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CONNECTIONS the MAGAZINE

of AFLV

Advocating for Greek Life

Are you helping or hurting our movement?

VOL. 5 / ISSUE 031 / SPRING 2013


Buy In

fellowship

scholarship

leadership

service

or GET OUT! Stop making excuses and start getting serious about members who are holding your community back. Too often, good leaders and good chapters are not able to succeed because they are too busy cleaning up after the ones that don’t get it. Imagine how much more you could accomplish if they were part of the solution instead of part of the problem. In his keynote, “Buy In or GET OUT!,” David Stollman will say what you wish you could. Let him confront them in his funny, interactive and moving style.

DAVID STOLLMAN

CO N N ECT WITH DAVI D TWITTER: @David_Stollman

WATCH DAVI D’S VI D EO

You may have seen David as a keynote speaker at AFLV-Central and as a featured speaker at AFLVWest. You can now bring him to your campus to share the same vital energy and messages.

(303) 745-5545 • info@campuspeak.com www.campuspeak.com/stollman


& Sorority Members Advocate for Change in the 04 Fraternity Tax Code to Support Safe & Affordable Collegiate Housing Julie Pawelczyk · Fraternal Government Relations Coalition Jessica Pung Monahan · Patton Boggs, LLC Connections is the official publication of the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values. The views expressed by contributors, authors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the Association. AFLV encourages the submission of content to: Carol Nickoson • Editor connections@aflv.org Submit advertising queries to: Lea Hanson • Director of M & C lea@aflv.org 970 • 372 • 1174 888 • 855 • 8670 info@aflv.org Connections Magazine is published by AFLV for our member subscribers four times each year. Submission Deadlines:

Fall 2013 • Promoting Inclusive Environments • Aug 19 Winter 2014 • Values-Based Leadership • Nov 25 Spring 2014 • Meaningful Involvement • Feb 17 Summer 2014 • Parents Just Don’t Understand • June 23

Send address corrections to:

What does the government have to do with fraternity and sorority life? Probably more than you realize. Julie and Jessica break down the various initiatives currently happening in Washington and explain how you can get involved in advocating for safe housing for sorority and fraternity members nationwide.

08 The Debt You Owe Your Organization

Kyle Hickman · Texas A&M University - Commerce “Give much to the fraternity and the fraternity will give much to you.” Our fraternal memberships are lifetime commitments and we will always owe a debt. Kyle began repaying his debt by working for his fraternity as a leadership consultant. Serving your organization as an employee is quite different than volunteering your time. Kyle and several consultants he met during his tenure share their advice and stories for anyone considering working for their sorority or fraternity.

the Divine Nine: 12 Redefine Restructuring, Rebuilding, & Restoring What We Have Lost Tish Norman · Transforming Leaders Now, Inc. Here at Connections, we’re big fans of the fraternal reality check – we think it’s important to call out when there are inconsistencies between what we say our organizations are about and what we actually do. Admittedly, sometimes we can be a bit harsh, which is why it’s so nice to have partners like Tish who can say it with love. Tish tells it like it is in her love letter to the Divine Nine, and while the message is targeted toward NPHC organizations, is truly applicable to all sororities and fraternities.

Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values 123 N. College Ave. • Suite 250 Fort Collins, CO • 80524 970 • 372 • 1174 888 • 855 • 8670 info@aflv.org

Creative Director • Layout & Design Steve Whitby • CAMPUSPEAK, Inc. steve.whitby@gmail.com Editorial Board Andrea Battaglia • Drury University Kristen Darnell • Teach for America Larry Long • Michigan State University Neil Stanglein • Virginia Commonwealth Viancca Williams • University of South Florida  

COLUMNS

002 // Letter from the Editor 018 // From the Road 020 // Taking Action: Leading on the Hill 022 // Facilitation 411: Online Learning 024 // Sorry, We’re Not Sorry 026 // Busted! 029 // One More Thing

V-

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Member / Fraternity Communications Association

AFLV // 001


AFLV. AFA. NAPA. NPHC. NIC. NALFO. NPC. Alphabet soup. Fraternal organizations are no stranger to acronyms though sometimes our members, especially our young members, may have no idea what they stand for. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping them straight myself. However, these letters all have meaning, just as Greek letters in our organizations’ names have meaning. Some of these acronyms refer to umbrella organizations or associations and may be more familiar to you. I certainly hope if you’re reading this issue that you know what AFLV stands for and I’m betting you probably know at least one or two of the other acronyms noted above. But what about some other acronyms you may have seen over the past few years? CHIA. FGRC. FSPAC. These may be less familiar to the majority of our members, but have just as much importance. These acronyms refer to various government initiatives and groups impacting the fraternal experience. CHIA: The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act is a legislative proposal that would make a change in the tax code allowing for tax-deductible charitable contributions to be made to fraternity and sorority educational foundations for use in infrastructure improvements and fire detection and prevention systems.

Letter from the Editor

FGRC: “The Fraternal Government Relations Coalition exists to build a permanent platform for an integrated federal government relations program supporting the objectives and needs of fraternal life.” The FGRC is comprised of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and the FSPAC; these organizations are working with the government to tackle issues such as safety in student housing, hazing, college affordability. FSPAC: The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee “seeks to provide financial aid to the campaigns of federal office candidates (House, Senate, and President) who support the objectives of fraternity life.” The FSPAC advocates for candidates and policies that seek to improve the fraternal experience; sorority and fraternity members and those who believe in our missions can choose to financially support the FSPAC. Undergraduate fraternity and sorority members have also lobbied for the FSPAC in Washington. This issue of Connections further describes some of these initiatives and how you can get involved. The fraternal experience is greatly influenced by what happens in the government and it’s important that all members, undergraduate and alumni, do their part to help preserve that experience.

Editor Connections Magazine @CarolNickoson 002 // connections // 2013 • SPRING

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CONTRIBUTORS Julie Pawelczyk Fraternal Government Relations Coalition Julie Pawelczyk serves as the Sorority Director - Government Relations for Gamma Phi Beta and has over 25 years of experience as a federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C. In 2002 she founded “Federal Strategy Consulting,” a firm that advocates for nonprofit and corporate clients on legislative initiatives, including patient advocacy, child protection programs, medical research, and education.  She received her B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois, and a Masters in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in Social and Public Policy, from Georgetown University. Jessica Pung Monahan Patton Boggs LLP, Fraternal Government Relations Coalition & FSPAC Jessica Monahan was a collegiate member of the Alpha Chi Omega chapter at the University of Wisconsin. During her senior year, Jessica was selected to represent Alpha Chi Omega in Washington, DC where she advocated for the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act and other policy issues impacting the fraternal community. After graduating in 2008, Jessica joined Patton Boggs LLP where she works as a lobbyist representing the interests of universities and units of local government. She remains actively involved in fraternal government relations through her pro bono representation of the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition and work with the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee. Kyle Hickman • @kyle_a_hickman Texas A&M University – Commerce Kyle is a first year graduate student in the Texas A&M University-Commerce Higher Education program with an emphasis in College Teaching. He currently serves as the graduate assistant in the Leadership Engagement & Development department. Kyle is passionate about leadership development, developing purpose and discovering values, fraternity and sorority life, social media, organizational change, anthropology, and giving back to his communities. Originally from Michigan, he is a Detroit sports fanatic, a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and stays active by playing hockey, baseball, volleyball and fishing. Tish Norman• @TishNorman Transforming Leaders Now, Inc. Tish Norman, M.Ed is the Executive Director of Transforming Leaders Now, Inc., a leadership development company, specializing in higher education programming. Having spoken in 44 states and eight countries, Tish is an influential voice on leadership, women and the African American experience, and her keynotes have become favorites among universities, associations and leadership conferences. Not only is she knowledgeable in the fundamentals of effective leadership, Tish’s literary contributions are no stranger to Connections magazine. Tish is the co-author for two books: From Mediocre to Magnificent and Leading the Way, Stories of Inspiration and Leadership.


