You Have Four Years – Make Them Count

By Jon Collier

Halfway through my fourth year out of college, it’s a perfect time for me to reflect on what my experience was like. I’m generally left with one thought; I could have done so much more. Sure I had a great time at Hanover, which in turn led to the perfect job working for our Fraternity. But now being a few months away from obtaining a master’s degree that will hopefully keep me working with college students for some time, I know that my experience could have been much greater. At this point, there’s nothing I can do. Many of you, however, have plenty of time! Working at a university every day has given me a far greater appreciation of the opportunities that college has to offer. I am continually overwhelmed by what I see students accomplish and equally disappointed when I see students, particularly fraternity men, waste their time and money. From what I’ve seen and what I could have done, here are a few suggestions that I have come up with on how you can make the most of your college experience.

Never discount an experience 

You have no idea what’s in store for you at any campus event. Some of the best opportunities to expand yourself are waiting in places you would least expect. As fraternity men, we often feel like we have a reputation or image to uphold and are scared to try new things. The most impressive men I have come across are those that have the courage to not care what their brothers think of them. The best recruitment comes from making friends so why aren’t you out there trying to make as many friends as you can? Don’t be confined by the sometimes misguided opinions of your brothers. Rather, get to know as many people and experiences as you can before it’s too late.

There’s always time

So stop making excuses. The old football coach at my undergrad used to say “There are 168 hours in a week. Discounting 8 hours of sleep a night, what are you doing with the other 112?” Think about that for a minute. Never mind the fact that a lot of us probably aren’t getting 8 hours of sleep. We can talk all we want about class or work or fraternity, but chances are we still spend plenty of time watching Sportscenter or playing video games. I was guilty of this as anyone and trust me when I tell you that four years from now, no one is going to care what your killstreak was on Halo. Instead, why not grab a couple of your brothers and head to the organization fair or campus fest or whatever else your school calls it? I guarantee that your campus has something that will interest you. If not, start something. I haven’t met a student affairs professional yet who is going to stand in the way of a student getting involved.

Get to know your professors

These are the people that often know your campus the best. Not only will it make your classes more enjoyable, but these are some of the most interesting men and women with whom you’ll ever get a chance to speak. Regardless of your field of study, these are the experts and have dedicated their lives to making sure you can become an expert too…if you want. Stop by their office hours and chat with them, find out what they did before coming back to teach, ask them what they like to do on the weekend. The more you invest in getting to know them, the more they are going to invest in making sure you succeed.

The point is this, men:  Before you know it, graduation is going to come whether you like it or not. What you do in these four years is going to set up the next several years of your life. Don’t waste it. I know I’m not the first person to tell you this and I assure you I won’t be the last. Hopefully, you listen to someone and don’t make the same mistakes I did. Your fraternity experience is great and will certainly provide you with numerous benefits. But there is so much more to the college experience.  So put down the remote, get out of the house and make the best of it!

Jon is a second year masters student in the College Student Personnel program at Bowling Green State University. Before this, Jon spent two great years traveling for the Fraternity in the Southeast Region. At Bowling Green, Jon works as a graduate assistant in Fraternity & Sorority Life advising the Interfraternity Council among other things. Jon and his wife, Ellen (a former Delta Zeta consultant), actually live with the men of the Ohio Kappa Chapter of Phi Delta Theta where he additionally serves as the chapter advisor. Jon enjoys all things outdoors and likes to pretend he is a decent golfer from time to time.

There’s a New Greek Advisor in Town

By Luke Benfield

In a lot of cases, the Fraternity/Sorority Advisor (FSA) on campus is an entry level position with a vast array of responsibilities, and is the only professional position that works directly with Greeks on campus. Since this is an entry level position, it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s fairly quick turnaround in these positions. Chapters can experience new people coming in and changing plans, policies, interpretations, and priorities more often than they would prefer. Personally, I had four different Greek Advisors in the span of three years as an undergraduate, so I know the feeling. New FSAs will have new plans, new perspectives, and new approaches to solving issues and generating ideas. As Chapter leaders, it’s important to build a positive, working relationship with the new FSA.

