Chapter Advisor Monthly Fall 2011, Issue 1
Welcome! The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has instituted a monthly newsletter for chapter advisors across the four governing councils in an effort to increase communication and continue to build strong relationships between Northwestern University, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and chapter advisors. We hope this newsletter provides you with information relevant to your role on campus and within your organization. Each issue will feature hot topics within student affairs and fraternity and sorority life, professional development for chapter advisors, University announcements, and upcoming events. The hope is that this information will equip you with the skills and information needed to fulfill your responsibilities as chapter advisor. We are really looking forward to kicking off this upcoming school year and continuing to work collaboratively to create an optimal experience for the fraternity and sorority men and women at Northwestern. If you have ideas or suggestions for a topic we should address in a future issue of Chapter Advisor Monthly, please contact Maggie Heffernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is committed to creating the best possible fraternity and sorority experience for the undergraduate members of our 43 organizations. We are comprised of three full time professionals, one part time program assistant, and two graduate students assigned to work with various projects. We understand the importance of relationship building among our constituents, including chapter advisors. Each council is advised by a full time staff member who will serve as your primary point of contact to the office. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the staff members at any time. Contact information, full biographies, and a complete list of responsibilities are available on the OFSL website at http://www.northwestern.edu/gogreek/office/staff.html. We look forward to working with you this year!
Fraternity and Sorority Life Staff, from left to right: Adlil Issakoo, Dominic Greene, Corey Sampsel, Maggie Heffernan, Megan Latchford, and Danny Miller
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Mission The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is committed to providing students with a living and learning experience that facilitates growth in the areas of scholarship, personal and leadership development, campus and community involvement, and the clarification of values. The office and staff serve as liaisons between the collegiate chapters, parents, alumni, chapter advisors, (Inter)National organizations, and Northwestern University. The goal is to provide educational programs, services, and resources towards holistic growth; and to support the ideals of fraternity by challenging members to live by their organization's purpose.
Fraternity and Sorority Life Professional Staff Dominic Greene, Director Danny Miller, Assistant Director Maggie Heffernan, Assistant Director Adlil Issakoo, Program Assistant Corey Sampsel, Graduate Assistant Megan Latchford, Graduate Intern email@example.com
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Learning Outcomes The fraternity and sorority experience at Northwestern University is guided by the mission and learning domains of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. We would like to share our learning outcomes with chapter advisors to help advisors understand what drives our daily practices and our goals for the students’ experience. We strive to challenge students and push them to become the best fraternity men and sorority women. We hope that our learning outcomes for chapter presidents and council officers help create a meaningful and developmental experience. The learning outcomes may be useful in designing chapterspecific goals and a vision for the membership experience at Northwestern University. Learning Outcomes The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has developed learning domains, in conjunction with the established learning domains for the university and student affairs, for many of the major programs and for major leadership positions. Learning Outcomes for Fraternity and Sorority Life (As established by the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors (AFA), in conjunction with Educational Benchmarking) Sense of Belonging Diverse Interactions Interpersonal Relationship Skills Interpersonal Competence Leadership Skills Personal Development Skills Healthy Behaviors Self-Worth Intrapersonal Competence Collaboration Principled Dissent Effective Chapter Leadership Chapter Presidents Develop a sense of purpose for themselves and the fraternity and sorority community. Strengthen self-awareness, understand and manage personal emotions, communicate effectively with others, and develop and maintain meaningful relationships. Increase intercultural/multicultural competence and knowledge Learn, live, and teach the values of the Northwestern fraternity and sorority community. Develop a vision for their chapter based on knowledge of self and act to create change. Engage in healthy living: identify positive behaviors, make sound decisions, and practice those behaviors. Learn to be responsible and independent. Exhibit appropriate and proper communication skills to students, staff and faculty. Develop partnerships with peers to address issues facing fraternity/sorority community. Work together with others in an atmosphere of teamwork. Council Officers Develop a sense of purpose for themselves and the fraternity and sorority community. Strengthen self-awareness, understand and manage personal emotions, communicate effectively with others, and develop and maintain meaningful relationships. Increase intercultural/multicultural competence and knowledge Learn, live, and teach the values of the Northwestern fraternity and sorority community. Develop a vision for their position based on knowledge of self and act to create change. Engage in healthy living: identify positive behaviors, make sound decisions, and practice those behaviors. Learn to be responsible and independent. Exhibit appropriate and proper communication skills to students, staff, and faculty. Develop partnerships with peers to address issues facing fraternity/sorority community. Work together with others in an atmosphere of teamwork.
