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Fraternal Organizations Respond to Harvard Policy on Single-Gender Organizations

INDIANAPOLIS, May 9, 2016—Officials from the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO), and the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA), issue the following statements in response to the policy announced Friday, May 6, 2016, by Harvard University that would sanction students who are members of single-gender organizations, beginning with the class entering 2017. At Harvard, fraternities and sororities—which are private organizations—are not affiliated with the university. Joint Statement from Dani Weatherford, Executive Director of the National Panhellenic Conference; Francisco Lugo, Commissioner of Member Services for the National Association of...

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Pennington & Company Invests in the Fraternal Movement at Groundbreaking Level

Pennington & Company has stepped up with a bold investment in the fraternal movement at a turning point in its history, becoming the first-ever Distinguished Diamond sponsor of the North American Interfraternity Conference and NIC Foundation. The newly minted “Distinguished” sponsorship designation is reserved for partners who provide significant financial support to both the NIC and NICF. With a three-year commitment at our highest-donor level, Pennington’s investment will help the NIC bring the 2.0 vision to life and will aid the NICF in its mission to cultivate a culture of philanthropy. “We know the next several years are critical in the development of the NIC and in the future of fraternity,” said Patrick Alderdice, president of Pennington & Company. “We are excited by the NIC’s vision for enhancing the fraternal community. We hope to serve as an example to our colleagues, because its time for all of us to support what so many fraternities are coming together to create.” For more than a decade, Pennington & Company has made an annual investment in the fraternal foundation community through the NICF. This elevation in giving to both the NIC and NICF shows a desire “to provide resources to impact all levels of fraternity life,” said Alderdice. “Pennington & Company has long been a critical partner in the fraternal movement,” said NIC president and CEO Judson Horras. “This level of partnership—specifically...

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North-American Interfraternity Conference Passes Landmark Reforms

The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) passed landmark reforms today to enhance the fraternity experience and increase standards for its member organizations and the 375,000 undergraduate fraternity men across North America. The reforms, as recommended by the NIC 2.0 Commission, were discussed through a comprehensive internal dialogue in an effort to best serve the needs of all 73 member fraternities. As a result, the NIC has established five priorities to instill trust and confidence in fraternities: Create an effective grassroots program for all Interfraternity Councils (IFC) and provide exceptional support for “Focus Campuses” in an effort to strengthen and build...

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Understanding and Supporting Open Expansion

Daniel Greenebaum, Coordinator of IFC Services North-American Interfraternity Conference In preparation for Halloween last year, the manager of the general store in Collegetown was trying to decide which candy to sell. Bill sent a letter to multiple candy distributors expressing his need. Several sent back similar forms to allow him to order candy at comparable prices. However, the distributor who sold peanut M&Ms© also sent a large cardboard cutout of the yellow M&Ms© character from their television commercials. Since Bill was worried that he really only had room for one kind of candy, and peanut M&Ms© put on the best show, he decided to carry their candy. For months after Halloween, Bill listened to his customers complain. It turned out that a lot of kids in town were allergic to peanuts, so they weren’t able to eat any candy. On top of that, a lot of kids would eat the M&Ms©, but complained that they weren’t very good, or even stopped after a few and never touched them again. Bill knew something had to change. After having different distributors reach out to express interest in selling their candy in his store, Bill worked with the National Board of Distributors to create a plan where everyone could be successful. He would add new candy to his stock in a timeline that fit the needs of the distributors while supporting the...

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Let’s Pick Costumes. Not Cultures: Cultural Appropriation in Fraternity & Sorority Communities

Devin Hall, Coordinator of IFC Services North-American Interfraternity Conference With Halloween right around the corner, individuals are lining up at costume stores to pick out this year’s outfit. Should I be Fred Flintstone or Darth Vader? Should I go to the party as a sexy animal or cast member from Friends? The brainstorming has begun. Oftentimes, our costume reflects the events or parties we plan on attending. As we enter this fun-filled season of pumpkins and costumes, it is important that we reflect on choices and how they may impact those around us. Fraternity and sorority communities have been under the spotlight for decades related to the culture of organizations and heteronormative environments. We host social event that are themed around holidays, university traditions, organization history, or celebratory milestones. Too often, when selecting social event themes, organizations have walked the line of creating an environment for cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation refers to a “particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.” Viewed as funny, ironic, trendy, or an opportunity to be retweeted by TFM, dressing up as a Native American, painting oneself with blackface, or dressing as a homeless person is not only offensive behavior, but also correctable. This blog post will discuss ways in which an Interfraternity Council can take...

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