Create More Little Local Rituals

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I was at The Ohio State University working to re-establish a chapter of my fraternity in the spring of 2012. It was an interesting recruitment campaign as it was one of the rare instances where our entire team of five worked together to set up one chapter.

In our 2nd or 3rd week of the campaign, Woody Woodcock from Phired Up visited to offer coaching support to our team. Our recruiters were trained in part by Woody and his colleagues, and we had built a fraternal bond with one another over the course of our fall term – Phired Up staff would visit twice during each of our expansion campaigns.

Woody noticed some disorganization and distractions among the members of our team, so one evening he asked us to meet in one of our temporary apartments. We entered into a dark room, the only light coming from candles set on a table in the shape of our letters. The six of us stood around the table while Woody spoke. Some of what he said was written on a piece of paper, some of it may have been improvised, but the purpose of it was to reconnect us to why we were setting up a new chapter and the bond we all shared as fraternity men.

My Fraternity Was Racist; Yours Probably Was Too. Students Need Us To Accept That & Move Forward.

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I enjoy digging through fraternity and sorority archives to learn more about our past, and I can no longer accept how readily we ignore the shame we feel beneath the glowing reviews of our histories. As I mentioned in my … Continued

What Our Founders Might Say – Take Greater Pride In The Existing Value of Fraternities; Ditch The Checklists

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What would your founders think of the way your fraternity or sorority operates today? We ask that to students, and I’d like more students to ask it of advisers and fraternity/sorority professionals. Here’s why: Beyond the tens and thousands of … Continued

Hazing, Suicide, Zero-Tolerance, Afghanistan & Bankruptcy – How Governing Organizations Fall Apart

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More than half of the chapters closed during my time working at my fraternity headquarters did so due to some combination of low membership and excessive debt. Many of the rest closed due to risk concerns. The same issues will … Continued

Educators Are As Effective As Their Ability To Learn

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  Can education exist without communication? Whether through spoken language or body language, we have evolved to learn by observing and tweaking, and that natural process seems almost entirely absent from the programming provided by fraternities and sororities, and education … Continued

Breaking Down My Fraternity’s Preamble (Beyond Memorization) | YITBOS

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New members of Delta Sigma Phi memorize the Preamble to the Constitution prior to their initiation. Many forget it shortly thereafter, and few are required to or ever take time to analyze its meaning, which is strange; It explains the … Continued

What Gets Measured Gets Managed: Those Years I Managed Teen Lifeguards

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It was my third or fourth day as a lifeguard, my tan was hitting its stride, and I came to the final stop in my rotation around the pool before I could take a break out of the sun. I … Continued

Student Leaders Can & Should Claim A Starring Role At The NIC

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Not long ago, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) launched NIC 2.0, a “restart” which altered the organization’s mission and structure. The changes gave the NIC greater reach/influence and a larger budget, but little has been done to give students more … Continued

Cal Poly Suspends Historically White Fraternities & Sororities – A Unique, New Precedent For Community Suspensions.

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Roughly a dozen mostly public, land-grant institutions suspended some or all of their fraternity/sorority community over the past year due to incidents regarding hazing, sexual misconduct, and risky parties. Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo joins that list, but under … Continued

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