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National UpdateNIC Bolsters Health and Safety Standards Nationwide

Despite no-hazing policies and other rules and regulations in place, no campus is safe from the fraternity-related injuries, deaths, and other tragedies that have dominated the headlines in recent years. In response, the North-American Interfraternity Council made some major announcements in 2017 regarding the need for improved safety and health measures for fraternities nationwide and their plan to address said needs.

“Now more than ever, students, alumni, community members, national organizations, and university administrators must come together to create ownership and accountability toward measures for change,” Judson A. Horras, NIC president and CEO, wrote in a December letter. “We know critical issues that are deeply rooted in culture aren’t going to be solved with quick fixes. It is going to take intentional collaboration and comprehensive strategies.”

As part of these efforts to bolster safety, the NIC hired Archie Messersmith, a Sigma Phi Epsilon alumnus, as its first-ever Director of Health and Safety in 2017. He will lead the implementation of the NIC’s enhanced health and safety standards, which build upon already existing prevention efforts and programs. According to the NIC, the framework will introduce:

  • A medical Good Samaritan Policy to encourage fraternity members to contact 911 in any medical emergency situations.
  • Baseline health and safety programming to ensure all NIC member fraternities are providing required health and safety education to all chapters.
  • The Social Safe pilot program that empowers the NIC to work with campuses to remove dangerous hard alcohol from the fraternity experience, provide a more balanced, academic-centered fraternity experience, and foster safer social events for members and guests.

It’s a big job, but Messersmith is up for the challenge. He’s no stranger to addressing important issues on campuses across the country. He spent the previous five years in various roles for Sigma Phi Epsilon, directing member safety, risk management operations, expansion efforts, university partnerships, and alumni/volunteer services and support. Notable accomplishments include leading SigEp’s sexual assault prevention curriculum “Got Consent?” and co-developing the “Live Your Oath” campaign.

“The NIC is embarking on an enormous task of working with not just individual chapters, but entire communities to change the culture from the inside,” Messersmith said in a statement last fall. “I am honored to be standing alongside such a great team at this pivotal time in our industry and excited about the impact our work will have.”

Safe, healthy, and vibrant fraternity communities is what the NIC aims for – and truly believes is possible if students, alumni, administrators, community members, and NIC member fraternities work together.

The Greek Life community is filled with intelligent people who care deeply about the future of fraternities and believe wholeheartedly in its power to shape the lives of young men and create opportunities for them. Their support and cooperation will be critical as the NIC works to improve student safety, eliminate risks, and secure a future for fraternities.

Stay tuned to for other news and updates regarding these efforts.

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