Graduation Invitation Template 2019

Tuesday, February 16th 2021. | Sample Templates

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Honoring Fraternity: Focusing on the Future Honoring Fraternity: Focusing on the Future Miami has long been a leader in the fraternal movement in North America, and now is a time when we again need to be national leaders as we envision the future of fraternal organizations on our campus. We recognize that fraternities and sororities are not Miami organizations, but rather a collection of international organizations who have established chapters on our campus, each with its own structure, traditions, culture, and values. However, the collective chapters at Miami make up a community unique to our campus, and the members of all chapters share the value of being Miamians. By working together across chapters, in partnership with Miami staff and advisors, we can build a community that is stronger than any individual organization on its own. We will do this by drawing on the common goals and values found in every chapter, including leadership, brotherhood, service, scholarship, loyalty, community, and accountability. These values, in alignment with our Code of Love and Honor, will provide the framework for every member and every chapter to live up to their ideals and potential. Miami has long been a leader in the fraternal movement in North America, and now is a time when we again need to be national leaders as we envision the future of fraternal organizations on our campus. We recognize that fraternities and sororities are not Miami organizations, but rather a collection of international organizations who have established chapters on our campus, each with its own structure, traditions, culture, and values. However, the collective chapters at Miami make up a community unique to our campus, and the members of all chapters share the value of being Miamians. By working together across chapters, in partnership with Miami staff and advisors, we can build a community that is stronger than any individual organization on its own. We will do this by drawing on the common goals and values found in every chapter, including leadership, brotherhood, service, scholarship, loyalty, community, and accountability. These values, in alignment with our Code of Love and Honor, will provide the framework for every member and every chapter to live up to their ideals and potential. Miami is known for its commitment to the undergraduate student experience, and that experience is about both student learning and student growth. Students join the Miami community to develop into professionals, adults, and leaders who will be ready to go into the world after graduation to succeed and thrive. In the same way we have a responsibility to mentor and guide them in the classroom, we have a responsibility to mentor and guide students in their experiences outside of the classroom. Fraternity experiences are no exception. As a university, we provide mentors and advisors, as well as policies and rules, to help guide students as they become members of the fraternity and sorority community. Miami is known for its commitment to the undergraduate student experience, and that experience is about both student learning and student growth. Students join the Miami community to develop into professionals, adults, and leaders who will be ready to go into the world after graduation to succeed and thrive. In the same way we have a responsibility to mentor and guide them in the classroom, we have a responsibility to mentor and guide students in their experiences outside of the classroom. Fraternity experiences are no exception. As a university, we provide mentors and advisors, as well as policies and rules, to help guide students as they become members of the fraternity and sorority community. Self-governance is another form of learning for students and core to the fraternity and sorority experience. Strong leadership from the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Association, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is critical to the community’s success. Students serving in leadership roles, both on a respective governing council and chapter leadership, are advised by university staff and trained on policies and industry best practices. Self-governance is another form of learning for students and core to the fraternity and sorority experience. Strong leadership from the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Association, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is critical to the community’s success. Students serving in leadership roles, both on a respective governing council and chapter leadership, are advised by university staff and trained on policies and industry best practices. For many years, we have talked about creating a “model Greek community” at Miami–one where students live their values, bring out the best in each other, hold one another accountable, and are role models on campus and across the country. We have not yet achieved that goal. For fraternities in particular, we continue to receive reports of hazing and conduct violations each year. However, students also tell us they are fearful of taking the next step to publicly coming forward with evidence due to fear of retaliation and retribution, limiting our ability to hold individuals or chapters accountable for these behaviors. We continue to be concerned about the high risk alcohol and drug use in this community that often leads to negative consequences for members and their guests. Our Miami health survey data shows that these behaviors are more prevalent among Greek-affiliated students than non-Greek. And we need to continue to focus on preventing sexual and interpersonal violence and promoting positive bystander behavior in our community. For many years, we have talked about creating a “model Greek community” at Miami–one where students live their values, bring out the best in each other, hold one another accountable, and are role models on campus and across the country. We have not yet achieved that goal. For fraternities in particular, we continue to receive reports of hazing and conduct violations each year. However, students also tell us they are fearful of taking the next step to publicly coming forward with evidence due to fear of retaliation and retribution, limiting our ability to hold individuals or chapters accountable for these behaviors. We continue to be concerned about the high risk alcohol and drug use in this community that often leads to negative consequences for members and their guests. Our Miami health survey data shows that these behaviors are more prevalent among