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the adv isi ng iss ue


> Advising is a career? > emotional intelligence > developing committed volunteers > the gathering

VOL. 3 / ISSUE 009 / WINTER 2010

APATHY PROBLEMS? In his keynote, The Apathy Myth: Real Answers for Unmotivated Members, T.J. SULLIVAN inspires student leaders to energize their organizations!

For more information about T.J., contact CAMPUSPEAK at (303) 745-5545, e-mail us at, or visit us on the web at

Learn about T.J.’s keynote specifically for Greeks, Confronting the Idiot in Your Chapter at Read his blog at

the inside starts here FEATURES 006 / fraternity/sorority advising... yes it’s a career! // linda a. wardhammar 010 / emotionally intelligent leadership // marcy levy shankman & scott j. allen 014 / tips for establishing committed volunteers on your campus // matt noble 016 / planning for academic success // katie spell

COLUMNS 002 // letter from the executive director 002 // letter from the editor 018 // facilitation 411 020 // from the road 022 // ask the experts 028 // busted! 032 // one more thing

Connections is the official publication of the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values. The views expressed by contributors, authors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the Association. AFLV encourages the submission of content to: Lea Hanson Director of Publications Submit advertising queries to: Mark Koepsell Executive Director 970/372.1174 888/855.8670

Connections is published four times each year. Submission Deadlines: Spring 2010 - Green Initiatives: February 22 Summer 2010 - Culture Greeks, Supporting this Rapidly Growing Population: June 29 Send address corrections to: Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values 420 South Howes Bldg B; Suite 200 Fort Collins, CO 80524 970/372.1174 888/855.8670  

Layout & Design Steve Whitby / Warehouse 242 Editorial Board Andrea Battaglia / Drury University Will Foran / North-American Interfraternity Conference Jenni Glick / Northwestern University Carol Preston / Ohio University Andy Robison / Purdue University

Member / Fraternity Communications Association

AFLV // 001

Throughout this issue you will find tips and tricks that will enhance your student/advisor relationships. And I know there are some of you out there that a secretly considering a lifetime career as a fraternity/ sorority advisor…we’ve got some tips here for you too!   No matter what role you play, as a chapter member, council officer, or an advisor, here are some extra thoughts and questions to consider as you read this issue.

care & feeding. Machine Wash Hot: Advisor may be laundered through the use of hottest available water, detergent or soap, agitation, and a machine designed for this purpose. Use care. Hang dry. Oh, and put ‘em through the ringer.

1. What do these advisors get out of this experience and are we (my chapter, my community) working to make it an enjoyable and rewarding experience for them? 2. What basic skills should a good advisor have?  How do we find people with those skills and how can we help them develop in areas they need help with? 3. Are the advisors we have in the right positions for their skills?  There is a vast difference between being the financial advisor and the standards advisor… are our advisors in the best role for them? 4.  What have we done to build an advisory team (or are we expecting a very small group, or (gasp) even one individual to do the work that should be done by a full team? 5. What can we do to keep advisors engaged and involved once we find them? 6. When was the last time we really tried to understand things from our advisors’ perspective?  Balancing work, families, other involvement opportunities, and being an advisor can be a lot to take on.  7. What reason did my campus fraternity/sorority advisor have for entering the profession?  Why did they dedicate their life to the fraternal movement? 8.  Does my campus fraternity/sorority advisor really hate certain chapters?  Why might some in our community articulate that they do? 9. What does my campus fraternity/sorority advisor do for our community that wouldn’t happen if their job/role didn’t exist on campus? 10. What if we had a arsenal of talented, dedicated, and qualified individuals lining up to mentor, support, and advise our fraternal communities.  What would that look like?  How would that impact our experience?  What is standing between where we are now and having that happen? AFLV is dedicated to the betterment of the fraternal community.  A HUGE part of that is helping advisors be the best that they can be.  As important is helping undergraduate members play their role in the advisor success story too.  Here’s to advisors everywhere who are making a very important difference every day in the fraternal movement!

Being a fraternity/sorority advisor is a hard job. I mean VERY hard. Some people use the term “labor of love” to describe jobs to describe similar situations but I don’t even think that covers it. Personally, I found that being a fraternity/sorority advisor to be the hardest job I’ve ever had for a few key reasons. First, it’s hard to have a job where people hate you. And, seriously, if you’re doing even a decent job at advising fraternities and sororities, SOMEONE is going to hate you. It’s very difficult to continuously walk that line between trying to be personable and likable and also be the one who enforces the rules. Too many advisors try to be either one or the other and fail miserably. If you’re too much of a pal, students will often have a difficult time respecting you and taking direction from you. On the other hand, if you’re too much of a warden, you’ll lose out on having the opportunity to build relationships and assist students with leadership and chapter development… and they’ll hate you (so there’s that). Second, the fraternity/sorority advisor may be one of the most overworked and underpaid positions on the planet. Unless they are working at a hugely progressive campus (or just a huge campus) these people are usually the only professional staff members working in the Greek Life Office and they typically work 50-60 hours a week – and 100 hours a week during recruitment. All of this for an annual salary that is probably less than $40,000. Finally, let’s not forget all of the volunteers that assist our chapters. Surely they’d love to just go home at the end of their workday and relax, but they choose to spend the time with us. Not for money, but for their love of the organization. And maybe for a plaque at the end of the year. So, if you haven’t thanked your advisors lately, please do. If you like them, tell them. If you hate them, try for a moment to see their life from another perspective and maybe you’ll be able to find something about them to like, or at least appreciate. So, hail to all of our advisors and mentors. Truly, without them we’d be lost.

Executive Director Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values Editor Connections Magazine 002 // connections // 2010 • winter

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Executive Director

After nearly 20 years of working with fraternities and sororities, one thing is clear to me: good advisors make all the difference.  Look at any good chapter or fraternity/sorority community and you will most likely find dedicated and talented individuals who are filling these challenging and often times thankless positions.  In fact, in addition to being thankless, many advisors are actually ridiculed and/or persecuted for the work that they do.  Believe me, nobody becomes a campus fraternity/sorority advisor or a chapter advisor with this thought in mind: “I think I will find every way possible to destroy these Greeks!”  Yet, this misguided belief is often thought and frequently articulated by undergraduate members.  Let’s not forget that these aren’t exactly roles making people rich either!  It’s no wonder that good advisors are hard to get and even harder to keep. 

You should be here.

Can you even name this country?

AFLV Winter Break Immersion Trip January 2 – 9, 2011 San Salvador, El Salvador

Work alongside the people of El Salvador, & put your values into action. Experience the culture of Latin America. Explore your ideals, & envision bold future possibilities with fellow fraternity and sorority student leaders from around the country. Applications will be available in April. For more information, contact Tricia Fechter, Director of Member Services: AFLV // 003


interactive workshops

intake minus hazing = the intake equation

The Intake Equation Facilitators

A real and hard hitting approach to the most critical issues affecting historically Black and culturally oriented fraternities and sororities.

We utilize a core of highly trained campus professionals who work nationwide and have personal experience with multicultural Greek issues:

Created by members of these organizations, The Intake Equation hits the core challenges surrounding hazing and intake. It challenges student leaders to take action, and gives them the confidence and urgency necessary to make significant change at the grassroots level.

Eddie Banks-Crosson Syracuse University Darnell Bradley Cardinal Stritch University Shelly Brown Dobek North Carolina State University Sam Centellas Indiana University, South Bend Christopher Culkin Wright State University Michelle Guobadia University of North Carolina, Charlotte Veronica Hunter Lehigh University Maria Iglesia University of California, Berkeley

Through interactive discussion and activities, students will develop actionable ideas to help them build and maintain a legacy of success. Best of all, they will learn how to shape their memberships in a manner consistent with the mission and values of their organizations. Whether your campus has a fledgling multicultural Greek community or one steeped in decades of tradition, The Intake Equation meets your students where they are. Because this workshop is facilitated by members of NPHC and NALFO groups, students will appreciate the participation of brothers and sisters who share the values and concerns about the future of culturally oriented fraternities and sororities. Workshop Details • 6-hour interactive workshop • Weekday evening or weekend day • One or two CAMPUSPEAK facilitators Issues Addressed • Hazing • Intake • Values • Risk Management

Victoria Lopez-Herrera Columbia University Mecca Marsh George Mason University Monica Miranda Smalls University of Rochester Brooklynn Parrott Kennesaw State University

For more information, contact us at (303) 745-5545 or e--mail us at


CONTRIBUTORS SCOTT ALLEN MATT MARCY LEVY linda SHANKMAN wardhammar NOBLE Scott J. Allen, Ph. D. Marcy Levy Shankman, Ph. D. John Carroll University MLS Consulting, LLC Shankman and Allen provide a new perspective and approach for advisors. Many of you have probably heard of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (EIL) but few of you have used it in this way. The authors give us all of the goods by illustrating the theoretical framework, the three facets of EIL and then dive into the real meat of the issue: how advisors can use these ideas to be better at their jobs. Share this article with your advisors and mentors! By the way, these two are doctors. Linda A. Wardhammar Executive Director • Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) Have you heard of the Linda A. Wardhammar Kaleidoscope Award for Innovation? Yes, this is that Linda A. Wardhammar. So, the point is that this woman knows her stuff when it comes to the field of Fraternity/Sorority life. We know a lot of super star Fraternity/Sorority leaders who think they want to make a profession out of their experience but most don’t know where to begin. Lucky for you, Wardhammar has provided us with a meaty article that not only gives a realistic perspective of the career (it’s no Song Chair position) but is also full of the resources that you’ll need to ponder this decision. Matt Noble President •  Fraternity Management Group Noble’s article will give you a detailed outlook on creating an environment that will foster and encourage advisor and volunteer involvement on your campus and in your chapter. His article is direct and to the point. He’s also given us the gift of a bulleted list so it’s easy for anyone (we mean anyone) in your chapter to read. Noble’s article has great ideas that would be fairly easy to begin implementing. Trust us, these are ideas that you should steal.

AFLV // 005

Fraternity/Sorority Advising...

Yes, It’s a Career!

by Linda A. Wardhammar · Executive Director · Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA)

It’s doubtful that there has ever been a teenager who, when asked what he/she wanted to be when he/she grew up, said,

“I want to be an Assistant Dean of Students/ Director of Fraternity/Sorority Affairs!” (Let’s face it, who would actually dream of a job title with two slashes in it?)

