In an effort to spotlight the professionals who’re answerable for Fraternity and Sorority Life at schools and universities throughout the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to Michigan State College’s Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Guillermo Flores, to get his perspective on greek life in 2019 and his ideas of what the future of fraternities and sororities will seem like over the subsequent decade nationally.
Flores is a Fall 2007 initiate of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity at Southern Illinois College- Carbondale and has worked in the area of advising Fraternity and Sorority Life for 6 years.
We interviewed him about his campus, his place and his ideas on way forward for fraternities and sororities on school campuses nationally over the subsequent 50 years.
Read the complete interview under.
What does your job as a Fraternity and Sorority Life Skilled entail?
The primary objective of my job is to advise the fraternity & sorority councils at Michigan State. Planning and creating events with college students to ensure they comply with policy and have a danger management plan. Meetings with numerous stakeholders that embrace the City of East Lansing, Nationwide Headquarters, alumni, and more. Advocating for college kids in conferences with fellow workplaces and administrators.
I say to college students and administrators, “what can we do to mobilize this massive scholar inhabitants (Greeks) with entry to varied quantities of assets for good?” I would like students to do more and assume in a different way.
I keep within the again and make sure the students I work with shine.
Why did you determine to go into a job as an advisor of fraternity sorority life?
Being a toddler of immigrants from Mexico. I needed to navigate registering for college at a really younger. I helped my mother and father register me into courses once I was a kid as a result of they didn’t know English. They gave me the whole lot I needed to succeed. From my Power Rangers lunch packing containers to unconditional help in extracurricular activities. From there, academics and faculty directors appeared out for me and made me consider I might do great issues in life. I needed to be that individual for college kids.
Once I joined my fraternity, it opened up an entire world of experiences and other people. I take a look at my steerage counselors, Fraternity & Sorority Advisor, Orientation Supervisor, Chapter Advisors, they usually shared assets and experiences I never thought I might have. I am now doing that for college kids. Especially students of shade.
Why do you assume NPHC and Multicultural fraternities and sororities are necessary in your campus?
They’re houses to students and help techniques in order that they make it to commencement and beyond. It keeps the custom, of so many before them, alive and I learn the history of NPHC and Multicultural Greeks and we’ve to maintain it alive. These groups have been created at a time when individuals of colour didn’t have help techniques on campus. I speak concerning the founders of chapters rather a lot once I work with college students. It’s because It is a place the place college students, school, employees can come collectively and be themselves.
What I really like concerning the NPHC and Multicultural Greeks is that they not simply maintain their programming inner. They are putting on events for college kids of colours and making sure they feel welcome on school campuses.
With the prevalence of tales about sexual, assault, hazing and substance abuse, why do you assume NPHC and MGC greek life should continue to be supported by schools and universities?
These tales have all the time been there. These points are part of our society. We get to work with college students who get to be the change and we challenge them to do higher. When students say the media is towards them, I ask what they are doing to show them incorrect. The Fraternity & Sorority expertise is an important part of the school expertise for many students. It teaches college students the significance of giving again to the group, networking, and advocating for others and themselves. Many directors are alumni of organizations and it helped them get to the place they’re now.
Wanting at the future from a campus administrative perspective, the place do you see greek life 10 years from now?
In my very own opinion, there will probably be laws made to ensure we hold college students protected. The Chapter Advisor and School/Employees Advisor is an enormous a part of a chapter’s success. Being transparent with mother and father and guardians is essential. The Group Cards we create to be clear about chapters on campus will get more detailed. Michigan State NPHC Fall 2018 Group Card
What is one thing undergrads have to do to ensure that undergraduate greek life on school campuses will survive and be round 50 years from now?
Be strategic on the members who be a part of the chapters. College students who already carry out nicely academically, will hold that development going. Ask for assist from college directors. There are assets on campus that may solely make the Greek group stronger.
Work together with your alumni and study from their mistakes. The same previous, standard can’t continue. For those who or your chapter is doing one thing fallacious, ask for assist. Call your Chapter Advisor or Regional Director and get that help. Speak to somebody on campus you belief. Hopefully that’s your Fraternity/Sorority Advisor!
