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THE Programming ISSUE

VOL. 4 / ISSUE 014 / SPRING 2011

ethos + amoibe + ekklesia values + change + community

Students on campuses across America are making a difference. The Fraternal Values Society gives them a place to gather, argue, discover, and plan.

You can be a founding member. Want to be challenged? Follow the QR. Try something new. Our future depends on new thinking.

the inside starts here


Why Do They Do It So Much Better?


Over-Thinking Programming?


Joshua Hiscock + University of Maryland

Want to improve your programming skills? Josh Hiscock offers insight on assessment as well as helpful tips on managing resources, even when it seems evryone else is doing it so much better, and you don’t know where to start.

Angie Carr + Rockhurst University

Your fraternity/sorority governing councils plan programs all the time – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at it. Read this article for a step by step, back to basics refresher.

Please All the People Some of the Time T.J. Sullivan + Campuspeak, Inc.

How can you plan events that meet the needs of your entire chapter, group, body, or council? Learn to identify the “Jons” and “Peters”... and learn to please them both.

COLUMNS 002 // letter from the executive director 002 // letter from the editor 016 // from the road 018 // facilitation 411 020 // ask the experts 022 // did I forget something? 024 // taking action: stoplight your chapter through steady change 026 // busted! 029 // 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: Summer 2011: History : June 27 Fall 2011: Lifelong Membership : August 29 Winter 2012: 365 Recruitment : December 5 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

Creative Director / Layout & Design Steve Whitby / Warehouse 242 Editorial Board Andrea Battaglia / Drury University Ryan Hilperts / AFLV Andrew Hohn / University of Illinois, Urbana-Chapaign Carol Preston / Wittenberg University Teniell Trolian / Kent State University Viancca Williams / University of South Florida

Member / Fraternity Communications Association

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Letter from the Executive Director

Life happens. Change happens. And I found myself pulled more and more into the area of Fraternity/Sorority advising. One thing that didn’t change, however, was my passion for programming. There is a lot of talk these days about being “Over Programmed”. I wonder if there is such a thing? The members of today’s undergraduate chapters have grown up on choice. I can actually remember only having 13 television channels to choose from. Today, my Satellite Dish provides over 500. My first real job was working at a Movie Theater. We had 3 screens. Today, multi-plex theaters offer 15-20 screens. The internet didn’t even exist when I was in High School (Al Gore had not invented it yet). And look at all the programming available there! In short, the members of Generation Y have choice. A lot of choice. They are used to choice. And programming follows that model. The problem may be in petty, silly, and stupid required programming (read: requiring all your members to attend every little philanthropy program sponsored by all the chapters on your campus). But expanded programming choice – well that’s just part of our evolution. So here’s to programming. All of it. May you do it well!

Executive Director Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values @ koepsell

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When my partner and I were planning our wedding, I was surprised (and sometimes annoyed) by all the questions: “Are you SO stressed out?”, “Planning a wedding is SO difficult!”. Honestly, I was taken aback by these types of questions because, quite frankly, my basic response was something along the lines of: “it’s a four hour event… how hard can it be?” I mean, it’s basic event planning. Perhaps my perspective was tainted by my job at the time: fraternity/ sorority advisor. Many fraternity/sorority advisors pride themselves on being somewhat of a mini Vice President of Student Affairs. This is because they manage compressed versions of a wide variety of student services; they supervise housing and facility management, student involvement and leadership, judicial boards and significant campus programming efforts. I’ve said a thousand times (and continue to stand by my words) that if a person can plan sorority recruitment they can plan anything. I mean anything. Literally, anything. So, when it comes to campus programming, fraternity/sorority advisors and many undergraduate chapter and council leaders are equipped through simple osmosis to be stellar event planners. But, there is always room to develop. This issue of Connections is just that – a back to the basics approach to programming. In perusing the articles and columns, I think you’ll find practical and useful information that will help you in your programming role.

Editor Connections Magazine @leahanson

Letter from the Editor

20 years ago I found myself pursuing a career in Student Affairs. I wasn’t in search of a job as a Fraternity/Sorority Advisor. I was pursuing my dream to be a campus program advisor. As an undergrad I spent a huge amount of my time dedicated to the campus program board – and I loved it! It probably began in High School actually. As a member of the executive team on our Student Council, I was in charge of planning Homecoming, the Valentines Dance, Prom, and Senior Week. That morphed into my roles on the campus programming board in college, finally finding my place as the Concerts Chair. I love programming! Perhaps not a surprise for those who know how much I enjoy working on the planning of our undergraduate leadership conferences.

One of the country’s most tireless advocates for LGBT issues, hate crime prevention and the value of being an ally on today’s college campuses.



SHANE WINDMEYER opens the closet door that traditionally keeps students—gay or straight, Greek or non-Greek—silenced on issues surrounding sexual orientation. He destroys stereotypes that perpetuate homophobia and sheds light on an often invisible segment of the college community. Shane is one of the foremost educators on sexual orientation issues and Fraternity and Sorority Life. He joined Phi Delta Theta Fraternity in the Spring of 1992 and recalls coming out to his fraternity as one of his most rewarding undergraduate experiences. Shane is also the founder and executive director of Campus Pride, the premier national organization for student leaders and campus organizations working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.

Shane is the editor of Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities and co-editor of Out on Fraternity Row: Personal Accounts of Being Gay in a College Fraternity and Secret Sisters: Stories of Being Lesbian & Bisexual in a College Sorority.

Shane’s keynotes and workshops meet students at all levels of understanding, providing a non-threatening, encouraging approach to campus community building. What’s Your Gay Point Average? teaches all students that learning about LGBT issues does not have to be divisive or difficult. The Impact of Hate explores awareness of prejudice and motivates individuals to fight bias and hate on campus. The Time is Now is meant for young LGBT leaders, inspiring them to create a new paradigm of transformational leadership and action in whatever way they can.

For more information about Shane, contact CAMPUSPEAK at (303) 745-5545 or e-mail us at See Shane in action! You can watch a promotional video of Shane’s keynotes at





Angie Carr

Rockhurst University • Angie Carr is one of those fraternity/sorority professionals who knows a lot about a lot of things. And one of those things is campus programming. So, when looking for someone to write about campus programming from a fraternity/sorority perspective, Carr was a frontrunner due to her expertise in this type of cross-functionality. Sure, we plan programs all day every day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good ones. This article will provide you with a step by step overview and refresher in programming. Joshua Hiscock University of Maryland • Do your events suck? Really, if you’re [even a little] serious about assessment, you ought to consider the possibility. Whether they do or don’t, Joshua Hiscock’s article on improving programming will be of use to you. Hiscock provides us with a back to basics approach that will be helpful to even your best chapter or council programmer. Offering tips on basic planning and preparation, managing resources and being proactive, Hiscock’s article is a must read before you start planning your fall events. T.J. Sullivan CAMPUSPEAK, Inc. • This is the second time we’ve published work by T.J. Sullivan - and it’s for a reason. Sullivan, as usual, offers a candid and useful perspective using humor – and we love him. Sullivan’s article will challenge you to take a step back and stop trying to make everyone happy… at least of all of the time.

Why Do They Do It So Much Better


Improving Your Chapter’s Programming Through Purposeful Planning Joshua Hiscock + University of Maryland

The start of the new semester has arrived. The summer break has really energized you. Your chapter did not do very much last semester, but you are ready to change that. Your mind is filled with ideas for new and innovative programs that will really distinguish your chapter from the others on campus. But there seems to be one big, glaring, apparent problem. You have no idea how to make your ideas a reality. Sure, your chapter has planned events before, but they never seem to come together. Inevitably, something always goes wrong. If only you could figure out what is not working, you know that your chapter could produce some amazing programs. Does this scenario sound familiar? Many chapter officers face this situation every fall. A commonly-held perception on many campuses is that fraternities and sororities struggle in planning successful programs. Another perception on some campuses is that the fraternity/sorority community only programs events of interest to its own members. While the spirit of the fraternity/sorority community can be uniting, to an outsider it can be very uninviting and, perhaps, even exclusive.

