Legal Summit on Fraternity/Sorority Life, October 6-7, 1997
Texas Christian University
Purpose of Meeting: To establish standards and expectations for collegiate chapters of national fraternities and sororities that support the campus educational mission without violating student and organization constitutional rights.
Barbara Hollmann, Network Chair, opened the meeting, and introduced Harriet Harral, who facilitated this and the next three Summit meetings. The process she used for the sessions was most effective and enabled those representing the fraternity "side" and those representing the university "side" to speak candidly and eventually reach consensus on the major issues. Two broad topics were selected for discussion, Relationships and Risk Management. Participants were divided into small mixed groups to identify principles and standards agreed upon by all. The participants met separately (Greek and University) to determine what each group needed from the other. All came together to report needs; then met separately again to develop responses to requested needs; came back together to give responses and finally to identify additional agreements. The process was repeated for both of the discussion topics.
Relationship between the host institution and the inter/national organizations
Some of the mutually accepted principles and standards:
- We are partners in student development and higher education;
- We share a fundamental purpose of intellectual, social and character development of students;
- We support each other's missions;
- A positive fraternity experience translates into alumni loyalty and support;
- Clear expectations and accountabilities foster healthy relationships;
- Collaboration is crucial for success;
Key issues discussed: inappropriate student behavior, alcohol abuse, type of student organizations are attracting, role of a chapter in a larger community, individual versus group responsibility and accountability, and the importance of standards.
Solutions/conclusions reached: well-communicated and clearly-focused education beginning with recruitment, positive alumni involvement, active role taken by chief student affairs officer working with inter/national organization leadership.
Principles and standards:
- Must have collaborative education of students re risk management
- Eliminate dangerous and risky behaviors; we share in legal liability;
- Coordinate efforts to assist students in developing safe and healthy climates and cultures.
Key issues discussed: need better communication and partnership in discipline, a stronger commitment to standards, need for better education, better management of risks, increased accountability, substance-free housing.
Solutions/conclusions reached: strong alumni involvement needed, role modeling, reward systems, revised policies, sending strong message: the law is the law; we support it; we support those who support it; and we expect it to be enforced; collaborative efforts for discipline.
We began the meeting strictly divided by Greek and University affiliation. We left the meeting with a determination to increase our collaborative efforts to achieve a better fraternity experience for our collegiate members. We also left with a commitment to maintain the lines of communication that we had just opened. To that end, the group met at the NIC/AFA meeting to report on progress of task forces: training of alumni, substance-free housing, redevelopment of alumni IFC structure, and communication. The group met again at NASPA and put on a successful "town hall" program on alcohol-free housing. Plans began for the 1998 Summit.
GREEK SUMMIT II
Summit on Fraternity/Sorority Life, October 12 & 13, 1998 -
DFW Lakes Hilton
With Barbara Hollmann convening and Harriet Harral facilitating, the participants were divided into small groups to evaluate and create action steps for each of the three focus areas. At the conclusion of the meeting, those attending signed up to work on the recommended action steps throughout the year.
- Campus alcohol abuse
- Visioning the relationship between higher education and inter/national organizations in 2005
- Improved alumni/ae, faculty and staff involvement and education.
- The focus areas were examined using the following process:
- Status Quo
- Desired Status Quo
- Hindering Forces
- Driving Forces
- Suggested Action Steps
- Recommended Action Steps
- Create a national Campus Student Leadership Initiative (This is the Fraternal Futures program that Denny Roberts has piloted with
funding from the Kettering Foundation.)
- Compile existing research (Maureen Hartford, with help from associates at the University of Michigan, produced a research paper:
Greek Life and Alcohol: A Literature Review.)
- Visioning the Relationship:
- Draft a shared vision statement (Convener: Betty Quick)
- Pilot 3C program (This was a program that attempted to improve cooperation between the fraternal organization and the host institution in a crisis situation. Jim Caswell convened.)
