Subject: NGLA Newsletter - August 2014

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The Northeast Greek Leadership Association Welcomes 
These New Professionals in Our Region! 
  • Christine Kobza, Assistant Director of Student Activities, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Brandon Mathiew, Coordinator for Fraternity/Sorority Life & Leadership, Keene State College
Has your institution or organization headquarters hired a new professional recently? 
We would love to welcome them! 
Share their information with us by filling out the form below
Last Call! Submit your Program Today! 

The 2015 NGLA Call for Programs is now live. Please submit an educational program that supports the mission and vision of NGLA and that will enhance the educational experience of conference attendees. We are interested in keynote, featured speaker, and general session programs that support values alignment and leadership development as well as those that provide specific officer training. 
The Call for Programs will be live until August 31, 2014. Please note that this date is a slightly earlier submission date than in past years.
Title IX: What the Student Leader Needs to Know

You may have heard about Title IX from an athletics standpoint. A portion of the US Education Amendments from 1972, this component of the law can be partially summarized to state the following:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

Although Title IX generally gets attached to a qualification in athletic programs, the reality of the law is that Title IX, in its entirety, applies to ten different key areas addressed by the law. These areas include: access to higher education, career education, education for pregnant and parenting students, employment, math and science, standardized testing, learning environment, and sexual harassment.

Recently, there has been an increased focus on those last two, learning environment and sexual harassment, which might be affecting some major changes on your college campus. Many campus communities are re-evaluating their conduct and hearing policies, amping up the visibility and frequency of educational programming, and even hiring consultants  who can accurately assess and handle some of these increased responsibilities. As a student, you may be feeling the affects of these changes. Here are some key facts for you to know as a campus leader:

  • Title IX Applies to More than Sports and Athletics:  At its core, it prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational settings. If you are a member of a traditionally single sex fraternity or sorority, your group is considered exempt from the law in an amendment that also applies to groups such as the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, Campfire Girls, and other voluntary, single-sex and tax exempt organizations. 
  • Title IX Doesn't Apply to Females Only: It protects against any sex based discrimination. Female, male, or gender non-conforming individuals, regardless of whether they are a student, staff, or faculty member are protected from violence, harassment, and discrimination under the law. 
  • Your School Has to be Proactive and Ready: Campuses are expected to take immediate and purposeful steps towards addressing any potentially harmful or harassing behaviors. They must have an established procedure for handling these complaints and a point person who manages the process, most often titled a Title IX Coordinator. As a student, you may notice edits to the campus conduct policy or an increased amount of educational & awareness programming on campus. Seek out these policies and educate yourself and your organization about sexual assault, harassment, and the policies that govern them on your campus. 
  • Your School Must Support You: It's against the law for schools to retaliate against individuals who come forward with a complaint or who identify as the victim or assailant. Additionally, they have the power to issue a "no contact directive" under the law which can keep the accused party from interacting or contacting you. Outside of a formal hearing, schools are prohibited from encouraging you to take (or not take) any particular action- they are expected to support your decisions. 
  • You Have a Right to Stay: Victimized students have a right to remain on campus. Your school cannot encourage you to "take some time off" or force you to withdraw. As a component of the law, your school is obligated to ensure you can continue your studies in a hostile free environment. 
  • Know the Difference Between Confidential & Private Agencies on Campus: By law, some campus administrators and offices are obligated to report any instance of harassment or misconduct if they are told about them. Some groups, like your campus faith center and counseling center, are likely protected by the law from having to share this information with others. It's always a good idea to ask someone about their obligations to share information before divulging anything you wish to be kept confidential. 
As a campus leader, you play a very visible role to your peers and community. If someone you know believes that they were sexually assaulted, your primary job is to be supportive and understanding, validating what they are experiencing. The individual likely sought you out because you are a good friend and listener, but encourage them to seek counseling services and report the incident via the proper campus officials. Supporting someone involved with an assault case can be a challenge, so be sure to take care of yourself during this time as well- while respecting their confidentiality. If someone comes to you and confides an occurrence that might be a sexual assault or harassment issue, here are three key steps you can take to best support them:
  1. Listen: And we mean really listen! Put down your phone, away your computer, and be an active listener. It's likely taking a lot of courage for the individual to tell their story and you should be respectful and show that you actively care about their concerns.
  2. Validate & Empathize: Victims can often feel like their emotions after an attack are unwarranted, or that they are making a big deal out of something that is not serious. If they are uncomfortable, it is serious! Validate the way that they are feeling and express empathy for the situation they are in by taking stock of how you would feel should you find yourself in their situation.
  3. Encourage & Support: Although individuals are under no obligation to report a Title IX issue if they do not wish to do so, encourage them to seek proper counsel for their own well-being by visiting the campus medical center or mental health services. If they do choose to report the issue, support their decision. They may be faced with challenging medical, legal, and social implications and situations as a result. 
The Title IX Amendment and its related laws have a profound impact on your experience as a college student and as a member of a fraternity and sorority. NGLA encourages you to reach out to campus departments and individuals that will have more specific information about your campus procedures for reporting a Title IX violation, campus policies, and about providing educational programming for your members. 

