Thursday, July 7, 2011

See Action, Take Action: The Dan Plan

Why is values congruence important?”.  When this question was posed in the Spring 2011 evaluation of The Dan Plan, one of you responded, Because your values should reflect the way you live your life.”  This idea is what Greek Life is all about – it is about helping students figure out their values and then live a life that reflects what really matters to them.  The Dan Plan initiative is a way to get us to that goal.  The Purpose Statement reads: This organization is designed to establish a group of fraternity and sorority members who are committed to personal responsibility and helping other members of the Greek community act in a safer and more responsible fashion.

During the month of July, an evaluation was administered to all participants in The Dan Plan for Spring 2011.  Just over 28% of the 290 students solicited responded and the feedback was insightful.  The feedback is open to all who are interested.  (Please leave your email in the comments section if you’d like a copy.)

When we gathered in January for the kick-off retreat, it was impossible to know what the future held.  We are 1/3 of the way into the journey - here is a snapshot of our progress, areas to improve and where we are headed…

As we stop and assess where we are and where to go, we asked the question, Has The Dan Plan had a positive impact on the Community?  The opinions are varied, but here are the most critical and most positive responses you provided: 

"No.  It could have a positive impact on the community if it did not push around fake issues in an effort to keep Greek orgs from continuing to disobey the "Administrations" ridiculously restrictive guidelines. (and that's in quotes because we all know that the entity we refer to as the administration is just Mandy pushing some papers around)."
"No. (It could be better) By being worthwhile.  All it was was talking about your feelings, instead of focusing on more relevant issues to drinking.  Such as how to handle an intoxicated individual... I felt like I was on an episode of Dr. Phil."

"Yes.  People are able to freely and openly voice their opinions and concerns regarding Greek life. Members are being heard, rather than just the executive board members."
"Yes. Opened honest and frank communication between different fraternities and sororities. A lot of rumors and misunderstandings were cleared up. I realized that a lot of the other sororities have the same issues we do."

Next Steps:
This student-led initiative around Personal Responsibility has finished one semester of a three semester pilot.  IFC and Panhellenic have agreed to fund this program and the University remains committed to supporting a peer driven model for change.  Several chapter leaders and chapter advisors have asked, “Do you think it’s working?”  The response is that it is too soon to tell.  Our community is not yet seeing changes the number of incidents or issues, but we also know that change comes slowly.  As you see above, some are skeptical/angry and some are hopeful.  This is all to be expected.

This Fall will bring some changes to this program.  These changes are based on feedback that participants provided to their small group (Board of Directors) leader, to the Chair (Dan Martin, Spring 2011, and Elizabeth Lee, 2011-2012), and via the evaluation.  Here are the most significant adjustments.
  • ·      The name will change to…  See Action, Take Action: The Dan Plan (SATA)
  • ·      IFC and Panhellenic Council and the Executive Boards will participate each month.  SATA will be held in lieu of IFC and Panhellenic meetings.  This will allow those leading the community to be directly involved.
  • ·      Monthly meetings will have a topical focus (Greek Life culture, hazing, mental health, etc.) with concrete action plans.
  • ·      Full accountability for chapter participation.  (Spring 2011 was identified as the first semester, and one not enforcing the 25% of membership requirement)
  • ·      Personal testimonials will be incorporated into the monthly meeting agendas.
  • ·      Rising Sophomore members have been identified as an important population to pull into SATA.
  • ·      At least 1 Town Hall Meeting will be held each semester.

Elizabeth Lee, SATA Chair and member of Kappa Alpha Theta, has worked with your chapter to help them identify an outstanding Board of Directors.  There is a good mix of returning Board members and new leadership.  Elizabeth has been working over the summer to develop both Informational Sessions and the monthly meeting agendas.  She is open to ideas and feedback.  She can be reached at

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