Over the past five years in the Fraternity/Sorority profession, I’ve found that Greek students enjoy new, flashy, and trendy, but can be extremely hesitant, if not resistant, to actual change. You’ve spent countless hours working with one administrator, building that professional relationship, that trust, getting a feel for their general attitudes and opinions. Now, they’ve transitioned out of their role and there’s someone else in their desk chair; someone with new ideas and a completely different personality. Maybe they’re going to be the fun Greek Advisor, maybe they’ll be the hard-liner, maybe they’ll be more of the philosopher and orator, or maybe they’ll be a combination of all the above. The bottom line is that you won’t know until you begin building a working relationship with them. So the question is: How is a Chapter supposed to build rapport with these administrators, learn their expectations, etc. when every year, you seem to start right back at the drawing board? I’d like to share three things that I believe will help you build rapport with new FSA staff members.

Understand the FSA as a Professional

When a new hire joins your community, that FSA may have just graduated from a master’s program, and sometimes they come into their position with a few years of professional experience. Either way, they are still new to the campus environment and the MOST important thing to realize is that they are not your old Greek Advisor. Conversations cannot begin with phrases like ‘Well Luke always let us do this’ or ‘Luke never asked us to turn this in’, etc. The new FSA is a different professional with a fresh set of eyes. Trust in the fact that their new ideas, procedures, and directions are all based in the fact that they want all Chapters to succeed and prosper under their watch. They will want to get to know you as a Greek, as a student, and as a person.

This can be a challenge since many FSA’s walk a very fine line between the advisor and the disciplinarian. Very often in that role, they not only have that advising relationship, but they also are responsible for organizational conduct. They receive the 3am phone calls from campus police and the Vice President’s office the next morning. Around the office, students may tiptoe around words and phrases, almost as if the FSA has an alarm button under their desk that sends an instant red flag at ‘nationals.’ I would argue that if you are following policies and your actions as a chapter align with your values, then there is no reason to tiptoe. The point is, you won’t be able to build that relationship with a new administrator if you are not authentically you. Realize that they did not take the job to get anyone in trouble, but at the same time, they will hold you accountable, so don’t try to slip one past the new professional.

Be willing to hear the word NO

Yes, I said it, and it’s completely possible that during the transition period, you may hear the word no. We have to understand that this is someone who is starting a new job and it takes more than a week or two to learn about the campus culture, policies, etc. They have to make priorities. While they may not actually use those dreaded two letters, they may ask for more time to think, suggest other options, etc.

Nine times out of ten, a student affairs professional is not going to say no, just to say it, or not because they don’t have time to explain fully. Rather, I tend to believe that the vast majority of advisors are going to make an honest effort to “Get you to a YES” (to quote one of my former supervisors). That ‘Yes’ may not look like the yes you wanted, but it is a yes nonetheless. Be flexible during this transition stage and realize the new staff member may not have an answer for you right now or it may not be a priority compared to other looming issues. This doesn’t mean they don’t care. Just ask them when it would be appropriate to follow up or when they will be able to have a decision for you. This flexibility can go a long way when building rapport.

Communicate

Find out how your new FSA prefers to communicate. Are they a phone person? If so, put their office number in your phone. Are they more of an email person? Then make sure you start checking your student email once a day, particularly if you’re the Chapter President. Take advantage of opportunities to introduce members to the new staff member. If you have meals at your Chapter house, invite them over for a dinner and make them feel welcomed. Invite them to speak or do a program at a Chapter or new member meeting. Remember, people decide to work in Student Affairs because of the interactions with students, not because they enjoy roster updates and grade reports. Ask them to help with or attend something outside of their office.

If you begin with these three things, I would venture to say that you’re on your way to building rapport with your new Greek official on campus. At the end of the day, they are there to advise, advocate, and support the Greek community, not to swoop in and close Chapters. If they didn’t believe in the vast potential and positive impact of the fraternity/sorority experience, they wouldn’t be in that role in the first place. Give them the opportunity to lead you and you may be pleasantly surprised where you end up.

Election Time – Advice for Presidents

By Moe Stephens, General Council Member-at-Large

In case you haven’t heard, the United States just finished a pretty significant process.  Election time for me always comes with mixed emotions of excitement for potential change or fear of the same.  As a university administrator, all of the election coverage also got me to think about the election process for fraternities and sororities across North America.  Many of you are electing new executive boards and might be feeling many of the same emotions I described above.

If you are running for, or have recently been elected, president of your chapter, the task before you is likely intimidating, exciting and full of the unknown.

I must preface the following with the realization that I am by no means an expert in fraternity and sorority life.  I am well versed and have many experiences in this area, but it is such a dynamic environment that I believe you are the experts because you are living it.

