FSILG Strategic Plan Focus Groups
These are the notes from a series of focus groups/“visioning” sessions conducted with various stakeholders as part of the FSILG Strategic Plan. Click on any link below to see the notes from that session.
● Learning leadership and life skills
● Lifelong alumni connections
● Community building
● Lots of infrastructure
● System diversity
● Student support system
● Generous alumni
● Sense of institutional entitlement (“alumni will take care of it”)
● National stereotypes
● Poor facilities
● Uneven alumni engagement
● Communicating positive info about FSILG
● Integrating with MIT at all levels
● Freshman friction in leaving dorms
● Public relations at MIT
● Strong leaders (Alum and Student)
● Alumni engagement, career networking
● Keep alumni connected
● Recording aggregate history
● Unique living compared to peer schools
● Engaging long distance alumni (career)
● International alumni base
● 50% of student body is male
● Negative social view of FSILGs
● Boston not wanting FSILGs as neighbors
● Many other opportunities for students on campus
● Aging buildings
● Immaturity of students today :
○ Conflict resolution
● Clustering by gender and race can be divisive
International experience s may divert juniors from leadership roles
● Providing housing services creates a symbiotic relationship with MIT, support from MIT
● Recruitment – retention, changing people’s minds about FSILGs
● Provide leadership experience
● Opportunities for alumni involvement: mentoring, volunteering
● Non-leadership intangibles: life lessons, community building, running meetings, accountability, lasting friendships, personal growth
● Traditions distinct by group
● Support structure: interpersonal, academics
● Risky behavior: drugs alcohol, immature behavior, poor academics
● Internal communication: poor communication between members / alumni / students
● External communication: poor relationship with faculty, between groups, with national organizations
● Inadequate / declining resources: financial and physical plant
● External perceptions and stereotypes.
● Leadership not living up to house values, weak accountability, not maintaining mission
● Old fashioned: traditions are hard to break
● AILG not relevant to unhoused groups
● Gender imbalance: too many male beds / can’t fill male-only housing
● Presence of alcohol in dorms is a disadvantage in recruiting people who are looking for easy alcohol
● Lack of capital planning
● Communication: recruitment, need for social connection, new tools available to make it better / easier to stay in touch remotely, faculty engagement
● Public service: increase interest, better PR, already built into organizational operations, becoming better community citizens
● Increase community size: increasing class size / MIT enrollment, campus dining plan motivates people to move into FSILGs, growing diversity to create / fill more niche markets, develop non-house centered models
● Optimize resource use: expand FCI model of cooperative purchasing into other areas (e.g. maintenance), take advantage of new / under-utilized resources
● Realize what we do well: tell our story with an emphasis on philanthropy and opportunities not present in dorms
● More alumni direct involvement
● Growing competition from dorms: physical plant, increasing emphasis on community
● Declining independence
● Negative community perception, both at MIT and in a broader social context
● Broad social cultural movements: individualism, entitlement
● Behavioral issues, specifically related to alcohol
● Resistance to evolution / change: not knowing how to change
● Physical plant issues and repair knowledge issues
● General economy: alumni contributions, financial weaknesses in houses
Movement to delay rush
● FSILGs act as a support network for students who may otherwise struggle; they provide emotional support, mentoring, academic advice.
● Help hone life skills (conflict resolution, getting along with others, etc.)
● Teach leadership skills
● FSILGs are less expensive
● Parents don’t know enough about how FSILGs are governed or operate
● Recruitment is too stressful, both for freshmen and the members running it; too many things going on; academics and other activities suffer during rush.
● Career networking is a powerful attraction to parents
● Share more about community service and positive things that FSILGs do.
● Parents are a huge resource, if you can reach them.
Negative stereotypes make many parents suspicious / hostile toward FSILGs
● Self Government: Good self-government, Great leadership and self-governance on campus, IFC Judicial committees/ policies, IFC/Panhel, Have Rob use judicial and self- governance systems
● Support: Provides a support network from Day 1
● Self Sufficiency: Foster communities that contribute to the overall development at the undergraduates, Membership involvement, Individual and chapter (self sufficiency), Gives undergrads the responsibility of caring for a house, Fraternity rush and recruitment (Panhel), Provides a substantial portion of the undergraduate housing
● Diversity: Encourages interaction with a diverse group (both w/n house and among houses) -> this is often lost or obscured elsewhere
● Leadership: Provides a living and learning laboratory for undergrads at MIT, Controlled environment to practice leadership
● Lifelong Loyalty: Strong alumni involvement, Inspire a lifelong loyalty to the Institute, Passionate students, staff and alumni volunteers
● FSILG commitments take time away from other activities that a student may wish to engage in.
● FSILG Relationships: Panhel / ILG, Judicial committee/policy, The community can sometimes be single-issue or reactionary, Difficulty of establishing new chapters / saturation, IGC./ILGs often slip below the radar screen
● Risk Management: Chapter Risk Management, Some chapters struggle with internal students and member accountability
● External relationships: Stronger public relations with other communities, Cooperation with Boston City officials, Relationship with city of Cambridge/ Boston especially neighbors and Police
● MIT Admin/Faculty Relationship: Image on campus negative especially in dorm/ housemasters egos, During rush -> dorm pressure and media stereotypes (anti-rush dorm), Greater transparency, Relationship with faculty/admins, Growing anti-fraternity sentiment from some faculty and staff members, Lacking representation from alums/professors from within MIT administration
● Fragmented governance structure: Lack of unity, Inter-chapter cooperation, Unified Student Voice, Inter fraternity cooperation/interaction, Separation between Boston and Cambridge FSILGs, Governing Body – Disengagement from Chapters (no buy-in)
● Alumni Connections: Improve on Alumni involvement/interactions with undergrads, Alumni support, Local Alums in Boston are not involved and could be
● Career: Career/ Professional Development for greek community
● Recruitment: Increased recruitment numbers
● Campus Presence: Larger Greek involvement in leadership activities around other parts of campus, More diverse organization (Atypical Groups)
● Accountability: Education around “tough” topics on campus – hazing, alcohol, sex, etc., Encourage dorms and other student groups to implement better accountability system
● Greek events: Opportunities for greater interaction between chapters, All – Greek/FLG Events (community services, parties, philanthropy)
● Risk Management: Continued poor chapter Risk Management procedures, Risk management definitions / disparity (hazing etc.), Accusations for hazing, Hazing instance in individual chapters (or individual brothers) affecting the entire community
● Stereotypes: National- level stereotypes, Generalization to negative aspect of fraternities on a national level, Recent news items can portray groups in a negative light, Fear-mongering press
● Poor Communication: Miscommunications
● Internal MIT Policies/ outside influence of rervitnant: Loss of self-governance for undergrads, Moving recruitment to spring/into first semester, Misunderstanding of unique fraternity mission at MIT, Overemphasis on legal or economic status of certain groups, rather than self-governing principles that build community, Loss of self governance due to administration involvement, Over zealous advisers (FSILG office), ASA (asymmetric treatment, Dormcon gets preferred. treatment.
