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Rho Delta Brother attends IFC academy

Thursday, February 11, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jon Moore
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Michael Estry, an Chi Psi brother at Miami University, joined more than 150 Interfraternity Council (IFC) officers, advisors, chapter presidents, chapter delegates, and graduate advisors from 34 U.S. colleges and universities in participating in the 2010 IFC Academy, hosted Jan. 30 in Indianapolis by the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).


The one-day, 14-hour program, focused participants on their role in developing high-performing IFCs – specifically the role of the IFC in serving the needs of its member fraternities, and the role the NIC Standards play in supporting high performance.

"The fraternities of the NIC operate by an agreed-upon set of standards,” said Peter D. Smithhisler, president and CEO of the NIC. "Developed by the membership with the goal of helping younger members clearly understand what membership means, and helping older members understand their responsibility in teaching and modeling, the Standards provide an excellent co-curricular education for every member,” he said.

On campus, the IFC’s role is to understand and promote the Standards to the leadership of their member fraternities. Individual chapter leaders hold responsibility for interpreting the Standards to their chapter members, explaining how they apply to the chapter’s individual mission and values. While NIC standards encourage and support academic achievement; campus involvement and leadership; risk management on topics such as alcohol use, fire safety, hazing, and sexual abuse; the value of ritual; and the importance of communicating the value of education, career preparation, civic engagement, leadership development, values, and ethics, each chapter applies them differently to accommodate their individual fraternity’s mission and values.

At the Academy, Estry renewed his sense of commitment to the interfraternal community. He completed a personalized assessment of his own council effectiveness, and he developed a task list to work through once he returned to campus. Because open (year-round) recruitment of members and open (to any interested fraternity) expansion of chapters on a campus continue to be issues IFCs have difficulty understanding and explaining to their members, Estry also learned how to identify restrictive clauses in IFC polices and, along with NIC professional staff, discussed ways to work with campus advisors and administrators to remove restrictive policies.

The Academy offered two tracks, one for officers responsible for marketing and public/member relations, and another for executive officers responsible for operation and stewardship. Presenters included Josh Orendi, CEO of Phired UP Productions, who led the marketing/communication track; Ben Pendry, NIC vice president for advancement, who led the executives track; Marc Katz, past chairman of the NIC, who provided a legal update for council officers; Bob Marchesani, current NIC chairman, who focused on the importance of interfraternalism; and NIC Chairman and CEO Pete Smithhisler, who led the session on the value and importance NIC Standards hold for IFC operation.

Founded in 1909, the NIC is the trade association representing73 international and national men’s fraternities. Through advocacy, collaboration, and education, the NIC works to ensure that fraternities can operate in an environment conducive to their success.

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