Page 1



WHAT’s NEXT? The Lifelong Membership Issue

VOL. 4 / ISSUE 016 / FALL 2011



People That love Fraternities & Sororities will be gathering in St. Louis NEXT February to talk about transformation.

will you be there?

Be a part of the movement.

The Central Fraternal Leadership Conference & The National Black Greek Leadership Conference

YOU CAN BE THE NEXT GENERATION February 9 - 12, 2012 / St. Louis, Missouri

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: Director of Marketing & Communication Lea Hanson Submit advertising queries to: Lea Hanson • Director of M & C 970/372.1174 888/855.8670 Connections Magazine is published by AFLV for our member subscribers four times each year. Submission Deadlines: Winter ‘12 • 365 Recruitment: 12/05 Spring ‘12 • New Member Development: 02/20 Summer ‘12 • The Flip Side: What do others really think?: 06/25 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 / CAMPUSPEAK, Inc. Editorial Board Andrea Battaglia • Drury University Ryan Hilperts • AFLV Andrew Hohn • Illinois, Urbana-Chapaign Carol Preston • Wittenberg University Teniell Trolian • University of Iowa Viancca Williams • University of South Florida

the inside starts here 06 I Refuse To Go Alumni Status

John Shertzer + Fraternal Thoughts If you haven’t already bookmarked his blog, you should. In it, some time ago, Shertzer posed the question: “what if the alumni were the *real* members of our fraternities and sororities?” He challenges us to stop glorifying the college years and start giving more credit to the period of membership in which we spend about 90% of our time: the alumni period.

for Life 08 Membership Kassie Kissinger + Alpha Chi Omega

We wanted you to hear about lifetime membership from someone who knows and Kissinger does this type of thing for a living. If our fraternal membership is a relationship, the undergraduate years ought to be considered the dating period. This article shows what “for life” really means.

the Alumni Trap 10 Avoiding Lori Hanson +

Going alum is supposed to enhance - not engulf - your life after graduation. Based on her multifaceted background and expertise, Hanson provides a multifaceted resource for recent fraternity and sorority graduates to stay involved - not overwhelmed - as new alumni.

COLUMNS 002 // letter from the executive director 002 // letter from the editor 015 // a lifetime of membership 016 // 20 ways... 018 // facilitation 411 020 // ask the experts 023 // taking action: staying connected for life 024 // sorry, we’re not sorry 026 // busted! 029 // one more thing

Photo Credits • Photocase Cover / Cydonna 06 / Great Barrier Thief 08 / Marianne Braun 10 / Judihuii 18 / PowderPunk! 26 / Marqs 24 / Complize

Member / Fraternity Communications Association

AFLV // 001

Those are both bad, but one that really gets me are those people I meet that say “I was a member of XYZ in college.” WAS? Last I checked, there aren’t any fraternities or sororities that claim to provide membership only for three, four, or five year experiences. Yes, student government, RHA, and the student club for the promotion of cupcakes are all experiences related to the undergraduate experience. But the fact that fraternity/sorority membership is a lifetime experience is one of the aspects that make membership in our organizations different. Special. More significant. The really sad part of that conversation is that for most who refer to their membership that way (“I was a member”), they truly mean just what they say. Their experience is constricted only to those undergraduate years. It was a fun thing to do as part of the storybook they remember as the “glory days.” So, when one pushes them on what stands out from their fraternal experience, they recall the parties, the hell weeks, and a crazy road trip. Ask them why they aren’t still contributing members of their organization (that - by they way - was built to provide lifetime membership) and they’ll say that crazy parties and bafoonery are not important to them anymore. Hmmmmm. How disappointing that their belief, based on their experience, does not transcend beyond that. So I ask you: What foundation are you laying to provide experiences worthy of a lifetime membership? What are you doing that will have significant meaning to you still when you are 40, 50, or 60 years old? What are you doing to prepare your upcoming graduates for a membership experience that transcends beyond the university walls? How are you going to translate your membership experience to have meaning when you are part of a working world, perhaps raising a family, and building a “respectable” life? Do you have to be a member of the house corporation or serve as an advisor to have a lifetime experience? Sure, those are great ways to continue your involvement, but they aren’t the only ways to be a lifetime member. So remember this, never tell somebody you were a member of your fraternity or sorority. You ARE a member. And be a damned good and proud one!

Executive Director Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values @koepsell

002 // connections // 2011 • fall

What it means to be an alumni/ae member of a fraternity or sorority means different things to different people. For me, my fraternal membership has meant exponentially more to me after my college graduation than it ever did as an undergraduate. And, for the record, this is not only because I’ve chosen to make a career within the fraternal market. Truly, the values instilled in me through my membership in Alpha Chi Omega have become guiding principles in my daily life; they provide me with a sense of purpose and a foundation for doing what is right - something I don’t get from any other facet of my life. A few years ago, my cousin (who is more like a sister) was initiated into the same chapter of Alpha Chi Omega that I was in 1998. I wrote her a letter that she was instructed to open after the ceremony that outlined how meaningful my membership in the fraternity was and how it had transformed from being (to be blunt) a fairly simple and surface level experience of having friends and leadership opportunities to being an integral piece of who I am. Now, not everyone is going to have a transformative experience with their membership; it may always be - simply - a great group of college friends. And that’s okay. Many don’t even have that. My husband, a member of the North Dakota Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, continually surprises me with his feelings about his fraternity. As someone who hasn’t stayed involved with the organization, he’s always catching me off guard with a deep and positive statement of what his fraternity means to him. Recently, a brother from his chapter had his new home completely ruined and washed away as a result of the severe flooding in Minot, North Dakota. A devastating loss. Almost debilitating. Not only having to replace accumulated items such as furniture and clothing but also household fixtures like doors, lights, toilets, etc. Calling this expensive only begins to fathom the cost. Although many haven’t been in touch for the past ten years, a group of Sig Ep alumni found each other online and rallied together to raise money for Andy and his wife. After only a week of fundraising, these men put together almost $5000 to give to their friend and brother who was in need. That, my friends, is fraternity. The ways we hold on to our brotherhood and sisterhood changes throughout the years. For some, the connection with one another and with the fraternity is constant. For others, it comes and goes. Not everyone has to be a fabulous and state-of-the-art alumnus/a who advises a chapter, holds membership in the local alumni chapter, and volunteers for their national philanthropic organization weekly. Some are content to read the fraternal magazine and check in with each other on Facebook. Fraternity means different things to different people. But, what is the same for all of is: when done right, the bonds that we create as undergraduates can - and will - form a connection that can’t be broken... even if we do lose touch over the years.

Editor Connections Magazine @leahanson

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Executive Director

Within the realm of the fraternal experience, I have a few pet peeves. Well, maybe more than a few, but that’s another article. A few notables include sweatpants and/or shorts that display letters across the rear end (really, you think there is any amount of respect for the major brand of your fraternity/sorority exhibited by placing letters there?). Another would be those #GaperGreeks (see the AFLV blog for a definition of this term) who work hard to live every negative stereotype of fraternal membership they can. You know the ones I’m talking about - they wear togas on homecoming floats, they put letters on the underside of their popped up collars, they turn everything into a drinking game, and they insist on calling everybody “bro”.