And there have probably been just as few young people looking for a college or university that inquired in the admissions office about the fraternity/sorority advising major. Nevertheless, each year many soon-to-be college graduates find themselves applying to graduate schools, in preparation for a career in fraternity/sorority advising. Yes, it is a career.

006 // connections // 2010 • winter

Deciding is Half the Battle Because very few, if any, men or women enter college with a plan to become fraternity/sorority advisors, the process of getting to that decision can be a struggle. Most who make the decision start out simply enjoying the various kinds of involvement they have as fraternity/sorority members. Then they realize they have values, strengths, and interests that lend themselves to the kinds of programs and projects that are encompassed in fraternity/sorority life, and slowly start to consider the idea of “doing this for a living.” But for many who come to this realization, the decision to change course from their chosen major and career plan can be traumatic. It can be difficult to explain to a parent that instead of seeking that prime, entry-level engineering job you want to go to graduate school for a Masters degree in College Student Personnel. “Personnel what?” And, it can even be hard to justify such a change to yourself, when you’ve spent so much time and energy on your classes and assignments that would seem to have little to do with a job working with fraternities and sororities. But, if the thought has crossed your mind, I encourage you to allow yourself to seriously consider it. Talk to your campus fraternity/sorority advisor. Talk to a career counselor. Email an AFA Executive Board member (go to to find their contact information). However you go about it, just give it some significant thought before you decide you just cannot make that change. Consider what your strengths and interests are and what kind of career would be the best fit for you. Think about what means the most to you about your fraternity/sorority experience and what it could mean to share that with others. For some, it will not be too much of a stretch in terms of their current undergraduate major. For others, it’s a huge shift. For just about everybody, it will be a change in plans to some degree. However, I would guess that at least 99% of those who have made that change in plans would say it was one of the best decisions they ever made.

AFLV // 007

Job Possibilities in Higher Education While this article is focused on fraternity/sorority advising as a career, there are many possibilities when it comes to working with students in a higher education setting. Just think of the different offices on your campus…orientation, residence life, campus recreation and intramurals, career services, diversity and multicultural services, student activities, student conduct, and the list goes on. All of these departments are typically part of a larger department or division called Student Affairs or Student Development. Sometimes they are under the leadership of the Dean of Students, and others times it is the Vice President for Student Affairs. What they all have in common is this: the professionals working in these departments are having a significant impact on students’ education and development. They are helping students make the most of their opportunities to learn about themselves and to learn skills and lessons they will be able to apply in “the real world.” If you know you want to work in the student affairs profession, but you are not quite sure which of these areas might be the best fit for you, the wisest thing to do is to learn as much as you can about “a day in the life” of a professional in any of the areas that pique your interest. Do informational interviews with different staff members and ask them about the different aspects of their responsibilities, what traits and skills they call upon most frequently in doing their jobs, what challenges they face, what they find most rewarding, how they got there, etc. Or, if the opportunity presents itself, apply for a part-time job in one of the departments or create an internship. You could even get credit for the latter. These efforts will help you form a better idea of what type of student affairs work might be the best starting point for you. They will also help you gather a lot of information of where to start in terms of education and professional preparation. The Fraternity/Sorority Advising Profession in Particular One of the exciting aspects about the fraternity/sorority advising profession in particular is that it can be many of the other student affairs areas rolled into one. Fraternity/ sorority advisors’ job responsibilities commonly involve working with new students, planning major events, working with students related to academics, advising student conduct boards, collaborating with alumni, advising multicultural organizations, and in some cases administering on-campus housing facilities. The combination makes for exciting challenges and opportunities to use a wide variety of skills and talents and work with a host of other departments and professionals. One thing is for certain: you will not be bored. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA), an inter/national professional association for men and women concerned with the fraternity/sorority movement, has established the Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession to guide all professionals in the ongoing development of the skills and experiences that will be most integral to their success. The eight competencies are outlined below. Familiarizing yourself with this information will provide significant insight into the fraternity/sorority advising profession.

008 // connections // 2010 • winter

Educator A fraternity/sorority advisor applies student development and organizational development theory to his/her practice in challenging and supporting councils, chapters, and individual members. The advisor helps students to be aware of what they are learning and how this applies to their curricular lives.  An advisor provides leadership, marketing, diversity awareness, officer transition, and other types of training for chapter members, advisors, and alumni/alumnae volunteers.  Values Aligner A fraternity/sorority advisor sets and clearly communicates high expectations for chapters as values-based organizations hosted at an institution of higher education and holds members accountable for their actions. An advisor challenges students to live up to their shared organizational values and have these expectations of one another.  When necessary, a fraternity/ sorority advisor sanctions individual members or chapters, or works with the institution’s judicial affairs system and inter/national organization in a disciplinary process.  The advisor recognizes students and chapters for their improvements and achievements in adhering to their founding principles and university expectations. Collaborator A fraternity/sorority advisor collaborates with and often serves as a liaison among potential members, chapter members, chapter officers, campus faculty, campus administrators, other offices on campus, alumni/alumnae, local volunteer advisors, local house corporation officers, inter/national headquarter staff members, and inter/national officers.  The advisor works with these other constituencies on the common goal of positively impacting the reputation and success of the fraternity/sorority community by building partnerships to impact positive change, sharing information regularly, maximizing the reach of limited resources, and developing key partnerships. A fraternity/sorority advisor builds trusting relationships for the betterment of the councils, chapters, and chapter members. Advisor A fraternity/sorority advisor guides and facilitates the work of individual chapter members, chapter executive committees, and governing councils, affording them experiential learning opportunities that enhance the education they receive inside the classroom.  The advisor provides training and resources on risk management awareness.  An advisor builds relationships with individual students to assist them with organizational, academic, or other concerns.  The advisor enlists the help of counseling professionals when necessary. Administrator A fraternity/sorority advisor maintains accurate and comprehensive records on membership statistics, scholarship rankings, council business, and disciplinary cases.  The advisor works with all necessary constituencies to resolve any individual member, chapter, council, or university crisis.  An advisor may supervise or oversee full-time professional, paraprofessional, graduate student, and/or undergraduate student staff.  A fraternity/sorority advisor may have responsibilities in managing, or supporting students in managing, on- or off-campus chapter houses, chapter suites, and/or offices to ensure they are operating properly and safely.  The advisor may also assist students in planning events.  Researcher A fraternity/sorority advisor uses research to guide practice.  The advisor assesses the needs of the fraternity/sorority community and engages constituents in strategic planning to set goals for ongoing development and to provide programs and resources for the benefit of chapters and members; the impact of those programs and resources is also assessed.  The advisor maintains an awareness and knowledge of how current issues and student affairs research impact the undergraduate student experience and fraternity/sorority community. Innovator A fraternity/sorority advisor implements new programs that benefit community members.  An advisor promotes the practical application and effective use of technology to communicate with members, support their positive use of online communities, provide online educational opportunities, and promote the fraternity/sorority experience.  Leader A fraternity/sorority advisor is an involved, engaged member of the campus community, is an active volunteer, and participates in opportunities for continued professional development through the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and other organizations.  An advisor exhibits leadership skills in his/her daily work through critical thinking, risk taking, and creativity, and by making values-based decisions.  An advisor also shares his/her knowledge and mentors others in the field.

Graduate School…Your Chance to Focus Most student affairs professionals, including most fraternity/sorority advisors, begin their careers with post-graduate education, completing their Masters degrees before starting their first positions. There are various names for the academic programs, the most common of which are probably “College Student Personnel (CSP)” or “Higher Education Administration.” Many programs are two-year programs, but some you can complete in a little over one year. Some programs have a significant assistantship component, where all students in the program must have a graduate assistantship. Others do not require an assistantship as part of the learning experience. Whichever program you choose, the graduate school experience will hopefully provide you with a chance to really focus on your new-found career choice. You will learn about the history and philosophy of the profession, about various human development and other theories related to typical and not-so-typical college students, and about the literal work of student affairs. You will have the chance to immerse yourself in this learning, alongside others who are equally engaged, and prepare yourself Things to for your future work.

Most times, you also get course credit each semester/term for your assistantship work. In the great majority of cases, graduate assistantships also provide some sort of financial benefit, usually in the form of a tuition remission or stipend. Some are live-in positions, so you might also be provided with room and board. Different graduate programs have varied approaches to how graduate assistantships are structured, so be sure to gather extensive information about this as you consider various programs.

Most people who decide to pursue a graduate degree on their way to a career in fraternity/sorority advising want their program to include the opportunity for a graduate assistantship. An assistantship will provide valuable work experience and give you the chance to experience what it would be like to work on a day-to-day, semester-to-semester basis in a certain department, getting a feel for what it takes to fulfill various types of responsibilities, how staff in one department interact and collaborate with staff in other departments, what approaches are most effective in advising and teaching students, and much more. In most cases, significant program planning, advising, and other types of responsibilities are delegated to graduate assistants, so you will have a chance to hone your skills and gain experience under the guidance of your professional supervisor, all while applying the lessons you are learning in your coursework to the responsibilities of your assistantship. It is very common for graduate assistants in fraternity/sorority life to serve as the advisor of a governing council, plan leadership conferences or other major events, work with new member education, or even help teach a class. Yes, there are also various administrative tasks with which graduate assistants are charged, but these experiences provide great opportunities to understand the structure of a department and get a feel for administrative processes within a college or university setting.

> Do the graduate program and the department engage students in active learning?