Fraternity & Sorority Members Advocate for Change in the Tax Code to Support Safe & Affordable Collegiate Housing By Julie P. Pawelczyk • Gamma Phi Beta & Jessica Pung Monahan • Alpha Chi Omega


With over 110 fraternal organizations in the United States, fraternities and sororities represent 600,000 undergraduate members at 12,000 chapters on over 800 campuses. Collectively, we have over 9.5 million living members, including over 140 Members of Congress. In 2011, several fraternity and sorority organizations joined forces to create a national coalition to educate federal policy makers about fraternal organizations and the challenges facing our community. Comprised of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC), the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition (FGRC) was created to “build a permanent platform for an integrated federal government relations program supporting the objectives and needs of fraternal life.” With safe and affordable housing as a key concern among fraternal organizations, the FGRC is urging Congress to pass the “College Housing and Infrastructure Act”, or “CHIA,” to provide tax incentives to raise the funds necessary to upgrade and improve nonprofit campus housing, including our fraternity and sorority houses. Many sorority and fraternity houses need critical safety improvements, with fire sprinklers often being a top priority. With college affordability being another top concern for our collegiate members and their parents, CHIA highlights the fact it is often less expensive to live in a fraternity or sorority house than to live in residence halls or offcampus apartments. With more campus housing options, colleges and universities are not burdened with the cost of having to building more dormitories – a move that often results in increased tuition for all students. At its base, CHIA seeks to change the current tax code so that taxdeductible contributions made to fraternity and sorority foundations can be used to build new and/or improve the infrastructure of our chapter houses. In past years, CHIA received the support of over 200 members of the House of Representatives and more than 40 U.S. Senators, but unfortunately, the legislation was not passed by both chambers so that it could be signed into law. CHIA will be re-introduced in the coming months in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA-6), and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) so that this bill can begin its way through the legislative process in the new session of Congress. The fraternity and sorority community is working together to achieve support from a majority of Members in both chambers to facilitate CHIA’s passage in the 113th Congress. On April 24, 2013, fraternity and sorority collegians and alumni from across the country traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and their staff to educate them about the importance of safe and affordable campus housing and urge their support for CHIA. You may be asking, why is it so important for Congress to pass CHIA during this session?

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CHIA Will Level the Playing Field in the Federal Tax Code CHIA makes an important correction to our existing tax code that currently prevents most owners of non-profit collegiate housing from accepting tax-deductible charitable contributions for critical building repairs and life-safety improvements. Current law permits colleges and universities to use tax-deductible charitable contributions for these same purposes; tax-deductible contributions to fraternal foundations can only be used for educational purposes – not for infrastructure improvements. The unintended result of this disparity is that thousands of non-profit collegiate housing units nationwide lack the funding needed to face a backlog of critical repairs, safety improvements, and capacity expansions to deal with the demands of growing student populations. As the nation’s largest non-profit student landlord outside of the host institutions themselves, the fraternal community is urging Congress to correct this problem.

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CHIA Will Improve the Safety of Collegiate Housing Fraternities and sororities house 250,000 students a year in over 4,000 housing units nationwide. While this is just a small portion of the nonprofit student housing market, this $3 billion investment has no cost to the American taxpayer yet reflects a replacement cost and capacity that universities cannot afford to bear. Our houses operate almost exclusively on student rents, and we do not have the ability to raise tax-deductible funding for sufficient safety improvements. However, fraternities and sororities have calculated that they have at least $1 billion in housing improvements, renovations and construction that is needed on campuses across the states. Given the age and condition of non-profit collegiate housing, there is a pressing need to install modern heating, cooling and electrical systems that are safe, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. In addition, more than 60% of our housing is not equipped with fire sprinklers. Lack of access to non-profit funds prevents us from raising the money needed to make important safety upgrades and adequately renovate spaces for modern needs, not to mention adding capacity to a nationwide system that is in dire need for more safe and affordable student housing.

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CHIA Will Create American Jobs Passing CHIA would create tens of thousands of jobs in construction and manufacturing industries nationwide. The Committee on Joint Taxation has calculated that passage of CHIA would cost $148 million over 10 years and would benefit hundreds of thousands of students nationwide. By comparison, the average new residence hall costs almost $22 million to house just 350 students. CHIA supporters note that the effect of the proposed change in the tax code would lead to additional economic activity and job creation that would in turn bring new tax revenues to the Treasury. After passage of the bill, donated funds to our organizations will translate into new construction jobs to build, expand and upgrade non-profit student housing nationwide. To this point, passage of CHIA will create both construction jobs and domestic manufacturing jobs, as fraternity and sorority foundations in turn purchase, for example, thousands of fire sprinkler and safety systems made in the United States.


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CHIA Will Help Keep a College Education Affordable During these troubled economic times, many families are hard-pressed to afford rising tuition rates and collegiate housing costs. College students and their parents are struggling in this economic environment. It is more difficult to pay for tuition when stock portfolios have been reduced, unemployment is high, inflation is rising, loans have higher interest rates, and some forms of credit may no longer be available. Many students turn to loans to support the cost of higher education - about 55% of students will graduate from college with student loans with an average debt around $22,000 (Trends in Student Aid 2011. The College Board.). The student debt crisis is a threat to our fragile economy and increases the burden on taxpayers. Further, student loan debt has surged over $1 trillion and surpasses credit card and auto-loan debt. The amount of debt with which a student graduates has increased 25% over the last 10 years, but starting salaries and employment opportunities are diminishing, leading to more student loan defaults. According to the College Board’s Annual Report, college tuition and fees have continued to rise over the past several years. At the same time, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has noted that several states have cut their higher education budgets. Public universities facing these state budget cuts have often increased tuition and room / board expenses, with some schools taking the nearly unprecedented step of imposing increases mid-year! Further, innumerable newspaper articles reported how some colleges and universities have raised room and board fees to help them balance their budgets, making it more difficult for students to afford to stay in school. Fraternal organizations are concerned about the impact that rising tuition and fees has on its collegiate members. The best way to decrease the amount of debt with which a student graduates is to decrease the costs of pursuing a degree. One of biggest costs students incur is the cost of housing. In fact, room and board costs outweigh tuition costs at most public universities. However, fraternity and sorority housing is usually more affordable than the cost of living in university-owned housing. Thus, to improve affordability, it is crucial that Congress focus as much attention on policies that help keep housing costs under control as they have on addressing tuition increases. As those of us in the fraternal community already know, college students gain unparalleled academic, community, and leadership development experiences through their participation in sororities and fraternities. Fraternity and sorority membership is a positive influence for our student members as well as the colleges and communities in which they belong. We hope you will join in the efforts of the FGRC to advocate for passage of CHIA so that current and future fraternity and sorority members can benefit from safe and affordable campus housing. Source: Trends in Student Aid 2011. The College Board. Retrieved March 1, 2013 from http://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid

Jump aboard the advocacy bandwagon to urge passage of the College Housing & Infrastructure Act! Students, alumni, volunteers and anyone else interested in the fraternal movement can join the effort by joining the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition [fgrc.com] and writing to your elected officials in Washington, D.C.


The Debt

You Owe Your Organization


I am your organization…It is your senior year. You have just spent the past four years (or less) building me up, adding & subtracting from my total membership, adding my name onto countless marketing pieces, chanting my name, using me as a vehicle for future connections/ job opportunities and wearing my name all over your gear. You identify with me. For many of you, I have become part of your personal identity.

By Kyle Hickman • Texas A&M - Commerce Graduate Assistant • L.E.A.D. Department


The Debt Your parents know me as a Fraternity or Sorority (or ‘Frarority’ in the eyes of some mothers) with a few specific Greek letters attached to it. On many occasions, you have gone out of your way to make time for me. In fact, you might have sacrificed your academics, your personal life, and various campus obligations to spend time with me. I do appreciate that effort. Furthermore, I have introduced you to some of the greatest people that you will ever have the chance to meet. Taking all of this into account, it is safe to stake this claim: I am you! Of course, if you fancy the option, we can maintain a similar relationship for the rest of your life. Whether you choose to associate with me upon graduation is completely up to you. I certainly will not judge you if you ignore me; many already do. However, if you look at me as a life-changing set of beliefs/values, a collection of memorable experiences, and guidance for a life of service, I sincerely hope you will choose to stick around. In fact, I would love to continue to be an integral part of your life. If that sounds like something you are interested in, I might have an employment opportunity for you! I am, of course, referring to the position of a leadership consultant (or Field Secretary, ECC, ELC, CDC or whatever your organization chooses to call the role). This position takes on many forms, including recruitment specialist, expansion authority, chapter manager, leadership development guru, and many other designations. It is important to note not every fraternal organization employs recently graduated college students as consultants. When you examine the full spectrum of fraternal organizations, young educational consultants tend to be the overwhelmingly popular option, but it does not exhaust all possibilities. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, for example, employs regional directors, instead of consultants. A discussion on which system provides the organization with the most benefit is not of importance at this point. What is important is that right in front of you is the special opportunity to do something that few of your peers have

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You Owe Your Organization

or ever will get the chance to experience: to leave an even deeper, engrained legacy within your organization! Your chapter/organization gave to you tremendously during your undergraduate career… don’t you think you owe them something in return? Is it not your obligation as a lifelong member to give back whenever you can? If so, is there a better way to fulfill that obligation than by traveling the United States (or the world, for that matter) and inspiring, elevating, and educating your fellow members? I can think of very few alternatives. As Eddie Higginbotham (former Theta Chi consultant) demonstrates, “Traveling the country, sharing my story, and helping other brothers/ chapters realize their true potential is the only way that  I felt I could sufficiently repay the organization that had given me so much.” Now, it is absolutely imperative to clarify one point before we move on. More specifically, if being a consultant is something you are strongly considering, I need you to reach deep into your soul and answer one question: am I intensely passionate about Fraternity and Sorority? Notice I did not say passionate about “Alpha Kappa Alpha” or “Delta Kappa Epsilon” or any other individual organization. I am not referring to passion in terms of, “I show up at all of the chapter events” or “I could give up a weekend or two this semester to help out.” While volunteering for your fraternal organization post-graduation, working for it full-time is a different story. When you give of yourself to your organization as a traveling consultant, the position becomes your life. It is not a part of your life; it IS your life! As Justine Rosenberg of Kappa Alpha Theta indicates, “Something amazing happens when you dedicate a portion of your life to your organization as a consultant. You suddenly become the best version of yourself and have the opportunity to impact the very organization that gave you the confidence to take the job to begin with.” You must be passionate about living, breathing, and sleeping

Fraternity or Sorority. Otherwise, you will do the students, advisors, and alumni with whom you come into contact a disservice. Not to mention, it is unfair to your own efforts and your career. This type of commitment to the fraternal movement is for a select few daring and zealous young men and women who want to make a different on an extraordinary level. Simon Sinek explains in his book, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” we are looking for the right men and women to carry the consultant torch; not just your average Joe Schmo. So… you think you know yourself well? After several years of a heavy college course load and various co-curricular involvements, you probably have it all worked out? Fair enough. Let me ask you another question. Have you ever spent two and a half months on your own, traveling to college campuses all over the United States, meeting hundreds (maybe thousands) of undergraduates while living out of a car or a suitcase? If not, although it sounds extremely daunting, this set of experiences are bound to be some of the most enjoyable that you may ever encounter in your professional life. I would venture to say a lifetime of experiences can easily be packed into one year of traveling. Amidst conversation after conversation with various chapter figures, you find inspiration in their stories, their efforts, and the ways they represent your organization. Demetrius Wallace of Phi Sigma Kappa said, “My time on staff was an amazing experience that allowed me to build relationships, impact lives and network with some amazing individuals.” Over time, it becomes more and more challenging to maintain all of the great relationships that you have developed. Very quickly, you figure out the strategies you employ to handle the challenges of being on the road change daily. You are constantly adjusting how you maintain a healthy work/life balance. In a position where you are expected


“Leadership & Learning are Indispensable to One Another.” President John F. Kennedy

to give sound advice to undergraduates and advisors on a number of topics, it is awfully ironic that more often than not, you learn just as much from them as they do from you. Adam Miller, former Phi Kappa Psi consultant described, “It’s an experience that forces a young professional to become very self aware in a short period of time; you learn your strengths, weaknesses and personal limits better than many people twice your age, in just a semester or two of autonomous travel.” Many times, we talk about looking deep within ourselves to find our “purpose” and we find innovative ways to do that at a program or institutional level. As a consultant, it becomes immediately obvious what you are truly passionate about. In many cases, you fall even deeper in love with your organization, the “idea” of Fraternity, and why higher education and student affairs are so important in the first place. In fact, this type of position is a great launching pad into the field of student affairs and higher education.