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Why Do They Do it So Much Better? Many students believe the best events on campus are planned by the campus programming board. While it is called something different at each institution, almost every campus has an organization that serves in this role. Programs by other organizations never really seem to create the same buzz or get the same level of attention from the campus community. Students involved with campus programming boards always seem to have limitless budgets, strong guidance, and ample training to prepare them for their tasks. Programming boards also seem to get a lot of support from a wide variety of students on campus. What makes the programming board so different? Why do they do it so much better? Where is this same level of support for students in the Greek community? How can chapters break the cycle of seemingly planning events that will only be attended by students in other fraternities and sororities? The answers are simple. By employing relational leadership and a purposeful programming planning process, events sponsored by fraternities and sororities can be very successful and draw in support from the entire campus community. In reality, while the differences between fraternities and sororities and campus programming boards seem abundant, chapter leaders have more in common with the students involved in campus programming than one might think. Get Back to the Basics Innovation keeps people interested. Unfortunately, being innovative is not always the first step in planning a successful program. The first step in programming is to cover the basics. Think of it as a hierarchy of needs for a program. If basic needs are not addressed, more advanced needs or desires will never be addressed.

Whenever chapter leaders begin the program planning process, they should start by asking these questions: > What type of program do you want to plan? > What about THIS particular program makes it so special? > Where do you want to hold your program? > When is the best day and time to hold this program? > What are the budget needs for this program?

A chapter may have a great idea for an event, but choosing a date that conflicts with other major campus programs because options are limited last-minute could negatively affect the program. College campuses are busy places with a dozen events taking place on any given weekend. A chapter can make its event standout from the rest by reserving a venue early and considering alternate locations in advance in the event of a conflict. Some campuses take space reservations a semester in advance, so each chapter should learn the process on their campus. Without advanced planning, there is no way for a chapter to secure the funding it needs to cover its program expenses. It can be very frustrating to have big ideas and an empty bank account. Creating a budget for each and every event will allow chapter leaders to consider all of the potential expenses so they can decide what the chapter can and cannot afford. Fundraising or finding potential co-sponsoring organizations is not an easy task. Consider co-sponsoring with your campus programming board. Their expertise and experience in planning programs all of the time can be a real asset. They are student leaders just like you and have a lot to offer. The sooner a chapter realizes it will need to find support, the better! These initial steps may seem easy, but by getting back to the basics by using purposeful planning, a chapter will find itself headed in the direction of success. Focus on What You Do Have, Not on What You Don’t Many times when chapter leaders begin to plan a program, they think about all of the things they wish they had. This list often includes a larger budget, a different venue, and more help. Instead, by focusing on the things that your chapter DOES have, you will capitalize on your strengths and make your event more successful. If a chapter is unable to reserve a specific venue that it desires, consider the options that still exist. It may be possible to alter the scope of the event to fit appropriately into a new space. Popular spaces, often located in the student union, are usually difficult to reserve. This pushes many campus events into a variety of buildings across campus. While some campus spaces may present certain obstacles, many spaces will provide opportunities to be creative. Remember that if the purpose of your program is to raise money for your chapter’s philanthropy, the charity should be the focus of your efforts. If a chapter’s event conflicts with other popular campus events, chapter leaders should capitalize on the buzz that many events happening at once might create. Design creative publicity that cross-promotes the other events taking place. Work with the organizations sponsoring the simultaneous events and encourage them to join in the cross-promotion. Eliminating competition and emphasizing collaboration may result in all of the events seeing an increased attendance as opposed to fracturing the crowd.

If a chapter does not have enough money to plan the program of its dreams, consider what aspects are > Who will be sponsoring this program with my chapter? most important and focus on those. While we all love the extra frills that make our events stand out, consid> Who will need to be involved in planning to make this event a success? er what pieces are essential to making the program a success and be sure to support them with adequate By asking these seven simple questions, chapter leadfunding. For example, a Dance Marathon is difficult to have without a DJ, ers will be able to assess if they have addressed the but could still happen if there were minimal decorations that were made basic needs of the program. It is impossible to plan by chapter members instead of being purchased from a store. There is a a successful program if one has not considered what lot of talent on a college campus. Instead of contracting more expensive type of event they are holding so they can reserve a outside companies for good or services, see what might be done using venue that is appropriate. For example, trying to hold students, staff, and services on your own campus. Compromise in plana campus-wide talent competition in a small classning an event is important, but do not forget to focus on the necessities! room in the basement of an academic building just By focusing less on what you do not have and paying attention to what does not make sense. you do have, your chapter will promote enthusiasm instead of disappointment, leading to increased motivation to make the program a success. 008 // connections // 2011 • spring

Be Proactive, Not Reactive Students are busy. Between academic obligations, internships or work, other campus involvements, and the social aspects of college, time often feels limited. When planning a program, chapter leaders often rely on members to publicize the program via word-of-mouth. While this can be effective, it often results in the same people coming to each event: close friends, significant others, or roommates of chapter members. When most student organizations plan events, they assume that students on campus will just know to attend. Being proactive in event promotion is essential. Do not wait until the week of an event to begin publicizing – start many weeks in advance instead so that people can plan to attend. Do not target just one audience to attend. Be sure to promote each event widely. This is one of the most-effective strategies that campus programming boards use. Consider more proactive approaches to event promotion that other student organizations are not doing. Being the first organization on campus to try a new strategy just might set a chapter apart from the rest. Once students arrive at an event, the hard work is done, right? In reality, the work is just beginning. The many intricacies of running an event can be difficult to manage alone. Establish a committee of individuals who are responsible for the specific aspects of the program. A chapter must anticipate problems before they happen. Do not wait until something breaks or goes wrong to fix it. When you own a car, you keep up with preventative maintenance along the way to keep the engine running smoothly. Chapter leaders need to provide preventative maintenance to members to keep them energized and engaged. If they become disconnected with the chapter and its programs, it will always feel like the chapter is trying to catch up instead of forge ahead. By utilizing many chapter members to make an event a success through the delegation of essential tasks, the chapter will see active participation instead of a passive avoidance of responsibility. Practice Relational Leadership Every student organization has a dream of planning a program that will leave a legacy, a program that garners the headline of the student newspaper and the admiration of students for years to come. The reality is that this is not easily, or often, accomplished. It is more likely, however, if the team planning the event is put together with purpose and intention. Komives, Lucas, and McMahon (2007) define leadership as, “a relational and ethical process of people together attempting to accomplish positive change” (p. 74). Within this definition, the authors contend that leadership is ethical, inclusive, purposeful, and empowering. Compare Greek-letter organizations to this definition. As values-based organizations, one might argue that every chapter should be encouraging its members to not only be leaders, but be relational leaders.

Use Your Resources Fraternities and sororities have many resources at their disposal, yet many chapters fail to use them. The advising staff in the Greek Life office on your campus has a wealth of knowledge that any chapter can tap into. Most of the Fraternity/Sorority Advisors on a campus have the same programming knowledge and skills as the professionals who advise the campus programming board. Do not be afraid to reach out to these mentors to assist in navigating the programming planning process. Networking with student organizations, like the campus programming board, in both a social way and an in an official capacity will build strong networks that can be beneficial. The more student leaders practice relational leadership, the better the result. Assess Your Program When your program concludes, take time to assess what went well and what can be improved upon in the future. Ask each member of the planning team to share their feedback. Reach out to each stakeholder who worked with the chapter to determine where issues may have existed. Ask people who attended the event to share what they liked most about the experience. The most successful programming organizations learn from their mistakes and use those lessons to make their future events an even greater success. Do not be obsessed with attendance figures or the total money raised as the only means of assessing a program’s success. Students gain a lot from participating in campus activities with their peers. Your program may make a more far-reaching impact than you will initially realize. Get Out and DO IT! The most successful programming organizations don’t just talk about planning exemplary programs, they get out and do it! Many campus programming boards will plan one or two events each week. The constant practice makes the whole process seem more manageable. While most chapters may only plan a handful of programs and events each semester, the more experience a chapter gets with programming the right way, the easier it will be to do in the future. Each successful program will build upon the next until a culture of purposeful programming has been created.

