Allan & Madden, 2008, p. 31). As a campus administrator, addressing students outside of the new members always seemed like common sense to me – how often will people who are seeking to join a group recognize or call attention to its flaws and harmful behavior? Engaging only new members in educational efforts and placing responsibility on them ignores the power differential inherent on college campuses and exacerbated by hierarchical organizations such as fraternities and sororities. Hazing prevention cannot be limited to a one-time speaker or conversation; new members who might be experiencing hazing – but who are simultaneously seeking membership – are not likely to report hazing. Ongoing conversations about the hidden harms of hazing with older members of the fraternity and sorority community, combined with ensuring students are equipped with confrontation, critical thinking, and leadership skills is a great start to a comprehensive approach to eradicating hazing. In addition to working with all undergraduates – particularly firstyear students who will be seeking membership – a commitment to comprehensively educating the entire campus community is needed. The often political climate of colleges and universities coupled with the economic challenges facing some institutions does not make this an easy feat. However, the survey results suggest that students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and even some family members are aware of hazing. If this is the case, it should not be hard to engage various constituencies in the prevention of hazing. The creation of focus groups or a local board to work with hazing prevention, or the use of members of the community who have experience dealing with the psychological or physical ramifications of destructive behavior are a few approaches to combatting hazing. Organizations that create an open atmosphere to talk about how to replace hazing with activities that truly lead to member cohesion, respect, and unity are effective in reducing and eliminating hazing. Anti-hazing efforts become more effective as the audience broadens beyond just students.

The research indicates hazing has become so common and accepted on college campuses, that even though students are experiencing hazing, they are hesitant to identify it as such.


Perspectives / Winter 2009

Hazing prevention should not begin when students join an organization. Students are not generally aware of the campus anti-hazing policy; introducing this concept during orientation begins the education process for young college students. Engaging various constituencies and continuing to reinforce an anti-hazing message throughout the tenure of an undergraduate will aid in the elimination of hazing. Faculty members are an overlooked resource in these efforts. Evaluating and utilizing research-based intervention efforts aids in the effectiveness of hazing prevention. Bringing faculty to the table not only reinforces positive relations between fraternities and sororities and academics; it also creates an educational opportunity. Dealing with hazing within fraternal organizations is not a new challenge. College campuses across the country are vexed about how to address this difficult issue. It is important to step up hazing prevention efforts in a comprehensive way; this includes involving other offices and campus constituencies, while utilizing an environmental approach that focuses on the campus culture. Many campuses and inter/national organizations make progress each year in tackling hazing and its inevitable negative impact on interfraternal organizations. Once-a-year programming that includes only the new members is ineffective hazing prevention. To be effective, this complex topic requires a myriad of solutions administered over time.

F uture R esearch Fortunately, due to the vast amount of data collected for this study, it is inevitable that future reports will be released; the current report represents the initial findings. This data can be continually mined to find out more about hazing experiences across a variety of arenas, including hazing in high school or by certain types of student groups; the differences in hazing at various types of colleges and universities and in various regions of the country; effective hazing prevention strategies; and how hazing differences are perceived by gender (Allan & Madden, 2008). But current data now exists to support claims regarding hazing that many have previously assumed to be widely held. Now is the time to use research to guide practice and to more effectively address hazing in a comprehensive manner. – Megan P. Johnson is a former campus fraternity/sorority professional and a current doctoral student in Higher Education at the University of Iowa. – F  or more information please visit The National Study of Student Hazing was made possible through support from the North American Interfraternal Foundation and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Foundation and more than 30 additional project partners. For a list of the project donors please see:

W hat the R esearch R e v eals • More than half (55%) of respondents experience hazing related to joining a campus organization, team, or club. • Students continue to associate hazing with fraternities, sororities, and varsity athletics, even though it is prevalent across a variety of campus organizations. • Varsity athletes and social fraternities and sororities “are most likely to experience hazing” (p. 15). • Across virtually all types of student organizations, alcohol consumption is listed as the number one hazing behavior. • Coaches, advisors, alumni and, in some cases, family are aware of hazing. • Students are not likely to report hazing; 37% claimed this is because “I didn’t want to get my team or group in trouble.” Additionally, students are afraid of negative consequences placed on them from the organization (p. 29). • Hazing is becoming so prevalent that students may perceive it as part of campus culture. • Students who come to college have already experienced hazing. • Even though students are experiencing hazing, they are hesitant to call it hazing. Allan and Madden noted “if a student perceived that one had a made a ‘choice’ to participate, then often the activity did not constitute hazing” (p. 33). • “In more than half of hazing experiences, students reported that photos of the activities were posted on public Web spaces” (p. 26). • When students were asked to identify results of hazing, given four positive and 16 negative outcomes of hazing, the positive results were more often cited than the negative; this was usually based on the outcome of unity or group cohesion.


• Although “anti-hazing policies were introduced to 39% of students as they were joining a team or organization,” students are not aware of hazing prevention…except that “it is not tolerated” (p. 31).

Allan, E. J. & Madden, M. (2008). Hazing in view: Initial findings from the national study of student hazing. Retrieved October 9, 2008 from

• The most common hazing behaviors include humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation, and sex acts.

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


The Indeed: Changing the Culture of High-Risk Drinking in Fraternities and Sororities – Brandon H. Busteed


n recent years, Outside The Classroom, developer of the web-based alcohol education program, AlcoholEdu, has seen promising signs of improving fraternity and sorority communities. These signs are the result of hard work of national leaders, campus administrators, and undergraduate members. They point to a new vision – or perhaps the original vision – of these organizations. Before exploring the implications of these promising signs, it is important to consider the painful reality of fraternity and sorority members’ alcohol use. Ten years ago, men’s fraternities were among the top ten riskiest organizations to insure in the world, along with hazardous waste disposal companies (FIPG, 2007). Back then, it was difficult to believe that these organizations could shed the stereotype of “drunken social clubs.” Even today, it would be hard to argue fraternity and sorority members drink less than their unaffiliated peers, or that fraternity houses are the safest among campus housing options. But data show that a new promise may lie ahead. For example: • S ince 2003, the inter/national fraternal organizations that implemented AlcoholEdu for all new members (which included nearly half of the approximately 5,000 chapters nationwide) have reduced binge drinking by 28.3% (Outside The Classroom, 2008). • T  hough the sorority/fraternity member binge rate is still higher than the average college student population, the rates are now very close – 48% vs. 44%, respectively. When the Harvard School of Public Health last ran its national drinking survey in 2001, the Greek rate was in the low- to mid-60% range (Wechsler et al., 2002). • L  iving in a fraternity or sorority house is more protective of a student’s choice NOT to drink than living in regular dorms, even substance-free halls (Outside The Classroom, 2008). Two logical questions to ask are, “what is going on here?” and “what are these new trends?”