- Affirmation of core values (Maureen Syring steered the development of a program, "Visioning the Relationship," to affirm and promote
the use of basic fraternal values on every campus with a Greek community.)
Alumni/ae Faculty Involvement:
- Develop plans to increase involvement: Identify, Inform, Involve, and Inspire. Marian Williams was the task force convener.
Before adjourning, plans were made for summit participants to meet at the 1999 NASPA annual conference to report on progress of action steps. The 3C (which had become the 4C) program was introduced at the interfraternal luncheon at NASPA.
GREEK SUMMIT III
October 25-26, 1999 - Hyatt Regency DFW
Fraternity/Sorority Network Chair Jim Caswell presided, and Harriet Harral again guided us from discussion to action plans.
The goals for Summit III were:
- Review issues from Summit II and update if needed
- Identify new issues that enhance the undergraduate Greek experience
- Continue to find mechanisms to increase collaboration between inter/national organizational leadership and institutions.
- All three of the 1998 focus areas were deemed worthy for continued consideration. By consensus the group agreed to carry forward the following action plans (both existing and new).
Campus Alcohol Abuse
- Work to achieve a resolution by the InterAssociation Task Force on Alcohol in support of the NPC resolution on Alcohol-Free social activities.
- Develop campus or regional meetings, using the Summit as a model, so that students come together with all different constituency groups to address campus alcohol issues. (This became the "Day of Dialogue" project spearheaded by Terry Hogan.)
- Have a national teleconference on campus alcohol abuse issues.
- Visioning the Relationship
- Use the Basic Expectations of Fraternity Members as a universal "code of ethics" for sorority/fraternity members and professionals.
- Select test campuses and begin promoting core values, on websites, in university judicial procedures, etc.
- Identify pilot schools, share lists of alumni/ae on campus and have joint recruitment efforts for advisors
- Develop training models for advisors
- Identify existing models and roles for Alumni Greek Councils
Everyone left the DFW Hyatt with new assignments to pursue. We also left with a better understanding of the roles we each play in relation to student members. The three years of fall summit meetings, with interim meetings at NASPA, have increased the level of cooperation and understanding between the two "sides." Mistrust has been replaced with appreciation; acquaintance has progressed to friendship. A mid-year meeting at the 2000 NASPA Conference consisted of reports on the Day of Dialogue and Leadership projects.
GREEK SUMMIT IV
October 16-17, 2000 - SMU Student Center
GREEK SUMMIT VISION: The Summit group brings together representatives of higher education and inter/national organizations to encourage the high quality communication and cooperation necessary to effect change needed to help students' behavior reflect, in their daily lives, the founding principles of their organizations and the educational mission of their educational institutions.
Greek Summit IV was convened by Ed Whipple; the arrangements were made by Jim Caswell and his staff; the Network Chair was Don Mills, and Harriet Harral joined us once more as facilitator. Participants stayed at the Radisson Hotel Central, and sessions were conducted in the SMU Student Center. A special "reward" for a full day of meetings was a lovely candlelight dinner in the beautiful Meadows Art Museum. Organizations providing financial support for the Summit were NPC, NIC, the Network, and FEA.
2000 Summit Goals:
1. Review issues from Summit III (Day of Dialogue, Leadership Development Model and 3C's Project)
2. Identify new issues to enhance the undergraduate Greek experience
3. Continue to find ways to increase collaboration among institutions and Greek alumni leadership
Day of Dialogue:
- 26 campuses have volunteered to sponsor suggestions for further development: submit program proposal for NASPA conference, report in national magazines, rally support from national offices, use campuses as host sites for regional programs.
- Leadership Transformation Model
- Need financial support to continue development of program
- Use pilot model to secure funding
- Four questions were discussed in small groups:
- How can responsible Greek organizations handle the social issue of drinking? Specific areas addressed were the law, responsible drinking, campus policy, Greek affiliation policy, occasions for alcohol use, root causes of abuse, risk management procedures, consequences, enforcement issues.