REFERENCE Komives, S. R., Lucas, N., & McMahon, T. R. (2007) Exploring leadership: For college students who want to make a difference (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

The members of many programming boards are elected or selectively appointed into positions based upon their volunteer experiences with the organization. The intentionality used in this process should be reflected by chapter leaders when they appoint program chairs. Selecting individuals who have experience in planning events and working collaboratively with others will set a chapter up for success. Ensuring that individuals in leadership roles uphold the chapter’s values and lead in an ethical way will ensure that the rest of the campus community views a chapter in a positive light. This may improve the chances of building partnerships in the future. Encouraging lesser-experienced members to serve on committees will build a strong force of future program chairs. This is also an inclusive practice that keeps the process from becoming exclusive. Leadership is for everyone, not just the chosen few. Chapter leaders should be wary of using the same members all of the time. By encouraging more members, particularly new members, to take an active role in chapter programming will create a culture that promotes involvement and empowers members to do more. Every program a chapter plans should be done with purpose. With so many different types of events – from informational and educational to serviceoriented and social – it is important for student leaders to be purposeful.

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Over-Thinking Programming? Find a Need & Simply Fill It! By Angie Carr, Rockhurst University Fraternity and sorority professionals, as well as those interested in pursuing a career in fraternity and sorority advising, pride themselves on the fact that the profession can often be viewed as a ‘mini student affairs’ division. It’s been argued that fraternity/sorority professionals gain experience in every aspect of student affairs work, and that fraternity/sorority advising is a great functional area to work within if one’s goal is to advance in higher education. After all, on any given day, fraternity and sorority advisors often work with issues relating to residence life, admissions, orientation, campus safety, student conduct, intramural sports, and student activities. While this cross-functionality is often an argument to recruit fabulous professionals to the field, it could also be said that, at times, professionals find themselves as ‘jacks of many trades’ and masters of only a few. When working in an area where one is more confident, this work may occur with exuberance, excitement, and ease. Conversely, when working in an area that doesn’t come quite as easily or an area where there isn’t much experience, the professional may find him or herself hesitant or second guessing every move, or may even put off the task or defer it to someone else. WHERE TO START Dr. Stephen Covey, in his best seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989), discusses the habit of beginning with the end in mind. This is the best advice that one can heed when planning an effective program. One must always have a purpose for every program. ‘Program’ in this sense can mean a retreat, an educational speaker, a facilitated workshop, or any other event that is planned where student learning is involved. The purpose is the most important factor of the program and is best stated in the form of learning outcomes. In fact, program planning should not even be started without first creating learning outcomes to guide the process.

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Some may find themselves staring at an empty screen when beginning to think about creating learning outcomes. If this scenario sounds familiar, consider the following questions: > What need or learning gap is this program attempting to meet or fill? > What is the core purpose of this program? > When participants leave this program what should they leave knowing, thinking, and feeling? > As a result of this program students will learn _____________. > What CAS Learning and Developmental Outcomes (2009) might be met through this program? > How will I know or measure that learning has taken place? WHO’S ON BOARD? While it’s often less time consuming or easier to plan a program by oneself it’s not always the best model. When looking to find a group that can develop appropriate learning outcomes and that can add insight and expertise to a program, the best committee is usually made up of less than eight members and often includes at least one person to whom the program is targeted; in this case, that is very likely to be a student. It is often beneficial to the committee and to the program itself that committee members have different strengths and areas of expertise or experience. Don’t over think the committee selection process. Much can be planned via email and phone and does not always require in-person committees or committee meetings. The key in committee planning is to remember that the more people are involved in the planning process, the more they are invested. The more individuals are invested in the front end of the program, the more success the program is bound to have. SCHEDULE, ACTIVITIES, AND ACHIEVING LEARNING OUTCOMES Depending upon the program, the schedule and activities can look quite different. This is where the committee and the campus expertise of those involved comes into play. Questions to ask the committee include: > Who is the target audience? > How can we make the program interactive? > Who needs to be involved in the execution of the program? > What resources can we gather and from where? Often times it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating a program. You can begin by looking to professional associations; many have web resources that have effective programs that have already been planned, executed, and evaluated to provide you with a great starting point. A brainstorming session with the committee is also an often effective place to start. Begin with your learning outcomes and the answers to the above questions, and it could take the committee to exactly where they need to go.

LOGISTICS Before you begin any publicity or marketing, it’s imperative that logistics are handled, including reserving a room, scheduling a date, and determining refreshment or audio/visual requirements. These logistics differ based on the campus and, if those are not known to you at this time, find someone on your campus that does know and begin asking questions. Try to also find out what they have seen work and where they have seen errors in planning. Not only will that person likely be happy to assist, but a collegial relationship may also be formed or strengthened that is likely to only grow in a positive manner over time. Also, it’s imperative to know what to NOT program against. At some campuses that might be a basketball game or a big programming board event, and some campuses have a night each week that is class-heavy. The best case scenario is to team up and work with other organizations and departments, as over-programming tends to be alive and well on all campuses across the nation. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE AND HOW DO WE GET THEM THERE? Identify who your ideal audience is by asking questions like: > Who needs to hear this information? > Who wants to hear this message? > Who can assist us in sending the message? > What are the top 10 ways that events are publicized on this campus? > What are 10 different ways to recruit individuals through publicity? > What are 10 different ways to recruit individuals personally? One might have the most effective program, but if no one is there to hear it, the work was for naught. Many people start the recruitment of those in attendance before the program is planned and logistics are arranged. In theory that sounds great because a program without an audience certainly isn’t effective. In practice, however, a targeted approach to get people excited about a program or event is the best practice. One pebble thrown in a pond creates many ripples and one student recruited and excited about something can easily get several others on board. Those with experience would caution the committee against the dreaded “mandatory” program or event. When a participant comes to a program because the individual is told he has to be there, he has no desire to attend and likely already has his mind made up that the program must not be worthy on its own accord. The committee is then beginning in the negative as far as participation and attitude with the participants and must work twice as hard to get the participant to a neutral attitude let alone positive attitude about participation. Keep in mind a committed group of 10 can move more mountains than a neutral and unmotivated group of 100. It’s also important to keep in mind that a group of 10 passionate, empowered and excited individuals with a purpose can easily multiply into a group of 100 when given the right tools. It’s been asked of speakers who often

have large attendance at their events how they get 500 people to attend. The most common answer is that the individual doesn’t know how to get 500 people but they have tried 50 ways of getting 10 people. The same approach should and could be taken on by the committee when recruiting participants. EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT An evaluation is the natural conclusion to a great program. In an effort to create a ‘green’ environment, the online evaluation tends to be the most effective way to gather feedback from program participants. The evaluation is often best created with a mix of Likert scale questions and a few open answer questions, as participants often have great feedback for the committee that the committee didn’t think to ask. A great evaluation is one that can be completed in less than five minutes by the participants, is sent within 24 hours of the program and has clear and concise questions. When using a Likert scale, make sure that the participants know the measure of the scale. Also keep in mind that each question should only ask one question. Common mistakes made on evaluations are made because of the poor wording of many questions. It’s always best to have someone schooled in research or a faculty member who is an expert in the area review the evaluation. The added bonus of that is the faculty member(s) are then made aware of and possibly invested in the program and can assist in other ways as well. Assessment differs from evaluation in that an evaluation provides the committee with the feedback on the program and what the participants’ opinions are of the content and the experience. Assessment tells the committee what a student knows or learned potentially as a result of the program. While not everything can be assessed and cause and effect cannot always be argued, assessment is key in noting the valuable work that is done in the area of student development. It is highly likely that there is an office or an individual on campus who is responsible for assessment, and it is best to coordinate with that individual prior to the development of the program’s curriculum and review the learning outcomes together. At that time it can be determined what can be assessed and this individual or group of individuals can assist the committee in the best way to implement the assessment. GET IN THE GAME It’s important to keep these many programming lessons in mind, and, if frustration settles in, ask oneself if there is overthinking involved. Some of the most effective programs began as ideas that started with a conversation around a lunch table or on a car ride to and from a conference. If the most effective programs and great ideas started under a stress free and casual environment, go back to that place, create learning outcomes, and get in the game!