That being said, I often meet with new presidents and I provide the following advice:

Communicate authentically – There are so many different constituent groups a chapter president must communicate with, it can be hard to remember whom you have brought into the loop.  If you are practicing what I call authentic communication, it shouldn’t matter.  Everyone you are bringing to the table will have the same information.  It will require you to be honest with both yourself and your chapter.  Authentic communication is not always the easiest course of action but, I guarantee you, it will only help.  When the fecal matter hits the oscillating device, the more trust you have developed with your various constituent groups, the easier it will be to work through the challenge before you.

You are now living in the fishbowl –  The Phi Delta Theta Chapter at the University of Washington has a large glassed in dining area they call the fishbowl.  The sidewalk and street right outside are well travelled with students and community members passing by.  The chapter eats there, holds social events there, and often has special meetings in the fishbowl.  I have always thought it was great that the public could see into the daily life of a Phi Delt at UW.  However, I have also thought about how difficult that might be at times.  Everything the chapter does in that room is visible and anyone passing by will draw their own conclusions about what is happening.  As a chapter president, you are now living in that fishbowl.  Your actions and words are being seen and heard; often by people you are not even aware are watching and listening.  You are setting an example for your brothers and broadcasting a message to the rest of your community.  Make sure it is the right example.  Be certain it is the right message.

Make good choices – I often end meetings with the phrase, “Make good choices.”  Outside of the context of sorority and fraternity life, this simple phrase is much more difficult and open to interpretation.  As a member of a fraternity or sorority, it is actually very simple.  Learn and live the ritual of your organization.  Within your ritual are values that are relevant and have withstood the changing times.  As Dr. Ed King stated in his classic piece, The Secret Thoughts of Ritual, “Because I am a system of values, I am therefore, an instrument of self evaluation. My values are clear and absolute and yet difficult to emulate. To state a few, I am honor, courage, integrity, fidelity, courtesy and I demand self control as well as ambition and humility. What your Founders did is take the idea of friendship and move it a significant step forward to the concept of commitment.”  As a fraternity and sorority advisor, I do not think you are going to be perfect.  However, I do expect that you and your chapter members think about the values of your organization and use them to guide your decisions.  Imagine how much easier it would be to make decisions as an executive board if you consistently asked the simple question, “How does this align with Friendship, Sound Learning or Rectitude?”

Own it – You must be willing to accept responsibility for the actions of your chapter, both past and present.  Noted entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn once said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”  Once you decide it is time to own it, you can begin the process of creating positive change.

Enjoy the ride – Being a chapter president is arguably the most difficult leadership position on a college campus.  You are a role model, a counselor, a mentor, an administrator, an advisor and a spokesperson.  Expectations for chapter presidents are high, and they should be.  However, many chapter presidents get so caught up in being all things to all people that they forget to simply be a sister or a brother.  Along with the rest of the responsibilities you have as a chapter president, it is important for you to remember to have fun, take care of yourself and enjoy the ride.

My preference for this blog entry would be for this to be a conversation, and not just me giving advice.  Of course, this is not an extensive list of advice for new presidents; I am not sure one could even be compiled.  I am interested in hearing from all of you, mainly because your voice is the one that truly matters.

Moe has many years of progressive leadership and success in Greek Affairs. He has  traveled the country working for Phi Delta Theta as both a Leadership Consultant and  as the Director of Expansion. Moe and his wife, Allison, and their daughter Maya are enjoying the Pacific Northwest where Moe is the Assistant Director of Student  Activities at the University of Puget Sound. Moe was the AFLV West’s Greek Advisor of the Year in 2005. Moe has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys rock climbing, cycling and golf. He also never passes up the opportunity to play ultimate frisbee. Previously, Moe served the Fraternity as the Pi North Province President, Awards Committee and Survey Commissioner.  Moe is currently serving the Fraternity as the  General Council Member-at-Large.

Eight Years and Counting

Last year, Phi Delta Theta gave our campus partners a virtual microphone to share their wisdom, stories, and experiences with our readers. As a result, these professionals shared valuable information about their knowledge and beliefs about leadership, chapter operations best practices, and to manage time as a student leader, and even some insight into the life of a Greek Advisor. Throughout this week, you’ll hear from Phi Delt volunteers, staff members, and non-Phi administrators and we hope you enjoy what they have to say.


By Robyn Brock

Eight years.  That’s how long I have been working in Greek Life at Florida State.  Eight years.  Where did the time go?  How is it that I am still working with fraternities and sororities?  I came to FSU for graduate school after serving my sorority as a Leadership Consultant.  Fast forward about two and half years to the time when my now mentor, Dr. Adam Goldstein, asked me to work in Greek Life for six months in an interim capacity.  After two weeks of thinking about it, I decided to do it.  After all, I could do anything for six months, right?

