The leadership of the North-American Interfraternity Conference passed a set of standards that will propel fraternities to be who we say we are. These standards call upon fraternity and campus leadership to create some changes to today’s fraternity and asks each member to live to the highest standards of fraternity membership.
These standards are a true partnership opportunity between fraternities and campus communities to raise the bar of the fraternity experience. The 20th century fraternity is no more. The 21st century fraternity will be built upon the solid values of each fraternity and will be a beacon of leadership with the campus educational environment. The standards embrace the common principles shared by all our organizations. Academic success, service and philanthropy within our community, leadership development, and social skill development are the cornerstones of the standards.
The NIC is asking each of you to fully engage in the change process. We need full participation if the implementation of standards is to lead to long term change. Expect challenges to be part of the experience and expect strong support from us as we face these challenges. We are confident that by working together, we will ensure a bright future for the fraternity movement.
As we begin the implementation process, we acknowledge that this will be a time of discovery and exploration. Questions will arise. Concerns will be raised. Success for some ventures, rethinking required for others. The NIC will continue to evaluate the process and make necessary changes to ensure its success.
We look forward to working with you.
At its December 2002 meeting in Columbus, Ohio, the NIC approved the formation of a Standards Committee to formulate substantive standards for NIC members. Shortly thereafter, the Franklin Square group of presidents met and produced a document referred to as "A Call for Values Congruence." The document called for both the Greek system and host institutions to implement reforms so that stated fraternal values and ideals would be more closely adhered to by fraternity men. In later meetings, these college presidents indicated that they were preparing to implement Values Congruence with or without NIC participation.
Although the NIC Standards are not meant as a response to Values Congruence, as the Standards Committee moved through its process, it became clear that despite differences of approach and language, nearly all of the issues addressed in Values Congruence would also be addressed in the Standards proposal.
The Standards document was approved by the NIC House of Delegates in April 2004.
Who are these Standards for?
The NIC Standards are for NIC member fraternities. The Standards do not directly speak to NIC members' chapters or their members. There is a special section that deals with recommendations for campuses.
What are the goals of the Standards?
There are multiple goals for the implementation of standards. First, the Standards make clear what NIC membership means. The Standards will help member fraternities become more consistent with what they expect from their chapters and members. Communicating to campuses and the public that compliance with these standards acts as a "good housekeeping seal of approval" for fraternities is also a factor.
How will compliance with the NIC Standards be addressed?
The NIC is not going to verify compliance of all member fraternities and policies. A complaint will need to be filed for the NIC to become involved in any situation between a member fraternity and a host institution that has not been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
What happens if a fraternity is aware of a campus complaint and believes the campus to be acting outside of its authority or not in the best interest of the fraternity's chapter or vise versa?
The NIC executive vice president will begin a dialogue between the two parties and help the groups work together to find common ground or bring resolution. If it appears that a host institution or member fraternity is acting unreasonably and there appears to be no resolution forthcoming, the NIC Membership Committee will review the issue and determine if/what recommendations and/or mandates are made.
Will the NIC have authority to discipline chapters or individual members?
Simply stated, no. The NIC is completely focused on its member fraternities, not their chapters or members.
Why is there a Campus Expectation included in the Standards and how will compliance be achieved?
The NIC has no power to mandate changes at any host institution. However, many campus presidents have indicated that they are willing to bring resources and reform to the table to assist member fraternities in improving chapters. The Campus Expectations assist our chapters in being highly functional organizations that bring pride to the campus.
Compliance with the Standards will be achieved through extended dialogue and negotiation.
Who can file a complaint that alleges a violation of the Standards?
Any person, on behalf of the college or university or NIC member fraternity can file a complaint with the NIC executive vice president.
Is there a set process to handle complaints?
A process has been put into place that will assist the NIC staff and Membership Committee in addressing all complaints. The committee is charged with gathering information necessary to reach a conclusion as to the facts. The committee may speak with anyone they feel will assist them in resolving the issue in a timely manner.
Social problems such as binge drinking and drug use occur in nearly every facet of society, but their presence is magnified in fraternities. NIC member organizations have dedicated countless hours, millions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers to efforts focusing on educating members about the risks associated with alcohol and drugs.
While these accidents and tragedies are awful, we try and take these incidents and use them as examples, to learn, and to strengthen our efforts toward creating organizations that are safer and better prepared to make good men better.
The fact is, these behaviors are NOT what we are about. You may find that some of these practices are occurring on your campus. If that is the case then you should be aware that these practices are occurring outside of the knowledge of the national organization. Chapters that choose to partake in activities which are illegal or unethical are not only exposing themselves to dangerous repercussions, but also potential legal consequences.
First, a definition.
Hazing is “any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce or that causes mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule.”
Hazing is the most dangerous and destructive practice that an organization can take part in. Although many people automatically associate the term “hazing” with the idea of mistreating or abusing pledges or new members, any member can actually be a victim of hazing. NIC Fraternities have committed themselves to doing everything in their power to stop hazing and to keep it out of their member chapters. Chapter that haze are not only operating outside of the law and their national policies but they are also to giving a false representation of the true meaning of fraternity.
If you or someone you know is a victim of hazing, in any of its forms, you are encouraged to report it immediately. There are numerous avenues you can take, an anonymous way to report hazing is to call 1-888-not-haze, or 1-888-668-4293.
For resources related to the prevention and education efforts of the NIC and its member fraternities visit www.hazingprevention.org