Perspectives / Winter 2009

First, there is a simple supply and demand answer. In the past five years, an increasing number of students have been coming to college as non-drinkers (Outside The Classroom, 2008). For any student organization (including fraternities and sororities) to be successful in recruiting the best members, they must recognize the market demographics and demands of the pool from which they recruit and to which they cater. Fraternities and sororities need to hone their marketing to a new breed of students, making some real changes to their organizations to accommodate these students. Second, the same attributes of fraternities and sororities that tend to drive unhealthy behaviors actually strengthen organizations when they drive healthy behaviors. Strong social ties and friendships, shared living quarters, and naturally competitive instincts can all lead to high-risk drinking practices (NIAAA, 2002). They can also achieve the opposite. Achieving real brotherhood is about deep, meaningful relationships – not surface ones propped up by alcohol. Real brotherhood supports the choices of fellow brothers. When a non-drinker joins a fraternity, he is supported in that decision – at least more so than if he lives in a regular dorm or even a substance-free hall. Real friendships do make a difference. Third, making a dent in the binge drinking issue on college campuses is actually easier than believed. A considerable amount of research has uncovered a key to tackling this issue: the “prevention paradox,” which states that the majority of negative consequences from drinking (such as fights, injuries, property damage, and ER visits) do not come from the highest risk drinkers, but rather the light, moderate, and infrequent binge drinkers (Weitzman & Nelson, 2004). At an individual level, a student who drinks ten drinks is indeed at more risk than a student who drinks five. However, the light, moderate, and infrequent binge drinker population on the average campus is approximately three times the number of the high-risk drinker population. Therefore, there are three times more students who drink at the five-drink

level than the ten-drink level. As five drinks of alcohol carry some risk, sheer numbers show that “moderate” drinkers create more problems overall. The key here is that very small changes in the choices of moderate drinkers make a bigger impact than very big changes in the choices of frequent binge drinkers. Someone reducing his drinking from five drinks to four is actually reducing his risk more than someone reducing his drinking from fifteen drinks to ten. The point is that ten drinks is still very risky, but the most influential part of the risk curve occurs around the five-drink range. Therefore, tackling the high-risk drinking issue is about getting moderate drinkers to make modest changes in their drinking. The rise in non-drinkers on campus, the natural attributes of fraternities and sororities, and the prevention paradox can help explain the improvement regarding fraternity and sorority members’ alcohol use. But another core explanation is that many organizations have made a real effort to change. With strong risk management policies and training, values-based education and mentorship, and programs like AlcoholEdu, progress is being made rather quickly. In fact, fraternities and sororities are one of the many entities leading the charge at this stage. In January 2008, Outside The Classroom held a summit with leaders from various men’s and women’s fraternities and sororities that were using AlcoholEdu, including Wynn Smiley, Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Tau Omega; Marilyn Fordham, National Panhellenic Conference Delegate for Delta Gamma; Cari Cook, Executive Director of Delta Delta Delta; and Tom Goodale, former Executive Director of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, to discuss next steps. Those steps included the creation of an entirely new program for fraternities and sororities, called GreekLifeEdu, which is used by national organizations on campuses across the country. Building on the foundation created by AlcoholEdu, GreekLifeEdu adds key components around sexual assault and hazing prevention. Similar to the promising trends regarding fraternity and sorority

members’ alcohol use, this new program aims to continue to improve the fraternal experience. All of this boils down to a few simple opportunities for a fraternity/sorority community, a chapter, or an individual member. The first is to recruit and retain more members who do not want alcohol to be a defining part of their college experience. Soon, it will be a competitive advantage for chapters to have more members like this. The second opportunity is to re-brand sorority and fraternity membership – away from the alcohol-fueled image of “Animal House” and more toward a point of building memorable and meaningful relationships and experiences. The final opportunity lies in appreciating that behaviors can change, as long as there is a shift in focus toward the middle of the bell curve. Do not let the extremes in chapters drive actions. There will always be “that guy/girl,” but “that guy/girl” need not set the standard for the entire organization, nor does the chapter leadership need to cater to him/her and his/her often loud, but minority opinions. The majority of membership includes sensible people who want to succeed in life, want to do the right thing, want to find their passion in life, and seek meaning in their relationships, studies, and work. By engaging and empowering the silent

majority, the extremes will soon become a thing of the past. – Brandon Busteed became a fraternity member when he was 28 years old, 10 years later than most. He attended Duke University, which has a large fraternity/sorority community. His father was president of his fraternity and later served on their international board. In many respects, Busteed seemed the perfect candidate for fraternity membership. But he never gave it consideration, because all he saw in fraternities was a heavy drinking scene that he didn’t care to be a part of. Since graduating from Duke University, Busteed has built a career in higher education policy and public health related to the binge drinking issue. As the founder and CEO of Outside The Classroom, developer of AlcoholEdu, he is in part responsible for the alcohol education of over 1.5 million college students, including 36% of all first-year students in America during fall 2008. Busteed never intended to make alcohol prevention his career, but to him, it has become the most fascinating challenge he could have undertaken.

References FIPG, Inc. (2007). Risk Management Manual. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from http:// Resources?OpenDocument National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Task Force on College Drinking. Panel on Contexts and Consequences (2002). High-risk drinking in college: What we know and what we need to learn: Final report of the Panel on Contexts and Consequences (GPO Item No. 0498-C-01). Bethesda, MD: Government Printing Office. Outside The Classroom, Inc. (2008). [Evaluation of AlcoholEdu: An online alcohol education and prevention course]. Unpublished raw data. Wechsler, H., Lee, J. E., Kuo, M., Seibring, M., Nelson, T. F., & Lee, H. (2002). Trends in college binge drinking during a period of increased prevention efforts: Findings from Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study Surveys: 1993-2001. Journal of American College Health, 50(5), 203-217. Weitzman, E. R. and Nelson, T. F. (2004). College student binge drinking and the “Prevention Paradox”: Implications for prevention and harm reduction. Journal of Drug Education, 34(3), 247-263.

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


A Strategic Approach to Addressing Social Management Issues – Kyle A. Pendleton & Sam Utley


or the last two years, the Purdue University fraternity/ sorority community has been working to formally address binge drinking, alcohol violations, and responsible social practices. The official process began in March 2007 when Interfraternity Council (IFC) officers participated in a pilot initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and the North-American Interfraternity Conference. The plan developed by the IFC leaders progressed into a threephase model of implementation. Phase 1 addressed concerns with new student week (Boiler Gold Rush [BGR]) and the role alcohol played in Purdue’s orientation program; Phase 2 observed the social practices of all fraternity and sorority chapters; and Phase 3 examined ongoing education and prevention efforts with an emphasis on bring your own beverage (BYOB) reform and shared responsibility between the fraternities and sororities.