Aging Facilities: Aging houses/ facilities need major renovations
● Alumni support
● Financial support from alumni
● Staff support from MIT
● MIT Brand – academic excellence helps image
● Campus community large and small – personality to campus, diverse living arrangements, optimal size is 30-50, living/learning, off campus creates space
● Personal development – responsibility,leadership,interpersonal relations
● Strength of students themselves
● Strong local organizations – systemic diversity
● Outmoded image – animal house / jocular, not adapting, skewed value system
● Unengaged alumni – MIT initiatives, not enough volunteers
● Policy confusion – alcohol reporting, inconsistent policies from different areas, over-reactive policies, self-governance
● Community service – not doing enough system-wide, inconsistent engagement
● MIT community image of FSILGs – dorms, faculty, police
● Physical plant – financial, run down property, houses too close or too far, too many male beds
● Knowledge sharing – united community, best practices, transfer of knowledge, continuity
● In the weeds – focused on minutiae, day to day details
● Rush – tunnel vision re maintaining status quo, timing, money, unwillingness to entertain other models
● Short-term thinking
● Housing – better experience, better meals, better housing, better independent living skills
● Communication / marketing – tell community how wonderful we are, more alumni student interaction
● MIT staff relationships
● Recruitment – other ways to recruit, year-round
● FSILG communication – better internal communication
● MIT community communication – better external communication
● MIT administration – easy for faculty to push for delayed rush because not engaged, paternalism institute, micromanaging student life, foster MIT community rather than fsilg community, not supportive at all, govern by restrictive policies
● Red alerts – alcohol policy enforcement, get in trouble for doing the right thing, another Krueger incident
● Continuity – forgetting lessons learned
● State/municipal threats – laws, stereotypes
● Selling our message – need to communicate positively, licensing, changing regulatory environment
● Social / parties – summer parties more lax, lack of comparable oversight, open parties
● Individualism – too focused on own organization, also within chapters, community fragmentation
● Changing demographics – not self-reliant, unable to make own decisions, physical plant management, technology enables parental reliance
● Dorm concerns – impact of maseeh hall, impact of dining plan, dorm relations, gt along with dorms, REX infighting
● Physical plant – fire egress, summer renters, lawsuits, thefts
● Alumni active relations – lack of respect for alumni, too dependent on specific alums, class warfare, interaction with national organizations and other chapters, bad behavior by undergrads, alumni not local, destructive undergrad members, disruptive member, independence from alumni, alumni don’t understand student perspective
● Self Government:
○ Good self-government
○ Great leadership and self-governance on campus
○ IFC Judicial committees/ policies
○ Have Rob use judicial and self- governance systems
○ Provides a support network from Day 1
● Self Sufficiency:
○ Foster communities that contribute to the overall development at the undergraduates
○ Membership involvement
○ Individual and chapter (self sufficiency)
○ Gives undergrads the responsibility of caring for a house
○ Fraternity rush and recruitment (Panhel)
○ Provides a substantial portion of the undergraduate housing
○ Encourages interaction with a diverse group (both w/n house and among houses) -> this is often lost or obscured elsewhere
○ Provides a living and learning laboratory for undergrads at MIT
○ Controlled environment to practice leadership
● Lifelong Loyalty:
○ Strong alumni involvement
○ Inspire a lifelong loyalty to the Institute
○ Passionate students, staff and alumni volunteers
● FSILG Relationships:
○ Panhel / ILG
○ Judicial committee/policy
○ The community can sometimes be single-issue or reactionary
○ Difficulty of establishing new chapters / saturation
○ IGC./ILGs often slip below the radar screen
● Risk Management:
○ Chapter Risk Management
○ Some chapters struggle with internal students and member accountability
● External relationships:
○ Stronger public relations with other communities
○ Cooperation with Boston City officials
○ Relationship with city of Cambridge/ Boston especially neighbors and Police
● MIT Admin/Faculty Relationship:
○ Image on campus negative especially in dorm/ housemasters egos
○ During rush -> dorm pressure and media stereotypes (anti-rush dorm)
○ Greater transparency
○ Relationship with faculty/admins
○ Growing anti-fraternity sentiment from some faculty and staff members
○ Lacking representation from alums/professors from within MIT administration
● Fragmented governance structure:
○ Lack of unity
○ Inter-chapter cooperation
○ Unified Student Voice
○ Inter fraternity cooperation/interaction
○ Separation between Boston and Cambridge FSILGs
○ Governing Body – Disengagement from Chapters (no buy-in)
● Alumni Connections:
○ Improve on Alumni involvement/interactions with undergrads
○ Alumni support
○ Local Alums in Boston are not involved and could be
○ Career/ Professional Development for green community
○ Increased recruitment numbers
● Campus Presence:
○ Larger Green involvement in leadership activities around other parts of campus
○ More diverse organization (Atypical Groups)
○ Education around “tough” topics on campus – hazing, alcohol, sex, etc.
○ Encourage dorms and other student groups to implement better accountability system
● Greek events:
○ Opportunities for greater interaction between chapters
○ All - Greek/FLG Events (community services, parties, philanthropy)
● Risk Management:
○ Continued poor chapter Risk Management procedures
○ Risk management definitions / disparity (hazing etc.)
○ Accusations for hazing
○ Hazing instance in individual chapters (or individual brothers) affecting the entire community
○ National- level stereotypes
○ Generalization to negative aspect of fraternities on a national level
○ Recent news items can portray groups in a negative light
○ Fear-mongering press
● Poor Communication:
● Internal MIT Policies/ outside influence of recruitment:
○ Loss of self-governance for undergrads
○ Moving recruitment to spring/into first semester
○ Misunderstanding of unique fraternity mission at MIT
○ Overemphasis on legal or economic status of certain groups, rather than self-governing principles that guild community
○ Loss of self governance due to administration involvement
○ Over zealous advisers (FSILG office)
○ ASA (asymmetric treatment, Dormcon gets preferred. treatment.
● Aging Facilities:
Aging houses/ facilities need major renovations
● Panhel structure – proactive with planning, recruitment, interactions
● Support system – academic, personal, unity
● Personal connections / resources – alumni networks, family lines, tight knit
● Values based organizations: accepting community, generosity with philanthropy
● Campus’s involvements – proud to be Greek, good attendance, good publicity, campus spirit during Greek Week
● Sense of community, social life, campus culture
● Transparency communication – forum for concerns, intra-org communication, exec in echoing
● Communication – lack of transparency, under representation, enforcement ambiguity
● Inter-group dynamics – lack of involvement between fraternities and sororities
● FSILG office far away
● Institutional knowledge shortcomings
● Involvement – Disinterested members, too stressed, cliquey, hard to get involved
● Leadership – resistance to change, not empowered to act
● Community – way to buy friends, lack of good will and unity
● Sorority relations – inter-sorority competition, quick to blame each other
● Leadership – lot of positions available
● Alumni networking, growing from / learning from other members, growing alum base from other campuses – whole community together
● Greek community – collaborative events between fraternities and sororities
● Better understanding of file – understand resources available, increase knowledge of judicial process
● Service philanthropy – better publicity
● Extension – add to community
● Orientation reprogramming
● Retention after initiation
● Stereotypes – hazing, in general
● Communication within groups
● Communication between groups
● Bad publicity – The Tech, faculty
● Faculty influence over recruitment
● Misunderstanding what FSILGs are about
● Other communities:
○ Proximity to other universities and residential areas
● FSILG provides support:
○ Provides administrative bufferwith MIT
● Alumni support:
○ Great alumni network
○ Tremendous variety of living option, especially among ILGs
○ Coed living options
● Strong communities:
○ Build unity within organization
○ Particularly tight- knit communities
○ Support structure for students
○ Additional layer of insulation from and support about academic stress
○ Strong communities
○ Continual problems with maintenance, hazing, alcohol, etc. which discredit the FSILG community and contribute to stereotypes
○ Mediocre reputation?
○ Better transportation methods for better travel efficiency
○ Need easier access to information such as tax information and leadership development
○ LGC specific: getting rush interest
○ Publicity making sure the MIT community knows about FSILG living options
○ Lack of interaction between LGC/ Panhel/IFC
○ Community unity
○ Clarity on what “fraternity” means (especially if local)
○ LGC Role (FSILG)
○ Clarity on what LGC roles should be (if any)
○ Lack of activism and interactive in the LGC
● Risk Managements Shortcomings
● Dating relationship gone sour among house members
● Alumni connections:
○ Greater connections between alumni and students and MIT
● Unity and Recruiting:
○ Improve recruiting
○ Communicating between LGC/Panhel/IFC during rush recruitment to help freshmen find the best place
○ Can work together to cohesively improve Student Life
○ IRDF/EOG and other resources to keep FSILG houses in continuous improvement
○ IRDF should release rules for FY before starts, not after ends
● Lack of communication between FSILGs
● Changes to Rush at MIT:
○ Changes to orientation/Rush
○ Rush timing
○ Changes to rush
● Negative Stereotypes / Ignorance of community:
○ Lack of knowledge of FSILGs
○ Existing stereotypes of Greek Life which are no longer relevant or not applicable to all FSILGS equally
Insufficient freshman awareness of ILGs in particular
● FSILGs have tremendous energy and organizational abilities, when they get focused and organized toward a goal
● MIT and IFC judicial process have credibility with city officials.