“Smart, simple, on target. An important concept for all student leaders to understand before they start banging their heads against the wall, trying to engage every member. The practical ideas will transform how they work, achieve results and avoid burn out.” —Lori Hart, Ph.D.



NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON! For group orders, contact T.J. at

The highly anticipated book on student leadership from CAMPUSPEAK Co-Founder and CEO T.J. SULLIVAN. Visit his blog at

C Stacy Nadeau Traveling across the country inspiring students to challenge concepts of beauty, eradicate body image issues and find ways to love themselves just the way they are. “EMBRACING REAL BEAUTY” In 2005, Stacy and five other women appeared on

“Stacy’s story really had an impact on everyone there, both guys and girls. Her message of just loving yourself the way you are affected a lot of people and students came up to me afterward, thanking me for bringing her to our campus, which has NEVER happened in my two years as Panhellenic president.” Jordan Caldwell Clarion University

a Times Square billboard dressed only in their underwear, causing a national news sensation. While other nearby billboards featured actresses and supermodels, this one, promoting Dove Brand products, celebrated “real women with real curves.” Stacy suddenly emerged as a spokeswoman for healthy, realistic body image, appearing on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah (twice) and other media outlets. In her campus keynote Embracing Real Beauty, Stacy teaches college communities how they can help shape the messages young people receive about body image and beauty. She feels strongly that women should stand up to our society’s unfair, unrealistic and unnecessary depiction of women’s bodies. Ending Fat Talk In partnership with Delta Delta Delta, Stacy is a champion for Fat Talk Free Week, a young women’s empowerment event happening on campuses every fall. “Fat Talk” is everyday conversation that reinforces the thin-ideal standard of female beauty and contributes to women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. Through this event, Stacy and Tri-Delta have one goal in common: to celebrate a woman’s inner beauty and character, and foster supportive friendship and inner growth in women. Young women can sign up at to participate in a three-part pledge.

For more information about bringing Stacy to your campus, contact CAMPUSPEAK at (303) 745-5545 or e-mail us at You can watch a promotional video of Stacy’s keynote at





JOHN SHERTZER Fraternal Thoughts John Shertzer serves Kiwanis International as their Senior Director of Programs.  In this position, he oversees all of the Kiwanis service leadership programs for youth and adults.  This includes Key Club International, Circle K International, Builders Club, Aktion Club, K-Kids, and the Key Leader program. John graduated with honors from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and then went on to earn his Masters in Higher Education from Iowa State University.  John worked professionally in higher education as a student affairs staff member for Iowa State University in Residence Life and then the University of Maryland in Student Activities.  John then joined the staff of the North American Interfraternity Conference and directed their signature student leadership programs including the Undergraduate Interfraternity Conference (UIFI). John serves on the boards of the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity, Dads Inc., and the Indiana Leadership Association. When John was an undergraduate, he served as a student officer for the Mid-American Greek Councils Association, which was the forerunner for AFLV-Central.  He is the creator and primary author for the blog website Fraternal Thoughts:

KASSIE KISSINGER Director of Lifetime Engagement • Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity Headquarters Kassie Kissinger is the Director of Lifetime Engagement at Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity Headquarters in Indianapolis.  She spends her days at work enjoying listening and learning from her Alpha Chi Omega sisters of all ages. Prior to working with Alpha Chi Omega alumnae and volunteers, Kassie served as a fraternity/sorority advisor at the following institutions-the College of Charleston, Valdosta State University, and the University of Southern Mississippi.  She received her master’s degree in college student personnel at the University of Southern Mississippi.  She also received her bachelor’s degree in communications at Loyola University New Orleans, where she is from and will always call home!  Kassie is an avid supporter of the fraternal movement, marathon runner and loves spending her weekends in the fall cheering on her beloved New Orleans Saints!  Who DAT!

LORI HANSON A leading authority on eating disorders, nutrition, and stress management, Lori Hanson travels the country and talks candidly about addictive behaviors, the need for balance, and how to turn off the “auto-pilot” switch and live consciously. By sharing her personal story of 30 years battling with bulimia -- and 25+ years of study in nutrition, exercise, and alternative medicine -- Lori has reached audiences nationwide with messages that help them be empowered, avoid addictive behaviors, and achieve what they want in life. Lori has appeared on radio and television programs internationally and has been featured in Essense, New Living Magazine, and numerous other publications, bringing awareness to the epidemic of stress and eating disorders. Through her multi-faceted approach of “Learn2Balance,” Lori also tells her story and shares tips for managing stress and balancing life’s demands in her award-winning book It Started with Pop-Tarts, Teen Secrets to Surviving &THRIVING and Stress Survival Kit for College Students, as well as through membership clubs and personal coaching.

I Refuse to Go Alumni Status.

006 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

Wouldn’t it be great if alumni stopped saying that they used to be members of their Greek-letter organization?” by John Shertzer • Fraternal Thoughts

A simple idea occurred to me while attending a fraternity’s international convention. Like most conventions, the attendees were largely undergraduate students, but there were a fair number of alumni as well. This fraternity referred to its undergraduates as their “members” and alumni as “alumni members.” I think this is fairly common in both fraternities and sororities. Thus, having been out of college for about a dozen years, I was referred to as an “alumni member.” As a national or international organization, what if you reversed that? What if you started calling your alumni your “members” and your undergraduates something like “collegiate members?” How might that simple word switch change the culture of your organization? Many sororities already refer to their undergraduate members as “collegiates,” but use “alumnae members” as a term also.

In my experience, when the designation of “alumni member” is conferred upon an individual, either informally or formally, it creates a change in mindset. It creates a sense that the primary work is over, and that one’s involvement in the fraternity is diminishing. That may not be the intent, but it seems to almost always be the result. How many times have you heard an undergraduate say that they are going “alumni status?” This is code language for “I’m done.” While the experiences of a college student and a graduate are markedly different, somehow the illusion has been created that being an alumnus or alumna means that you are less of a member. We are lifelong associations, right? Well, if a person lives to be 85 years old, they will have been known as “member” of their organization – in the standard sense – for only 6% of their adult life. Is it any wonder that we have problems with alumni engagement?

It should be noted that most NPHC organizations see tremendous involvement from alumni, especially those who join after the college years. They face less of a problem. Changing language isn’t enough. It never is. However, for most groups, it can start us towards a new era of greater engagement by our members. It can also give greater meaning – not less – to that critical transition from graduating Senior to real-world Adult. Wouldn’t it be great if alumni stopped saying that they used to be members of their Greek-letter organization? Perhaps, if we give them the right to call themselves members, they will. I am 34 years old, and have been out of college for 13 years. I don’t believe that I am less of a member of my fraternity now. In fact, in almost every way, I hope that I am a better one. From now until my last breath, I will proudly be a member of my fraternity.

And the journey continues.

AFLV // 007

Membership for Life: The Benefits of Fraternity & Sorority Alumni Involvement by Kassie Kissinger • Alpha Chi Omega

“Not for college days alone,” is one motto the brothers of Phi Gamma Delta strive to live by. This motto is one that all fraternity and sorority members can embrace. For many of our own brothers and sisters, it has been a challenge to see beyond the four (or five or six) year collegiate experience and truly understand what fraternity and sorority membership means after graduation. Perhaps it is because our collegiate membership is right there in front of us at the time; we are surrounded daily by our brothers and sisters, social events, brotherhood/sisterhood events, and the bustling, exciting world of campus life. Many of us, during those collegiate years, spend time paying our dues and becoming consumed with the daily operations of chapter life. Once we graduate, we often feel like we need a break from ‘majoring in sorority/fraternity.’ While many can relate to this feeling, after all - who could blame you for needing a break - this fraternity thing isn’t just any other club on campus that we’re part of for four years - it’s for life. 008 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

Once we are initiated members, we are members for the rest of our lives. It’s a big commitment to make, especially for the traditionally-aged new member. So what does “for life” really mean? Much like at a wedding ceremony, where a bride and groom take vows and commit themselves for life to each other in front of friends and family, we too are committing ourselves to a lifetime of membership and devotion to our respective organizations during our initiation ceremony. A lifetime of living our organization’s values means not just four years but for every single day for the rest of our lives. Sound like a challenge? It is, and just like any relationship, it takes work. Just like the bride and groom promise to love and live faithfully for life, our organizations promise us a lifetime of opportunities. As collegian members of our organizations, we enjoy a plethora of opportunities afforded to us by our brothers and sisters, faculty/staff members, and alumni. Whether it is by holding a leadership position in your chapter, planning a philanthropy event, or serving as a mentor to someone, our organizations promised us that we would become better people as a result of being members. Every fraternity and sorority aims to make each of their members better; this happens through personal development and by asking us to live our organization’s values. Many of us come to the realization - often immediately after college - that we don’t know it all and that we truly never stop growing and learning. Because of this, our organizations aim to continue to provide members with ways to develop after graduation. Let’s face it - our time as collegiate members is limited, and the majority of our time as members occurs after those collegiate years are over. Why not continue on the great journey after we graduate? Although each of our organizations offer different opportunities, the benefits of being a truly engaged and involved alumnus/a are endless. Just as our collegiate experience is different and unique, so is our alumni experience. We’ve all heard the saying, “you get out of something what you put into it.” Well, the same holds true with the concept of lifetime membership. Those men and women who truly live and breathe their organization did not just wake up that way; it’s more likely they continued to be involved and put their hearts and souls in to their organization and benefitted greatly as a result. You know who I’m talking about. It’s those men and women you see at convention receiving awards and accolades. It’s those chapter advisors who spend hours away from their families to drive back and forth to your weekly meetings. And, I’m not only talking about those who volunteer. Other faithful, lifelong members show their de-

votion by rekindling old and new friendships with their brothers and sisters or by finding some change left over in a month’s check to give what s/he has to the fraternity’s foundation. For many, it’s hard to think about having time to honor the commitment of being an involved member throughout the rest of lives as an alumni; it doesn’t take much to change that dreaded statement that we often hear alumni say: “I WAS a fraternity/sorority member” ought to be “I AM a fraternity/sorority member.” There are many different ways to be considered an involved and engaged alumnus/a, so where do you even start? It’s best to start while you are still in college. Make an effort to start new relationships with the alumni in your area. Whether you are inviting a group of your alumni over for a chapter dinner or connecting with them over Facebook, it is important to learn their stories to make those connections as well as have a better idea of how to start thinking about your own alumni experience. Many of our inter/national organizations have men and women available to help define what the alumni experience can look like for you. They are usually part of the alumni development department or lifetime engagement department. Depending on your organization, these staff members or volunteers help engage alumni members to suit their needs, often through making connections with alumni/ae chapters and/or providing alumnae programming. Whether you choose to become a local house corporation president or just want to connect with other alumni in your new town, these people can help you get started. Other ways to be involved: > Reconnect or find members in your hometown > Join a local alumni chapter and pay alumni dues > Become a volunteer > Give (even if it’s just a little) to your foundation > Sponsor a collegian to attend a leadership conference > Mentor a collegian > Wear your letters - yes it is okay to still wear your letters and colors after graduation even if it is just a license plate cover > Say “I AM a member” - proudly! > And - most importantly - remember your RITUAL and live it everyday The benefits of becoming a member of your fraternity or sorority in college continue on and they are very similar. For instance, the leadership opportunities as an alumnus/a are endless. Most organizations provide premier training for their volunteers which include professional development seminars, career days, and opportunities to use your professional skills outside of the office. By becoming a volunteer, the opportunities to become a key leader in your organization are at your fingertips. Your continued involvement in your fraternal organization will not only provide you with a world of networking opportunities, but will also allow you to make some of the best memories you’ll have about your fraternal experience. Much like a parent takes responsibility for the success of their child; you too will be an integral part of your organization’s growth. Giving back never felt so good, right? As you reflect on what your own relationship with your fraternity or sorority will be like for the rest of your life, think of those special moments you’ve experienced and what you’ve yet to encounter. Consider what you’d like your legacy to be and help open doors for future members to continue to make your organization better. Whether you’re an Alpha Chi Omega who will continue to “seek the heights,” a Delta Gamma who will continue to “do good,” or a Sigma Phi Epsilon who will continue to “build balanced men,” do your part to make an impact on the world by being a committed lifetime member of your organization.

AFLV // 009

Avoiding the Alumni Trap

How to Get Involved, Not Overwhelmed Lori Hanson •

010 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

Wahoo! You’re a college graduate. Studies are done; it’s off to the real world. Time to apply all the things you learned. It’s an exciting time and I remember it well; starting my first “real” job, renting my first apartment and the move from Chicago to Rockville, Maryland. At the time, my goal was to be a hospital president so I was excited to have a job as Personnel Assistant for Compensation and Benefits for a local hospital. I was on my way. But, with all this excitement comes lots of changes: making decisions on your own, living up to expectations of bosses and co-workers, and proving yourself in the big bad world. The best part for me was simply being out of school; I had more time to explore new hobbies, interests and friendships.

Some graduates step right in to marriage and starting a family soon after college. Others are taking on other new academic responsibilities such as graduate school. Most people don’t even think about the fact that graduating from college can be a stressful time. Starting a new career? Stressful. Taking on a mortgage? Stressful. The process of adjusting to new situations can subtly add stress to and overwhelm your life. So here you are, your first or second year out of college. Things are starting to come together for you and you’re beginning to feel settled into the career world. You’re climbing the ladder of success. Then you realize something is missing. As you ponder the thought–eureka! You realize it’s the feeling of family you had with your fraternity brothers and sorority sisters in college. If you had a good experience being a part of a fraternity or sorority, you may decide you want to be an active alumnus/a by volunteering for a chapter in the college or university near you.

