The Sacred Purpose Blog

Setting the Trend

In the last few weeks, we’ve received a fair amount of feedback regarding individual chapters who are hesitant in hosting events pertaining to certain topics. These members are afraid of other community members believing that they’re guilty of the topic of presentation, and have to put educational programming on as a consequence of some disciplinary action. This may be accurate in some very limited cases, however, setting the trend and confronting social stigmas is what The Sacred Purpose Movement is all about. As Brothers of Theta Chi Fraternity, we have the unique opportunity and freedom to educate our chapter, our campus, and our community about topics that may have gone without confrontation in the past. If you’re familiar with Theta Chi Fraternity’s history at all, you should recall the story of Dale Slivinske and Howard Alter Jr. Since our founding in 1856, it has been our calling to set the trend, lead by example, and confront the issues in front of us with full force and diligence.

With that, we’ve intentionally set mandatory topics to present on for our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety as to help break social stigmas that revolve around sexual misconduct, hazing, and mental health. It’s completely up to our undergraduate members to take on this responsibility and be the organization on campus that the community can rely on for an assisting hand. So when it comes to hosting or promoting educational opportunities that pertain to sexual misconduct, bystander intervention, mental health awareness or suicide prevention, hazing prevention or awareness, take the lead! It’s important to not sit on the side lines but rather get in the game and be the champion for your chapter, your campus, and your community.

In conclusion, many chapters are weary of involving the local police department or the university/college student conduct offices in their activities. We challenge you to reach out to those offices and use them as resources in your educational endeavors. Law enforcement and the student conduct professionals in your community can be tremendous assets to your health and safety related events (it also doesn’t hurt building those relationships while you’re doing something positive for their community!)

As always, if you or your chapter have any questions regarding health and safety related events, do not hesitate to reach out to the International Headquarters and ask for help. We would love to assist you in providing support to your chapter, your campus and your community.

 

Here’s a few reminders-

Don’t forget to contact WellnessLifestyle if your Chapter is interested in the new partnership. Read more about this by clicking here!

Your chapter could be eligible to save $10 per man on next year’s insurance assessment! Read more about this by clicking here!

Good afternoon Brothers and Friends!

It is with great excitement that we announce that The Sacred Purpose Movement has partnered with WellnessLifestyle to bring your chapter some fantastic resources. With this new partnership, Theta Chi Fraternity members are able to design t-shirts that promote health and wellness and earn 10% of each purchase to support wellness-related chapter activities. WellnessLifestyle contributes an additional 10% of each purchase to wellness education at high schools and universities in need of support.

What is WellnessLifesyle and why the partnership?

Launched in January of 2015, WellnessLIfestyle is a mission-driven organization that empowers students to lead change on campus around health and wellness by launching social messaging campaigns to raise funds for peer wellness education and wellness-related activities on campus. WellnessLifestyle and The Sacred Purpose Movement decided to form a national partnership to utilize the audience of both missions and work together to educate collegiate students about safety, health, and wellness. For Theta Chi Chapters, this partnership provides even more resources than before, while providing an opportunity to earn money in the process. For WellnessLifestyle, the partnership aligns with their mission and builds a greater audience to share best practices related to health and wellness.

Here’s how it works:

Step #1: Connect with WellnessLifestyle no later than September 15, 2015 to let them know that you plan to launch a campaign to raise funds for your Chapter!

Step #2: Create a t-shirt design that inspires any one (or more) of the following wellness values: emotional strength, environmental sustainability, diversity and social justice, health social relationships, intellectual curiosity, leadership, leisure and recreation, physical health, spiritual growth, and wise financial decisions.

Step #3: Submit your design and completed application by September 25, 2015 and wait for final approval by the selection committee.

Step #4: WellnessLifestyle will prepare all behind-the-scenes logistics for your 33-day campaign. All campaigns will launch on October 1, 2015.

Step #5: Launch and promote your campaign by word of mouth and via social media, and encourage everyone in the world to purchase your limited edition design and help you raise funds for your Chapter!

Step #6: At the end of the campaigns, t-shirts will be printed and shipped, and each chapter receives 10% of the total sales from their campaign. WellnessLifestyle will match the 10% of the chapter that earns the most – the most successful Theta Chi campaign will double their earnings!

Step #7: Use what you have earned to support education on safety, health, and wellness or other wellness-related activities for your Chapter!

It’s that simple?