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Now tell them a good story.

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I have a friend named Jon. Jon loves whatever the latest rage in popular culture might be.  He was the first to rush off to a Lady Gaga concert, and he loves American Idol.   He goes to Disneyland or Disneyworld every year, sometimes two or three times.  He knows every celebrity mentioned in People Magazine.  He would rather drive five miles out of his way for a Starbucks than drink at the local coffee shop a block away. His clothes are always current, he always has the latest trendy gadget or cell phone, and he wouldn’t dream of missing a party. He would love to fill his house with furniture from Ikea or Crate & Barrel. Jon probably has the latest Justin Beiber CD in his convertible Mini Cooper. My other friend, Peter, would rather die than eat at an Applebees. He prides himself on loving obscure musical groups (if they get a major record deal, it’s a matter of days before he laments them “selling out”).  He drinks beer none of us have ever seen before.  When he invites you over to watch a DVD, you never know if you’re going to end up with a Danish horror film or an epidode of Battlestar Gallactica.  He enjoys being unconventional, unpredictable, and rejecting anything the least bit commercially popular. The couch in his living room was purchased second hand and has dog hair on it. Peter drives a 15 year old pickup truck with rust spots.  He doesn’t know who Justin Beiber is, and he doesn’t have a CD player. And finish it with good content.

Now, you might have an opinion about which of my friends is more “your type of guy,” but I like them both equally. Jon is more fun at a party, but I’d rather wander a European town with Peter. Each has his charms though neither matches my tastes precisely. If I invited Jon out for a night that Peter planned, Jon would find him weird and pretentious.  If I invited Peter on a night out that Jon planned, he be stoned before the Bloomin’ Onion arrived. I tell you this because you probably have both a Jon and a Peter in your group.  You likely have several of each. And you probably have plenty of folks, like me, who float somewhere in the middle. This is another reason why planning large group events with mandatory attendance is a terrible idea. Peter doesn’t want to build a Homecoming float, go to the basketball game, or attend a pep rally.  Jon doesn’t want to attend the opening of the latest production by the experimental theatre group. As a programmer, you will never make everyone happy with everything you plan.   People like totally different things. The important thing is to offer a variety of opportunities so that everyone finds enjoyment in your organization from time to time. If your calendar is full of large, campus-wide events, you’ll turn off the Peters in your group who will search elsewhere for their fun.  If everything you do is serious and thought-provoking, the Jons will run for the hills.  People need different stimuli. You can’t please everyone all the time, and you shouldn’t be trying.  You should please all the people some of the time. You do that by opening up the event planning process.  Ask people for ideas – big and small – of what they’d like to do. Create an event planning process where people of widely varying tastes and interests can have equal access to the dollars and other resources of the group.  Sure, you will do some big events with broad appeal.  But, you should also have a mechanism by which members with niche tastes can pursue their interests. If you run the programming arm of the Women’s Center, for example, you will have those members who enjoy a big campus-wide promotion of Sexual Assault Prevention Week (your Jons). But, you might also have a couple of members who want to hold a debate on reproductive rights that will draw in 12 participants on a rainy Tuesday night (your Peters). If you’re planning events for your fraternity, you might have the big party on Homecoming weekend (for the Jons), but then also have a small gathering for brothers who would enjoy a road trip to the nearest big city for some live jazz (your Peters). Allow for both.  One is not better than another. From a leadership perspective, you win by accommodating both. Your group is inevitably more interesting and lively because it has room for a wide variety of tastes and interests.

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For Advisors:

Student Learning Outcomes:

the Driving Force behind Purpose & Intention Far too often, we attend programs and find ourselves thinking a particular question: what’s the purpose of this program? Guess what? You’re not the only one – your students are thinking it too – about the programs you are planning. A lot of times the symptom behind this question rests on one specific issue: a lack of learning outcomes. Learning outcomes assure that programming is purposeful and intentional by providing a framework for what the program will allow individuals know, demonstrate, and/or be able to do once the program is over. They provide feedback for the work that needs to be completed with students beyond “customer satisfaction surveys” and allow professionals to explore the skills that need to be developed in students. Since Learning Reconsidered 1 and 2 were published, the topic of learning outcomes has become a hot one in student affairs entities and it’s not uncommon to hear that the whole process of formulating learning outcomes is an intimidating one. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some keys to get you started on putting together learning outcomes: > Ask yourself what you consider most important for students to know, demonstrate or do following your program. > Turn these behaviors and actions into statements – don’t forget to use action verbs (remember: things that can be observed and measured)! > Make sure they are clear and specific. > Work with one or two people to review your statements and provide you feedback (this helps to incorporate different perspectives). > Don’t try to focus on every little aspect of the program – come up with three to five learning outcomes that cover your high priority items. > Consult resources available outside of your department (if you have an office that does planning and assessment, make sure you include them in your learning outcomes planning process!) As you are putting together learning outcomes, consider the following: > Are they aligned with your mission, vision, values and goals? > Do they describe and define attitudes, values, or knowledge acquired through program participation? > Are they simple? > Can you gather data that is accurate and reliable? > Can the outcomes be measured by one method? > Do they identify areas to improve? > Are they written with action verbs that are easily identifiable? > Does it describe action that the students would do, not the teacher? > Is the language describing learning and not a process? > Does it describe the results of the program or services being offered to the students? If you answer yes to all of these questions – you are on your way to creating great learning outcomes! Keep in mind, though, many people go through several versions of a learning outcome before finalizing their best work. Don’t be afraid to use others to provide you feedback and assist you in revamping your learning outcomes. When in doubt, keep the following questions in mind: “Can it be measured?” and “How is learning being demonstrated?” It’s that simple.

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FROM THE ROAD 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.

Gays, Greeks, & Grape Juice + Ohio University In an attempt to build a positive working relationship between the fraternity and sorority community and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) Community at Ohio University, a new program was established that utilizes humor and education through theater to open communication. As a result, Gays, Greeks, & Grape Juice was created to help build relationships and open the lines of communication among these two populations. Gays, Greeks, & Grape Juice set out to accomplish several things: first, engage students in a program that addresses issues which often lead to friction between the groups. Second, to create a dialogue on relevant issues and provide a place where students are more comfortable to discuss the issues presented. Finally, the program aims to help ignite a strong collaborative relationship between the two communities to provide a way for them to work together to alleviate tensions. Dustin Page, Graduate Assistant for the Greek Life Office described it as “a humorous, educational theatrical-based program designed to challenge the stereotypes of the LGBT community as well as the Greek community while promoting better relations and understanding between the two groups.” The entire cast was created from members of both the LGBT and the Fraternity/Sorority communities; there were five LGBT student and eight student fraternity/sorority leaders. Two of these students represented both communities. This diverse cast collaborated to talk about issues surrounding diversity and equality. The initial performance had an audience of around 250 people. The effort was a success and was able to provide a forum where deep discussion took place following the program. At times students were challenged but found they were leaving the program with new insights into a different perspective. Page also believes there have been some positive changes that have occurred due to this program; he stated several fraternity men have felt more comfortable to be able to come out openly with their sexual orientation. He also indicated Ohio University has seen an increase in the number of openly gay men who are participating in recruitment and many of these men have accepted bids to join a chapter. Page believes the open discussions allowed for a more accepting environment which allows for openly gay men to pursue leadership roles in the fraternity community. According to Page, the LGBT Center has also reported an increase involvement in students from the fraternity and sorority community. He believes this is because the Gays, Greeks, & Grape Juice program provided an opportunity to discuss LGBT issues and the topic of sexuality. This program has received a lot of positive feedback from the students and there has been a push to increase this type of programming with other topics. They are currently pursuing a second program that will be called “Consent” and will address the issue of sexual assault. 016 // connections // 2011 • spring