PHASE 1: Cleaning Up New Student Week The IFC began by addressing the role fraternities at Purdue played in fostering opportunities for freshmen to drink when they arrived on campus. Knowing there was confusion regarding the acceptable social practices at fraternity houses during BGR, a plan was created, using a multi-educational approach, to improve the communication of expectations and subsequent enforcement of BGR policies. The plan included: • H  aving Lower Board (IFC’s peer monitoring unit) complete observation rounds during BGR.


Perspectives / Winter 2009

– P  rior to the fall of 2007, monitoring did not begin until the first day of classes. For BGR 2008, members of the student orientation team joined the IFC Lower Board in an observation capacity during new student week. • E  nforcing stiffer sanctions for those chapters found to have violated IFC and University policies. – During the fall of 2007, five fraternities were temporarily suspended during new student week, several days before classes began. This was a result of the intentionally-observed rounds during BGR. During the fall of 2008 there was a marked decrease in “unofficial” parties at fraternity houses, with only two chapters having minor infractions. This was due in part to increased communication among the chapters and IFC, given the expressed expectations of the chapters from the University and IFC. • R  ecommending house corporations not allow members to move into the houses until later in BGR week and closer to the first day of classes. • P  artnering with the BGR staff to provide alcohol education sessions to all BGR student team leaders/orientation counselors. • A  ddressing the BGR fall 2008 opening assembly of 6,000 incoming students. – IFC and Panhellenic presidents educated the new students on Purdue’s alcohol policies and why freshmen were not allowed to drink at fraternity or sorority houses. • P  rohibiting events with alcohol at fraternity houses until new student week had concluded.

Purdue’s IFC and Panhellenic officers are confident that if they work together, they will successfully address the aforementioned issues and create a safer fraternity/sorority community.

PHASE 2: Examining the Role Sororities Play in Social Management Practices

• A  n acknowledgement that sororities must own their fair share of responsibility for events their members attend.

The Purdue team began to work with Big Ten colleagues late in the fall of 2007 to collectively address common social practices in an attempt to create safer social environments. This initiative culminated in a meeting in February 2008 with 10 of the 11 Big Ten IFC and Panhellenic Councils presenting the realities on their campuses to representatives from the National Panhellenic Conference and other interfraternal partners.

• T  he reality that fraternities enforce social event policies. Purdue would like to see sorority women become equal partners in risk management policy enforcement.

At the end of the presentation, it was clear that each campus had a unique social climate. Yet common areas of concern were clearly evident, including co-sponsorship of events, providing of alcohol, and peer observation teams. Discussions turned to how and when each community would begin addressing these problems. Several campuses, Purdue included, asked that the member groups allow for pilot initiatives on the respective campuses in an attempt to correct the violations of both council and inter/national policies. The National Panhellenic Conference convened the Task Force on Social Practices, comprised of representatives from their member groups, NIC member groups, fraternity and sorority advisors, senior student affairs professionals, and insurance carriers. The charge for the group is as follows: 1) Identify the fundamental issues. 2) Research and analyze current social practices on college campuses. 3) Determine if a pilot program is needed or appropriate. Include an analysis of inherent risks if nothing is done, the piloting or adopting of the program wholesale, and input from attorneys and insurers. 4) If a pilot program is desirable, recommend a program that could be implemented on one or two Big Ten campuses. Purdue University stressed to the Task Force an urgent need for increased understanding of campus culture and the education and enforcement of current BYOB and Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG) policies on campus, specifically: • T  he need for increased education for women regarding social events as well as BYOB, and decreased reliance upon or expectation of fraternities to provide alcohol at functions. • A  desire for open dialogue regarding “unofficial” and “underground” co-sponsored events that take place in fraternity houses. • T  he understanding that alternate locations are not feasible because state law precludes the opportunity for social events to move to third party vendor locations. For example, one must be 21 to enter any bar in the state of Indiana, including the bar area of a restaurant.

PHASE 3: Co-Sponsorship Pilot Implementation On July 28, 2008, the NPC Task Force on Social Practices voted unanimously to support Purdue University moving forward with a pilot program. The IFC wanted an opportunity to allow chapters to improve the situation on their own, with students holding each other accountable. The proposed solution came with an opportunity to allow the students to work with the NPC Task Force’s recommendation to have co-sponsored functions between men’s and women’s groups. This opportunity is based predominately on the women’s prior successes in hosting events at third party vendor locations. Their ability to take responsibility for these functions has given the Task Force full confidence in the ability of fraternities to emulate these successes and host similar events at fraternity houses. The NPC sororities participating in the co-sponsorship pilot program were Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Zeta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Phi Mu, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha. The pilot implementation included the following steps: • A  n alumni meeting was held on July 29, 2008, to introduce the current BYOB reform and co-sponsorship pilot program to the volunteer corps. Approximately 74 chapter advisors and house corporation officers attended. • P  rior to registering a social event for the fall semester, an IFC fraternity president, social chair, and risk manager (a.k.a. “social teams”) were required to meet with Kyle Pendleton, Assistant Dean of Students, to discuss the current IFC social policy, BYOB procedures, and the expectation of increased adherence to the policies. Thirty-five of the 40 IFC groups completed these meetings. • O  n September 14, 2008, each of the Panhellenic Association chapters’ social teams participated in a BYOB information session. These one-hour sessions were designed as an educational opportunity and were personalized to allow for Q & A (no more than three chapters attended at one time). All 16 NPC chapters and three non-NPC chapters participated. • O  n September 16, 2008, the IFC and Panhellenic began presenting the FIPG/BYOB re-education sessions to all chapters. By October 9, 54 of the 59 IFC and Panhellenic chapters had 80% of their membership attend one of these workshops facilitated by a member of the IFC and Panhellenic leadership. continued on page 18

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


continued from page 17 • T hroughout the fall 2008 semester, the IFC and Panhellenic chapter presidents met regularly to discuss the full implementation of safer, more responsible procedures at social events. • L ower Board examined the practices of the observation team at the University of Illinois and revamped its procedural model to reflect a strict observational approach. Input was provided by chapter presidents to simplify the process of documenting observations at the function. Together, the IFC, sponsoring chapter(s), University staff, and inter/national organization staff were included in follow-up and discussions that occurred if a violation was discovered. It is important to note that only undergraduate men will continue to serve on Purdue’s Lower Board Observation Team. Purdue University values its partnerships with the many constituents within the 81 fraternity and sorority chapters that are recognized by one of our four councils. Implementing change is rarely easy, especially when it is directed toward an ingrained college social culture. Although this has not been easy, the IFC, Panhellenic Association, and staff continue to struggle to encourage chapters to improve their party management practices. However, the dividends are starting to pay off. We have adopted a quote from the book Strategy and the Fat Smoker by David Maister as our unofficial motto about this change: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, what you are asking is for us to build Rome” (2008, p. 17). There could not be a more appropriate perspective on what is being attempted at Purdue University. The reality is that party practices will not automatically be fixed over night, nor are all chapters in full support of this initiative. However, as long as constituents are making improvements, the support for the pilot and the overall initiative will remain constant. The outcome is not a perfect social culture, but rather, safer co-sponsored events one at a time. This has been established as urgent and important; we now turn our efforts to having safe events. It is the commitment to a process of continual improvement that matters. Purdue’s IFC and Panhellenic officers are confident that working together, they will successfully address the aforementioned issues and create a safer fraternity/sorority community.

