Sept. 15, 2017—Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Max Gruver’s family and the Louisiana State University community. Our team will be in Baton Rouge this weekend to assist the community during this difficult period.
Last spring, I shared my reflections about the Uncomfortable Truth of working with students today. Recent examples remind us that more rules, policies and enforcement by adults alone isn’t enough to change campus culture. We must utilize the most powerful force for positive change—student leadership, but we need to take strong action to provide guidance and an effective framework for that leadership and governance.
This is why the 66 fraternities of the North American Interfraternity Conference came together at our recent Annual Meeting of Members to pass new, critical health and safety standards that will build upon fraternal prevention efforts and programs.
We had hoped to share this news under different circumstances, but now more than ever, it is important that members and campus partners are aware of the steps fraternities are taking to address key issues facing our communities.
Three important new measures are outlined below:
IMPLEMENTING MEDICAL GOOD SAMARITAN POLICIES
Nothing should stand in the way of students calling 911 when they or anyone else needs help. A Good Samaritan Policy, which many universities also have in place, encourages students to call for emergency services when someone needs medical attention. By September 1, 2018, each NIC member fraternity will adopt and implement a medical Good Samaritan policy.
RAISING THE BAR FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMMING
Preventing alcohol abuse, hazing and sexual misconduct takes comprehensive efforts grounded in education. By establishing a more robust baseline, we can better ensure all fraternities are educating their chapters and members using best-practice programs around health and safety. By September 1, 2018, NIC member fraternities will implement annual baseline health and safety educational programs for all chapters. This enhances previous NIC health and safety education standards already in place.
ADDRESSING ALCOHOL ABUSE
Alcohol abuse is a serious public health problem on college campuses, and fraternities must provide greater leadership in this area. This is why fraternities came together to support a pilot program that empowers the NIC to work with campuses to achieve the following goals:
- Remove dangerous hard alcohol from the fraternity experience
- Provide a more balanced, academic-centered fraternity experience
- Foster safer social events for members and guests
This pilot approach blends policy rooted in research, best practices in educational programming, enhanced procedures to make events safer, and a commitment to measure the efficacy of these interventions through consistent assessment. Most critical—this approach also acknowledges that positive change happens when it’s embraced by all stakeholders at the local level through collaboration and customization.
In fall 2017, the NIC will identify pilot campuses, develop Social Safe procedures, and secure an assessment partner. In spring 2018, the NIC will work with a limited group of pilot campuses to implement these new standards and measure their effectiveness. Reach out if your campus would like to be considered for study.
We are all in this together, and I firmly believe that people united around a common purpose can do greater good together than on their own. We appreciate your continued partnership and look forward to working with you during the 2017-2018 school year, and beyond.
NIC President & CEO