Greek Serve: Service Trips University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign For the past three years the University of Illinois has hosted two community service based trips for members of the fraternity and sorority community. The first is typically associated with the football season in the fall semester. The second trip is hosted during the winter break in early January. Each of these trips provide students with a unique opportunity to connect their fraternal values with hands on service in the community. The fall semester’s Greek Serve trip has typically been associated with a football game and a weekend of activities and for the past two years the University of Illinois and Ohio State University have teamed up for this unique opportunity. During each trip, students have visited from the other campus and have participated in community service activities within the local community. These trips have also included attending the Illinois vs. Ohio State football game and learning about another fraternity/sorority community. When Ohio State University hosted the students from the University of Illinois, students from both fraternity and sorority communities volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club and at the local Kipp Academy School. The following year, when Illinois hosted Ohio State, the service aspects included maintenance of the Boys and Girls Club Community Garden and theater renovations for a local kids museum. During the winter break, the Greek Serve trip has taken a group of students to volunteer within a local school in the Chicago Public School District. This past January they were joined by a group of students from Purdue University. This joint service trip is focused on one local school where students are assigned to a classroom where they work with students on a daily basis. Activities range from assisting the teacher with testing students, helping students with homework or many other activities in the classroom. These service based trips offer students the unique opportunity to connect with other students and live the service based initiatives in their organizations’ values. An important part of these programs is the ability to provide a great experience that is also affordable for those students who decide to participate. Greek Serve is building up steam at the University of Illinois and is becoming a strong program that students look forward to on an annual basis. The staff at the University of Illinois believes there are strong educational opportunities that occur on experiences such as these and they are constantly looking for new opportunities to continue to improve this program.

Empowering Students to Examine the Role of Alcohol One Photo at a Time Eastern Michigan University Greek Life and Health Education at Eastern Michigan University have teamed up to create a unique program, Photovoice, that aims to give insight to the role alcohol plays in the social environment for undergraduate students. Photovoice was established in the concept of photo novella, which is defined as a mechanism for granting a voice to those who would not normally have one. The Photovoice project empowered eight fraternity and sorority students to take on the role of being a photographer. Each of the students went through training on photography and established expectations for each other as participants of the program. The students then took photos over the next several months. Each photo was required to tell the student’s story and show how they view alcohol in their lives and in their community. Through this loose requirement, students were challenged to critically evaluate every aspect of what they photographed and how they view the impact of alcohol. Once the students’ photos were printed, students were instructed to write a narrative for each photo they shot. These photos and their narratives were then put on display in an exhibition in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center. The exhibition was held in conjunction with National Alcohol Screening Day. During the exhibition, each student was given an opportunity to present their personal story and to discuss the photos that they took during the project. Small group discussions were lead by the student participants to process their experience with the attendees. The primary goal was to create awareness and to generate a discussion about the use of alcohol in the community and the impact that it has. The Photovoice project empowered students to take on a conversation about a topic that is typically one that students find boring and repetitive. This project empowered students to take on the discussion themselves and to allow them to guide the direction of the discussion.

facilItation 411


By Kathryn Ready Graduate Assistant for Co-Curricular Involvement, Missouri State University TERMS Program is an individual or set of events, services, or activities intended to meet a group’s needs Engagement the act of sharing in the activities of a group Involvement is participation, sharing in common with a group LEARNING OBJECTIVE Promote self-authorship through student driven programming. Students are assailed with programming in all parts of their college career but rarely get the opportunity to be a part of the planning process. Through these activities and discussions, students will gain a better understanding of what goes into the planning, implementation, and assessment of programming. FACILITATOR CONSIDERATIONS HOT TIP! Always program for a specific audience! You will never reach every person at an institution or community, so plan events or activities around a certain demographic. While you may never reach every person you hope to when planning an event, making it open and accessible to all will allow for opportunities of personal growth and development.

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Encourage students to take the lead in the programming process. Advising them through the planning and implementation process is the perfect opportunity for some great development conversations. Learning objectives, learning objectives, learning objectives! There must always be a purpose to a program, and the students planning the event should have a part in determining the learning objectives for any particular program. The purpose could be to learn about healthy eating from a dietician speaker, or just to have fun and meet new people by attending the homecoming dance. Let students plan a program how they want to plan it, not how you think it should be done. Stay with them through the project and encourage self-authorship and innovation. Collaborate and co-program with any number of student groups or university departments as often as possible. Advertise every event heavily. Use alternative advertising and as many free options as possible such as social media. Be wary of over-programming! Depending on your student demographics and program evaluations, each institution should be able to determine the manageable amount of events for any given semester.

HOW TO GET STARTED Incorporate this training into an initial meeting, particularly one-on-one meetings with the programming chair or chairs that you advise. By taking a few minutes to help students understand self-governance and self-authorship early in your relationship, they will begin to understand their role in the programming process. ROOM SET-UP Seating for two at a long table, this will help you spread out any documents or calendars needed for the planning process. GROUP SIZE Advisor and advisee SUPPLIES Calendar- one for the current year and one from the last year with past programs on it. Summaries from at least the past year’s events. Travel accommodations may be required for some activities.

ACTIVITY TIMING This meeting could take at least an hour to start the programming process, but it could take much longer if you want to make this meeting the initial program-planning meeting for the entire semester. WHAT TO DO: ACTIVITY REVIEW IMPROVE PROGRAMMING: WHAT INDIVIDUALS/SMALL GROUPS CAN DO The activities listed here will allow students to take the initiative on the programming process. Inform students that there will be follow-up included in the next scheduled meeting: Use a large calendar. Facilitator should use a large calendar to start the programming process, preferably something dry erase or changeable.  Students will write potential events on the calendar and talk about why each event should be planned.  Facilitator can suggest options available to student: > How will this event be most effective on this date? > Are there options for co-programming? > For what demographic are you aiming? > What supplies/funding will be needed for this event?

Practice “No” Statements. Facilitators encourage students to be mindful of when they say “yes or no” to new or current programming options brought to them by others.  Encourage students to think, “Can I really devote time to this? Will this be my best effort? Would someone else benefit from leading this task?” Remember it is ok for something to fail.  Failure is a learning opportunity.  Students should realize what is important to accomplish, to delegate and to release.  Facilitators can work with students to discuss how to decide what can be released or delegated and what to do if the project doesn’t meet expectations without the student’s involvement. PLAN FOR SUCCESS When planning programs or events, make sure these activities encourage students to engage with one another and experience new, thought provoking ideas.  Allow students to have the opportunity to do what they want with the programming process; if one student you advise works best through a context setting give him or her time to research, if another works best through brainstorming encourage this type of program planning. ASSESSMENT After you’ve hosted or lead any event, assessment is essential for improvement.  Consider distributing surveys to participants or sponsor a feedback meeting to gather successes, opportunities and goals for the next program. You can never have too much information to help make a program or activity better. Kathryn Ready is a Graduate Assistant at Missouri State University in the Office of Student Engagement.  Currently, she is on the Alumna Advisory Board for the Zeta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and the Assistant Panhellenic Advisor at Drury University.

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Question One: I am a new chapter President and it has occurred to me that the leaders in my chapter (and in the community, actually) aren’t really that good at planning events. We’ve got recruitment down, but when it comes to planning a fundraiser or social event, it just doesn’t seem like they know what they’re doing. Who can I turn to if we want better training?

Candice Wolf

Samantha Armstrong

More than likely you have multiple resources available for free on your campus. The fundamentals of event planning are the same, whether you are planning for a concert at a 5,000 seat arena or an etiquette dinner, so talk to your big event planners on campus. Think about inviting the advisor or president of your student activities planning group, your alumni relations department or even your university security/police staff to talk about how they plan and manage events on campus. If you’re talking specifically about philanthropy (i.e. fundraising), you may also consider talking to the department in charge of fundraising for your university. More than likely, these groups will have ideas in the way of not just planning your event, but making a budget, securing funds, working with other offices/departments on campus and marketing your event.

