Miami recognized by national association for Greek Life initiative

Students work to change culture

greek-staff.jpgMiami University received the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors 2019 Outstanding Change Initiative Award from the national Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.

Sororities, working with members from Miami’s Student Life, were recognized for their efforts to change the Greek culture on campus.

Their multiyear initiative began with an action committee in 2016 with member organizations in the Panhellenic community. The mission was “to address critical risk issues and move the community forward in a healthy and values-driven way,” said Colleen Blevins, associate director of student activities and the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Miami.

They focused on "social behaviors surrounding alcohol, women’s involvement in men’s fraternity hazing, and a staggering number of hospitalizations directly related to the start and conclusion of men’s and women’s recruitment processes,” Blevins said.

Initiative expands campuswide

These were at the core of the unhealthy culture within the sorority community and is what led to multiple organizations being removed from campus, she said.

“Providing more alumni volunteers, encouraging organizations to hold members accountable, and increasing opportunities for involvement and leadership shifted the dynamic and made systemic change within the community,” Blevins said.

greek-award.jpgIn addition, these initiatives were adopted by undergraduate women at Miami who are not in sororities in order to promote safety and accountability.

The change award, established in 1996, is presented to institutions of higher education, vendor member organizations and inter/national organizations that have made tremendous progress and improvement in their fraternity/sorority community or organization.

The award recognizes major initiatives or long-term plans that have led to positive changes within the campus fraternity and sorority community or the inter/national organization.

The award honors measured improvements, results and positive outcomes in all or some of the following areas: scholarship, educational programs, leadership development, risk management, collaboration, community engagement, retention and membership recruitment.