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  #1  
Old 12-10-2002, 04:09 PM
Opie25 Opie25 is offline
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Phi Delta Theta & Kappa Sigma Withdrawl from NIC (Official Phi Delt Statement)

P H I D E L T A T H E T A F R A T E R N I T Y



As many of you know, there has been substantial debate over the past six years within the fraternity world, and internally within Phi Delta Theta, about the focus and direction of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). Phi Delta Theta, as a founding member of the NIC, has been passionately involved in that debate. It has been the view of the General Council that the NIC has drifted from its primary mission of serving as an advocate for the American college fraternity movement toward one whose central function is to provide educational programming to our undergraduates. Phi Delta Theta is committed to providing extensive educational and leadership training to our members, and we are proud of the programs that we have developed. We feel strongly that the purpose of a trade association that represents college fraternities must be to provide services to the member organizations, rather than to the members of those organizations.

While the NIC has made admirable strides in its work to promote the movement through legislative advocacy, we feel that those efforts remain but a side note to the NIC's undergraduate leadership training and educational seminars. The NIC has remained on the sidelines while hundreds of public colleges have severely curtailed the right of students to associate freely through "deferred recruitment." The NIC has been silent, as public institutions have "closed" their campuses to fraternity expansion. As fraternity liability insurance costs have skyrocketed, the NIC has left its members to tackle that issue by themselves.

Not withstanding our concerns, we have remained a member of the NIC for a variety of reasons. In the spirit of interfraternalism, we have been committed to working within the NIC to return it to its founding mission by offering legislation and sitting on committees. Phi Delta Theta has felt that, despite our dissatisfaction, NIC membership has at least provided us with a "seat at the table," keeping us engaged in dialogue with our partner fraternities. Finally, as a founding member, we have not wanted to leave an organization that we have contributed to for over 90 years. Unfortunately, especially in light of the legislation passed at the 2001 NIC meeting in Washington, DC which more than tripled our dues, we can no longer use these reasons to justify our membership in an organization with which we have so many concerns. It is with deep regret that Phi Delta Theta has officially resigned its membership in the NIC, effective Monday, December 9, 2002. As many of you may have questions and concerns regarding this decision, accompanying this letter are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that should address most of those issues.



Phi Delta Theta Withdrawal From NIC
Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why did Phi Delta Theta leave the NIC?
Phi Delta Theta has been concerned about the focus and direction of the NIC for more than six years. Specifically, we feel that the main focus of the NIC should be to provide services to its member organizations, rather than to individual undergraduates. Over the last decade, NIC has created several outstanding educational and leadership programs such as the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI), IMPACT and Futures Quest which generate substantial revenue for NIC. Unfortunately, as these programs have grown in scope and revenue production, they have become the primary focus of the NIC staff's activities. We feel that the NIC should primarily focus its attention on representing the fraternity movement and acting as an advocate for its member fraternities with university administrators, government, the media, and the general public.

2. Does this mean that Phi Delta Theta doesn't want to work with other fraternities?
Not at all. We worked with other NIC organizations and NIC board members until the very last possible moment to avoid making this decision because we cherish our interfraternal heritage and we certainly enjoy working to further the cause. We simply felt that we had reached a point where, after many frustrating years, we needed to make a change that would send a strong statement to the NIC and its leadership that we have run out of patience with the slow pace of change.

3. Why couldn't Phi Delta Theta stay and work within the NIC to make the changes that it feels are necessary?
Phi Delta Theta genuinely wanted to remain in NIC, but we felt that we had exhausted all avenues for change within the NIC framework. Phi Delta Theta members have sat on a variety of task forces and committees whose focus was redirecting the efforts of the NIC toward an advocacy/trade association model. Our decision to withdraw comes after years of effort on our part to bring the organization back toward its founding principles.