As you look to help your organization master event planning and serve as an example of how to plan a successful event, I would encourage you to start with getting to know your resources on and off campus. If you have not yet made the campus tour with one of your fellow executive members, I would encourage you to start there. The individuals who work in your student activities office and anyone who helps oversee community service for the campus may serve as tremendous resources. You do not have to be planning a specific type of event to learn about the services on your campus and connect with individuals that may be able to help you take your event planning to the next level. Use your skills as a member of a fraternity or sorority to build your event planning resource list. Next, broaden your scope to resources within your community. You may be in a city with an event-planning firm that you could approach to come in and provide a workshop on how to begin structuring an event or, there may be a local non-profit that is excellent at planning different events and would provide you with some insight/training. Your (inter)national organization may also have several resources or handouts that could help you begin your planning process. Last, but not least, I highly recommend flipping through the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Programming magazine for event planning tips and tools. The magazine can be found online here: NACA produces this magazine for students and professionals on college campuses that engage in programming events for college students and many of their articles are extremely helpful for all student groups who plan events, of any type, and want to make sure they are successful. Happy planning!

Ask the Experts Want to be a Connections Magazine 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.

This Month’s Experts: Samantha Armstrong Washington State University Liz Osborne Oklahoma State University CANDICE WOLF Northwest Missouri State University

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Question Two: I am an executive officer on IFC and we want to implement an annual all-Greek philanthropy week of some kind. People have big ideas but no one really seems to know how to go about planning something this large scale… at least planning it well. Some people are suggesting we partner with the student government and/or the campus programming alliance but others want it to be something that’s just for fraternities and sororities do (I personally think they just want the credit for it). What’s the best option?

Liz Osborne

In a time of budget-cuts, it’s all about collaboration! Have you ever noticed that chapters seem to just trade money rather than actually fundraise? This is a perfect opportunity to get those outside of your community involved, and unless the Greeks on your campus have a great reputation of working with others (and I’m guessing, like everyone else, they don’t), this is a great chance to show you’re real people doing something with purpose. Planning an entire week of quality activities takes a lot of work. More than likely, the groups you mentioned are going to have some event planning experience that your chapters and council can learn from. If IFC wants to take the lead, I would suggest working with other councils and groups to create a planning board for this philanthropy week to delegate tasks to. IFC’s philanthropy director can take the lead in guiding this group, but the more input you have, the more people your program will appeal to.

My advice is to collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! While I commend you on developing an annual all-Greek philanthropy week, I think that more money and awareness for the cause(s) you support can be raised when you reach beyond the Greek community. There are often several student organizations, community organizations, and campus departments willing to support, get involved, and even help plan positive events that make a difference. As students you are busy and, when you collaborate, you not only have an opportunity to share the workload, you have built–in accountability for helping to ensure that your end goal is reached.

Samantha Armstrong

One Last Question:

My chapter members complain that we don’t have enough “fun” events. On the other hand, these same people complain they are over-programmed. What’s the deal? Are the events we have just not good enough?

Connect with your student government, your student programming board, and whoever oversees community outreach on your campus to see how they can help you make this week a success. Additionally, connect with the organization(s) you are looking to raise money/awareness for and get them involved. Use their knowledge to figure out what would be most beneficial and how you can educate more people about their cause(s).

I cannot answer that question for you. However, I think you can find the answer yourself. I would recommend assessing your chapter members by giving them a survey. List all the events that you have throughout the year and have them rate how much they enjoyed the event, how effective it was, etc. Compare those results to what your national organization requires that you have and compare that to your university’s academic Liz Osborne calendar. As an executive team, sit down with that information and start eliminating what isn’t working, combine similar events if possible and look for ways to revamp events that can’t be eliminated. Also, leave room on your survey for chapter members to tell you what elements of fun are missing from currently provided events. You may even leave a space on the survey for members to identify themselves if they want. You may find the perfect new social chair from the survey. Remember, your members will be your greatest resource! Maybe they aren’t! Have you surveyed members to determine what events (other than parties) that they deem “fun”? How about why they like the events they do? If the answer is booze or the hot guys/girls that also attend these events, I think it’s safe to ignore their concerns. That being said, over-programming is a real issue, but a lot of our programs really do serve a purpose, like risk management education, new member Candice education, etc. However, that doesn’t mean we need to reinvent the wheel! If another Wolf chapter is bringing in a university security officer to discuss being safe on campus, why not ask if your chapter can attend as well? Not ironically, usually chapters with social responsibility issues have more speakers. Why not piggy-back on their sanctions and ask to attend any speakers or seminars they have to put on. Your (inter)national organization should be very supportive of this effort, and it gives your chapter more time to spend planning “fun” events.

DID I FORGET SOME THING? A Comprehensive Program Planning Checklist

There are many details associated with programming and event planning. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget some details and find ourselves running around aimlessly, realizing we have not completed tasks or finished them early enough. To help you avoid those times, below you will find a checklist of potential actions to consider as you plan your programs. Note that the timeline below is meant to be generic to different programming types (large vs. small, on-campus vs. off-campus, etc.) – feel free to add or subtract items on this checklist or cater the timeline to the appropriate amount of time you have before an event!

9 to 12 months prior to the event ▢▢Decide program purpose and learning objectives ▢▢Identify the “hook” for your program – what will get people to attend? ▢▢Pick a date and time for the program (or have at least 2-3 options – remember important university and chapter/ council events) ▢▢Visit potential program sites (if being held off-campus) ▢▢Form a program committee and create expectations and responsibilities for members ▢▢Get cost estimates for the program and draft a budget (consider aspects such as site rental, food, drinks, audiovisual costs, etc.) ▢▢Decide on admission/registration costs (if there will be one) ▢▢Create sponsorship amounts/levels and sponsorship packet ▢▢Investigate need for special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.

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6 to 9 months prior to the event ▢▢Finalize program date and time ▢▢Select program site (this can be done earlier though) – make sure you have an alternative, indoor site if your event is outside ▢▢Get bids for all costs associated with program ▢▢If you will need to book entertainment or speakers, book them now ▢▢Search and finalize sponsors ▢▢Purchase/acquire special permits, licenses, insurance, etc. ▢▢Acquire all written contracts for site, entertainment, etc. ▢▢If you will be honoring anyone outside of your fraternity and sorority community, invite them ▢Identify ▢ someone who can design your invitation ▢▢Create/order save-the-date or other event announcements and send them out ▢▢Establish a marketing/public relations plan ▢▢Develop press release and other media outreach ▢▢Begin monthly or weekly committee meetings ▢▢Finalize budget

Crunch Time 3 to 6 months prior to the event ▢Register ▢ event with your institution (or other necessary entities) as needed ▢Invite ▢ and confirm dignitaries and hosts ▢Request ▢ and obtain logos from corporate sponsors for printing ▢Finalize ▢ with the designer your invitations, programs, posters, etc. ▢If ▢ you are selling tickets, prepare final copy for printing (or if you’re selling them online, determine and finalize the program you will be using to sell them) ▢Complete ▢ mailing lists for invitations ▢Order ▢ invitations and all printed marketing materials ▢Sign ▢ all contracts ▢Begin ▢ marketing your event ▢Decide ▢ on food and beverages ▢Continue ▢ monthly or weekly committee meetings 2 months prior to the event ▢Assemble, ▢ address, and mail invitations ▢Select/order ▢ trophies/awards (if any are being given away) ▢Distribute ▢ printed marketing materials and begin social media marketing ▢Finalize ▢ transportation/hotel accommodations for dignitaries and speakers (if needed) ▢Draft ▢ timeline of the day and any scripts ▢Create ▢ room diagram and assign tables/seating (if needed) ▢Continue ▢ monthly or weekly committee meetings ▢Determine ▢ and confirm any security needed for event 1 month prior to the event ▢Confirm ▢ event registration with institution (or other entities) has been approved ▢Continue ▢ distribution of printed marketing materials and social media marketing ▢Review ▢ needs for signs at registration, to navigate the site, etc. ▢Order ▢ food ▢Finalize ▢ room set-up needs with site ▢Release ▢ press announcements and confirm media participation ▢Review ▢ and revise script and timeline of the day ▢Do ▢ a walk-through of event with committee members at event site ▢Send ▢ dignitaries and speakers information on transportation and accommodations (include arrival and departure time, flight number, airline, hotel name, address and phone number, name of person assigned to host the individual with contact information, etc.) ▢Schedule ▢ deliveries of equipment or rentals ▢Create ▢ and review a crisis/emergency management plan ▢Create ▢ checklist of items that need to be purchased for event ▢Change ▢ to weekly committee meetings 2 weeks prior to the event ▢Continue ▢ distribution of printed marketing materials and social media marketing ▢Confirm ▢ setup and tear down times with event site ▢Receive ▢ trophies/awards (if any are being given away) ▢Continue ▢ distribution of printed marketing materials and social media marketing ▢Finalize ▢ timeline for the day, personnel assignments and scripts ▢Order ▢ more food if numbers have increased ▢Confirm ▢ transportation schedules, hosts, and hotel accommodations for speakers and/or dignitaries ▢Purchase ▢ all supplies needed for event ▢Continue ▢ weekly committee meetings