At the end of the six months, I wasn’t ready to be done with Greek Life.  Here I am eight years later and still not ready to be done.  In our field, we see professionals changing jobs every few years.  We often see professionals burn out of working in fraternity and sorority advising.  I have colleagues on campus and in the field who tell me that they would never want my job.  Well, I’m glad they don’t want my job because as difficult as it is and as hard as we work, I still love what I do…most days.

I certainly do not have all the answers.  I can only share with you some of things I have learned—often the hard way—and hope that they offer some insight.  Some of the strategies I use to manage expectations, time and my life are as follows:

Redefine burn out for yourself.  As new professionals, we often throw ourselves into our work.  We immerse ourselves in meetings, events and committees.  Part of this stems from an eagerness to learn and prove our worth as professionals.  Part of it is that many of us were leaders and overly involved as undergraduates so we continue the same pattern.  While our intentions are generally noble, we often fail to recognize that we are investing too much emotionally and physically.  Yes, we should give 100%.  Yes, we should work hard.  No, we should not work to the point that we cannot be effective.  As a new professional, my image of burn out was a bitter, grumpy, ineffective person who had worked too long in the profession.  Much to my surprise, I have had to redefine this for myself.

My view of burn out now is me after working too many evening events and meetings while also managing a crisis, departmental demands, and student politics.  This is not to say that I function as someone who is burned out; it is to clarify that I believe professionals need to recognize and acknowledge that burn out can be temporary and reversed.  I have learned and continue to learn how to recognize what the symptoms are for me as I continue working in this field.  When I find myself starting to be short tempered, irritated and not remembering why I do what I do, this is when I know I need some time.  Call it comp time or balance time or whatever, just learn to recognize when you need it.  Which leads me to my next point…

Take care of yourself.  This generally means something different for everyone.  For me, this means that I spend time with family and friends and also take some alone time.  I also love reading, baking, red wine, and shopping.  When I can combine any of these with friends and family, then I feel like I hit the jackpot.  We often spend so much time investing in others that we forget to invest in ourselves.  I try to do something every day to take care of myself.  It certainly does not always happen, but I do have a greater awareness of this need.

I also have to own that in our field this is not always possible.  As the Panhellenic Recruitment Advisor this past year, I can tell you with certainty that at least during the week of recruitment, I did not take care of myself as well as I could have.  I stayed at the hotel most of the week with our recruitment staff and slept nowhere near enough.  For me, I knew going into recruitment that I would not have as much time for myself so I made sure I took time for me after recruitment. I do my best to make this a priority before and after work intensive times like Panhellenic recruitment.  While I do not always make this happen, I have learned that I need to do this to be effective in my work.

Don’t let your job define your life. Seriously.  You are more than the work you do.  So am I.  Each person is a community member, family member, friend, colleague, and so much more.  It is important to have identities outside of your job.   Be intentional about cultivating your involvement outside the office.

The reality of our work is that we could be in the office 24 hours a day, 7 days week and there would still be work to do.  I think it our responsibility to help students maintain proper perspectives.  How many times do we see students needing to meet with us because there is a crisis?  Only to learn, when we move our schedules around to meet with them, that the crisis is they can’t find a venue for the chapter philanthropy.  If you are nodding in agreement now, then let me ask you: how do you maintain your perspective?

Inevitably, professionals in fraternity and sorority advising will work with students through some type of crisis.  I can list a number of crises I have worked with from student deaths to sexual assault allegations to charter suspensions.  I believe that if I allowed my job to define me that I would not be able to work through these issues within Greek Life with proper perspective.  If your job alone defines who you are, so can the student successes and failures.  We cannot be defined as professionals based on the student experience.

As I write this, I think about what I have learned and the people who have impacted my life.  I have thought about moments in my career that I will always keep with me—good and bad.  At the end of the day, I have found a profession where I continue to grow and learn while working with students, staff, faculty, advisors, headquarters staff and a variety of other constituents to enhance the fraternity experience.  As I continue to attempt to take care of myself while not burning out, I will do my best to remember why I do what I do: I believe in the positive potential of the fraternity/sorority experience.