With this in mind, here are a few things you should consider.

AFLV // 011

I interviewed four students from the University of Southern Indiana and Colorado State University as well as a Fraternity/Sorority Advisor to get their perspective on this topic. With their help, I’ve created the following list of tips for how to get involved as alumni—without getting overwhelmed: Give yourself time to make the transition from college life to working life. This is one of the biggest changes you will have in life. You’ve just completed one of the most important phases of your life. Give yourself time to adjust to the new schedule, new responsibilities and new social life that you’re developing as part of your career. It’s great that you want to get involved and pay it forward, but don’t rush into this decision. Make sure you’ve had time to fully exhale before taking on this commitment. The consensus of my interviewees was that graduates should wait a year before taking on active roles as alumni. Evaluate how much time you have to give. Before you research the local volunteer opportunities fraternities and sororities offer, call them to ask how you can help. You need to evaluate how much time you can give and when it’s practical for you to give your time. This is essential to creating boundaries and establishing balance in your life. Ask yourself these questions to help the evaluation process: How much time can I realistically contribute on a weekly or monthly basis? The answer should be an amount that does not negatively impact your workload, family commitments, or ability to maintain balance in your life. Consider regular exercise, sleep, and making time to fuel your body with good solid food (all are critical elements to a balanced lifestyle). Second, does it make sense for me to help on a seasonal basis vs. a weekly or monthly basis? One of the stories I heard in my interviews was about a woman who has a teenage son and found herself in a position where she had more time to give than in previous years. She made an agreement with her husband and helps a chapter out every year during recruitment. Once recruitment is over, her volunteer role is complete until the next year. By waiting to help until her son was a teen, she had more of herself to give (undivided attention) and has offered a lot of wisdom and experience to the sorority she’s helping.

012 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

Decide what role is best for you. What asset can you bring as a volunteer, mentor, advisor, or member of a national organization? Evaluate what area you can contribute to and be most effective. Are you a born mentor? Are you the right person to be an advisor? Is recruitment where you really shine? Would you love the ability to travel the country as a national consultant and teach workshops? Offer the best you have so you can enjoy the experience, be effective, and add value from day one. One story I heard while researching this article was about a student who just graduated in the spring. He’s been looking for work and hasn’t yet made the connection he needs. He decided to volunteer his time while he’s interviewing and waiting to hear “You’re hired.” This alumnus has contributed and that shows knowledge. And what does he gets in exchange? The opportunity to build his resume with more experience. What a creative way to keep busy, add value, and make yourself look more attractive to your prospective employer. Remember to let go. You’re on the other side of the fence now. When you first get involved there is a transition from being an active member of the fraternity or sorority and learning how to be a good advisor. This is an adjustment for some people but more difficult for others. Learning how to offer advice versus actively taking on roles within the fraternity or sorority takes a bit of getting used to - especially if you’re only a couple of years older than your mentees. Realize that boundaries are important. There are times to hang out and have fun and other times to be the leader/advisor. Remember, you’re being viewed as a role model and are leading by example. Make sure your behavior demonstrates something that is healthy to emulate.

Set boundaries and keep them. One of the biggest traps I’ve seen as I travel the country and speak at college events is the amount of hours students are working. Yes, it’s because of your level of passion and commitment, but the pace can be unhealthy and can quickly lead to burn out. The line is gray between work, social life, and personal time. This trap seemingly has no limits; I’ve seen it with advisors, deans, directors, women’s center leaders, and more. Passion = good. Burn out = bad. It probably happens before you realize it. It’s fun, you enjoy the time with the students, and there’s so much to do. It’s hard to break away during the day to balance out the afterhours programs and commitments. And even though you’re young when it starts—it will and does catch up with you. Our bodies and brains need rest. After all, we are human “beings” not human “doings”. If you don’t set boundaries from the start, this is a hard habit to break. The cool thing is, it only takes 21 days to adopt a new habit, and in a mere six weeks it will become second nature. If you’re caught in this rut, evaluate what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do. Did you know that the word can’t sends the message to your subconscious mind that you’re not in control? Think about it. As a very wise Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Use the following questions to help you create boundaries: Can you find pockets of time in a busy day to slip away for a couple of hours when you have a long day ahead? Can you make time to take a walk and get away from the hectic pace you’re running during the day? Can you delegate some of the load to your team or the eager members of your sorority or fraternity chapters? If you’re a team of one, what creative ways can you come up with to lighten the load? Before you say there’s no one to help, remember—anything is possible. Having my dog Sasha (a Malamute) is one way I hold myself accountable. Every day around 4:30 she comes into my office and sits and looks at me, waiting patiently…if I don’t acknowledge her soon enough she puts her paws on the arm of my chair to get my attention. Her eyes look intently at me and say, “Do you know what time it is? C’mon, it’s time for our afternoon walk! Let’s go, now…now….hello, right now”. What factors and tools do you have in place to hold you accountable?

There are many ways to accomplish what you want to in life and not fall into overwhelm. With a little planning, you can Learn2Balance your life every day.

Learn the Lingo:

Lifetime Membership Collegian: undergraduate member Adjective for anything describing a collegian: collegiate Alumnus: man graduate member, singular Alumna: woman graduate member, singular Alumni: group of men graduates OR group of men and women, plural Alumnae (pronounced a-LUM-nee): group of women graduates, plural Alum: short for alumnus/alumna

AFLV // 013



Learn more about AFLV Immersion experiences at

Go to El Salvador next May and start making a difference in the world.

014 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

fraternity and sorority a lifetime experience Too often, members of fraternities and sororities become disengaged following their graduation from an undergraduate institution. The fact is this – you are a member of your organization for life, not just for two, three, or four years. As a result, there are a few responsibilities you need to be aware of as you embark on a lifetime of membership: Live the values of your organization daily – that means you learn them, reflect on their meaning, assess how you are doing to live up to these expectations daily, and look for ways to do a better job on a daily basis. Stay connected – while it is nice to get updates from your chapter and/or national organization about how things are going, you need to take the initiative yourself to also find out what’s happening and how you can contribute regularly. Give back to your organization in some way – some people choose to do this monetarily through donations, some choose to do it through service for particular events or times during the year (like recruitment or initiation), and others choose to do it by investing their talents in some way to the organization (either as a volunteer, by helping to design a program or marketing campaign, or facilitating educational sessions). Whatever you decide to do – do something. If you can, do all three.