Opportunities Galore

For many consultants, the chance to be on the road provides them with numerous opportunities if they choose to take advantage of them. For example, in a given year, a consultant will visit anywhere from 25-50 different chapters/campuses. Consultants who get the most out of their travels take time to do a number of things, including visits to beautiful National/State parks, visiting potential graduate school locations and setting up interviews, connecting with alumni in a given area, enjoying great local food/amusements, catching a concert or two, attending any number of collegiate sporting events (usually free of charge), participating in various philanthropies and visiting friends and family. In all reality, the list goes on, depending on the consultant. Christine Licata of Alpha Chi Omega tells of one of her favorite experiences, “I visited the

Willamette University chapter during their signature philanthropy event – an A cappella competition showcasing local student talent and semi-professional collegiate singers from the state of Oregon. The women raised a record $6000 in one night, with all proceeds going to the local domestic violence safe haven and shelter. What an amazing experience for me!” Very few positions immediately after college are going to give you the opportunity to not only give back to an organization that has become part of your identity, but also provide you with the chance to cross off some incredible items on your bucket list. Highlights from my own consultant experience include seeing a number of division one college football matchups, visiting Crater Lake in Oregon, driving the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco, spending a day on Alcatraz Island, meeting great mentors that I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise and developing a powerful network of friends among the fraternity and sorority consultant community. These types of experiences largely depend on the individual consultant, but the point remains clear: if you take advantage of the opportunities available, you can do things you only dreamed of. Plus, you’ll have the chance to connect with professionals that can pave the way for your future career endeavors.

A Lifetime of Memories

By this point, you probably think the idea of being a consultant sounds too good to be true. Perhaps, you are right. If you asked a number of current or former consultants, some of them might not tell such a positive account of their travels. In all reality, their experiences may not be as fulfilling or may not have ignited nearly as much passion for what they do. Each organization has a fundamentally different structure for their consultant program and they may not particularly foster the same kind of flexibility that I or others found in our travel experiences.

You can always contact your inter/national organization and ask them for a candid look at the consultant position to get a better idea of what is offered. Regardless, the key word for our purposes is opportunity! Much like your undergraduate fraternity or sorority experience, depending on your level of commitment, you can invest as much time and effort toward improving your organization as you would like. As a consultant, there are going to be challenges on a nearly constant basis, but overcoming those barriers and growing as a professional is what inevitably makes giving back to your organization so rewarding. It inevitably comes down to the interactions you have with fellow chapter members, lending a helping hand wherever you can, and developing really powerful relationships with the men and women you work with. “By the end of the experience, I can honestly say that I had five new best friends,” said Eddie Higginbotham, referring to his fellow Theta Chi consultants. If you allow it to, being a consultant will significantly change your life and give you the chance to impact the lives of thousands of undergraduate fraternity men and sorority women. As past Sigma Kappa consultant Lauren Kelley explains, “Since those two years serving as an LC, I’ve been fortunate enough to remain a volunteer with Sigma Kappa, and also pour into college students through my role with Global LEAD. I look forward to sharing those words with fraternity and sorority members all over the country, in hopes of continuing to further build this community.”


Dear Divine Nine Organizations, I love you & I believe in you.

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I want to see you in the future. & I want you to know that the undergraduate experience would never be the same again if you were not around. I support you, and I want you to readthisandshareitwithothers. This is my love letter to you. REDFINE THE DIVINE NINE • By Tish Norman


Fraternities and sororities have been a part of college campuses for over 200 years, and they have continuously challenged students to achieve greater heights intellectually, personally, and of course, socially. Fraternity men and sorority women strive to maintain a balanced collegiate experience based on common founding principles such as scholarship, leadership, friendship, and service. While America’s college campuses saw a growth in these groups at predominantly white institutions (PWIs), it was quite different for African-American students who were struggling to create a better future.

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The establishment of Black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) brought together educated men and women during a time when disenfranchisement and racial segregation plagued Black people in America. When the first African-American college students were even admitted into PWIs, they could cook in and clean white fraternity houses, but not join the organizations. But after the first BGLOs were founded and began to expand, they bore witness that despite racial and economic adversity, African Americans refused inferiority. We persisted. We devised. We created. And despite all odds, these students changed the collegiate experience forever.

Redefine the Divine

These organizations were made up of young people like you who were passionate about the merging of likeminded individuals to provide a support system, strong bonds, and a “home away from home.” The goals and ideals of their beloved organizations became widespread, and members made a commitment to themselves and one another to make a difference in the ever-changing and often unwelcoming world in which they lived.

Restructuring, Rebuilding, & Restoring What We Have Lost By Tish Norman

Zeta Phi Beta January 16, 1920 Howard University

Phi Beta Sigma January 9, 1914 Howard University

Delta Sigma Theta January 13, 1913 Howard University

Omega Psi Phi November 17, 1911 Howard University

Kappa Alpha Psi January 5, 1911 Indiana University

(as Kappa Alpha Nu)

Alpha Kappa Alpha January 15, 1908 Howard University

Alpha Phi Alpha December 4, 1906 Cornell University

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And then… Something special happened on May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University in the nation’s capital. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority formed the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) as a permanent organization. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternities joined, and in 1937, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined making the NPHC circle complete. NPHC’s mission was to promote collective interaction through meetings, forums, and various activities; to engage in cooperative programming and initiatives; and to exchange important information between the organizations. For many years, the unofficial nickname of the National Pan-Hellenic Council was the “Elite Eight,“ but after the founding of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity in 1963, the completed list of NPHC member organizations was finalized in 1997. Soon after, Lawrence C. Ross released The Divine Nine, thus coining the NPHC with the nickname “The Divine Nine.” Voting rights activist and civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” When it comes to the state of many D9 organizations, I share her sentiments. I am sick of going to campuses across this country and seeing a strong, committed Greek community without an NPHC or has an NPHC community that’s just plain out of sorts with small numbers, multiple suspensions, and academic ineligibility. Please don’t misunderstand. I believe in you. I want to see future generations of leaders benefit from membership in NPHC, but we must see the bigger picture. I love my people and I love my D9 organizations, but we must do better. If we want our organizations to stay alive, we must do better. We are in need of an EXTREME MAKEOVER: DIVINE NINE EDITION. I chose the title of this article to acknowledge the integrity of our organizations and recognize the milestones and positive impact they have had on our college campuses. It would be hard to imagine their absence as they serve a greater purpose than they are often given credit for. If we analyze the word “divine,” we find that its meaning is synonymous with “awesome,” “supremely good,” “heavenly,” and “superb. However, the current culture of NPHC does not reflect that. So this article is for new members. It is for NPHC members that have the opportunity to recruit, attract, and cultivate new members so you can begin to REWRITE NPHC’s history, because right now, its future is looking grim. My intention is to motivate the readers to reexamine, reevaluate, and reinvent what it means, looks like, and feels to be a part of The Divine Nine. I believe that young people are catalysts of change. If young people have the tenacity to sit at segregated lunch counters, lead protests on campus, organize sit-ins, and take over administration buildings, then surely, they still have the fortitude and creativity it takes to redefine what it means to be NPHC.