1 Week Before ▢Print ▢ all registration and site navigation signage ▢Provide ▢ final number for food order ▢Assemble ▢ welcome packets for dignitaries and/or speakers to distribute upon arrival ▢Identify ▢ a photographer for the event and provide individual with special instructions regarding this task ▢Complete ▢ a final walk-through with event site staff ▢Meet ▢ with all committees members for last-minute details and review the timeline of the day once again ▢Confirm ▢ final number attending ▢Finish ▢ seating/table arrangements ▢Train ▢ all those staffing the event on their tasks ▢Confirm ▢ pickup or delivery of any rented or loaned equipment ▢Reconfirm ▢ transportation schedules, hosts, and hotel accommodations for speakers and/or dignitaries ▢Deliver ▢ final scripts to program hosts or anyone speaking ▢Follow ▢ up on press announcements and reconfirm media participation ▢Complete ▢ inventory of all supplies needed and purchase last minute materials needed ▢Do ▢ week-long marketing blitz Day before event ▢Gather ▢ all supplies needed for event ▢Check ▢ all equipment to ensure it is in working order before the event ▢Confirm ▢ event photographer ▢Send ▢ reminders to those staffing the event with logistical details Event Day ▢Confirm ▢ speakers and/or dignitaries arrived safely and will be at the site on time ▢Arrive ▢ early ▢Make ▢ sure all necessary set-up is complete and all equipment is working ▢Check ▢ in with those staffing the event to make sure all tasks are covered and all questions are answered ▢Setup ▢ registration area and signage ▢Carry ▢ out your event! After the event ▢Send ▢ thank you cards to those who helped put the program together or facilitate it as well as sponsors and dignitaries and/or speakers ▢Have ▢ a wrap-up meeting with your committee to assess what needs to stop, change, or continue for the program ▢Send ▢ program evaluations to participants ▢Review ▢ program evaluation results and put together an action plan for how the program (or those similar to it) should be executed next time ▢Reconcile ▢ the program budget


Stoplight Your Chapter through Steady Change Chloe Abshire + Alpha Delta Pi + Longwood University

Just over two years ago our chapter was comfortable, our membership felt strong, and our presence on campus was more visible than ever. We thought we were the best chapter on campus and that we were invincible. Does this sound familiar to you? I am sure it does to a great majority of those who might be reading this story. For me, personally, it was a very exciting time in my membership; I had just been elected as Membership Education Vice President for my chapter at Longwood University, and I was ready to start making an impact. Our new leadership was confident, and we had just initiated 14 members; which at the time was large for any chapter at Longwood. Alpha Delta Pi was chartering a new chapter at Washington and Lee University, and a few of our members were planning to help with the initiation of our new sisters. I felt so lucky to have this opportunity and was very excited to meet the officers and representatives of my international sorority. About ten of our members traveled to Lexington, Virginia, to jumpstart our spring break; eager to meet sisters from up and down the east coast. It was a great day, and we were all very moved and inspired by what we participated in that beautiful Saturday afternoon. As we were getting ready to say our goodbyes and to head back to Longwood, we were approached by our District Team Director and asked to stick around for a quick meeting. Our International President came and sat with our members and our District Team Director. We were informed about some hazing allegations that had taken place within another chapter on our campus and asked if we knew anything about the incidents or if we were partaking in anything similar. It was an intimidating conversation and we were trying to do everything in our power to look and sound like the perfect chapter to the International Officers of Alpha Delta Pi; all while we knew in our hearts that we had some programs, activities, and traditions in our chapter that we needed to eliminate. Looking back now, I can now say that this meeting sparked the beginning of GREAT change within our chapter.


At the end of our conversation, our International President and District Team Director advised us to hold what they called a Stoplight Workshop. We were given a summary of the workshop and its purpose, and then we were on our way back to Longwood. We had no idea why this workshop was being suggested, but we took the advice and ran with it. Our chapter’s president and I implemented the workshop and adapted it into a program that our chapter could use to identify problems and successes, in order to use that information to analyze what we needed to work on and improve.

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The Stoplight WorKshop Pre-Workshop Preparation Date: Schedule the date and announce it to the chapter 2-3 weeks prior. When the workshop is announced, be sure to let your members know they should be brainstorming topics they would like to discuss. Facilitators: Assign two facilitators (preferably the President and Vice President, or whoever runs the parliamentary procedure in your chapter).


Supplies: Purchase supplies, including: four white poster boards; green, yellow, and red markers; item of your choice that members will hold while talking; candy or snacks to keep the members engaged. Reserve a Room: The room should be comfortable for your members and where you will be able to meet in privacy without interruption.

Workshop Outline > Welcome Introduce the facilitators. Try to create a safe environment and share an amnesty policy for the duration of the workshop. Let members know that what is said in the room during the workshop needs to stay within the room. Process and Purpose The workshop is going to last about two hours. Encourage members to turn off or remove distractions from the room (i.e. cell phones). The workshop will focus on all programs, activities, and traditions that take place in our chapter. We want to identify the programs and activities that we do well, those that need to be tweaked, and those that we need to get rid of completely. > Brainstorming and Discussion Start by listing every chapter program, activity, or tradition on a large poster board. You should have a total list of about 20-30 chapter programs or activities. The only person talking is the person holding the ________ (item of your choice). Each member should have a 30-45 second limit to talk. Discuss the item for no more than 5 minutes. Designate a recorder to take notes, including who spoke on each program or activity, what they said, and onto which color board (Green, Yellow, or Red) the activity was voted.

> Voting Following your discussion, members will vote (consensus, heads down/eyes closed, or using a written ballot) if the program or activity should go on the Green board, the Yellow board, or the Red board. Green board activities are those that create a positive experience for members, and should continue. Yellow board activities are those that may need to be modified or tweaked if they continue. Red board activities are those that need to be completely eliminated. The two facilitators should count the votes. Announce where the program/activity will be placed. Following the Workshop A committee should be selected to go through the recorder’s notes and the items placed on each color board. The committee should discuss the items on the Yellow board in more detail and develop a solution, change, or action that will be taken with these items. Once the committee has met and proposed solutions to the activities on the Yellow board, they will present their ideas to the chapter and the new changes will be put into action. I have found that no matter how many great members you have, taking action can be difficult. You need to take the time to look inward and think about your organization. Imagine how great you could be if you just got rid of the unnecessary or destructive programs or activities in which you participate. Imagine having a workshop that can help you do this, without having to stand up, on your own, out of nowhere. If you have the same syndrome my chapter did—thinking your chapter is perfect and invincible— chances are you could benefit from this workshop just as much as my chapter did. Instead of pretending that you are a perfect chapter, you could actually practice what you preach! Taking action in your chapter can and will improve your membership, your brother or sisterhood and your respect for one another. Our chapter went on to accomplish all of the goals we set for the year, and because of the changes we made and our dedication to a more positive membership experience, our chapter was recognized as the Chapter of the Year at Longwood University and we received the Diamond-4 Point Award and Elizabeth Moseley Coles Award from Alpha Delta Pi. Do not be afraid to set a high standard for your members. Do not be afraid to take action. Allow your chapter to become great! In the end, you have to have confidence that your members will see the problems and work to change them. All chapters face tough issues at one time or another, even during those times when they think everything is going great. If you want to get your chapter to effectively address issues in an open, honest, and focused way, consider this workshop as a great place to begin!