● Many chapters have a tradition of experiential learning that is very positive.
● Students have demonstrated that they can self-govern and manage community relationships in a positive way when pressed to do so.
● Alumni involvement.
● Lack of consistency, especially over time (especially toward risk management practices).
● Need constant education and outreach on good practices
● Undergrad officers are not in their positions for long enough; just when they are learning the ropes, they are replaced. Constant officer education required.
● We don’t tell our story about all of the positive things we do; need better PR about our service work, etc.
● Lack of officer training; poor delegation of responsibilities; need clearer delineation of responsibility for risk management and community relations.
● Uneven relations with MITCP; some groups are receptive, others are not.
● Some groups are instinctively defensive or react negatively to outreach by Government Relations staff; MIT cannot help resolve problems when it is not involved.
● Lots of leadership skills and opportunities; focus on building leadership.
● How to relate to neighbors, community, and police needs to be better taught; should be part of orientation program.
● FSILGs should hold open houses for their neighbors, so that neighbors get to know them better and learn whom to contact when there is a problem.
● We don’t tell our story about all of the positive things we do; need better PR about our service work, etc.
● Need a program of outreach between FSILGs and MITCP.
● Create an FSILG party space on campus, to reduce friction with neighbors.
● Backsliding on risk management is an ongoing concern.
● Boston neighbors / environs: high-priced real estate, politically active neighbors, low tolerance for noise and other common behaviors.
● Relationship with Boston PD is somewhat tenuous; MIT does not have as strong a connection as it used to.
● Alumni relations
○ Relationships with alumni – many of them reconnect with MIT primarily through AILG organizations
○ Alumni relations
○ Alumni relationships and involvement
○ Alumni connections offer a valuable opportunity for mentoring
○ Alumni involvement
○ Dedicated alumni community
○ Networking and alumni outreach
○ Alumni support
● Self governance
○ Self governance (Judicial especially)
○ We govern ourselves
○ Strong self-governance
○ Self-governing efficient body
○ We insulate ourselves well from outside forces, i.e. Boston Police
● Risk management
○ Risk management compared to national levels
○ Risk management for large events
○ Risk management
○ Helping with risk management
○ Financial support and stability
○ House and finance management
○ Provides a cheaper option for housing
○ Provide tons of leadership opportunities
○ Entrepreneurial spirit
○ Teaching leadership skills to its members
○ We do a good job education first years in how to become better community leaders
○ Develop leadership
○ Strong, dedicated members tend to join
○ Passion of students to be innovative
○ Prepares students for living in the real world
○ Strong leadership
● Community participation at MIT and outside of MIT
○ We rush well
○ Active involvement in campus activities
○ Strong presence on campus
○ Number of students involved
○ We are a large group
○ Strong sense of community, with a large % in an FSILG
○ Good buy-in form the member groups (IFC)
○ Outreach by organization
○ As individual living groups, we do a good job at providing a close-knit community
○ Recruit diverse members from all around campus
○ Providing diverse living groups that foster growth of members
○ Brotherhood support
○ Academic support
● Faculty advisory role
● FCI is good
● Provides and encourages a strong environment for excellence in academics, service and leadership
● Interfraternity relations – fraternities are good at self governance, not great at collaboration, community service currently by group not collaboratively, could be larger scale
○ Interfraternity communication
○ Poor community relationships
○ Making a single cohesive group
○ Relationships between fraternities
○ We are not very together as an aggregate; we do not do that much even if we do have events that have everyone
○ Relationship with admins and faculty
○ Most members of fraternities don’t buy in to the FSILG community but see each fraternity as itself
○ Sorority-fraternity mixers are lackluster
○ Interfraternity events
● “Frat” image – community outreach, have better relations with police department
○ Difficulty recruiting due to national stereotypes
○ Community image (with the rest of MIT students)
○ Public image with regards to alcohol and entertainment-related “activities”
● Risk management
○ Lack of accountability or clear expectations
○ Danger of risk reduction issues causing harm to someone
○ Risk management of small events
○ Realistic education for members on alcohol / mental health issues
○ Boston Police relations
● Internet access
○ Internet access
○ Slow internet in Boston FSILGs
● Cliques in house undermine brotherhood and unity
● Education about mental health and risk management
○ Strong members often committed to many organizations
○ Mental health education and wellness
○ Instability of recruitment numbers
● Weak UA organization
● Lack of fraternity-specific personnel in Student Life
● Thinking that the old ways are always best
● FCI-SLI program is frequently out of date and seems understaffed
● Participation in the IFC seems to be limited even through we have so many members in the community
● Dorm relations
○ Being held to stricter guidelines than dorms
○ Understanding with dorm leadership
○ Relationships with non-Greek student groups
○ Dining’s effect on brotherhood
○ On-campus dining harming new member education by reducing number of times new members visit the house
● Campus outreach
○ Public outreach, advertisement of good things done by FSILG community
○ Campus presence (of whole IFC)
○ Whole-community communication
● Improving recruitment – class size, cost of living increasing –> alt to dorms
○ Increases in enrollment – MIT needs a place to keep all of its new students
○ Cost of living increasing on campus due to meal plans
○ Increasing class sizes
○ Have Rush events during Dorm REX
○ Spring rush
○ FSILGs can use their relative freedom form the restrictions of dorms
● Interfraternal relations – at MIT, and with neighboring schools
○ Intercollegiate fraternity collaboration
○ Inter-Greek social activities
○ Interfraternity social events (block party)
● Neighbor relations – police, BLB, organizations outside MIT
○ The FSILG could hold more functions for those who live in our neighborhoods. Possibly even the BLB and CLB to improve relations
○ Local community relationships
○ Continued collaboration and positive relations with non-MIT groups
○ Greater communication with other groups inside and outside of the MIT campus
● Community service / Philanthropy – Greek Week huge push to fight image, improve community bonding
○ Treating community service projects like we treat recruitment
○ Community service
○ Greek Week needs work
○ Joint community service opportunities
○ IFC-wide community service
○ Unified philanthropy events
○ We could work together more and together do something for a cause
○ Increase awareness of good things done by fraternity men (philanthropy / outreach)
● Student government – UA lost way, make sure organizations working well together
○ Contribute to the Undergraduate Association
○ Could take advantage of dorm organizational restructuring and risk management initiatives
○ UA Restructuring
○ There’s some negative reputation of FSILGs on campus, largely due to cross-rush considerations (i.e. with dorms). With the right publicity campaign, we could reduce this problem
● Communication and resources – AILG, entrepreneurial opportunities
○ Entrepreneurial spirit → great opportunity to cultivate
○ We can share more information to improve each of our living groups
○ We have a large network
○ Using AILG to aid / organize communication channels with students
● Fasten Internet in Boston
○ Faster internet (Boston)
○ Internet access
● Dining – increased price putting freshman in dorms not at house dinners
○ The Dining Plan
○ Dining Plan (affecting recruitment)
○ Dining plan and financial aid
○ Increased on-campus dining decreases new member integration
○ Meal plan threatens the ability for members in dormitories to come have a meal at the house / be on the meal plan
● Campus governance – UA restructuring, strong IFC representation, REX Agreement, make sure dorms keep their end of bargain
○ Unequal UA representation post-restructuring
○ Loss of self-governing independence for the IFC and its members
○ Increases in enrollment → new dorm construction
○ More people want to stay in new dorms like Maseeh rather than live in AILG houses
○ Dorm societies
○ The Dorm REX – FSILG Rush agreement (Dorms never keep their end of the deal)
● Rush / REX – orientation planning committee, make sure admin doesn’t try to move to spring, instead work to preserve current system
○ Orientation “Committees”
○ Being forced to move rush
○ Timing of recruitment
○ Lack of understanding of why rush should be in the fall before classes start
○ Movement of rush
○ Changes to recruitment and orientation
○ FSILG rush being moved?