Greek-affiliated students than non-Greek. And we need to continue to focus on preventing sexual and interpersonal violence and promoting positive bystander behavior in our community. While we firmly believe and have the data to show that the majority of fraternity members do not approve of or take part in hazing or high-risk alcohol and drug use, that majority has also not been able or willing to eliminate those behaviors from their chapters and our community. It is not enough to congratulate one’s own members or chapter for its positive behaviors; it is everyone’s responsibility as a member of Miami’s fraternity community to hold other members and chapters accountable and to lead change for the system as a whole. It is also important that when a chapter is doing things right, that they pay attention to succession and sustainability planning so that those successes will continue beyond its current members’ graduation. While we firmly believe and have the data to show that the majority of fraternity members do not approve of or take part in hazing or high-risk alcohol and drug use, that majority has also not been able or willing to eliminate those behaviors from their chapters and our community. It is not enough to congratulate one’s own members or chapter for its positive behaviors; it is everyone’s responsibility as a member of Miami’s fraternity community to hold other members and chapters accountable and to lead change for the system as a whole. It is also important that when a chapter is doing things right, that they pay attention to succession and sustainability planning so that those successes will continue beyond its current members’ graduation. Understanding the complexities of the culture, we come to the practical question of how to address the current challenges facing fraternities on our campus. Throughout this report, we will approach cultural change with three primary strategies, noting both current strategies and recommendations for new approaches: Design a culture that develops and rewards student leadership through their participation in a fraternity: This is the highest level of strategy for cultural change. By offering leadership development training through multiple formats and encouraging self governance, we strive to build principled, courageous leaders who will hold themselves, their peers, their chapter, and our community to the highest standards. Focus on academic excellence and student success: Fraternities should attract the best and brightest at Miami, and membership should enhance student success. While the community is social in nature, responsible fraternities also provide career preparation and support the classroom experience. Membership in a fraternity should signal to potential employers that they are seeing the very best students Miami has to offer. Address the nationwide challenges of hazing, high-risk alcohol, and drug use while holding students and chapters accountable for standards: While our preference would be to focus exclusively on highlighting the best of fraternity life, it is clear that the problems must also be strongly and clearly addressed. By raising our expectations for behavior and being clear in the consequences for violating those expectations, we hope that we can work with fraternity leaders to truly create the model community we strive to be. Understanding the complexities of the culture, we come to the practical question of how to address the current challenges facing fraternities on our campus. Throughout this report, we will approach cultural change with three primary strategies, noting both current strategies and recommendations for new approaches: Design a culture that develops and rewards student leadership through their participation in a fraternity: This is the highest level of strategy for cultural change. By offering leadership development training through multiple formats and encouraging self governance, we strive to build principled, courageous leaders who will hold themselves, their peers, their chapter, and our community to the highest standards. Focus on academic excellence and student success: Fraternities should attract the best and brightest at Miami, and membership should enhance student success. While the community is social in nature, responsible fraternities also provide career preparation and support the classroom experience. Membership in a fraternity should signal to potential employers that they are seeing the very best students Miami has to offer. Address the nationwide challenges of hazing, high-risk alcohol, and drug use while holding students and chapters accountable for standards: While our preference would be to focus exclusively on highlighting the best of fraternity life, it is clear that the problems must also be strongly and clearly addressed. By raising our expectations for behavior and being clear in the consequences for violating those expectations, we hope that we can work with fraternity leaders to truly create the model community we strive to be. Throughout the summer of 2018, a committee of nearly 20 fraternity life stakeholders gathered to evaluate the state of the community and develop recommendations that would advance the fraternal community in a healthy and safe direction. Some of these recommendations are related to requirements for recognition by Miami, others are related to receiving the sophomore housing exemption, and some would be encouraged but not mandatory. Failure to meet expectations will place chapters on a one year probation and an improvement plan will be created in partnership with the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Recognition will be revoked if terms of improvement plan are not met in the period of one year. Throughout the summer of 2018, a committee of nearly 20 fraternity life stakeholders gathered to evaluate the state of the community and develop recommendations that would advance the fraternal community in a healthy and safe direction. Some of these recommendations are related to requirements for recognition by Miami, others are related to receiving the sophomore housing exemption, and some would be encouraged but not mandatory. Failure to meet expectations will place chapters on a one year probation and an improvement plan will be created in partnership with the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Recognition will be revoked if terms of improvement plan are not met in the period of one year. The enclosed recommendations were developed through discussions, work-groups, and consensus-building. The recommendations are meant to be a framework in developing stronger processes, systems, and organizations moving forward. We believe