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Essentials E-Publication

Essentials is a monthly educational e-publication provided to AFA members to explore selected topics. Editions seek to start conversation around the way we approach our work and to illuminate innovative ways of pushing the fraternal movement forward. Editions are typically published on the second Wednesday of each month from February to November. Please note that pieces included in Essentials provide various perspectives across the field of fraternity and sorority life, and thus may not be reflective of the policies or positions of the Association.

 

Leadership

The Essentials Editorial Board plays an important role in the Association’s Strategic Plan and ongoing efforts to provide excellent resources and services to members.


2017 Editors

Christine Lowe, #AFAEssentials

Amne Harrington, University of Delaware

 

2017 Editorial Board

Jessica Ashton, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity

Lindsay Wright, University of Cincinnati

Tiffany Dennett, Bowling Green State University

Annalise Sinclair, Presbyterian College

Michael Giacalone, Rhode Island College

Vigor Lam, Cornell University

Caitlin Dobson, Loyola University New Orleans

Vance Pierce, University of Illinois at Chicago

Charles Andrean, Northwestern University

Emily Mitch, Elon University

  

Subscriptions

Members of the Association receive Essentials as a benefit of membership.

 

Submissions

The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors welcomes articles for Essentials that serve as catalysts for further exploration and discussion on topics relevant to the fraternal movement. Articles published in Essentials are meant to be starting points for further discussion by the AFA membership. While the articles are not meant to be lengthy, they should be thought provoking and applicable to the daily practice of at least a large portion of the AFA membership. Click here to view the submission guidelines.

 

Previous Issues (more)

Vol. E Issue 01 - Essentials February 2016

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Free speech: the students we work with at times love it, hate it, demand it, oppose it, definitely use it, and sometimes abuse it. Regardless of how we feel about free speech, it has shaped our campuses and our organizations. The authors in our first Essentials edition of 2016 explore the pitfalls and the possibilities of how we can leverage our work with students to help them develop confidence in using their voice for good, while utilizing those same lessons ourselves. Read on, and then use your voice to let us know what you think! #AFAEssentials
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Morehouse - Reflections on Speaking Freely PDF (76.26 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Shaak - Student Media & Fraternal Organizations PDF (78.71 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Decker - #FreeSpeechMatters PDF (69.56 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Campbell - Anonymous Free Speech PDF (69.35 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Ramkissoon - Scream Queens: Sparking Dialogue PDF (83.07 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 02 - Essentials March 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Boos - Earth Rising PDF (211.26 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Zunick - Beyond the Red Door PDF (62.87 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Anhorn - Always Hit “Reply All” PDF (54.93 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Sohor - Finding Your Place in a World Full of Men PDF (47.46 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Paponetti - Know Better, Do Better PDF (62.12 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Martinez - You Forgot ‘Gender’ in the Roll Call PDF (69.36 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 03 - Essentials April 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Mitch - A Pep Talk for FSL Professionals PDF (68.39 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Crawford - Afraid? Afraid of being too awesome. PDF (66.35 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Cruz - A Pep Talk for FSL Advisors PDF (67.78 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Jones - The Time is Now PDF (231.98 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Shaak - Kid President Approach to Risk Management PDF (109.58 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
D'Alfonso - Changing Perspectives on BBQ Sauce PDF (65.04 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 04 - Essentials May 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Kearns & Steele - All Hands on Deck PDF (61.56 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Bureau - CAS Standards and Planning PDF (74.2 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Benfield, Wagner & Stephens - Strategic Planning PDF (66.27 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Robinson - Not Just a Survey PDF (128.51 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 05 - Essentials June 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Shaak - Recruiting & Retaining Student Veterans PDF (103.3 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Shaak - Home Away from Home PDF (113.95 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Scancarella - Working with Commuter Students PDF (87.83 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Kenney - Finding My Home PDF (47.28 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Huelskamp - Alumni Initiate PDF (57.12 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Hill & Hall - Two Year vs. Four Year, True Impact PDF (60.56 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 06 - Essentials July 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Fischette - I'm a Headquarters Professional, but PDF (77.6 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Furlow - I Went Pro, but Not In Sports PDF (43.88 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Jolly - I'm First Generation, but I'm Not my Guilt PDF (57.58 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Lancaster - I'm An Alcoholic, but I'm Not a Drunk PDF (74.44 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Khampha & Phoumivong - We Are Asian American PDF (72.34 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Sinclair - I Have a Mental Illness, but ... PDF (64.67 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Fuller - I’m a Sorority Woman, but ... PDF (75.12 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Bielaska - I’m Unmarried, but I’m not an Old Spade PDF (56.52 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 07 - Essentials August 2016