In some programs, you must be selected for an assistantship in order to be admitted to the graduate program. In others, you are admitted to the graduate program and provided information about available assistantships with no assurance that you will be placed. The opportunity to switch assistantships from one year to the next is available in some situations. Similarly, many graduate students complete internships or practicums in addition to their assistantships, which allows them an opportunity to gain experience in a variety of functional areas, work on a specific type of project, or learn about a different type of institution than the one in which they are Consider about enrolled. Definitely take some time to peruse college/university websites, conduct informaSo how do you find a graduate program? How do you tional interviews, and even visit different camknow what program is best for you? Just as there were puses if possible to get a feel for what type of when you chose your undergraduate institution, there assistantship experience will be most effective are many factors to consider when exploring gradu> Tuition remission/housing/paycheck for you. ate programs. Which factors are most significant will, of > Flexible hours course, vary from person to person. Some people will Some additional general program attributes > Practical experience prefer a smaller program, with a smaller number of stuthat you may want to keep in mind as you dents going through the program; others will gravitate > Supervisor style/experience make your decision about a graduate school, to a larger program. Geographical location might be a and specifically an assistantship in fraternity/ > Advising responsibilities very significant factor for some who do not have a lot sorority advising, are outlined below. A “yes” of flexibility in that regard. Institutional demographics > Professional development opportunities answer to these questions is what you are might also come into play. Maybe you picture yourself looking for. > Opportunities for partnerships with other working at an institution similar to your undergraducolleagues/professional staff members ate institution, and so you might lean toward graduate > Do both the graduate program and the fraprograms at similar types of institutions. Or, perhaps you ternity/sorority department set and communiwill look for just the opposite to give yourself an opporcate high expectations for student learning? tunity to learn about the culture of an institution different than your own. > Do the institution, the student affairs division, and the fraternity/sorority Two of the most significant factors to consider are the curricular emphasis department use systematic inquiry to improve organizations and instituof the program and the opportunities for assistantships. Regarding the fortional performance? mer, different programs have different approaches or philosophies. Some are more research or theory-oriented, something which could be beneficial if > Do the institution and the department use resources effectively to achieve you anticipate pursuing a doctoral degree down the road. Others are more institutional missions and goals? counseling- oriented, which may be more relevant to certain functional ar> Do the graduate program and the department forge educational parteas of student affairs. And some are more experientially oriented and could nerships to advance student learning? be right for you if practical experience is what you want most. Consult with people who have graduated from various programs as well as current faculty > Do the staff in the fraternity/sorority department work to build supportand students to get a thorough perspective on the unique nature of each ive and inclusive communities? program and consider what best meets your needs.

Graduate Assistantships

> Do the program and the department help students build coherent values and ethical standards? It’s Never Too Early or Too Late Whether you are a freshman, a senior, or a 2008 graduate with a degree in finance, it’s never too early or too late to think about a career working with fraternities and sororities. And, if you decide a professional position is not the way for you to go, there are many other ways to stay involved as an alumni/ae volunteer. The work is meaningful, challenging, collaborative, values-oriented, sometimes exasperating but most of the time very enjoyable. But most of all it is impactful, not just for those you will teach, advise, and support, but for yourself as well. For a quick reference guide to graduate programs in College Student Personnel, you can visit the Job Placement section of the AFA website (http://www. The guide lists programs by region and includes basic information about assistantships as well as contact information for the program department. AFLV // 009

Today’s college students have a terrific “learning lab” at their disposal - the campus environment. Both in and out of the classroom, students have multiple opportunities to develop new skills and explore different dimensions of their identity. We know that fraternities and sororities are primary arenas in which students have the potential to explore a rich and plentiful array of leadership opportunities. Students can experiment with different approaches to leadership, practice their leadership skills and hone in on their philosophy and style. Campus-based professionals and advisors play a critical role in helping students through their individual and collective challenges. At times, it’s the advisor who helps the student connect the dots and turn challenges into opportunities. However, those occurrences are equally matched in frequency with frustration and disappointment with how students mismanage themselves in particular situations. Just as college is a learning lab for students, working with students is an ongoing experiment for advisors.

We believe emotionally intelligent leadership (EIL) offers advisors a new approach for helping students develop and demonstrate effective leadership. EIL provides a new lens through which to view and understand the leadership dynamic. In our book, Emotionally intelligent leadership: A guide for college students (Shankman & Allen, 2008), we utilize the research and work of scholars and practitioners to provide a model of leadership that is both accessible and tangible. Integrating core elements of emotional intelligence with leadership theory, EIL synthesizes major bodies of research, scholarship and theory into a coherent framework for students and advisors alike.

Emotionally Intelligent A New Approach for Adv by Marcy Levy Shankman, Ph. D., MLS Consulting, LLC & Scott J. Allen, Ph. D., John Carroll University

010 // connections // 2010 • winter

Theoretical Framework In 1990, Peter Salovey and John Mayer published a scholarly paper in which they coined the term emotional intelligence (EI). They defined EI as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer, 1990, p. 189). EI became popular in the business and organizational world as a result of the widespread appreciation and popular appeal of EI (Goleman, 1995). One of the clearest and most familiar definitions for EI is “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships” (Goleman, 1998, p. 317). We recognized the incredible contribution that EI would make by imagining what fraternities and sororities would be capable of if students developed a higher level of self-awareness and looked to how to better manage their emotions. Like others, we have wrestled with how to develop leadership capacity in others. As you look around campuses and in the fraternal community, you see and hear many discussions about leadership – any number of conferences, keynotes, courses and weekend retreats. In addition, we assume that you see leadership happening on many different levels, and at varying levels of success. We see this too in our analysis that there is disconnect between the “talking” and the “doing” – all too often each is done in isolation. Students may know how to talk the talk, but do they walk the walk? How do we begin to bridge the gap? Can we ensure that those talking about leadership can “do” leadership and those “doing” leadership can also reflect upon their work?

Three Facets of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Foremost in our model of EIL is the assertion that students who want to demonstrate effective leadership must be conscious of three fundamental facets: consciousness of self, others, and context. This is one way in which we can help students bridge the gap between the talk and the action. When we are more conscious of what we are thinking and doing, then our actions and decisions are in greater alignment. The first facet of EIL is consciousness of self, which means being aware of yourself in terms of your abilities and emotions. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, and how your answers and actions may affect others are all components of consciousness of self (Higher Education Research Institute, 1996). As advisors, we think it’s important for you to model the way for your students. One way of doing so is to demonstrate your own consciousness of self. This facet requires introspection and taking the time to reflect on your experiences even though your ideas may be challenging. If students see you doing it; however, they may be that much more likely to do it themselves. And as you reflect, be transparent about the process because introspection doesn’t necessarily result in concrete, finite answers. This can be challenging for students. What is important here is the practice and process towards introspection. Developmentally, consciousness of self aligns neatly with Chickering and Reisser’s (1993) notion of managing emotions and building self-awareness. Another alignment with Chickering and Reisser’s Seven Vectors Model (1993) is the vector of developing integrity. Simple awareness is not enough. Our words and actions must be closely aligned. This is a major leadership challenge, and unfortunately, we all know that students may not see many role models in this regard. As advisors, demonstrate your integrity and help your students better understand the benefits of leading with integrity. Demonstrating consciousness of self is clear when your actions match your words. Developing trust is a core ingredient for effective leadership. As you know, trust is one of the most highly valued and fragile dimensions in developing healthy, productive relationships. If we can help our students develop their consciousness of self, one of the amazing results is increased integrity, which results in stronger leadership.

ent Leadership: Advisors

AFLV // 011

The second facet of EIL is consciousness of others. Defined as “being aware of and attuned to those with whom you are working,” consciousness of others emphasizes the centrality of the relationship component of leadership. In formal or informal arrangements, the role that others play is crucial in whether leadership is effective. Others (members or followers) must be taken into consideration for emotionally intelligent leadership to occur. After all, without other people involved, a leader has no one to lead! In actuality, followers often determine if leadership is effective or is fraught with challenges. Consciousness of others includes a person’s capacity to empathize, inspire, influence, coach, manage conflict, and facilitate change. As an advisor, it’s clear that these are important capacities for you to demonstrate. While listing these capacities is easy, effectively demonstrating them is challenging. The complexities of our students range from personality and style differences to the many facets of a student’s background, previous experiences, and current reality. In many respects, this is where the art of advising becomes evident. Learning how to recognize the infinite number of variables affecting leadership is one piece of the puzzle. Acknowledging and respecting individual differences is another piece of the puzzle. As a result, consciousness of others reinforces that EIL is equally about being “other-aware.” Being “other-aware” is attuning to others and means not lumping them all into a group as if they were one person – each follower has his/her own priorities, strengths, curiosities, challenges, etc. The range of capacities that reflect consciousness of others recognizes these complexities and provides an advisor with a wide range of strategies for how to approach and impact students in developmentally appropriate and effective ways.

Setting refers to the structure of the organization; for example, the way in which a chapter is organized, including both formal or informal ways in which the leader-follower relationship occurs. The situation includes the many different forces of a particular time and place; including but not limited to individual personalities, organizational politics, culture (both within and outside the organization) and tensions or challenges within the setting. You can already imagine how complex and complicated this facet of EIL is. We know from our research that this facet is one of the most difficult for students to demonstrate (Shankman, Allen & Facca, in press). Therefore, as advisors, one of the greatest contributions you can make to your students’ leadership development is to help them better understand and navigate the context in which leadership occurs. Helping students recognize that situations and settings are dynamic is one key area of focus. Each new context requires a unique combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Think about the effective leadership of a corporate leader at one business who moves to another organization only to fail miserably. Without recognizing the differences of each context, leadership is likely going to be less than effective. Factors such as people and places, culture and environment, and goals and challenges change based on the context in which leadership occurs. The same holds true for students. What works one year in the chapter won’t necessarily work in the same way the next year. More specifically, what worked at one meeting will not necessarily work as well if simply replicated over and over at subsequent meetings. Helping students learn how to recognize their environment their various forces at work will help students become more aware of context and adaptive in their leadership.

Helping students recognize that situations AND settings are dynamic is one key area of focus.

