An Explanatory Study of the Institutional Factors Relating to the Quality of Social Greek Letter Societies
Zacker, Terry York
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This exploratory study sought to describe which institutional interventions and/or factors seem to make a difference in high quality Greek (fraternity and sorority) communities. The research provided a descriptive analysis of the institutions which host Greek letter communities identified as promoting the positive ideals of the Greek experience. Through a revised Council for the Advancement of Standards Self Assessment Guide (CAS-SAGR) measurement tool, several factors important to Greek community success were postulated. The institutions were identified by experts familiar with the fraternity and sorority arena (e.g. national executive directors of fraternities and sororities, Association of Fraternity Advisors national board members) as hosting Greek letter communities with chapters which embody the ideals and founding principles ofleadership, service, academic excellence, and character/personal development; and have Greek self-governance systems of high quality. Greek communities from sixteen campuses were selected as those that best represented high quality fraternity and sorority systems. Four individuals at each campus completed the CAS-SAGR instrument. The CAS-SAGR instrument included 14 categories which represented dependent variables in the study. Each category contained several items which asked respondents to rate the importance of the item to their Greek community and how well they accomplished the variable. The data from these surveys were analyzed using Manovas and several correlations based on the independent variables of size and type (e.g. public or private). The results of the Manovas showed no statistical significance for either variable of size or type which suggests more similarities between quality Greek communities. Additionally, Cronbach alphas were applied to the CAS-SAGR instrument to provide an initial screening for reliability. Of the fourteen categories of measurement on the CASSAGR, eleven had alpha scores above .60. The identification and description ofthe 16 institutions, representing varied sizes and types, which host high quality Greek life communities, provides practitioners with prototypes for Greek systems to use when looking at improving their Greek community. The results of this research provide "models" of Greek communities where the founding principles and ideals may be approximating realization.