Additional education that occurs in Purdue’s overall risk reduction plan: • During the fall 2007 and spring 2008 semesters, the IFC hosted a “Perfect Party” educational event that was managed according to FIPG, BYOB, and IFC policies. • Several fraternities and sororities have participated in the CHOICES alcohol education program. Kyle Pendleton, Assistant Dean of Students, was trained as a facilitator of the program last year with the Residence Life staff; and working in conjunction with the health and wellness office, has presented the workshop to six fraternities (350+ men). • Education is done each semester with the new members of the IFC and Panhellenic. A test on current local/state laws and the IFC/FIPG Risk Management policy is given at the beginning of each new member period. • Members of the fraternity and sorority life staff, IFC, and Panhellenic attend Lafayette Bar Coalition meetings to increase communication and preventative initiatives with bar owners. • Each spring, the IFC and Panhellenic coordinate a Community Standards Panel and Grand Prix Convocation prior to Grand Prix Week, a large bicycle race. The panel is for chapter presidents and risk managers, and consists of representatives from the Purdue University Police Department, West Lafayette Police Department, Fire Department, Indiana Excise Police, Office of the Dean of Students, and Office of Risk Management. The representatives conduct a Q & A to address current concerns. Convocation consists of an alcohol education speaker and is attended by over 3,500 students.

– Kyle A. Pendleton currently serves as an Assistant Dean of Students at Purdue University. Sam Utley is the current Interfraternity Council President at Purdue University.

REFERENCE Maister, D. (2008). Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing What’s Obvious But Not Easy. Boston: The Spangle Press.


Perspectives / Winter 2009

Struggling to Grasp the Power of Assessment?



Peak PeakPerformance Performance \pek\ \p (r)-for-m n(t)s\

highest level or greatest degree execution of an action



\pek\ \p (r)-for-m n(t)s\

highest level or greatest degree execution of an action



– Ryan Hilperts, 2008 Annual Meeting Chair


he 2008 AFA Annual Meeting provided nearly 1,050 registrants with an experience unlike any before. Situated at the Hyatt Regency Denver in the heart of downtown, meeting attendees were surrounded by new ideas, intriguing colleagues, and the bustle of this friendly city. As the premier professional development program of the Association of Fraternity Advisors in 2008, the Annual Meeting truly was a chance for members and partners to listen and learn, to discover and teach, and to gather tools to help elevate their work.

below are a few highlights of what fraternity and sorority volunteers and professionals experienced at the 2008 AFA Annual Meeting: A reinvigorated Developmental Resource Center showcased best practices, programs, and initiatives in the eight categories of the Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession. Materials can now be viewed on the AFA website. Simply go to the Knowledge Center from the AFA home page. Again, the heart of the Annual Meeting was the educational programming and intentional learning. The Educational Programs Committee was intentional about creating worthwhile professional development for all Annual Meeting participants, including more than 130 program offerings. Pre-conference programs ranged from the National Hazing Symposium to programs about creating and utilizing fraternity/sorority judicial boards. In addition, educational program topics ranged from assessment, supervision, and cultural change to multiculturalism, advising, and alumni support. Not only were there 11 blocks of programs, but those programs provided a variety of 45-, 60-, and 90-minute learning experiences. To open the meeting, Dr. Donald G. DiPaolo led meeting attendees through an uncommon program that asked participants to take a good look at themselves and the profession and to engage with others. Every participant who walked into the room knew this was unlike anything before. The content for the feature program was developed from information AFA members provided in a premeeting survey, and the format Dr. DiPaolo used allowed members to dive into what keeps us from reaching our peak. A risk for sure, 20

Perspectives / Winter 2009

the interactive, highly personal program set the tone for a more authentic and open-minded meeting. Congratulations to all who chose to climb. To see the survey-result PowerPoint used during Dr. DiPaolo’s presentation, visit the Knowledge Center on the AFA website. The stand-alone, longer Fireside Chats Meet & Greet was well received and included representatives from more than 90 organizations, including all six umbrella organizations. The traditional Fireside Chats were full and thriving the next morning with 151 tables staffed by inter/national organization representatives. The Annual Meeting was enhanced by the service of this year’s Graduate Staff. Special thanks to Tyler Blair, University of Kansas; Ashlee Canty, Western Illinois University; Katelin Getz, Ohio University; Daniel Hernandez, Western Illinois University; Maria Iglesia, Clemson University; John Salazar, University of Maryland, College Park; Meg Shamburger, College of William & Mary; and Alex Snowden, Illinois State University for their hard work, late nights, and early mornings. These individuals created an amazing team, and we look forward to welcoming them to the professional ranks of the Association in just a few short months. Graduate Training Track: Funded by a grant to the AFA Foundation from Rho Lambda National Honorary, this intensive and interactive educational track was specifically designed for graduate students and complemented the educational experience of those seeking careers in advising fraternities and sororities. Because of the addition of the First-year Case Study Challenge, more graduate students than ever were able to take part in case study programming. In addition to the challenge, a full slate of second-year students participated in the AFA/Order of Omega

ners: n i W d r e Awavan (second) c i v r e S shed dd C. Sulli i u g n i t s ll Di (left), To ez (right) e s ter) s n u e F c s t r l f l e l ( a l a Sue Kar Miranda Sm Rueben D. P Kraft Fusse elson (fourth) and Sue ”N l : Monic l r i e B n " n i m ard W : Dr. Willia w A n o s An ner Pictures are courtesy of GreekYearbook. Jack L. ffer Award Win All photos from the 2008 Annual Meeting can ha S . be viewed and purchased from H t r Robe Case Study Competition. Congratulations to all of the students – especially the winners, and a hearty thank you to the AFA members who volunteered as judges for both programs. In congruence with the value of service and giving shared by many fraternal organizations, the Association supported Project Angel Heart, an agency providing comfort and compassion through meals and companionship to persons living with HIV/AIDS, as the philanthropic cause and a pre-conference service plunge site Annual Meeting. The staff of Project Angel Heart showed great gratitude for the contributions in person and in donations by AFA members as they were our guest at the AFA/AFA Foundation Recognition Luncheon. Newly branded as THE AFA CONNECTION, first-timers programming was vibrant and well attended. More than 280 first-time attendees registered for the 2008 meeting, and many of them were served by The AFA CONNECTION Kick Off on Wednesday evening, a high-energy event that included prizes, small-group connections with established members of the Association serving as Connection Captains, and an orientation to the meeting. Members of the First Timers Committee also played host to first timers at off-site meals on Thursday – filling reservations at a dozen restaurants, and during both banquet meals.

to sponsoring various events or programs, the Association extends a huge thank you to these members. More than anything, the 2008 Annual Meeting was the result of the work of more than 100 dedicated Association volunteers – both those who served year-round in coordinator or committee member roles and those who provided extra support on site. These AFA members developed an experience of active and passive learning-centered programs for meeting attendees. Opportunities to connect, reconnect, and mentor were plentiful. Through new initiatives and traditional events, the 2008 Annual Meeting brought together and to life the dynamic elements of the Association. The 2009 Annual Meeting, in Jacksonville, FL, Dec. 6-10, promises only to raise the bar. Join friends, colleagues, and fraternal partners Sunday through Thursday to examine how the ways we educate, impact, and involve can lead to greater Caring for our Community.