Re-do and resurrect

I have vivid memories of our kickball games in elementary school. If you were up to kick and the pitcher rolled a sloppy ball, we would call “do over!” so we could get a better roll. NPHC, I’m going to call it out for you; you need a ”do over!” I challenge our members to be shining examples of the Black Greeks from 60 years ago today! Contact NPHC alumni members. Ask them about their experience, look through their old pictures, and listen to their stories. Find out what they learned throughout their entire initiation process. Find out what it was like to be a student of color in the 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s. What did they deal with? What was the social atmosphere for Black students? Black Greeks? I have a very dear friend who is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi that remembers being fascinated during one of his sessions when a “seasoned” Kappa visited their meeting. He sat down and recalled his process and how well he knew the history of my friend’s soon-to-be organization. My friend said, “Tish, after he finished speaking, he was so thorough in his account of Kappa, that I felt like I knew the founders. I felt like I went to college with them. He described them, the times, their personalities, and their struggles so vividly that I felt like I personally knew each and every one of them.” Fam, we’ve lost that. We’ve lost sight that our organizations’ history is Black history. It is time to re-do what worked for us when African-American college students had substantially fewer resources and faced much harder times than they do now. I am confident that after you interview several seasoned NPHC Greeks (because I know you will) you’ll be inspired and find remarkable accounts of what it was like. You may find many of our pledging songs, crossing songs, and chapter songs were sung to the tune of church hymnals and spirituals. That is because spirituality lives in us. Those were our experiences at that time. We plugged in our organization’s letters, buzz words, and colors to make it apply to our process. Resurrect some of those songs and add a modern-day swagger to it. You will find that many Black Greeks that were made some 450 years ago had a deep, abiding love for their collegiate experience because of Greek experience. Make that your goal too.

Educate yourselves about the other 8 organizations

I mentioned that NPHC history is Black history. Stop acting silly, like if you can’t ask a member of another organization for advice, mentorship, or about her experience. We all can learn from one another. I tell groups all the time that my “She-roe” is a lady of Delta Sigma Theta. Yes, that’s possible, ladies. Open yourselves up to endless possibilities and resist small-minded thinking that you can only associate with those that wear your same colors. Really? Learn the history of NPHC. Learn the history of Howard University and the struggles that many of our founders faced during their undergraduate matriculation. Follow them beyond their collegiate years; learn their contributions, their professions, and how they served our communities and country.

Iota Phi Theta September 19, 1963 Morgan State University

Sigma Gamma Rho November 12, 1922 Butler University

Zeta Phi Beta January 16, 1920 Howard University


Deep in my heart

“I love my AKA, I love my A-K-A, I love it. I love it. I love it.” We ALL sing that chant, with our respective letters inserted, right? Let me remind you that “love” is an action verb. Anybody can say they love something like, “I love my shoes!” But when you refer to an entity, love is said AND shown. We love our colors, but when we consistently make bad choices that result in meaningless programming, hazing, and questionable relevance on campus, are we really walking our talk? You don’t hurt that which you love. You preserve it. You cultivate it. You protect it. You don’t preserve it by breaking someone’s nose because you have personal challenges. You don’t try to alter the way a person looks because your irrational, twisted mind tells you that an initiate does not “look” like a stereotypical member of your organization. You preserve it by attracting quality candidates with a good rapport, skill, creativity, and refinement. You don’t cultivate it by smoking, drinking, or fighting. You cultivate it by mentoring and advising younger students, to set an example of leadership growth and success. You don’t protect it by looking and acting like gangs with consistent dysfunctional behavior and academic ineligibility. You protect it by making academics number one, being visible on campus, and standing up and speaking out for what you know is right, even when it may not be popular. Our groups would have died out a long time ago if those who did speak out for what is right kept their mouths closed. The day we joined our organization is the day we said, “it’s not about me.” It’s about those whose shoulders and backs you stand upon and those who will need to stand on your shoulders in years to come. If you “love” your fraternity or sorority like you say you do, say it AND show it.

“Enter to learn, go out to serve” These are the words written on George Washington Carver Hall at my alma mater, Kentucky State University. It reminds us of our responsibility as NPHC Greeks. Enter your organizations to learn, develop, grow, better yourselves, and have the time of your lives, then go out to serve. Shirley Chisholm said, “Service is the rent you pay while you’re on Earth.” NPHC Greeks serve. That’s a common thread among all Greeks. However, we can’t serve anyone if our house is not in order. Before we take off on an airplane, flight attendants go over FAA rules in case of emergency. They say if you’re traveling with someone, put your mask on first before helping others. You can’t help anyone else unless you help yourself first. NPHC needs to restructure from the inside out: campus by campus, group by group, one chapter at a time. Conducting business as usual has gotten us to this seemingly ambiguous state we are in now. But in order to get something you’ve never had, you need to do something you’ve never done. Make yourselves hyper-accountable for one another, especially neophytes that look to you as examples guides to Greekdom. Settle for nothing less than excellence from new members by displaying it yourselves. Just like you did with your prophytes, they’ll follow your example. BE the change. Learn from other councils. See their examples and learn what works and what is effective. Be proactive by consulting with your council or fraternity/ sorority advisor and seeking leadership training for your council. College is where you learn the skills you’ll need in the real world. Your Greek experience can be a practice field where you learn the plays for the game. Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just put some NPHC rims on it, then go out and serve.

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Future members are key

Future members are key, so be selective with your membership. As wonderful as fraternity and sorority life is, it’s not for everybody. Spend considerable time choosing the members that will carry your chapter and organization for the next several years. Consider men and women who will proudly display your organization’s colors and letters with dignity, grace, class, and style. Consider members who will work hard on campus programming. Remove the pettiness and replace it with sound decision-making. There will be a time when you come back to campus after graduation. You want to see your chapter thriving, not just surviving—or even worse, suspended. Someone chose you. Hopefully they made a good decision. Return the favor by choosing others who will stand for the greater good of your organization. Mold new members in the ways of excellence, and if your understanding can stand to be upgraded, dig deeper. Businesses are selective with their mergers. Take on the same disposition as these huge corporations. Strategize, plan, and execute. Everything that you need to improve and develop yourself and your chapter is already in you. Use what you have to be selective and influential with your membership intake. Invite non-Greeks to support your events to introduce them to what fraternity and sorority life is all about. What your chapter does on campus has a direct impact on who you attract. Too often movers and shakers on campus choose to pass on membership to NPHC organizations because of their stereotype or “rep” on campus. Do you have meaningful programming on campus? Do your members reflect the principles that your org was founded upon? No matter the organization, ALL of the D9 groups have a common thread of high scholastic achievement as a standard. Do your campus activities reflect standard? Here’s your challenge. Use your creativity and your natural strengths, talents, and abilities to develop exciting and attractive programming. Observe what other organizations are doing on their campus that is effective and find inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. Never stop. Our cultural responsibility does not ever allow us to stop. We have always moved forward. Martin Luther King said it like this, “If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Diddy had his version too. He said, “Can’t stop. Won’t stop.” No matter what your challenges are—lack of support on campus, apathy in your chapter, small number, fewer resources—never stop. No excuses. Fam, imagine what it would be like to get control of these challenges and motivate NPHC members to decrease the drama with one another, increase academic eligibility, and attract higher quality members who engage in succession planning, collaboration and sustainability. It is extremely critical that every NPHC member has the necessary tools to support themselves, one another, and the broader Greek community. It is my intention to provide you with mind-changing strategies and empower you and your NPHC community to take action on the issues that challenge your groups the most. Remember what Maya Angelou said: “Young men and women, study yourself. See who you really want to be, and as soon as you see it, say it. Put it out into the universe. You must say it and then go about the business of becoming it.” Powerful! Equip yourselves, at all levels, to ensure that you create, sustain, and perpetuate an environment of improvement, results and a culturally rich experience. Sisterly,