4. Is Phi Delta Theta the only organization that is dissatisfied with the NIC?
No. Kappa Sigma has also withdrawn its membership in the NIC. In addition, throughout 2002 over 10 other groups were engaged in discussions with Phi Delta Theta about leaving the NIC and we know of several that continue to consider withdrawing their membership.


5. Why didn't more fraternities leave with Phi Delta Theta?
Some groups that considered leaving are newer to the movement seeking to reform the NIC and had not reached a point where they were willing to take a step as drastic as withdrawing. Several groups were reluctant to leave because they have members who are in NIC leadership working to reform the organization. Still others were concerned about being perceived as "renegade" organizations.

6. Did money play a role in Phi Delta Theta's decision to leave NIC?
Phi Delta Theta has always been happy to pay its fair share to support the NIC. We were proud to be the largest contributor to the NIC's research initiative, contributing $30,000. Phi Delta Theta was certainly disappointed when the House of Delegates voted to increase our dues from $4500 to $14,000 when we were already so unhappy with the direction of the organization.

7. Does this mean chapters of Phi Delta Theta can't be members of their campus IFC or Greek Council?
We will continue to expect all of our chapters to remain members of their local IFC and we will communicate that message strongly to all of our chapter presidents. While some IF's may have bylaws that require NIC membership, we feel confident that we can provide language for inclusion in those bylaws that will alleviate those concerns. We don't feel that we should be excluded from IFCs simply because we have removed the letters NIC from our resume.

8. By leaving the NIC, is Phi Delta Theta trying to force other fraternities to adopt Alcohol Free Housing (AFH)?
No. While we wish that every fraternity would join us in the AFH movement, we respect the right of other organizations to govern themselves as they see fit. Ironically, Phi Delta Theta and the other organization leaving the NIC, Kappa Sigma, have divergent views on AFH. What we share is a common view that the NIC is not focused on providing services to its members.

9. If Phi Delta Theta thinks programs like UIFI, IMPACT and Futures Quest should not be the primary focus of NIC, what should happen to them?
We feel that those programs could be spun-off, either to an entirely new entity, or be used as a revenue generator by another organization such as the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) or the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA). We want our members to be able to continue to take advantage of these great programs, but not at the expense of the NIC's focus on advocacy for the fraternity movement.

10. Will this change isolate Phi Delta Theta from other fraternities or from university administrators?

Phi Delta Theta is committed to the principle of interfraternalism and will continue to work with other fraternities through the FEA and other interfraternity associations. Several of our volunteers and headquarters staff are already members of AFA and NASPA and we plan to continue to build relationships through those organizations.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2002, 04:26 PM
The1calledTKE The1calledTKE is offline
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That's some big time stuff there. I wonder if TKE IHQ is thinking about leaving, I need to find out.
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2002, 04:30 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Huh.

So in effect - they feel NIC is spending too much $$$ and time on seminars, workshops and such and not enough on the fraternities as a whole? I can understand that point.

But I really question their bringing up deferred rush and "closing" the campuses to expansion. In my experience these are two things that strengthen the Greek system, not weaken it. That's different on every campus of course, but bringing that up just makes it look like they're pouting because they weren't allowed to open a chapter here or there - an action that may have been justified by the state of the school's Greek system.
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2002, 04:47 PM
greeklawgirl greeklawgirl is offline
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I interpreted their concerns regarding "campuses closing to expansion" differently. I thought that perhaps they were referring to NIC's failure to advocate for fraternities when administrations such as Union or Dartmouth wholesale close down the Greek system; or refuse to allow any more Greek expansion, regardless of demand for new chapters.

Their frustration is understandable. If Greeks don't unite and start taking drastic action to advocate for our continued existence, prove our relevance, and reform what's wrong, the fraternity/sorority system will not be here for our grandchildren.

