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Fraternity and Sorority Life Excellence Working Groups

Health, Safety, and Well-being Student Success Community Fraternity and Sorority Health, Safety, and Well-being Initiatives Professional Level AVP or "Number Two" New Professional Senior Level VP for Student Affairs
May 29, 2020

NASPA has established four working groups to develop recommendations for improving Fraternity and Sorority Life in Higher Education. A fifth group is coordinated by the Association for Fraternity Advisors (AFA).

 

NASPA FSL Working Groups

NASPA has an on-going commitment to enhance and improve the Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) experience on our campuses.  Having served as the host for FSL Summits in 2018 and 2019, it was evident that there is a renewed sense of urgency to support campus-based professionals and work collegially with Association partners and our colleagues at (inter)national Headquarters. At the 2019 FSL Summit at the University of Houston, more than 270 participants identified topical areas to address and recommended the creation of five working groups. There are four working groups led by NASPA and a fifth related to Fraternity and Sorority Life Staffing Models coordinated by the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) with close communication with NASPA.

The four working groups include:

  • Communications Standards between (Inter)National organizations and Institutions
  • Designing the Dsciplinary Process for Chapters
  • Health, Safety, and Well-being
  • New Member / Recruitment Process

Woven throughout each of these groups is an unwavering commitment to equity, inclusion and social justice to ensure that institutions and (inter)national organizations keep this at the forefront of our work. This begins with the new member recruitment process and continues with the experience our students have when they affiliate and the climate they experience in their organizations and on our campuses.

120 people volunteered to serve on a committee and 61 people were selected who represent varying levels of experience and service within Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL). While the majority of the members of each working group are campus based professionals, each group is complimented by members of (inter)national organizations and all have representation from various parts of the country, public and private institutions and as members of organizations who represent all of the council governing groups.

 

Call for Resources

As part of its ongoing commitment to enhance and improve the fraternity and sorority life (FSL) experience on our campuses and as an outcome of its earlier collaborative work with FSL stakeholders, NASPA has convened five FSL working groups to recommend policies, processes, and practices that relate to the working groups' foci. 

The working groups are soliciting resources from FSL stakeholders to inform their work and, ultimately, their recommendations. We appreciate your taking the time to submit a resource for consideration by one (or more) working group(s). Please complete this form for each resource you would like to submit. You may submit a document for more than one working group, but please submit a separate form for each group so that you may be specific with the comments to that particular group. Thank you for your investment in fraternity and sorority life.

Click on the button below to submit a resource to a working group. Resources submission deadline: June 19, 2020

FSL Working Group Descriptions

Click sections below to learn more about each working group. These working groups will continue to refine, add, and develop the descriptions as we review and analyze documentation/date received throughout the process.

New Member / Recruitment Process

New Member / Recruitment Process Goal

Goal:  Create a set of shared principles, objectives, and outcomes/expectations that guide the New Member Process.

Establish a working group that will accomplish this work and take into consideration:

  • data regarding new member recruitment and new member education,
  • a focus on education and develop students’ cultural capital necessary to understand the commitment of membership,
  • the ways campuses and organizations bring new members into the organization (including timing, required training, and varied constituent responsibilities),
  • the need for clear messages, with attention paid from whom and to whom the messages are sent (students, families, national organizations, FSL, and institutions), and
  • the need for clear expectations for alumni advisor training regarding the implementation of rules and regulations.

The group will likely need to split their work and highlight all the ways there are differences and uncover some evidence-based practices on how we can do all types of new member/recruitment processes differently. We may make the greatest progress by breaking the new member/recruitment process into subgroups based on the councils. How a student joins will impact the rest of their fraternal experience and how a student joins an NPHC organization as compared to a formal recruitment process for an NPC organization could not be more different. There is a significant difference in the various groups for the New Member/Recruitment process and the group will need to be cognizant of these cultural and historical differences.

1. Develop a statement of principles that guide how institutions and organizations bring new members into organizations.

Develop a statement of principles that guide how institutions and organizations bring new members into organizations.     