Tish Norman


IW

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MOVING WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP FORWARD

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FR OM THE RO AD Raising funds for youth suicide prevention & breaking barriers ON CAMPUS George Washington UNIVERSITY Fraternal Community partners with Allies in pride to produce Drag Show

EAST St. LOUIS MENTORING PROGRAM challenges new LEADERS Run the City Program Enables Teens to Learn about Leadership from City Leaders

Eleven fraternity men at George Washington University performed in drag to raise money for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) oriented charity and to promote inclusiveness in fraternal organizations. According to an article in George Washington University’s student newspaper, The GW Hatchet, the philanthropy was organized by the leaders of 20 fraternity/sorority chapters and Allied in Pride, GWU’s largest LGBT community. Whether they are out or not, Nick Gumas, the president of Allied in Pride, hoped the event would help LGBT members within the fraternity/sorority community feel more comfortable in their chapters. Gumas stated “I know there are a lot of LGBT members who are Greek, but for one reason or the other, maybe don’t feel as comfortable as nonGreek students to express themselves.” He added that the purpose of the event was to help LGBT fraternity/sorority members feel more accepted within the fraternal community.

Participation fees and an admission price of $5 per ticket helped the event organizers raise over $2,000 for the Trevor Project, which sponsors programs to prevent youth suicide. The event was judged by a professional drag queen and featured songs such as Britney Spears’ ‘Circus,’ Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies,’ and ‘Reflection’ from Mulan. Over 500 people attended the show. The event organizers hope to make the philanthropy an annual event.

For four high school students in East St. Louis, Presidents Day was not a day off, but a day on. Members of the Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. sponsored a “Run the City” program, a chance for high school students to shadow leaders of the city. The purpose of the program was to teach the students about leadership and to expose them to positive role models. The students had the chance to shadow the major, the police chief, the fire chief, and the treasurer of East St. Louis.

Brendon Bush, a 14 year-old freshman, had the opportunity to shadow Police Chief Michael Floore. Brendon stated the experience enabled him to get a better understanding of the job. He added: “It still looks fun. But there’s a lot of paperwork.”

Theresa Flanders, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., organized the event as part of the EMBODI program - Empowering Males to Build Opportunities to Develop Independence. She said “we wanted to teach leadership and really treat this day like (Martin Luther King, Jr.) day.”

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The full articles can be read on the GW Hatchet website: http://www.gwhatchet.com/2013/03/04/ fraternities-to-don-drag-to-show-lgbtsupport/ http://blogs.gwhatchet.com/newsroom/2013/03/07/frat-bros-turned-dragqueens-light-up-lisner/ A video of the event can be viewed here: http://media.gwhatchet.com/ video/2013/03/allied-in-greek/

The full article can be read on the St. Louis Today website: http://www.stltoday.com/news/ local/illinois/mentorship-initiativehas-students-learning-in-east-stlouis-on/article_d1e56605-b8ce-59fb8404-3bd30ecac9f7.html


AFLV // 019


Taking Action

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g n

I chose to run for the Virginia Commonwealth University Student Government Association because of my experience as a founding father of Phi Kappa Psi. Being a member of my fraternity gave me the determination and motivation to run for president. In turn, the leadership experience I gained through starting the chapter of Phi Kappa Psi at VCU gave me the background and knowledge needed to delegate tasks and manage the members of the Student Government Association. When my presidency began, I was unsure of how to work with the whole Student Government Association, or how to interact with other leaders within the organization. The Student Government Association has over 80 members, consisting of three separate branches and committees. Not knowing exactly what was expected, I utilized my knowledge from serving as several chair and executive positions in Phi Kappa Psi. In doing so, I was able to learn how to work through the institution’s governance structure to help students, learn networking skills and ultimately help the student body. One of the main things that expedited my “learning period” was how different leaders lead with different types of leadership. Working with a fraternity, you truly learn how to work and engage with people with different backgrounds and how to manage many different leaders. Some may lead with a hands on approach, while others may lead with more delegation. With different leaders, they expect things differently, and my past experience gave me guidance on how to work with other student leaders. Having over seven committee chairs and two other branches to work with, created a diverse type of leadership experience. Without the background knowledge and experience from my fraternity, it would be extremely difficult to work with so many leaders.

taking my leadership to the hill

Jae Lee · Phi Kappa Psi Virginia Commonwealth University

Also, as the student body president, you encounter a diverse group of people. The audience ranges from fellow students to even the president of the university. Having already worked with older members, alumni, and our fraternity’s advisor, I was comfortable to engage in conversation with the VCU community and ultimately helped network and keep in touch with contacts that would be useful for future legislation or encounters. In April I joined other fraternity and sorority leaders from the United States in Washington, D.C. to assist in lobbying at the North-American Interfraternity Conference and National Panhellenic Conference (NIC/ NPC) Congressional Hill Visits. Fraternity and sorority leaders, advisors, students and advocates visit Washington to help advocate for changes that would help and aid our fellow fraternity/sorority members. Before traveling to Washington, D.C., we had tasks to accomplish. These tasks included getting resolutions passed through the SGA in support of acts such as the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act, getting a letter from the university president supporting this act, and working with the fraternity/sorority life office to obtain statistics about our students. As the student body president and a fraternity man, I had previously engaged in conversation with the SGA, the university president, and the fraternity/sorority advisors. With these connections already established, relaying information and obtaining feedback was more efficient and effective. I am excited to learn and accomplish significant changes for fraternity and sorority members during my visit to the Hill. Serving as the president of the student body will, without a doubt, aid me in my endeavors at the NIC/NPC Congressional Hill Visits and whatever the future has in hold for me.