#FAIL Busted.

It’s probably not a shock to you that here at Busted! we collect material in the months between publication that might make good content. We assure you that – sad as it may be – our “future material” folder is full. And yet, we’re making a choice only to share one piece with you this go-round. Why? Because when something this appalling hits the news, it stands just fine on its own. 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.


Garrison, A. (2011, Feb. 15) Interfraternity Council placed on probation. University Daily Kansan. Retrieved from: feb/15/interfraternity-council-placed-probation/ Hyland, A. (2011, Feb. 15) KU places Interfraternity Council on probation for two years after hazing investigation. Lawrence JournalWorld. Retrieved from: ku-places-interfraternity-council-probation-two-ye/ Shorman, J. (2011, Feb. 3) IFC members may step down after hazing incident. University Daily Kansan. Retrieved from:

026 // connections // 2011 • spring

Interfraternity Council Hazing at Kansas

[The University of Kansas] has placed its Interfraternity Council on probation for two years after a hazing investigation. A KU investigation alleged that the council engaged in hazing activity involving paddling after a formal officer-transition ceremony in November.

Sanctions include: > IFC will hire and fund an outside consultant to review the hazing culture in the KU Greek community and lead the implementation of recommended initiatives.

Members “took turns hitting each other,” according to an investigation report generated by KU’s office of the vice provost for student success, but no new board members were hit by former board members, except for those elected into new leadership positions.

> Officer turnover procedures will be held in the presence of the staff adviser.

During an IFC meeting Tuesday evening, the council held a vote to remove [the] IFC president from office. That vote failed. After the meeting, [the president] declined to respond to the situation. “We will cooperate with the university,” was all he said. The IFC will undergo extensive anti-hazing education and its representatives will meet regularly with KU’s new student conduct officer during the probationary period. University spokeswoman Jill Jess said that the IFC would be allowed to continue operating while on probation. “Hazing absolutely will not be tolerated at KU,” said [the] vice provost for student success, in a statement. “These sanctions are intended to rehabilitate and to offer the IFC the opportunity to provide true leadership to end the culture that has allowed hazing to persist.”

> At least two IFC executive board members and their adviser or designee will attend the Novak Institute, an intensive, three-day anti-hazing seminar. Expenses will be covered by the IFC. > IFC leadership will communicate the sanctions to the executive board and membership and apologize for their actions. > The removal of paddles from IFC office space and that paddles should not be purchased with IFC funds or used at IFC events. > Also in KU’s investigation report, former board members described the 2009 turnover ceremony, which involved older members placing pillowcases over their heads so they could not see what was happening. > Then, the report said, members were asked questions in a forceful manner, and paddled by the person who held their post. Though the members did not report the behavior, they decided not to repeat it in 2010 “so that no one would go through what they did,” the report said. > Multiple executive board members of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the governing body for fraternities, said they were willing to subject themselves to a vote to remove themselves from the council, following a hazing incident that occurred in November. > The declarations came at an IFC meeting that served as a forum for fraternity members and others to question council members about the hazing incident.

Leadership fail. Epic leadership fail.

second in its ability to self govern around those values and standards. The same should always be true for a fraternity system lead and governed by an IFC.

Surely everyone reading this column is aware of the fundamental role of an Interfraternity Council (IFC): governing the fraternities on a particular campus. Surely everyone in the world is aware of one of the major plagues facing college fraternities: hazing. Surely everyone can make the logical leap to the fact that the governing body for said organizations should be working to eradicate the plague. Not. Spread. It.

All sarcasm aside, it is appalling that with all the undergraduate leaders fighting tooth and nail to bring credibility and relevance back to the college fraternity, these men failed so thoroughly and so publicly. They offered to resign? You think? Of course they should resign! When you’re elected to the highest leadership role in the land, there need not be any second chances. IFC is not a learning ground. It’s where you send the varsity to play pro in the fraternity world. That is, if you’re doing it right.

And, frankly, we could end this issue’s column right there. But we won’t.

But, since the memo about all of the above clearly did not reach some men, let’s be clear: That. Was. Stupid. So stupid, we have to throw the standard rules of punctuation out the window so you will get. Our. Emphasis. Do we need to shout as well? What’s next? Busted! in all caps? Somewhere, in some college man’s brain, it seemed to make sense that the governing body of men’s fraternities have a little fun. Pull out the paddles and the pillowcases and get those new officers initiated the old fashioned way. New officers, mind you, who were elected by the fraternities themselves to oversee things like Administrative Affairs and Interfraternal Relations and Risk Management for the ENTIRE FRATERNITY COMMUNITY. See? Now we’re shouting. On what planet does it make sense that those elected to positions of power should violate the exact standards they are there to enforce? And before you decide to cite examples from politics or business let’s remember that a) this is not a political or business journal and b) these are fraternity men who pledged themselves to a higher standard. Voluntarily. And that was before they were elected as officers of IFC. Our guess? They took a nice little oath earlier that evening at a formal ceremony where they agreed to be the shining examples of fraternity at the University of Kansas. How’d that work out? And just in case anyone wants to say something like, “but it’s the University’s job to combat hazing and sanction people for it,” let’s just offer this: wrong. The strength of the undergraduate fraternity lies first in its ability to live its values and standards in word and deed. It lies

Buried in the articles about the IFC hazing incident is more than just commentary about the choices of a few men and their poor behavior. Between the lines we see a reminder that even the cream of the crop isn’t immune. Even the best of the best, in one night, can bring down fraternity. If ever there were a group who needed to be doing fraternity right to advance our cause, it is the 4 or 7 or 10 men elected as IFC officers. What are you doing to make sure that doesn’t happen to you? We strongly hope these men have lost sleep about their choices. We hope that they think long and hard the next time they think it might be funny to do any of the following: make a joke of the hazing behavior that has left so many dead or wounded, use a wooden stick to hit someone else, take away the ability to see or hear from another person, forcefully quiz someone about facts that probably don’t matter anyway. And, more than anything, we hope these men have figured out that it’s not the publicity of this incident that is the problem. It’s the choices they made in the moment. Make better ones next time, guys. We all here at Busted! wish the council and the University the best of luck with the sanctions. We hope those make inroads to real change for you. We even hope the men in those officer roles today decide to do even more than what is required of them. Even more, we hope that when/if those men have sons of their own they’re smart enough to be enraged when someone treats them the way they were treated.



The AFLV Officer Manual Series was designed with the contemporary fraternity / sorority student leader in mind. Utilizing the resources and information within these handbooks as a supplement to your other leadership training opportunities will help you understand your role better and assist you in creating values-congruent fraternal organizations. These leading-edge handbooks include checklists, testimonials, sample documents, and best practices to assist officers in their positions. It’s time to stop running from the hard parts of your leadership role and take on the job like a pro.



{ }

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

You Should Ask Yourself Before Planning Any Programs

before you go and look at the back cover of the mag.

028 // connections // 2011 • winter

1 2

What is the purpose of this program?


Does this program represent the fraternity & sorority community in a positive manner?

4 5 6 7

Who is the target audience for this program?

8 9

Is additional insurance necessary to host this program?


What effect will having this program have on your organization, your members, and the community at large?

How does it tie to the mission, vision and goals of the organization?

How will you market the program? What is your budget? Where and how often will it take place (and if it’s outside: what’s your rain location)?

How will you assure this program is safe (physically and emotionally) for all those participating?

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

The LeaderShape Institute challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. The AFLV Session of LeaderShape will bring fraternity and sorority leaders from across North America together to explore important personal and community focused skills and philosophy all under the umbrella of shared fraternal values.

Want more info? Time to apply? Scan this code & start your journey.

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Connections Spring 2011  

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