The Exhibit Hall and the Exhibit Hall Reception were full of great food and conversation. Our Associate members played a large role in the success of the Annual Meeting. From exhibiting Winter 2009 / Perspectives


afa annual Meeting photo highlights

nn, a m u e N sica s, and s e J : s ant Adam Jone p i c i t r a ts P o Cooper, l a h C e d Firesi rsha Carrasc Karl Grinde Ma

Robert H. Shaffer Award Winner: Dr. William “Bill” Nelson

Jack L. Ans Sue KraftonFAward Winner: 2008 AFA u PresidesnstelJl and ay Anhorn 22

Perspectives / Winter 2009


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Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipients: Lindsay Sell, Veronica Hunter, Helen Rotnem, and Jason Bergeron

Feature Program Dr. Don Speake DiPaolo r:

2008 A Team annnual Meeting d Gradu Plannin ate Sta g ff Winter 2009 / Perspectives


award recipients



Sue Kraft Fussell

University of Louisville Student Affairs Division

ROBERT H. SHAFFER AWARD Dr. William “Bill” Nelson •

SUE KRAFT FUSSELL DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Jackie G. Isaacson, Phi Mu Fraternity Monica Lee Miranda Smalls, University of Rochester Rueben D. Perez, University of Kansas Todd C. Sullivan, University of Connecticut Matthew Supple, University of Maryland, College Park •

PERSPECTIVES AWARD Lori Hart Ebert, Ph.D., Alcohol and Risk Management Education: Pi Kappa Phi’s Approach •

ESSENTIALS AWARD John Shertzer, Reclaiming Leadership •

ORACLE: THE RESEARCH JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FRATERNITY ADVISORS AWARD Joan B. Hirt, Ph.D., Lauren Chapman, & Nicklaus Spruill, The Effects of Sorority Recruitment on Self-Esteem •



Perspectives / Winter 2009

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING AWARD Cornell University, Positively Challenging Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Keystone Regional Leadership Conferences CAMPUSPEAK, Inc., The Intake Equation •

GAYLE WEBB NEW PROFESSIONAL AWARD Lindsay Sell, University of Connecticut •

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER AWARD Jason Bergeron, Assessment Committee Veronica Hunter, Membership Intake Workgroup Jackie G. Isaacson, Essentials Editorial Board Helen Rotnem, Consultant Training Workgroup Chair Lindsay Sell, Essentials Editorial Board •

AFA/ORDER OF OMEGA CASE STUDY COMPETITION 1st Place: Liz Osbourne, Northern Kentucky University & Maria Rovira, Florida International University 2nd Place: Gina Keucher, Wright State University & Larry Long, Ball State University 3rd Place: Lauren Krumwiede, Ball State University & Christopher Moreno, University of South Florida

membership milestones

[membership milestones] [30-Year Members]

[25-Year MemberS]

[20-Year Members]

Vic Boschini Rick Funk Mary Beth Seiler Al Shonk

Terry Appolonia Carolyn Hunter Richard Walker

Deb Carney Ed Dadez Marilyn Fordham Robert Hines Bob Kerr Freda Luers Greg Mason

Thomas Miles Pete Smithhisler Darald Stubbs T.J. Sullivan Linda Wardhammar Susan West

[15-Year Members] Anne Arseneau Todd Borst Terry Casey Reatha Cox

Mitch Crane Jackie Isaacson Mark Koepsell Sue Kraft Fussell

Malinda Matney Harry Maurice Tracy Maxwell Fred Reichelt

Ralph Rumsey Betsy Sarneso Matt Supple

Brian Tenclinger Mandy Womack

Connie Huyck Michelle Janisz Jennifer M. Jones Christopher Juhl Kevin Konecny Stacy Kraus

Jay Lambert James Malinchak Monica Miranda Smalls Kristin Morgan Mike Paestella Jason Pierce

Thomas Pitchford Joe Rosenberg Liz Schafer Rob Turning Stuart Umberger Scott Wiley

Scott Jones Jamie Jones Miller Dan Kennedy Angela King Justin Kirk Griena Knight Bill Lafferty Erica Lake Pamela Lee Shelton Lewis Kathy Lloyd Ray Lutzky Cara Luyster Scott Lyons Tanner Marcantel Robert Marias Sharla McClendon Randy McMullin Lynne Miller Shelly Morris Mumma Faraah Mullings Cheryl Mulloy

Julie Murphy Darren Pierre Jenn Plagman-Galvin Eric Pope Teena Reasoner Sal Rizza Amy Rosen Greg Roskopf Jacqui Rossetter Kaye Schendel Breanne Scogin William Scott Karen Shelton Chevalier Jeremiah Shinn Keri Shiplet Travis Smith Amanda Smith Jonathan Sprinkles Kristal Statler John Stout Erin Strine Teresa Sullivan

Ross Szabo Zach Thomas Steve Veldkamp Patricia Watkins Melissa Williams Michael Wilson Christine Workman

[10-Year Members] David Adams Ileana Almaguer Clayton Arrington Ada Badgley Roy Baker Gary Ballinger

Janna Basler John Davenport Bob Dudolski Erin Durnell Mike Esposito Robert Hammond

[5-Year Members] Lynne Andrews Aaron Bachenheimer Courtney Barstad Jordan Bentlage Jessica Berner Meredith Bielaska Sean Blackburn Allison Bressler Curt Burrill Jill Carnaghi Sharon Carruthers Ellen Chesnut Mike Citro Aaron Clevenger David Coleman Dave Conner Terri Cooke Emilee Danielson Kris Day Jim Draper Julie Drury Trevor Estelle

Jeremy Evans Dan Faill Lisa Fant Fred Fotis Jen Garcia Kristin Garcia Jessica Gendron Jennifer Gianino Corin Gioia Julie Gleason Allison Green Mark Hartley Debbie Heida Michael Hevel Andrew Hohn Tekeia Howard Jenn Hudson Joy Hungate Sara Jahansouz Cara Jenkins Erin Jennings Johanne Jensen

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


Body Image in College: How to Know if Students are Suffering and What You Can Do to Help – Sarah Maria


id you know that many college students may be suffering from Negative Body Obsession or NBO? NBO is a condition marked by the near constant rumination about one’s physical appearance. It is the voice that says, “I am too fat; I am not thin enough; she is prettier than I am; my chest is too flat.” It drones on, spinning countless tales about how the sufferer is not quite thin enough, tall enough, beautiful enough, or good enough to live life fully. NBO may or may not be accompanied by an eating disorder, but does usually involve some form of disordered eating at some point. Even if eating habits are stable, Negative Body Thoughts and their accompanying Negative Body Feelings often remain. Statistics show that 80-90% of women, and a growing number of men, dislike their bodies. Fifteen percent of women say they would sacrifice more than five years of their lives to be thin, and many women say they smoke to control their body weight (Maine, 2000). Ninety-one percent of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. Unfortunately, studies show that most diets do not work.  Ninety-five percent of dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years (Shisslak et al., 1995). Furthermore, 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting.  Of these, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders (Grodstein et al., 1996). The body dissatisfaction that shows up on college campuses often begins young. Eighty-one percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat; 78% of 18-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies; and the number one wish of girls 11-17 years old is to lose weight. Fifty-one percent of 9- and 10-year-old girls feel better about themselves when dieting, and 9% of 9-year-olds have vomited to lose weight (Adolescent Medicine Committee, 2001). Negative Body Obsession and disordered eating stem from the unfounded belief that a student must change who he/she is to get what he/she wants in life. Students believe they need to look a certain way,


Perspectives / Winter 2009

weigh a certain amount, or fit into a particular clothing size, so they can be successful with their lives. This myth is often affirmed and promoted throughout the mainstream culture. Unfortunately, it leads to tremendous suffering in college students and prevents them from living their best lives. Everyone is inherently beautiful, lovable and worthwhile exactly as they are, in this moment. They are intrinsically valuable. They are whole and perfect by virtue of their existence. When students realize this, they make a quantum shift in their lives. They begin to experience more confidence, more energy, more vitality, and more enthusiasm. They are willing to be proactive with their lives, ask for what they need and fight for their success. They are less likely to engage in destructive behaviors, and more likely to make safe and healthy choices. Here are some ways to spot Negative Body Obsession, as well as tips for showing students they are intrinsically valuable, beautiful, and worthwhile:

How to identify NBO: • Constantly asks her peers or a trusted confidant how she looks, if she has gained weight, if she has lost weight, etc. • Appears anxious at mealtime • Has a very strict or unusual diet • Prefers to eat alone • The once-outgoing student slowly isolates himself from his peers • Worries endlessly about what to eat and finds it difficult to make decisions • Seems preoccupied by her thoughts • Talks about food, his body, or his appearance often • Is obsessive about exercise and becomes anxious if her exercise routine is disrupted

Many students with NBO are extremely adept at hiding it. If the student exhibits the above tendencies, become aware and be willing to probe. NBO is often acute in driven, over-achieving students. Even though they are successful on the outside, they might be struggling on the inside.

What an advisor can do to help: If you know or think someone might be suffering from Negative Body Obsession, there are a number of things you can do to help.

Become an example.

This can be one of the most powerful tools for helping someone learn to love and accept her body and herself. As the aforementioned statistics indicate, the majority of women and a growing number of men dislike their physical appearance. It has become a disease of sorts in modern culture. When someone learns to love and accept his/her body, he/she can become a role model for everyone around him/her. He/She can show others that beauty is not something dependent on clothing size, skin color, height, or anything else. Rather, beauty is an attribute of who he/she is. As someone learns to discover and experience his/her own beauty, he/she can inspire others to do the same.

Affirm the student’s self-worth and lovability.

Every person wants to feel he/she is a worthwhile individual, deserving of love and affection. Negative Body Obsession and other destructive thought patterns are based on the often subconscious belief that one is not quite good enough the way he/she is. Students are particularly vulnerable to these insecurities, because they have recently left home and are learning how to navigate the rigors of college life. Take the time to affirm the student’s self-worth. Identify specific things about her/him that are unique, beautiful, and an asset to society. Positive encouragement and enhancing of self-esteem will have lasting benefits.

Discuss the concept of beauty with students – teach them to recognize beauty in people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. Today’s culture has defined beauty very narrowly, namely fit, young, toned, and athletic. Yet, even people who display all of these attributes rarely feel attractive. The current culture is chasing a false vision of attractiveness that has nothing at all to do with true beauty. Discuss the concept of beauty with students. Get their opinions on what they consider attractive and unattractive. Help them identify where these ideas and beliefs originate. It is not necessary to listen to the cultural dictates about beauty. With a little awareness, one can begin to create a vision of beauty that honors the brilliant diversity that is a hallmark of college campuses and the world.

Encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

Negative Body Obsession can often lead to unhealthy eating patterns. Many students long to be thinner than they are, so they diet and pursue other unhealthy eating behaviors. Some students go so far as to experience ‘drunkorexia,’ where they starve themselves all day, saving up enough calories to drink at night. Other students engage in eating disordered behaviors, including binging, purging, and starving. Encourage healthy eating behaviors in students. Teach them that healthy eating is not just a means for looking good, but can help them in every aspect of their lives. A healthy diet with the right amount of all food groups could enhance academic performance, improve mood, and enhance athletic performance. Healthy eating often disappears when students enter college. A gentle reminder plus healthy meal and snack ideas can go a long way toward helping students get the most out of their college experience.

Practice and teach gratitude.

Some benefits of gratitude include experiencing higher levels of joy, higher academic performance, and better relationships. A great place to begin gratitude practice is with our own bodies. Have students create a daily practice of standing in front of the mirror and identifying at least one thing

they like about their bodies. Teach them to be grateful for the amazing and incredible things their body does. Help them shift their awareness from one of dissatisfaction to one of appreciation. Over time, they can develop an amazing relationship with their bodies that will enhance their health and catapult their success and well-being.

Encourage mind-body centering activities such as yoga and meditation.

Yoga and meditation can reduce stress and help with concentration and focus. This is particularly important for students, who struggle with new stresses on a regular basis. Food and Negative Body Obsession are often attempts to deal with stress and anxiety. There are also many other destructive behaviors students use in an attempt to quell their stress. Yoga and meditation are safe, effective tools to help students minimize their stress and maximize their success.

Seek assistance from trained campus partners.

Professionals who feel a student may be suffering from mental, emotional, or psychological issues should consult and seek assistance from their trained campus partners.

– Sarah Maria is a body image expert and personal empowerment coach. Her book Love Your Body, Love Your Life is currently being published. For more information about the ideas included, visit or email

ReferenceS Adolescent Medicine Committee, Canadian Pediatric Society (2001). Eating disorders in adolescents: Principles of diagnosis and treatment. Pediatrics and Child Health 1998, 34(3), 189-92. Grodstein, F., Levine, R., Spencer, T., Colditz, G. A., & Stampfer, M. J. (1996). Three-year follow-up of participants in a commercial weight-loss program: Can you keep it off? Archives of Internal Medicine, 156 (12), 1302. Maine, M. (2000). Body wars: Making peace with women’s bodies. Carlsbad, CA: Gurze Books. Shisslak, C. M., Crago, M., & Estes, L. S., (1995). The spectrum of eating disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3), 209-219.

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


– Drew Hunter and Ray Lutzky



ambda Chi Alpha created the True Brother Initiative to provide members with a comprehensive brotherhood development effort that builds upon its history, ritual, and core values, and to teach undergraduates how to truly incorporate this initiative into their fraternity experience. In essence, the goal was to redesign the undergraduate experience. Creating the True Brother Initiative for Lambda Chi Alpha was not easy. It took the combined efforts of past and present Board members, current and former staff members, alumni volunteers, and undergraduate chapter members. This article details the formation, assessment, and impact of the True Brother Initiative.

Creating Organizational Change The opportunity for this initiative emerged through a need to align Boardlevel leadership, alumni, students, staff, and campus-based fraternity and sorority professionals with the organization’s purpose. Today the fraternity operates in a model where all major projects are jointly developed and supported by staff, alumni, student affairs professionals, and undergraduate fraternity men. In 2006, with the fraternity’s centennial three years away, a workgroup called “The True Brother Council” convened to plan how to execute a vision of change. The Council’s work recognized key historical elements that had shaped Lambda Chi Alpha, and began with a focus on alumni training and support. As the True Brother Council continued its planning, the team concluded that the Fraternity was devoting more than 80 percent of its energy to operational areas that would become known as “the outer circle,” including member recruitment, education, and the programs and activities leading to initiation. Chapters recruit, educate, and initiate, and then start the pattern over again. The model assumed that because an undergraduate experienced his new member education program at the chapter level, he was automatically qualified to lead the chapter and mentor the next class of associate members. Council members were convinced that despite the Fraternity’s best efforts,


Perspectives / Winter 2009

chapters could, over one or two semesters, either regress dramatically or improve significantly based upon whether or not the small number of undergraduate officers understood the true organizational purpose. With this in mind, the Council examined public materials from other fraternities and sororities, but did not find examples of the kind of program based in measurable-outcomes that was sought. Without a clear benchmark, The True Brother Council focused first on how false concepts and inappropriate stereotypes contribute to the fraternity experience at the campus level. They decided to base the entire new member education program on seven core values as the foundation of the brotherhood. The values spell the acronym LDRSHIP – loyalty, duty, respect, service and stewardship, honor, integrity, and personal courage. The fraternity’s educational period was separated into three circles recognizing the distinct time frames of the brother development initiative. The “outer circle” described above transitions to the “inner circle,” which encompasses the continuing learning and growth expectations of active/ initiated brothers, and finally transitions to the “mastery circle,” which recognizes brotherhood for life and all of the ways an alumnus brother can continue to grow and practice the Fraternity’s values. To assist with the development and implementation of the programs within the True Brother Initiative, the Master

Steward alumni program was created. To date, more than 40 men have volunteered and been extensively trained to serve in these roles. The Master Stewards travel to chapters across Lambda Chi Alpha to provide assistance, conduct retreats, and develop educational programming. Several Master Stewards are fraternity/sorority or other student affairs professionals in addition to members of Lambda Chi Alpha. This core of welltrained volunteers supplements the professional and traveling staff of the fraternity, giving chapters another resource in program implementation and support. Fraternity and sorority advisors on select campuses were also engaged as their campus’ Lambda Chi Alpha chapter proceeded through the initiative. Fraternity staff members and Master Stewards met with student affairs professionals to provide information and answer questions about the program, as well as gather feedback on how to better integrate the True Brother Initiative with campus involvement. The New Lambda Chi Alpha The True Brother Initiative is a comprehensive and measurable brother development program, which has been reviewed via several widely accepted social psychology instruments.* Through web-based, periodic data collection, several chapters provided the basis for the undergraduate assessment process. The assessment process was conducted via internet-based

surveys at specific points: association, initiation, senior year, and post graduation (ultimately, it will be conducted at two years and five years out). The data collected to date has shown significant initial findings through the first year, which include: Overall Program Effectiveness: The Lambda Chi Alpha learning model produces significant increases in selfawareness, self-esteem, and capacity for empathy. It builds stronger chapter operations and promotes significant growth for members along core developmental pathways correlated to measures of personal efficacy, substance abuse, health, and success. Chapter Performance: Chapters integrating the True Brother Initiative scored higher on all measures of performance including recruitment class size, retention to initiation, GPA, campus involvement, and community service. Individual Development: Members in chapters implementing the True Brother Initiative scored higher than national norms for college men on all measures of developmental maturation including self-awareness, self-esteem, empathy, altruism, and intimacy. It is important to point out that the typical decreases in self-awareness and selfesteem noted in college freshmen and fraternity men were not evidenced in chapters integrating the components of the True Brother Initiative. Organizational Lessons Learned Can an organization as complex as a large men’s fraternity truly evolve and adapt to provide young men with a “moral compass” to guide them through their life’s journey? Lambda Chi Alpha’s True Brotherhood Initiative is in its early stages, certainly, but the organization is vested fully at all levels in achieving this outcome. The Initiative and its educational programs have enjoyed widespread alumni support and generated new levels of engagement, spirit, and enthusiasm; additionally, a 10-year Board commitment means the Initiative will have long-term support.

Through attention to learning outcomes and assessment and a commitment to honestly and independently evaluating results (using established and tested assessment and survey data), Lambda Chi Alpha hopes to build a body of research to demonstrate that a fraternity experience can bridge from extra-curricular to cocurricular, and that ultimately, fraternal organizations can enhance the educational missions of host institutions. Despite all of this, Lambda Chi Alpha recognizes that it will take time for chapters to fully adopt these efforts; which include extensive educational programming for leadership, recruitment, and other key areas developed by the Master Stewards. The need for attention to risk management has not disappeared, and the fraternity expects to confront chapters that cannot conform to basic standards. Lambda Chi Alpha intends to continue to enhance the True Brother Initiative by creating a standard for all chapters to recruit, educate, initiate, and live as productive brothers and valuable members of their fraternity and sorority communities. The Initiative has strengthened and energized the fraternity alumni base and received support from the fraternity’s Educational Foundation. Lambda Chi Alpha will partner closely with fraternity/ sorority professionals as the Initiative continues to develop and prepare the fraternity to begin its second hundred years. – Drew Hunter is CEO of The BACCHUS Network, a peer education organization active in health education on more than 1,000 college and university campuses. He is the creator of GAMMA (Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol) and has served on Lambda Chi Alpha’s Board of Directors since 2004, most recently as Vice Chairman. – Ray Lutzky is Associate Director of Enrollment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has served as a Master Steward for Lambda Chi Alpha since 2007 and has conducted campus programs for CAMPUSPEAK.