  • include role clarification for organizations, FSL offices, chapter and council leaders, and advisors.
  • standardize expectations for advisor training that includes a collaborative process with host institutions
  • clearly define points of alignment as places to work together.
  • develop communications systems for stakeholders (students, family, alumni)
2. Develop a set of common expectations/framework for education programs for different roles such as campus advisors, alumni advisors, student leaders, organizational members.

Develop a set of common expectations/framework for education programs for different roles such as campus advisors, alumni advisors, student leaders, organizational members.

  • Compile a list of nationally reviewed and endorsed training programs so institutions and organizations can be in alignment.
  • Decide where the responsibility should lie for training on different elements to avoid duplication and to align program delivery (some topics are better delivered by the institutions since they cover campus specific issues, others are more specific to individual organizations).
  • Support chapter leadership in attending regional/national training programs.
  • Include goals/expectations regarding equity, inclusion and social justice principles, programs, and metrics.
  • Develop assessments of institution and chapter programs to determine efficacy and share results widely.
3. Develop shared principles or frameworks for the timing/duration of new member processes.

Develop shared principles or frameworks for the timing/duration of new member processes.

Communications Standards Between (Inter)National Organizations and Institutions

Communications Standards Goal

Goal: Create a set of agreed upon communication standards that focus on building sustained relationships through protocols and practices that build trust and proactive steps for communication both in challenging and positive times.

Establish a working group that will develop recommendations that will take into consideration:

  • the already established work of FEA and ASCA and other exemplar practices,
  • the multiple constituents (Presidents/Chancellors, General Counsels, VPSAs, FSL Staff, all National Organizations, Students, Families, etc.),
  • legal and regulatory factors,
  • respectful relationship building, and
  • the wide variety of institutions and national organizations involved including an understanding of the multi-cultural organizations.
1. Create a comprehensive communications plan for use by institutions and national organizations.
  • Define a standard defining the minimum level of communication expected between national offices and institutions (regular reports to be shared, expected contacts during crisis management situations.)
  • Develop model protocols regarding the sharing of information for institutions and national organizations to use as appropriate.
  • Establish protocols/agreements for working with the media in responding to an incident.
  • Establish expectations for sharing contact information across all levels of both organizations and institutions.
  • Clarify communications channels that are appropriate to a variety of situations.
2. Develop a culture of trust between institutional and national staff.
  • Bring representatives of institutions and national organizations together at regular intervals for conversation and problem-solving. (Face to face when possible, use technology otherwise.)
  • Engage national organizational boards with senior leaders on a regular basis.
  • Work with conduct officers and legal counsel to clarify roles, boundaries, and opportunities to work together.
  • Provide opportunities for institutional staff to learn about and understand the different purposes and perspectives of all national organizations.
3. Develop systems to improve access to information.
  • Repository of policies and conduct codes that can be accessed by institutions and organizations during an incident
  • Create standards regarding processes for contacting institutional and organizational leaders, (president@....org  and vpsa@....edu, for example)
  • Review FS Central to determine whether this platform can be more robust, fulfill this need.

Designing the Disciplinary Process for Chapters

Designing the Disciplinary Process for Chapters Goal

Goal:  Develop mutually agreed upon goals, expectations, and accountability processes related to chapter discipline, communication, and information sharing that allow for flexibility based upon institution type, state regulations, and organization type.

Establish a task force that would build on current practices established by national organizations and create new processes that:

  • are designed with a focus on accountability (both individual and organization),
  • clearly define the roles of both the institution and the organization in the disciplinary process, and
  • develop a recommended process for joint investigations.
  • use the document developed by the Association for Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA) and the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA) as a starting point.
1. Develop a model statement of shared goals and values.
  1. Develop a model statement of shared values and goals, including the need for cultural competency for all involved staff, for disciplinary processes that guide the disciplinary processes for violations of both institutional and organizational rules and procedures.
2. Create a standard process through which institutions and organizations mutually investigate violations of agreed upon standards.

Create a standard process through which institutions and organizations mutually investigate violations of agreed upon standards. This process should include expectations for information sharing, sanctions and enforcement.