The Chapter Advisor: Expectations Adopted from Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors’ “Chapter Advisors Manual” Every (inter)national organization has minimum expectations of their chapter advisors. Leaders know that advising a chapter takes a personal investment of time and they want to be respectful of the time you’re devoting-away from your work responsibilities, family, and other volunteer commitments. They will have a solid list of basic responsibilities for you to follow. Be sure to read your own organization’s chapter advisor manual to see the overlaps and the differences in the expectations within that document and those provided by the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors. Comparing the two resources with your fellow advisors could be a great discussion starter. Think back to the time you said “yes!” when someone asked you to serve as a chapter advisor. For some of you, this may have been quite recently. For others, this might not be your first advisory role. You may have been excited about the possibilities of shaping young lives. You may have been nervous about the time commitment, or apprehensive about the knowledge required for this type of chapter leadership position. The good advisor meets basic expectations of the (inter)national organization. The great advisor discusses expanded expectations with the chapter and works to meet them together. The Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors offers some suggestions for expanded expectations of a chapter advisor. These are merely suggestions, but may help guide your role as a chapter advisor this year. Communicate. You are a liaison between the chapter, the university, and the (inter)national organization. Don’t wait until problems come up; be proactive and introduce yourself to the campus professionals to begin establishing that relationship. The Fraternity & Sorority Life staff members are happy to meet with chapter advisors; it is important that the chapter advisor and campus professional are comfortable communicating with one another and approaching one another with concerns about the chapter. Be sure to email and call the (inter)national organization staff and/or your immediate volunteer supervisor for pertinent resources, materials, and training opportunities. Talk with your specific chapter advisees to see how to best communicate with them. Some students are night owls and respond best to emails late at night. Others have their cell phones with them at all times and regularly check voice mail. Others may prefer a quick text message for short and quick answers. Lead with Integrity. Follow the “do as I do” philosophy. When (inter)national organizations recruit new members for their colonies they are often told, “Recruit in your image.” That means that alumni members must be vigilant about leading with values such as responsibility, trust, honesty, fairness, civility, and caring. Undergraduates have you as a unique connector to the (inter)national organization. You represent an individual as a leadership position to aspire to. Make yourself worthy of their respect. Be Present. Attend and be an active participant in chapter meetings to create and sustain your relationships with the undergraduates. Negotiate with the chapter on the number of meetings they would like you or another member of the advisory team to attend. You will find it easier to advise them when you have a two-way trusting relationship. Attending at least two meetings a month will help cement those relationships. Attend special chapter events such as Initiation, Founder’s Day, alumni events, parent/family events, recruitment, officer training and transitions, retreats, etc. Be Respectful of the Chapter and Campus Culture. The chapter you advise here at Northwestern University may or may not be the chapter of your initiation. You may be fresh out of school or more removed from the college experience. You would benefit from asking questions about “the way we do things around here” as you determine your style of interacting with students, other volunteers, and campus officials. Campus professionals in Fraternity & Sorority Life are happy to help address some of these campus nuances! Get Information. In order to be covered by your organization’s insurance policy, you may need to pay annual per capita dues. Some organizations include this in your alumni dues. Be sure to contact your volunteer supervisor to discuss your specific responsibilities and liability. Dues vary from group to group, but average about $35.00 per year.
