Last month at the Presidents Leadership Conference, General Council President Jeff Davis shared with our chapter presidents several steps, which we have listed below, that Phi Delta Theta is taking to create a culture of responsibility in our chapters to keep our members and their guests safe following the tragic loss of Max Gruver at Louisiana State University.
We will be considering more significant change mechanisms and policy changes in the short-term and in the future as we look towards our next strategic plan, Phi Delt 2030 in the next 18 months. In the meantime, Phi Delta Theta is committed to leading with our values and promoting change within the Greek Community, as we have done before through such initiatives as alcohol-free housing, while being vigilant in holding our chapters accountable for their actions.
To Do What Ought to Be Done Bystander Education
There is no quote more revered in Phi Delta Theta than “To do what ought to be done, but would not have been done unless I did it, I thought to be my duty” stated by Founding Father Robert Morrison. The spirit of this quote led to a relationship with the Prevention Innovations Research Center (PIRC) at the University of New Hampshire in 2016 to assess our members’ ability to build skills and tools to intervene in life and death situations. With the assistance of PIRC, we will be introducing Bystander Education for all new and initiated members of Phi Delta Theta on March 1, 2018. This online module will be updated and completed by all members each winter moving forward to ensure ongoing and continual education.
Additionally, a ‘To Do What Ought to Be Done Workshop’ is in the process of being developed and will be implemented at each chapter during the 2018-2019 academic year to ensure moral courage and our Cardinal Principle rectitude go hand-in-hand.
Good Samaritan Policy
Later this year Phi Delta Theta will introduce a “Good Samaritan” policy that protects those who come forward (free of organizational consequence) to report a situation that violates our policies or values. In conjunction with this new policy, all policies and requirements of our new member education program are under review.
Required New Member Education Activities
We want to ensure that our newest members have a meaningful introduction to Phi Delta Theta and understand how to identify problematic situations. In an effort to accomplish this, each chapter must actively use the General Headquarters’ online Phikeia Education program per a newly implemented minimum standards policy that became effective on January 1, 2018. Each Phikeia must complete all six online modules. “To Do What Ought to Be Done” curriculum will be added to this program on July 1, 2018.
Additionally, because we know that a few of the most momentous occasions within the new member process can sometimes be the most problematic, standardized activities will be introduced this summer at the Phikeia Educators College for Phikeia induction, a big brother program, and initiation. These activities will be required moving forward.
Phi Delta Theta will continue to consider bold reform and make tough decisions when chapters do not live up to our principles and operational standards. We appreciate your support on this journey to improving our organization and taking steps to make Phi Delta Theta a safe, healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful life-long experience for every member.