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winter 2011

A publication for members of the association of fraternity/SORORITY ADVISORS.

the global impact of brotherhood & sisterhood

in this issue: THE Relevant Question | “Letters� Going Global | Preparing Fraternity Men for a

Global Society | Strengthening Humanitarianism & Civic Engagement in Fraternal Organizations | 2010 AFA Annual Meeting


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

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

Perspectives is published four times per year. Submission deadlines: Spring 2011 February 1, 2011 Summer 2011 May 1, 2011 Fall 2011 August 1, 2011 Winter 2012 November 1, 2011 Send address corrections to AFA:

Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032 317.876.1632 Fax 317.876.3981

info@fraternityadvisors.org

Board 2010 Editorial

Amanda Bureau, Zeta Tau Alpha Erin Huffman, Delta Gamma Megan Johnson, University of Iowa Christopher Kontalonis, Kappa Sigma Heather Matthews Kirk, Zeta Tau Alpha Katie Peoples, Drexel University Jessica Pettitt, Kirkland Productions Nathan Thomas, Bradley University Rob Turning, Johns Hopkins University

2010 President Remarks

Delivered December 4, 2010 at the AFA Annual Meeting

– Kelly Jo Karnes, 2010 President

M

y, oh my, how time flies. I would like to tell you that it all has been fun; but, I would be lying. I had asked Past Presidents of the Association to offer me their advice last December as I assumed the role of 2010 President. Often they shared the following: stay focused…listen to your intuition…and always remember that you are only human and you will make mistakes. I tried my best to focus my energy during this past year on what was best for our Association and our members. The Executive Board and I made decisions, some of which were very difficult ones, but ultimately, I believe we listened to our instincts and our members and did the best we could. Finally, I have no doubts that I probably made mistakes on a weekly basis. However, each mistake offered a new insight about myself and my leadership of the Association. My mistakes have become opportunities for me to learn and grow, and now to offer these lessons to Monica Miranda Smalls, as she assumes the role of 2011 President. I can honestly share with you that this was not the easiest year, nor was it anything that I was expecting. Where were all of these Presidential perks you hear about? There was no Secret Service to guard and protect my every move throughout Iowa City, Iowa…no private jet called “Fraternity One” to whisk me off to the AFA Central Office in Carmel, Indiana…and no special “Region” dinners or invitations to royal weddings. However, much like President Obama, I too had to deal with the immigration issues in Arizona, a budget deficit, and voices of disagreement and frustration within different constituencies of our Association. The only thing that I didn’t have to deal with was Sarah Palin tweeting about me and my decisions. The decision to keep our Annual Meeting here in Arizona was not one the Board came to lightly. Ultimately, our decision was based on the idea that if we governed our Association on the foundations of the political policies and legislation of states and government, then we would limit so much for our members. AFA is not a political organization by definition. Getting involved in these types of political matters would take away from our ability to do the things we need to do to fulfill our stated purposes and hinder our ability to provide the programming, resources, and services that assist our members in doing their work. If we made our decisions based on policies and laws, we would never go to states that still do not have hazing laws and we would never take our programs or meetings to states that do not recognize same sex marriage, as both of these are issues and concerns for our members and the work we do. We fully recognize that by making the decision to stay in Arizona, valued members and interfraternal partners would also have to make a tough decision whether or not to attend. I received over 80 personal emails and phone calls about our decision, and I responded to each member’s concerns to the best of my ability. I always shared with them that, ultimately, each person needed to make the best decision for him or her and that we would respect that decision. We are missing some important voices at this meeting, and I hope that we each have a chance to connect with these individuals following the Annual Meeting to share our new knowledge and ideas gained as a result of our time here. I hope they know and understand that their presence was missed. I am very proud of the work that the Board has done over the past year. We spent much of our time focused on the creation of the new three-year Strategic Plan. We are continuing to define our relationships with partners, and we have closely aligned ourselves with the programs of other higher education associations, such as NASPA and ACUI. We have continued on page 4...

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Perspectives / Winter 2011


Allison St. Germain

I

’ve been putting off the Editor’s Note for some time now. At first it was because it felt like the winter issue of Perspectives was so far off. Later I used the Annual Meeting as an excuse – maybe I’d get inspiration there and have something quite eloquent to say. Finally, I can’t use a season or a conference as an excuse – because we’ve had our first snow here in Connecticut, and I’ve certainly unpacked from my trip to Arizona. So what is holding me up from writing this message? Maybe the same thing that might hold any of us up when faced with big decisions or challenges – a little fear. I think it is about time for me to embrace the role that I have in the fraternity/sorority movement. I might not be a recruitment expert or know that much about combating hazing, or even be the go to person for risk management questions, but, maybe it’s the length of time I’ve put into this profession and movement, I’ve now found myself having some really cool conversations with really innovative thinkers who have started to make change in the fraternity/sorority world. I’ve come back from the 2010 Annual Meeting amazed by the work being done by colleagues in the profession. I’m amazed by the forward thinking that our Association has taken with the new Strategic Plan (and if you’ve not read it already – go to the website and do so right now!). Truly I believe that the fraternity/sorority movement is going in the right direction – forward. We are doing so by addressing negative behaviors, engaging in dialogue about difficult topics, and contributing to the body of research on how fraternity/sorority involvement positively impacts lives. How do I fit into this big huge thing we call fraternity/sorority? I fit because I’m engaged and participate. Anything so large as the fraternity/sorority movement would be difficult to change, right? Wrong. Too many times I have had the same conversations without results. For some reason this time seems different. Maybe it is the right people at the right time. Change is occurring in the fraternity/sorority movement. But we all need to contribute to that conversation to create change. I have a big pit in the stomach kind of fear – that members of our profession have stopped contributing. I see it in Perspectives each and every issue. Many times the Editorial Board is looking for submissions from the field, only to come up short, and then write articles themselves they feel our profession wants or needs. I think reading Bernard Franklin’s challenge to us all as a profession to look at our global impact as a fraternity/ sorority community gave me a little bit of a push to get over that fear of stating the obvious. When we stop contributing to the body of knowledge the only thing suffering is the fraternity/sorority movement. There are so many options in today’s tech savvy world to get your message out there – maybe via blog, Facebook, or Twitter, or perhaps self-publishing or writing for our magazine does not enter your mind. But I’m here to say Perspectives needs you. You will see some changes coming along with the 2011 Editorial Board. We are talking about ways we can provide Association members additional ways to connect with the articles and themes found within our pages. We want authors to have a platform to highlight their thoughts, ideas, and, forgive me, perspectives.

in this

issue

8 T  HE Relevant Question

20 2010 AFA Annual Meeting

12 “ Letters” Going Global

22 2  010 AFA Annual Meeting Photo Highlights

14 Preparing  Fraternity Men for a Global Society 18 S  trengthening Humanitarianism & Civic Engagement in Fraternal Organizations

24 2010 AFA Award Recipients 25 2010 Membership Milestones

regular columns From the Top........................... 2 Editor’s Notes.......................... 3 From Where I Sit.................... 26

Winter 2011 / Perspectives

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continued from page 2...

continued to look at our processes and structures to facilitate the most effective management of Association volunteers and to maximize the skills of our four, full-time Central Office staff. This has included the phasing out of the Annual Meeting Chair position after the 2011 meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. We hired the Director of Programs three years ago with the full intention of this position managing our major programs and events, and we will be executing this goal. We also set in motion the framework of several new workgroups, which are charged with the creation of new resources and guides to better assist our members in their daily work. We are also excited to once again partner with Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity to bring new resources to campus professionals. Zeta

I would like to take a few moments to thank all of those people who were my sounding boards, my voices of reason, and my biggest supporters throughout the year. You each have no idea that you are the reason why I continue to volunteer for this Association. I would like to thank my friend and supervisor at the University of Iowa, Dr. Bill Nelson, as well as the extraordinary Fraternity and Sorority Life staff and students for their support and understanding as I worked this “unpaid, second full-time job.” I would like to again thank my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, for their continued support throughout all of my AFA endeavors. I would like to thank all of the men and women with whom I’ve worked on the Executive Board over the past four years for both their smart and thoughtful remarks, as well as their smart and sometimes not-so-thoughtful wise cracks! Finally, I would like to

These are just a few accomplishments of which I am most proud, and I am so thankful for the work of our Association volunteers, Board members, and staff who contributed to our success this year. Tau Alpha is pleased to introduce and provide its new educational program, My Sister, My Responsibility: Teaching Social Responsibility, to the campus professionals in AFA. The program focuses on the issues of problematic drinking. ZTA is pleased to make this program available to all fraternity/sorority communities being advised by a member of AFA. This represents a commitment of over $40,000. After a call for a review by members, the Executive Board and others completed a full and thoughtful review of the Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession. The changes to the Core Competencies included a focus on instilling the importance of cultural competence and inclusion into all eight areas, as well as making sure that each competency is more relevant for our members who work at inter/ national fraternity and sorority headquarters. I am most proud that we have written and passed a Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion statement. This declaration can be found on our website and reinforces that “the Association intentionally promotes and supports diversity and inclusion within our organization and works to enhance the understanding and importance of these issues among all members.” Our intent of this commitment has been enacted for a number of years; however, it is meaningful to commit this intent officially in writing. Our Association has shown this philosophy through our programming, services, and publications, and will continue to do so for years to come. These are just a few accomplishments of which I am most proud, and I am so thankful for the work of our Association volunteers, Board members, and staff who contributed to our success this year. I am most grateful and deeply humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve as your President this past year. I truly believe that we are each put into roles of leadership at exactly the right time. While it may not have been the easiest year of service, I believe that I was the right person for our Association during this time.