For instance, our ability to effectively manage conflict has real consequences. Conflict is an inevitable and important aspect of organizational life. If your default approach is to “avoid” conflict or “accommodate,” doing so will yield certain, and often undesirable, results. Often, when conflict is avoided, the problem festers and grows into a bigger issue. Left unresolved, this conflict can become toxic to the people involved and the organization as a whole. On the other hand, when situations are managed with a collaborative approach, the results often lead to increased understanding, better awareness of what caused the problem, and more positive results for those involved. Organization learning and development occurs when conflict is managed effectively. That’s not to say that managing conflict is easy or fun, but that’s the reality good advisors know to expect. We contend that one more facet is essential in understanding the leadership process: leadership is a relationship between the leader (self ), the followers (others), and the context. What does this mean? As we’ve already mentioned, to every situation a person brings certain knowledge, skills, and abilities. The other people involved (members or followers) are the second part of the leadership equation, and at times, they are overlooked. Consciousness of context is a person’s awareness of the environment; it is generally a combination of setting and situation. 012 // connections // 2010 • winter

Capacities of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Now that we have examined the three facets of EIL (consciousness of context, self, and others), we can dig a little deeper into the model. EIL consists of twenty-one capacities. Because EIL is based on the assumption that leadership is learnable, these capacities demonstrate that everyone has the ability (e.g., capacity) to develop the skills of effective leadership. As advisors, you have in this model of leadership a ready-made set of behaviors to cultivate and nurture in your students. These capacities are like tools at your disposal. EIL does not presume that effective leadership means demonstrating all twentyone capacities. Instead, EIL is a model that can be thought of as a toolbox. Just as we have many different tools in our toolbox so that we can handle whatever fix-it job comes around, we have multiple capacities for demonstrating leadership. Some of us naturally use a wrench better than a screwdriver. Similarly, we may be more effective at group savvy than emotional selfperception. It is implausible, however, to imagine that anyone, even the most effective leaders, are equally adept at all twentyone capacities. They are, however, adept at knowing what to do when, and they are honest in their understanding of what they do well and what they need help with. The key for leadership development is that you can learn how to develop your capacities, or the capacities of your students, for emotionally intelligent leadership just as you can improve your ability to hammer a nail. As you review the list of EIL capacities, you may realize that you have a natural ability or ease in demon-

Consciousness of Others Being aware of your relationship with others and the role they play in the leadership equation Empathy: Understanding others from their perspective Citizenship: Recognizing and fulfilling your responsibility for others or the group Inspiration: Motivating and moving others toward a shared vision Influence: Demonstrating skills of persuasion Coaching: Helping others enhance their skills and abilities Change agent: Seeking out and working with others toward new directions Conflict management: Identifying and resolving problems and issues with others Developing relationships: Creating connections between, among, and with people Teamwork: Working effectively with others in a group Capitalizing on difference: Building on assets that come from differences with others Moving Forward We believe that EIL provides a new way to think about leadership - for yourself, your students, and even your organization. In the book, we emphasize the important role that reflection plays in leadership development. So, here’s a chance for you to reflect. What aspects of the model are already incorporated into who you are and what you do? Are there new capacities you want to add? If so, do you have a plan for integrating these new ideas and practices? And how does all of this relate to your role as an advisor? What capacities do you lean on when you advise your students? Which capacities might make the biggest difference in your advising? Which do you struggle with? Learning new behaviors depends on our motivation. Richard Boyatzis, professor of organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University, has developed a self-directed learning model in which he presents a strategy for us to consider here. Twenty-one days is what you need to learn a new behavior (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2002). With a plan and a commitment, new habits form in twenty-one days when they’re consistently and intentionally practiced. We’ve tried this for ourselves, and we discovered that it works. It takes hard work and concentration. We know from first-hand experience that if we want to develop our EIL capacities, we have to practice them and learn from our mistakes. If we do it, and share with our students how we do it, imagine the message that they’ll take from that experience. Encourage your students to do the same. The results will amaze you. References Chickering, A. W. & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Fiedler, F. E., & Chemers, M. (1984). Improving leadership effectiveness: The leader match concept (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

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Consciousness of Self Being aware of yourself in terms of your abilities and emotions Emotional self-perception: Identifying your emotions and reactions and their impact on you Honest self-understanding: Being aware of your own strengths and limitations Healthy self-esteem: Having a balanced sense of self Emotional self-control: Consciously moderating your emotions and reactions Authenticity: Being transparent and trustworthy Flexibility: Being open and adaptive to changing situations Achievement: Being driven to improve according to personal standards Optimism: Being positive Initiative: Wanting and seeking opportunities

This ISN’T a think tank. It’s an action tank.

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Consciousness of Context The environment in which leaders and followers work Environmental awareness: Thinking intentionally about the environment of a leadership situation Group savvy: Interpreting the situation and/or networks of an organization

the gathering

strating some of the capacities, while others are more of a struggle. Practice makes the difference in leadership development. Learning how to encourage our students to practice their leadership skills is a critical role for advisors. You know the importance of providing support for your students as well as challenging them – feedback from you and others plays a major role in how well students develop their EIL capacities. And, as mentioned previously, reflection is also key. Providing your students with opportunities to reflect and learn from feedback will positively impact their leadership development journey.

Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books. Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: Realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Higher Education Research Institute. (1996). A social change model of leadership development: Guidebook version III. Los Angeles: University of California Los Angeles Higher Education Research institute. AFLV // 013

Tips for Establishing Committed Volunteers on Your Campus by Matt Noble Fraternity Management Group

Establish A Fraternity/Sorority Life Advisory Board Recruit a board of interested people. This could include alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, advisors, and more. Work groups or committees could include: Communication, Events and Recognition, Volunteerism, Policies, and Fundraising. A good size usually includes 11-15 members. Ask for help from your university’s alumni association and foundation, Fraternity/Sorority Life Office as well as inter/national organizations in recruiting the right board members. Recruit those with a connection to organizations that represent all aspects of the fraternity/sorority community. Be sure to have representation from all councils, housed and unhoused organizations, and other areas where there is typically separation between organizations. Recruit those with a passion for fraternity/sorority life and those that meet the skill-sets that are needed for your committees.

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Maintain Quality Records Ensure that an effective partnership is in place between your chapters, Fraternity/Sorority Life Office, alumni association, foundation and inter/national organization to better maintain your membership records. See that alumni, parent and undergraduate records are updated each school term with news and information from your chapters, inter/national organizations and university. Host events where the main purpose is to contact alumni to confirm/update contact information; other information that might be helpful to collect may be employer, job title and spouse name. You might also use this opportunity to invite alumni and parents to campus and chapter events. This is a lot of work; consider doing half of the chapters each year. Survey Your Chapters Complete an annual collection of chapter-related information. Obvious items to collect are contact information. This may include chapter officers, chapter advisory board members and housing corporation board members. Additional information that can be useful to collect may include information on advisor training and resource and support needs. Consider assisting chapters that have less than five advisors and/or ten housing corporation members to recruit more volunteers. Take Action Based on Survey Results Identify what training has been completed and what training is needed by each chapter advisory board and housing corporation board. Determine the best days, times, locations and methods for campus-wide meetings for volunteers. Find out if any of your volunteers are available to help train volunteers from other chapters where inter/national organizations may not be a resource. Develop Alumni and Parent Relations Programs Distribute a monthly bulletin to advisory boards and housing corporation boards that is focused on training, news, events and any issues that individual chapters and/or the community are confronting. This can be completed by fraternity/sorority governing councils or the Fraternity/Sorority Life Office. Ensure that the fraternity/sorority life website and Facebook site have options for alumni and parents as well as undergraduates, guests, and potential new members. Distribute a newsletter to all alumni, parents and undergraduates three times per year (fall, spring and summer). Possibilities for content can include community and chapter news, events, profiles (alumni, parent and undergraduate), and recognition of chapters and individuals. Create recognition programs at the chapter and community level. For chapters this could mean hosting annual events that thank volunteers as well as recognizing alumni for success in their careers, and/or for service to community, chapter and/or university. For the community, this could be an annual banquet that provides recognition for individual members of the various boards and councils.

Host events at both the chapter and fraternity/sorority community level. For chapters this could include homecoming weekend, parent weekend, founders day, etc. Chapters can also consider hosting events in the top population markets of alumni and parents such as in nearby cities and communities. For the community this may include hosting reunions for past governing council members. Help Chapters Manage Volunteers Enable chapters to provide training for all volunteers. Offer varying methods of training such as workshops, written materials, online, conference calls, one-on-one, etc. Focus on improving volunteerism with the struggling chapters first. Identify possible volunteers by reviewing national and university donor lists, past chapter officers lists, current and past university award winner and volunteer lists, and past governing council officer lists. Do not forget recent graduates! Know what the recruitment needs are for each chapter. Use the lists developed and recruit in person. Using a team to recruit can be very helpful. Recognize that volunteers are committed to the cause. Remind chapters to thank volunteers at events, in newsletters, on the community Facebook site and website, and even note positions on nametags. A written thank you note, phone call or token gift can go a long way. Host Meetings and Receptions Survey to find the best dates and places for meetings and receptions. Provide options for meetings and consider something different such as holding some volunteer meetings via conference calls, hosting meetings and/or receptions in nearby communities, etc. Utilize technology for virtual conferences, file sharing, and volunteer management; services like Wiggio or Blackboard are useful and effective. Hold an annual volunteer recognition reception that invites all key administrators on campus as well as all chapter volunteers. Model the Behaviors of Successful Chapters Identify the chapters that are succeeding in the area of volunteerism and find out what they are doing well. Ask advisors and volunteers from those successful chapters to help you create or reestablish your volunteer model. Evaluate Annually Annually evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of individual chapters as well as all governing boards as it relates to volunteerism. Research other campuses to see what programming works for them to see if there are any new programs that you might want to implement on your campus.