- What should a leadership development program look like? Specific areas addressed were boundaries and barriers, resources, evaluation/outcomes, curriculum, delivery, and audience.
- How do you develop effective accountability in Greek communities? Specific areas addressed were values, standards, knowledge and understanding, buy/in, responsibility, enforcement, barriers/obstructions, awards and incentives.
- How do you meet the challenge of partnership communication? Specific areas addressed were campus climate, barriers, what needs to be communicated, university, general public, student, person-to-person, media, and electronic communication.
At the end of the meeting, participants committed to continue to support the two ongoing projects and also to study the impact on Greek organizations of demographic changes and changes in higher education and society as well as to develop a plan to recruit more participation from qualified alumni/ae. In four years the Summit has gone from a forum strictly divided by "sides" to an integrated group of single-focused individuals whose
roles have been minimized for the greater good of improving the Greek community. The Day of Dialogue program proposal was accepted and was presented at the 2001 annual conference. The program for the Interfraternal Luncheon featured a panel on the need to involve alumni/ae as partners in Greek advisement.
GREEK SUMMIT V
October 15-16, 2001 - Salt Lake City, Utah
A new venue meant getting used to mountains instead of flatlands and also getting used to our talented new facilitator, Diane Hamilton. Diane was no stranger to Greek organizations as the University of Utah had engaged her to facilitate discussions between the Greek community and the surrounding neighbors. Barb Snyder and her staff handled the arrangements for the meeting, including dinner at the Alumni House and sunrise breakfast at
The Point. Don Mills, Chairman of the Fraternity/Sorority Network (now called "Knowledge Community") presided. More organizations provided support for Greek Summit V (NIC, NPC, Order of Omega, FEA, NIF, IATF, and the Network/KC) resulting in a broader base of participation.
As a result of discussion topics submitted in advance, it was determined that conversation would focus on the question: "Whose Fraternity/Sorority is it?"
Meeting Purpose: To clarify ownership and responsibility for fraternities and sororities
Desired Outcome: To produce a working document for circulation clarifying the question.
Some Shared Assumptions:
- Ownership is shared;
- Climate has changed; Universities now share liability for actions of chapter;
- Both feel that relationship between VPs and inter/national organizations is not cooperative;
- Relationship is confusing because fraternities and sororities are private organizations;
- Any organization that impairs student performance should be changed;
- Students need to buy into the direction and goals of the national organizations and VPs.
Some Unresolved Issues:
- The use and helpfulness of relationship statements is questionable;
- Authority and decision-making power for creating standards should be clarified;
- Reporting requirements are burdensome;
- Lack of trust exists throughout the system;
- Differences between how student organizations and fraternities and sororities are treated and disciplined by universities.
What can the Summit contribute to national views and policies about these issues?
- A model relationship statement that includes University expectations.
- A model set of standards that includes evaluation criteria and reporting requirements.
The attendees were divided into three groups that worked to create the following:
- A model relationship statement. The group reworked a sample statements that had been developed by attorney Bob Manley and published in Fraternal Law in 1984. There was not time to finished the adaptation, but in its final form, the document should not exceed a page and a half.
- A model standards document. This sub group identified four areas that should be included in a standards document: academic achievement, community/campus involvement, financial status and mission statement. The idea was put forward that each chapter should write its own mission statement that would be compatible with that of the institution.
Guidelines for treating different groups differently. The inter/national Greek organizations representatives felt that chapters that had not indicated a deficiency should not have to jump through the same hoops as the deficient chapters. There should be a customized approach to standards documents for chapters of NPC, NIC, NPHC and NALFA member groups. Chapters would benefit from receiving a copy of their evaluation reports.
Although the tangible output of this Summit was less than in previous years, the discussion reached a level of honesty that had not been achieved in prior meetings. Even though the documents were not completed, a listserv was constructed so the dialogue could continue. The Interfraternal Luncheon speaker at the 2002 NASPA Conference was Peter Lake who discussed the rights of Universities and private organizations.
