Hitting the core challenges of culturally-based greek organizations
I have been working with students for years and every semester there is something new they feel they need to get past me. I always love students’ reactions when I tell them that I, too, was in a fraternity and participating in the very things they try to keep secret.
I specifically remember one conversation with a group of fraternity men that were advocates for hazing; the conversation centered on the history of fraternities, their importance to universities and the tradition of hazing. Listening to them justify their hazing practices intrigued me; I remember being in their shoes. When I opened up and shared my experience, they could see a completely different reality. They had never considered that I also had once participated in hazing.
Following our conversation, this chapter launched a very successful anti-hazing month and continues programming raising hazing awareness at their university. Meeting students where they are in their experience is a crucial part of challenging them to make positive choices. When we connect with students on a deeper level, oftentimes they are able rise to the occasion and make positive changes for themselves and their organizations.
One thing that we as student affairs professionals are not talking to students about enough is the misunderstanding of culturally-based organizations. Can we really say we are having REAL TALK with our culturally-based Greeks? We hear “No one gets us”, “Our problems are different”, or “Nobody on this campus wants to hear anything from us, because they can’t relate to us”. We have all heard it!
The Intake Equation workshop allows students to be heard and realize that we, as Intake Equation facilitators, know the reality…because we were a part of that reality!
Intake Equation hits the core challenges of culturally-based organization: hazing, intake, and values alignment. By the end of the workshop – trust me – students will have opened up with their facilitator and be ready to make some serious change, and include you in the process.
Credit // Author: Kenny Jones
Kenny Jones facilitates our Intake Equation and Council Surge workshops. He received his bachelor’s degree in Speech and Theatre from Jackson State University, his master’s degree in Non Profit Leadership from Drexel University, and is a PhD candidate in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University. Currently, Kenny is the Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also advises the Multicultural Greek Council and is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.