  • Develop a template Memorandum of Understanding to increase collaboration and define parameters for information-sharing (possibly including FERPA release process.)
  • Outline when a cease-and-desist process should be instituted with an agreed definition as to purpose (a few days to gather preliminary information)
  • Engage senior leadership, legal counsel, and conduct representatives in the development of this process.
  • Include opportunities and reasons for students to self-regulate, handle internally and report incidents.

 

3. Develop standards for communication process that are specific to incident investigations and conduct processes.

Develop standards for communication process that are specific to incident investigations and conduct processes.

  • Address competing needs and priorities especially with regard to communicating with external agencies and new organizations.
  • Institute informational meetings at the beginning of processes so all of the parties involved understand the processes that will be used and can agree on specific issues that need resolved for the specific situations.
  • Develop standards for timely communication, expectations regarding who is expected to report and to whom and create a contact list at the national level for organizations and institutions.

 

Health, Safety, and Well-being

Health, Safety, and Well-being Goal

Goal: Develop a comprehensive, multi-dimensional set of standards for health, safety, and well-being that can be implemented across all organizations and institutions. A collaborative task force would be developed to accomplish this and will take into consideration:

  • A program that would be focused on life-long health, safety, and well-being
  • A set of (or coordinated) assessments that can assess culture and risk, specifically in Fraternity/Sorority Life, and
  • A national set of training protocols that builds on current exemplary work and can be implemented nation-wide (eliminating duplication).
1. Develop agreed upon practices for health, safety, and well-being based on public health/population-level standards and models.

Develop agreed upon practicesfor health, safety, and well-being based on public health/population-level standards and models. (Consider the applicability of existing campus-based programs and, conversely, consider ways to apply these practices across a wider campus.)

  • Agree on a list of ‘health and safety good practices’ as opposed to best practices.
  • Aggregate/develop collective training programs across campuses and national organizations.
  • Develop common goals and language for non-students (advisors, staff, parents, faculty).
  • Expect the sharing of ‘deficiencies’, problems, incidents from both campuses and national organizations to facilitate intervention.
  • Partner with campus Health Promotion, Health, Counseling, and Campus Safety staff and organizations.
2. Develop shared programs that cross organizational and campus boundaries in areas such as: bystander intervention, risk management, hazing, alcohol, Title IX, and equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Develop shared programs that cross organizational and campus boundaries in areas such as: bystander intervention, risk management, hazing, alcohol, Title IX, and equity, inclusion, and social justice.

  • Create a joint agreement/statement among institutions and national organizations defining the important principles of community.
  • Assess existing programs and develop a series of training modules that can be used broadly. (Consider multiple versions using the same principles based on type of campus, type of organizations.)
3. Create assessment models that can be implemented broadly to help staff (campus, national, and volunteer) understand campus cultures and levels of risk.

Create assessment models that can be implemented broadly to help staff (campus, national, and volunteer) understand campus cultures and levels of risk.

  • Identify existing programs and determine effectiveness.
  • Identify gaps in current assessment programs.
  • Create model assessment programs and support implementation and data sharing between campuses and national organizations.
  • Develop a common data set about the topics being addressed.
4. Develop goals accountability measures for chapters, campuses, and national organizations.

Develop goals accountability measures for chapters, campuses, and national organizations.

  • Identify chapters that have common experiences across multiple campuses (both positive and negative) to allow replication of positive practices and the development of multi-campus solutions for organizational problems (challenges?
  • Create agreed upon methods of showcasing progress, changes in status, areas of concern.

Fraternity & Sorority Life Staffing

Fraternity & Sorority Life Staffing Goal

Redefine and design positions within the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor disipline using the new AFA competencies and definiting the Knowledge, Skills, and Attiudes (KSAs) necessary to be successful in these roles. This discussion must take into account the evolution of both the FSL speciality and the changing demographics of students involved in FSL.

1. Engage senior leadership in higher ed to demonstrate the complexity of the role.

Engage senior leadership in higher education to demonstrate the complexity of the role and responsibilites.

2. Design a rubric that defines a recommended staff-to-student ratio.

Design a rubric that defines a recommended staff-to-student ratio based on FSL engagement and process.

3. Develop effective interconnected systems and structures with national organization staffing and volunteer models.

3. Develop effective interconnected systems and structures with national organization staffing and volunteer models.