An objective, external system for examining the risk characteristics of individual fraternity chapters and providing (or denying) safety certification of those chapters is a concept that is long overdue in American higher education. The Mizzou Greek Alliance believes that a safety certification program is an effective way for well-managed and responsible fraternity chapters to differentiate themselves from outlier organizations and provide valuable information to the public for purposes of selecting—and deselecting, various chapters on a campus-by-campus basis.
To help build interest in such a program at Mizzou and elsewhere, we have developed a white paper that analyzes the problem and offers suggested solutions as part and parcel of a standardized, national certification program. A link to this paper, which we have shared with local and national authorities on Greek life, is below.
The Mizzou Greek Alliance has introduced new training programs designed to promote the welfare of fraternity members and enhance the fraternity experience at Mizzou.
The first program focused on Legal Risk Management and is intended to help educate House Corporation members, Alumni Advisors and Alumni Volunteers on safety issues related to conduct and their legal consequences. It was presented via Webinar on October 8, 2022 and included three expert panelists who discussed legal risk management trends for fraternities and the proactive steps that can help prevent unwanted incidents to occur in the first instance and to protect alumni volunteers from lawsuit exposure.
The second program was proposed by MGA and co-sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Mizzou and focused on student leadership strategies, personal development and the prevention of hazing, alcohol abuse, and sexual assault. The first session, called the 2022 Emerging Leaders Conference, was held on the Mizzou campus November 13, 2022 and featured a keynote session facilitated by Dr. Lori Hart, the nationally known advocate for student leaders and champion of promoting health and safety on college campuses for more than two decades. Other presenters included nine university and campus life officials and two staff members from the national headquarters of two fraternities. More than 40 newly elected Chapter Officers and Executive Board members attended this program’s inaugural meeting.
Dr. Hart’s presentation was titled ‘Let’s Fix It…If You Want To,’ and focused on ways for students to create plans to fix the things they choose to fix with an organization. Other presentations covered a variety of topics including bystander Intervention, root cause analysis and improvement, prevention of sexual violence, Title IX processes, eliminating tobacco use, student accountability and support processes, conversations about sex, counseling resources available and translating Greek experience to benefit resumes and interviews.
In February 2023, MGA sponsored a webinar entitled “Bad Luck, Bad Judgment and Bad Actors: Personal Safety in Greek Houses.” The program featured presentations from facility management professionals and a public safety expert from Nashville. The program covered such diverse topics as fire protection and intruder protection.
In March 2023, MGA sponsored another webinar entitled “Next Level Communications,”featuring a representative from the Pennington Organization, which engages in alumni relations and fundraising for hundreds of Greek chapters across the company. The presentation was followed by a robust panel discussion about best practices in cultivating alumni loyalty and support.
A Gallup survey of 10,000 college alumni compared the experiences of fraternity and sororitymembers (“affiliated alumni”) with those who were not fraternity and sorority members (“non-affiliated members”). Affiliated alumni reported significantly higher feelings of preparation for life
after college and general well-being. Eighty-four percent of affiliated alumni said that if they hadto do it all over again, they would still join their fraternity or sorority.