GREEK SUMMIT VI
October 20-21, 2002 - University of Utah
Participants were very pleased to be the guests of the University of Utah for a second straight year. Diane Hamilton returned to facilitate the 2002 conversation; Barb Snyder and competent staff handled the arrangements; and Terry Hogan presided as the new Chair of the Fraternity/Sorority Knowledge Community. Special events included a tour of structures for the Olympics and the SLC Zoo, dinner at Commander's House, and
the favorite – sunrise breakfast at The Point.
After Terry reviewed the 2001 Summit and NASPA Interfraternal Luncheon, Diane led the participants in a discussion on what is reasonable to expect from each other. The attendance for this meeting maintained the original intent of the Summit, which was to provide a forum for dialogue between chief student affairs officers and the inter/national leadership of men's and women's fraternities. Remembering that six years ago, open and honest dialogue was precluded by legal issues and misunderstanding of purpose, it was most rewarding to see how far we had come. Fraternity/sorority representatives and senior student affairs officers were now discussing even the most sensitive issues in an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding. This is a relationship that has developed and matured over the 6-year period and has made possible an honest exchange of opinion as well as highly fruitful dialogue.
We were treated by everybody's favorite speaker Peter Lake, to a stimulating presentation on his favorite subject – tort law. He spoke about what is reasonable, what constitutes negligence and then described four recent eras of student/university relationship: the in loco parentis era (50s), the civil rights era (60s) , the bystander era (70s and 80s), and the present, which he calls the facilitator era. After discussing the Rights and Responsibilities of the Modern University (the title of the book he co-authored with Robert Bickle), he moved on to discuss relationship statements. It is Peter's belief that every school with a fraternity/sorority community should have a relationship statement. He also said we should become familiar with the NIAAA report on college drinking that had recently been released. He believes that it will become the standard against which all college alcohol litigation will be judged.
Denny Roberts and a graduate assistant Laura Hayhoe from Miami U. gave a comprehensive report on the Transforming Fraternal Leadership project. In order for the project to succeed – for leadership to be transformed – it must "promote a return to core fraternal values, empower students to achieve ends that are important to them, and espouse leadership that reflects life in today's complex world." The program has received funding from the
A final discussion centered on how to engage more of the VPSA colleagues in our discussion. At the 2003 NASPA Annual Meeting, the educational topic at the Interfraternal Luncheon was the relationship between fraternities and sororities and the institution. Presenters were Holly McKiernan, Peter Lake and the Legal Counsel for the University of Arizona.
GREEK SUMMIT VII
October 26-27, 2003 - Indianapolis, IN
The seventh NASPA Greek Summit was held at the Crown Plaza Union Station in Indianapolis. Arrangements were made by Alpha Chi Omega; the Knowledge Community Chair was Terry Hogan; Terry and NIF President Louise Kier Zirretta served as facilitators; and the program was developed by selected attendees under Terry's direction.
The purpose of the meeting was to consider "A Call for Values Congruence," a paper recently issued by a task force of University presidents and inter/national Greek organizations. This task force has come to be known as the "Franklin Square Group." Dr. Robert Bottoms, President of DePauw University and member of the Franklin Square Group, presented his perspective on the initiative. Representatives from organizations represented at the meeting gave updates on their plans to respond to the "Call for Values Congruence:"
Martha Brown, Chairman, distributed the resolution passed at the recent NPC meeting.
Tom Helmbock, President, reported that FEA had passed a resolution in July with the same sense as the NPC resolution.
Jon Williamson, Executive VP, announced that NIC has developed a standards document to be voted on at the April meeting.
Amy Vojta, President, said the AFA resolution had been sent by e-mail to all voting members.
Penny Rue, UVA Dean of Students, representing the InterAssociation Task Force on Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse Issues,
reported that IATF will convene a summit in February to take action on the document.