Whether withdrawal was the right thing to do....I don't know. Only time will tell.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:02 PM
DeltAlum DeltAlum is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by greeklawgirl
I interpreted their concerns regarding "campuses closing to expansion" differently. I thought that perhaps they were referring to NIC's failure to advocate for fraternities when administrations such as Union or Dartmouth wholesale close down the Greek system; or refuse to allow any more Greek expansion, regardless of demand for new chapter.
That's also the way I read it. This is a pretty bold move on their part. It caught me by surprize -- I didn't realize that this possibility was even being discussed.

On the face of it, I have to agree with their concerns -- although I don't really know that much about NIC and its relations with specific fraternities.

It will be most interesting to see which, if any, other Nationals choose to disaffilliate. You also have to wonder if there will be a parallel group formed sometime in the future.

I don't know Delt's stand, although it would be a very difficult decision since a number of Delts have been NIC President, and we also were founding members.

We should all watch this with great interest.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:18 PM
James James is offline
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I was about to post about this.

I know Kappa Sigma is joining the Fraternity Leadership Association (FLA).

Sounds likea good move. IT definitely shakes things up.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:20 PM
lifesaver lifesaver is offline
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While I am sure Kappa Sig and Phi Delt had good reasons and are sure in their decisions, feeling them to be the best thing for their orgs, I dont think this will seriously affect NAIC (North American Interfratenity Conference) in the long run, nor do I believe it to be the beginnings of a mass exodus of groups for several reasons.

(Note I am not indicating an agreement/disagreement withtheir reasons for leaving, just stating my belief on the effects of their departure.)

I dont know much about corporate culture that exists within the NPHC, so I'll limit my comments to the parallels and differences between the NAIC and NPC, relative here. I'll allow a fellow greek who is a member of a group with membership in the NPHC to share their thoughts and opinions ont he subject.

I draw attention to the NPC, because so often, people attempt to compare the groups. As if it were apples to apples. One specific policy example between the groups is recruitment. Our respective policies couldnt be more different. Aditionally, I am sure we could all agree that it would be a big deal if a member chose to leave the NPC.

While these two groups are probably the largest to ever leave the NAIC, they most certainly arent the first. The NAIC is a much larger, somewhat loose federation of groups with historically fluid membership. Sigma Tau Gamma left for a while in the 90's. I once heard (from a NAIC staffer) that it wasnt a good year if one or two member fraternity groups didnt leave, and a few others return. NPC groups have remained the same since 1952, proving a much more stable group in terms of membership.

2. NAIC generally goes not enact policy, whereas the NPC sometimes does (I believe they're called unanimous agreements) by getting all member groups to come to an agreement on a policy before it is enacted. NAIC has very few policies (I think most of them are resolutions) that they require all members to adhere to) mainly, the one barring membership in two organizations as an undergraduate (some groups allow for dual membership after graduation). I believe that for the better part of the history of the NAIC, this loose federation, allowing most groups to handle their own policy has been one of the fundamental strenghts of the NAIC.

3. As long as there are many groups the remain withthe NAIC its size still lends itself to credibility. Should the number of member groups dramitically change, then NAIC's efficacy and credibility will obviously change.

While I hate to see the NAIC family loose any members, I am confident in the continued success of the NAIC, and remain hopeful for an eventual return of Kappa Sigma and Phi Delta Theta.

Last edited by lifesaver; 12-10-2002 at 05:34 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:30 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by lifesaver
While these two groups are probably the largest to ever leave the NAIC, they most certainly arent the first. The NAIC is a much larger, somewhat loose federation of groups with historically fluid membership.
You're right about the fluidity, lifesaver, at least if past editions of Baird's are any indication. Baird's has traditionally listed social/general fraternities with NIC members in one group and non-NIC members in another group. If I remember correctly (I don't have past editions handy, so forgive me if I get something wrong), at least according to Bairds, SAE, Sigma Nu, Pi Kappa Phi, and Pi Kappa Alpha have not been NIC members at some point.