FACILITATION 411: WEBINARS & ONLINE TOOLS Utilizing Webinars and Online Technology for Distance Education with Fraternity & Sorority Life Professionals Advisors, & Volunteers

Utilizing a webinar service or other forms of online technology are easy ways for individuals to connect with others for a variety of purposes, including advising and educational programming. When searching for technology services that would best fit an individual’s use, be aware of costs associated with the service. While simple online interaction may not require preparation beforehand, developing a webinars or online presentations, promoting the session, and taking the time to present can be time-consuming. However, online interactions are great ways for advisors, members, volunteers, etc., to communicate or obtain educational/professional development in an inexpensive way. This facilitation guide primary discusses the use of a webinar service to provide educational/professional development.

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LEARNING OBJECTIVE This particular way of networking is useful in gaining access to other members, advisors, or volunteers, and it is a great way to connect with individuals from all around the country and all around the world. The main goal of webinars is to create a place for learners to virtually gather and discuss events/issues that are happening within a particular organization or field. Webinars are often developed by different individuals who volunteer their expertise, and these volunteers have the option of developing the webinar around what they have experienced in their own organizations or institutions. FACILITATOR CONSIDERATIONS Each facilitator should create a presentation that takes into consideration what hot button topics are occurring within the organization, institution, or field. Participation is open to all members, advisors, professionals, and any volunteers who are interested in expanding their knowledge in about the organization, institution, or field. Facilitators should be up-to-date regarding relevant events/issues that promote understanding and knowledge. For example, the field of fraternity and sorority life is filled with many exciting challenges and opportunities. Being aware of these challenges and opportunities can help facilitate awareness and create an inclusive atmosphere on a college/university campus. HOW TO GET STARTED Find a webinar service that best fits for the facilitators’ communication needs. Examples of webinar services include: Google Hangout. It’s a newer, fresher type of situation… www.gotomeeting.com/gotowebinar www.anymeeting.com Be aware that many webinar services have a free trial, but extended use will need a financial commitment Skype, Facetime or other web-based services may also be useful tools for distance communication. ROOM SET-UP Meeting space to participate in the webinar GROUP SIZE Each webinar service has a different requirement for the number of participants within each session. Group size may vary due to the changes from each service. SUPPLIES Computer (For larger groups) LCD projector and screen or blank wall space on which to project Seating for all individuals participating in the webinar Internet connection ACTIVITY TIMING Each session should last about an hour; the presentation itself should last around 35-45 minutes to allow for a Q&A session following the presentation

WHAT TO DO: TOPICS Topics related to fraternity and sorority life may include but are not limited to: > Respect for chapter ritual and how to encourage living chapter values daily > Values-based leadership > Encouraging chapter members to become student leaders > Developing inclusive brotherhood/sisterhood events that involve relationship building > Working with campus colleagues (such as your student conduct administrator) and establishing policies for off-campus events > Panhellenic recruitment and how to recruit effectively with chapter legacies > IFC Recruitment and how to recruit effectively utilizing “dry “ rush programming > How to build relationships between governing councils PLAN FOR SUCCESS People get more out of experiences they enjoy. When leading or participating in webinars that are centered on issues/events that pertain to an individual campus/university, make sure it is a program that helps participants change their perspective in a safe, beneficial way. Allow participants to have the opportunity to do what they want with the information; it may take days or months or years for them to grasp the concept. Every organization and institution is different, therefore understanding that significant change many not take affect right away. ASSESSMENT After you’ve hosted or lead a webinar for an educational program, 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.


what happenS when you invite the police to your party? Police were called to the scene of a Super Bowl Sunday party thrown by Kappa Sigma at the University of South Alabama. But it’s not what you think. The Kappa Sigma chapter at South Alabama hosted a dry gathering on Super Bowl Sunday and invited campus police to talk about the dangers of intoxicated driving. While many patrons of the sports bar across the street imbibed, the chapter was having its own party complete with pizza, beverages, and a big screen. Additionally, the chapter also made it useful and educational by hosting University of South Alabama police to discuss the ramifications of drunk driving. This was a bold, yet simple, move that sent a strong message. When local community members were asked what was essential for the Big Game, over half responded with alcohol. By hosting a successful party without alcohol, Kappa Sigma was able to challenge a culture larger than its fraternity/sorority community or even its campus. It would have been easy to throw a rager and justify it as Super Bowl Sunday. But, as fraternity and sorority members, we’ve pledged to be better than average and hold ourselves accountable to that standard. As chapter member Sean Moore said, “We want to show everybody [fraternities] are not just a bunch of drunks; we give back to our communities, and we care about them.” Working with a partner that has a reputation for busting fraternities instead of partnering with them, going against a dangerous culture, and having fun at the same time? That’s more than saying you care about a community; that’s backing it up. We’re impressed on all fronts, Kappa Sigma.

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killing stereotypes instead of using them as party themes Battling racial stereotypes has been difficult since we thought the world was flat (and probably before), and it hasn’t gotten easier. In fact, we’ve seen many stories of fraternities and sororities being culturally insensitive to the Latino culture just this fall. Phi Iota Alpha at Baylor University set out to spark the conversation on its campus and address these issues to avoid further embarrassment all around. Phiota hosted a forum called “An Educated Latino’s Journey” to discuss issues affecting the Baylor campus such as possible faculty discrimination, Latino stereotypes, and awareness of minorities on campus.

By creating a forum for an open, honest discussion, Phi Iota Alpha was able to educate its campus community and dispel common stereotypes. They put the stereotypes out there, gave people a chance to talk about them, and then helped people understand why those stereotypes are hurtful and untrue. That’s learning, understanding, and unity at its finest.

Sorry,

Uncomfortable talking about race? Sorry we’re not sorry.

With a quickly-changing student population, many of our campuses are dealing with issues of diversity that they’ve never seen before, and we often talk about unity during our leadership retreats and workshops. But what have you seen chapters DO with what they’ve learned? Like, who actually has the gumption to say “this isn’t working?” Bringing these issues into a public forum was a courageous thing to do. Too often these issues are kept in the dark for fear of offending others or unintended ignorance.

SafeZone_AFLV_Layout 1 12/13/12 5:29 PM Page 1

we’re not sorry! This is a shout out to fraternal members, chapters, councils, or communities that have opted to do the right (albeit unpopular) thing. These people have stood for what they believe in - their fraternal values - despite the fear or reality of being ostracized or ridiculed. You’ve heard the saying “what’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular.” It’s the truth. These people have got guts; they’ve owned their values.

