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12 Mount Union Students Attend Summer Leadership Conference

September 25, 2008

Twelve members of the fraternity and sorority community at Mount Union College spent time this summer learning about how to improve both Greek life on campus and their own personal leadership talents this past summer.  The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI)’s purpose, hosted by Indiana University and the North-American Interfraternity Conference, is to inspire and educate the current generation of fraternity and sorority leaders to become dedicated, courageous, principled builders of the future.  UIFI encourages, challenges, and supports fraternity and sorority leaders to create positive change within themselves and within their fraternal communities back home.  

“Knowing that I have the power to help accomplish this is overwhelming to say the least. It can even get a little scary at times,” senior member of Phi Kappa Tau, Alex Koehler, states.   “It wasn't until I was thrown into that unknown water that I learned how well I could swim. Simply put, UIFI made me a better and more dynamic leader.”

UIFI offers participants the chance to explore, define, and enhance not only leadership skills, but also their decision-making skills, commitment to their fraternal experience, and to grow to expect values based action from themselves and those who they lead.  UIFI includes discussions on purpose, courage, leadership, integrity, and vision; as well as hands-on experiences with real-life scenarios to challenge and support these fraternity leaders in this growth and development process.  In addition, it hammers home with student participants that when they join a fraternity organization, they’re now part of a greater community that is counting on them to make healthy, values based decisions with his or her life.  

“I've learned that being part of a Greek organization is more than just your chapter, it's about all of Greek Life across the nation. UIFI motivated me to try new things and not be afraid of what the outcome may be.  In the long run, experience is the main thing that counts, and if you never try, you might be missing the perfect opportunity to do something great. The networking was a huge benefit to me personally, and it helped me realize that I am not alone in trying to better myself and Greek Life as a whole community”, George Kiraly, a junior member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon here at the College, states. 

As a result of the Mount Union students’ participation they are currently designing the curriculum for new member education introducing the concepts from this leadership institute, in concert with an introduction to the fraternal experience, to those who are choosing to join the fraternity and sorority community.  It is the hopes of the UIFI graduates that by starting with the newest members of each of the eight organizations on campus, they can instill in each of them the importance of returning to what their founders intended – being able to demonstrate the values and tenants of their selected organization, as well as benefitting from the holistic and enriching experience that fraternity and sorority can provide during their collegiate experience as an undergraduate at the College.

The students who participated in this conference from Mount Union represented seven of our eight fraternal organizations.  Those participants are Alecia Varner, Jennifer-Lynn Dietzel, Taylor Jones, Katy Zorik of Delta Sigma Tau; Rachael Rose of Alpha Xi Delta; Andrea Bruno of Alpha Chi Omega; Kendall Koons of Alpha Delta Pi; Josh Baker of Alpha Tau Omega; Alex Koehler of Phi Kappa Tau; and Dan DeWitt, Bob Towne, and George Kiraly of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Mount Union College was represented last summer by the following students Lindsay Hayes, Melissa Turk, Lily Szoka, Josh Donnelly, Alison Lampp, and Robert Kocher.

The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) is a association of 72 men’s college fraternities with over 5,300 chapters on more than 800 college campuses throughout Canada and the United States.  The promotion of scholarship, leadership, service, and friendship among fraternity members is the NIC's purpose. Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Nu are members of the NIC.  

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