Chapter Advisor Monthly Fall 2011, Issue 3
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Update As fall quarter comes to an end, we have a lot of exciting updates from Fraternity and Sorority Life. All of our councils have hosted wonderful events this quarter and are beginning to elect new council leaders. The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, and the OFSL staff is thankful for all that you do as chapter advisors to help develop and lead the students in our community! In this issue: IFC and Panhellenic Election Results MGC Week Crisis Management Planning and Response Resources and Referrals How to Be Happy Though Surrounded by College Students Important Dates & Upcoming Events If you have suggestions for future articles or topics, please contact Maggie Heffernan at email@example.com.
Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Election Results The Panhellenic Association held elections for the 2012 th board on Tuesday, November 15 . Congratulations to the following women on their election! Emily Jordan, Zeta Tau Alpha, President Rebecca Flamm, Delta Gamma, VP Standards Monika Buska, Kappa Alpha Theta, VP Risk Management Sophie Friedman, Gamma Phi Beta, VP Membership Emily Stephens, Kappa Delta, VP Administration Janelle Henney, Zeta Tau Alpha, VP Programming Claire Nelson, Pi Beta Phi, VP Membership Development Lauren Pollack, Gamma Phi Beta, VP Public Relations The Interfraternity Council held elections for the 2012 board st and will conclude their elections on Thursday, December 1 . Congratulations to the following men on their election! Patrick Schnettler, Pi Kappa Alpha, President Chris Herr, Phi Kappa Psi, VP Standards Mark Morel, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, VP Risk Management Andrew Brugman, Delta Chi, VP Membership Jake Bodner, Phi Delta Theta, VP Administration Colin LaBran-Boyd, Sigma Chi, VP Programming TBA, VP Membership Development TBA, VP Public Relations Newly elected officers will be officially installed into their positions at the end of January.
Greek Build, Northwestern’s combined service and philanthropic endeavor, sponsored a service trip to the Greater Chicago Food Depository on October 29th. Students from all councils participated in the service opportunity.
MGC Week The Multicultural Greek Council recently concluded a successful week of programming for “MGC Week” th th (November 7 -11 ). During the week, each chapter sponsors an event open to the entire Northwestern community. The week is designed to bring members of the community together and celebrate the Multicultural Greek Council on Northwestern’s campus. Below is a summary of the week’s schedule: MGC Informational session intended to educate nonMGC members about the council and opportunities within the council Diversity in Business Resume workshop cosponsored by Kappa Phi Lambda and Undergraduate Economic Society Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser Omega Delta Phi Family Feud Self-defense workshop sponsored by Sigma Psi Zeta and Lambda Theta Alpha Sigma Lambda Gamma quesadilla sale. Congratulations to the MGC on a wonderful week!
Panhellenic Recruitment Preview The Panhellenic Association hosted Panhellenic th Recruitment Preview on Sunday, November 6 . This year, Panhellenic had a record number of PNMs registered for Preview; chapters had the chance to meet 628 future members of the community. Recruitment Preview was designed to give Potential New Members (PNMs) an opportunity to visit all 12 Panhellenic chapters and get a sense of what formal recruitment will be like in January.
Crisis Management Adopted from Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors’ “Chapter Advisors Manual” You signed up for a meaningful volunteer commitment to working with students. You were excited about empowering them with information and resources to help them strengthen the chapter and to have a good leadership experience. Very few, if any, chapter advisors volunteer just to manage crises. We hope that as chapter advisors you are never put in a crisis situation, but should a crisis ever arise within the chapter it is certainly better to be prepared. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) has compiled some valuable information applicable to the advising role in regards to crisis management and how to be proactive in planning for a crisis response. Immediate crisis situations may involve fire, death of a member, or a serious accident. Short-term crisis situations may involve destruction of property, alcohol or drug abuse, hazing, sexual assault, bias-related violence, and eating disorders. AFA hopes to prepare chapter advisors and provide you with conversation tools and resources for crisis preparation with your advising and chapter leadership teams. Everyone thinks “this won’t happen to us.” And hopefully it won’t. But, in the event of an emergency or tragedy, your members – undergraduate and alumni – will feel more in control of the situation with proper planning. Additionally, this chapter offers a guide for referrals - a critical component to proactive advising and support of a chapter and its members. As you develop your crisis management plan, FIPG’s Risk Management Manual may be a valuable resource and supplement you own inter/national organization’s resources. The FIPG Manual is available online at: www.fipg.org/media/FIPGRiskMgmtManual.pdf. Crisis Management: Preparation/Training Before anything happens, help the undergraduates think through the resources available to them, their immediate plan of action, and their leadership/communication hierarchy in the event of an emergency. You should work with the chapter leadership team and then alumni advisors who would be naturally involved in the resolution of the crisis. 