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2/14 National Condom Day 2/14 Freedom to Marry Day


The following is a letter sent from the members of Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Michigan to the ladies of Alpha Phi inviting them to an American themed social event:

Patriettes, Do you love your homeland? We at Pike sure do. We read Whitman’s poems by our fireplace and pour maple syrup on our apple pie. We hold Alexander Hamilton’s belief that keg stands are not “a feat, but an expectation.” We recognize His benevolence in bestowing upon us His great and Holy game of Football, and one of our sophomores drives a pick-up truck. We exercise our 4th amendment right to drink beer through any orifice we want. We paddle pledges because it’s a comprehensive upper body workout. We invoke imagery of James Madison to describe particularly attractive females. And because the effort to throw our parties is entirely our own, we see to it that the grand majority of our peers remain uninvited, and presumably underemployed with little to no health benefits. What is America? America is a place where drinking until you puke means drinking until you win. America invented the blunt. And LSD. America is disregarding next week’s midterms because Kamchatka doesn’t drink itself. America does not let the bartender cut her off. America. America is the love child of 2 Chainz, Kate Upton, and Tim Tebow. America is the Doritos Locos taco and Mountain Dew Baja Blast. America is John Wayne and Ice Cube and Ronald Reagan and Andrew Carnegie. America. America is the Louisiana Purchase and defending The Alamo. America gave the world Hostess and then pioneered the capital management metrics which shut that shit [sic] down. America is losing legs in ‘Nam and hazing terrorists in Abu Gharib. America invented the condom, and promptly outlawed it. America. If the preceding two paragraphs didn’t excite you at all, I suggest that you stay alert for a forthcoming drone attack, you terrorist whore. If, however, you count yourself a red-blooded, God-fearing American girl who has a specific spring-time gym routine to accommodate her summer-time jean shorts, come to Pike this Friday night around 10:00. (Be fashionably late. That’s America.) Wear your most patriotic threads as we celebrate this great country together. Need some outfit ideas? A few of us created an inspirational piece with some possible suggestions. Trim fingernails before viewing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/93159884@N05/8470987382/sizes/k/in/photostream/ Redistribution prohibited without expressed written consent of WangTown Photography, LLC. (Copyright 2013) Through the night with a light from above, Pike Social

026 // CONNECTIONS // 2013 • spring


I’m not sure the term ‘terrorist whore’ has ever been endearing or inviting, however the members of Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor thought that was the perfect way to woo the women of Alpha Phi. Nothing screams ‘let’s get together’ like a few past presidents of the United States, the mention of keg stands and illegal drugs. But it seems this was Pike’s intention when sending this invitation along with photos of semi-nude fraternity men scantily covered by an American flag. According to a poll on annarbor.com 77% of people seem to think the semi-nude photos and inappropriate email do not warrant any action from the University or the Office of Greek Life. However, if one really dives into the details of this particular emailed invitation, “Pike Social” essentially dug the chapter a grave. If asked to identify three behaviors regularly occurring in this chapter using the email as the only reference point, one could easily make the following assumptions: > The Michigan chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha hazes; > the aforementioned chapter drinks excessively; > and the aforementioned chapter does not treat females with respect. Hazing is not something taken lightly on any campus and we’re sure the comment ‘we paddle pledges because it’s a comprehensive upper body workout’ was taken more seriously than it was initially intended by the author by both university officials and, thankfully, national Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity officials. According to Justin A. Buck, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity’s executive vice

president, “Countless undergraduate and alumni members throughout our organization have contacted the office voicing their displeasure and the Fraternity is taking this situation very seriously. Pi Kappa Alpha does not condone this behavior, the image it portrays, or the claims which have been made by the Chapter.” The author of this letter also made many references to the fraternity’s (and America’s) love of excessive drinking and partying. “America is a place where drinking until you puke is drinking until you win” and “drinking beer through any orifice we want” hardly portray the image for which any sorority and fraternity community is aiming. Not to mention someone recently almost dies from drinking alcohol through ‘that’ orifice. The mention of illegal drugs did nothing to help Pi Kappa Alpha’s case and the semi-nude pictures of men covered by nothing more than an American flag sealed the deal. ‘Paddling pledges as an upper body workout is fine by me,’ said no university official ever. The University of Michigan quickly suspended Pike and their version of “America.” This hopefully sends a message to the rest of sorority and fraternity members to behave in accordance to fraternity and university standards, and more importantly sensor the things they put in writing before they appear all over the internet and in the next issue of Busted!

REFERENCES: Moore, A. (2013, February 15). University of Michigan Pikes Send Nearly Nude Pic to Sorority, And It’s Blowing Up on Campus. Brobible.com. Retrieved February 28, 2013 from: http://www.brobible.com/college/article/michiganpikes-nearly-nude-pic-to-sorority Polls (2012, February 21). Do you think the email and photos from Pi Kappa Alpha warrants any action by the University? AnnArbor.com Retrieved March 3, 2013 from: http://www.annarbor.com/polls/poll/do-you-thinkemail-and-photos-pi-kappa-alpha-warrants-anyaction-university/ Woodhouse, K. (2013, February 19). Fraternity Suspends University of Michigan Chapter Over SemiNude Photos. AnnArbor.com Retrieved March 3, 2013 from: http://www.annarbor.com/news/fraternity-suspended-after-semi-nude-photos-leaked-online/

Busted! 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. Actions such as these do nothing but reinforce the negative stereotypes of today’s fraternities and sororities. Embarrassed? Then knock it off.


The Leadershape InstituteŽ 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. This summer, AFLV is partnerng with LeaderShape for two sessions. Mid-America: July 15-20, Lawrence, Kansas West: July 22-27, Los Angeles

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Five questions about the College Housing & Infrastructure Act

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

1 2 3 4 5

What’s the Breakdown of CHIA?

A quirk in the tax laws allows colleges and universities to use tax-deductible contributions to build and maintain student housing while preventing other not-for-profit student housing entities from doing the same thing.

Why is that important?

Fraternities and sororities are the nation’s largest not-for-profit student landlords and provide housing to more than 250,000 students each year—cost free to their host institutions. Furthermore, not-for-profit student housing is cheaper than the for-profit student housing market, which helps minimize the costs of earning a degree. However, outside contributions made to support safety and structural improvements are not tax deductible which discourages giving and leaves many students in dangerous situations.

How does that affect us?

Only 39% of our housing has fire sprinklers, so our smaller and older living spaces have TWICE the injury rate of campus fires and significantly higher rates of property losses. Many fraternity and sorority houses are around 100 years old, so retrofitting sprinkler systems can cost as much as $250,000. 80% of fatalities in student housing fires since 2000 have occurred in off-campus housing like fraternities and sororities.

How can passing CHIA help?

Making contributions tax deductible will encourage giving to ALL not-for-profit student housing, resulting in safer student housing while maintaining a lower cost of living. Additionally, upgrades for improvements have been estimated at $1 billion, which would create and maintain thousands of jobs in the struggling construction industry.

How can I help?

Visit fgrc.com to join the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition and write to your congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., to voice your support for the College Housing and Infrastructure Act.


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

Where can you learn from the best & meet others who care about creating safe homes for our students?

The 2013 Fraternal Housing Conference

Boston, MA June 20-23, 2013 Register online at: HouseDirectors.org

Do You Serve on A HOUSE Corporation? In addition to the solid programming at the 2013 Fraternal Housing Conference, the House Corporation Track is designed to educate and develop House Corporation board members and professionals on today’s issues within the fraternal housing industry. This track will go in depth in the areas of property assessments, capital planning, construction, insurance and surety, facility planning, and alumni/ae development. One-day registration is available for HC Track for $100

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