Since 2012, the Fraternity has maintained a process which requires each collegiate member to review the Risk Management Policies annually and to renew the Risk Management Agreement which is signed during Probationary Membership in a process known as the Risk Management Acknowledgement, or RMA for short.
All collegiate members will be expected to complete the Risk Management Acknowledgement process for the 2019-20 academic year no later than Thursday, October 31, 2019 at midnight Central time.
Why Did Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Introduce a Risk Management Acknowledgement Process?
The purpose of the Risk Management Acknowledgement is to educate collegiate members on new or specific areas of risk, to highlight changes to the Risk Management Policies, to assess the level of understanding of the Risk Management Policies by our collegiate members, and for our collegiate members to rededicate themselves to their individual and collective responsibilities for Risk Management.
The campus community is an ever-changing environment, and change comes more rapidly today than it once did. The Fraternity reviews its policies at the beginning of each new triennium and may update the policies at any time in response to new risk areas that are presented. The current version of the Risk Management Policies can be found here, online at www.sinfonia.org/operations/risk-management/ or via the Resources menus on MySinfonia.
While the collegiate membership is the primary focus of our Risk Management education and renewal efforts, all members – Probationary, Collegiate, Honorary and Alumni – are expected to familiarize themselves with the Risk Management Policies of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and adhere to them at all times.
The Intent is Far Greater than “Checking the Box.”
A cursory web search on ‘Fraternity Hazing’ will reveal a dizzying array of news stories highlighting the worst possible outcomes in Greek Life. A flurry of alcohol-related hazing incidents in 2017 and 2018 brought the negative consequences of fraternity hazing to the forefront of public awareness once again, and with the heightened attention came calls to ban Greek organizations outright in some states. Many state legislatures have passed more stringent anti-hazing laws, with additional emphasis on alcohol abuse. There are also efforts to include hazing incidents as a reportable statistic for U.S. colleges and universities being discussed in the U.S. Congress.
Sinfonia has been very proactive in Risk Management, and Risk Management education since the first policies on Hazing and Alcohol & Drug Use was introduced in 1984. The extent to which we can collectively manage risk effectively as a true Fraternity will determine not only our success but our very survival and existence. Our Risk Management policies and educational efforts have been recognized in the Greek world, and are often emulated or copied by other organizations. This commitment to risk management resulted in a small decrease in our liability insurance premium costs in 2018 and led to a lower increase in 2019 than what was common in the market for similar organizations. Your help in reducing the number of policy violations keeps Sinfonia’s per-member insurance fees low, and with concerted effort, may help to lower the overall cost of membership.
Managing risk should be a natural impulse for men who aspire to the Brotherhood ideal. Our policies simply reinforce the fraternal spirit that is emphasized in the Object of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. Risk management is simply taking care of one another, observing the law and resolving not to put another person at risk of harm.
The risks facing our collegiate members are greater today than they have been in many years. Growing statistics on the abuse of prescription medications on campus has led some in the field to dub current high school and college students “Gen Rx.” With feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression rising at alarming levels among young men aged 18-24, incidences of suicide and suicidal ideations are increasing at alarming rates. We are currently experiencing a growing mental health crisis on campuses nationwide, and Sinfonia is not immune.
We Ask All Brothers to Rededicate Themselves to Risk Management, and to Take Care of One Another.
Studies increasingly show that bystander intervention is highly effective in the prevention of risky behaviors. When a Brother misses a class or fails to attend a chapter event, please take the initiative to reach out to him, and make sure that everything is all right. If you see something that you clearly understand to be non-compliant with our Risk Management Policies, speak out, and report the issue. Do not tolerate sexual harassment or sexual abuse. Such conduct is intolerable among Sinfonians, and Sinfonians should stand in opposition to these behaviors, and support any students who may have been subjected to such misconduct.
Risk Management begins with each individual Brother, and can only be successful when we all dedicate ourselves to keeping everyone safe, and preserving our Order for many generations to come.