Leading Fraternal Advocacy

An effective advocacy campaign is not conducted in a silo, nor is it a single project. The NIC continuously collaborates with partners, educates stakeholders about the benefits of fraternity membership, and advocates for the fraternal movement. Everything that NIC engages in is centered around advocacy. It is important that NIC member fraternities support the NIC advocacy efforts through their continued promotion of those behaviors which are reflective of the best tradition of excellence of their organizations and immediately and effectively address situations that occur which are contrary to those traditions. This will increase NIC advocacy effectiveness.

The critical audiences for our advocacy are:

Higher education

The primary environments in which fraternities operate are colleges and universities. The 800+ institutions across North America are a general audience with the Chief Student Affairs Officer (Vice President for Student Affairs and/or Dean of Students) and the fraternity/sorority professional as the specific stakeholders. The NIC will continue to utilize a network of relationships, inter/national conferences and workshops, and various forms of media to ensure our message continues to reach critical partners.

Media

The NIC serves as an industry spokesperson for national, regional, and local outlets and monitors media coverage for stories related to fraternity. The media is an important constituent that impacts and influences fraternal advocacy efforts. The NIC will closely monitor member fraternity news and may notify organizations when alerts are received. This is done in a supporting role to the fraternity, which should lead its own response as appropriate. The NIC may need to take the lead if a fraternity fails to respond.

Member fraternities should maintain regular communication with their chapters related to media relations and crisis management. Fraternities should provide regular media relations training for all staff members who have media interaction, undergraduate leaders who may be required to make statements to media in crisis and regular interactions, alumni advisors and stakeholders. It is important that members understand and follow the fraternity’s established media protocols.

Government (local, state, federal)

The NIC has a long tradition of involvement within local, state, and federal government. Not only do fraternity members comprise a large percentage of elected officials in each level of government, the policy agenda of the fraternal movement has been advanced further as a result the relationships that have been built over time and through the work of the NIC and its member fraternities. Government relations will continue to be one of the most important areas of advocacy for the NIC, both in the short and long term.

Interfraternal partners

Men’s fraternities do not exist or act in solitude. The NIC recognizes the importance of harnessing the collective influence of other umbrella advocacy groups while advancing the interests of fraternity. The NIC’s ability to serve as an advocate is augmented by partnering with those groups who have similar interests. The NIC will continue to partner with those organizations which seek to advance the growth and prosperity of the fraternal movement. Associations with include, but not be limited to: NPC, NPHC, NALFO, NMGC, NAPA, and FEA.

Interfraternity Councils (IFC)

Local Interfraternity Councils have the ability to serve as one of the strongest advocates for the fraternal movement at the campus level. The NIC will continue to offer resources, staff support, and educational programming for councils through the IFC Chartering Initiative. These resources include staff consultations, virtual meeting attendance, officer manuals and other resource guides, policy review, assessment, and advising for individual council officers.

There are occasions when the NIC must intervene in cases where a local IFC is operating outside of compliance with the NIC Standards. Whenever intervention measures are taken, the NIC will communicate to member fraternities the nature of the complaint and appropriate next steps to ensure a timely resolution. NIC member fraternities are encouraged to provide regular education to their members on the role, responsibilities, and function of a campus IFC.

The potential joiner and his parents

These stakeholders represent a major target in the NIC’s advocacy efforts. The NIC will continue to ensure that the real story about fraternity membership is available and, whenever possible, promoted to the next generation of joiner. It is important to also target the parents of today’s potential joiner. Research tells us that the parents are more involved than ever in the day to day decisions their son makes. The efforts of NIC member fraternities related to addressing dysfunctional behavior, promoting the real story of fraternity, and delivering on the promised benefits of membership are all areas of importance which the NIC promotes in its advocacy efforts.