○ MIT Administration / Spring Rush
● Relations with police, The Tech, neighbors, administration
○ Changing outlook of administration toward fraternities
○ MIT admin infringing on IFC self governance
○ The Police
○ The Tech
○ Housemasters blaming fraternities for all bad things
○ Neighbor relations
● Risk – risk management, irresponsible, JudComm, alcohol, liability
○ Risk reduction dangers
○ Risk Managing
○ Parties being shut down → bad neighbor relations
○ Risk management
○ Partying too hard
○ Lack of understanding of alcohol
○ Reputation based on isolated incidents
○ Continued risk management issues
○ Single incidents threatening the entire community
○ Image inherited form fraternities elsewhere (nationwide)
● Future and vision – make sure that houses are planning for aging infrastructure, finance, capital, lose sight of purpose
○ Aging infrastructure / houses
○ Financial requirement to maintain house
○ Lost sight of purpose
○ A feeling of superiority
Say it’s 20 years from now, MIT has a few hundred million dollars laying around, and MIT is deciding whether to build another dorm or 2 to accommodate FSILG students. And say there’s another incident, perhaps where a student dies at an FSILG. What stops MIT from shutting down the residential function of FSILGs? What value do we add?
● Notifications to RAs
○ The FSILG community is kept well informed about upcoming events so that we, as RAs, know what to expect in terms of noise levels and foot traffic around the houses we live in. Also, we are informed of any criminal behavior on campus so that we can keep our houses alert and prepared to deal with any situation.
○ The party and social notifications previously sent were helpful to keep me (the RA) informed of where students might convene.
● Institutional Resources
○ The members of the FSILG office are very accessible and seem to genuinely care. In case you all don’t hear it enough, you are very appreciated.
○ Resources include the FSILG office staff.
○ Availability of resources for students
○ RA’s provide an extra resource.
○ RAs can help provide some stability and “institutional memory” to organization since they deal with smaller numbers than in a dorm
○ I think that FSILG are provided with an excellent set of tools to take care of the well-being of their students. There is an excellent emergency response network (the Dean on Call is particularly good) and I am often surprised at how fast the information about a student’s well-being is communicated through MIT.
○ There are good guidelines/best practicies laid out by the FSILG office and the AILG for chapters that lead to successful chapters. The accredidation process is also a big strength of the FSILG community.
● Individual Communities
○ Integrated and diverse groups, and an environment that fills the students’ time with (mostly) useful/productive/stress-reducing activities
○ The FSILG is composed of many tight-knit communities. I don’t necessarily think the FSILG community needs to be especially strong, as long as their individual communities are strong. When I was an undergrad here, FSILG meant nothing. What was important was my particular house.
○ So to me, a strength could be a rather hands-off approach to individual houses. I think FSILG sometimes does this well.
○ Individual chapters within the FSILG community continue to be strong and strive for continual improvement. As long as the Greek system continues to produce strong, capable young men and women, it will continue to earn at least some of the respect it deserves.
○ I think each FSILG fullfills its goals of being strong living groups for undergradutes well as individual groups.
○ The FSILG does a god job of creating a welcoming community for like-minded individuals or those that share similarities to the current house members.
○ Without the FSILGs and vibrant dorm culture that MIT has, it would be much harder to convince some people to turn down Stanford, Harvard, and Amherst. I chose MIT over Swarthmore because I saw one of the ILGs and I knew that I had to come to MIT. I came to MIT for the chance to live in an ILG with extraordinary people.
○ In general, I think that students perceive FSILGs as well-balanced small independent communities which are tailored to their personalities and are more “homely” and sociable than dorms.
● Networks / Friendship
○ broad enduring network of MIT brothers , undergrads, alums and brothers from other schools
○ The FSILG community is an extremely powerful network of connections. That’s the strength.
○ build lifelong bonds
○ Establishing close friendships.
● Community Support
○ community is strong
○ The community does a great job at supporting each other and sharing experiences. They foster a sense of community and communal support which is very important in helping individuals in the FSILG’s to cope with the challenges they are facing through MIT and even afterwards. In terms of sharing experiences in the past years I’ve seen more and more sharing of organizational ideas about what works and what doesn’t in running an FSILG between organization.
○ values based organizations have shared goals
○ good jumping off place to build and increase strength of community
● Organizational Structure
○ Hierarchy/chain of command, responsibility structure well-defined and known in case something goes wrong
○ The FSILG community is made up of very intelligent, talented, and caring students–but time is extremely limited. The typical top-down organization of events is appreciated, because it seems that few members really want to organize the details of things.
● Life Skills
○ The FSILG does a great job teaching its constituents life skills often not learned in the dorms and purely academic segments of MIT culture. People involved in the FSILG community learn how to take care of houses and live in community.
○ Some dorms do a good job of providing community for their undergraduates, but as someone who lived in an FSILG and a dormitory, I felt that living in the FSILG taught me much more about myself and made me a better person.
○ FSILGs are a nice alternative option to dorms without the students having to move into apartments: the students learn to live independently whilst still having direct support from the MIT community.
● Support through MIT experience
○ Bolstering the MIT experience.
○ Providing a safe place to grow into adults.
○ The FSILG community does a good job fostering self-motivated community building skills. This ideally results in a strong social support structure with intrinsic rewards for positive and responsible behavior. Unique resources include strong connections with alumni and the simple situation of being a self governing organization. It seems that others perceive the social support system as being the primary strength of fsilgs.
○ Becoming an adult is hard; it is doubly hard when you are trying to make that transition at MIT. Each year MIT invites some of the most brilliant young men and women to travel far away from their families, their friends, and their hometowns to start over in a strange and demanding place. When these undergraduates arrive, they meet people who are smarter than them; they take classes that are more difficult than any they have encountered before; and they try to figure out what they want to do with their lives and who they want to become. It is a stressful experience, and many students go through it alone. FSILGs do a great job helping students through this difficult time. By providing a culture, a community, a home, and brotherhood/sisterhood/coop life, FSILGs give students something that MIT does not — a supportive environment in which they can grow into adults, discover who they are, and receive a world-class education.
○ teaches new members about house community and larger MIT’s larger community
○ upper classes provide support to younger members
○ support of house is a good safety net for members
● We’ve been doing a better job of addressing issues before they become large problems within specific FSILGs and as an entire community. This is due to great programs such as the Accreditation process.
● Presenting the FSILG community in a unified voice to the outside world (both within the MIT as well as the Greater Boston communities).
● For many students, the FSILG community is their first taste of leadership and responsibility to make decisions that directly affect theirs and other student’s daily lives. Such lessons are unable to be taught in classrooms.
● Risk Management & Legal Liability
○ the fact that these are associations of students, they are litigation targets
○ risky behavior of a few can impact the whole
○ risks associated with drinking, even in moderation for underage, make it difficult for alums to get closely involved with students without incurring outsized exposure to liability
○ All houses should be DRY.
○ One day, MIT will realize that the FSILGs are about as useful to MIT as football is to Penn State; it might be a great revenue stream for now and keep the alumni giving donations, but the shady crap that goes on behind closed doors, with group think making it all seem like it’s okay, when in reality it’s cult behavior, is one day going to come back to bite MIT in the ass worse than Scott Krueger.
○ American fraternities and sororities have a very poor reputation and we could do more to differentiate ourselves from the stereotypical FSILG. Perhaps more outreach with neighbors, local law enforcement and similar groups would be useful. Although I have seen some improvement in interactions with law enforcement and fire fighters over the past few years.
● Fractured Community
○ More cross-talk between living groups: study groups, meals and parties seem to be isolated to the individual group I am a part of. The community would benefit from more cross-talk.
○ I think a big weakness is that many FSILGs are strong, but there is not a combined strength in numbers. I do not thing the fraternities especially look out for each other as much as they could. I think a big part of this is because there are so many fraternities.
○ Another weakness is the lack of “togetherness” between FSILGs. I know that the fraternities and sororities have a greek panhel, but ILGs in particular are very isolated from each other.
○ I think FSILG overall cohesiveness could be much better (then again, similar things could be said about all of MIT, all of Boston, all of America. . .). I still get the feeling that some of groups are in a near cold war-like state due to petty conflicts or simply stemming from the stereotype of an opposing group. Perhaps more “forced-mixing” events similar to Greek Week would be helpful.
○ I feel as though the FSILG could use better communication across organizational lines. Individual fraternities remain strong internally, but communication and collaboration between houses continues to be less prevalent than it could be. But even more so, I believe there is very little face-time and communication between groups like the fraternities and the AILG. If you were to ask each Greek man what the AILG is and does when they graduate, I don’t think many could give you an answer.
○ I think the fact that this community is so predisposed to “what are others likely to see as the community’s weaknesses?” shows what the weakness is! We’re like the mafia, with an us vs. them attitude, where we think we know what’s right, yet none of us are trained professionals in social work, education administration, teen/youth/young adult counseling. Who cares what “others” think are our weaknesses? Let’s just worry about what the weaknesses are in general.
● IFC Governance / Infrastructure
○ The FSILG could improve on transparency in JudComm proceedings because it will allow the rest of the community to learn from mistakes and mitigate any risk that they may not be aware of.
○ In the past, and I have no reason to believe this has changed, the IFC governance system has been extremely weak, almost purely due to weak leadership. This is because not enough viable candidates with strong leadership skills attempt to run for the executive positions. The community needs to ask itself, “how can we get our leaders involved?” The students with the right skills and aptitudes are out in the community, but they don’t see the value in involvement.
● Physical Plant
○ The FSILG community could definitely improve on the services it offers for house maintenance. Contractors that have been suggested to us through FCI, suggestions for furniture, and the network overhaul we had four years ago were all somewhat of a disappointment.
○ physical plants need work, who makes sure this happens as undergrads are busy and don’t have the needed skills or time
○ I think that one difficulty that FSILGs have over dorms for example is plant maintenance. Because the FSILG plants are run by the Alumni Corp and maintained on a day-to-day basis, the quality of the facilities varies widely between FSILGs. However, it is very difficult to address this without removing the FSILGs’ independence from MIT.
● Rush / Recruitment
○ Fraternity rush is monetarily inefficient. Money is spent so that current and prospective brothers may meet, mingle, and determine a best fit for all. However, extreme amounts of money are spent on events with more and more drawing power to beat out competitors. A rush spending cap would be very beneficial to the houses financially and perhaps would allow the freshmen would have a more realistic assessment of future events within the house.
○ Perhaps SOME aspects of sorority recruitment could be incorporated in rush as well. It always struck me as odd that the two processes seem vastly different.
● Social Pressure / Independence
○ being off campus gives an idea of independence but may also help support bad decisions
○ Too much social pressure on some students because of the very rich social environment. Some students don’t have the tools/personality to deal with this external pressure, which might be disruptive academically.
○ I believe that the FSILG community is unnecessary at MIT and does very little well. I think the “unique resources” the FSILG community possesses is an ability to create a living group experiment where those who flourish by experimenting with their personalities and leadership skills do so at the expense of the weakest members, who are so detached from MIT that they cannot take advantage of campus resources and drift away in the breeze as a result.
○ thinking about the examples and messages older members are sending to younger ones about the organizational values
○ It is not clear how the relationship with national organizations are particularly beneficial for the fsilg organizations that are affiliated as such. The students do well with sustaining an identity as a community, given the particular academic and civic environment where they study and reside. Others are likely to see the general group behavior of some fsilgs in a negative light, but when the organization’s identity is meaningful and a product of the students’ own introspection, it is apparent that it is positive. Rituals that are a chore and doing things just “because that’s the way we roll” will always lose out over traditions that maintain themselves primarily because they’re that much fun. It’s no secret that people leave organizations because the rituals are a chore. These students are too intelligent and unique to need secrets to bond them together.
● Level of MIT Oversight / Engagement
○ The FSILG community could improve if MIT would decide to support FSILGs rather than slowly letting them die. We’re not dumb. We know that MIT does not want FSILGs to exist but doesn’t have the power to make them disappear overnight. Wealthy alumni would riot if their FSILG closed down. We know that the plan is attrition.
○ Houses should have presentations from MIT student life fulltime employees occurring in the house at least twice a semester. MIT should get off its behind to provide resources where they reach out and have these events in the houses themselves.
○ Maybe don’t be so stringent on the FSILG members. It is far too controlled. Let the houses make their own decisions on how to run things.
○ Let houses be autonomous!
○ The weakness is the over-controlling nature of the FSILG. Every year, the fact there is some huge public fight between the FSILG and a house is ridiculous. Leave the houses alone. Let them operate the way they see fit, unless they are a true danger. And every time something bad happens, stop trying to close down houses.
○ Some people might view the problems as ones that the FSILG can’t control its members. Rather, I think the FSILG should sit back, and let the houses have more control in their own decisions.
● Undergraduates in Charge
○ The FSILG community has all of the weaknesses that you would expect from a community which is run by young, generally responsible, intelligent — but still very young — people. The kids who run the houses are learning how to become adults, how to take responsibility for institutions, and how to be leaders. That’s a messy process — inexperienced leaders are going to make mistakes, especially if those leaders are younger than 25 years old. But the mistakes that these young people make are rarely tragic. The people living in the FSILGs and running them are not drunken buffoons with a destructive streak; they’re extremely intelligent young adults who care deeply about their houses and communities.
○ The FSILG community at MIT is a joke that pretends to allow children to take care of themselves, when in reality it just creates more of a headache for everybody.
● Programming Initiatives & Resources
○ Logistics; it appears there are fewer resources for programming initiatives
○ Poor awareness of resources by the students
● Focus on Houses
○ students are incentivized to spend a lot of their time in their dorm. However, the house environment is most of the time very highly unproductive (to study), especially in the case of shared rooms.
○ some members live in house, and others on campus, how does that effect unity
● Member Engagement
○ Seniors start to “check out”
● Risk management has been and continues to be an issue within the FSILG community, especially the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
● Aging buildings within the community is also a problem insomuch that we are allowing the undergrads to live in houses that are falling apart. Not sure if the model that MIT is trying with Thetas and Pi Phi is much better, but it would be interesting to see an ILG or Fraternity take advantage of a future similar opportunity.
● Inter-FSILG Collaboration
○ Collaborative UROPs could be an interesting way to leverage the friendships and common interests into start-ups… not sure how widespread this idea of multi-student UROPs is, but I imagine that some students would take advantage to work with friends.
○ opportunities include collaboration or group events
○ Maybe we could take advantage of the better community life style we foster and use this to have a positive impact on the on-campus MIT community. Perhaps the FSILG’s could run a large, fun outreach event on campus at some point.
○ There is an opportunity for the FSILG community to be stronger as a group. There could be more interfraternity communications and events.
○ Investing in and promoting collaboration between all the members of the community could do wonders. Due to intense organizational pride and that yearly fist-fight called Rush, Greek men often don’t reach out to other houses for support, fun, and camaraderie. Promoting bonds between these groups (I personally saw and would love to recreate a BBQ held for my and neighboring fraternities using IFC funding that was wildly successful) could inspire friendships that are ready to grow and create a stronger Greek system overall.
○ The organizations’ greatest opportunities are in their ability to put together activities (study sessions, social events, athletic events) that need a decent number of people in order to work well.
○ One of the opportunities could actually be derived from the last threat I mentioned. I think that increasing communications between FSILGs and especially between ILGs could help the ILGs share resources and form a stronger community. I remember that there was a time about 3 years ago (when No6 became an ILG) when there was a push for this sort of community feeling to be built. It worked for about a year and then was lost.