Absolutely! Sara Henry founded WellnessLifestyle to inspire wellness as a way of life and empower students to lead change on campus, and her vision is to ensure that all students have access to the wellness resources they need to make healthy decisions now for a lifetime of success and well-being. Chapters earn 10% of each purchase to support wellness-related activities in your organization or on campus, and WellnessLifestyle contributes an additional 10% to wellness education at high schools and universities in need of support.

So what’s the catch?

There isn’t one! It’s really as straightforward as it seems. But, to make sure that everyone is committed to the campaign, WellnessLifestyle asks that each member of participating Chapters to agree to purchase a t-shirt with the Chapter’s design. The minimum t-shirt order required for a campaign to be successful is 36, and the shirts ordered by your Chapter members will count toward this total.

Need more information?

If your Chapter needs more information, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Brandon Younkin, Director of Education, byounkin@thetachi.org

Sara Kathleen Henry, Ph.D., Founder of WellnessLifestyle, sara@wellnesslifestyle.com

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Good Afternoon!

It is with great pleasure that we finally announce a great opportunity for your chapter to save significant money. Starting this academic year your chapter can save up to $10 per man on your annual insurance assessment!

Here’s how:

  1. Your Chapter elects/supports a qualified and motivated Vice President of Health and Safety
  2. Your Chapter recruits and appoints a qualified Health and Safety Advisor
  3. Your Vice President of Health and Safety organizes seven health and safety related events throughout the academic year
  4. Your Vice President of Health and Safety communicates regularly with Director of Education in regards to his progress
  5. Your Vice President of Health and Safety officially reports the final numbers via the Sacred Purpose website
  6. Find a way to purposefully invest the money saved from being on top of your game!

 

If all six of these steps are followed, your chapter will receive a deduction in your annual insurance assessment by $10 per man. It is imperative that your Vice President of Health and Safety report on time and in the correct fashion in order to obtain this discount. You can find the reporting structure via the Sacred Purpose website at www.sacredpurpose.thetachi.org. From the main page of the website, you will find a navigation bar and under the “Resources” tab there is a reporting form.

When all requirements are met and reported, your chapter will receive confirmation from the International Headquarters. In order for the discount to be applied to your chapter’s insurance assessment, all necessary requirements must be met by May 16, 2016. The reduction in dues will be considdered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

If your chapter has any questions regarding The Sacred Purpose Movement, recruiting a Health and Safety Advisor or hosting health and safety related events, please do not hesitate to contact Director of Education, Brandon Younkin at byounkin@thetachi.org or (317) 848-1856.

Good Afternoon!

We hope that your summer has been the best yet and was filled with many unforgettable memories. With the 2015-2016 academic year right around the corner, we thought you might like just a little refresher to get you in the zone! At the conclusion of this blog, we’ll also leave you with a sneak peak of some exciting announcements to come in the near future!

So for our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety, it is your responsibility to set your next term’s Vice President of Health and Safety up for success. With that, it is expected that each chapter host or co-host 7 events with health and safety related topics each academic year. We’ll breakdown what is considered an “event” further on in this post. It is also your responsibility as Vice President of Health and Safety to recruit, train and work with a designated Health and Safety Advisor (click the link to the left to see tips and read about how you could recruit and train your very own advisor.) Finally, as VPHS, it is your duty to report to the International Headquarters when appropriate. This is crucial in measuring our impact on our 150+ host institution’s communities.

So, what is an “event”?

An event related to health and safety sounds vague and hard to understand to some, but it is really just that simple. As Vice Presidents of Health and Safety, you are charged with being the champion in providing educational resources to your chapter, to your campus and to your community. To do this, hosting events seems to be the best course of action.

To host an event, start with a simple idea. Whether that idea be Anti-Hazing Awareness, or Hazing Prevention, or Sexual Misconduct Prevention or Bystander Intervention- you get the idea. A lot of the time your campus will offer resources to these events already. If you think that your chapter would like to be involved with them, reach out to your campus professional who is in charge via email or telephone call. By building those relationships early on in the year, it will set your Chapter up for success in the future. However, you also have the freedom to create an event from scratch! For example, the Zeta Rho Chapter at the University of Kentucky promotes and runs a week-long event educating students about stress reduction called “Shake the Stress Week.” It is highly encouraged to work with or involve other clubs and organizations while hosting your events. Not only does working with other clubs provide your Chapter with more “people-power,” but it also can help with the creativity of the event. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun! With the Vice President of Health and Safety position being only two years old, there is a lot  of room for creativity. It is important to note that the trend you set in your term, will be the trend followed for years to come.

