My school recently received a new assistant director who is responsible for overseeing Greek Life at our University. We are a large public University but have a small Greek life (less than 500 students) which is about 60% IFC/NPC and 40% Multi-cultural.
The New Assistant Director, lets refer to her as FL, was a member of one of the multi-cultural organizations at our school within the last ten years. In the month that she has been here, she has investigated and sent cease and desists to three of our NPC orgs and refuses to provide them with proof. The information she has provided with them is shaky for grounds of a cease and desist at best, but since no one else within the university deals with Greek Life, there is no one to turn to.
Additionally, complaints against multi-cultural groups have only led to warnings. Nationals has been involved but nothing is being done.
What can students do to survive this cancerous Greek Life Advisor?
With my following answer – I am making a huge assumption that this Greek Advisor is indeed unethical. I would caution you to make sure you fully understand your reasons before you make this assumption. Do not be persuaded by innuendos and rumors. Be sure you completely understand the facts behind the situations you are referencing before forming your own opinion.
If your Greek Advisor is as bad as you say – here is how I’d answer:
I hate to break it to you, but you are picking a fight you cannot win. If you decide to do something to get rid of this person – here is what is going to happen:
You are going to piss her off. She will try hard to find some dirt on you. She will. And then your chapter will suffer.
Don’t put yourself in this situation. It is a loser strategy.
These are the following things you can and should do to survive this cancerous advisor:
1) Unfortunately, you are probably stuck with this director for at least this year, so you should make the best of it. Get to know her, and seek her out as an advisor. The closer you are to her, and the more she knows the good things your chapter does for your community, the less likely she is going to interfere with you. Also, you will learn more about her and her motives through this experience – which benefits everyone.
2) Wait her out. When I was in the military, we seldom worried about having poor superiors because they would transition to a new position soon enough. Once they were promoted or got a new job, they were no longer our problem. The same applies here. No one stays in a job forever. Hopefully she transfers out sooner than later.
3) Fight your fight. Other chapters are getting busted. That is their problem – not yours. You don’t know the complete story. Only a damn fool would get involved when another chapter is getting taken to the woodshed. Stay clear so you don’t become collateral damage.
4) Keep your nose clean. If she is looking for a reason to kick you off campus, then make it impossibly hard for her to do so. Be sure your brotherhood isn’t doing anything stupid that can get you in trouble.
5) Make allies at the university. Be sure you have a strong faculty advisor. Be sure there are people in the university community who know the good you do for your school and community. The more powerful friends you have, the harder it is going to be to get rid of your chapter.
6) Make sure student leadership organizations are there to support chapters unfairly punished. If a chapter is unfairly punished – be sure the situation is brought up at an IFC meeting. Have the IFC president make the student body president aware of the situation. Hopefully, this student body president will make the right people on the faculty side aware of this problem and then they may do something about it. This is why it is imperative that you have a strong IFC president and that Greeks campaign hard to make sure a pro-Greek person is elected to represent them in the student government.
7) If a chapter is unfairly punished, make the injustice public. Write an article for the student newspaper and get it published. Hopefully, you have Greeks who work for the student paper who can assist you. If not, write a letter to the editor explaining the situation. I promise you that this will get the attention of the faculty community.
8) Make sure your chapter advisor and national hq has a relationship with this individual. If an advisor knows that a chapter has a strong support group behind it; they are more likely to work with chapters should issues arrive. Also, should you get in trouble they are more likely to temper their punishment if they know they will create a reaction from these alumni. This director is like everyone else and probably doesn’t want the headache of a fight if she can avoid it.
9) Should you become a target of hers – let your alumni advisor and hq handle it. Again, don’t fight a fight you cannot win.
I feel for you and the other Greeks at your school. There is nothing worse than the helpless feeling of having the person who is supposed to be your biggest advocate turn out to be your biggest enemy. Don’t let these negative people stand in the way of the mission of your fraternity. You are there to make yourself better men and to improve your school and community in the process. No one should stop you from that objective.