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What if?
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Whittier - Value of the F/S Advisor PDF (39.84 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Templeman & Abels - Health & Wellness Lens PDF (62.63 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Pettitt - Sharing the View PDF (59.78 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Pacileo - Cross Council Relationships PDF (40.79 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
McRee - What if I'm the Problem? PDF (273.63 KB) Administration 8/17/2016
McMillen - Direction, Renewal & Testing Assumption PDF (97.6 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Greene - What if CBFOs Didn't Exist? PDF (76.65 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Doctor & Martin - What if NPHC Ban on Pledging ... PDF (71.93 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Bielaska - What if my chapter was virtual? PDF (39.47 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Bergeron - Learning in Fraternities & Sororities PDF (57.79 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Bailey - Properly Conduct Service Learning PDF (192.14 KB) Administration 8/16/2016

Vol. E Issue 08 - Essentials - September 2016

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This edition comes at a time when many of our communities are in the midst of planning for or wrapping up recruitment, which is essentially a huge marketing effort. Others of us are beginning to think about how to market new programs, leadership opportunities, and even job openings. Marketing and public relations might not be a duty that comes to mind immediately when we think of our jobs, but it is a critical component influencing how our students and colleagues view our programs, communities, and selves. The authors this month share different ways to think about marketing and public relations from a variety of perspectives. Share your own ideas using #AFAEssentials!
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Ressl - Three Elements for Successful Marketing PDF (55.51 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Frendendall - Consideration Guide for (Re)Branding PDF (59.8 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Urban - Does Local Mean Less? PDF (48.1 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Shade - 4 Steps to Creating a Marketing Movement PDF (68.08 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Voll & Fischette - Inspired By or Ripped Off? PDF (94.35 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
McPherrin - Maintaining Your Brand Integrity PDF (74.41 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Mattson - Marketing: The Cool Way to Do PDF (79.32 KB) Administration 9/13/2016
Barnes - Transparency and the Potential Cost PDF (65.54 KB) Administration 9/12/2016

Vol. E Issue 09 - Essentials October 2016

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In honor of AFA’s 40th anniversary, the Essentials editorial board wanted to recognize those articles that have significantly impacted our own personal development over the years. Thus, this “Best Of” edition was born. Several of our editorial board members have nominated their favorite articles: those they’ve printed and kept in their offices, those they’ve shared with colleagues, and those they’ve referred back to throughout the years. Below you’ll see their reason for nominating each article. We hope you enjoy re-reading them as much as we do!
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Whittier - What if Alumni/ae Volunteers Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Maxwell - Start Conversations that End Hazing Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Cromwell & Cole - How Cultural Competence Shapes Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Levy - What if Assessment Advanced Our Practice?  Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Zimmer - Women May Not Be the Problem Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Arrowsmith & Tran - Title IX Empowers Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016

Vol. E Issue 10 - Essentials November 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Bureau - Together Forward 2004 Presidency Review PDF (150.47 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Case - The More Things Change, The More They ... PDF (105.2 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Miller - From the Desk of The President Elect PDF (118.87 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Miranda - Leadership is Hard PDF (115.22 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Moore - A Reflection from the Current AFA Presiden PDF (111.17 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Pendleton - Time and Change Will Surely Show… PDF (118.6 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Shinn - A Call to Action PDF (130.12 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Tootle - Reflections on AFA’s Founding Years PDF (129.03 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Whittier - Reflecting on Change PDF (117.86 KB) Administration 11/7/2016

Vol. E Issue 11 - Essentials December 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Pierce_Dec 2016_Advisor.pdf PDF (112.26 KB) Administration 12/12/2016
Pacque_Dec2016_Researcher.pdf PDF (381.09 KB) Administration 12/12/2016
Mattson_Dec2016_Innovator.pdf PDF (141.08 KB) Administration 12/12/2016

Vol. F Issue 01 - Essentials February 2017

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Seeley - An Election on Empathy PDF (123.27 KB) Administration 2/7/2017
Keller - Be the Fire Supporting Our Students PDF (107.07 KB) Administration 2/7/2017
Dever - Understanding Racial Identity PDF (121.15 KB) Administration 2/7/2017

Vol. F Issue 02 - Essentials March 2017

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As I scrolled through our list of past Essentials articles to find the “further readings” for this edition, I was struck by the amount of vulnerability on display each month in these publications. It’s not easy being vulnerable in the inboxes of 1500+ of your peers, but yet, our author colleagues are courageous enough to take that risk in order to share their insights and better our field. It takes vulnerability to write for this or any other publication, but it is also an immensely valuable and developmental experience. Read on as this month’s authors model the way and share the importance of vulnerability in our work.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Adamec - The Problem With Hiding PDF (112.06 KB) Administration 3/6/2017
McCreary - More than Just a Buzzword PDF (135.21 KB) Administration 3/6/2017
Griffen - Let's Talk About Johnny PDF (105.55 KB) Administration 3/6/2017
Naab - Vulnerability Saved My Life PDF (134.18 KB) Administration 3/6/2017
Fredendall - Modeling A Culture of Vulnerability PDF (125.32 KB) Administration 3/6/2017

Vol. F Issue 03 - Essentials April 2017

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This edition’s authors represent a wide variety of experiences – a recent alumna, a hopeful and excited graduating senior, a development officer, and organization-based professionals – all with different stories or strategies for supporting seniors and recent alumni. One of the many things we are sold as prospective new members joining our organizations is lifelong alumni friendship and career support, but that benefit doesn’t always materialize. How can we capitalize on the energy and passion of our graduating members, including one whose story you can read below, to ensure we aren’t letting mutually beneficial relationships wither? Have thoughts or ideas? Let us know using #AFAEssentials.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Westra & McKenzie: Delivering on the Sales Pitch PDF (138.5 KB) Administration 4/11/2017
Bouska: Five Ways to Engage Young Alumni PDF (110.9 KB) Administration 4/11/2017
Smith: From Programs & Probates to Conferences PDF (117.94 KB) Administration 4/11/2017
Deutsch: 4 Years Made Great - Reflections PDF (109.09 KB) Administration 4/11/2017

Vol. F Issue 03 - Essentials May 2017

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As the academic year comes to an end, many of us are preparing for a transition. Maybe it is our own transition to a new job, institution, or field, or the conscious decision not to make a transition. Maybe instead we are preparing to support the transition of students into and out of their roles. Transition is not always easy, but we may find some guidance in the words of our friends and colleagues. Read on as this month's authors discuss their own transitions and the transitions of students.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Shirley - And Then, We Say Goodbye: Reflections PDF (122.32 KB) Administration 5/10/2017
Murphy - Deciding to Stay PDF (105.44 KB) Administration 5/10/2017
Stanglein - Tales from the Dark Side: I was a FSA PDF (104.89 KB) Administration 5/10/2017
McKeown - Staying Put PDF (125.96 KB) Administration 5/10/2017
Ryan - Timing is Everything PDF (120.8 KB) Administration 5/10/2017
Carnell - Recruitment Counselors and Transition PDF (151.48 KB) Administration 5/10/2017

Vol. F Issue 04 - Essentials June 2017

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This edition’s authors offer a variety of viewpoints on interfraternalism – the role it should play, how to define it, how it impacts our work, and how to improve our practice of it. Interfraternalism may be another buzzword in our field, but it is also touted as a worthwhile quality and is the basis of recognition for awards across many inter/national organizations and campuses. Why is interfraternalism deemed so important yet lamented by many as being challenging to enact? Without relationships, collaboration, and new perspectives, it will be nearly impossible to rise to the challenges facing our industry. We all have a stake in moving fraternity forward, but how willing are we to work together to do so? Learn how some authors have found meaning in working for other organizations beyond their own, how the power of relationships or the lack of validation impacts one’s experience, and how to better practice interfraternalism.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Hudec - An Interfraternal Collection PDF (2.49 MB) Administration 6/13/2017
Schwartz - Advancing Sorority But Not Your Own PDF (120.73 KB) Administration 6/12/2017
King - Define & Practice Interfraternalism PDF (121.55 KB) Administration 6/13/2017
Keller & Brock - Interfraternalism from the Women PDF (106.91 KB) Administration 6/12/2017
Jefferson - Leaning on the Shield: A Page Out PDF (138.38 KB) Administration 6/13/2017
Garcia - La Familia Thoughts on Latinx Interfrater PDF (132.04 KB) Administration 6/12/2017
Ehrmann - Cooperation Wearing Greek Letters PDF (147.34 KB) Administration 6/13/2017
DiRoma - The Tale of Two Ships PDF (132.58 KB) Administration 6/13/2017
Cutler - Partnership, Courage & Interfraternalism PDF (98.22 KB) Administration 6/12/2017
Chatten - Fraternity Recruitment for Adults PDF (127.39 KB) Administration 6/13/2017
Campbell - Forgotten But Not Alone: Finding Solace PDF (106.71 KB) Administration 6/12/2017