Next Steps for the True Brother Initiative As an added benefit, this effort has created new openness in the organization to tackle other social issues, involve more alumni, and listen to undergraduates about the issues that are most important to them as they tackle changes in membership and campus climates. Lambda Chi Alpha’s newest initiative is the True Interpersonal Development program, or True ID. This effort is part of a new Harm Reduction Education Series based upon the fraternity’s philosophy of creating respectful understanding and dialogue between brothers and in their broader dealings in the campus community. True ID focuses on: Gender Issues Sexual Orientation Race and Culture Spirituality and Faith These efforts of the True Brother Initiative utilize top student affairs professionals and Lambda Chi Alpha’s Alpha volunteers, drawing upon personal and professional experiences to put together workshops and larger scale programs chapters can use or sponsor on campus for broader audiences. Student Advisory Committee undergraduate fraternity members were involved in early discussion on these topics of the Initiative, and they in turn convinced the Fraternity Board of their merits. More than 60 undergraduates from several different chapters participated in a test pilot retreat weekend of these programs last spring, providing important feedback and evaluation. This academic year, fraternity staff and volunteers will be working with chapters from across North America to further test and review these programs. The True ID series will then be evaluated with the goal of roll-out across chapters through the 2009-2010 academic year.

*The instruments used to conduct testing included The Self Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein, 1975); Self Esteem Scale (Rosenburg, 1965); Multidimensional Emotional Empathy Scale (Caruso and Mayer, 1998); Self Report Altriusm Scale (Rushton et al, 1981); and The Miller Social Intimacy Scale (Miller & Lecourt, 1982).

Winter 2009 / Perspectives


Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and Foundation Make $50,000 Gift to AFA Foundation The gift will provide funding for the opening session of the Annual Meeting through 2017 On Thursday, December 4, 2008, at the conclusion of the opening session of the 2008 AFA Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and Foundation presented a $50,000 gift to the AFA Foundation in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Men of Principle initiative. Presented by General Fraternity President P. Thomas Purinton and General Secretary Charlie Warner, the gift recognized the contributions of campus advisors and other interfraternal partners to the success of the Initiative as well as the importance of collaboration in the efforts to ensure the ongoing relevance of the fraternal experience in higher education. “Over the years, our Fraternity has tried to do its part in not only building our own organization and brotherhood, but also through accepting responsibility to positively impact the larger interfraternal community,” Purinton commented. “It is in this spirit of leadership and cooperation, as well as an overwhelming sense of obligation and duty, that we make this special presentation.”

Founded in 1976, the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) exists to enhance its members’ abilities to create fraternity and sorority experiences that positively affect students, host institutions and communities. With almost 1,700 members, AFA has grown into a multifaceted, international higher education association providing resources, recognition and support for fraternity/sorority advising professionals and those invested in the fraternal experience. Incorporated in 1992, the Association of Fraternity Advisors Foundation exists to secure, invest and distribute the necessary resources to support the educational objectives of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. For more information, contact the AFA Central Office at 317-876-1632 or or visit the AFA Foundation website at

The gift will sponsor the opening session of the AFA Annual Meeting from 2008 through 2017. AFA Foundation Chairman Tom Jelke and 2008 AFA President Jay Anhorn accepted the gift in front of approximately 700 Annual Meeting attendees gathered for the feature program. “We are fortunate to have such a strong partner in Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and cannot express how grateful we are for this gift of education for our members,” said Anhorn. “Beta Theta Pi’s generosity and sincere desire for interfraternal partnering cannot be questioned,” added Jelke. “Their gift to the AFA Foundation left me speechless, which is hard to do. It was the highlight of my time in Denver because of the impact it will have on AFA’s educational purpose for the next 10 years!” Also on hand for the presentation were Beta Theta Pi Administrative Secretary Judson Horras, Foundation Director Jonathan Brant, and Director of Advancement Martin Cobb.

The Foundation’s Mission To secure, invest, and distribute the necessary resources to support the educational objectives of the Association of Fraternity Advisors.

From left to right: Judson Horras, Beta Theta Pi Administrative Secretary; Charlie Warner, Beta Theta Pi General Secretary; Tom Jelke, AFA Foundation Chairman; Jay Anhorn, AFA Past President; P. Thomas Purinton, Beta Theta Pi President; Jonathan Brant, Beta Theta Pi Foundation Director; Martin Cobb, Beta Theta Pi Director of Advancement.

How Can I Help? There are several ways you can make a gift to the AFA Foundation: 1. Annual cash gift (check or credit card). To make an annual gift online, please visit: 2. Set-up automatic monthly or quarterly credit card installments.

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.

3. List the AFA Foundation as a beneficiary in your will, individual retirement plan, or life insurance policy. 4. Endow a gift to the AFA Foundation. 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


Perspectives / Winter 2009

Everyone’s having fun. But is everyone safe?


LADDER OF RISK: CAMPUS EDITION A new CAMPUSPEAK Interactive Workshop that gets all chapters on the same page about risk management and safer event planning.

Created by Dr. Lori Hart Ebert

4 hour interactive workshop

One CAMPUSPEAK facilitator provided

Social Event Planning Guide provided

Comprehensive FIPG discussion

For men’s and women’s groups

Clarifies BYOB and third-party vender policies

Chapter advisor involvement encouraged

One of the most important elements for successful Greek organizations is their ability to provide for the safety of their members and guests. By special arrangement with Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Ladder of Risk: Campus Edition is the best way for chapter presidents, social chairs, risk managers, chapter advisers and regular members to better understand smart risk management procedures, including an intensive look into compliant social event planning.

Aided by a visual presentation, our facilitator helps students understand the fundamentals of FIPG-compliant event planning. If risk management is one of your top community priorities, call now to book this exciting and informative workshop!

For more information, contact Tim Samp, CAMPUSPEAK Interactive Workshops Coordinator at (303) 745-5545 or

Book before March 1, 2009 to take of advantage of our limited time introductory rate.

January 28, 2009 Coaching Students to Balance Their Lives and Leadership

February 24, 2009 Inclusive Fraternal Organizations: What Advisors Need to Know About Emerging Fraternities and Sororities

Register Online Now!

Check your Membership Handbook for a virtual surprise!

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

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

Perspectives Winter 2009  

AFA Perspectives Winter 2009

Perspectives Winter 2009  

AFA Perspectives Winter 2009