true, systemic change must occur in order to move the community forward, and we cannot continue in the way that we have in the past. Community Programming Efforts Fraternal Excellence and Chapter Recognition Program  Organization Recognition – Chapter of the Year Individual Leadership Recognition Nault Scholarship Advisor Recognition Student Training and Development Programs Fraternity and Sorority Life Fall Kick-Off Social Chair and Risk Management Training Fire Safety Training New Member Education Training Tri-Council Meetings Chapter Support Meetings Recruitment Roundtables Risk Management Roundtables “Big Sis” Training Leadership Education Programs Greek Leaders ADVANCE ACROPOLIS – Emerging Leaders Retreat Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) Central National Black Greek Leadership Conference (NBGLC) Rho Gamma Experience Sorority Corridor Representative Experience Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) AFLV LeaderShape Prevention Programs Online Educational Course Module 1: Potential New Members- Introduction to Fraternity and Sorority Life Module 2: New Members- Anti-hazing education Module 3: All Greek Community Members – Leadership Course  Greeks Step Up Greek Convocation IFC Enhanced Membership Experience Panhellenic New Member Week Advisor Support and Development Programs Information Education Programs Summer Orientation Presentations Go Greek 101 IFC Fall Kick-Off Rho Gamma Info Sessions Parent and Family Webinar on IFC and Panhellenic Formal Recruitment Chapter Programming Chapter Services Support Model: Staff focus on a chapter-first support model that builds relationships and increases communication with organizations. Staff are assigned to advise no more than 11 organizations per semester. They meet with chapters 3-4 times per month and include advisors in all meetings. The increased support and communication have strengthened relationships and trust between the organizations and the university. Accountability Standards The enclosed recommendations were developed through discussions, work-groups, and consensus-building. The recommendations are meant to be a framework in developing stronger processes, systems, and organizations moving forward. We believe true, systemic change must occur in order to move the community forward, and we cannot continue in the way that we have in the past. Community Programming Efforts Fraternal Excellence and Chapter Recognition Program  Organization Recognition – Chapter of the Year Individual Leadership Recognition Nault Scholarship Advisor Recognition Student Training and Development Programs Fraternity and Sorority Life Fall Kick-Off Social Chair and Risk Management Training Fire Safety Training New Member Education Training Tri-Council Meetings Chapter Support Meetings Recruitment Roundtables Risk Management Roundtables “Big Sis” Training Leadership Education Programs Greek Leaders ADVANCE ACROPOLIS – Emerging Leaders Retreat Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) Central National Black Greek Leadership Conference (NBGLC) Rho Gamma Experience Sorority Corridor Representative Experience Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) AFLV LeaderShape Prevention Programs Online Educational Course Module 1: Potential New Members- Introduction to Fraternity and Sorority Life Module 2: New Members- Anti-hazing education Module 3: All Greek Community Members – Leadership Course  Greeks Step Up Greek Convocation IFC Enhanced Membership Experience Panhellenic New Member Week Advisor Support and Development Programs Information Education Programs Summer Orientation Presentations Go Greek 101 IFC Fall Kick-Off Rho Gamma Info Sessions Parent and Family Webinar on IFC and Panhellenic Formal Recruitment Chapter Programming Chapter Services Support Model: Staff focus on a chapter-first support model that builds relationships and increases communication with organizations. Staff are assigned to advise no more than 11 organizations per semester. They meet with chapters 3-4 times per month and include advisors in all meetings. The increased support and communication have strengthened relationships and trust between the organizations and the university. Accountability Standards Requirements and Expectations Outlined in the Student Handbook.  Affiliation. All social fraternities and sororities must be affiliated/maintain a charter with an international organization or have expressed written intent to affiliate within three years of formation. Liability insurance. Each chapter will maintain general liability insurance which covers each member, advisor, alumni, board member, the University, and the national chartering organization. Miami University is to be covered as an additional insured on the organization’s general liability policy with limits no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate. This is evidenced on the Certificates of Insurance. Chapter must mail Certificates of Insurance to Miami University at 501 E High St., 218 Roudebush Hall, Oxford, OH 45056. Service and Philanthropy. All chapters must serve the community and world around them by planning and completing at least one service project per calendar year. Additionally, each chapter must plan and complete a charitable event for their official philanthropic organization or chosen charity if no official dedication exists. Functional Leadership. Chapters must complete and submit required paperwork in a timely fashion to the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life each semester. Required paperwork includes chapter officer rosters, chapter member rosters, inventory of contributions to the community and others as needed. Each chapter president is expected to meet with his/her designated office liaison a minimum of once per semester. Non-Hazing Commitment. All chapters must be committed to a University environment that is safe, respectful, and educational. Each semester the Chapter President and Advisor must sign and submit the Certification of Compliance agreement regarding the University’s policy on hazing. Each chapter must operate in compliance with State of Ohio, Miami University, and respective inter/national organization policies and laws regarding hazing and related activities. A Community of Rituals and Values. Every chapter is expected to promote, follow, and act upon the values contained in the rituals and founding spirit of their respective organizations. Develop a series of online leadership development courses to complement and expand on the in-person leadership programs already in existence. These modules will be offered to all members, whereas many of our retreats are only available for a subset of the