Ball State's greek community completes strategic plan

Five years ago, Ball State's greek community developed a five-year strategic plan to improve greek life as a whole. Now, they are making plans for the future.

Assistant Director of Student Life Brandon Cutler said there was no specific problem that led to the five-year plan.

"I think in the middle part of the 2000s, there was a feeling [in] the fraternity and sorority community [that] there was an opportunity there to be a whole lot better than we were," Cutler said.

Cutler said in creating this plan, the greek community wanted to be better at supporting Ball State's mission, helping students be successful and creating opportunities for personal and professional development.

The strategic plan included an accreditation program that was divided into five areas of community values: personal growth, relationships, individuality, dedication and ethical behavior.

Each chapter was then evaluated in each area based on paperwork that they turned in and received an accreditation score of one to five stars.

Erika Vance, vice president of community relations for the Panhellenic Council, said the accreditation system gave chapters an incentive and also gave them an organized plan.

"I think this definitely helped us unify as one greek community and helps better our image on campus and better our campus," Vance said.

Cutler said it is apparent that the fraternities and sororities are doing a better job of living their values and achieving the objectives of the mission stated in the strategic plan.

"That doesn't mean that we're perfect and that our students are perfect as they continue to grow and develop, but there's a much higher commitment to doing the things that we know are right as guided by our principles," Cutler said. "We're excited about our future."

The greek community was also successful at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values regional conference, Interfraternity Council President Zach Hartley said.

They won 10 awards and several faculty members were also involved in the conference.

Hartley said being able to come back and relay the information of the awards to the greek community gives them confidence that they are respected and well represented.

"It's all kind of coming together so that it's one message, one vision and one effort," Hartley said. "One community."

Lea Hanson, director of marketing and communications at AFLV, said Ball State typically has a strong presence in the awards.

"For years and years, their council seems to have been participating in an authentic and intentional way, which makes me think that they are using that same authenticity and intentionality in their home operations on a daily basis," Hanson said.

Cutler said with all of these successes, the previous five-year strategic plan has provided a foundation for the greek community to build on.

"When we look at a lot of those things - recruitment, retention, overall chapters, contributions to service and philanthropic organizations - those are the things we take the most pride in," Cutler said.

Kyle Koppelmann, vice president of risk reduction for the Interfraternity Council, is a member of the committee that created the new five-year strategic plan and has mainly focused on the new accreditation program.

He said the new plan will not have stars, but phrases like "exceeds expectations," "acceptable," and "not acceptable."

Koppelmann said he and other members of the committee thought the old program was vague and repetitive. The new system, though, will be a presentation instead of turning in paperwork.

"What we wanted to do was change it in order so the chapters would want to participate in the accreditation program in order to showcase exactly what they've done for their chapter and the greek community over the year," Koppelmann said.

Highlights and awards from the past year:

  • Twenty chapters received accreditation during the 2010-2011 academic year. This was an increase from the previous year, in which 17 chapters were accredited.
  • Since 2007, seven new fraternities and sororities have joined: Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha Tau Omega, Phi Iota Alpha and Phi Kappa Psi fraternities and Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta sororities.
  • There has been a 31 percent membership increase since Fall 2007, with more than 1,500 members total.
  • The average greek GPA has been at or above the all-campus average GPA for the 12th consecutive semester.
  • As a whole, the greeks have completed more than 23,000 hours of community service and donated more than $59,000 for various charities this year.


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