Celebrate your organization – look for ways to observe things like Founders’ Day or other heritage type events. Challenge your chapter (or other chapters) when they do things they are not supposed to do or are living against the values of the organization. It’s always important for there to be a system of checks and balances; while it’s best for the chapter members to be holding each other accountable, it’s good to have some back up from the alumni/ae. Serve as a role model for younger members – if you want them to behave a certain way, show them how through your own actions. Give back to the community. Remember, fraternity and sorority life taught you that you were part of something bigger than yourself. That is still the case after you graduate. Don’t fall off the face of the Earth. Yes, when “the real world” strikes, you get busy. But that doesn’t mean you “go ghost.” It means you find a way to balance things in life.

20 Ways Continue to volunteer and raise money for the philanthropy your organization supports.


20 ways to be an engaged member for life. 016 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

Have monthly get-togethers with members of your new member class.


Work with an undergraduate chapter to host brotherhood/ sisterhood events that get alumni/ae and undergraduate members together at least once per semester.


When you meet high school students, teach them about what being in a sorority/fraternity is and write recommendation letters for membership to different organizations (not just your own).



Donate supplies and/or money to undergraduate chapters for sister/ brotherhood events, recruitment, or other programming.

Be congruent with the values of your organization on a daily basis.

Attend the initiation of the chapter that is closest to you at least once a year – then reflect on the words you heard and how you can still apply them to your daily life.

Work with your foundation to create a scholarship for members of your organization.

Join your local alumni/ae chapter.

Volunteer as an advisor to an undergraduate chapter or for a regional or national role.

When you go back to your campus for Homecoming, ask your chapter if you can attend a chapter meeting.

Attend alumni/ae events sponsored by your undergraduate chapter.

Read your organization’s magazine and/ or website regularly – maybe even look into how to contribute to it.

Celebrate your Founders’ Day with members of your organization.

5 10

Mentor undergraduate members.

6 11 14

Speak to an undergraduate chapter about your career.

7 12 15 17 Follow your organization and/or chapter on Twitter, Facebook, or in other social media.

8 13 16 18

Serve as the liaison between your new member class and your chapter and provide regular updates to your new member class about your chapter.


Provide your undergraduate chapter members with tangible rewards for individuals who are achieving academically, living the values of your organization, or making a positive impact in the campus or general community.


Facilitate an educational session for a collegiate chapter on personal development topics such as goal setting, working with different people, budgeting, time management, or how to identify and be congruent with your fraternal values.



Lifelong Membership in a Fraternal Organization by Emily Gerhardt, Drury University, Zeta Tau Alpha TERMS Membership is the state of being part of a fraternal organization. Lifelong does not necessarily mean being an active member in your alumni/alumnae group but rather always being connected to those who are in your fraternity/sorority.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE Gaining a better understanding of what it is like to be a member of a fraternal organization. College students have an opportunity to continually expand their horizon. With this activity, students will be asked to think critically about what keeps them active in their organization and why it is important to maintain that active status. Each student should actively participate in discussion by speaking his or her opinions and listening to other’s point of view. Differences in opinions may spur additional discussion. The goal of each of these activities is to understand the unique opportunities presented in each fraternal organization that make membership during college important and why it is important to be an active alumnus/a of your organization. Students will learn through discussion, activities, and takeaways that illustrate an active alumni/ae status is not about recreating their undergraduate fraternity/sorority experience but to continue to stay connected to fraternal values and to those who helped make the collegiate experience special. Students will become more aware of the opportunities presented in their organization that will make lifelong membership worthwhile.

FACILITATOR CONSIDERATIONS HOT TIP! Make sure students understand this activity is to learn what active roles they can play in their alumni/alumnae groups and why it is important to play an active role in those groups. Encourage cross participation through attendance at chapter programs, council meetings or participation in community-wide events. Education is important. By working to understand the history and culture of a new experience, you begin to understand the value. It’s okay to seek a qualified professional; don’t try to be the jack-of-all-trades. By bringing in an outside facilitator, you may also be able to expand your understanding on the topic. All people want to know is how it will benefit them. When explaining lifelong membership to students, be sure to cover why it is important, how it benefits the student, and how it can be applied during college and beyond. Encourage students to ask questions. Students who ask questions invest in learning and expanding their world view. Branch out. Try new things. Encourage students to take initiative and step outside of their comfort zone. Immersion training is sometimes the best key to understanding. Don’t expect everyone to get it. Encourage the students who are getting something out of the activities to continue to pursue their interests.

018 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

HOW TO GET STARTED Gather students from all councils on your campus and, if applicable for the discussion, different alumni/alumnae groups from the organizations on your campus. Divide students into discussion groups and separate groups into clusters of active members and alumni members. ROOM SET-UP Discussion: Chairs in circle formation for groups of students and alumni

WHAT TO DO: DISCUSSION Lead the discussion with these questions: > What does fraternity/sorority life mean to you? Who does it include? > Discuss a time when you felt the connections you were making in college would be beneficial after college. > What is the most important aspect of an alumni/ae group? Why? > In your opinion, what is the most important part of being an active alumnus/a. > How are the traditions and history of each of your organizations going to keep you forever connected?

GROUP SIZE Divide participants into groups of 5-10 people

WHAT TO DO: OUT-OF-THE-BOX ACTIVITIES The activities listed here will provide a beneficial way to strengthen the student’s perspective on lifelong membership and why it is important:

SUPPLIES Discussion: none

> Attend an alumni/ae meeting of your organization.

Activities: travel accommodations may be required ACTIVITY TIMING Discussion: Topics should last for 5-10 minutes each Activity: Plan 30 minutes or more for participation in each out-of-the-box activity

> Gather your chapter together and celebrate an accomplishment your chapter has achieved with your alumni/ae group. > Host a career day to understand what your alumni/ae do for a living and how they continue to network within the fraternity/sorority. PLAN FOR SUCCESS People get more out of experiences they enjoy. When leading or participating in lifelong membership training, make sure it is an event that helps students learn more about life after graduation within their fraternity/sorority. Allow students to have the opportunity to do what they want with the information; it may take some time for members to understand what kind of role they want to take as an alumnus/a. 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.

AFLV // 019

Question One:

I am the Recruitment Chair in my fraternity and this fall semester we’ve had two seniors who have emerged as people we want to give bids to. So, we like these two guys a lot but they’re old - is it a waste of time to invite someone to join if he only has one good year in him?

Tom Coy

Andy Morgan

This question makes me think you are missing a huge reality of fraternity and sorority life. Fraternity and sorority life is a life-long commitment. Brotherhood does not end with a senior ceremony. As someone who graduated over 10 years ago, I can tell you that upon graduation you will experience brotherhood on a whole different level. Also, a motivated senior new member may provide some motivation to your less than engaged seniors. If you think about it, who would be the best option to take him on as a little brother? A senior would truly be the best option. I know many great men and women who affiliated either their senior year or were alumni initiated and they are indeed some of the best fraternity and sorority members I know.

