Dear Miami of Ohio Greeks,
A leader from one of your fraternities emailed me asking for advice on how to handle the fall-out from the recent, highly publicized incidents (Exhibit A and Exhibit B) in your community. After a few discussions, we agreed there is value sharing our thoughts with the rest of the Miami of Ohio Greek Community.
The very first thing that MU Greeks need to do is avoid all excuses on these issues. There is a problem, or these incidents wouldn’t be happening. Leaders don’t make excuses. Leaders solve problems. Don’t forget that.
While this problem seems daunting right now, it could provide a fantastic opportunity for motivated leaders.
I am a firm believer that true leaders are able to handle adversity with class and grace. Anyone can lead when times are good. It puts one’s character to the test when they have to lead through a difficult situation. MU Greek leaders have the opportunity to show their true character, and this will outshine the indiscretions of a select few.
So what is the first step that leaders should take? They need to focus on what they can control. It is never productive to waste energy on things out of your control. By focusing on making your small corner of the Greek community the very best it can be, you will be doing your part in rebuilding a damaged reputation.
So how do you do that? You do it by joining other leadership organizations on campus. You become active in your community and campus. You become the model student. And you do all this while wearing your letters proudly. You want everyone to know that you are an upstanding citizen, and that you are a proud member of Miami of Ohio Greek Life.
Some amazing things will happen if you follow this advice. First, other Greeks will take notice of your leadership and will start to follow your example. The pocket of goodness that you started will grow and grow, making Greek Life at MU better than before.
Second, you will be living in accordance to the values of your founders and your fraternity, and this will enrich your fraternity experience and your life.
Finally, the wounds incurred by the poor decisions of few will start to heal, and Greek Life and Miami of Ohio will start to thrive again.
I would not make excuses, relish the challenge, and be the very best example I could be. This is how I would overcome the terrible situation you have been put in.
Remember, it only takes one person to start a movement. Let that one person be you!
Best of luck.