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Perspectives / Winter 2011

offer a huge thank you to our hardworking and dedicated Central Office staff. We do not pay you nearly enough, nor do we say thank you nearly enough. To you, the members, I would like to say thank you again for your faith and belief in me. It certainly has been an honor to serve this Association, and I am thankful for the amazing professionals and friends I have met as a result of my experience in AFA. Thank you!


2011 President Remarks Delivered December 4, 2010 at the AFA Annual Meeting

–M  onica L. Miranda Smalls, 2011 President

HELLO! ¡Bienvenidos! Can someone pinch me so that I know this is really happening? Am I really up here at this podium right now, about to share my thoughts with you as your 2011 President? It is truly and honor and a privilege to serve the Association in this capacity and I thank you for placing your faith in me and the rest of the Board as we steer the course for the future of our Association. I struggled for a long time with what I would say when I finally got up on this stage as President of the Association of Fraternity/ Sorority Advisors. And then I remembered, I hail from New York City and I can’t help but just be real, so here it goes. AFA can be better, AFA can do better, AFA will be stronger. Over the last 10 years I have seen and been a part of, in some way, shape, or form, three strategic plans. When working on strategic planning I have been both inspired and concerned. Concerned because it is when you get the clearest picture of what’s wrong and where our challenges lie. Inspired because with challenge comes opportunity, and with this new Strategic Plan we have the opportunity to advance our Association and be the catalytic force to align the fraternity and sorority experience with the changing dynamics and enduring principles of higher education. I’m inspired because through the process of exploring what AFA could be I am even more excited to get to work towards our vision. If we, as an Association, are to be successful this year it will be because the membership recommits to working collaboratively in advancing our Association and joins the Board in OUR work. There is much work to be done, as you saw in our Strategic Plan, and the Board, while we represent the Association as your elected officers, we, solely, are not THE Association – each and every one of you is the Association. Your perspective, your time, and your talent is needed, and I challenge each of you to find your place in creating the change you wish to see in the Association. How might you do that, you may ask. It’s really simple – just get involved! Ask a question. Propose new legislation. Propose a method by which we can complete a part of our Strategic Plan. You have it in your hands. You can read through the Strategic Plan and consider what YOU would do to achieve that goal and/or objective. There will be opportunities to serve on workgroups that will be created for Strategic Plan objectives; you’ll see announcements for that in the Association Update electronic newsletter. Be on the look-out. Send me an email and offer your assistance, opinion, and possible solution. Recognize, however, that good work takes time, and as volunteers, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was, nor will be AFA. In just a week I will celebrate 17 years of membership in Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Little did I know that being the 34th

member of my sorority would be a prediction for serving as the 34th President of AFA. My sister could tell you how often I told her I would never join a sorority as she joined her sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. She’s been ever so gracious to not say to me “I told you so” when I chose in my sophomore year to make a decision that would leave an indelible mark on my life, afford me my career, and introduce me to a passion for fraternity/sorority life that I’m blessed to be able to participate in through a variety of ways. As I work on my second comprehensive exam for my PhD program that will review the literature on the impact of fraternity/sorority life on the college experience, I realize we have much work to do to inform our practice with information on the value of the fraternal experience. In my initial literature review of the role of fraternities and sororities on the college student experience there are a number of categories that emerge from the literature. They include: alcohol and other drugs, risk management, hazing, sexual assault, scholarship, and identity development, among others. Herein lies the problem. Most of the research is negative. And when it is positive and supportive of theories like Astin’s (1977) theory of student involvement and Tinto’s (1975; 1993) theory of social integration, fraternities and sororities are qualified as a broader group of clubs and organizations and are not generally highlighted. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like there aren’t any positive articles out there about fraternities/sororities, because there are. I even found an article from 1937 that speaks about NPHC sororities and their provision of service. Yet, overwhelmingly the research is quite disappointing in that it highlights the harsh realities of what we deal with on a daily basis, while neglecting the great gift affiliation in a fraternity or sorority can be. At least that is what I always thought of my affiliation – as a gift; a treasure that was given to me by women who I admired and who inspired me. I am only realizing ever so much more how privileged I am to have received that gift, as it means that I am a college-educated woman. I have capital that others don’t have. Standing here before all of you gives me privilege; but one thing you must know, I take that privilege very seriously, as does the rest of the Board. I will be sure to take great care in the work I do for the Association and expect that you will hold me to that. I also expect you will join me in respecting and honoring the privilege we all have in this room, in some way, shape, or form, and pass it on. 2011 is the 35th anniversary of the Association, and it is now that we turn a corner by electing the first person of color and the first member of a culturally-based fraternity or sorority to the role of AFA President. Yes, that should be celebrated and I thank you. It should also make us clearly aware of the work we have yet to do to ensure that everyone in here feels welcomed and those that aren’t here, to bring them here. I remember my first few AFA meetings and how I pushed myself and NALFO to be at the table. Was it always comfortable? No. But, persistence kept me going because I owned that I was the mistress of my own fate and if I didn’t take responsibility for learning about the Association by volunteering, asking questions, and ensuring my voice was heard then I couldn’t expect anyone else to do it for me, and 11 years later I stand before you as your 2011 President. I am continuously committed to bringing your voices to the table, along with fellow Board members, through the new Strategic Plan. If you don’t think your voice is in there, well I urge you to remember the old elementary school adage...if at continued... Winter 2011 / Perspectives

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first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Don’t give up. All too often I hear that people have tried to address issues that haven’t yet been addressed, so instead of pushing again and again they disengage and remain disenchanted with the Association. I ask that if you are one of those people that you allow this new Strategic Plan and the new year to offer you, and the Association, a new beginning and engage me, or any other Board member or Central Office staff member, in dialogue so that we can, together, advance OUR

Today I stand before you as a product of many of you in the room and some that were unable to make it to Phoenix this year. It takes a village to raise a child, and I’m blessed to have a village that spans across the country, across cultures, and across affiliations. To my parents who gave birth to me: Mami y Papi, les quiero mucho y agradezco todo lo que han sacrificado por mi y por nuestra familia y como me has criado ser la mujer que soy. Te quiero mucho. (Mom and Dad, I love you very much and appreciate all

If we, as an Association, are to be successful this year it will be because the membership recommits to working collaboratively in advancing our Association and joins the Board in OUR work. Association and OUR profession. So, yes, might some of you feel like your voice isn’t currently being heard? I felt that way too and decided to do something about it. I need you to try, try again. We want to listen and learn from you too...but please, all I ask is that you be as constructive and unfiltered as possible and you allow honest and true DIALOGUE to occur. Don’t give up. Help me understand your position and allow me to help you understand mine, and I firmly believe, blame it on the optimist in me, that we will reach a shared understanding. We may not agree but we will at least bring greater understanding and respect for each other to OUR table. Since I’ve gone ahead and challenged you to do a few things, here are some things you should hold me accountable for as your 2011 President. • Transparency: I will ensure communication is occurring regularly from the Board to you in a variety of ways. I will also remain available for communication from you throughout the year to answer any questions you may have about any aspect of the Association. I’m going to take a little liberty right now to add another challenge right there because if we are going to communicate, you need to open the email and read it. •G  ood stewardship: I will honor and respect the organizational and fiduciary responsibility I have to the Association and its members. •A  sking questions: I will continue to ask the tough questions to ensure that the Association is moving forward and strategically positioned to provide the highest quality product, whatever we decide that product is. • L istening: As the 2011 Board stewards the Strategic Plan, it will be incumbent on us to listen as much as we can to our members, each other, and our gut. You have elected us to lead our Association and I hope you will trust us to do that with the information we gather to inform our work. •B  eing real: For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in NYC, specifically born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, so although life has taken me out of the city, nothing can take the city out of me. I will keep it real. 6

Perspectives / Winter 2011

that you have sacrificed for me and for our family, and how you’ve raised me to be the woman I am today. I love you very much!). To my siblings, my wonderful brother and sister, I’m not even going to say much because I just need you to know that I love you. You helped raise me and taught me a lot of what I know – I love you. To my niece and nephews who remind me of what’s important, my family here and in heaven, my closest friends who keep me grounded and love me unconditionally, my sorors who have shared the last 17 years of my life with me, my colleagues, interfraternal friends, mentors, and mentees who challenge me and keep me motivated, my boss who supports my involvement and has trained me well, my staff who keep me sane, students that inspire me, and last but definitely not least, my husband, who has sacrificed so much for me. You all know who you are and I’m blessed and thankful for all of you. You have all been there as I have taken the road less traveled by and, truly, that has made all the difference (Frost, 1916). Thank you.

References Astin, A. W. (1977). Four critical years. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Frost, Robert. (1916). The Road Not Taken. Mountain Interval. Mineola, NY: Henry Holt and Company. Tinto, V. (1975). Dropouts from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45, p. 89-125. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.


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THE Relevant Question

By Bernard Franklin, PhD

Is the fraternal community preparing students for the global world of work and citizenship after graduation? In my

and decided about five years ago I would not do another.

view, we are not. But, why is this THE relevant question

still mono-cultured, country club-like sororities and frater-

to our fraternity/sorority communities?

nities. The historic nature of our fraternal system is deeply

I felt I wasn’t making a difference. We’ve been talking about diversity for years, and today by and large, we are

rooted in the archaic traditions of higher education; Since the 1990s, fraternity/sorority advisors have focused conversations on “diversity,” around encouraging students of varying ethnicities to get together or cosponsor events. I initially assisted in this “diversity” conversation, traveling the country doing many diversity presentations,

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Perspectives / Winter 2011

which was initially created for the ruling-class white men. There has been no major movement toward tearing down the racist divide in the American fraternal system.


W

e have to understand that preparing students to enter the “real world,” where they will work and interact with people of varying cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, is no longer just about diversity found in the United States. Our students are entering a global society. This generation of American college students may have their second or third job of their career in a foreign country. My experiences tell me we are living in a period of time when a high degree of world culture, history, language, and interpersonal/cross cultural skills are indispensable foundations for global career and leadership success. The best employers all over the world are looking for the most competent, creative, and world-knowledgeable graduates on the planet. Our undergraduates are no longer competing with students from their college or from their state for the best jobs – they’re competing with students from China, Russia, India, and Brazil, to name just a few. America’s leadership position in the world depends greatly on preparing students to be savvy leaders and citizens with the specific competencies, skills, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences needed to compete and cooperate in the global marketplace.

If we are going to solve some of the nation’s most pressing problems, our students must leave our campuses as dynamic leaders with the values of openness and respect, who have learned to live and work with people who do not look like or speak like them. Fraternities and sororities can be the vehicle to prepare students for the emerging global society, if we choose to prioritize global knowledge.

According to a 2006 survey by the National Geographic Society, American students are next to last in their knowledge of geography and current affairs compared with peers in eight other countries, and an overwhelming majority of students cannot find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a world map. Fewer than half of high school students and an even smaller number of college students study a foreign language. Of these, a million U.S. students may study French, a language spoken by 80 million people worldwide, fewer than 75,000 study Chinese, a language spoken by 1.3 billion people (National Geographic Education Foundation, 2006). Only 9 percent of the U.S. population is bilingual, compared with 65 percent of the world’s population, according to a U.S. Senate resolution designating 2005 the “Year of Foreign Language Study” (ACTFL, n.d.). Most international students speak their language, plus English, and maybe one other. American students are primarily familiar with English only, and very few are fluent with key or strategic languages of the world. In the global economy, how can your students compete if they can’t communicate?

As I make my case for global education, let me share with you current trends in the marketplace to understand why this is so critical to students’ development.

Delta Air Lines is currently hiring new flight attendants for the first time since 2008. These new hires are to create a team of foreign-language speakers and culturally knowledgeable travel experts who can work the company’s international flights. The airline says it will favor applications from those who speak foreign languages, including Dutch, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish (Associated Press, 2010). It was said at a recent NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference that only 30 percent of Americans own a passport, while most students globally use their passport as their primary or secondary form of identification. A Delta Upsilon alumnus recently wrote me the following response to a global education piece I wrote for our DU Quarterly magazine: “I retired 15 years ago but spent many years in the international operations of Procter & Gamble and did recruiting as well. Back then the U.S. students were not prepared for the flat world, and it sounds as if not much has changed.” Consider the following series of events and the analysis of those events. On September 10, 2001, the National Security Agency intercepted Arabic-language messages that said, “The match is about to begin” and “Tomorrow is zero hour.” Unfortunately, these messages were not translated in time to prevent the attacks. It is believed national security may be at risk due to the country’s lack of linguistic preparedness and cultural understanding and knowledge (Kelly, 2010).

Professionals, let’s commit to challenging our young members to consider a new path to career success. Wasting time in old systems and activities will not permit our students to develop new opportunities for success in the global marketplace. The success of today’s graduates does not depend only on top scores in math and science alone. Their success depends on a deep vein of world knowledge and understanding that is expanding and changing every day. Today, too many American students slide through high school and college thinking living and studying in mono-cultured environments and getting As and Bs will be their ticket to career and personal success. If higher education is going to be successful in helping prepare students for a global marketplace, then we must intentionally and authentically change our systems for preparing students. Action steps to consider: 1. D  o not add another chapter to the campus that does not include global citizenship as one of its key values. 2. E  ncourage groups to develop and execute authentic global education programs at the chapter level. 3. W  ork with university study abroad professionals to actively recruit fraternity/sorority members to go on authentic, meaningful, rigorous travel abroad programs that do not only focus on English-speaking countries. 4. I ntegrate global appreciation with speakers, food, debates, and discussion around difference (e.g., the role and place of women in many third world countries) into your program offerings. 5. D  evelop strategic partnerships with international student groups or on international campuses where there can be authentic and meaningful interaction. Winter 2011 / Perspectives

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6. R  eward the behavior and attitudes that encourage global education, such as study abroad scholarships (just like leadership conference scholarships) or a global education award, essay contest, and best summer service project.

Scholars, a unique $70 million, 20 year initiative funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to guide and support urban Kansas City 7th graders to high school graduation, and then support them to college graduation.

The global future rests in the hands and minds of the students whose standards, values and beliefs are being shaped by their involvement in fraternal organizations and must include a global environment and working knowledge to help ensure their successes. Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man (and woman) is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Franklin has an MS in Counseling and Behavioral Studies (1989, University of South Alabama), and a PhD in Counseling and Higher Education Administration, with an outside emphasis in Family Studies (1996, Kansas State University). He is currently the International President of Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

It’s time to make a stand. It’s time to change our communities in the direction of a globally educated society! – As an undergraduate at Kansas State University, Franklin was the first African American elected President of the Student Government Association on a predominately white campus in the U.S. Franklin went on to make Kansas history by becoming the youngest person ever appointed to the Kansas State Board of Regents at 24, and the youngest Chair of the Board at age 28. At the National Center for Fathering, Franklin served as Vice President and Urban Director from 1996 to 1999, where he was on the cutting edge in establishing educational efforts to urban men. Franklin also served as Executive Director of Kauffman

References ACTFL. (n.d.) Senate Resolution 28 designating 2005 as the “year of foreign language study.” American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Retrieved from http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index. cfm?pageid=3782 Associated Press. (2010, October 15). Delta hiring, recalling 1,000 flight attendants. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/ wireStory?id=11894590 Kelly, N. (2010, October 11). Time to take a hard look at U.S. linguistic preparedness. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nataly-kelly/time-to-take-a-hard-look-_b_756592.html National Geographic Education Foundation. (2006). Final Report: National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study. Retrieved from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/ pdf/FINALReport2006GeogLitsurvey.pdf

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www.gammasigmaalpha.org – director@gammasigmaalpha.org – 317-876-4695 10

Perspectives / Winter 2011


AFA Foundation Chairmen: A TURNING POINT t the 2010 AFA Annual Meeting, Tom Jelke ended his six-year term as the AFA Foundation Chairman. Under Tom’s leadership, the Foundation welcomed the first-ever endowed scholarship, from CAMPUSPEAK, and now has ten endowed scholarships. The Foundation also welcomed the largest gift commitment, from Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and Foundation, to sponsor the Annual Meeting opening program speaker for ten years. When asked about his greatest achievement as Chairman, Tom said, “I am most proud of our commitment to getting graduate students to the Annual Meeting and providing them with excellent educational programs to start their careers.” For the 2010 Annual Meeting, the Foundation was able to provide more scholarships than ever before; 14 to graduate students and 30 total. Tom is the CEO of t.jelke solutions. He has been a member of AFA since 1991 and an AFA Foundation donor since 1996. Tom’s generosity does not go unnoticed by his peers. His individual cumulative giving totals more than $25,000, and in honor of his trailblazing commitment, he will be the first person in the “Thomas B. Jelke Society.” The Foundation Board, without his knowledge, named the newest giving level, which recognizes cumulative giving of $25,000 or more, after Tom in appreciation of all of his work. This was announced at the donor reception in Phoenix.

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

We all have many organizations asking for our donations. When asked why he prioritizes the AFA Foundation, Tom said, “I give money to things about which I feel passionate. The fraternity movement has shaped my life in such a positive way, that it is high on my list of priorities. I believe giving to the AFA Foundation is very important. The money impacts hundreds of people, who in turn

I believe giving to the AFA Foundation is very important. The money impacts hundreds of people, who in turn impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of students.