These two seniors can likely bring a more enriching new member education experience to the other new (and younger) members. If these seniors meet or exceed your requirements (i.e. grades, leadership, service, character, etc.), invite them! No matter what their age or year in school, they can offer a lot to the chapter. They may already be involved in other organizations on campus and may hold leadership positions in those organizations. Would the chapter turn away the captain of the football team or president of student government if he were a senior? Obviously these guys believe that joining a fraternity is not a waste of time and money. If your chapter doesn’t invite them, another fraternity will. If you cannot convince your chapter to invite them to join, do the right thing: be interfraternal and talk to your fraternity’s main competitor and encourage them to invite these men to join. At least give them the opportunity to go Greek.

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.

020 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

This Month’s Experts:

Alex Snowden Coordinator of Student Engagement & Greek Affairs University of Texas – San Marcos Andy Morgan Coordinator of Fraternity & Sorority Life Southern Illinois University Carbondale Tom Coy Assistant Director of Student Life Grand Valley State University

Question Two:

Our chapter is trying to spend more time preparing our seniors for life after college and want to do some programming that has to do with preparing them to be alumnae members. Any ideas?

Alex Snowden

We miss the boat on four year programming in our organizations because we spend our time programming at the freshman and sophomore levels. Senior programming is one of the best ways to create lifelong membership. It is how one can give back to members so they leave college feeling the fraternity or sorority helped develop them prepare for the real world. Ask your seniors what they want. Survey them. Maybe they need resume or networking assistance to get their first job. Look at your members: do they know how to dress? How about a workshop on proper interview attire? Dressing to impress goes a long way. Setting up mock interviews and alumni receptions to help seniors prepare for the future is another idea. Finally, a senior farewell or senior ceremony can make your seniors feel connected to the chapter - even though they are about to leave it. There are tons of programs out there to help you strengthen your membership. Utilize your college’s resources such as the career center and alumni relations; you will be amazed by the free resources and programming on your campus.

Two quick suggestions. 1. Utilize your Campus Career Services Department. They are the experts and can provide better training than your chapter can. Ask your Career Services office if they could plan a session specifically with juniors and seniors on how to market their fraternity/sorority experience, applying for graduate school, or develop interview skills. Too often, we try to recreate programs that already exist, which is a waste of our time and energy.

Tom Coy

2. Plan an alumni informational session for seniors. Create a panel of both recently graduated alumni as well as older alumni. Let the alumni talk with your seniors on a number of predetermined topics such as adjusting to life after college, job searching, network connections, and more. This is an exceptional way to not only engage seniors but also alumni.


My national organization recently launched a Life Loyal program where alumni can pay to get this special alumni status. What’s the big deal? Am I still an alumnus if I don’t join? Is this just a ploy to get more money from me?

Alex Snowden

Andy Morgan

There is no straight answer for this question. Let me begin by saying you are an alumnus member whether you join your Life Loyal Program or not and will have all the rights, privileges, and benefits awarded to members within your organization. Even with that said - in a sense, yes, it is a way for the organization to make you a more dedicated alumnus/a by giving back financially. Before you get upset by this ploy, understand their perspective: Have you ever been visited by a consultant from your organization? Have you attended or known a member who had attended a leadership opportunity? How about an academic scholarship? All of this is usually funded through the education foundation of your organization. As a giving alumnus/a you are rewarding your members through donations to have a strong fraternal experience as an undergraduate. In turn, you get stronger brothers/sisters that are more prepared for the future. Stronger members mean you potentially could have less chapters closing, stronger alumni, and a fraternity that is better equipped to answer the changing times of society. The Life Loyal Program is your chance to ensure the continuation of your organization. My own fraternity has a saying, “Do not give until it hurts but give until it feels good.” You decide if this program feels good to you.

If you go through your national organization’s alumni ceremony, then you are an alumnus member. Many national organizations have launched similar Life Loyal Programs. There are some benefits for the alumni, such as recognition in quarterly magazine, a lapel pin, cuff links, certificate, etc., but it has advantages for the national organization as well. The national organization can easily identify alumni who wish to be more involved as an alumnus member; these alumni can be asked to be future volunteers for the fraternity such as chapter advisory board member, steering committee member, local volunteer, and so forth.

Staying in Touch is Important.

You can get more involved with AFLV by checking us out on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn Also, read our blog. It’s great: Facebook: Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values Twitter: @AFLV LinkedIn: Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values Engage the conversation: #GreekChat

AFLV is listening when you’re talking about student leadership and fraternity / sorority life. Follow us, connect with us, and jump in the conversation. We want to stay in touch.


Staying Connected for Life Like many fraternity and sorority members, ritual has always held a special place in my heart. From the time I was a new member, it was instilled in me that ritual was the single most binding thread that we as fraternity and sorority members are privileged to share. I only recently experienced my last initiation ceremony as an undergraduate member of my fraternity, Chi Omega, and have never cried so hard or been so moved. Something just clicked for me as I listened (yes, listened!) and the weight of the words hit me like a train. Perhaps those phrases, penned by a group of very old men and women, don’t have that kind of effect on you until you are one yourself; until you go through the hardship of losing friends, making enemies, and still having your brothers and sisters at your side. Our founders understood that the fraternal bond would last for a lifetime, but I worry that many people do not understand that concept; even after finishing college. Our organizations speak regularly about lifelong membership and about giving back to the fraternal organizations that have given us so much. They also speak of our values and how as members we should strive to live them daily. However, many individuals assume once the diploma is received, the ideals and connections to their fraternities and sororities are left in the dust. How many students decide to live up to the higher standards during their college experience and then say upon graduation, “Hmm, I don’t have the standards board to hold me accountable for my actions anymore. Perhaps I should stop being an ethical, honest, and compassionate person?”

My guess is, few to none. In fact, fraternity and sorority members often keep giving back to their communities; donating time and money to the same charitable organizations with which they formed relationships in college.

One of my own sisters had such a strong connection with the Make-a-Wish Foundation that she felt compelled to grant a wish through her own fundraising after she became an alumna. And, every year, we have collegian and alumnae members, young and old, who take a Saturday morning out of their summers to participate in our local Walk for Wishes event. Many organizations have similar gatherings of old and new faces for philanthropic organizations that speak to the lifelong yearning to be civically engaged. Okay, so these members remain involved physically and financially after they graduate - big deal. This argument for lifelong membership has been touched on many times before and often the buck seems to stop there. What happened

Something just clicked for me as I listened (yes, listened!) and the weight of the words hit me like a train.