The Chapter Advisor: Expectations Adopted from Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors’ “Chapter Advisors Manual” Know the Boundaries for the Chapter. The chapter’s representative to the undergraduate governing council should have a copy of the organization’s constitution and bylaws. IFC, MGC, NPHC, and PHA all have governing documents and are available by request from the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Specific University policies applicable to Fraternity & Sorority Life are available on OFSL’s website: www.northwestern.edu/gogreek/ Know the End Goal of Advisement. From a college student development point of view, the main goal of the advisor is to help the chapter and the individual members become accountable for their actions. We are coaching them to be self-sufficient and self-directed adults. Remember, most of our founders created fraternities and sororities at 16-18 years of age. Students today have more resources, knowledge, and support from all fraternity and sorority stakeholders than ever before. They just need direction on where to find these resources and how to make good decisions with the information they have. Know the Responsibilities of the Advisory Team. Some chapters are fortunate enough to have one involved alumnus to advise them. Others are even more fortunate to have an entire team of volunteers working to support the members in their personal development and the chapter in its organizational development. Know and understand the team’s responsibilities to maximize your volunteer time and work smarter, not harder. Basic Advisory Team Expectations: o Share your expectations or and definitions of chapter success. o Meet monthly as a team for a commitment to effective communication. o Set goals and objectives for the advising team, not the chapter. o Work as a collaborative unit to provide services and resources to the chapter. o Help each other become competent, confident, and caring professionals. Help the Chapter Look to the Future. Remind the chapter that the undergraduate experience goes by very quickly. Before they know it, they will be alumni members…just like you. They should think about what they want to do as a unit to contribute to the long term health of the chapter. Help them create a meaningful goal setting retreat that they can facilitate on their own or involve others. Connect the skills they are using to the strategic planning used in corporations and volunteer organizations. Help them understand the importance of creating and maintaining an organization that has enough momentum and strength so they can have an organizational home to return to at Homecoming. Utilize the resources already at your fingertips. One good standard of excellence is your own organization’s award criteria or other campus award criteria. Work with other chapter advisors, OFSL staff members, and other inter/national resources to develop productive activities for the retreat. You should also look to the future by planning with the end in mind. Who will replace you as the chapter advisor? What type of succession planning are you modeling for the chapter? Create a solid chapter advisor’s file with your own lessons learned, helpful people list, and other notes so your successor can continue your good work. Remember, many chapter advisors are the long-term knowledge base for the chapter. You and others on the advising team will want to know the history, habits, and traditions of the chapter at Northwestern University.
Spring 2011 Grades The spring 2011 grade report is available online at www.northwestern.edu/gogreek/resources/gradereports.htmll. The all-Greek average was a 3.47, above the 3.46 all- student average. Individual chapter reports are available in OFSL for the chapter presidents to pick up. We would like to congratulate the Northwestern fraternity and sorority community on another successful quarter and recognize those chapters that achieved the highest averages in their respective council:
Alpha Epsilon Pi (3.62) Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. (3.63) Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (3.43) Pi Beta Phi (3.61)
30 Reminders for Effective Advising Adopted from Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors’ “Chapter Advisors Manual” 1. Care about the students you advise by showing empathy, understanding, and respect. 2. Establish a warm, genuine, and open professional relationship. 3. Show interest, helpful intent, and involvement. 4. Be a good listener. 5. Establish rapport by remembering personal information about students that you advise. 6. Be available; keep office hours and appointments. 7. Provide accurate information. 8. When in doubt, refer to Northwestern’s student handbook and/or the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. 9. Know how and when to make referrals, and be familiar with referral sources. 10. Don’t refer to hastily; but don’t attempt to handle situations for which you are not qualified. 11. Have students contact referral sources in your presence. 12. Contact students you advise frequently; don’t always wait for students to come to you. 13. Don’t make decisions for students; help them make their own decisions. 14. Focus on students’ strengths and potential rather than limitations. 15. Seek out students you advise in informal settings. 16. Monitor students’ progress toward educational goals. 17. Determine reasons for poor academic performance and direct students to support services. 18. Be realistic with the students you advise. 19. Use all available information sources. 20. Clearly and professionally outline students responsibilities. 21. Follow up on commitments made to the students you advise. 22. Encourage students to consider and develop career alternatives, when appropriate. 23. Keep an anecdotal record of significant conversations for future reference. 24. Evaluate the effectiveness of your advising. 25. Don’t be critical of Northwestern University faculty or staff to the students. 26. Be knowledgable about career opportunities and job outlook for various majors. 27. Encourage students to talk by asking open-ended questions. 28. Don’t betray confidential information. 29. Categorize students’ questions; are they seeking action, information, or involvement and understanding. 30. Be yourself and allow students to be themselves. (Source: www.umich.edu/~salead/advisor/handbook.html#roles)
Student leaders gathering near the Arch on campus. See more photos of student leaders on our new website!
