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Fraternity introduces leadership series

By LibMueller
On February 4, 2013

Members of the Greek community at Miami University will have to meet the requirements of the newly developed Community Advancement Program for fraternities and sororities. But the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity (Alpha Delt) chose to go above those requirements by creating a new leadership series.

The leadership series is called the First Thursday Leadership Forum.

Alpha Delt will host the first forum, Taking a Stand: Leadership Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement, in partnership with the Office of Diversity Affairs and the Black History Celebration Committee. It will be held 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Farmer School of Business Taylor Auditorium.

Professor and faculty advisor to the Alpha Delts Rocco Manzo said the leadership series was created to meet the requirements of the Community Advancement Program in a proactive way.

"We decided to take a proactive approach and create a leadership forum that would be open to other fraternities and sororities but also open to all students on campus that would meet the requirements of the program and be interesting and relevant," Manzo said.

The Community Advancement Program, introduced in fall 2012, promotes high standards for the Greek community in five pillars: scholarship and learning, service and philanthropy, community, leadership and values, and brother and sisterhood.

It requires fraternities and sororities to submit chapter plans to the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and devise effective programming for member development.

Manzo said the first forum was timed to coincide with Black History Month in February.

"[In the first forum] we'll learn about leadership," Manzo said. "The lecture focuses on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and how can we learn from them and apply that to our organization today."

Manzo said the leadership series will also promote cooperation among the Greek community and other organizations on campus.

"A couple other goals are to increase collaboration among Greek and other students on campus," Manzo said. "The leadership forum is inclusive of, and can benefit all students on campus."

President of Alpha Delt Michael Schwarz said the leadership series also helps address a problem the fraternity was facing in getting sophomores to attend programs in order to keep the second year exemption for Greek students.

"One of the things I was fighting was trying to find programs that were interesting," Schwarz said. "The guys are going to be interested in what is going to be said at [First Thursday Leadership Forum] as opposed to trying to schedule programs that are just meeting requirements."

Schwarz said he thinks the Alpha Delts will benefit from the series.

"This first program, I don't think a lot of our brothers know about black history... I think the guys will get a lot out of it," Schwarz said. "The second one, 'Kristin's Story,' it's a great life story, it's a real life account, and the one we're working on now with the head coaches, I think the guys will be interested in hearing what our coaches at Miami have to say."

"Kristin's Story" includes a real life account that raises the topic of rape and sexual assault prevention, entitled and co-sponsored by Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault (MARS) and Sigma Pi fraternity. Alpha Delta Phi will host another forum in conjunction with the department of intercollegiate athletics and will present a panel of Miami head coaches discussing leadership.

Manzo said the forum will benefit all students on campus.

"Our goal is to provide relevant leadership experience that all students can take part in," Manzo said.

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