to the other pillars of our fraternal organizations - scholarship, service, brotherhood, sisterhood? They seem to still exist and thrive after the tassel is passed from right to left but one has to dig a little bit deeper to find them. Learning, like membership in our organizations, is also a lifelong affair. Something new can be learned every day. Whether it’s a skill, a trade, or a random chapter fact, members can take on the challenge of learning with unparalleled zeal. While in college, members get used to reading and writing for classes and being involved in clubs and organizations; they often remain in front of the curve with time management skills not even the smartest of smart phones can comprehend. This hectic lifestyle carries into the workplace post graduation; when multitasking and in-depth researching skills allow the fraternity and sorority member to effectively balance work and play and even find time to schedule alumni gatherings, trips, and meetings with the members of their local alumni/ae chapters. They are able to attend events like homecoming brunches and act as advisors to their organizations. They are compelled to give back not out of obligation, but out of a desire to share a part of themselves with those in the present. We often use elusive terms like ‘brotherhood’ and ‘sisterhood’ to describe our lifetime connections to our fraternal organizations and one another, yet both are terms many members have difficulty putting into words. Alumni/ae groups across the nation work tirelessly at keeping members in touch with one another, contributing to their chapters and universities and communities, and functioning as grown-up versions of the college organizations they were once a part of. Yet, this lifelong commitment and bond between members isn’t just apparent at their organized functions. When I wear my fraternity letters around campus to sporting or theater events, I always seem to have someone approach me to talk about their ‘good old college days’ in their fraternity or sorority and what an excellent choice it was for them to join. I can safely say as I prepare to graduate and enter the alumnae world, it was - and will continue to be - the best decision of my life, too.

Taking Action  Brittany Barnes  Chi Omega  Kent State University

Sorry, 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. We like it.

024 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL


Greek Council Enforces New party Policy

Fraternities Required to Report Other Rush Parties Fraternity members [at the University of Maryland] are now required to report other chapters’ underage rush parties to the Interfraternity Council or risk losing all social privileges for the entire recruitment period, due to a new watchdog initiative aimed at cutting down recruitment violations. This new rule by the Interfraternity Council, which represents 22 university chapters and enforces its own set of disciplinary policies, requires any fraternity member who sees a rush party or knows of one taking place to contact that chapter’s president and the IFC’s executive board. If the chapter still throws the party, it could land the entire council in social moratorium until recruitment ends Sept. 21. “The chapters are value-based organizations and therefore shouldn’t be using alcohol to encourage people to join these organizations,” said IFC Advisor Amie Jackson. The council’s push to crack down on rush parties comes on the heels of more severe problems at other universities, such as the University of South Carolina, where a rash of alcohol violations led to a partial suspension of fraternity recruitment this fall. “It’s actually been pretty effective, a lot of chapters have been calling us about things that have been going on,” said Vince Bellitti, IFC vice president of recruitment.

If a fraternity is found to have thrown a party and no other chapter reported it, the entire council could also be put on social moratorium. Bellitti said it’s not difficult to tell when a party has been thrown, whether from word-of-mouth or late-night walk-arounds to fraternity houses.

University Police spokesman Capt. Marc Limansky said the IFC policy could be a social deterrent, as chapters may think twice before throwing a party or turning a blind eye to one if they know all chapters could be held accountable for others’ actions.

“It’s definitely made a positive impact on the community. I think it’s a great policy, and it’s cutting down on the large parties that present such a huge risk issue,” said Alex Guacci, IFC vice president of risk management and a member of Lambda Chi Alpha.

“Just from a peer standpoint, they wouldn’t want to bring down the culture of Greek life as a whole,” Limansky said.

Although this new policy is only enforced among IFC fraternities, the Panhellenic Association — which represents 14 university sororities — will be seeing changes this year, too. The council’s national organization now prohibits sorority members from attending any fraternity recruitment events.

“God forbid someone dies because of alcohol poisoning,” Limansky said. “I’d hate to be on that end of the phone call. I’d rather explain why we’re enforcing alcohol violations than explain to a mother why we haven’t done any enforcing.”

PHA President Marie LaMonica, a member of Alpha Chi Omega, said although her council already recruits separately from fraternities, the rule will enrich recruitment on the campus. “I think we as a community have the ability to bring in tons of members who can really make a positive change on our campus, and by recruiting differently it really shows the differences between our two councils,” LaMonica said.

If we had a nickel for every time we heard the whole “be proactive, not reactive” argument, well, you know. The point is, this community actually does it! They’re trying to be proactive! Literally, they’re saying, “Hey, we’ve seen what’s been happening at other schools and we don’t want that to happen to us, let’s try to do something so it doesn’t.” We’re speechless. Not literally speechless, though. Let’s look at the big picture - the statement this makes. The fraternal community at the University of Maryland is owning their fraternal values. They’re walking the talk. They’re taking a stab at holding one another accountable instead of looking the other way. They’re making a [very strong] statement that their community is not all about - nor are they looking for members who are all about - alcohol. They’ve decided they don’t want to use alcohol to recruit members because - wait for it - they’re values-based organizations and believe it’s the wrong thing to do. A novel idea.

Our bet is this isn’t going over smoothly in all corners, however, and that’s what makes it so exciting for us. The fact that there are members and chapters who HATE this new policy is what makes us admire the decision so much. These leaders are saying, “You hate this? Sorry, we’re not sorry.” It’s awesome. We’re crossing our fingers in hopes this works out. We hope it works out so well that other communities learn from it and/or implement something similar.

Reference: Lurye, R. (2011, Setpember 7). Greek council enforces new party policy. Diamondback Online. Retrieved September 27, 2011 from

7 Indicted in Connection with Death of Radford University Student

UCF Greek Council Temporarily Bans Alcohol

Seven men have been charged with hazing and supplying alcohol to an underage person in connection with the death last year of a Radford University student.

Greek life at the University of Central Florida will go dry beginning Tuesday after student leaders decided to place a temporary ban on alcohol at all fraternity and sorority events.

A medical examiner found that [the 20 year old student] died of acute ethanol poisoning.

The move comes after reaction to [a] freshman death. She was found dead in her dorm room hours after she was seen at a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house where alcohol was served.

According to [the student’s] autopsy report, filed in Radford Circuit Court, his blood-alcohol content was 0.48 percent - six times the amount at which is it illegal to drive. The amount is described in the report as being “well above the lethal level.”

But the moratorium was a surprise, because UCF’s Greek council didn’t tell anyone it was considering a ban until it sent out an email Sunday night to the entire UCF Greek community banning alcohol from all related events.

A special grand jury heard testimony over three days earlier this month and handed up indictments against seven members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Radford, Lt. Andy Wilburn said Monday.

The email from the Greek Council reads:

It was not clear Monday if the other men are still Radford students, and their ages and hometowns were unavailable Monday.

