Monday, January 29, 2018 Greek leaders meet with administrators at ‘Friday Afternoon Collaboration’
Fraternity and sorority presidents at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln kicked off the semester’s ‘Friday Afternoon Collaborations’ program by meeting with Assistant Chief of Police Hassan Ramzah and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jake Johnson on January 26.
A result of the Greek Vitality movement, the session was an opportunity to increase communication and strengthen the relationship between the Greek organizations and the university.
During the session, the administrators shared their philosophies for working with the Greek leaders and their chapter members.
“We’re happy to listen to concerns to develop a safe experience for students,” said Ramzah. He emphasized that the University Police Department believes in a community policing philosophy, meaning they focus on relationships and open communication about safety and security.
Johnson, who works with student support and advocacy, mentioned his own background as a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, his past work with the Interfraternity Council at Nebraska, and his experience working with Greek communities in Utah. He shared that he is not afraid of making hard decisions and encouraged students to step up to do so as well.
“Greek organizations are at their best when members commit to personifying their shared values and holding their brothers or sisters accountable for lapses in judgment,” said Johnson. “The Student Conduct and Community Standards office is eager to support chapters in developing the capacity to do just that.”
During the conversation, the concept of an accreditation or standards process that includes indicators of chapter success was mentioned. Johnson explained that chapters who work toward excelling are less likely to have conduct issues.
When the topic of tailgates and over-sized parties arose, Ramzah echoed support for chapter leaders implementing behaviors that prevent law violations.
“From a standpoint of what we can do, we can educate about illegal consumption. We can cite individuals who are underage – it’s our responsibility,” said Ramzah. He reminded attendees that the best thing you can do when police arrive is to cooperate.
Before the afternoon ended, chapter leaders discussed crisis management and the need for a plan. Many national organizations provide guidelines to the members; it was recommended that all leaders review their plans regularly before events. If chapters do not have a plan, a representative from Delta Delta Delta offered to share a copy of her organization’s plan which was recently re-evaluated with the help of their national organization.
Hosted by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life each week, Friday Afternoon Collaborations cover a variety of topics to help train Greek chapter officers. Upcoming collaborations include educational sessions for house managers, philanthropy chairs and public relations chairs.