As the anniversary of Samantha Spady’s death approaches, Colorado State University’s Greek Community is observing the anniversary as a time of remembrance and an opportunity to educate students about the consequences and risks of alcohol.
Since Spady’s death in September 2004, the Colorado State Greek community has made sweeping changes in Greek life.
"The anniversary of Samantha’s death is a time for emotional remembrance, but it is also a time to educate not only members of the Greek community but the entire campus on making healthy life discussions," said Joslyn McGriff, health educator at Colorado State’s Office of Greek Life.
Last fall, members of the Greek community enacted an alcohol-free housing policy which created completely alcohol-free fraternity and sorority living environments. This initiative prohibits the use of alcohol in the chapter houses, regardless of the age of the members.
The alcohol-free housing policy allows the Greek community to focus energy on enhancing the core values of scholarship, brotherhood and sisterhood, leadership, conduct and
service that serve as the foundation of fraternities and sororities.
Two new organizations created within the Office of Greek Life at Colorado State were designed in response to alcohol-related tragedies in the fall of 2004. Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, GAMMA, and Greeks Against Sexual Assault, GASA, consist of fraternity and sorority members interested in educating the Greek community on alcohol abuse and other health and safety issues, as well as providing educational and social programming to encourage members to make healthy and safe choices.
Live-In Fraternity Advisors is a pilot program designed by the Office of Greek Life to have live-in fraternity advisors serve as an advisor and liaison for the university and the fraternity. The Live-In Advisors will provide support surrounding achievement of chapter goals related to academic achievement, community service, risk management, policy enforcement and leadership devolvement.
Chapters participating in this program include Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Phi Delta Theta. All three Live-In Advisors are graduate students in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program.
This year, the Office of Greek Life created a program designed to improve and solidify the Greek community with the implementation of the Greek Seal of Approval. This program was developed to encourage the achievement of fraternal ideals of scholarship, brotherhood and sisterhood, leadership, conduct and service.
Every chapter on the Colorado State campus is consistently working to improve Greek life, and the Seal of Approval is one way of celebrating their accomplishments.
The program incorporates a rigorous application process that identifies high performing chapters. The areas examined include scholarship, community service, conduct and member accountability, risk management and new member programming. Each of these areas has a separate application process, and in order to obtain the Seal of Approval, the chapter must obtain a minimum of 80 percent proficiency in each of these areas. Chapters that do not obtain the Seal of Approval are put on a special plan to allow them to achieve proficiency in the future.
To improve and promote healthy lifestyle choices and decisions among members of the Greek community, the Office of Greek Life designed a Health and Wellness Promoter position this fall. The individual in the position is currently a graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program. The Health and Wellness Promoter assists with planning and implementing educational sessions on health-related topics including healthy eating, sexual health, relationships and alcohol and drug use.
The Office of Greek Life is working in conjunction with the Samantha Spady Foundation and the Ace of Spades Project in a wide array of programming efforts. Sam Bam Jam is the first event sponsored by the two organizations. This event will feature local bands in an all-day concert in Old Town Plaza in Fort Collins from 3-9 p.m. Sept. 11.
In addition to working with the Ace of Spades and the Samantha Spady Foundation, members of the Greek community will be passing out cards to Colorado State students with information on recognizing the signs of alcohol poisoning and who to contact in case of an emergency. Greek community members will also be wearing turquoise color ribbons in memory of Samantha Spady.