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impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of students, who may indeed one day shape the world as we know it.” Tom’s creativity has allowed others to have fun while benefitting the AFA Foundation. In 2009, every Annual Meeting attendee who signed up for a recurring gift received a ShamWow®. Spoof commercials of Tom as the “ShamWow guy,” among other characters, played throughout the conference. In 2010, Tom implemented the “Superheroes of the Profession” campaign. AFA members and friends were encouraged to nominate their

superheroes in the profession and raise money in that person’s honor. To learn more about the campaign and watch videos, please go to http://www.afafsuperheroes.org/index.php. The incoming AFA Foundation Chairman, Amy Vojta, the Assistant Dean of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at Rutgers University, will build upon the work that Tom, Beth Deines, Jennifer Jones Hall, and others laid for the Foundation. Amy has been an AFA member since 1992 and an AFA Foundation donor since 1996. Amy has the distinction of having served the Association as Conference Chair twice, and also serving two terms as President. In her leadership roles with AFA, Amy challenged those serving with her to give to the AFA Foundation. She said, “When I set that challenge, it really came from talking about ‘expectations’ of Board members. If an expectation was to meet deadlines and participate in conference calls, shouldn’t it be then an expectation to support the Foundation? I phrased it as, ‘I hope each board member will support the Foundation.’ I talked about their gift being significant to them…and was just so astounded, humbled, and thankful that EVERY person on the board that year gave at the 1976 Society level. As with all good Greek traditions, since then, ‘we’ve ALWAYS done it this way’!” Thank you to Tom for his dedication to the AFA Foundation, and we look forward to continued success under Amy’s leadership!

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


“Letters” Going Global By Megan Johnson

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see them almost every day on my 30-minute walk to and from class – faded, worn-in fraternity and sorority letters. Sometimes I see them in block format on the front of a sweatshirt (ΠΚΑ). Other times I see them accompanied by phrases marking the functions for which they were created (∆Ζ Bid Day 2005). My favorite is when they whiz by me on a motorcycle – those are usually old windbreakers – the two-toned jackets with the giant stripe across the chest. The letters tend to be small, in block format, and located on the left breast pocket (ΑΧΩ). These occurrences may seem normal on a college campus. But, here’s the thing…I’m in East Africa.

good” (Alpha Sigma Alpha, n.d.). Plus, I always thought the point was to act in accordance with the organization’s meaning and not to broadcast letters. But I’ve had a few years to reflect on this, and my young sorority sister is just excited to meet an alumna on the other side of the world. As our talk turns from worldly events to college life, I notice that our conversation deflates. A few minutes ago we were speaking passionately about cultural issues in Africa, and now we are talking about quota and recruitment. It’s not that these issues aren’t important; they are. But the depth of our conversation became boxed and stifled.

It is the summer of 2010, and I am in Tanzania for a year to conduct my dissertation research. Yet, I see fraternity and sorority letters on people I pass every day and ponder the origins of these clothes. I wonder what students would think about their prized letters on nameless faces? As a former fraternity/sorority advisor, chapter advisor, and leadership consultant, I remember engaging in countless conversations with students, during which they would defend their “right” to wear these letters. I specifically recall heated debates about the merits of letting new members wear the letters before they had “earned” them. I smile now when I think about those students and wonder what they would think about the scene in front of me. What would those students think about people all over the world wearing “their” letters? Do they mean any less when they leave the continent or when worn by people who have no idea what they mean? And how did they get here? Is it as simple as some student thinking he or she was doing the right thing by donating old clothes? Is the idea of global citizenship as shallow as getting rid of unwanted possessions? Do students understand the far reaching implications of their action or of their inaction?

The founders of our organizations were entrepreneurs. They created their own paths, and today’s students do the same thing – but not always within fraternal organizations. When it comes to fraternities and sororities, some members simply follow the path and the culture that has been placed in front of them. And when they attempt to veer off of that path, we re-direct them back onto it – in the form of Panhellenic rules that claim fairness, or making sure each organization conducts a minimum number of educational programs. In essence, the entrepreneurial spirit of these organizations has been reduced to the ever familiar “we’ve always done it this way.” The question now is, who is “we”? Is it the students and their organizations, or is it time to take a look at how “we” treat these groups?

Studying Abroad Fast forward four months, I am sitting in a pub overlooking the Indian Ocean with two other Americans. One is here during the final semester of her undergraduate studies. She chose to do her student teaching in Africa, and I am impressed by her drive and willingness to student teach in a developing country, with a lack of resources and ever present cultural challenges that she must navigate to be an effective educator. In his recent book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof and his wife Cheryl WuDunn articulate the importance of American students studying abroad in developing countries (2009). There is a significant difference between the experience students get when they choose to engage in true immersion experiences, where they are forced to learn the culture and language to survive, and the experience students get when they spend a few months in Western Europe where they hang out with their English speaking friends. We are having deep conversations about international development, how we navigate the cultural difference surrounding us, the impact of the upcoming national Tanzanian elections, and a wide array of topics that would please any international educator. The conversation continues, and as fate would have it, we discover that we are sorority sisters. “Did you bring your letters?!” my young, excited sorority sister asks enthusiastically. I didn’t, but I wear them everyday. I am living part of my organization’s creed, “to fill my days with satisfying activity and live each day to its ultimate 12

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The Role of Global Citizenry In today’s global society, the lessons and experiences that students gain from fraternities and sororities can be applied in an international context. Today’s students are interested in studying abroad and having a global experience. During the 2007-2008 academic year 262,416 students studied abroad, which is an 8.5% increase from the previous year (NAFSA, n.d.a). Furthermore, many of our campuses have built into their missions the purpose of creating global citizens. The University of Oregon’s Mission states that the institution has, “…a commitment to international awareness and understanding, and to the development of a faculty and student body that are capable of participating effectively in a global society” (University of Oregon, n.d.). One of the five sentences in the University of Connecticut’s Mission Statement reads, “Through our focus on teaching and learning, the University helps every student grow intellectually and become a contributing member of the state, national, and world communities” (University of Connecticut, 2006). Michigan State University embraces the concept of internationalization in each of its three main points: “As a public, research-intensive, land-grant university funded in part by the state of Michigan, our mission is to advance knowledge and transform lives by: •p  roviding outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education to promising, qualified students in order to prepare them to contribute fully to society as globally engaged citizen leaders • c onducting research of the highest caliber that seeks to answer questions and create solutions in order to expand human understanding and make a positive difference, both locally and globally


• a dvancing outreach, engagement, and economic development activities that are innovative, research-driven, and lead to a better quality of life for individuals and communities, at home and around the world” (Michigan State University, 2006). Not only do our institutions encourage students to study abroad, but so does our national government. It is difficult to ascertain the exact amount that the U.S. government invests in study abroad experiences and programs, because funding is given out through multiple agencies such as the Department of State, Department of Education, Department of Defense, etc. However, it is not difficult to see an increase in government spending on international

how organizations can better develop students to help fulfill campus missions and to fulfill their fraternity and sorority missions. In my conversation with the two American students, I asked how they thought their fraternal experience translated to spending several months in East Africa. Neither student had an answer. Perhaps they are too close to their college experience, or perhaps they simply followed the paths placed in front of them and used the study abroad experience to explore and expand themselves – to think outside of the box. If the latter is the case, we have a lot of work to do to ensure that fraternal organizations are places where students are encouraged to think broadly and to preserve

There is a significant difference between the experience students get when they choose to engage in true immersion experiences, where they are forced to learn the culture and language to survive, and the experience students get when they spend a few months in Western Europe where they hang out with their English speaking friends. experiences for university students. The Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act, which would provide $80 million dollars to universities, individual students, and nongovernmental organizations to invest in student study abroad experiences, is a testament to the importance of studying abroad. The Simon legislation has not yet passed through Congress, but it has a history of bipartisan support in the House of Representatives (NAFSA, n.d.b). If our institutions and various branches of the government are encouraging students to actively engage in a global world, the question becomes, how often do we, as fraternity/sorority advisors, talk to students about what is happening in our global society? We must adapt to continue meeting the needs of the myriad students studying abroad who are also members in fraternal organizations. How are we encouraging students to share their experiences with their organizations and to raise the awareness of their peers in our fast changing world? And are we, as educators, looking beyond how study abroad experiences impact issues such as officer transitions and toward how to support students who do immersion experiences as they transition back to campus life? With more and more students studying abroad it is clear that we need to adapt in order to continue meeting the needs of the changing student demographic, in this case, a demographic that is experiencing the world.