Greek Emerging Leaders Fall 2011 Greek Emerging Leaders is a 6- week class held during the fall and spring quarters for the newest members of the fraternity and sorority community, who have been identified as future leaders within the chapter and Northwestern. The class is led by an OFSL staff member and a student facilitator who has previously graduated from Greek Emerging Leaders. Participants have the opportunity to learn about themselves and their leadership styles and make connections with other rising leaders. Up to two nominated members from each chapter can take part in the class. Interested students can register for the class by completing the online registration. Newer members will receive the application via email once it is live. Chapter presidents will also be notified once registration is live. Please encourage sophomores and newly initiated members to participate!
Check out our new website! The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life website has been updated: www.northwestern.edu/gogreek
Important Dates and Upcoming Events
Month Day Year
It is important that chapter advisors are aware of what is going on within the fraternity and sorority community and the greater Northwestern campus community. This way, you can encourage chapter members to participate in community events and attend relevant campus programming. If you have questions about a specific event, please contact an OFSL staff member or speak with your chapter president. As changes are made to this schedule, we will be sure to update advisors via future newsletters or email correspondence. Chapter leaders enjoy a conversation at the Rock.
September 21- Phired Up Recruitment Training (Panhellenic) September 24- NPHC and MGC Yard Show @ Rock (2:00 pm)
Northwestern Welcomes New Vice President for Student Affairs Northwestern University welcomed a new Vice
September 27- MGC & NPHC Advisors Meeting
President for Student Affairs on August 1 . Dr. Patricia
October 2- Freshman Freeze ends
Florida where she served as Vice President for Student
October 2 - Recruitment Kickoff on Norris East Lawn (All Councils)
Telles-Irvin joins Northwestern from the University of Affairs since 2004. Dr. Telles-Irvin a national leader in the field of Student Affairs and we are confident she will be a wonderful addition to Northwestern University!
October 2-6- Greek Week
More information on Dr. Telles-Irvin’s arrival is available
October 12- Panhellenic Advisors Meeting
October 14 - Kim Novak (IFC and PHA Risk Management) October 21 - Homecoming parade
Freshmen Freeze The Northwestern University Freshmen Freeze Policy is th
November 6 - Panhellenic Recruitment Preview
in effect beginning on Monday, September 12 until
November 8 & 15 - IFC Elections
from entering IFC and Panhellenic chapter facilities, and
November 15- Panhellenic Elections
freshmen. Chapters can begin marketing upcoming
November 13-18- MGC Week
events on Saturday, September 24 . A full description of
Sunday, October 2 . The Freeze prohibits freshmen does not allow chapters to host any events open to th
the policy is available at: http://www.northwestern.edu/gogreek/resources/policies/ freshmen-freeze.html
Chapter Advisor Monthly 601 University Place – Scott Hall, Rm. 29 – Evanston Il 60208 www.northwestern.edu/gogreek - 847-491-4522