With the arrival of new leaders on campus, New Mexico State University officials have been working on a new initiative to enrich the health, safety and well-being of students involved in fraternity and sorority life communities.
“We’re adapting a model that is being used in the Big 12, Big 10, SEC and other schools across the country,” said Ann C. Goodman, NMSU’s dean of students.
The goal of the new initiative is to implement strategies, develop common guidelines for accountability and develop a system to report implementation for the fraternity and sorority life communities that have a history of shared governance and to address challenges such as alcohol abuse, hazing, sexual harassment and sexual assault that have plagued fraternity and sorority communities across the country, according to Goodman.
“Both Abby (Howard) and I are new and we are passionate about building a positive fraternity and sorority life community,” Goodman said. “One that is healthy, and one that would be attractive for students to come to New Mexico State.”
Approximately 400 students belong to the eight fraternities and six sororities at NMSU.
The initiative will create a permanent fraternity and sorority life excellence committee that will serve as an advisory board to review and support the needs of the fraternity and sorority community. Committee members may include representatives from the dean of students office, Greek Council, NMSU Alumni Association, a local chapter fraternity and sorority alumnus, a fraternity and sorority chapter adviser, faculty/staff adviser, ASNMSU and WAVE.
One of the 20 new measures was a new member orientation requirement for students joining fraternities and sororities, which was implemented in spring 2020. Additional measures included in the initiative are proactive risk management training for student leaders and advisers on how to identify procedures to handle issues the fraternity and sorority community faces and a continuous curriculum of educational programs for current members.
As the coordinator of fraternity and sorority life, Howard said one of her focuses is on advocating for the leadership in the fraternity and sorority life community.
“If they are not doing well individually, I can’t expect them to come together and be a unified front. You have to have a good foundation before you can go up to the next level,” Howard said.
Goodman said plans for a website with the initiative details is in development.
Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU