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Greeks Stay Strong


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A Realistic Alcohol and Drug Education Model

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Greeks Stay Strong

  1. 1. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|
  2. 2. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|1Introduction.Greeks Stay Strong is a teaching model designed to show students in College GreekCommunities how to "party smart" in order to stop alcohol and drug related deaths throughrealistic and practical student engagement efforts.The Greeks Stay Strong model was built with 2 key fundamental principles, a realistic positionand a focus on engagement. The model works because it’s realistic – students do tend to drinkin college, regardless of age, so if they do, we want them to do it in the safest and smartestway. The model also works because it focuses on engagement. When the initiative is lead bystudents, learned using two-way discussion, and practiced with hands-on instruction, theeducation component is different from the day to day lecture style students are used to.The Greeks Stay Strong model was built to be piloted at Michigan State University and adopted,free of charge, by any institution across the country. With a very successful pilot, the model isnow stripped to its raw elements which initially made it successful and effective – ready for anycollege to adopt and implement.
  3. 3. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|2Overview.The Greeks Stay Strong model focuses on 3 phases where sequential chronology isimportant. The phases are meant to be simple, so any institution can adapt it to its ownneeds and culture. Each of the 3 phases is oriented around a different teaching elementwhich helps make the model work. These teaching elements are Personal, Relatable, andUsable.Within each phase description, there is an example of the pilot program’s usage. The modelcan be deviated from this pilot program as needed, however, it’s important to adhere to theoutlined guidelines in order to preserve the essence of model’s efficacy.Resources used in the pilot program can be obtained by contacting the program founders.The Model:
  4. 4. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|3Description:Join Strong is simply about Greek members, together, taking a pledge agreeing toparty smart. By having Greek members take a pledge with their peers, in a way that isfamiliar to them, it instills a personal attachment to the initiative. Rather than forcingmembers to participate in a cause, Greek members will be creating the cause.Learning Objectives: Promote awareness to Greek members about alcohol and drug related deaths andthe Greeks Stay Strong initiative. Engage Greek members in an effort to eliminate avoidable deaths within thecommunity. Increase awareness of Greek unity and strength through a public commitment tokeep one another safe.Time:Month XGuidelines: The pledge should be simple and aligned in value with the Greek Stay Strong pledge:“I pledge to party smart in order to stop alcohol and drug related deaths in the Greekcommunity." The pledge should instill a firm commitment, state a realistic action,explain why the action is important, and identify the relevance to whoever ispledging.o Breakdown: Commitment: “I pledge” Action: “to party smart” Reason: “in order to stop alcohol and drug related deaths” Relevance: “in the Greek community” Members should be allowed to “pledge” in a simple way such as “liking” a Facebookpage, attending an event, signing a public petition, wearing an item of apparel, usinga Twitter hashtag, noting their presence at an on-campus display, etc. A roster of pledges should be public to Greek members as well as the localcommunity Role models and opinion leaders should kickoff the pledging
  5. 5. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|4Pilot program at Michigan State University:The Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils at MSU created a Facebook page in earlySeptember that displayed the pledge and the following phases in the Greeks Stay Strongprogram. Chapter presidents were instructed to encourage their members to “like” the pageto take the pledge. The Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils promoted the Facebookinitiative by having Greek opinion leaders endorse the pledge.
  6. 6. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|5Description:Learn Strong is all about getting together as a Greek community to learn about smartpartying from a relatable presenter. The purpose of this speaker session should be to getGreek members to reflect on their individual party endeavors while learning about how toparty in the safest way. During this phase, popular false rumors should be refuted andtrending social norms should be identified. During this session, Greek members should learnhow to evaluate the wellbeing of their lives, friends’ lives, and future situations and becomeequipped with skills to take improvable action.Learning Objectives: Teach Greek members why it is important to party smart and the ramifications ofreckless partying. Refute harmful false rumors relating to drugs and alcohol while identifying popularsocial norms Empower Greek members to take make the best choices when their friends are notpartying smart.Time:Month X + 1 MonthGuidelines: This phase should enforce a mandatory attendance policy of at least 85% of eachchapter This session should be lead by a public speaker who:o Believes in realistic partyingo Is able to incorporate an interactive dynamic for conversationo Is relatable to the Greek community in: Background Attitude Culture School/Greek Affiliationso Willing to subscribe to the Greeks Stay Strong valueso Excludes a cool, young, and fun persona in order to position him/herself in themost marketable educator role for the initiative