1. "What if…?" Plan for a crisis by asking “what if?” in a calm executive board meeting. Planning gives you time to make well-reasoned, unhurried decisions about crisis responses. Some topics to address during a chapter discussion might include: a list of common emergencies, who will serve as the crisis management leader in each scenario, critical elements of a crisis plan in the event of an emergency, and a list of who should be contacted first following a crisis situation. 2. Create a Phone List Create a simple phone list to post in all public areas of the chapter facility (if applicable). See Emergency Phone Numbers to Post in the Chapter Facility (page 43). Create a permanent phone list which includes the phone numbers of the chapter president, advisor team, house corporation president, campus fraternity/sorority professional(s), Dean of Students, and media outlets (if necessary). This should be in the hands of every chapter officer and advisor. 3. Information Network Develop a communication system to inform every member of the chapter quickly. Chances are fairly good they'll be stopped by students and the media outside of the chapter facility or, if they're wearing letters, on campus. 4. Determine the Facts Some good questions to ask include: What happened? When (specific date and time)? Where? How? What was the damage? Injury? Who was involved? Applicable inter/national fraternity/sorority policies: Applicable campus policies: 5. Brief Your VIPs Decide what information needs to be shared with appropriate VIPS. Then, work the plan. Brief the individuals pre-determined on the phone list. 6. Prepare the President Prepare the president to truthfully answer tough questions with the media. Connect the president with an attorney if appropriate. This should be done in a coordinated effort with campus and inter/national fraternity/sorority representatives. 7. Inform the Membership Train/educate the general membership. Help them understand their role in the event of an emergency. Let them know the only person to speak to the public and/or media is the chapter president.
Preparing Students: Eight Steps to Discuss for Crisis Management Planning Adopted from Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors’ “Chapter Advisors Manual” In an effort to be as prepared for a crisis situation as possible, it is helpful to be proactive and discuss scenarios with chapter leaders before anything happens on campus or within the chapter. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors has developed a step-by-step guide for chapter advisors preparing to talk with chapter leaders about crisis management planning. Below are the eight steps to discuss for effective, applicable, and realistic crisis management planning as well as a list of relevant phone numbers for chapter members and advisors to have on hand in case of an emergency. 1. Define the Crisis Obtain clarity and understanding Be as specific as possible Reach an agreement that the crisis being defined is really the problem 2. Gather Information Discuss the issues and concerns related to the crisis 3. Diagnose and Analyze the Causes Brief your VIPs (determine who these individuals are) Perform a focused analysis Select areas of chapter management/programming for modification based on the analysis 4. Propose Solutions Brainstorm and make a list of as many alternative solutions as possible 5. Discuss the Solutions Evaluate the merits of each alternative solution Rank alternative solutions from most desirable to least desirable 6. Decide on a Solution or a Series of Solutions Choose a solution that seems feasible, i.e., has potential for success Choose a solution that the chapter can actually implement 7. Plan Action Steps List detailed steps for implementing solutions Plan specific steps that you as individuals can take 8. Evaluation Evaluate our way of working together Express your feelings and opinions about the way you are working together Plan ways in which you can improve your chapter leadership/advising relationships Emergency phone numbers to post in chapter facility/keep for personal record Northwestern University Campus Security/Police: (847) 491-3456 (non-emergency) Evanston Police: (847) 866-5000 (non-emergency) Evanston Hospital: (847) 570-2111 Northwestern University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): (847) 491-2151 or (847) 491-8100 (after-hours emergencies) Northwestern University Center for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE) for survivors of sexual assault: (847) 491-4618 Northwestern University Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life: (847) 491-4522 Northwestern University Dean of Students Office: (847) 491-8430 Chapter President: Chapter Advisor: (Inter)national Headquarters: In case of emergency, always all 911!