 This article was put together utilizing resources from the following websites:

NGLA Volunteers of the Month:
 Su McGlone & Shawn Dowiak

Though the NGLA conference happens once a year, planning for the event is almost a year-round process. This month we would like to recognize the outstanding efforts of two volunteers for their dedication in ensuring that Annual Conference planning does not skip a beat. Su McGlone and Shawn Dowiak were placed this spring as programming coordinators for the Annual Conference.

Though the entire Conference Team was seeing several new additions,including the stepping up of a new chairperson and co-chair, Su and Shawn jumped in head first. They quickly assembled their team, developed a program selection process, and announced the call for programs to the masses. They did so with no hesitation and ensured that conference planning will not fall behind. Please join us in thanking these two volunteers for assisting in planning what is sure to be a banner conference in 2015.

Convention Awards Update
  • Alpha Gamma Delta, Zeta Zeta Chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute won the Scholarship Progress Award. It is presented to the collegiate chapters that have shown the largest increase in GPA from 2010-2012 to 2012-2014. Zeta Zeta Chapter is a deserving recipient of this award for their 0.16 GPA increase from last biennium to this biennium.
  • Delta Phi Epsilon, Gamma Iota Chapter at Bridgewater State University achieved the award for Outstanding New Member Program.
  • Gamma Phi Beta, Epsilon Eta Chapter at Bridgewater State University achieved four awards at their International Convention including: Scholastic Excellence, Safety & Wellness Excellence, The Elizabeth Quick Award, and an honorable mention for Advisory Board Excellence. 
  • Kappa Alpha Theta, Zeta Mu Chapter at MIT achieved the Founders Award, the highest recognition presented to a Kappa Alpha Theta Chapter internationally and recognition as the top performing chapter. The chapter also received recognition for Excellence in Recruitment and Excellence in Risk Prevention.
  • Kappa Alpha Theta, Zeta Xi Chapter at Harvard University received recognition as a Golden Kite Chapter of the Fraternity, and an award for Excellence in Advisory Board Relations.
  • Kappa Alpha Theta, Eta Chi Chapter at Boston University received recognition as a Bronze Kite Chapter of the Fraternity. 
  • Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Zeta at Worcester Polytechnic Institute won the Grand High Alpha award at General Assembly, which is the highest award Lambda Chi gives.
  • Phi Mu Delta, New Gamma Chapter at the University of Vermont received the 2014 Chapter of Excellence award.
  • Pi Beta Phi, Vermont Beta Chapter at the University of Vermont, received 2013 chapter excellence awards for being #1 on Campus, and as a Chapter of Excellence in the Phi level.  
  • Pi Kappa Alpha, Lambda Delta Chapter at the University of Vermont won their very first SMYTHE Award at this year's convention, placing them among the top preforming chapters of PIKE internationally. 
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon, Zeta Mu chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute won 5 of 6 TKE Excellence awards.
Was your chapter recognized at your convention this summer? 
We want to hear all about it and share with NGLA! 
Share your successes with us via the form below. 
NGLA, Attn: John DiSarro, 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd, University of Rochester, 14627, Rochester, United States
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