Preserving the Entrepreneurial Spirit Joshua Hammer’s article in the April 5, 2010, edition of The New Yorker states that a new law in Egypt stipulates that any gathering of more than five people constitutes political unrest, and those involved can be arrested. When I read this, I had flashbacks to conversations about what constitutes a fraternity or sorority gathering. Would students put up such a fight if they realized that in other parts of the world this could be construed as political unrest? I realize this is not the most fair comparison. But, I wonder

the entrepreneurial spirit of our founders, while meeting the current trends of international education. – Megan Johnson is a doctoral student at the University of Iowa who is spending a year in Africa conducting research related to her dissertation. References Alpha Sigma Alpha, (n.d.). About ASA. Retrieved from http://www. alphasigmaalpha.org/visitors/about-asa Hammer, J. (2010, April 5). The contenders: Is Egypt’s presidential race becoming a real contest? The New Yorker, p. 28. Kristof, N., & DuWunn, C. (2009). Half the sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. New York, NY: Random House. Michigan State University. (2008) MSU Mission Statement. Retrieved October 25, 2010 from http://president.msu.edu/mission NAFSA: Association of International Educators. (n.d.a) Trends in U.S. study abroad. Retrieved October 25, 2010 from http://www.nafsa.org/ public_policy.sec/study_abroad_2/demographics_of_study/ NAFSA: Association of International Educators. (n.d.b) Q&A: Understanding the Simon Bill and how it can positively impact your campus. Retrieved October 27, 2010 from: http://www.nafsa.org/ publicpolicy/default.aspx?id=16124 University of Oregon. (n.d.). Our mission. Retrieved October 25, 2010 from http://www.uoregon.edu/our-mission Veilleux, R. (2006, April 24). New mission statement adopted. Advance. Retrieved October 25, 2010 from http://advance.uconn. edu/2006/060424/06042407.htm

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Preparing Fraternity Men for a Global Society

By Justin Kirk, Andy Bergman, and Kaye Schendel

Big ideas come in the strangest of places. When the leadership of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity (DU) decided to plan a journey to take members on a developmentally impactful trip across the globe to serve a struggling community, the idea definitely germinated in a strange place – at an interfraternal friend’s wedding on the beaches of Negril, Jamaica.

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pon implementation, this big idea has already transformed the lives of students and three communities in a third-world nation. However, it has also transformed the strategic direction and focus of an international fraternity and its members. It is spring break, 2009. Kaye Schendel, Assistant Director of University Centers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (UW-La Crosse), is coordinating an alternative spring break for 26 students in Negril, Jamaica. Delta Upsilon’s Executive Director Justin Kirk, DU Board member John Duncan, and DU’s Director of Educational Services Andy Bergman, were all in Jamaica attending a mutual friend’s wedding. And that’s when it happened. Upon hearing Kaye talk about the UW-La Crosse service trip, someone wondered aloud why such an experience couldn’t be replicated for members of an international fraternity. From that conversation, the Global Service Initiative (GSI) was born. Schendel became interested in alternative breaks during one of her earlier vacation visits to Negril, Jamaica, that happened to coincide with spring break back in the United States. She was dismayed as thousands of American college students demonstrated the least tasteful, but most predictable, versions of themselves. They drank excessively, demonstrated disrespectful behavior toward the Jamaican people, and exhibited a general disregard for the beautiful environment. She returned from that trip motivated to show the Jamaican people that not all American students were the next generation of “Ugly Americans” and to show her students that places like Jamaica could be viewed in ways other than through the bottom of a bottle of Red Stripe. She sensed an opportunity to show students a side of Jamaica that few see from their allinclusive resorts and booze cruises; an impoverished, but prideful and hospitable people. The alternative spring break has become a popular choice at many colleges and universities, as students across the country are choosing to spend a week painting over partying. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (2009), 3.2 million college students dedicated 307.3 million hours of service in 2009. Approximately 27 percent of all college students volunteered in 2009, which is a significant increase over previous years. There are a variety of reasons why alternative spring break experiences are desirable to students. Alternative spring break programs are a growing form of service learning. In fact, many students may have already participated in some form of spring break community

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service program in high school. Because many students had a positive experience in high school, they are looking for a similar experience in college. These trips provide an affordable way to have a meaningful experience, participate in service projects, and see a new part of the world or country. Campus Compact (n.d.), a coalition of 1,100 colleges and universities committed to fulfilling the civic mission of higher education, reported that the number of schools offering alternative break volunteer opportunities in 2009 was 67 percent, a 16 percent increase from 2002. According to Schendel, most alternative break trips start the same. Students, many of whom have never left the country, some of which have never left the state, are in disbelief as they drive through the streets of this new world and see the conditions in which people live. Some are a bit afraid, wondering what they have gotten themselves into. But by the end of the week emotions are flowing on the bus ride back to the airport, as no one wants to leave. It is a week that changes the lives of the students, the Jamaican people, and the trip leaders.

Why this Experience is Relevant to Delta Upsilon For Delta Upsilon, the idea of a global service trip is the mobilization of International President Bernard Franklin’s message and emphasis on preparing Delta Upsilon members for success in an ever-changing, global marketplace, and aligned with the Fraternity’s foundational value of advancing Justice. The initiative received unanimous support from the Fraternity’s Board of Directors in the summer of 2009, and the pilot trip was planned for May 2010. As we embarked on this journey, we asked ourselves how this type of program was relevant for Delta Upsilon. What is the value-add for our members? Dr. John Dugan (2008), assistant professor, Loyola University of Chicago, said it best. “The service orientation of fraternities and sororities should also be stressed and connected more directly to leadership. Educators should help chapters to understand the differences between philanthropy and community service, while pressing students to personalize their individual commitments to broader society” (Dugan, 21).

We needed to take our members out of their comfort zone and create true learning around leadership, philanthropy, diversity, and community service.


Our Service The 2010 Global Service Initiative (GSI) included eight students, Kirk, Duncan, Bergman, and Schendel. The seven-day experience served three primary areas of Jamaica: Tafari Youth Club: This club in the hills of Hanover in the Cave Valley District helps to provide education and mentoring for kids and draws the community together to work toward a common goal of making things better for them and their children. We partnered with this club to learn, grow, and enhance education through building a bathroom and a kitchen, and painting the club. Ketto Primary School: An early education center for students of the Ketto, Jamaica, area. We partnered with this school to work with students to replace a barbed wire fence, dangerous to students in the playground area, with a chain-link fence and replace rusted swing sets with new ones to enhance the quality of education for the children at this location.

This environment set the stage to build upon an already evolving curriculum and introduce service learning, extend cultural immersion, and connect to our members’ academic curriculum. Students developed cultural competencies and a deeper understanding of the challenges facing nations of the world. Upon completion of the trip, the students completed the Global Perspectives Inventory, an assessment to measure a person’s global perspective, and reported being able to evaluate issues from several different perspectives (4.38/5), that they will continue to expand their cultural/international learning because of the GSI (4.25/5), and that they will immediately invest what they have learned at the GSI back into their chapter (4.78/5). These results highlight the relevance of the fraternity offering members the opportunity for direct service and global education within our chapters and their broader communities.

St. Mary’s All Age School: For several years, this parish has been listed as one of the poorest in Jamaica. It boasts what is thought by some to be one of the best secondary-level schools in the Jamaican nation. We partnered with this school, which serves 200 students, to help it comply with government regulations to avoid closure by helping to teach literacy skills, repainting the inside of the school with colors that stimulate learning and development, and building a fence to keep individuals from stealing the school’s only water supply.

Creating an Educational Experience While service was important, equally vital were the intentional conversations around global issues and the importance of service. So often fraternal members participate in service activities without a vehicle to maximize the learning opportunity. This educational experience was created with the experiential learning concept at the forefront. The essence of experiential education was captured by the philosopher John Dewey (1958), who argued that “events are present and operative anyway; what concerns us is their meaning” (p. 324). Experience happens; it is unavoidable. The problem for fraternal educators is how to make meaning out of member experiences. In its purest form, experiential education is inductive, beginning with raw experience that is processed through an intentional learning format and transformed into working, useable knowledge. The curriculum focused on action-responses, hierarchical competition, and physical service with the following themes: Building Brotherhood and Community Pre-Conceived Ideas Perception and Perspective Community Advocacy Globalization, Health Care, and the Economy Male Socialization and Masculinity Gratitude for the Challenges of Life

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Beyond Spring Break: The Future of GSI Delta Upsilon is actively identifying ways to make our undergraduate experience more relevant by envisioning a new framework for the 21st century founded upon social innovation: brothers actively and effectively serving their communities and the world, solving problems, and connecting their service to a larger global effort. What began as a simple idea among friends on the beaches of Negril, Jamaica, the GSI has transformed Delta Upsilon and its strategic direction. Global service is now just one component of the organization’s Global Initiative, which also includes Global Learning, Global Networking, and Global Challenge.

communities, and in May the fraternity will return with 20 students, nearly tripling the number of the pilot year. A domestic, alternative spring break trip is planned for March, and the Global Challenge trip will provide an opportunity for members to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro this summer. Within five years, the fraternity will offer a domestic alternative break trip each week a DU chapter is on spring break. The fraternity’s long-term vision is for every member to participate in a global experience as a result of their DU membership. While local road side clean-ups, working with at-risk youth, and fixing houses still have their place in the fraternity experience, these domestic experiences must be complemented with initiatives

We needed to take our members out of their comfort zone and create true learning around leadership, philanthropy, diversity, and community service. The Global Initiative has created enthusiasm throughout the organization. The President’s message about the global movement in the quarterly magazine has generated three times as many letters as past issues, with the great majority being positive. After showcasing the GSI at the summer Leadership Institute, chapters have begun raising money for building projects in Jamaica. For instance, the North Carolina State University chapter committed $3,000 to build a cafeteria at the Ketto Primary School. An alumnus who travels abroad extensively recently endowed a scholarship for a member to study abroad each year.

that help our members become more globally aware and prepared to meet the challenges of the future. The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, and for fraternities to remain relevant, we must fundamentally change the fraternity experience. Our conversations and education around core values must now include global competence if we want to be relevant, 21st century organizations. As fraternity/sorority leaders, we must commit to providing experiences that will challenge our members to consider a new path to success.