In conclusion, reaching out to other Chapters is always a great idea. From what the reported data shows, there are a 104 Chapters all providing exceptional educational programing in their community. Don’t forget to utilize your most important resource, your Brothers! If your Chapter is stuck and cannot develop an event, please do not hesitate to contact Brandon Younkin, Director of Education at IHQ. His email is Byounkin@thetachi.org.

 

 

 

Psssst: Here’s a look into what will be coming your way in the near future! The Grand Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity has approved of a way for your Chapter to save money on your annual insurance assessment. We will be officially rolling this out in the next week or two, but if you want the “in” on how to save money, it’d be a great idea to start getting ideas rolling for this semester’s health and safety event schedule.

 

That’s all for now! Have a great day.

 

Editor’s note:  This is a guest post from Peter Mulvihill, Epsilon/Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ’78. Pete is the chapter advisor for our Beta Phi chapter at Nevada.  He is currently serving as the Nevada State Fire Marshal. We are grateful for Pete’s expertise and enthusiasm to write a five-part blog series about fire safety.  This is a relevant reminder about the very real dangers of fires in fraternity houses.  Thank you, Pete, for helping to protect our brothers.

 

You don’t want to have a fire, but it happens all the same.  What can you do right now to prepare for a possible fire?

Before the Fire

  • Plan your escape. Know how to get out of every room in the chapter house. Post evacuation maps on the backs of doors to every sleeping room. While you may be comfortable and familiar with the layout of your chapter house, your guests likely are not. Posted evacuation routes will help them get out.
  • Practice your escape. Hold fire drills, at least once a quarter, if not required more frequently by your local campus or fire agency. Fire drills test your fire alarm system and reinforce your brothers’ abilities to react and respond. Make the first fire drill of the year a practice and training session with everyone forewarned.
  • Familiarize your local fire department with your chapter house. Once a year, at the beginning of the school year, invite the local responding fire company to your chapter house for a familiarization tour. This is not a fire inspection! These are the crews that will respond to an emergency at your house. Every fire department “pre-plans” their response to all commercial and multi-residential properties within their district. They learn where all utility shutoffs are located, how to access the roof or attic, and become familiar with unusual or older construction features that may complicate firefighting operations. It is an excellent opportunity to become familiar with them, their expectations, and what they will do upon arrival.

During an Emergency

  • Call 9-1-1! Get help rolling your way first, no matter what the problem is, then assist those around you.
  • Get out and stay out! Once you are out of the house and safe, DO NOT go back in, for any reason. The fire department (you called them first, remember!) has the tools, personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus to survive the fire environment, YOU DON’T.
  • Account for everyone. Make a head count and account for every brother, visitor or guest. Develop a list of unaccounted people and where they were last seen.
  • Only one responsible representative, preferably the chapter president, should talk to the arriving fire department. You will need to update authorities about missing brothers and briefly explain any events leading up to the incident. Stay available for further questions and requests for information.

 

  • After the Emergency
  • Make notifications. Call your alumni advisory board and your housing corporation; they will need to notify your insurance carrier. In addition, call the International Headquarters with details about injuries and/or property damage.
  • Secure the property. The chapter house is a significant asset, protect it from further damage by boarding up broken windows, covering holes in roofs and securing doorways. Insurance company resources can often arrange for professional assistance in securing the property and reducing additional damage claims. When it is safe to reenter, collect valuables, both tangible and intangible, from the chapter house. The fire department will notify you if and when it is safe to go back inside and will formally transfer responsibility for the property back to you.
  • Arrange for temporary housing. This is best done as contingency planning before a fire, flood or earthquake devastates a chapter house. Have a place to go on short notice. Reach out to campus housing authorities and other Greek organizations. Let them know ahead of time what spare capacity, if any, you have to help others if they are in trouble. Community service organizations, such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, are also resources for very brief periods of assistance. Alumni in the area may be a resource or know of resources for longer term temporary housing. Alumni may also assist with immediate needs for clothing and the everyday items that are needed.
  • Rally the troops—rebuild, restore and resume. Get everyone together and continue forward. For serious incidents, arrange for counseling services both as a group and individually as needed. No one is bulletproof, everyone can use a helping hand at some point.

 

Please contact the Director of Education or me if you have any questions.

I hope these several articles have helped make your chapter house just a bit safer.