Referrals and Resources Adopted from Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors’ “Chapter Advisors Manual” Many crises within a chapter may involve individual members in need of medical or psychological attention; alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault, disordered eating, body image concerns, the stress of academic coursework, or family trouble can all present a crisis situation to chapter leaders and advisors. In some cases, individual chapter members may approach you with personal concerns. Otherwise, members may have disclosed a concern to a brother or sister or a member of the chapter leadership who has since approached you, the advisor, looking for guidance on what to do next. The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors recognizes the challenges associated with getting help for a student and the student to local or campus resources. In most cases, you might recognize the need to refer a student, but are uncertain about how to do it. If you are in doubt regarding whether to refer a student, please consult Northwestern Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). When to Refer 1. When a member presents a problem or a request for information which is beyond your level of competency. 2. When you feel that personality differences (which cannot be resolved) between you and the member will interfere in his/her progress. 3. If for some reason the individual is reluctant to discuss the problem with you. 4. If after a period of time you do not believe your communication with the individual has been effective. Don't wait until it is too late for anyone to help. To Whom to Refer Your knowledge of agencies that can be of service to students is of primary importance. You should be certain to refer a student to the office that will best serve him/her. Do not depend upon someone in another office to ensure that a student gets to where he/she could have been sent originally. It is obvious that a student becomes discouraged when referred from office to office without a real effort to determine where he/ she can receive the assistance desired. If you are not certain where to refer a student, find out before you send him/her off walking all over campus. Referrals should be considered as indications of competencies rather than inadequacies of the referring individual. If you are still unsure, call the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, a staff member can provide general contact information for specific issues. You don’t have to share the details of the individual involved, just ask in general who to contact for the issue. Referring a member to the appropriate office demonstrates to him/her that you have his/her best interests at heart. How to Refer Although it may be helpful to refer an individual to a specific person, this is not always possible as busy as some counselors are. Familiarity with the personnel and the function of each agency will help you explain the agency to the individual and assure him that, although s/he may see anyone of several people, all are competent. Do not transmit information about the individual to the referral agency when s/he is in your presence. This may project the feeling that his particular problem is being known to everyone on campus. When the individual has returned from the referral, do not pump him/her for information. Though s/he may not want to share his experience with you it's helpful to convey your feelings of concern for his/her general welfare. If you merely inquire about whether the appointment was kept, s/he may volunteer whatever information is necessary. Do not expect immediate help for particular symptoms. Changing basic attitudes and feelings, gaining academic skills, or learning to handle everyday problems may be a process that moves slowly. Do not expect miracles to be performed on cases you refer. Finally, respect the individual. The basic approach to all helping and referring is one of fundamental respect for the individual and the belief that it is best for people to work out problems in their own way. You and the referral agencies are helpers in this process by providing a variety of alternatives for assistance but on the individual’s own terms. Your chapter member may choose to ignore or accept the help available – your job is to see that he becomes aware of this help and that he has the maximum opportunity to utilize it. (Adapted from staff manual for resident assistants, Wichita State University)
How to Survive and Be Happy Though Surrounded by College Month Day Year Students Advising a chapter of undergraduate students can be a personal challenge. Collegiate members may have a different style of leading than you did as a student or less of a sense of urgency toward a specific situation. Generational differences can present additional challenges as students are communicating differently, taking on more roles, and expecting big results. The Advisor should remember that he/she cannot feel guilty if everything in the chapter is not to his/her satisfaction. The chapter runs and manages itself and is responsible to itself for itself. If the advisor realizes that his/her position is dynamic, defines his/her responsibilities in concern with the chapter, approaches them with common sense, and carries them out to the best of his/her ability, then he/she will likely be a good advisor. Advisors, like anyone, need to take care of themselves! Below is a “secret set of rules” on How to Survive and Be Happy Though Surrounded by College Students compiled by Landrum R. Bolling, president of Earlham College. Enjoy! 1. Listen. You won’t learn much from young people if you do all of the talking. You’ll be surprised at how much sense they talk. 2. Keep smiling. A large percentage of us unconsciously or deliberately glare, sneer, frown when we look at college students. Most of them are remarkably perceptive; they know when we’re hostile. It is difficult for most people, young or old, to communicate with others who are clearly agnostic. 3. Don’t ask them why they look the way they do. If they can’t explain it to their parents, they can’t explain it to you. Anyway, they don’t really know. 4. Don’t tell them how hard and how joyfully you worked in your youth. Theirs is a different world; they have no conception of the world through which we lived in the Depression and in WW II and little curiosity to learn about it. Sad or wrong, but true. 5. Level with them. They are amazingly open and honest, if you approach them in a spirit of honesty. And there is little or nothing you can’t talk about. 6. Don’t try to be one of them. 7. Share with them your own highest hopes and finest purposes. It will surprise and delight them to discover that you are an idealist too. 8. Believe in them. They’ll sense it when you do, and they will respond, eventually, to that belief.
Members of the Greek Build executive board at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. For more information on Greek Build, please visit: http://www.wix.com/greekbuild/nugreekbuild
Important Dates and Upcoming Events 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. Please 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.
November 20- Panhellenic Recruitment Counselor Training
November 24-25- Thanksgiving (University Closed)
November 28-December 2- Reading Week
December 5-December 9- Finals Week
December 10-December 16- Northwestern University Ski Trip
January 3- Classes resume
January 4-January 8- IFC Recruitment
January 5-January 10- Panhellenic Recruitment
January 22- Winter Leadership Conference
February 3- Gone Greek Night
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Chapter Advisors Monthly November 2011