○ I don’t know if it is a good idea to increase inter-FSILGs exposure ans events.
● Interaction with Larger Community
○ I think FSILG could have a bigger impact on the Boston/Cambridge community in general. There is a potential for the FSILG community to aid in philanthropic endeavors in the area and put a good face to the FSILG system in the larger community.
○ I think the FSILG community should try to be more encorporated with other student group organizations, like the UA and ASA. On many other campuses, such as Northeastern, fraternities are able to hold campus-wide events using venues and resources from the university because they are recognized by these types of organizations.
○ FSILG could provide more scholarships. The MIT houses are wealthy, especially the fraternities. FSILG could coordinate many more scholarships.
● Increasing Cost of Living on Campus / Dining
○ cost of living on campus rises with dining options.
○ current students may be more likely to be interested in belonging to FSILGs
● Networking / Alumni Engagement
○ alumni mentorship of undergrads
○ jobs networks
○ entrepreneurial and business starting and growing networks
○ The strength listed above opens many opportunities. What about an FSILG “career fair”? This is an example of something that could be done that adds value to members of the wider community and interweaves the professional world with alumni connections.
○ Anything that can be done to maintain connections between actives and alumni of the FSILG community is extremely valuable. The connections and relationships are what make this community so incredible.
● Community Contraction
○ A few of the traditionally rowdy and/or unruly fraternities have recently been shut down or tamed. I consider this progress for the most part and believe the remaining houses should be reminded with a recent history lesson every so often (perhaps to the presidents to then disburse to their house members) so that these examples will not be forgotten and no more houses will need to be shut down.
● Internal Support Structures
○ having support of upperclassmen makes MIT a better experience
○ strengthening ties between classes and members helps organizations gain new members
○ Another opportunity would be to reach out to freshmen more. I know that ILGs in particular don’t tend to “rush” freshmen as much. However, I think that involving freshmen more into FSILGs (eg having a week or two where they are allowed to live in the house, or even letting them move into FSILGs in the spring semester of freshman year) would also allow them to benefit from the strenghts of FSILGs: they would get a bigger sense of community and feel that they belong – something that a lot of freshmen struggle with.
● Embrace Values
○ I think the opportunity to go from being party houses to houses of culture and appreciation of one’s fellow man is always there. Unfortunately, this generation of youth are geared toward programming an app, getting rich, and then retiring while somebody else deals with the worlds problems. They’re not into the opportunity to improve their fellow man.
● Study Spaces & Resources
○ I think more could be done to increase good study environments and locations (both in number and diversity) at MIT. Some students complain about the current options, while others say that Harvard has better study spaces.
○ Increase awareness of the resources available to students, maybe by demonstrating that usefulness, or marketing them better.
● Risk Management
○ Bodily harm is still a significant threat to the students, especially due to alcohol. PartySafe and similar info-sessions seem to be helpful.
○ Hard core drugs are coming back to campuses across the nation. The Boston area is no different. Hang out in areas where students hang out around Boston (Harvard Sq./Brookline/Allston/etc. Listen to young people talk. Coke and heroin are back, and this time it’s no big deal).
● Policy Confusion
○ Many FSILG rules, especially related to hazing and alcohol consumption, seem extremely strict and somewhat unreasonable. It seems that many of these official rules are on the record simply to protect the MIT image but are not (expected to be?) followed by many groups. It would be nice if the official and unofficial rules could be in harmony, but I can see some need to leave things how they are.
● Desirability of On-Campus Housing
○ convenience of living on campus rises with new dining options.
○ I think the FSILG community is harmed by the modern trend of valuing number of connections over quality. People are hesitant to commit to a smaller community of the campus because they have been trained by the internet age to value number over quality. We need to expose this trend for the farce that it is and help people to realize that in refusing to focus on a specific community they are stunting their own development as individuals.
● Parental Concerns
○ parents are more concerned about what happens to their students when they live off campus
● Alumni Resistance
○ I think FSILGs and FSILG alumni that hit decisions made by panhel and the IFC back should be stopped. These organizations try to enforce best practices and I think it is very undermining when alumni threaten to change donation practices and externship/internship/full-time opportunities in order to get their way for their FSILG.
● Lack of Inter-FSILG Collaboration
○ Also, some places have yet to recover their numbers, a more collaborative environment (between FSILGs) would enable more beds to be filled.
○ I think that the lack of togetherness within the community could also be a threat. By becoming increasingly independent and removed, the ILGs in particular are following paths and goals going in different directions. Increasing collaboration and discussions between ILGs would move their focus into one unified direction; but not doing so could lead to even greater divergence.
○ It gets easy for fraternities to point fingers at others in the community and turn a blind eye towards their own issues (or remain naive).
● Institutional Lethargy
○ MIT forgets about them a lot.
○ For example, why do all the Boston fraternities operate on outrageously slow internet? No one can even do work with that type of connection, and the whole Boston side is so much slower than campus. If anything, we should have better access than campus housing, since they are so close to the academic campus, and it is a trek for the Boston houses.
○ Don’t let the administration neglect the fraternities. I may be preaching to the choir, but we all know that the fraternities especially have incredibly high GPAs (higher than campus housing) and contribute massive amounts of $$ to MIT after they graduate. I wonder if there is a statistic on FSILG income after graduation compared to the campus. I bet that the fraternities especially are much higher than any campus dorm. So since it is an important group, it deserves equal treatment, not lesser.
○ Keep pressuring the administration to give equal treatment to the FSILGs.
● Community Perception
○ The Institute on the whole seems to view fraternities in a skeptical light, in my opinion, and is all too ready to attack them with more vigor for a particular reason than they would a dorm under the same circumstances. The MIT FSILG community needs to continue to put its best face forward when the majority of the rest of the MIT community views the Greek system as members of Animal House.
○ The biggest danger to the FSILG community is the MIT administration. The MIT administration wants us gone, and we know it. Without FSILGs or vibrant dorm culture, MIT would be less appealing to many of us who make/made the place a cool and interesting place to go to school. You would not believe the number of people I’ve met who have told me something like “if MIT didn’t have (my FSILG), I would have gone to Stanford/Harvard/Olin/Caltech/Amherst/etc instead.”
● Alcohol and Society
○ societal uptightness about drinking
○ laws that make it illegal for students to drink prevent the development of widescale programs directed to learning the use of alcohol in moderation
● Freshmen on Campus
○ Freshmen living on campus is harmful to the meaning of living in an FSILG: the freshmen don’t get to experience living in a house until after they have become members!
● Financial Vulnerability
○ The biggest threat stems from financial pressures that can be agnostic to the need to maintain a critical number of responsible members in the community (to motivate and inspire everyone to behave in mutually beneficial ways). It seems that the primary process by which this balance can shift, is when financial pressure to increase numbers causes new-member selectivity to be considerably relaxed. Motivation to just have more rent paying bodies around doesn’t seem to help things. If the viability of the organization were not quite as numbers dependent, and member recruitment was not as focused on numbers, I doubt that we would ever see the good-group->bad/split-group inversion that seems to occasionally occur. perhaps closer financial ties to the university housing system could actually help this?
○ There could be a complacency when everything seems to go right. People start to let their guards down and start to become more lenient on things like risk management. It is especially dangerous when new members come in to a well functioning house because the upperclassmen have worked hard to make it that way, they let things slide, and the house becomes a mess again.
● Member Selection Practices
○ discrimination or exclusion
● The lack of risk management at some houses due lead to potential harmful situations for an organization’s members which can lead to severe repercussions to the community as a whole.
● It seems that we are still not seeing eye to eye with certain members of MIT administration, namely Dean Colombo. We also need to be better advocates of our cause to the MIT faculty members.
● The FSILG suffers from infighting that publicizes events that should be handled behind closed doors. The fraternity system itself is unpopular with the surrounding community, and for good reason. We do not need to be providing them with insights in to activities that they can use against us.