Robyn Brock earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Tennessee and her Master’s degree in Higher Education from Florida State University.  She has obviously worked at Florida State for a combined eight years as the Assistant Director and now the Assistant Dean/Director of Greek Life.  In her volunteer life, Robyn serves as the Assistant Executive Director for the Southeaster Panhellenic Association and on the Kappa Kappa Gamma NPC delegation.  Robyn loves spending time with her husband and their four-year old son, Jackson.  She also enjoys drinking red wine, doing a little shopping, traveling with family and friends, and reading a good book. 

Want to Fix a Hazing Problem in Your Chapter? Start by Fixing Your Brotherhood Problem

By Gentry McCreary, Ph.D. and Joshua Schutts

Hello members, friends, and fans of Phi Delta Theta. In honor of National Hazing Prevention Week, my colleague, Josh, and I want to talk about brotherhood, but first, you need some background.  About this time last year, I reached the halfway point of my doctoral dissertation.  I was studying the impact of moral judgment and moral disengagement on hazing attitudes, and I was putting the finishing touches on the third chapter and preparing for my proposal defense.  My study, in a nutshell, was investigating the environmental variables that support a pro-hazing culture.  As I sat and thought about my study, I came to ask myself the question “What matters?”  Several fraternities have shaken things up in the last few years and significantly changed the environment in which hazing occurs.  Phi Delta Theta has the “Don’t Tarnish the Badge” campaign.  Sig Ep has the “Balanced Man Program. “Beta Theta Pi has the “Men of Principle Initiative.”  Alpha Gamma Rho and Zeta Beta Tau got rid of pledging altogether.  As I sat and pondered these changes, I asked myself “If we wanted to know if any of these changes have had any impact, what would I even measure?  It’s hard to measure hazing, so what do we measure?  What would we expect the impact of these changes to be?”  As I sat and thought, rolling around different possibilities in my head, I kept coming back to the same idea – brotherhood.

What is brotherhood?  How do students define it?  Are there different kinds of brotherhood?  How do you measure it?  I pondered these questions and more for several days, and I decided that the best way to get an answer to my question was to ask students.  So, I sent out an email to my fraternity member listserv and asked for a few volunteers to come meet with me to talk about brotherhood.  On the day of the meeting, a dozen or so guys showed up, and I asked a simple question: “What is brotherhood?”  I sat and listened, scribbling notes furiously trying to keep up with the conversation, as the young men bounced the question back and forth.  Several themes emerged from that conversation, but when I coded my notes, the students discussed four separate and distinct definitions of brotherhood.  They were:

  1. My brothers support me and “have my back” because we’ve been through a lot together.  They would do anything for me, and I would do anything for them.
  2. My brothers and I do almost everything together – they are the people I prefer to spend most of my time with and we always have a blast, whatever we’re doing.
  3. My brothers and I are drawn together by our similar beliefs, values and backgrounds.  They are my best friends and will be the groomsmen in my wedding.
  4. My brothers help make me a better person by holding me to high standards based on our shared values.

At this point, my head was spinning.  Four completely different themes, sometimes used in combination with one another, sometimes not, had emerged from that initial conversation.  My next step was to try to make sense of all this new information, so I called up the one person who I consider to have the ultimate combination of fraternity and nerdy quantitative research skills – Josh Schutts.  Josh, I’ll let you jump in here and  help us make sense of all this.

Admittedly, I came into the fold in many conversations with Gentry about his work with hazing and moral judgment.  He mentioned brotherhood and I was immediately hooked.  I presume that for many of you, brotherhood is the reason you joined your chapter, and is likely the reason you are still affiliated.  My background is in business, so I tend to view our fraternity chapters much like “mini businesses.”  In saying that: fraternities don’t have a profit-motive, we have a brotherhood motive.  If Apple or Microsoft is for-profit, then Phi Delta Theta is for-Brotherhood.

Conceptually, brotherhood is the currency of fraternity.  It is sold to potential members, traded between brothers and alumni, and deposited within our thoughts and memories for all time.  As an alumnus of my organization, I recall those memories from time to time – the things we did as friends and brothers.  The trouble we got in, the relationships we made, the times we laughed, and the times where we were there for each other.  Perhaps a brother could be thought of as “more than a friend, but no less than someone you love.”  I heard a wise past national president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon say that once (Jim Pope, Southern Mississippi).