Fraternally yours,

Pete Mulvihill

State Fire Marshal Division

Nevada Department of Public Safety

Epsilon Chapter/Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ‘78

 

For information and case histories of fraternity house fires, see “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks,” by Richard Campbell, August 2013, published by the National Fire Protection Association, available on their website, www.nfpa.org under research reports, or at this link: http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Research/NFPA%20reports/Occupancies/osdorms.pdf

 

Additional safety tips can be found in the Resource Guide for the Vice President of Health and Safety and at www.nfpa.org/campussafety.

 

Editor’s note:  This is a guest post from Peter Mulvihill, Epsilon/Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ’78. Pete is the chapter advisor for our Beta Phi chapter at Nevada.  He is currently serving as the Nevada State Fire Marshal. We are grateful for Pete’s expertise and enthusiasm to write a five-part blog series about fire safety.  This is a relevant reminder about the very real dangers of fires in fraternity houses.  Thank you, Pete, for helping to protect our brothers.

 

By far the largest cause of fires in fraternity houses is cooking equipment.  Each year, there are approximately 3200 fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks that are caused by cooking equipment.  These fires produce an average of nine injuries and approximately $1 million in damages each year.

Factors leading to cooking fires include:

  • Cooking foods left unattended.
  • Cleanliness of the cooking area, exhaust hood and duct system.
  • Heat source too close to combustible materials.

When cooking meals, pay attention to your duties.  Know what to do and what not to do if a fire flares up on the cook top.  It can make the difference between a charbroiled hamburger and a fire-gutted kitchen.

  • Never pour water on a grease fire! Cover a burning pan with a metal lid or another, larger pan in a sliding motion that pushes the flames away from you.
  • Never pick up a burning pan and move it across the kitchen! Picture the spilling, burning grease spreading the fire across the floor and you!
  • Keep a “K” class fire extinguisher in the kitchen. The common “ABC” type fire extinguishers are ineffective against grease fires. Instead, use a fire extinguishing agent specially designed for the types of grease fires commonly found in kitchens.
  • Keep your cooking area clean. Keep combustible materials away from the cook top where radiant heat, hot pans or flash fires can ignite them. Daily, clean accumulated grease and films from walls, cook tops, removable grease filters and grease hoods. Besides providing less material to ignite, additional benefits include control over food-borne illnesses (your brothers will thank you).
  • Professionally clean the grease hood and exhaust duct at least twice a year, more often if your contractor notices a large accumulation of condensed grease vapors hidden up in the exhaust duct. Use a licensed contractor as they will have the necessary tools and equipment to access all parts of a kitchen exhaust duct system. They provide an insurance bond to protect the chapter from damages due to their activities (or lack of proper activities).
  • Maintain the kitchen hood fire suppression system. Popularly known also by various trade names, such as an Ansul, PyroChem or another system name, these are custom engineered for specific cooking equipment layouts and hazards. Twice a year, a licensed contractor needs to inspect and service the equipment—fusible links in the exhaust hood that will automatically activate the system must be replaced, agent cylinders are weighed to check for leakage, and tanks are hydrostatically tested on longer frequencies. Any relocation or changeout of cooking equipment affects the operation and effectiveness of these fire suppression systems and requires a review and potential modification by a licensed contractor.

So enjoy that burger, but make sure the kitchen is able to prepare another one later.

In our next article, we will discuss heating equipment fires.

Statistics are quoted from “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks,” by Richard Campbell, August 2013, published by the National Fire Protection Association.  The complete report can be found on their website, www.nfpa.org under research reports, or at this link: http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Research/NFPA%20reports/Occupancies/osdorms.pdf

Additional safety tips can be found in the Resource Guide for the Vice President of Health and Safety and at www.nfpa.org/campussafety.

 

Brothers and Friends,

This year was another record breaking year for Theta Chi as it pertains to The Sacred Purpose Movement and our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety. We look forward to announcing the winner of the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award this summer! We would like to announce that Theta Chi Fraternity Chapters all around the world hosted over 335 health and safety related events and worked with over 178 clubs and organizations on their campuses. The data represented below is from the 101 reporting chapters and will continue to rise as we further our communication with Vice Presidents of Health and Safety this summer. The 335 health and safety related events distribute as follows;

Sexual Misconduct Prevention:    71

Alcohol and Drug Abuse:               63

Mental Health Awareness:             43

Nutrition and Well-Being:              32

Stress Management/ Relief:          18

Fire Health and Safety:                   16

Hazing Prevention/ Awareness:   9

Other:                                                 83

This is fantastic news as it represents the continued success of The Sacred Purpose Movement and the dedication of our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety around the world. As we continue our communication with the Vice Presidents of Health and Safety we will keep the numbers of events updated.

