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Improving the Fraternal System

There’s no disputing the positive impact Greek life has had on millions of college students across the globe. The way fraternities and sororities operate is ever evolving, and while many things have changed over the years, there are aspects that will always remain the same. From the lifelong camaraderie, to the volunteering and professional opportunities, there are a wide range of benefits to joining Greek life. To maintain this stability, there have been several recent improvements to the system that have caused students and alumni to take note.

Here are a few new changes being implemented within the Greek system, and how they can forge a positive impact upon today’s newest classes of fraternities and sororities.

NIC Supports Re-introduction of Federal Anti-hazing Legislation

Hazing has long been a stain on the reputation of Greek life. One new piece of legislation, the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing Act, or REACH, seeks to create new regulations for how fraternities and sororities approach instances of hazing. The bipartisan bill, which has garnered strong support from the NIC, was first filed in 2017, and has just been introduced by Rep. Marcia L Fudge (D-Ohio) and Rep. David P. Joyce (R-Ohio). As part of the REACH Act, colleges and universities would be required to disclose information pertaining to campus hazing incidents within their annual crime reports. Other requirements would include colleges and universities that receive federal funding providing hazing prevention education to students. These new regulations may be a major step toward changing the narrative that’s long been associated fraternities and sororities with regards to hazing.   

NIC Establishes New Alcohol and Drug Guidelines

Alcohol and drug use is common in today’s colleges and universities, and Greek life has received much of the backlash. Safety is among the foremost priorities for today’s chapters, and there are already changes coming to the way fraternities and sororities approach these sensitive topics.

To combat the onslaught of drug and alcohol related incidents in fraternities and across college campuses, a new set of guidelines will require NIC member organizations to evaluate their documentation to ensure it’s in line with updated procedures. Education on topics like alcohol, drugs, hazing and sexual abuse are crucial in ensuring members navigate college life safely.

Applying a stronger baseline ensures chapters are using best-practice programs revolving around health and safety. Other requirements within the new guidelines include providing proactive harm reduction education and providing documentation such as policies, protocols and educational programs. Chapters must also carry commercial general liability insurance and enforce policies prohibiting women’s auxiliary groups associated with undergraduate chapters, i.e. “little sisters”. These new guidelines will bring organizations that much closer to ensuring a safe Greek life experience for all members.

How You Can Help

There’s no better time than now for alumni and students to come together in efforts to preserve the integrity of Greek life across universities everywhere.  Whether as a donor, a mentor or a fundraising organizer, there are many ways to help current and future chapters of fraternities and sororities continue the tradition of a positive Greek life experience. And with the popularity of social media ever rising, now is a great time to learn about and share how today’s chapters are implementing these new changes and using them to foster a positive, healthy environment for members everywhere.