The Phi Gamma Delta Magazine - Fall 2021

Page 10

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging


n September 2020, the Archons established the Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with two primary goals: 1) to seek to understand the needs of our brothers of underrepresented identities, our chapters and our campuses; and 2) to make recommendations for actions which the Fraternity should consider for increasing diversity in our membership, and to better support equity, inclusion and respect for others within Phi Gamma Delta. The Committee, comprised of twelve graduate and undergraduate brothers, worked for eight months to analyze the Fraternity’s history, language and imagery; review the educational opportunities available to our brothers; understand similar efforts and opportunities within comparative organizations and at host institutions, and above all, gather deeper insights from our undergraduates and graduate brothers. The Committee’s work culminated with recommendations made to the Archons in May 2021 which seek to create opportunities for brothers to listen, speak, and raise their voices about the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts. The Committee also noted in its recommendations, and the Archons unequivocally agreed, that Phi Gamma Delta’s efforts to advance diversity must go beyond race and ethnicity. These efforts must focus on diversity in all forms, including sexual orientation, religion, class, physical and mental ability, and other differences that can impact one’s ability to thrive in our Fraternity and in professional, civic and other settings after graduation. While the Fraternity’s plan will continue to take shape in the coming months, based on recommendations from the DEI Committee, the Archons have set forth several key actions to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) efforts. 10


Strategic Recommendations The Archons committed to elevating DEIB efforts into the Fraternity’s strategic objectives and have identified a strategic goal of increasing diversity within the Fraternity to better reflect our host institutions. Additionally, the Archons created a new Appointed General Officer position and appointed DeVere Kutscher (Davidson 1997) as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (see page 6), and approved the addition of a new staff position to focus on execution of DEIB initiatives. The Archons also committed to including a focus on DEIB into the selection and onboarding of new Archons.

Raise the Level of Accountability & Transparency A number of the Committee’s recommendations recognized the need for accountability and transparency in promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. Among the actions taken by the Archons, the Fraternity has committed to producing an annual report on DEIB efforts, expected to first be available in summer 2022. The Archons also committed to reviewing the systems and processes used to recruit and fill leadership positions across all graduate levels, including the Archons, Appointed General Officers, Section Chiefs and Purple Legionnaires. The Fraternity will soon conduct an audit of the Ritual, Constitution and Bylaws to identify references, including language and imagery, that are inconsistent with these efforts, and to understand barriers to membership which may necessitate changes to our laws and practices. The Archons