FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Heather Kirk
North American Interfraternity Conference
317.872.1112

Jonathan Coffin
National Panhellenic Conference
317.983.1419

PARENTS WHO HAVE LOST SONS TO HAZING JOIN FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES TO FORM ANTI-HAZING COALITION

NEW YORK -- In an unprecedented partnership, four families who have lost their sons to hazing are coming together with fraternities and sororities to fight it.

Jim and Evelyn Piazza, parents of Tim Piazza; Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver, parents of Max Gruver; Rich and Maille Braham, parents of Marquise Braham; and Lianne and Brian Kowiak, parents of Harrison Kowiak, have joined the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to form a partnership that will focus on pursuing and strengthening state hazing laws and significantly expanding education and training for high school and college-aged students.

Other organizations within the fraternal community -- HazingPrevention.Org, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) and Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) -- have committed their support to these efforts.

"After meeting with Jud and some of his colleagues, the other parents and I saw a sincerity to make change and a real interest to work with us. We collectively agreed forming this alliance made sense," said Jim Piazza. "While we may seem like strange bedfellows, we all want the same thing -- to end hazing, so other parents don't have to experience what we have."

When students arrive at college, nearly half have already experienced hazing. This Coalition seeks to address the problem earlier through education, while also strengthening accountability and transparency through new model state legislation.

"The best way to inspire change in college students is to touch their hearts," said Judson Horras, President & CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference. "In working with these families, we have seen how deeply their personal stories resonate, and I've witnessed first-hand the powerful impact these parents have in helping young men."

"We can do more together than we can alone to address this societal problem," said Carole Jones, Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference. "The fight against hazing requires that an entire community step up, including sorority women, who can and must do our part to create safer campus cultures where students advocate for one another."

The coalition will:

  • Pursue state-based anti-hazing legislation that delivers greater transparency through stronger hazing reporting requirements, strengthens criminal penalties and encourages prosecution, calls for university accountability for bad actors, provides amnesty to encourage people to call for help, and calls for student education.
  • Expand awareness and intervention education, including providing a platform for the parents to speak to tens of thousands of college students.
  • Engage fraternity and sorority members in educating high school students to confront hazing and bullying.

Just this summer, these parents have spoken to more than 3,000 fraternity members at summer leadership conferences, including at Sigma Alpha Epsilon's where hundreds of students and alumni moved by the program lined up to speak directly with the parents. Parents are also being invited to speak with sorority women at both the local and national levels.

The group has already begun discussion with lawmakers, and hopes to work in several states this fall to introduce model legislation. At the federal level, the organizations will continue to advocate for the REACH Act, which -- if passed -- will require colleges and universities to publicly report hazing incidents under the Clery Act and provide expanded hazing prevention education and resources to students.

"We are in full support of this partnership and look forward to working together in the months ahead to change the hazing culture," said Steve and Rae Ann Gruver.

Further, this initial group of partners hopes to engage other organizations in the future.

"Our ultimate goal is to ensure no other child is killed or injured due to dangerous and illegal hazing," said Richard Braham. "It will take more than tougher laws, greater parental awareness and university oversight or a timely display of moral courage and decency to eradicate hazing. It will take all of these things, plus young people understanding that you don't become a 'better man or woman' by watching and remaining silent as your brother or sister is harmed or killed."

###

About the North American Interfraternity Conference
NIC is a trade association that represents 66 national and international men's fraternities, with more than 6,100 chapters located on more than 800 campuses in the United States and Canada, with approximately 385,000 undergraduate members and nearly 4.2 million alumni. The NIC has introduced enhanced health and safety standards and programs, including last week's ban of hard alcohol in fraternity houses and events.

About the National Panhellenic Conference
NPC is the umbrella organization specifically charged with advocating on behalf of the sorority experience. It is comprised of 26 national and international sororities that are autonomous social organizations. Collectively, NPC sororities are located on more than 670 campuses with approximately 418,000 undergraduate members and nearly 5 million alumnae.

About HazingPrevention.Org
HazingPrevention.Org™ is dedicated to empowering people to prevent hazing, by providing education and resources, advocating on hazing prevention, and building partnerships with others. Major initiatives of the organization include National Hazing Prevention Week™, Prevent.Zone™ educational online courses, seminars, books, and educational resources that touch the lives of thousands of individuals, organizations, campuses and communities.

About the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
Through programs, publications, networking opportunities and other resources, AFA represents the community of fraternity and sorority advisors and is the leading voice in aligning the fraternity/sorority and higher education experiences.

About the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values
The Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) accelerates progress in fraternity and sorority communities, reaching more than 300 campuses and 4,000 student leaders and professionals through change-enabling experiences.

PREPARE YOUR COUNCIL FOR LEADERSHIP

Most college students know the “right thing to do” to advance fraternity. Yet, they lack courage and motivation to carry out those actions. Students need like-minded students to band together to make change. IMPACT can bring your fraternity and sorority community together to create these deep relationships quickly. Participants will collectively identify and confront the issues in the community.
IMPACT is a campus-based leadership institute designed to foster improved relationships among campus leaders through an intensive, interactive 2.5-day program. It is expected that change will be the result of an IMPACT weekend. Participants determine what that change is through their participation.

PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

IMPACT curriculum emphasizes:

Problem solving

Leadership development

Leadership development

Values-based decision-making

Effective communication

Community development

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

IMPACT is designed to build on itself in a manner that culminates in an agenda for meaningful community elevation. Through increased self-awareness, community awareness, visioning, and skill development, participants will be able to recognize the current realities of their fraternity/sorority community and begin to develop effective strategies for positive change.

The general structure of an IMPACT includes experiential activities, interactive presentations, and both large- and small-group sessions that flow together into a unified, community building experience. All sessions offer hands-on experimental activities and ample discussion time to address individual concerns. The sessions are led by two experienced presenters (identified by the NIC) and several small-group facilitators (identified by the host campus).

The program can be used to meet a variety of needs, such as a retreat for chapter and council leadership or an emerging leaders institute. The NIC will work with you to customize the program to focus on your campus’ unique issues.

IMPACT logo_print hi res

THE IMPACT OF IMPACT

Most college students know the “right thing to do” to advance fraternity. Yet, they lack courage and motivation to carry out those actions. Students need like-minded students to band together to make change. IMPACT can bring your fraternity and sorority community together to create these deep relationships quickly. Participants will collectively identify and confront the issues in the community.
IMPACT is a campus-based leadership institute designed to foster improved relationships among campus leaders through an intensive, interactive 2.5-day program. It is expected that change will be the result of an IMPACT weekend. Participants determine what that change is through their participation.

PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

IMPACT curriculum emphasizes:

Problem solving

Leadership development

Leadership development

Values-based decision-making

Effective communication

Community development

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

IMPACT is designed to build on itself in a manner that culminates in an agenda for meaningful community elevation. Through increased self-awareness, community awareness, visioning, and skill development, participants will be able to recognize the current realities of their fraternity/sorority community and begin to develop effective strategies for positive change.

The general structure of an IMPACT includes experiential activities, interactive presentations, and both large- and small-group sessions that flow together into a unified, community building experience. All sessions offer hands-on experimental activities and ample discussion time to address individual concerns. The sessions are led by two experienced presenters (identified by the NIC) and several small-group facilitators (identified by the host campus).

The program can be used to meet a variety of needs, such as a retreat for chapter and council leadership or an emerging leaders institute. The NIC will work with you to customize the program to focus on your campus’ unique issues.

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AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

RECOGNIZING INTERFRATERNAL EXCELLENCE

The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) annually recognizes excellence in the fraternal experience by conferring Awards of Distinction to individuals and groups who exemplify leadership, service and fraternal values. The award categories recognize outstanding undergraduate fraternity men, chapters, councils and advisors. The Gold and Silver Medals recognize interfraternal industry leaders and partners with our highest honors, and the Laurel Wreath Award recognizes outstanding interfraternal educational programs by both individuals and groups.
These honors play a significant role in advancement of the NIC mission and vision, as well as the industry as a whole. Recognizing the value and impact of individual and group efforts on college/university campuses and within interfraternal organizations conveys the importance of innovation, courage and commitment to a positive fraternal experience.
The nomination process is open to any interfraternal organization or related group/partner interested in nominating a qualified candidate for recognition. Award recipients are announced in May and awards are presented by NIC representatives throughout the following summer and fall in the recipient’s local community. These presentations take place during public ceremonies on campuses or at interfraternal events and programs like a convention or other interfraternal gathering to give recognition among peers, friends and families.
Use the navigation to learn more about each award and our 2018 honorees. Please direct any questions about the awards process to awards@nicfraternity.org.

RECOGNIZING INTERFRATERNAL EXCELLENCE

The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) annually recognizes excellence in the fraternal experience by conferring Awards of Distinction to individuals and groups who exemplify leadership, service and fraternal values. The award categories recognize outstanding undergraduate fraternity men, chapters, councils and advisors. The Gold and Silver Medals recognize interfraternal industry leaders and partners with our highest honors, and the Laurel Wreath Award recognizes outstanding interfraternal educational programs by both individuals and groups.
These honors play a significant role in advancement of the NIC mission and vision, as well as the industry as a whole. Recognizing the value and impact of individual and group efforts on college/university campuses and within interfraternal organizations conveys the importance of innovation, courage and commitment to a positive fraternal experience.
The nomination process is open to any interfraternal organization or related group/partner interested in nominating a qualified candidate for recognition. Award recipients are announced in May and awards are presented by NIC representatives throughout the following summer and fall in the recipient’s local community. These presentations take place during public ceremonies on campuses or at interfraternal events and programs like a convention or other interfraternal gathering to give recognition among peers, friends and families.
Use the navigation to learn more about each award and our 2018 honorees. Please direct any questions about the awards process to awards@nicfraternity.org.