Vol. F Issue 05 - Essentials July 2017

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Fear is something I've thought about quite a bit over the last few days, since taking a trip to Cedar Point – a roller coaster filled amusement park in Ohio – over the holiday weekend. Of course the fear of getting stuck on a 300 foot high roller coaster is vastly different from the fear we might face at work, but the way we might handle both of those types of fears is the same. The more I walked around the park putting off riding the one roller coaster I deemed to be the scariest, the more I built it up in my mind as something I couldn't do. But, the sense of accomplishment I felt after following through and riding it anyway increased my confidence. I'm sure lots of us wish our professional fears could be faced as quickly as a two-minute ride, but I guarantee that the sense of accomplishment and increased self-efficacy we'll feel after tackling our biggest professional fears will be much more rewarding. Here's to doing what we don't think we can do!
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Shaak - Social Barriers to Challenging the Process PDF (130.57 KB) Administration 7/11/2017
Bellamy - A Few Thoughts After Reading Thousands PDF (130.94 KB) Administration 7/11/2017
Steiner - Addressing the Burn PDF (166.19 KB) Administration 7/10/2017
Fuller - Professional Fears of Truthfulness PDF (163.85 KB) Administration 7/11/2017
Hinds - Navigating the Intersection of Fear PDF (136.39 KB) Administration 7/10/2017
Walker - The Fears of Being a New Professional PDF (128.18 KB) Administration 7/11/2017
Stephens - NoLetters? NoProblem! Or, is it? PDF (128.23 KB) Administration 7/10/2017
Kahn - Walking On Eggshells PDF (119 KB) Administration 7/10/2017
Evans - Fear: The Truth and The Struggle PDF (119.38 KB) Administration 7/10/2017
Smith - Self-Care for the Selfless PDF (144.94 KB) Administration 7/10/2017

Vol. F Issue 06 - Essentials August 2017

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For many of us, questions guide our interactions with others on a daily basis. It’s not always the easiest or fastest way to reach agreement or share information, but asking questions helps people articulate what they believe, and can ultimately help everyone get to a better place. It is a good practice for us to periodically reflect on the questions we ask and consider whether we are we using the best questions to uncover the most useful information. Read on as our authors share some of their favorite questions.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Wheeler - Questioning the Questioners PDF (126.04 KB) Administration 8/10/2017
Hudson - Undocumented and Greek PDF (205.36 KB) Administration 8/11/2017
Westol - I See We Have a Question PDF (150.71 KB) Administration 8/4/2017
Lugabihl - Time-Tested Questions PDF (118.27 KB) Administration 8/4/2017
Ford & Finley - How to Approach Conversations PDF (169.73 KB) Administration 8/7/2017

Vol. F Issue 07 - Essentials September 2017

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In our line of work, it can be challenging to slow down and focus in on the present. We have multiple constituents who need our attention and a to-do list that never seems to stop. Despite the challenges, our authors make the case for the importance and ease of adding mindful practices to our daily lives. Read on to learn more about simple habits to increase your mindfulness, the science behind mindfulness, and a book to help you on your path to mindfulness.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Rimmaudo - Mindfulness in Five Minutes or Less PDF (121.32 KB)  more ] Administration 9/11/2017
Jabs - Being Mindful in YOUR Path to Peak PDF (148.33 KB)  more ] Administration 9/11/2017
Kamenetsky - Mindfulness in a Nutshell PDF (109.43 KB)  more ] Administration 9/11/2017

Vol. F Issue 08 - Essentials October 2017

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A commitment to social justice is an expectation in our student-centered profession. Native American students are an underserved population we may not often focus our attention on in the fraternity/sorority community. These students face unique challenges that we must seek to understand, just as we do for other populations on our campuses and in our organizations. Explore this month's edition to learn more about the experiences of these members and what we can do to better support and serve their needs.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Whitebear: Indigenous with Greek Letters PDF (151.14 KB) Administration 10/9/2017
McMillian: Native American Students in Higher Ed PDF (139.37 KB) Administration 10/9/2017
Oxendine: A Call to Action PDF (237.31 KB) Administration 10/11/2017
Sasso: Supporting First-Nation/Native American PDF (181.84 KB) Administration 10/9/2017

Vol. F Issue 09 - Essentials November 2017

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Transgender/non-binary inclusion: I can't think of many other topics as significant in our field right now. We've come a long way in just the past few years as far as our collective understanding of the topic and what it means for our organizations, and the conversation is unlikely to stop any time soon. Regardless of where our organizations or campuses stand, we all have the opportunity to examine our beliefs, which may raise some uncomfortable questions at times. Our authors this month raise several questions and offer recommendations of their own. They are offered not as a final word on the topic, but as a jumping-off point for future conversations.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Martinez & skye - Our Nonbinary Voices PDF (143.45 KB) Administration 11/7/2017
Zimmer & Kinney - Beyond the Binary PDF (129.57 KB) Administration 11/7/2017
Hilliard - Active Ways to Make Fraternity/Sorority PDF (225.36 KB) Administration 11/7/2017
Andrean - Men's Fraternities Should Be for Women PDF (170.83 KB) Administration 11/7/2017
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