- NIC Foundation
A solid government relations strategy is so central to the success of fraternities, it is one of the core five priorities (above) of the NIC 2.0 reform. Such advocacy has been critical in our past and it will be in our future.
The very existence of fraternities as men’s organizations is enabled by an exemption to Title IX, legislation that NIC Executive Vice President Jack Anson and his interfraternal colleagues lobbied President Gerald Ford for in the mid-1970s. This hallmark example of legislative involvement might seem historical, yet, the value of single-gender organizations is still questioned today.
The NIC employs a government relations strategy because advocating for the fraternal experience and the rights and benefits of its members is critical.
Let’s dive deeper into the NIC 2.0 priority establishing a government relations program.
The North-American Interfraternity Conference has developed a government relations strategy around three key questions:
The NIC’s answer includes coordination and collaboration within three distinct areas:
The NIC is dedicated to building strong relationships with interfraternal and higher education partners based on transparency, inclusion and respect. Moving forward, the government relations effort will take all partners furthering and supporting the effort—united, when possible and respectful of different views when presented.
Primary partners include:
With focused legislative priorities and deliberate education opportunities, NIC’s government relations efforts will build grassroots programs for students, local alumni and state officials. The participation of these constituents will transform the way thousands of people involve themselves in the NIC’s legislative priorities.
*The NIC understands that sex is the classification as male or female assigned at birth and gender identity is a person’s internal sense of gender. The term “single-sex/gender” is used because Title IX uses “sex” when referring to social fraternities, yet societal understanding has moved toward “gender identity.”
Together, the NIC, NPC and FSPAC comprise the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition (FGRC). The FGRC exists to provide collaboration, representation and balance to an interfraternal approach to government relations. Representatives from the three organizations meet regularly to discuss legislative matters that could impact fraternities and sororities or higher education at large.
The NIC also interfaces with other partners throughout higher education in these efforts, namely:
Supporting the efforts of the NIC’s government relations program takes action. Dedication to these efforts—by both individuals and groups—will make a difference. Consider this:
For more information on the NIC’s government relations and advocacy programs contact Julie Burkhard, Chief Legislative Officer.