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Planning for Academic Success: Four Initiatives for Every Campus by Katie Spell, University of South Carolina

Although fraternity and sorority members have higher retention rates as a whole than non-members, there are still many fraternity and sorority members who struggle to balance time management demands of sorority or fraternity involvement on top of their academic responsibilities (Mauk, 2006). Fraternal organizations purport scholarship as a founding principle, yet many chapters’ academic programming focuses only on rewarding high achievers and sanctioning members who do not meet academic standards. The Greek Life Office at the University of South Carolina has undertaken four new initiatives aimed at refocusing chapters on the scholarship aspect of their Greek values. How Fraternal Organizations are Different Unlike many of the other student groups on campus, fraternities and sororities are highly measurable as a population and are values-based. Individual member and chapter grade point averages are compiled into scholarship reports each year and submitted to national offices for each chapter. This data is used to benchmark chapters against other chapters across the country as well as against other fraternities and sororities on campus. Another quality that sets fraternities and sororities apart from other campus organizations is their set of guiding values or principles that shape their membership and activities. A common value shared by all fraternities and sororities is academic scholarship. Each chapter has one officer or committee chair assigned to focus on academic initiatives within the chapter. Many chapters also have an academic or faculty advisor to help connect the group to the college or university and to emphasize academic achievement. Chapters may also hold members with low grades accountable with social probation, mandatory study hall attendance, or other punitive measures. While it is admirable that chapters will hold members accountable for their grades, many chapters’ judicial boards struggle with how to actually help students increase their GPA and study skills. University of South Carolina Initiatives In the spring of 2008, when 16 out of 33 Greek chapters had a grade point average less than 3.0 and the lowest chapter grade point average was 1.9, the University of South Carolina’s Office of Greek Life decided that they needed to take a different approach to academics. The Office of Greek Life implemented four initiatives to increase the GPA of chapters and their members, including publicizing chapter grade point averages, providing incentives to chapters with lower grade point averages, referring members that are struggling academically to academic coaches, and promoting better use of academic advisors. According to the Assistant Director of Greek Life, the biggest influence on improving grades was simply talking about grades frequently with fraternity 016 // connections // 2010 • winter

and sorority members and making chapter grades part of the public domain. Specifically, information on chapter grade averages, academic rankings, and money per member spent on academic initiatives was published in the student newspaper, the new member recruitment guide, the Greek Life website, and shared with visiting national officers. Chapters could no longer hide their grade point averages from potential new members or the rest of the community, so grades became part of their image on campus. Chapters with low grade point averages suddenly became motivated to make improvements. Second, the Greek Life Office began using incentives to encourage chapters to increase their chapter grade point average. For example, one academic competition sponsored by the Office of Greek Life allows any chapter with a GPA below 3.0 from the previous semester to compete for a $500 gift certificate to be awarded to the chapter with the most-improved GPA. To enter the competition, participating chapters must submit a one-page academic plan at the beginning of the semester outlining ways that they will proactively strive to increase their members’ grade point averages. The Office of Greek Life provides a list of suggestions to cover in the academic plan, including inviting a faculty member to a chapter dinner, inviting an academic advisor to speak about how to schedule classes, or having a student affairs professional do a presentation on time management or study skills. The combination of a reward and competition encourages groups to participate in this program. After offering this incentive for the first time in spring 2009, two chapters tied for the most improved grade point average with an overall .27 points increase in organizational GPA. Third, the University of South Carolina has established a partnership with an on-campus resource called the Academic Centers for Excellence (ACE). Unique to the USC campus, ACE trains graduate students to serve as academic study skills coaches for undergraduate students. ACE coaches take a positive approach to working with students who are struggling academically and are able to share information about study, time management, note-taking, and test anxiety skills. The term “coach” is used to indicate an encouraging and supportive relationship. Chapters enrolled in the academic competition mentioned earlier were assigned an ACE coach. Each ACE coach was available to meet one-on-one with individual chapter members who either voluntarily chose to meet with the ACE coach or were mandated by the chapter to meet with the coach when they did not meet minimum chapter grade requirements. The chapter’s scholarship chair also met with the chapter’s assigned ACE coach to plan monthly presentations conducted by the ACE coach for the chapter. Topics covered in these presentations included time management skills, assessment of members’ learning styles, and exam preparation tips. The staff coordinator for ACE said that many scholarship chairs feel that their main job is punishing members by taking away privileges. The partnership with an ACE coach takes the pressure off of the chapter’s scholarship chair because they no longer feel solely responsible for the chapter’s academic success and they feel positively supported in their endeavors to assist members academically via initiatives planned with the chapter’s assigned ACE coach. Finally, the Greek Life staff promotes better use of faculty advisors for chapters. In order to be recognized as a student organization on campus, chapters must have a faculty advisor. In addition, many national Greek organizations require faculty advisors as a way to link the chapter with the university with which it is affiliated. Faculty advisors are often underutilized because neither the chapters nor the advisors know the best way to work with one another. Having a faculty advisor should be presented to chapters as a way to capitalize on the expertise provided by university faculty and staff members instead of as someone to sign off on necessary paperwork. Faculty advisors at the University of South Carolina are intended to serve as academic advisors to the chapter. The plan for this year is to have faculty advisors trained by the Student Success Center on campus so that they are aware of campus academic resources and can refer their Greek students to these resources. The Student Success Center also provides training on intervention strategies for working with students who are struggling academically. The idea is for scholarship chairs to refer chapter members who may be experiencing academic difficulties to the faculty advisor. Faculty advisors will then meet with these

chapter members and refer them to the appropriate resources on campus. By better training faculty advisors, scholarship chairs have another invaluable resource for connecting students to campus resources such as tutoring, support, and intervention. In summary, these new initiatives undertaken at USC have been extensive and varied. The good news is that after one semester of implementation, these initiatives helped to decrease the number of chapters with a GPA below 3.0 from 16 to five. How to Implement Similar Initiatives at Other Campuses The most effective initiative at South Carolina has involved publishing the GPAs of chapters. Even if this information is only posted on free resources such as the Greek Life website, it will certainly raise increase the visibility of the importance of academic achievement. Public displays of academic achievement not only reward high achieving chapters but also shows struggling chapters how they compare to other groups. Chapters are not able to hide their grades from anyone, including parents, professors, and potential members. Greek Life Offices and/or councils can also consider establishing an academic competition similar to the University’s that involves a prize for academically struggling chapters that increase their grade point average. This gives chapters an incentive as well as a goal to work towards. Another key is for Greek Life Offices and councils to simply connect chapters to the campus resources that already exist. What academic resources are available to students on your campus? Greek Life Offices and councils can initiate discussions with those resources and propose collaborations and partnerships to better serve students. Finally, Greek Life Offices should take the initiative to connect with chapter faculty advisors and provide them with adequate training about how to promote academic excellence within the chapter. Many Greek Life Offices are searching for ways to help chapters embody their scholarship values. The University of South Carolina has initiated four innovative initiatives that have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of chapters with grade point averages less than 3.0. This article has explained the four initiatives and provided suggestions for adapting these initiatives at other college campuses. When chapters refocus on the academic component of their core set of values everyone wins.

References Mauk, A. J. (2006). Students in Greek-letter organizations. In L. A. Gohn, G. R. Albin (Eds.), Understanding college student subpopulations: A guide for student affairs professionals. (1st ed.; pp. 239-265). Washington, DC: NASPA.



does anyone have the directions? how does this thing work?

As leaders of councils and chapters in the fraternal movement and academic community, it is important to find stability and consistency through forward progress. However, the obvious challenge is that our organizations are in a continuous state of renewal through the graduation and new member recruitment process. By some estimates, our undergraduate ranks are refreshed by 30% of total membership each year. Furthermore, council and chapter officers change on a yearly basis, sometimes every semester. As a new leader, how do you manage officer transition or know where to start? As a retiring officer, how do you teach others how to run an effective organization and make certain your work will not be abandoned? Finding consistency in this sea of change is indeed a challenge, and can prove difficult when viewed one year at a time through the student lens. The key to finding this consistency is advisors. The really hard part, though, is finding the right advisors and establishing productive relationships with them. This issue of Facilitation 411 will give you some ideas on how to create a better professional relationship with advisors. COUNCIL ADVISORS In most cases, the council advisor or campus fraternity/sorority advisor is chosen by your university or college administration. It’s often an arrangement you cannot change and you must learn to work together. This is a great lesson in the real world: developing a working relationship with other people to get things done. There are five quintessential thoughts to help guide your relationship with the council advisor: Advisors and students must communicate. To that end, council presidents and executive board members should meet weekly and discuss goals, university relations, programming, accountability, or any hot topics at hand.

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Advisors should attend the weekly or bi-weekly council meeting and give a brief report during the meeting, preferably after student officer reports. Advisors must not run the meeting, only support it. Advisors and student leaders should plan and facilitate officer and programming retreats to coincide with officer transitions. The purpose of the retreat is teambuilding, goal setting and leadership development. Either at this stage or a separate event, a larger conversation with all governing councils and chapters should be part of the discussion.

what about this stuff over here? has anyone ever gotten it right? can this machine EVER work?

Advisors and students must work together. Advisors should advise, not run the organization. Students should take ownership and run the organization. Advisors may sparingly use veto power if the student leadership is heading down an illegal or immoral path. Advisors should challenge, prod, poke, educate, and conflict the student leaders. It is their job to teach students and make them learn. If advisors are not making students think about their choices, decisions, and direction, they are not doing their job. If students are letting the advisors run the organization, then the students are negligent in their duty. Each advisor is different based on their personality and the charge given them by the institution. But remember, the vast majority (hopefully 100%!) of advisors want to see student leaders, councils, and chapters succeed. It is a popular conspiracy theory that campus fraternity/sorority advisors want to see councils or chapters shut down. If that were actually true, the advisor would be successful in closing themselves out of a job! With no fraternity/sorority community to advise, the advisor would not be needed by the campus administration. CHAPTER ADVISORS AND CORPORATION BOARDS Another important level of advisor is closer to individual chapters. While the campus fraternity/sorority advisor or advisors focus on an entire campus community, individual chapter advisors should be assisting each chapter with internal operations. The era of a single chapter advisor handling all advising for one chapter is largely over. Many chapters now employ a chapter advising board, board of trustees, or similar operation. Ideally an advising board would have between five and nine members, each assisting with different areas of chapter operations such as recruitment, membership education, scholarship, finances, community service, alumni relations, etc… Once in place, these advisors provide guidance to the chapter officer or committee structure for a specific area of chapter operations. These advisors need not be members of the organization, but in most cases they are. Local alumni or alumnae from your chapter can serve, as well as alumni from other chapters who happen to live near your campus. Beyond

your own members, make sure to look for advisors from other sources. Parents, faculty, staff, community leaders, and clergy all make excellent advisors. For a good example of an advisory board structure, see Alpha Tau Omega’s description of their Board of Trustees online at An advisory board is usually concerned with the people issues within a chapter. If your organization maintains a housing structure or lodge, then you probably have a corporation board to handle property management, repair and renovation, fundraising, and the like. Corporation boards often focus on the business management side of fraternal life. Sometimes a chapter may have only an advisory board or only a corporation board, and the lines of function are blurred. Larger chapters may have both. Find a solution that works for your chapter on your campus. The best information on how to be an effective corporation board and chapter advisor comes from Dr. Ron Binder, currently Director of Greek Life at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Binder categorizes dozens of suggestions in his influential handout, “Top Five Things Alumni Boards Should Be Doing.” Google “Ron Binder alumni” and you will find links to this handout from various campus websites. Dr. Binder provides suggestions on recruiting and retaining board members, managing alumni communications, organizing alumni programs, advising undergraduates, and fundraising. ADVISORS ARE KEY TO CONSISTENCY As student leaders, use your resources, chief among them being advisors. If you don’t have a good advisor relationship, repair it. If you don’t have an advisor, or enough advisors, start recruiting. If you are not sure what advisors should be doing, seek out resources like those mentioned from Alpha Tau Omega and Dr. Binder to create a structure that works for your situation. Dr. Binder’s words provide a great summation, “The key to any successful alumni board is program consistency. Wherever there is a strong undergraduate chapter, there is generally a strong alumni board.”

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Communicating Better with Chapter Advisors Sylvia Zaich • Pi Beta Phi • Northwestern University Working with your chapter’s advisors can be a rewarding experience. In fact, it can even be fun! That said, communication is fundamental to building a strong relationship. Last year, the Illinois Epsilon Chapter of Pi Beta Phi at Northwestern University implemented a new system when submitting our monthly letters to our local and regional advisors using Google Docs. Submitting a Google Doc allows each individual executive board member the opportunity to complete their section, while also allowing each of their local and regional counterparts the opportunity to comment directly into the document. This minimizes the work the chapter president does in compiling the letter and creates an easy, fast and organized way for all of our advisors to see how our chapter is doing. Our chapter uses Google Docs and Calendar on a regular basis to communicate scheduling and progress to our advisors on a regional and national level.



Another way our chapter has strengthened our relationship with our local advisors is through weekly communication through g-chat or phone calls and our monthly required meetings as a group and individually. Pi Beta Phi encourages open communication with our individual advisors and our Officer Leadership Retreat creates the perfect opportunity. It helps us to build relationships with our regional and local advisors in a two day period, while creating the occasion for dialogue to take place about our advisors’ experiences in Pi Beta Phi and how they think our chapter could improve with the implementation of new ideas. Beyond everyday communication, it is important to build a strong relationship when making tough decisions that ultimately benefit the chapter. Our advisors have been instrumental in helping us in how to inform the chapter of these tough decisions. Overall, the Pi Beta Phi chapter at Northwestern has had great success when working with chapter advisors because of the steps both parties have taken to make sure the chapter is successful and their relationships are strong.

Advisors as Non-Members: We Made it Work Tony Melchiorri & Kevin Lindenberg • Beta Theta Pi members & Megan Johnson • Chapter Counselor • University of Iowa In 2005, the Alpha Beta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi was reestablished at the University of Iowa. Part of that reestablishment involved recruiting an extensive group of advisors to aid and assist in the fraternity’s long-term development. Over the past few years, the chapter members have realized the benefits of these advisors. Although the advisory board consists of both members and non-members, the outside advisors immediately offered a wide array of benefits to the chapter. Each brought unique perspectives and ideas from their own varied experiences whether from in or out of Greek life. They often provide valuable advice and ideas that differ greatly from the traditional Beta experience. Because outside advisors are not as emotionally connected to the chapter, they offer an objective view rooted in logic. Alumni have the potential to be conflicted with the complexities of balancing emotions, chapter politics, and serving in an advising role. Healthy distance from the chapter is an enormous benefit. Not only does it provide for an objective perspective but non-member advisors tend to inherently command respect and authority. Older members and chapter leaders will find that the advisors can be their best mode of support when dealing with tough or controversial issues. Here are some benefits that we’ve found to make non-member advisors valuable: Non-member advisors have an alternative perspective, which can bring different ideas to the table. Non-member advisors are likely to have less bias. Non-member advisors bring an objective view that is based on the best logical interest of the chapter. Non-member advisors have a healthy distance that can increase respect. By maintaining strong relationships with non-member advisors, chapter leaders and members can benefit greatly. Outside advisors may not be the easiest resource to introduce to an established chapter but they offer a tremendous amount of benefits that will aid in the continued progress of any organization.

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From the Road is a chance to highlight best practices from Fraternity and Sorority communities across the nation. What has your campus done lately that deserves recognition? If you would like to be featured in an upcoming issue, go online to and submit an overview of a great activity that your council or community has done lately.

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Our university is way behind the times in understanding what it takes to be an effective campus Fraternity/Sorority Advisor. For some reason, the position doesn’t even require a Bachelor’s degree and pays less than $30,000 a year. I think it has something to do with the fact that it’s a state/hourly job and not a professional/salary job… Anyway, due to this, we seem to get really random people in the position and the turnover is almost annual. How can we persuade the university to consider changing the expectations of who qualifies for this job?

ANGELA Says: Do your research! Data is everything. Higher education is experiencing severe cuts in funding due to the economic downturn. Institutions are expected to find ways to do more with less. You must show University Administration why it is necessary to have a consistent Fraternity and Sorority Advisor in the position. You could begin by gathering job descriptions from respected Fraternity and Sorority communities throughout the country and within your region. You will find that successful Fraternity and Sorority communities have consistent guidance from a Fraternity and Sorority Life Professional. While pay scales will range with experience and education, and differ based on region, university size, or job responsibilities, you will find that many position descriptions require potential candidates to have a master’s degree in a field related to higher education. Compare Fraternity and Sorority Communities with consistent Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisors to those communities with high turnover in that position. You might discover a trend in public risk management issues for those communities, which could be used in your case for revisiting the requirements for hiring a Fraternity and Sorority Life Professional. You will have the attention of University officials if you can show that having stability in the Fraternity and Sorority Community could potentially reduce future legal liabilities for the University. In addition, you might contact the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors as they may have resources you may be able to utilize to prove your case. After gathering your data, your Fraternity and Sorority Community should request an opportunity to present your case to the University Administration. Your data may be just the thing needed to make the University reconsider their hiring practices for the Fraternity and Sorority Advisor position. TRAVIS Says: My best advice is to let the upper administration know how you feel while being respectful to the individual who is in the job now. I agree, and I think the majority if not all Fraternity/Sorority advisors nationwide would tell you that the position is seen as entry level almost everywhere, and there are a minority of quality individuals who are willing to work so many hours for so little pay for a number of years that would bring consistency and stability to the community and university. There are some amazing exceptions to the rule out there who truly love what they do and could care less about the money, but lets face it, 50-70 hour weeks for less than $30,000 a year aren’t going to keep most people interested for the long haul. The fact that your position is hourly probably limits how much the person is allowed to work with you. If the majority or entirety of their job is Fraternity/Sorority Life, then 40 hours a week might be reasonable most weeks of the year but not at times like your primary recruitment, or Greek Week. You are more than likely going to have difficulty getting more money in this economy, but if you can get the expectations of the job changed hopefully it will help you get some entry level professionals who are willing to put in the hours for 3-4 years. You may also want to think about what benefits changing the position will bring to the students and the university. If they did increase the salary would it help them save several thousand dollars a year and valuable time of their staff by not having to do an annual search, encouraging individuals in the job to stay for 3-5 years instead. How would the longevity of the person translate into increased success of the community and in turn a positive for the University?

brandon Says: During these very difficult financial times universities are cutting budgets and the prospect of increasing salary and the qualifications for a professional staff member will require some creativity. First, you’ll need to build a coalition of community stakeholders to assist with this endeavor. I suggest a combination of chapter and council leaders, alumni/ae, and faculty advisors that recognize the need for better qualified staff. This group will help you do the research necessary to create a sense of urgency for the change. Gather information about competitive salaries and qualifications of fraternity and sorority professionals across the country, cost of living within the region, and average salaries of other student service professionals on campus. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors would be a great resource for you in the process of gathering information ( This research will give you a solid foundation to build from when engaging the university administration. The next step is to prepare a community proposal to take to your administration. As I’m sure funding will be a concern, your fraternity and sorority community will most likely have to be creative and shoulder some of the financial burden. There are numerous examples of communities that contribute to the funding of staff and fraternity and sorority offices. Several examples include Kansas State University and the University of Washington. This may require an increase in chapter dues, but if you really want to achieve this goal you’ll probably need to, as they say, put your money where your mouth is. Remember, build a coalition of stakeholders, do your research, create a plan, get community buy in, sell it to your administration, and be willing to provide the financial and material resources to make this a reality. Patrick Says: Students taking charge of their development and leading their community is something that most university administrators welcome with open arms. With that in mind, I think you have a good foundation from which to start. Understanding that you want to see your community grow and prosper, I’d advise you to spend some time doing some research about peer institutions and their Fraternity and Sorority Life staffing structures. I’d also make sure that you have other students participate in this venture. Once you have done research, I’d encourage you to partner with your alumni to schedule a meeting with the most appropriate person, perhaps it’s the Dean of Students or the Vice President of Student Affairs, and ask them what they see as the future for Fraternity and Sorority Life. In that meeting you can share with them your concerns and research and ask how students can partner with administration to strategically look at how increased staffing and emphasis on the role of the advisor can help address your concerns. It is important in that meeting that they realize that your concerns are not about the current advisor but about the future of the community. You can also talk to the administration about looking at the CAS (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) to see where your institution is doing well and what it needs to improve. Likely you will find that the administration will welcome you taking a vested interest not only in your experience, but the experiences of your community and will help you to see what can and cannot be done given the many restraints present based on budget, structure, etc. GOOD LUCK!

WANT TO BE AN EXPERT? If you are a professional who has great advice, email and let us know that you are interested in being one of our future Experts. 022 // connections // 2010 • winter


ASK THE Experts

Brandon Cutler Kansas State University

Travis Smith Colorado School of Mines

Amy Colvin Millikin University

PATRICK ROMERO-ALDAZ University of South Florida

ANGELA KING Middle Tennessee State


Whenever our university hires a new Fraternity/Sorority Advisor, nobody asks the students to be involved in the hiring process or decision. The council presidents typically get to go to lunch with candidates, but other than that, we’re not involved. We want to have a say… what do we do?