In late December, Kirk and Schendel met with community leaders in Negril to map out a five- and ten-year strategy for rebuilding the

– J ustin Kirk is the Executive Director, Delta Upsilon International Fraternity. Andy Bergman is the Associate Executive Director for Educational Services, Delta Upsilon International Fraternity. Kaye Schendel is Assistant Director of University Centers, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and currently serves Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority as National President. At the 2010 AFA Annual Meeting, Delta Upsilon’s Global Service Initiative was honored with the Excellence in Educational Programming Award.

references Campus Coalition. (n.d.) Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.compact.org/about/statistics/ Corporation for National and Community Service. (2009). Volunteering of college students. Retrieved from http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/special/ College-Students Dewey, J. (1958). Experience and nature. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications. Dugan, J. (2008). Exploring relationships between fraternity and sorority membership and socially responsible leadership. Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors, 3(2), 16-25.

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Kappa Alpha Theta

Elise Connor

Two years ago Kappa Alpha Theta laid the groundwork for a community service trip to strengthen its members’ understanding of the sorority’s values, exercise the widest influence for good by serving others, and form lifelong friendships that transcend chapter and distance. This past July, 21 members from 20 college chapters across the United States and Canada traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Theta’s first collegiate service trip. Partnering with Ambassadors for Children, an organization which serves children around the world through short-term humanitarian service trips and sustainable programs, and with the support of the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation, members spent the week improving the facility of Girls Inc., Santa Fe. Girls Inc., is a national non-profit organization that teaches girls ranging in age from 5-15 to be smart, strong, and bold. Members tried to exemplify those values as they completed improvement projects for Girls Inc.’s property and facilitated educational programming on literacy, body image, and substance abuse. Theta’s wider membership had an opportunity to make an impact by donating children’s books for distribution to the Santa Fe community. On the final day of the trip, Theta delivered 1,681 books to Girls Inc., Santa Fe, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) First Judicial District, and a local elementary school.  Members also participated in an interactive leadership development program. They learned that the widest influence for good looks different for each person and involves leveraging their values, unique gifts, and passions to improve the lives of others. “This has been the most meaningful experience as an active member for me. I’ve learned so much about myself and my fraternity,” said Callie Healy, a senior at Vanderbilt University. Inspired by new bonds formed and service projects accomplished, the Theta service trip participants left Santa Fe with big plans to spread their widest influence for good to all whom they meet. 

Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values

Tricia Fechter

I had the opportunity and privilege to experience global service for the first time when I was 15 years old. I can definitively say that my life has been different since that day I stepped off the plane in Mexico City. Seeing students have that experience now is a definite gift, and one I hope many of you experience in the coming years. Global service immersion experiences have become a part of the undergraduate experience for students at colleges and universities across the country, and these days, many institutions have some sort of program or partnership in place. The Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) is striving to take this one step further this spring with our El Salvador trip. By bringing together fraternity/sorority leaders from across the country, we hope participants will explore their personal values, the values of their fraternal organization, and the values of fellow participants’ organizations. Participants will spend time in small and large group reflection throughout each opportunity, and will leave the experience with new exposure to values in action. Our El Salvador trip is just the beginning. AFLV has entered into a partnership with The Leadership Institute-Women With Purpose to provide opportunities exclusive to women, beginning with a New Orleans trip in May 2011. The program will continue to grow over the next few years with opportunities for organizations as well as students from campuses across the country. Wouldn’t it be cool if every fraternity or sorority member who wanted the opportunity to experience and develop their global awareness had the chance? It can happen.

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Strengthening Humanitarianism & Civic Engagement in Fraternal Organizations By Karyn Nishimura Sneath and Julie Drury

The Value of Serving Others Helping others. It is a value shared by all fraternal organizations regardless of whether they were founded in the 1800s or in the 2000s.

female, were subjected to unimaginable abuses – maiming, rapes, and “honor” killings – by their families. Why? Because, on the whole, girls and women are not valued in various societies across the globe.

Collectively, members of fraternities and sororities donate millions of dollars to eliminate life-shattering diseases. They raise awareness of important health issues such as domestic violence, heart health, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and sexual assault. They work to educate others about issues such as homelessness, recycling, and personal safety. And fraternity/sorority members serve as role models to peers as they teach them how to be good Samaritans, fundraisers, and members who are a community of givers.

After the show, Ginny Carroll, principal of inGINuity, read the book, learned more, and got mad – really mad. In December of 2009, she took a leadership leap and started talking to women at the AFA Annual Meeting to see if they were informed about unfair the treatment of girls and women internationally. Ginny shared information about a variety of global issues including extreme poverty, sex slavery, and the systematic rape of young girls and women in countries such as Sudan, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, India, and Pakistan.

At the same time, something is missing.

After listening to her impassioned pleas for ideas, the women that Ginny talked to at the AFA Annual Meeting wanted action. Four short months after those December conversations, Ginny started the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation – a worldwide girls’ and women’s empowerment movement with dozens of sorority alumnae.

As educators, we must help today’s college students understand and appreciate others. We must help them recognize and appreciate the privileges they enjoy every day – running water, electricity, vaccinations, insulated homes, freedom of speech, high school diplomas, and college educations; things that can easily be taken for granted. And we must also help them learn about the plight of people who live in tin huts, who have no running water, and who die of malaria and other diseases as easily as we catch colds. As busy individuals, we need to feed ourselves with information and facts about the larger world around us. What we need is a global perspective.

 Focus on Student Learning A & Development Outcomes What we also need is a connection between the emotion of helping others, developing a global perspective, and higher education standards, which was spelled out in 2008 by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). The revised student learning and development outcomes included humanitarianism and civic engagement (CAS, 2008). By focusing on the humanitarianism and civic engagement domain, fraternity/sorority professionals and volunteers can shape undergraduates into world-thinkers. Collectively, we can attend to four specific dimensions of the student outcome domains: 1. Understanding and appreciating cultural and human differences 2. Promoting social responsibility 3. Gaining a global perspective 4. Strengthening a sense of civic responsibility

 Focus on Global Issues A Impacting Girls & Women In November 2009, Oprah Winfrey invited two authors, Nikolas Kristof and his wife, Cheryl WuDunn, to her show to talk about their inspiring, frightening, and maddening book – Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity (2009). In their book, they told story after story of girls and women who, because they were 18

Perspectives / Winter 2011

This small army of impatient and impassioned sorority women developed the Foundation’s mission as follows: “The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation will leverage the collective wisdom and influence of sorority women to support entities around the world that remove educational barriers for girls and women, uplifting them from poverty and oppression.” In the past year, 53 individuals have contributed to the Foundation. Undergraduates, alumnae at large, committed fraternity/sorority professionals and volunteers, and interested contributors have all donated money and time. Campus sorority communities, eager to help their global sisters, have shown their creativity. At Purdue University, the Panhellenic negotiated with local restaurants to donate a portion of their profits to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. They advertised the fundraiser to all women registered for recruitment and encouraged the Panhellenic leaders to take these new students to the restaurants to prepare the women for formal recruitment, build relationships, and raise money. Not only did the leaders help raise funds and awareness for the Foundation, they also modeled the value of serving others as these young women considered joining a sorority. Even though the fall semester at University of Missouri-Columbia is packed with activities for the entire Mizzou community including events such as Panhellenic Formal Recruitment, New Greek Education, Black Family Reunion, and Homecoming, this fall in Columbia, Missouri, a group of sorority women caught a glimpse of what life is like for underprivileged women in a different part of the world. The campus fraternity/sorority professionals felt very connected to the issues affecting women, and they knew they wanted to spread the awareness with students at Mizzou. Julie Drury, Coordinator of Greek Life, started by emailing out the video link from the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation website to a group of female student leaders and the response was overwhelming! Sorority women wanted to be involved; they wanted to make a difference. After


meeting with some of these young women, a plan was created to spread the awareness and make a difference in Mizzou’s community and across the globe. After watching the Circle of Sisterhood video, one young woman asked herself, “Where would I be and what would I be doing if I weren’t going to school at Mizzou?” As the sorority members talked about the issues affecting women across the world, they weren’t thinking about Homecoming preparations and their social events for that week; they were thinking about how they could create change on a global scale. As a result of their conversations and hard work, two big events were implemented during the fall semester 2010. The students created and sold t-shirt to raise money for the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, and to create awareness of the serious issues impacting women all over the world. Second, the women started a book club. When students sign up for the book club, they receive a copy of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity and a reservation at a dinner/discussion (Kristof & DeWunn, 2009). When the discussion groups meet in January 2011, sorority alumnae will facilitate the conversations. The women are already discussing the opportunities for change for next semester and beyond!

 ome Simple Things You Can S Do to Make a Difference “So let us be clear up front: We hope to recruit you to join an incipient movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking women’s power as economic catalysts. It is a process that transforms bubbly teenage girls from brothel slaves into successful businesswomen. You can help accelerate change if you’ll just open your heart and join in” (Kristof & WuDunn, 2009, xxii).