  7. 7. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|6 The speaker should be introduced by a public opinion leadero Examples: Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council Leader Public local community leader School Administrator Greek Life Advisor Influential Greek member Influential student body member During the speaker session “#GreeksStayStrong” should be used to highlight programunity through Twitter At the end of this session the optional third phase should be introduced and thesignup process should be explained.Pilot program at Michigan State University:Michigan State University had Erica Upshaw as the Learn Strong speaker. Erica wasintroduced by the East Lansing Mayor who was introduced by the Interfraternity Council VicePresident of Administration and Panhellenic Council Vice President of Programming. Thesecouncil leaders also briefly explained an overview of Greeks Stay Strong. Erica Upshawspeaks to Greek Communities across the country to share her story of how her brother’s lifecould have been saved by partying smart and empowering friends. Since Erica Upshaw is aformer Greek from a Big 10 University and exudes a cool and fun attitude, she helped makethis session relatable to each member. Erica didn’t ever tell the students not to “party,” orforce unrealistic ideas, she did, however, teach them how to party – but smart. In the middleof Erica’s presentation, she displayed “#GreeksStayStrong” on one of her slides. She askedeveryone in the audience to take out their smart phones and tweet anything at all aboutGreeks Stay Strong using that hashtag.
  8. 8. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|7Description:Stay Strong is the final phase of the Greeks Stay Strong model. This phase is designedto teach the “how” in putting the lessons learned in the first two phases into applicable use.This phase should be optional for each chapter’s leadership to sign up for in order to insurethat all of those who are willing will receive the additional training. This knowledge of alcoholand drug related crisis management will, therefore, be spread throughout the student body.The Stay Strong Phase is about learning how to act when a potential crisis from alcohol ordrug use arises. The session should provide simple steps that are actually useable by anyGreek member at any time.Learning Objectives: Increase by-stander self-efficacy to identify potential crisis situations and to intervenebefore an emergency occurs. Increase by-stander self-efficacy to identify crisis situations associated with alcoholand drug use and to intervene effectively. To illustrate normative expectations and acceptance of crisis helping behavior amongthe Greek community.Time:Month X + 2-4 MonthsGuidelines: This phase should be optional for individual chapters to completeo The phase can be designed so individual members can sign up without theirentire chapter signing up This phase should consist of multiple sessions hosted by a third partyo Examples include: School’s health center Existing education program that is aligned in values with thefundamental Greeks Stay Strong values School’s Greek Life department School’s Student Life department A safe zone should be defined as: No judgment Confidential Any emotions welcome No wrong answers
  9. 9. ||| Noah Berger | Kristen Maddock|8 The Greek Life department should provide proof of session participation through aletter to the chapter’s national organizationPilot program at Michigan State University:Michigan State University’s Olin Health Center, with assistance from theInterfraternity and Panhellenic Councils, hired the MSU Theater Group to write, produce,and direct a video series to guide the third phase sessions. This video series is available byrequest to Rebecca Allen at Individual chapters signed up for thissession in one hour time blocks through an online sign up system. The session included: 5-8 item pre-test Introduction and overview of the session 10 minute video scenario of alcohol/drug overdose with facilitated discussion focusedon crisis assessment, emergency intervention, and possible outcomes. 10 minute video of what occurred before the emergency with facilitated discussionon early “red flags” and intervention opportunities, potential barriers and effectivestrategies for intervening. Closing – using results of one or 2 items on the pre-test will provide information onattitudinal norms among those present related to by-stander intervention. 5-8 item post test – with 6 item evaluation.