I wouldn't be so sure about it affecting the NIC, though. Certainly, it may not cause the demise of the NIC, but if there is enough dissatisfaction with the direction of the NIC (and the Phi Delt press release, at any rate, suggests that dissatisfaction extends beyong Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Sigma), then this may be the impetus for change. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering what effect this might have on consideration being given to Phi Mu Alpha joining the NIC.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:35 PM
UofIL AXO UofIL AXO is offline
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This is big news!

I'm assuming that this will change national dues for Phi Delta Theta since they are not contributing to this organization (?) or perhaps they will use this money in different venues.
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Old 12-10-2002, 05:39 PM
lifesaver lifesaver is offline
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Originally posted by UofIL AXO
This is big news!

I'm assuming that this will change national dues for Phi Delta Theta since they are not contributing to this organization (?) or perhaps they will use this money in different venues.
NAIC dues works out to be approx. 80 cents per man per semester in their org..
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2002, 05:51 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by greeklawgirl
I interpreted their concerns regarding "campuses closing to expansion" differently. I thought that perhaps they were referring to NIC's failure to advocate for fraternities when administrations such as Union or Dartmouth wholesale close down the Greek system; or refuse to allow any more Greek expansion, regardless of demand for new chapters.
Interesting that we read it differently. There were 2 reasons I didn't think they were talking about Dartmouth/Bowdoin type situations: 1) they specifically mentioned public colleges, those are private; and 2) DKE left (partly) for those reasons back in the 90's and then came back. My thought was if that was something they were very concerned about they would have left w/ DKE to begin with.

Although I do completely agree that NIC and NPC both need to grow a pair and fight for our rights of association as a whole rather than just sitting mutely and taking it.
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:41 PM
PhiDeltUCI PhiDeltUCI is offline
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Wow, i knew nothing about this, i wonder how this will affect us on a school-by-school basis, hopefully GHQ will let us know something soon.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2002, 06:50 PM
KSig RC KSig RC is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by MysticCat81
Certainly, it may not cause the demise of the NIC, but if there is enough dissatisfaction with the direction of the NIC (and the Phi Delt press release, at any rate, suggests that dissatisfaction extends beyong Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Sigma), then this may be the impetus for change. Only time will tell.
This is it - according to a brief conversation I had with one of our national officers, more than just KS and the Phi Delts weren't in approval of the way NIC was heading, so they decided to do something about it, assuming that once they proved successful others would follow . . . hence the new FLA etc.

I think a major issue is that the top 10 fraternities in the NIC comprise more than 50% of total chapters, while accounting for less than 25% of the voting power etc. I think, on a certain level, it became an issue of larger nationals paying for educational programming that only benefitted the smaller nationals, as much of the training was done in-house for the larger.

We'll see how it works out - it made a lot of sense when described to me by a higher-up.
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:52 PM
Opie25 Opie25 is offline
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John:

The chapter President should have recieved an email. I know that they went out to the chapter presdient here on this campus, as well as to list-serves of organizations in higher education, as well as to fraternity and sorority advisors. Plus, we just finished our annual meeting that runs concurrent with NIC....I think Ashley knows of the situation (or soon will) she'll be able to handle whatever needs to be done on your campus I'm sure...she's a smart cookie, and a good friend of mine.

-o.p.i.e.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:28 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I agree.. it's a pretty bold move. I can definitely respect their reasons for leaving. Most collegians have no idea who the NIC is. We do get a packet of information from them every year or so but really have not heard much other than that from them.

Sigma Nu has some excellent leadership programming available to undergrads in its LEAD program. I'm sure most other major national fraternities have something similar going on. It seems silly for the NIC to duplicate efforts like that.

I agree they should be advocates for the fraternity movement. I don't know what they've ever done, what they're doing or what they plan to do. I go to their website and their purpose is still unclear. I was fairly sure that there were certain rules that the NIC had that would apply to interactions between different NIC groups on various campuses but have never heard a rule come up.

It will be interesting how this all turns out.
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