3. F  ollow the Foundation’s progress at www.circleofsisterhood.org or “like” us on Facebook. 4. J oin a discussion forum on the topic of women’s oppression to challenge yourself and educate others. 5. R  esearch women’s empowerment organizations that could be beneficiaries of our collective work. 6. F  ind a local women’s empowerment organization and offer your help. The whirlwind of excitement and momentum has the potential to be truly impactful. When 5+ million sorority women and other supportive leaders stand together, in this humanitarian effort to help more girls and women across the globe access education to better their lives, and the lives of their families, communities, and countries, it has the power to be transforming. There is much we can do. And, there is much we must do to help girls and women world-wide. – K  aryn Nishimura Sneath is a member of The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. Julie Drury is the Coordinator of Greek Life at The University of Missouri. References Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2008). Learning and developmental outcomes: Domains, dimensions, and examples. Retrieved from https://www.cas.edu/CAS%20Statements/ CAS%20L&D%20Outcomes%2011-08.pdf Kristof, N., & WuDunn, C. (2009). Half the sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. New York, NY: Random House.

We, too, hope this article lights a fire of empowerment and inspiration for you to join this movement. Be bold and start big. Or, start small, then grow your efforts. Here is a list of simple things which you can begin to do this week. 1. L  earn more from Pulitzer Prize winners, Kristof and WuDunn, as they were the catalysts for this movement: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/. 2. A  sk the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation for a complimentary workshop outline to use with your own students/volunteers (Karyn@circleofsisterhood.org) or attend a break-out session at one of the undergraduate fraternity/sorority regional conferences on the topic during the spring of 2011 – these will be led by Foundation volunteers.

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.” – Mother Teresa Winter 2011 / Perspectives

19


2010 Annual Meeting

The 2010 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, brought campusbased professionals, headquarters staff, and fraternal partners together for a week of education, networking, and purposeful conversations regarding the fraternal movement.

Here are a few highlights of what volunteers, graduate students, professionals, and Associate members experienced at the 2010 Annual Meeting: The heart of the Annual Meeting was once again the educational programming and intentional learning. The Educational Programs Committee was deliberate about creating innovative and worthwhile professional development opportunities for all Annual Meeting participants, including nearly 120 educational program offerings. Annual Meeting Advance Programs included discussions about strategies for sustainable change for seasoned professionals, as well as retention, attrition, and attainment from a multidisciplinary perspective, diversity training, and hazing prevention initiative dialogues. Educational program topics included campus-inter/ national organization partnerships, change, recruitment, technology, social justice, and immigration. To view educational program handouts from the over 100 programs offered at the Annual Meeting, please visit the Knowledge Center on the AFA website. Two general programs were offered this year. Participants who attended the Opening Session engaged in a discussion about The Student Leadership Challenge facilitated by Dr. Barry Posner. This interactive session offered the first 700 attendees Dr. Posner’s book, as well as the opportunity to learn more about his research. AFA extends a special thank you to Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and Foundation for their donation to the AFA Foundation to sponsor this program. Participants in the second General Program listened to a frank and candid conversation about higher education and the demands being placed on administrators today. Carolyn Warner was a charismatic and energetic speaker who challenged our thoughts surrounding our current philosophies. This program would not have been possible without Delta Upsilon International Fraternity’s generous donation to the AFA Foundation to fund this program. Graduate Training Track (GTT): Complementing the educational experience of those graduate students who are seeking careers in advising fraternities and sororities, the GTT is an informative and interactive educational opportunity. We thank the 44 attendees for their participation, as well as Paul Lawson, Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, and Victoria Lopez-Herrera, Columbia University, for volunteering their time and energy as facilitators for the Track.

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Perspectives / Winter 2011

We also recognize and thank Karyn Nishimura Sneath, Npower, for designing and delivering the GTT Capstone educational program on Saturday morning. The GTT is funded by a grant to the AFA Foundation from Rho Lambda National Honorary. The First-Year Case Study Challenge, in its third year, continued to provide more graduate students the opportunity to participate in case study programming. In addition to the Challenge, the AFA/Order of Omega Case Study Competition had a very strong slate of participants. Congratulations to all of the students – especially the winners – and a hearty thank you to the AFA members who volunteered through the Ambassador program to serve as judges for both case study events. Project Job Search afforded over 35 attendees the opportunity to meet with seasoned members of the Association to receive feedback on their résumés and participate in a mock interview process. Additionally, the Project Job Search educational program provided tips, suggestions, and best practices for those preparing to enter a search process. The Developmental Resource Center showcased best practices, programs, and initiatives in the eight Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession and included a poster presentation display by the eight Graduate Staff members for each of the Competencies. Materials can now be viewed on the AFA website. Simply go to the Knowledge Center from the AFA home page. Open Space Learning returned to the Annual Meeting this year and allowed members the opportunity to continue dialogue or start new conversations regarding important topics to our profession. Open Space Learning provided an opportunity for members to ask questions like “what do I really do with this IFC executive board?” or questions about future job searches. THE AFA CONNECTION, first-timers programming, was an overwhelming success! More than 220 first-time attendees registered for the 2010 Meeting, and many of them were served by The AFA CONNECTION Kick Off on Wednesday evening. This year’s Kick Off encouraged first timers to get in the “driver’s seat” and take ownership of their Annual Meeting experience. Small group connections were made with established members of the Association serving as Connection Captains, and participants set goals to serve as a personal reminder throughout the meeting. Members of the


First Timers Committee, as well as several Connection Captains, served as hosts to over 80 first timers at off-site meals on Thursday evening.

Fireside

In congruence with the value of service and giving shared by fraternal organizations, the Association supported Children’s Miracle Network and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The Service Project was brought onsite again this year to encourage greater participation. Volunteers assembled 200 coloring books with drawings contributed by Association members and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation. Phi Mu alumnae, Arizona State University’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Order, and Association members contributed over 200 boxes of crayons as well. The Fireside Chats Meet & Greet took on a new form this year as the INSTITUTION Edition. Campus professionals had the opportunity to be stationed at tables while fraternal colleagues representing inter/national organizations mixed and mingled during the event, which continues to be a successful opportunity to build collaborative partnerships for Annual Meeting attendees. The traditional Fireside Chats program once again accommodated nine chats per table this year. These chats allowed productive and meaningful relationships to continue with 147 tables staffed by representatives from more than 70 inter/national organizations. A total of 1,065 chats took place this year. The Exhibit Hall had another great year with over 40 Associate members and interfraternal partners exhibiting. A re-vamped Programming Preview provided an alternate evening activity for Annual Meeting attendees. Programming Preview attendees received a snapshot of a variety of topics from five presenters who support the advancement of individual students, communities, and the fraternal movement.

Chats This year’s Graduate Staff members truly enhanced the Annual Meeting through their commitment and dedication to our attendees. Special thanks to Dustin Evatt, University of Vermont; Nicole Gray, The Florida State University; Todd Jenkins, Illinois State University; Amanda Johnson, Syracuse University; Justin Pohl, The University of Georgia; Whitney Swesey, The University of Akron; Cameron Blair Warner, The University of Texas at Austin; Christina Wellhouser, University of San Diego; for the early morning meetings, ability to adapt to changing needs, and overall positive attitudes. This team of eight outstanding graduate students is sure to make an impact on our profession and the Association. More than anything, the 2010 Annual Meeting was the result of the dedicated Association volunteers – both those who served year-round in coordinator or committee member roles, educational program presenters, and those who provided extra support on site as Ambassadors. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this Annual Meeting a success. The 2011 Annual Meeting, in St. Louis, Missouri, will take place Wednesday, November 30 through Sunday, December 4, and promises to engage attendees in a meaningful manner as the Association seeks to fulfill its mission and continues pursuing the 2011-2013 Strategic Plan.