● The FSILG community provides an overall terrific experience to its members that complements and supplements their MIT experience. The FSILG community can (and does) draw on the power of the passionate and engaged students that make up its membership. I’m not sure what non-FSILG members see as the community’s strengths, and I think this is actually an issue that could (and should) be addressed.
● cohesion and community awareness
● cooperation for fundraising events
● FSILG pride
● It’s very diverse, has an important role in the MIT community at large.
● There are a lot of social and academic resources that the FSILG community provides and I think it is in general seen positively by the MIT community.
● creates a tight-knit subcommunity where students feel more comfortable,
● maintain personality and diversity of living options
● welcome new members
● create a presence in the MIT community
● create good bases from which to launch community service/fundraising projects
● has strong central organization
● The image of the FSILG community to non-FSILG members isn’t particularly strong or positive. MIT Faculty, in particular, have a generally negative few of FSILG’s and their influence on student life and academic performance.
● Greek life seems to over-shadow ILGs
● It could improve relationships between organizations within it
● It’s important that we cooperate and collaborate during rush and recruitment, rather than turn on each other in an extremely un-Panhellenic way (which I think is promoted by the strict rules currently in place).
● Others might see our community as somewhat petty, with groups reporting on each other in a vindictive manner, rather than self-reporting.
● We could also increase our interactions with the local community and do more community service as a group.
● visibility of smaller ILG’s
● stereotyping of different FSILG’s
● transparency of policies
● I would love to see the FSILG community take advantage of the service, values, and leadership-focused FSILG experiences at other schools. I’m not sure the best way to build that environment and experience on the MIT campus, but I think it’s something that students are increasingly looking for.
● strong and lasting friendships!
● opportunities to get in touch with alumni
● internship opportunities
● socializing and networking with upperclassmen and alumni
● We should keep up the good work and improve the practical effects we have on our local community.
● building a stronger reputation in the MIT community
● using our numbers for larger service projects
● strengthening academic support services for FSILGs
● Poor risk management, both in terms of hazing and alcohol, threaten the FSILG community and the greater MIT community’s perception of FSILGs.
● Inter FSILG rivalry–playful rivalry is fine, but sometimes it crosses the line
● Our community can be petty and vindictive during recruitment and rush. I think that this is a dangerous trend that needs to change.
● mandatory dining plan inhibits rush events
● Good MIT Staff Support
● Values Based
● RA Program
● NPHC Organizations on Campus
● Build on community and tradition
● Sharing of news/happenings
● Collaboration on campus
● Facilities (aging)
● Good Neighbors
● House Masters Knowledge
● Control of Events
● # of fraternities vs. sororities (demographics)
○ leadership development opportunities
● Institutional Support
○ alumni support/involvement
○ develops interconnected generational relationships
○ Alumni are engaged & organized compared to peer (greek) institution communities
○ AILG and FSILG strong partnership
○ staff / administrative support
○ teaches a unique set of values separate from MIT classroom
● Financial Resources
● Sense of community/connection
○ FSILG members are engaged in the greater community
○ Creates a community for personal and academic support
● Student Interest/involvement
○ strong sorority interest
○ connection to something larger than self
○ highly motivated student population
○ self-evaluation process
○ level of commitment to organization
● Lack of Cohesion
○ not fully integrated with campus
○ ILG has no interconnectedness, unlike the IFC and Panhel
○ lack of engagement in inter/national orgs
○ Clearer role of RA
○ acceptance of others perspective
○ ILG’s/LGC lack of direction and common values
○ lack of consistent accountability and peer confrontation
○ rushed “rush”
○ lack of ongoing education and forums for dialogue for FSILG comm.
● Finance and facilities
○ facilities are identified as core element of FSILG experience
○ lack of houses for women
○ unsustainable financial models, aging infrastructures
○ lack of support for unhoused organizations
● Extra Curricular educational training and development and growth
○ Peer to peer expectations are high
○ Breaking down barriers between other groups
○ Commitment to community-building among FSILGs
○ Take advantage of trends in bystander efforts and community development
○ level of commitment to an organization
○ A committed and dedicated group of people
● FSILG Positive engagement with broader MIT community
○ Inclusion in broader campus community
○ Opportunity for FSILG leadership to understand potential of positive impact of overall community
○ Highlight all positive benefits to the community and individual
○ Participation in campus meal plans
○ Support from housing/facilities
○ KAT model
○ On campus housing summer plan
● Foster relationship with Alumni
○ Invested network of students and alums
○ Availability of AILG resources
○ Young alumni
● MIT Traditions & Uniqueness
○ Strong support (staff and alumni) that can assist in educational opportunities
○ In house training of first year students of house leadership values and developing/utilizing that
● Community building inter/intra organizations
○ Lack of buy-in with national organizations (both alumni and undergrads)
○ unconnected/unresponsive alumni relationships with students in some communities
○ Lack of internal accountability. no one wants to be “that guy or girl”
● Drugs and Alcohol (Risk Management)
○ alcohol use and abuse (would anyone know that we have 2 substance free fraternity houses)
● Housing Implications
○ on campus housing revitalization
○ poor lease terms for sororities
○ the amount of money spent on fraternity recruitment from colonizing
○ $ invested in rush is not sustainable
○ unfounded perceptions as seen by MIT community
○ reputation of negative overwhelms good deeds
○ some groups struggle with being LBGT friendly
○ the groups are viewed as just houses (place to live) and not values based organizations
● Outside Influence perception
○ Global MIT :students study abroad
○ The perceived notion that someone can only be a member of only one community (Dorm vs FSILG)
○ seen as threat by some dorm communities
● Forms Lifetime Friendship
○ True lifetime friendships
○ provides mit undergrads with an incredible bonding experience and a network that will be special to them for the rest of their lives
● Builds loyalty to MIT
○ creating stronger ties to MIT
○ fundraising capabilities
● Help and Support
○ mental health and academic support system (if organization is working properly)
○ providing academic and emotional support to students especially freshmen
● Building life skills
○ fostering leadership
○ creativity and self expression
○ requires self reliance
○ fostering self-sufficiency management skills
○ providing opportunity to learn to live day to day with people of different backgrounds
○ introduces neighbor relations
○ nourishes independence
○ commitment to service
○ community service
● Alumni Relations
○ close cooperation amongst FSILG alumni
○ larger aggregate # of alumni
● MIT Brand & Appeal
○ promotes diversity
○ confederate system
○ big part of MIT’s Uniqueness
○ unique living spaces with character in unique neighborhoods with character
○ short term view
● Physical Infrastructure
○ failing infrastructure
○ need more resources to help manage facilities… not sure undergrads in the generations or alums are getting the job done
○ physical plant
○ I’m concerned that managing some of our crumbling 100+ year old buildings takes too much time away from academics/brotherhood/extracurricular/Etc endeavors.
○ liability-financial criminal
○ high visibility
○ risk management concern and gives a bad reputation
○ image marketing
● Frosh Issue
○ harder to provide support to non-residential freshmen
○ Loss of freshmen living in house weakens bonds to chapter
● Continued relevance?
○ insufficient communication of undergrads with alumni
● Invite Grad Students
○ Graduate School Outreach
● Increase Admissions
○ Increase overall MIT admissions
○ increasing applications/class size
○ limited housing stock
● Opportunity to try new stuff
○ Architecture Labs
○ Practical Engineering
○ Fundraising capabilities
○ persuade MIT to giver greater support to FSILG because it will pay off in giving
● Good Track Record
○ marketing value
○ community can perhaps market its wonderful support system features more
○ appeal to self starters in admissions
● Competitive Advantage
○ low cost/high return social support
○ Job hunting leadership
● Media Stereotypes
○ national organizations destroy the brand through poor actions at other chapters beyond our control
○ Assumption that MIT is like every where else
○ MIT view Vs. diverse view
○ negative media (highlighting negative results)
● Centrality of FSILGs
○ Lowered priority of chapter in students lives due to lack of housing
○ still relevant now that MIT is stepping up its game as far as undergrad living is concerned?