AMY Says: You have several options for courses of action to find a way to “be at the table” when the interviews are happening to find a new fraternity and sorority advisor. Your council presidents might be a starting point, as the advocates for fraternities and sororities on campus your council presidents should be working with the administration to ensure your voice is heard. Consider speaking with your council president asking that individual to lobby for time with the fraternity and sorority advisor candidates during their interviews. Something else to consider is to work with your student government to ensure student representation on University committees such as search committees for a new fraternity and sorority advisor. You might also speak with the university administrator that directly supervises the fraternity and sorority advisor and ask if additional members of the community can be involved in the interview process. Something to remember though is that the entire fraternity and sorority community can most likely not be involved in the process of interviewing and hiring a new fraternity and sorority advisor. It is quite difficult to conduct an interview with more than 15 people at a table. One option you might recommend is requesting that the candidates do a presentation about a given topic/issue facing your community during their on campus interview in which a larger number of fraternity and sorority leaders are invited to attend. Whatever course of action you decide to take, remember it takes time; the fact that you do actually have students involved in the process currently, even if it is “just” the council presidents is a win for your community!

Travis Says: If you haven’t already, ASK for a say, and state the case of why it will be valuable to have you in the room for the interviews; the worst thing they can say is no. If they still don’t budge make sure you arrange time with your council president to have them ask any of your pertinent questions for you. As a professional in the field I can tell a lot about an institution by who is in the room (or invited to the room) for the interviews, and the type of questions they ask. I have also truly enjoyed my student face time in interviews much more than any other single part of the process. ANGELA SAYS: As a Fraternity/Sorority Community, you must first decide what role you expect to play during the hiring process. Remember, you must balance the desires of the community with the needs of the University. Ultimately, this person will be expected to support the University mission. Request a meeting with University administration and ask to be apart of the search committee. Research other institutions that allow students to take part in the hiring process and examine the roles of those students. While the hiring manager often has the final say, they often consider the recommendations of the search committee in making the final decision. When meeting with University administration, you might gently remind them of the importance of obtaining buy in from the students as this will help to ensure a smooth transition for the new Fraternity/Sorority Advisor. If there is any doubt that the candidate is the most qualified for the position, it could prove difficult for the advisor to gain the trust and confidence of the students. AFLV // 023


Our chapter advisor sucks. I mean, he is really bad. He has been our advisor for almost 25 years and it’s become apparent the past few that he’s just not effective. How do we fire him?

AMY Says: My initial question for students is almost always, what steps have you already taken to work to address the situation thus far? If you have not said one word to your current chapter advisor, maybe that should be a starting point. Individuals cannot change or make improvements if they are not first aware of an issue. If you have already tried to work with your chapter advisor to improve his effectiveness and you have seen no results then it might be time to take the next step. As collegians, you should recognize, that your role is usually not to “fire” your chapter advisor – the responsibility to appoint and recruit volunteers for chapters typically lies with a regional based volunteer and/or national office staff. However, this does not mean you are not able to contribute to the process and assist in selecting a chapter advisor that might be a more positive contributor to your chapter than your current advisor. As you move forward looking for a new chapter advisor I encourage you all to tread lightly, your current advisor has obviously committed a great deal of time and resources into your chapter over the past 25 years so it is important for your chapter to thank him for his dedication and service. Remember that this is a volunteer position – no one pays your chapter advisor for all of his time! Once you have decided to move forward with finding another chapter advisor, first, you and your chapter officers should sit down and create a list of what makes your current advisor “suck.” The list should be legitimate reasons as to why your advisor is not fulfilling the role of chapter advisor as prescribed by your national office. Second, you and your chapter officers should create another list outlining what you are looking for in an advisor; what qualities and skills does your organization need from a chapter advisor? Once your officers have compiled that information, your chapter should plan to work with your regional volunteers and/or national office staff to find a suitable replacement presenting the information about why the advisor you have now is not working and what you need in a new advisor for the chapter to be successful. Travis Says: What is it that you are looking for from him? Is it things he used to do, and no longer has the time or energy for? Fraternity/Sorority chapter advisors are among some of the most under-appreciated individuals on the planet. Maybe he is tired of putting in all of the work and not being appreciated. Maybe it is too much for one person to handle (from personal experience I would tell you it is). Have you thought about ways to get him some help so that his plate isn’t so incredibly full? I would hesitate to push someone out the door so quickly who has been there for 25 years and has such a great institutional knowledge. If it is truly time for him to move on or transition to another role be respectful and have an honest conversation with him about how you feel. You can also reach out to the National office for support in this. They may know him quite well from his 25 years of service and could work with you on finding assistance for him or a replacement.

024 // connections // 2010 • winter

PATRICK Says: Well, this is a tough situation. On the one hand you are likely very thankful that you have an active alumnus who wants to provide support, but it also sounds like you feel that he is not helping you to move forward. It is important to not burn bridges but to look for other more productive ways to help your chapter advance. For starters, it’ is very important for your chapter to know what they want and what they are getting, so you need to identify what is missing that is making your advisor ineffective in your eyes. After you determine that, I’d advise you to see if there are ways to suggest that (i.e. “we really appreciate your support with XYZ, but we’ve also been thinking that we need help with this, do you know anyone who can help with that?”). This is also where having a strong relationship with your other local alumni and headquarters staff can help. They often will be the people to whom you can turn to say that you need more or different assistance and they will help pave the way for that to happen. You can also begin having these conversations with your Fraternity/Sorority Advisor in that they may be able to help intercede with both your chapter advisor and the headquarters staff in that they are just as concerned about having effective advisors as you are. Brandon Says: First off, I’m not sure I would use the term “fire” in this situation. As bad as you think your advisor may be, he/she has given 25 years of service to your chapter and that deserves a little respect. Next, I would suggest that you make a list of the areas and needs that your current advisor does not meet for you chapter and begin recruiting additional advisement for those areas. Begin to build a chapter advisory board so that the role of your current chapter advisor has some assistance or an opportunity to step away. Discuss the role of your chapter advisory board with your current advisor and ask him/her to take a role that better suits the chapter’s needs. This may be a diminished role or no role at all. At this point you may have to have a frank conversation with your advisor about your desire to remove him/her from your advisory board. Regardless, I would encourage you to have your advisory board meet with your Fraternity & Sorority Advisor and your Headquarters Staff so that they can provide your new advisors with education and resources. Getting rid of this advisor does no good if you don’t have qualified advisors to fill his role. Finally, fraternities and sororities are honorable and classy organizations and I suggest you send your current advisor off with the recognition and respect he/she deserves. How you choose to recognize is up to you, but sending him/her off with dignity and respect will allow both your chapter and your advisor to move forward in a positive way. However, I strongly suggest that you reflect on your needs and critically evaluate his performance. Your advisor may not be the problem at all.


Our council is trying to create some sort of Advisor Manual that chapters can give to their chapter advisors. What types of things typically go into something like this?

ASK THE Experts

Amy Says: Topics to consider including in an advisor manual include: university policies, risk management policies, university important contact information, statistics about the fraternity and sorority community, council specific information such as recruitment or intake policies, information about working with the current generation of students, university and community resources, how to guides for tasks such as planning events, university and fraternity and sorority community sponsored events calendar, etc. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors has a manual that was created a few years ago that could serve as a great resource for your council, make sure you add campus specific information though too! Angela Says: As you know, much of the knowledge base for chapter advisors will come from the chapter’s organization. The goal is to provide advisors with information that will allow them to guide their chapters in making good decisions. For those advisors that are new to the campus, it might be helpful to provide Greek community history as well as any current information for both the chapters and councils. You might include any appropriate University guidelines and procedures. This may include, but is not limited to the crisis management plan, requirements for becoming and remaining an active student organization, the student handbook, university calendars, procedures for reserving space, and appropriate risk management procedures. You want to include general University policies as well as those specific to your Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. In addition, you will want to include council specific information, such as the constitution and bylaws, recruitment guidelines, calendars, etc. Last but not least, you might consider providing advisors with general expectations as well as advising tips for those who might be new to their role. When creating this manual, feel free to ask advisors what kinds of resources would be helpful to them. This will help to guide you as you create your Advisor Manual.

Patrick Says: Any number of things can go into this type of document. You can do research and work with your Fraternity & Sorority Life advisor to help secure resources to support this venture. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors has a myriad of resources available to your office Advisor to help you in this endeavor. You can also do a Google search for fraternity advising manuals and see what is available at other institutions. Some things you may want to make sure to include are: the role and expectations of the advisor, institution and council policies and procedures, terminology, resources, important campus contacts and things to know, working with college students, forms, and the all-important calendar. Brandon Says: Great idea, and fortunately you shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel to achieve success. Most fraternity/sorority headquarters and campus activities offices provide some sort of advisor manual that you can simply copy and distribute. I encourage you to contact those entities and see what resources they have to offer. Another great resource is Google‌.yes Google. Simply perform a good search for Chapter Advisor Manuals, Advisor Manuals, or Advisor Resources. You may have to piece several of these resources together to fit your campus & community needs, but a simple Google search will give you a good idea of the materials and resources that are present in a quality advisor manual.

AFLV // 025

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Advisors are Volunteers! Remember, your chapter advisors aren’t getting paid; that means they’re advisors. They help you for lots of reasons… but often for the simple fact that they love your fraternity/sorority (Hey! Just like you do!). Even though it’s important, their commitment to your chapter doesn’t pay the bills so it’s really nice when you can take time to recognize and thank them for their time and energy. Make it a priority. Recognizing the work of advisors is crucial for any chapter that wants to retain them and/or attract others. Designate someone in your organization to be responsible for ensuring that ongoing recognition of advisors takes place. Do it often. Recognition of advisors should happen on a year-round, frequent and informal basis – not just with a dinner once a year. Remember, these people are often adults with ‘regular’ jobs… free food is not as important to them as it is to you. Do it in different ways. Vary your recognition efforts from the informal thank you and spontaneous treats, to more formal events and recognition items. Be thoughtful of what they’d like, as well; many advisors aren’t necessarily as wooed by things with letters on them as they once were.