Theoretically, the research is frankly scant in relation to brotherhood.  It’s kind of funny that something that means so much to so many is largely unstudied, undocumented, and unanalyzed.  I mentioned earlier about brotherhood as a currency. If you buy that, then when we trade or sell it, we are completing a transaction – let’s call it a social transaction, or maybe even a social exchange.  Near as I can tell, the best theoretical framework that exists comes from Blau & Scott (1962) who coined “social exchange theory” and talked about mutual benefit associations.  I think of fraternities as mutual-benefit associations, so I think there is some wisdom to be found there.  Further, Clawson (1989) talks about masculine solidarity and touched on loyalty through race, social class, and gender.

With this theoretical framework in mind, we sat out to devise a way to measure brotherhood.  A list of questions was developed that corresponded with each of the four definitions of brotherhood, with a five-point “agree/disagree” scale.  We constructed some initial testing on the instrument, determined that it was good, and set to work.  We had to put a name to each of the four types, based on the definitions from the focus group and the questions in the instrument, and here is what we came up with (numbers corresponding to the definitions that Gentry described above):

  1. Brotherhood Based on Gang Mentality (BROGM)
  2. Brotherhood Based on Shared Social Experiences (BROSSE)
  3. Brotherhood Based on Common Interests (BROCI)
  4. Brotherhood Based on Accountability to Shared Values (BROASV)

We measured brotherhood with our instrument, and we also asked students about their alcohol use, attitudes towards hazing, attitudes about the purpose of the new member process, questions about the importance of social status in their chapter, and a scale that measured their moral development.

What we found amazed us.

Student’s scores on BROGM had strong and significant correlations with pro-hazing attitude.  Those correlations became weaker as they moved up the scale, and a high score on BROASV had a negative correlation with hazing attitude.  The way students defined brotherhood was predictive of the way they perceived hazing and the amount of hazing they stated they would tolerate in their chapter.

We also measured students’ perceptions of the purpose of the new member process (with statements like ‘the pledging process is an opportunity to weed out weak new members’ and ‘it is important that pledges demonstrate their loyalty to the fraternity before they are initiated’) and had similar findings.  Students that measured highest on BROGM were much more likely to have an antiquated view of the purposes of the new member process, and again, the relationships became weaker as they moved up the scale.  BROASV was negatively correlated with the scale measuring the perception of the purposes of the new member process.

So, conceptually we have many ideas about what brotherhood is.  Most of what we know so far is anecdotal, qualitative and contextual. We tell stories to others, and somehow in our mind, we understand what brotherhood means. . . what it means to us anyways.  But does it stop there?  What if brotherhood means different things to different people?  How can we merge what it might mean to you with someone else’s concept?  Wouldn’t it be easier to ‘sell’ that to an interested prospective member? We think you can.  And we think that if we could quantitatively measure it, or at least most of it, then we would have a common language to talk to our brothers about.

When we begin to understand what brotherhood is, we can then take the leap to see how it manifests and changes.  We first begin by understanding its nature.  What it is comprised of, and equally, what is it not comprised of.  We think about where it comes from, and we think about the best way we measure it.  Next, we begin to see it as the ‘cause’ and search for the symptoms or effects it has on people, chapters, institutions, and communities.  We measure it over time, and we see if differences exist between race, or age, or number of years as a member of a fraternity.  We see these symptoms as antecedents, and we ask questions about what aspects of brotherhood correlate to that are both positive and negative.  We look at hope, and commitment, and unethical behavior, and citizenship behavior, and engagement, and moral judgment, organizational learning, and a host of other things that are related to things that occur in our chapters every day.

What good is all of this?  Well, for starters, we could diagnose issues in chapters. We could get to the cause, and quit treating the symptoms. We could leave our campuses better than we found them.  We could make a difference in someone’s life.  We could be more relevant tomorrow than we were yesterday.  In sum:  We could become the greatest version of ourselves, and help our Chapters achieve a new level of greatness as well.

Gentry McCreary is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL.  He served four years as the Director of Greek Affairs at the University of Alabama, and two years as Director of Greek Life at Middle Tennessee State University.  He is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity from the University of Tennessee.  He completed a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama.  His research interests include moral development and the social-psychological causes of hazing.  Gentry is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, canoeing, golf, fishing and upland bird hunting with his German Shorthaired Pointer, Ellie.

Joshua Schutts is the Assistant Dean of Students at The University of Southern Mississippi and a 2000 initiate of the Delta Mu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.  He has a B.S.B.A. in Marketing and a M.Ed in Student Affairs Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.  He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Research, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment at the University of Southern Mississippi.  He enjoys playing golf and fantasy football.  Josh and his dog Roosevelt live in Hattiesburg, MS.