With the summer months upon us, it is important to start planning your campus outreach before the academic year commences. We have set a goal for our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety to execute over 550 events for the 2015-2016 academic year! It is important to keep in mind that when electing your chapter’s Vice President of Health and Safety that there are requirements and obligations that he must meet throughout the year. Those requirements and obligations include recruiting and training a Health and Safety Advisor, holding seven health and safety related events throughout the year and communicating regularly with the International Headquarters.

We will continue to provide top-notch education for our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety at our Mid-Year Leadership Conferences and various other educational events held throughout the year. We hope to see you there and stay tuned throughout the summer for the announcement of the winner of the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award. Together, we can make 2015-2016 another stellar year!

If your chapter has not yet been in communication with Director of Education, Brandon Younkin, yet, now would be the time to do so. An example of the reporting structure is included below for your convenience.

  • Number of events:
  • Seven
  • Topics:
  • Alcohol Abuse, Sexual Misconduct, Fire Health and Safety, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, Nutrition, Physical Exercise and Fitness.
  • Organizations benefitted or involved:
  • MADD, Active Minds
  • Health and Safety Advisor Contact:
  • Ben Hill, 317-848-1856, ben@thetachi.org
  • Health Center Coordinator Contact:
  • Justin Jones, 317-848-1856, jjones@thetachi.org

 

Brothers and Friends, it’s officially Mental Health Awareness Week 2015! Take a minute this week and see what kind of programming your campus community is offering…and participate! If you haven’t already noticed all of the educational programming your campus hosts for it’s students then this week is the week to do it. In honor of MHAW, I would like to share with you all a post from former Director of Health and Safety Programming, Shawn Bennett, as he showcases one of our Brother’s stories. Read below to find out more!


Editor’s note: The article below was originally posted by Shawn Bennett on September 3, 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8rAP1kEJug&feature=youtu.be

People’s stories have a way of touching our heart. At one time or another we have all experienced it. We have been moved by a story that inspires, teaches, and molds us. In this short video, the Vice President of Health and Safety from our Beta Iota chapter at Arizona does just that. He touches our heart.

He courageously reveals his life with depression. But, as you will hear, his story has a redemptive quality to it. He shares about receiving a wonderful gift from his Fraternity and his chapter brothers who helped improve his depression and elevate his life. They were there when he needed them the most.

His story reminds us that there are brothers who are in need. They may be suffering in silence, and at first glance, it may be difficult to easily recognize them. But, they are there.

In the spirit of our Sacred Purpose movement, this real story calls us higher. This story calls us to look up, look out, look beyond, and look again. What do we see? Do we see a brother in need? What are we being called to do?

That brother wants us to see him. He needs us to hear his story. And, he hopes that we will step forward and play a role in his life.

 

 

It’s not every day that you see a video on YouTube that accurately explains or upholds the values and virtues of your Fraternity. However, Brother Aaron Corrigan-Heyes shared a video with us of his chapter, Delta Theta/ University of Toledo, introducing The Sacred Purpose Movement to their campus. Earlier this year the Delta Theta Chapter experienced a tragedy that inspired them to generate this video.  We look forward to seeing your passion unfold as you make the University of Toledo campus a better place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Founder’s Day!

Today, Brothers, we celebrate one hundred and fifty nine years as a social fraternity. At Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont, Arthur Chase and Frederick Norton Freeman started the Theta Chi Society. The Theta Chi Society was the first Greek Lettered organization formed at Norwich University. Through our rich history we have a story and history that is incomparable to many. Today though, Brothers, we ask that you embody everything that Arthur Chase and Frederick Norton Freeman envisioned that this Fraternity would forever be.

Stand up and lead! When you walk past that piece of garbage on campus that seemingly lingers from quad to quad, pick it up. When one good deed goes undone on your campus, do it. When one organization needing support, goes unattended, support it. Forever remember our Motto, “Alma Mater First, Theta Chi for Alma Mater.” Live out our Sacred Purpose. Today is your day to shine as a Theta Chi Fraternity Brother!

Happy 159th Founder’s Day!

Viva la Theta Chi!

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