It happens; a brother’s friend breaks his arm during a pick-up football game in the backyard.
It’s happens; a brother has too much to drink and does something stupid or goes to the hospital.
It happens; someone’s girlfriend falls down stairs and breaks her ankle.
It happens; a brother takes the Phikeia education process into his own hands.
Now, you can tell yourself that this only happens to “bad” chapters. Or, this only happens to “other” chapters. Or, this stuff doesn’t “really happen,” GHQ is just trying to scare us.
In my more than three years as Director of Chapter Services at GHQ, I can tell you that I dealt with each of the situations above. These things happen at all chapters; big schools and small schools, ten-man chapters and 100-man chapters, drunk or sober. It happens….
So, the question isn’t if it’s going to happen but how are you going to deal with it when it does. There are two audiences that must be addressed when situations like this happen. The first involves addressing the situation internally with your brothers. Does your chapter have an established investigation process? Once the investigation is complete, is there a judicial process in place to deal with any problematic behavior that is identified? If the need arises for an appeal, is there an officer in your chapter familiar with The Code? If the answer to any of these questions is no, please contact your chapter advisory board chairman, province president, or GHQ to assist.
External audiences must also be addressed in situations like these. Who is going to call the Greek Advisor? Who is going to answer the phone if the press or someone’s mom or dad calls? Does the president know that he should inform GHQ, the province president, and chapter advisory board chairman of an incident? If your chapter doesn’t have a crisis management plan, follow this link for more information.
To end this post, I would like to offer some advice. Any situation is made better if you begin dealing with it on your own. GHQ, the Greek Advisor, your province president and your chapter advisor will be much more receptive to bad news if they hear it directly from the chapter. Generally, everyone understands that it happens…. But, they also expect our members to be responsible. So take this responsibility before someone has to take it for you.
Jesse Moyer currently works at KnowledgeWorks, a public education think tank, as a program coordinator for the Organizational Learning and Innovation team. Prior to joining KnowledgeWorks, Brother Moyer served General Headquarters as a Leadership Consultant and as the Director of Chapter Services. He is a 2003 graduate of the University of South Dakota where he earned a B.A. in contemporary media and journalism. He went on to earn a M.Ed. in human resources development at Xavier University. Jesse has held several volunteer positions within the Fraternity including President of the Oxford Alumni Club and Chapter Advisory Board Member at Ohio Theta (the University of Cincinnati). Jesse, his wife Courtnee, and son Cooper (2) live in Hamilton, Ohio.
One thought on “It Happens….”
As a former chapter advisor for four years during the eighties, I can whole heartily agree. Kansas Delta is a mild chapter compared to many others BUT I still had to appear in front of the VP of Students on various charges, took actives to the ER, called EMS out to the chapter house, met by the campus police outside the house after reports of “gun shots”, even worked with an attorney over false rape charges. Luckily I always had great officers to work with. My motto of a ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure got me through those four years. Problems happened. Solve the problems first, don’t worry about blame.
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