Be sincere. Make each occasion you use to recognize your advisors meaningful and an opportunity to truly reflect on his/her value to your organization. Thank them for something specific whether it’s a small gesture or large contribution of money or time. Recognize the person, not the work. Phrase recognition to emphasize the contribution of the individual, not the end result. “You did a great job!” as opposed to “This is a great job!” Make it appropriate to the achievement. For example, a paper certificate accompanied by a private thank you may be appropriate for a few months of service but a public dinner and engraved plaque may better suit 10 years of commitment. Be consistent. Make sure whatever standards of recognition you establish can be consistently maintained by your organization in years to come. Holding an advisor recognition dinner one year sets up expectation for future advisors. Be timely. Try to arrange recognition soon after achievement has been reached – delaying until weeks or months later diminishes the value of your gratitude. Make it unique. Getting to know each of your advisors and their interests will help you learn how best to recognize each individual and make them feel special. If your advisor loves sports, for example, a pair of tickets to an upcoming game may be much more valuable than a plaque or trophy.

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Fort Valley State Fraternity Suspended During Hazing Investigation A Fort Valley State University fraternity is suspended while police and school officials investigate an alleged hazing assault during an initiation. On [December 7], a Fort Valley State University fraternity member was arrested for aggravated battery in the case. Fort Valley Police Chief Detective says [the] 21-year-old [alleged perpetrator] was arrested after an incident involving the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Fort Valley State University. [The Chief Detective] says last week, [the victim] was taken to the hospital with injuries to his back and kidney failure. He says the student told his mother the injuries were from a hazing incident at the fraternity. The Fort Valley Police Department is continuing to investigate the incident… and said more people could be charged and they may also find more victims. Fort Valley State University vice president… says the university is looking at expanding its existing anti-hazing policies. “We are looking at possibilities of a workshop-type seminar arrangement where potential pledges are advised about the hazing policy,” says [the Vice President].

2 CSUN frat houses ordered vacated [Northridge] has ordered members of two off-campus [California State University – Northridge] fraternity houses to pack up and leave, ending a decades-long effort by neighbors to dislodge the sometimes-rowdy residents from the neighborhood. Over the years, the Zeta Beta Tau and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity houses… have been cited for disruptions and code violations. For more than 25 years, neighbors complained to city and university officials, trying to resolve the problem. Last month, the Safe Neighborhoods Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office informed the Northridge East Neighborhood Council that the houses would be empty by the end of this month. Upset neighbors said they put up with rowdy parties, traffic, fights and gutters filled with fast-food wrappers, beer bottles and condoms on their streets for far too long. [A local owner of ] a shop selling university and fraternity and sorority merchandise, said she felt that CSUN and the surrounding community have always been “anti-Greek.” It has been far too long that fraternities and sororities have disrupted neighborhoods with negative stereotypes and behaviors. An ousting certainly isn’t going to be the answer for any university neighborhood who faces these problems and complaints, but this particular decision seems to be long overdue. It seems to us that one of the values that our organizations commit to has to something to do with the idea of service (what’s that word again?). Doesn’t the idea of serving a community kind of run a parallel with the idea of contributing positively to the community? I mean, we don’t mean to rack anyone’s brain with this concept, but to us the intended congruency is clear… and this type of behavior is clearly not congruent with those values. And here’s the real problem, in our mind: We have a problem with the idea that ‘rowdy parties, traffic and condoms on the street’ is the same as ‘antiGreek’. In fact, we hate that idea. It’s almost like saying that ‘Greek’ = ‘rowdy parties, traffic and condoms on the street’ which, ahem, we don’t think it does. Can’t a person just not want condoms littering their front yard and still appreciate the value and the presence of fraternities and sororities? I mean, one really should have nothing to do with the other. Reference Valencia, A. and Llanos, C. (2007, September 1). 2 CSUN frat houses ordered vacated. [Electronic Version]. LA Daily News. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from http://fraternityadvisors. org/PMB/default.aspx?action=ShowTopic&TopicId=1112&ForumId=30 028 // connections // 2010 • winter

University ousts ZBT after drug search; Hazing, slew of other offenses lead national organization to revoke fraternity’s charter Two weeks after University Police served a drug-related search warrant at Zeta Beta Tau’s fraternity house, university officials have revoked the group’s recognition and kicked it off the campus. [A police spokesperson] declined to answer questions about what drugs — if any — police seized during the search. [Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Associate Director] stressed that the fraternity’s past transgressions factored heavily into the university’s decision, which was made official Wednesday afternoon. In October 2008, a hazing ritual where ZBT senior members forced pledges to sit in a circle and chant the names of the fraternity’s founders injured a student when the leaders poured a mixture of water and Shout stain remover over the student’s head because he misspoke. [The Advisor] said the fraternity also had a history of risk-management violations. While [the Advisor] declined to specify ZBT’s specific violations, he said risk-management infractions typically include hosting underage drinking and unauthorized parties. The fraternity had a history of risk management violations? Duh! Here is a dissertation topic for those of you considering graduate school: create an instrument that measures a chapter’s likelihood of injuring or killing a member based on such “past transgressions”. For example, for serving alcohol to someone under age, the chapter gets 4 points; for having inappropriate/offensive t-shirts, the chapter gets 1 point… you get the idea. Then, once a chapter has up to – let’s say – 20 points they get ousted. Sound ridiculous? Well, it’s funny that you say that because you know what we think sounds ridiculous? Hazing and selling drugs out of your fraternity house. Reference Slivnick, B. (2009, December 4). University ousts ZBT after drug search; Hazing, slew of other offenses lead national organization to revoke fraternity’s charter. Diamondback Online. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from

[The Vice President] says pledges would then sign an agreement to not practice or take part in hazing and to report it. He says any involvement in hazing can warrant punishment. “It can be an active role or a passive role in allowing this to happen,” says [the Vice President]. “Then the university, probably in cooperation with the regional office of the fraternity, would take punitive action.” We’ve mentioned before how much we love the articles that have comments from the public attached to them. As if these types of articles are not already humorous enough (in that ‘this is so ludicrous you can’t really do anything other than laugh’ kind of way) we also get to read the take of the public. Which, by the way, tend not to take the time to plan out their thoughts much less check spelling. Anyway, the comments are varied, but many refer to the fact that the hazed student had a preexisting kidney condition. According to those who appear to support the fraternity, this condition really made the whole shebang appear worse than it really was. Okay… so BESIDES the fact that hazing is not only wrong but also one of the oldest stories in the book in regard to fraternities and sororities misbehaving, NOW we’re trying to argue that it wouldn’t have been that big of deal had this guy had had healthier kidneys? But I suppose such a noncreative argument ought not to be a surprise when coming from people who (allegedly) haze… the least creative approach to new member development. Finally, we don’t usually poke fun at the administrators on campus but that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t fair game. As you read, the Vice President


Stupid Things that You Have Done Lately

The goal of Busted! is to call attention to an event, situation, or practice that has actually occurred and utilize it as an experience that others can learn from.  It is commonly said that fraternities and sororities suffer from unfair stereotypes and are undervalued for our true purpose as values-based organizations. Unfortunately, some fraternity and sorority members commonly mock these stereotypes by behaving in ways that only solidify them in the minds of others. Busted! aims to confront these stupid decisions via direct confrontation. Actions such as these do nothing but reinforce the negative stereotypes of today’s fraternities and sororities. Embarrassed? Then knock it off.

responded to the incident by saying “We are looking at possibilities of a workshop-type seminar arrangement where potential pledges are advised about the hazing policy… pledges would then sign an agreement to not practice or take part in hazing and to report it. He says any involvement in hazing can warrant punishment”. Are we the only ones banging our heads against the wall right now? Statements such as this one are clear and unfortunate indications that sometimes even our advisors and administrators don’t have any clue about the basics of hazing. Like, for example, the fact that people get coerced into being hazed and feel powerless to stop it. In other words, it’s safe to assume that both parties usually know that it’s wrong – or at least against some policy. The idea of having ‘potential pledges’ sign such an agreement seems about as likely to stop hazing as putting raw hamburger in a Ziploc bag as to stop a dog from smelling it. References Associated Press. (2009, December 9). Hazing incident at Fort Valley being investigated. WMBF Fox News. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from story.asp?s=11646591. Castillo, A. (2009, December 9). FVSU investigating alleged hazing; arrest made. The Sun News. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from Susskind, S., Irwin, J., & Ruffes, V. (2009, December 10). Fort Valley State fraternity suspended during hazing investigation. WMBF Fox News. Retrieved December 13, 2009 from http://

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NATIONAL HOUSE DIRECTORS CONFERENCE June 24-27, 2010 030 // connections // 2009.fall


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one more { thing we know you’re near the end, but we’d love to tell you

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Tips on Recruiting Effective Advisors We all know that having effective advisement is important to the success of an organization. Yet, despite this, many organizations struggle to identify advisors. Here are some tips that can help your organization search for your next advisor. > Be clear about what you are looking for in an advisor and what you are expecting this person to do. Be clear about where you are going as an organization and how this person can help your organization achieve your goals. > Look beyond traditional outlets. Don’t just look at local alumni and/or faculty/staff members. Look to community members and/or business owners as potential advisors. Your campus fraternity/sorority advisor may be able to suggest some individuals who might be interested > Do not recruit advisors based on gender. Just because you are a men’s fraternity does not mean that all of your advisors need to be men and just because you are a woman’s sorority, does not mean that all of your advisors need to women. Some of the best advising relationships come from women working with men and vice versa. > Make a list of potential advisors and intentionally decide which members should approach that person. Remember that relationships are important. > Be specific about your needs as an organization. While it may be daunting to think about recruiting multiple advisors, you may find more success by approaching individuals to play defined and specific roles. There is nothing wrong with having an advisor just for certain officers and/ or certain responsibilities. > Once you have advisors, keep them involved. Invite them (and their family) to functions and include them in organizational and alumni events. > If possible, look into initiating your advisor as an honorary member of your organization. enables Organizations to do more and do better online!

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Fundraising / Donations Conduct fundraisers and donation campaigns

Organizational Networking Share information with other chapters, alumni groups, and national HQ

Newsletter / Email Manage communication with your organization with a single click

Facebook Integration Website access from within Facebook – Coming Soon provides an online networking organizational system that can enable your group members to do more and better online. Our tools and benefits further cements member connectivity and participation in your organization, in real-time, which enables your member to connect, share and grow at the click of a button.

For more info, contact our sales team at:

(t) 888.88CELECT (888-882-3532) (e) (w)

Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values PO Box 1576 Fort Collins, CO 80522-1576

Profile for Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values

Connections Winter 2010  

Connections Winter 2010

Connections Winter 2010  

Connections Winter 2010

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