By Leadership Consultant Bill Morosco (Florida)
Throughout the course of my travels, I have seen some strikingly different sights: the mountains of Utah, the plains of West Texas, the lights of downtown Los Angeles and San Francisco, the beaches of San Diego and the breathtaking views from the Grand Canyon.
But as I began to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) I started to think about what the vastly different chapters in my expansive region had in common. The first things that came to mind of course were our values: Love, Honor and Truth, and our opposition to hazing — those qualities that make us all Sigma Nus. Next came brotherhood, the LEAD program, and the desire to become a Rock Chapter. But one very concerning similarity seemed to follow me from state to state, city to city and chapter to chapter.
Every time I met with a campus Greek advisor the same issue would present itself: IFC. Whether it was in risk management, participation, involvement, philanthropy, or scholarship, IFC was always underperforming compared to Panhellenic, MGC or NPHC.
Lately, this problem has troubled me quite a bit. I’ve continually asked myself, Why? Why do we as IFC men always seem to be the problem, the bad guy, the black sheep? I’ve finally been able to come up with an answer, and unfortunately it’s all around us.
Tradition. Our nostalgic way to relive the times of the past. As Bob Dylan pointed out quite some time ago, “the times, they are a-changing.” And he is right. What you know has become more important than who you know. GPA, diversity, membership development and community involvement have become the focus of Greek communities across the nation. Yet we still see IFC as the late-adopter, being forced into submission by universities and national organizations, clinging to traditions and the days of old. We continue to act like we live in the days when hazing was a way of life, when grades didn’t matter, when respect was given and not earned, when leadership just meant being in the “boys club.”
We have seen time and time again that those who do not evolve face extinction. There are countless examples of old traditions that have needed to change and the ostracism that faced those who refused to relinquish their ways. Our insistence on tradition has made us continue to look back to the past instead of looking forward to the future.
With this, I challenge our chapters to become innovators. Be the trendsetters. Look around your campus, your community and your world and see what needs to change. Be the force of change instead of being forced to change.