community. The first leadership module was rolled out to all chapter members in Spring 2020. Member development plan. All chapters will have a member development plan and should stay in compliance with the expectations of registered and recognized fraternities and sororities as outlined in the Student Handbook. If an organization does not have a membership education and development plan as supported, developed, or implemented by their (inter)national organization, they can work with their council and the Fraternity and Sorority Office to determine a plan for the year. Organizations with a national member development plan (e.g., Beta Theta Pi’s Men of Principle Initiative, Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Balanced Man Program, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s True Gentleman experience, etc.) must submit proof of compliance from the national organization to show that the local chapter is providing development and education to all members of the fraternity. Organizations without a member development plan should work with the IFC Vice President of Member Education to develop a successful plan for the year that incorporates the shared values of the Miami Fraternity and Sorority Community. The plan should also support the mission and vision of the community by promoting intellectual achievement, leadership, personal growth, and service to the community. Rationale. In a matter of doing what we say we will do, we must create processes that promote member development and hold chapters accountable to the values, mission, and vision of the community. Rather than reinvent the process, we will encourage chapters to utilize systems already in place (when they exist) to develop their members in alignment with their own organizational values. However, we understand that some of our organizations do not have set membership development plans. Therefore, we will help create a system and a membership education template that promotes and aligns with community values while encouraging individual growth and overall organizational development. Requirements and Expectations Outlined in the Student Handbook.  Affiliation. All social fraternities and sororities must be affiliated/maintain a charter with an international organization or have expressed written intent to affiliate within three years of formation. Liability insurance. Each chapter will maintain general liability insurance which covers each member, advisor, alumni, board member, the University, and the national chartering organization. Miami University is to be covered as an additional insured on the organization’s general liability policy with limits no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate. This is evidenced on the Certificates of Insurance. Chapter must mail Certificates of Insurance to Miami University at 501 E High St., 218 Roudebush Hall, Oxford, OH 45056. Service and Philanthropy. All chapters must serve the community and world around them by planning and completing at least one service project per calendar year. Additionally, each chapter must plan and complete a charitable event for their official philanthropic organization or chosen charity if no official dedication exists. Functional Leadership. Chapters must complete and submit required paperwork in a timely fashion to the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life each semester. Required paperwork includes chapter officer rosters, chapter member rosters, inventory of contributions to the community and others as needed. Each chapter president is expected to meet with his/her designated office liaison a minimum of once per semester. Non-Hazing Commitment. All chapters must be committed to a University environment that is safe, respectful, and educational. Each semester the Chapter President and Advisor must sign and submit the Certification of Compliance agreement regarding the University’s policy on hazing. Each chapter must operate in compliance with State of Ohio, Miami University, and respective inter/national organization policies and laws regarding hazing and related activities. A Community of Rituals and Values. Every chapter is expected to promote, follow, and act upon the values contained in the rituals and founding spirit of their respective organizations. Develop a series of online leadership development courses to complement and expand on the in-person leadership programs already in existence. These modules will be offered to all members, whereas many of our retreats are only available for a subset of the community. The first leadership module was rolled out to all chapter members in Spring 2020. Member development plan. All chapters will have a member development plan and should stay in compliance with the expectations of registered and recognized fraternities and sororities as outlined in the Student Handbook. If an organization does not have a membership education and development plan as supported, developed, or implemented by their (inter)national organization, they can work with their council and the Fraternity and Sorority Office to determine a plan for the year. Organizations with a national member development plan (e.g., Beta Theta Pi’s Men of Principle Initiative, Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Balanced Man Program, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s True Gentleman experience, etc.) must submit proof of compliance from the national organization to show that the local chapter is providing development and education to all members of the fraternity. Organizations without a member development plan should work with the IFC Vice President of Member Education to develop a successful plan for the year that incorporates the shared values of the Miami Fraternity and Sorority Community. The plan should also support the mission and vision of the community by promoting intellectual achievement, leadership, personal growth, and service to the community. Rationale. In a matter of doing what we say we will do, we must create processes that promote member development and hold chapters accountable to the values, mission, and vision of the community. Rather than reinvent the process, we will encourage chapters to utilize systems already in place (when they exist) to develop their members in alignment with their own organizational values. However, we understand that some of our organizations do not have set membership development plans. Therefore, we will help create a system and a membership education template that promotes and aligns with community values while encouraging individual growth and overall organizational development.

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