Greek Council unified statement: “We the leaders of the Greek community are still in the discussion and planning stage of what changes need to be enacted within our community in the aftermath of recent events. Until we can determine what our plan of action is, a moratorium has been enacted on all wet events (those that involve alcohol) held by members or chapters of the UCF Greek community, meaning that all events registered through Fraternity and Sorority Life will be dry (alcohol free) until further notice as proposed and passed by Greek Council. This is effective Tuesday, September 6th at 8:00 am. Any events registered and approved through FSL prior to September 2nd at 5:00 PM can proceed as planned.” Students WFTV talked to had mixed emotions about the temporary alcohol ban. “I think it’s understandable that they got rid of the alcohol simply because at a frat party you can’t ID. That’s just not going to happen,” said [one] UCF student. “If you ban it they are only going to want to do it more. I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said [another] student. This is kind of a good job/bad job response. On one hand, the Greek Council made a bold move that is undoubtedly going to piss some people off. That took guts and we commend them for that. It’s difficult to be the ‘bad guy/gal’ and deliver this type of news to your peers. High fives for those Greek leaders who are in this position. On the other hand, it’s too bad it had to be reactive... but, as they say, hindsight certainly is 20/20. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - is our fraternity/sorority culture so deeply embedded with alcohol that we can’t even fathom an event without it? Seriously, people! Even after the DEATH of someone in your community, there’s complaint about a moratorium on alcohol? If chapters had a handle on responsible drinking we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And, don’t tell us it’s an individual problem. We don’t buy it. Binge drinking is a cultural problem - people don’t do it in scenarios where it’s not supported. When was the last time you saw your co-worker get snookered at a working lunch? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Also, we’re shaking our heads at the whole “Any events registered and approved through the FSL prior to September 2nd at 5:00 PM can proceed as planned.” statement. Um, basically that’s just saying this rule only applies to chapters with poor planning skills. Weird. So the chapter that turned in all their party planning forms early - just to get them out of the way or to seal the deal on that awesome event center that everyone wants to book for formal - doesn’t have to share in the accountability? Um, what if that chapter was the Sigma Chi chapter the girl died after partying at? We’re calling shenanigans on that statement, totally.

026 // CONNECTIONS // 2011 • FALL

[The deceased] had been seen drinking a bottle of liquor at a TKE party on Calhoun Street, according to affidavits filed by police last year in Radford Circuit Court. Friends had escorted him to the Fairfax Street apartment and put him to bed “to sleep off the intoxication.” He was found later to have vomited in the bed, according to one affidavit. Mason’s mother told police that he was pledging the fraternity and that the party may have been part of the pledging process, the affidavit stated. According to the medical examiner’s autopsy report, with a person who is not a chronic alcoholic, vomiting and blackouts can occur when a person’s blood-alcohol content reaches 0.20 percent, with coma and stupor developing at levels above 0.30 percent. Radford University placed the fraternity on probation shortly after Mason’s death and it remains on suspension, Jackson said. The international Tau Kappa Epsilon organization, based in Indiana, suspended the Radford chapter pending an investigation. The suspension continues because “the case is still open and ongoing,” said [TKE spokesperson]. He said the organization does not condone hazing and has developed several programs to combat it. He said TKE’s membership is based on “personal worth and character” and that hazing “goes against everything that’s in our fabric and our makeup.” The Radford chapter had been disciplined by the university in early 2010 for serving alcohol to underage students at a rush party. It was banned from recruiting new members, hosting social events or participating in intramural sports. We’re sick of writing about the same old things. Are you sick of reading them? Okay, this chapter has been in trouble before but - evidently whoever is in charge of putting on the brakes... didn’t. You know when you have a dog who chews? The first day she chews something from the garbage (“Oh, it’s just garbage - it’s her loss because she ate garbage! Ha!”). Then, a few days later, she chews up a shoe (“Oh, it wasn’t that good of a shoe.”). Then, a few weeks later she takes a chunk out of the backdoor (“Well, she probably had to go to the bathroom, poor pup. Plus, she hasn’t chewed anything for several weeks!”). Then, finally, you come home and she has chewed the entire couch. The nice leather one you just bought and had saved forever to buy. The stuffing is strewn from the pillows and there are claw marks along the sides. THEN you’re pissed? Um, you saw the signs. Don’t look at us for help, we were the ones who told you to put her in a crate. We hate hazing. Hate it. At least we know TKE - at a national level in the least - also seems to hate it.

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.  // 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.


UCF Greek council temporarily bans alcohol. (2011, September 5). WFTV Channel 9 Eyewitness. News. Retrieved September 27, 2011 from: Morrison, S. (2011, September 20). 7 indicted in connection with death of Radford University student. Retrieved September 27, 2011 from:

Not all education happens in a classroom. And sometimes, creating change requires some really open space. If you have an internet connection, you have access to incredible education sessions through LeaderLink, AFLV’s online training room. Learn without limits.

Spring 2012 Highlights

Strategies to Ensure Your Community’s Future / January 25 @ 2:00 pm ET Standing at a Fork in the Road to Change / February 22 @ 8:00 pm ET Best Practices for Panhellenic Recruitment Counselors / March 1 @ 2:00 pm ET The Intake Equation / March 22 @ 2:00 pm ET Find out more and register for an event at

{ }

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

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

If your organization has a foundation, explain to them how it works. Foundations can be a bit confusing but when members understand the benefits of giving to this entity, they become more likely to help in the future.



Organize a roundtable with local alumni/ae. Seniors and alumni/ ae can chat about their fraternal experiences, life experiences, families, and professional experiences. This may also help seniors to see how they can balance being an alumnus/a with everything else life throws at them.

3 4

Explain how to join an alumni/ae chapter; discuss costs and what these chapters typically do. Create mentoring pairs between seniors and alumni/ae. Have them spend time doing activities such as lunch or dinner, service projects, resume critiquing –or anything else that helps students preparing to graduate. The purpose of this is to provide support and encouragement during the transition.


Sponsor a resume workshop on “How to Market Your Fraternity/Sorority Experience.” Invite an accomplished professional to help your graduating members use their undergraduate fraternal experience to market themselves. Consider opening up this workshop to other fraternities and sororities on campus as well as sophomores and juniors who are already preparing their resumes. Use seniors to help educate the chapter. Have the seniors facilitate small chapter education groups. This helps seniors help other members learn, stay involved, and practice important facilitation skills they’ll likely need in their professional endeavors.

6 7

Schedule a roundtable with the executive board officers and the seniors. Officers can use the seniors’ wisdom and advice to set goals for chapter development. This is a great introduction for senior members on how to be an advisor too!

for Lifetime Engagement & Supporting Them Through the Transition

Your years as an undergraduate member mark the beginning of your membership to your organization. As a result, it’s important that collegiate chapters and their alumni/ ae are taking time to prepare senior collegians for the world of opportunities available after graduation. This list provides you with some suggestions on what to do to prepare seniors for the next 60+ years of membership.

Don’t forget this transition may be a little difficult for your senior members. As a result, do some things to support the transition. For example, consider creating a senior database/ contact information sheet to leave with the chapter, this helps younger members know where they can find the graduating seniors. Or, each fall, the chapter can send its most recent graduates something to let them know they’re missed (like pictures of your newest members or backto-school activities). One thing is for certain: when developing plans for how to help seniors with the transition, it’s important to make a year-long plan, not just one that gets implemented the week before graduation.

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

Profile for Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values

AFLV Connections Fall 2011  

AFLV Connections Fall 2011

AFLV Connections Fall 2011  

AFLV Connections Fall 2011

Profile for aflv