How do you see individuals who be a part of NPHC/MGC orgs benefit personally from going greek?
It helps students hook up with an entire network of people who will assist them succeed. It supplies lifelong friendships that matter rather a lot years after school. They be a part of organizations who positively benefit their communities. It provides students a platform on campus and past to use their voice.
Also, the regional and national conferences for each group are second to none. I really like working with college students to get funding for these experiences and implementing how they will deliver it again to campus.
We now stay in a digital world, what do you assume undergraduate chapters throughout all orgs have to do to symbolize themselves on-line in 2019?
They need to showcase the superb things they are doing for the university and local communities. It could possibly’t just be a Greek Flex-Off competitors on Instagram. I share with the students I work with: go and meet city officers in individual and see how one can companion. Tag your local city within the posts you do. Corporations are ALWAYS on the lookout for content material, so why not present them what NPHC chapters are doing?
Comply with official university accounts as nicely and ask to companion on campaigns with them. At Michigan State, we companion with local enterprise and it’s a mutually useful relationship. We showcase the business and our chapters.
Essential: fill out each survey you’ll be able to if you find yourself requested about your scholar experience at your university. As an administrator, I learn every single piece of feedback and create a plan on how we will improve. For college kids of colour, that is essential as a result of your voice issues and you have to be sure to attend the occasions you get invited to from your Fraternity & Sorority Advisor so you possibly can advocate on your group.
Why do you assume Watch The Yard is essential?
It is a newsource. Every time there is a new publish, I get excited and share it with colleagues and students. Or they send me content material they hook up with. Seeing Watch The Yard develop from the start to now…? It has been inspiring. Watch The Yard is an establishment.
It’s a platform for not solely NPHC culture but Black Tradition. The stories Watch The Yard shares usually are not fluff, they inform stories of historical past and highlight HBCUs and extra. In fact there are nice footage however what makes Watch The Yard stand out is that it’s an advocate for the Black Greek group. I’m proud to be an ally of NPHC and Watch The Yard.
What are some initiatives you see the greeks on your campus doing that make you proud?
Michigan State NPHC Presents: Let’s Speak About It
After the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ docuseries premiered on Lifetime in January 2019, Black Twitter at Michigan State blew up. Jordan Claxton, NPHC President, referred to as me and stated NPHC wanted to do one thing. We labored together so NPHC might host an occasion on sexual assault and relationship violence. NPHC collaborated with Michigan State’s Prevention, Outreach, and Schooling division and offered a space for Black students to discuss and study extra about easy methods to course of the docuseries and sexual abuse within the Black group. In NPHC’s Instagram publish where they promoted the occasion they shared: “Too many things are responded to with silence: stigmas behind sexual violence, counseling, how and when to report sexual misconduct and so extra much.” The culture on a campus modifications when the scholars are behind the move.
Sandra Bland Birthday Celebration
It was July 2015 once I was sitting at my desk in my new office on the University of Houston. I noticed on my Facebook feed that folks have been saying ‘RIP Sandy’ and ‘What Occurred to Sandy?’. Immediately, I messaged a childhood pal. She stated Sandy had passed away and they did not know what occurred.
Sandra Bland and her family lived down the house from me. Her sister Sierra is my age. We have been each headed to the Houston area from the Chicago suburbs to work with school students. Much of the work I put into NPHC is to maintain Sandy’s memory alive. With the College of Houston NPHC, we needed to honor her life and created the ‘Sandra Bland Birthday Celebration’. The occasion has occurred since 2016 and Michigan State NPHC also honored Sandra this yr. Sandra’s birthday is February seventh. I problem the NPHC in your campus to tackle this initiative for 2020.