Undergraduate  |  Chapter  |  Council  |  Advisor   |  Laurel Wreath  |   Awards Process

GOLD AND SILVER MEDAL

The presentation of the NIC Gold Medal and NIC Silver Medal dates back more than 70 years, making it one of the oldest interfraternal traditions. The Gold Medal is the highest honor the Conference can bestow and recognizes lifelong service to the interfraternal community and/or the NIC. The Silver Medal recognizes exemplary service or leadership in a role or task that has advanced the fraternal movement.

2018 Gold Medal Honoree

Kirklin-Headshot

Edward ``Ned`` Kirklin

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF HOLMES MURPHY & ASSOCIATES | KAPPA SIGMA FRATERNITY

In the early 1990s, at a time when many men’s fraternities were just beginning to understand the need for a national insurance program, Ned founded Kirklin & Company, one of the first companies focused exclusively on risk prevention and harm reduction for fraternal clients. Since then, through various acquisitions and corporate name changes, Ned has remained a steadfast advocate for the fraternal movement.

“He has been an exemplary partner in addressing insurance, health and safety and risk management education,” said one nominator. “Ned’s support of the NIC and individual member organizations has been likewise motivated by an obvious and sincere desire to serve and improve our organizations and communities. Fraternities are better because of his leadership and service.”
Now the Senior Vice President of Holmes Murphy & Associates, Ned is a well-known industry speaker on risk management and has pushed NIC member fraternities to actively embrace commonsense harm reduction strategies. “As our organization’s insurance advocate, Ned has always been willing to suggest innovative tactics for education and program design that delicately balance both cost and insurance protection,” said another nominator. “And, in those times when we have claims filed and need a strong advocate, Ned is supportive beyond words.”

Ned’s contributions outside of the insurance realm are too many to list: speaker at countless conventions and leadership conferences; participant in lobbying efforts for the fraternal experience; loyal donor to the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee; collaborator with other industry vendors. In addition, his generosity goes beyond his professional affiliation. He has been a personal supporter of many organizations’ foundations because he recognizes the value of the educational programming and support provided through foundation funding. Ned has remained a steadfast supporter of the NIC over the past 30 years–though his own fraternity isn’t a member organization.

“Ned has been devoted to protecting the lives of fraternity men and women for over 25 years,” said a nominator. “He has elevated the definition of fraternity, combining leadership and responsibility to our community. Ned has invested his time and resources developing risk management practices so that we can provide a safe environment for our members and guests.”

Undergraduate  |  Chapter  |  Council  |  Advisor   |  Laurel Wreath  |   Awards Process

GOLD AND SILVER MEDAL

The presentation of the NIC Gold Medal and NIC Silver Medal dates back more than 70 years, making it one of the oldest interfraternal traditions. The Gold Medal is the highest honor the Conference can bestow and recognizes lifelong service to the interfraternal community and/or the NIC. The Silver Medal recognizes exemplary service or leadership in a role or task that has advanced the fraternal movement.

2018 Gold Medal Honoree

Kirklin-Headshot

Edward ``Ned`` Kirklin

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF HOLMES MURPHY & ASSOCIATES | KAPPA SIGMA FRATERNITY

In the early 1990s, at a time when many men’s fraternities were just beginning to understand the need for a national insurance program, Ned founded Kirklin & Company, one of the first companies focused exclusively on risk prevention and harm reduction for fraternal clients. Since then, through various acquisitions and corporate name changes, Ned has remained a steadfast advocate for the fraternal movement.

“He has been an exemplary partner in addressing insurance, health and safety and risk management education,” said one nominator. “Ned’s support of the NIC and individual member organizations has been likewise motivated by an obvious and sincere desire to serve and improve our organizations and communities. Fraternities are better because of his leadership and service.”
Now the Senior Vice President of Holmes Murphy & Associates, Ned is a well-known industry speaker on risk management and has pushed NIC member fraternities to actively embrace commonsense harm reduction strategies. “As our organization’s insurance advocate, Ned has always been willing to suggest innovative tactics for education and program design that delicately balance both cost and insurance protection,” said another nominator. “And, in those times when we have claims filed and need a strong advocate, Ned is supportive beyond words.”

Ned’s contributions outside of the insurance realm are too many to list: speaker at countless conventions and leadership conferences; participant in lobbying efforts for the fraternal experience; loyal donor to the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee; collaborator with other industry vendors. In addition, his generosity goes beyond his professional affiliation. He has been a personal supporter of many organizations’ foundations because he recognizes the value of the educational programming and support provided through foundation funding. Ned has remained a steadfast supporter of the NIC over the past 30 years–though his own fraternity isn’t a member organization.

“Ned has been devoted to protecting the lives of fraternity men and women for over 25 years,” said a nominator. “He has elevated the definition of fraternity, combining leadership and responsibility to our community. Ned has invested his time and resources developing risk management practices so that we can provide a safe environment for our members and guests.”