Winter 2011 / Perspectives

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AFA Annual MeetinG PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS

nt: e i p i c e d R ) and r a w A n nso rkhard (L dent (R) A . L k Jac ie Cain Bu 10 Presi Jul arnes, 20 K o J y l l e K

Exhibit Hal

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Perspectives / Winter 2011

2011 Executive Board

g n i t e e M l a u n n A 2010 lanning Team P


me o c l e W t a s e e Attend Reception

2010 G Recipie ayle Webb and Kel nt: Michelle New Profes ly Jo Ka s rnes, 2M0archand Reibonal Award 10 Pre holz (L) sident ( R)

Robert H. Shaffer Award Recipient: Dr. Larry Lunsford

Silent A Pictures are courtesy of GreekYearbook. All photos from the 2010 Annual Meeting can be viewed and purchased from GreekYearbook.com.

uction Winter 2011 / Perspectives

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award recipients

[2010 AFA Award Recipients] [Robert H. Shaffer Award] Dr. Larry W. Lunsford •

[Jack L. Anson Award] Julie Cain Burkhard •

[Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award] Shelly Brown Dobek, North Carolina State University Amanda S. Bureau, CAE, CVA Laura Sweet, Sigma Sigma Sigma and East Carolina University Brian Tenclinger, Sigma Phi Epsilon Mandy Womack, University of San Diego •

[essentials Award] Dan Bureau “Making Your Mark on the Fraternal Relevance Movement” •

[Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/sorority Advisors Award] Tricia R. Shalka and Susan R. Jones “Differences in Self-awareness Related Measures Among Culturally Based Fraternity, Social Fraternity, and Non-affiliated College Men” •

[Perspectives Award] Teniell Trolian “Developing a Professional Identity” Dan Wrona “Why Should We be Concerned with Disabilities?” •

[AFA/IATF Outstanding Alcohol/ Drug Prevention Program] University of Central Missouri

[Outstanding Change Initiative Award] University of Rochester •

[Diversity Initiative Award] Kayte Sexton Fry •

[Excellence in Educational Programming Award] Delta Upsilon International Fraternity Global Service Initiative Ohio University Gays, Greeks, & Grape Juice The Leadership Institute Women with Purpose, Barriers to Facilitation •

[Gayle Webb New Professional Award] Michelle Marchand Rebholz, Lehigh University •

[Outstanding Volunteer Award] Robyn Carr Brian Clarke Philip Covington Emilee Danielson Cat Sohor Neil Stanglein Teniell Trolian •

[AFA/Order of Omega Case Study Competition] 1st Place: Alexis Kollay, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Jennifer Pierce, Western Carolina University 2nd Place: Jenni Jones, Virginia Commonwealth University Jillian Kachel, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 3rd Place: Jonathan James, Marshall University

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Perspectives / Winter 2011


[membership milestones] membership milestones [35-Year Members]

[10-Year Members]

[5-Year Members]

Bill Bernier Sonia ImMasche Bill Jenkins Doug Lange John Mohr Barb Robel Shelley Sutherland Barbie Tootle Dave Westol

Travis Apgar Troy Bartels Laurence Bolotin Dennis Camacho Carol Coordt Amanda Dunivan Leah Eickhoff Marcus Engel Will Foran Kurt Foriska M.L. Gough Joy Hamm Lea Hanson Dean Harwood Jeff Hill Shawn Hoke Tom Idema Peter Lafferty Jim Levi J.D. Louk Chris McGill Sevick Kara Miller Kaya Miller Melissa Otis Barb Probst Patrick Romero-Aldaz Chad Sandifer Beth Searcy Libby Shanton Steven Sikorski Cindy Stellhorn Pam Stephens-Jackson Val Wetzel Ryan Williams

Cory Anderson Sam Bessey Jason Bosch Adam Cantley Robyn Carr Eileen Coombes Ian Crone Kendra Darigan Colleen Drazen Kat Evans Gaius George Jenny Greyerbiehl Juan Guardia Sharrell Hassell-Goodman Tara Hawthorne Gordy Heminger Yvonne Hernandez Andy Huston Gina Kirkland Jamie Light Adam McCready Carol Mooney Zach Nicolazzo Stefania Rudd Abbie Schneider Marc Stine Don Strimbeck Vince Thomas Valencia Walls Tracey Williams Robin Zimmern

[30-Year Members] Gary Bonas Paul DeWine Bridget Guernsey Riordan Beth Saul Laura Sweet Ed Whipple

[25-Year Members] Ron Binder Mike Hayes Mike Leese Barbara Maxwell Bill Nelson Karyn Nishimura Sneath Judy Preston Mindy Sopher

[20-Year Members] Patty Atchley Tom Jelke

[15-Year Members] Jay Anhorn Jared Brown Dan Bureau Buck Cooke Alan Davis Gwen Dungy Tam Dunn Josette George Kaufman Kelley Hurst Heidie Lindsey Phyllis Mable Sue Mamber Mike McRee Rick St. John David Stollman Shane Windmeyer Winter 2011 / Perspectives

25


Are Fraternal Organizations Student Organizations?

A

s I enter my fifth year as an inter/national organization headquarters professional and my second year as a member of the Perspectives Editorial Board, I wanted to offer my perspective on the fraternal movement through the “From Where I Sit” column. As I learn more about AFA and the fraternal community, I am concerned about the observable inequitable treatment of certain student groups on various campuses. In particular, I highlight the regulations that fraternal organizations must adhere to for “recognition.” This inequitable situation limits students to freely associate with their social cohorts of choice. If the mission of the institution is to develop a learning environment that produces good citizens and marketable skills, why then would you place limits on the opportunities for these students? On a number of campuses, fraternal organizations are not treated as student organizations, but rather as a separate category. While this is not an overt action, the selective application of rules on a single subgroup of the student population appears discriminatory. Although fraternities and sororities have provided a great deal to many campuses, some may believe that past precedent is justification for treating these groups differently. However, I believe that if similar actions were taken against political groups or various other clubs, there would likely be protests of constitutional infringement by these groups. Even if regulations were equal across the board, in my opinion I am not certain that administrations have the right to limit constitutional rights of association and peaceful assembly. Too often, the typical way of thinking explains that the requirements for association with our groups are rigorous because faculty members are concerned about a negative impact on academic success. What is the justification for this? The most common logic indicates that due to the high level of time commitment required of fraternity or sorority members, membership should be limited to those who have already demonstrated that they can be academically successful. It seems that many aspects along this line of thinking are in direct conflict with the fundamental pillars of fraternity/sorority life. Aren’t the missions of fraternal organizations to make better men and women? If that is the case, why are we limiting membership to those who have already achieved academic success? Is there/was there a statistical analysis performed to show that participation in a fraternal organization hinders academic success? How does the data on academic achievement in fraternal organizations compare with that of participation in other student organizations? A better way of approaching this situation might be to require the same academic standards for all student organizations, fraternal and otherwise. Ultimately, all organizations want to recruit freely and assist in the development of strong students. Similar questions come to mind regarding deferred recruitment, and requirements to register for a formal recruitment/rush process or to visit every chapter on campus before making a decision to join a particular fraternity or sorority. To make a comparison…are students required to evaluate all of the political organizations on campus before choosing which one they prefer?

By Chris Kontalonis

Along the same lines, many campuses are taking further action that affects fraternal organizations, including the implementation of recognition documents, a requirement to join or belong to a specific council, and standards programs. At the risk of sounding repetitive, are other student organizations held to these same requirements? Even more interesting is that some of the interfraternal councils require dues to be paid for membership. Why, in a time of economic uncertainty in the United States, would any council approve that a student who wishes to partake in an organization of his or her choosing must incur additional financial responsibilities? Further variation can be observed when students attempt to start a new fraternal organization versus any other type of student organization. In my experience, most campuses have a different process for forming a fraternity or sorority than to initiate any other type of organization. Often, variations of the same reasons are given when justifying a lack of interest in expanding fraternity/sorority communities, e.g., lack of resources, unfairness to other groups who wish to come to the campus, or a conflict with the “strategic vision” or long term plan of the host institution. However, why do these issues or restraints only affect the growth of fraternal organizations and not of other student organizations, which typically see no restrictions? In theory, a college campus should be a microcosm of society. As in society, the campus (and the organizations on the campus) should promote free thinking, freedom of ideas, and the freedom of association, just as general society permits and encourages those concepts. Many would ascertain that if these practices are not checked, one could construe them as a fundamental violation of students’ rights to freely associate. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Most would agree that involvement in a fraternity or sorority is a peaceful assembly. However, certainly, if the members of the organization are in violation of the student conduct codes and/or of the laws of the land, then one could be sympathetic with a decision not to recognize a group. However, in the case of a group of students with similar interests who wish to formalize themselves as a student organization, just like a group of students of similar religion, political preference, or ethnicity would assemble, why deny them their fundamental rights because they have chosen to be in a fraternal organization? I challenge professionals in fraternity/sorority life to assist your campuses in re-evaluating your recruitment and recognition policies. What if all student organizations were held to the same standard? – Chris has served on the Kappa Sigma Fraternity staff since 2006, most recently as the Director of Undergraduate Operations.

From Where I Sit is a section in Perspectives featuring a personal perspective on the interfraternal community. Do you 26

Perspectives / Winter 2011

have an opinion to share on fraternity/sorority life? Tell us how things look from where you sit by emailing your thoughts to the editor at asg@dzshq.com, and you could see your ideas in a future issue of Perspectives.


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