Schooling Abroad Journey: Fraternity Males in Italy
Every spring there is a Schooling Overseas course the place fraternity males go to Italy for spring break so as to do a quick research overseas trip. The purpose of the trip is to see how masculinity seems like in the fraternity world, American society, and Italian tradition. This yr, there have been three members of Kappa Alpha Psi, Certainly one of Omega Psi Phi, and one among Phi Beta Sigma. The guy members have been fraternity members of the Interfraternity Council. We made positive to have a various pool of individuals on the trip and it was exciting to see the lads interact in Italian tradition, art, religion, politics, and style. If you need to have your org represented next yr. Contact me!
Michigan State continues to be recovering from the abuse of a convicted serial youngster molester who was a USA gymnastic staff doctor and labored at Michigan State. I do not say his identify because I am sick of hearing it and will not give him more energy.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the City of East Lansing partnered with Mother and father of Sister Survivors Interact to sign 505 flags for the recognized survivors of the kid molester. The prayer flags are based mostly on the Tibetan custom.
Time was operating out earlier than the dedication ceremony and the final 200 flags wanted to be signed. Mother and father of Sister Survivors Engaged reached out to Michigan State Fraternity & Sorority Life and students from all 4 councils signed encouraging messages on the flags for the survivors. All of this was accomplished in beneath three hours.
The subsequent process was to #ProtectTealFlags in the course of the NCAA Remaining Four weekend, have been Michigan State was enjoying. Fraternity & Sorority Life made a photograph marketing campaign to share with the town and college group to share what they meant and that they shouldn’t be tampered with throughout weekend celebrations. College students all came collectively for this widespread trigger. Conversations and action plans have been shared throughout this course of on how college students can fight sexual violence.
Michigan State NPHC and MGC Presenting at the Affiliation of Fraternal Management Values Central Conference (AFLV Central)
Yamani Vinson (Spring 2019 NPHC Inner Vice President and member of Sigma Gamma Rho), Lee Ann Viera (MGC President and member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.), and myself introduced “Illusions of Inclusion- The Partnership Between NPHC & Multicultural Fraternities/Sororities” to a full room of culturally based mostly Greeks in February 2019.
Right here was this system proposal: “Inside the last decade, there has been a resurgence of civil rights actions highlighting issues plaguing marginalized communities. Although civil injustices have acted as a catalyst for conversations around inclusiveness inside one’s group, the identical has but to occur to enhance inclusiveness of neighboring communities. How can NPHC and Multiculturally based mostly fraternities/sororities work together?
Black and Brown communities might face comparable injustices, it is rare these communities come collectively to dismantle shared considerations. This creates a tradition the place the communities aren’t supporting each other. Primarily, creating an “Phantasm of Inclusion”.
The councils can work to reinforce the quality of the expertise for all minority students. The aim of the session is to deliver this chance to Greek management, domesticate a sense of “ally-hood” for differing marginalized teams (race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+ individuals, low revenue students) and share some occasions/efforts that worked nicely for the Michigan State College.”
What is your favorite thing about your job?
It’s once I see students who’ve graduated and are nonetheless closely concerned with their native chapter or one other chapter of their org. NPHC taught me how necessary it’s to be a lifelong member. I’ll by no means say ‘I was a member of my fraternity’. I joined for life and maintain my commitment to my org.
Also, when college students convey me their commencement footage so I can cling them in my workplace. Means the world to me.
What is it concerning the NPHC and MGC greek group at your school/college that makes it unique/special?
Michigan State is the only faculty within the Huge 10 that has all 9 chapters. We love that. All of our chapters are thriving.
Delta Sigma Theta, Epsilon Epsilon chapter crossed 48 ladies into their sisterhood– the most important within the historical past of the Midwest for Delta Sigma Theta.
Sigma Gamma Rho, Gamma Omega chapter started the “No Service, No Strolling” Initiative. Gamma Omega vowed to not step or stroll till every member accomplished 22 hours of group service.
Kasey Coleman, Worldwide Second Vice President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was the Undergraduate Graduation Speaker for the Michigan State School of Engineering. Her speech was titled ‘Engineer Your Future: Designing a Path In the direction of Servant Leadership’.
We at Watch The Yard want to thank Guillermo Flores for taking time to talk on these essential issues.