● Real Estate Pressure
○ MIT RE decided to throw us onto the street and put in a biotech startup
○ zero buffer room left for one surviving bad rush
○ mit building mega dorms = steep competition
○ better on campus housing options
● Risk Management
○ party/alcohol atmosphere returns after post-krueger squelching
○ president or administration tired of Fraternity antics starts reducing resources
○ risk management issues
● Cultural Norms
○ national shrinkage of FSILG’s
○ anti-greek sentiment and stereotypes that generally exist outside of MIT
○ increasing cultural disapproval over gender segregated clubs
○ demonization of adolescence
○ corporate focus on removing risk
○ Dining System Reduces Frosh connection to FSILGs
○ Sense of community/belonging
○ Fostering a stronger community than sometimes happens in the dorms
○ FSILG provide sense of community and belonging which is very important in intense, competitive, sometimes impersonal environment at MIT e.g. To get lost in the crowd – FSILG counteract that
○ Networking opportunities
○ Internship/ job connections
○ Networking/alumni connections
● Personal Support:
○ Built-in support system
○ Provide support
○ Helpful to track down a student who might need help
○ Substitute family
○ Social Life
○ Close-knit community of friends
○ Provide housing to MIT Students
○ Living opportunities
● Alumni Mentoring:
○ Provides mentoring connection to alumni
○ Alumni support
● Peer advising
● Life-long Bonds:
○ Build connection to MIT
○ Life long bonds
○ Needs to revise freshman rush – no need for it to happen in beginning of freshman year. Since freshmen don’t live in FSILGs rush does not have to be “pushed” in the fall. Do it in spring?
○ Create filter – may limit what student pursue
○ Better communication with academic site of MIT
● Who are they??
○ Academic integrity issues
○ Encourage academic programs
○ Better training for sororities (social media, image)
○ Train new officers
○ Too much going on – time management issues
○ Living opportunities (pull on people at MIT Dorm vs. FSILG)
○ Be a voice on campus - current don’t see much about it until an issue comes up
○ Members may not connect with resources outside of organization
○ Some still think Animal House
○ Lack of diversity
○ *also – lack of knowledge about diversity
● Reframe (and reenergizing) things through change:
○ This review that is being undertaken provides an opportunity to re-frame fraternities/sororities in positive light
● Opportunity to showcase strengths (academic, etc.):
○ Showcase academics/athletic strength amongst chapters
○ Revise awareness on Resources on Campus (many students still unaware)
● More international connections:
○ Welcoming international/exchange students can help expand the global network of these organizations
● More leadership opportunities:
○ Take leadership roles (assoc. advisors, orientation leaders, student gov. roles)
● Find faculty/ staff affiliations:
○ Find faculty/ staff within MIT affiliated with same national chapter
● Better integration with MIT community:
○ Mixers with not-Greek members (maybe by dorm)
○ Be part of community – contribute -> not just place to live
○ More exposure to diverse (“non-traditional”) MIT residential fraternities & sororities e.g. historically Black. Latino groups
● Visible community service:
○ Good source of info on student experience at MIT
○ Feedback to Admin.
● Alumni with outdated opinions and poor communication skills
● Negative impressions ex. Alcohol, hazing, sexual assault, not the same % as national trends:
○ National trends on alcohol abuse/ sexual assault (MIT different than most schools)
○ Negative residue left from perceptions of fraternities/ sororities of years gone by. Maybe not even true any more but how to counteract these impressions that still linger
○ Possibility that some activity in FSILGS is dangerous to students – lack of adult supervision, adult guidance. Rush activities, small minority are anti-social still, possibly dangerous
● Upperclassmen isolated ex. Role of RA needs to be define for community:
● Faculty misinformed
○ Academics must come first… trying to disagree will only hurt system
● Neighborhood issues
○ Too insular – need to broaden membership to non-residents
○ Fraternities and sororities have a very different than some of the smaller ILGs. How to stress common concerns?
○ Insular nature of very different living environments threatens to polarize groups. How to stress commonality?
○ Isolation – unexposed to other MIT resources
○ Overly aggressive recruiting
○ Pressure to move into may cause members do depledge
● FSILG community (AILG, DSL and Scott Klemm) provide an opportunity to share information and knowledge needed to successfully operate the ILG system. In addition, AILG very successfully paints a picture of alumni involvment with the undergraduates living in our buildings that causes MIT to believe there is a level of supervision greater than that which in fact exists
● Promote spirit of community, friendly competition, respect, leadership skill development
● I think the FSILG community recruits fairly well. I think there are a number of unique resources: large alumni network, campus strength (in terms of number of individuals involved), potential visibility. I am not sure how people external to the community view us (see weaknesses below).
● Provides resources for undergraduates
● Loyalty and support of alumni to his or her living group.
● Leadership development opportunities for members of FSILG.
● Parents appreciate the supportive community the FSILGs create for their children while attending MIT.
● Provide more leadership/learning opportunities to undergrads
● Strong support structure for memebers within a chapter
● Alumni that are well engaged with Chapters and MIT
● Great recruitment tool for MIT (CPW)
● AILG needs to face the reality that MIT will soon require actual supervision and control by alumni house corporations and to begin to have more than “recommnedations” with respect to serious life/safety code compliance matters, and actually require compliance.
● The FSILG undergraduate community needs to recognize that the system exists only because MIT lets it exist and that they are the ones who can improve the system’s reputation and the opinion of the system held by the persons who actually run MIT, the faculty by in large.
● Relationshis with the Cambridge / Boston community.
● Relationships with MIT faculty and Administration
● The FSILG community needs to do a much better job at communicating internally and externally. There are a lot of good deeds done by the FSILG community; however, you only typically see the bad news in the Tech and other media outlets. This needs to change. The FSILG community needs to also focus on collaborating for the mutual benefit and gain of the entire community and focus less on individual efforts.
● Transparency and purpose to undergraduates
● There is a lack of consistency in terns of how each FSILG communicates which its alumni, so the engagement of alumni of each FSILG can be uneven.
● The FSILG needs to be better at engaging alumni from across the country in its activities. Otherwise you are not leveraging the full resources of the FSILG alumni community.
● The FSILG needs to do a better job at communicating all the wonderful things the students and alumni of chapters do to make MIT a better place.
● Little meaningful interaction between chapters, or between chapters and dorms
● On their own, Chapters do not always cosider the long term
● Many chapters are too insular
● The FSILG undergraduate community needs to increase its community service activities and its involvment in campus activities in addition to athletics. It needs to reach out to involve faculty more in its events and living group activities.
● Develop strong Faculty advisorprogram.
● Develop strong Faculty relationships as diners, teas, etc.
● The FSILG system is necessary for the MIT housing system to survive, but this shouldn’t be the only way that FSILGs should be useful to the Institute. I think the FSILG community has a great opportunity to really make some great achievements in the areas of student wellness and well-roundedness in addition to risk management and alumni relations.
● Involvement of alumni from across the country.
● Increased interest of parents in the qualify of student life, as FSILGs play an important role in this area.
● ILGs can encourage their alumni to become more engaged with alumni association (donating time and/or money) which will give them more influence with MIT decision makers
● ILG alumni need to make their concerns heard by MIT regarding its policies that affect ILGs
● More sharing of best practices between chapters
● The growing attitude (sort of a libertarian one?) that one does not have to do anything that doesn’t advance one’s person wants and needs and that one person’s wants and needs trump the long and short term needs and objectives of any organization of which one may be a part, be it a fraternity, sorority, dorm or university..
● Individual bad choices reflect on the ILG and not the individual, thus endangering that partiuclar ILG as well as the system .
● Poor risk management is the greatest risk.
● Alcohol (not just an ILG problem, this is a general student issue)
● Uninformed MIT faculty and admins regarding the benefits of ILGs
● Older physical plants
● Lawsuits from party guests, summer renters, own members, etc.