12.10.02

Phi Delta Theta's withdrawal from the NIC

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Phi Delta Theta leave the NIC?
Phi Delta Theta has been concerned about the focus and direction of the NIC for more than six years. Specifically, we feel that the main focus of the NIC should be to provide services to its member organizations, rather than to individual undergraduates. Over the last decade, NIC has created several outstanding educational and leadership programs such as the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI), IMPACT and Futures Quest which generate substantial revenue for NIC. Unfortunately, as these programs have grown in scope and revenue production, they have become the primary focus of the NIC staff's activities. We feel that the NIC should primarily focus its attention on representing the fraternity movement and acting as an advocate for its member fraternities with university administrators, government, the media, and the general public.

Does this mean that Phi Delta Theta doesn't want to work with other fraternities?
Not at all. We worked with other NIC organizations and NIC board members until the very last possible moment to avoid making this decision because we cherish our interfraternal heritage and we certainly enjoy working to further the cause. We simply felt that we had reached a point where, after many frustrating years, we needed to make a change that would send a strong statement to the NIC and its leadership that we have run out of patience with the slow pace of change.

Why couldn't Phi Delta Theta stay and work within the NIC to make the changes that it feels are necessary?
Phi Delta Theta genuinely wanted to remain in NIC, but we felt that we had exhausted all avenues for change within the NIC framework. Phi Delta Theta members have sat on a variety of task forces and committees whose focus was redirecting the efforts of the NIC toward an advocacy/trade association model. Our decision to withdraw comes after years of effort on our part to bring the organization back toward its founding principles.

Is Phi Delta Theta the only organization that is dissatisfied with the NIC?
No. Kappa Sigma has also withdrawn its membership in the NIC. In addition, throughout 2002 over 10 other groups were engaged in discussions with Phi Delta Theta about leaving the NIC and we know of several that continue to consider withdrawing their membership.

Why didn't more fraternities leave with Phi Delta Theta?
Some groups that considered leaving are newer to the movement seeking to reform the NIC and had not reached a point where they were willing to take a step as drastic as withdrawing. Several groups were reluctant to leave because they have members who are in NIC leadership working to reform the organization. Still others were concerned about being perceived as "renegade" organizations.

Did money play a role in Phi Delta Theta's decision to leave NIC?
Phi Delta Theta has always been happy to pay its fair share to support the NIC. We were proud to be the largest contributor to the NIC's research initiative, contributing $30,000. Phi Delta Theta was certainly disappointed when the House of Delegates voted to increase our dues from $4500 to $14,000 when we were already so unhappy with the direction of the organization.
Does this mean chapters of Phi Delta Theta can't be members of their campus IFC or Greek Council?
We will continue to expect all of our chapters to remain members of their local IFC and we will communicate that message strongly to all of our chapter presidents. While some IFC's may have bylaws that require NIC membership, we feel confident that we can provide language for inclusion in those bylaws that will alleviate those concerns. We don't feel that we should be excluded from IFCs simply because we have removed the letters NIC from our resume.

By leaving the NIC, is Phi Delta Theta trying to force other fraternities to adopt Alcohol Free Housing (AFH)?
No. While we wish that every fraternity would join us in the AFH movement, we respect the right of other organizations to govern themselves as they see fit. Ironically, Phi Delta Theta and the other organization leaving the NIC, Kappa Sigma, have divergent views on AFH. What we share is a common view that the NIC is not focused on providing services to its members.

If Phi Delta Theta thinks programs like UIFI, IMPACT and Futures Quest should not be the primary focus of NIC, what should happen to them?
We feel that those programs could be spun-off, either to an entirely new entity, or be used as a revenue generator by another organization such as the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) or the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA). We want our members to be able to continue to take advantage of these great programs, but not at the expense of the NIC's focus on advocacy for the fraternity movement.

Will this change isolate Phi Delta Theta from other fraternities or from university administrators?
Phi Delta Theta is committed to the principle of interfraternalism and will continue to work with other fraternities through the FEA and other interfraternity associations. Several of our volunteers and headquarters staff are already members of AFA and NASPA and we plan to continue to build relationships through those organizations.


Statement from Phi Delta Theta Fraternity General Headquarters


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