The remainder of the meeting consisted of a combination of small group and whole group discussions. Terry and Louise facilitated this process. Each group was assigned one of the five value areas described in the document (intellectual development, values, leadership skills, positive relationships, and service) to consider what will be measured, how it will be measured, and what will be the standard(s). Other questions discussed by the small groups included how a national standards programs would best be implemented; what are the consequences for failure to meet standards; what are the opportunities and threats related to implementing such a program; and who are the necessary influencers and decision makers that must be involved. Another important topic discussed encouraged participants to identify the "elephants in the room," those topics, situations, issues or ideas that are uncomfortable to discuss but might ultimately affect the success of the initiative.
Prior to adjournment, some follow-up items were agreed upon:
- The Union Station Group will meet at AFA in Dec. and will work with IATF on the Feb. summit.
- Underrepresented groups, such as NPHC and NALFO, will be recruited.
- A summary of the meeting will be compiled
- A draft of national standards will be prepared using conclusions from this meeting
- The topic of the NASPA Interfraternal Luncheon will be "A Call for Values Congruence."
- A history of the Summit will be compiled. DONE!
Greek Summit VII
October 26-27, 2003 at Crowne Plaza at Union Station, Indianapolis, IN
“Union Station Group” Meeting Summary
The Greek Summit is a program of the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Knowledge Community of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). It was initiated in 1997 and serves to bring senior student affairs officers together with leaders of fraternities, sororities, and their coordinating councils to deepen understanding and trust in addressing our common challenges.
Greek Summit VII was made possible through the support of:
- North-American Interfraternity Foundation (NIF)
- National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
- North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)
Greek Summit VII was hosted by Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity and was planned by:
- Bob Biggs, Executive Vice President, Phi Delta Theta
- Terry Hogan, Dean of Students, Ohio University
- Lori McDonald, Assistant Dean of Students, University of Utah
- Betty Quick, Secretary, National Panhellenic Conference
- Nicki Reas, Marketing and Events Coordinator, Alpha Chi Omega
- Penny Rue, Dean of Students, University of Virginia
- Barbara Snyder, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Utah
- Mark Timmes, CEO, Pi Kappa Phi
- Steve Veldkamp, Director of Student Activities, Indiana University
Terry Hogan, National Chair of NASPA’s Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Knowledge Community, served as program coordinator for the Summit.
Greek Summit XII
nOVEMBER 12-14, 2008 AT pHI mU hEADQUARTERS, pEACHTREE cITY, GEORGIA
The NASPA Fraternity/Sorority Knowledge Community is once again hosted the Summit on Fraternity and Sorority Life to bring together senior student affairs officers with leaders of fraternities, sororities and their coordinating councils. The Summit has been held annually since 1997 to deepen understanding and trust in addressing our common challenges.
The group will convened this year in Peachtree City, GA at Phi Mu Headquarters on November 12-14. Please check out the overview, detailed notes, and resrouces found below from this year's Greek Summit.
Greek Summit XII- Overview.pdf
Greek Summit XII Notes.pdf
The Greek Summit is an annual event organized by NASPA's Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Knowledge Community. The Greek Summit is an invitation-only program designed to bring together senior student affairs professionals with inter/national fraternity and sorority leaders to build common ground and strengthen relationships. Its ultimate goal is to effect the change needed to help students' behavior better reflect the founding principles of their organizations and the missions of their educational institutions.
The Greek Summit is presented in part through the generous support of the North American Interfraternal Foundation (NIF), the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the host organization or university.
Approximately 36 individuals have attended each of the Summits, representing:
- senior student affairs officers
- executive directors and volunteer officers of national fraternities and sororities
- executive directors and volunteer officers of national coordinating bodies
The Summit format allows for participants to engage in in-depth discussion aimed at improving relationships, broadening understanding, and formulating mutually-beneficial strategies.
Invitations to participate are extended by the leadership team of the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Knowledge Community with an eye toward maintaining a workable size and insuring diversity of representation (in terms of both geography and organizational tradition).