Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DePauw University

Oh what a night! This has to be one of our best gigs of the semester. This is a beautiful place with stunning buildings, ultra friendly people, top notch services, a cozy Inn on campus and great programs! What more could you ask for in a college campus? Free community bikes maybe? Well, they've got that too and they happen to be appropriately and brilliantly pimped out! Doug Cox, Director of Public Safety at DePauw was our campus host and he made our visit to Greencastle, Indiana an absolute dream (which is why we are now referring to Doug as the official dream boat of the week at DePauw). Doug has loads of experience in public safety and is a visionary and we're not the only ones who think so, his staff was singing his praises like a 4 star choir on Christmas day.
DePauw has a peer mentor program (we had the pleasure of meeting with some of the fine student leaders who run the program) for all incoming freshmen to ensure students are in the know about the many resources, services and activities on campus. What an excellent idea! There's lots of great stuff going on at DePauw and we will be sharing some of it with you on the resources page of the Unite web-site soon, so be sure to check back for more 411 on this great institution.

I can't believe we did not take a single picture at what is now one of our favorite campuses. We are so bad about photos, almost as bad as we are about regular blogging. Well, here's one we copied from the DePauw web-site, just to make this blog entry a bit more visually appealing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rock'n the Red Heels at Mt. Union

We were honored to be a part of Mt. Union's Take Back the Night event and thrilled to have Karen Petko invite us back to campus so soon. Check out the styling event shirts above. We met with with some of the res life folks for a little break out session prior to our program and let me just say, the Mount Res Life Staff is totally in the know when it comes to sexual assault awareness and response. We were impressed with their training materials (which we hope to soon upload to the resources section of and had a super time chatting it up with them. There were students, staff, community members and even city officials at the program tonight. We had a chance to talk with the Mayor during the march around campus. Yes, the mayor was there. Impressive. Mayor Toni Middleton, an incredibly nice man who cares about the city of Alliance and the Mt. Union community. Take Back the Night concluded with a reception in the student union where folks got a chance to chat, reflect and inspire while everyone enjoyed hot apple cider and delicious pumpkin rolls. Thanks for the sassy shirts, tasty apple cider and the Mount hospitality that we have grown to love!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Michigan State University

A quick pic with the Panhellenic sisters and IFC brothers at Michigan State.
Go Spartans!

We had a great time in East Lansing and especially at State! We spoke to more than 700 fabulous Greek students in a gorgeous auditorium tonight and had a chance to visit with our super fly buddy, Chris, IFC President who we met at a Greek leadership conference in 2005. We got to know our new friend and fellow Florida pal, Rick who was of course a wonderful host. These IFC men and Panhellenic women really have it together. Thanks for everything guys and keep on doing lots of good for the Greek community!

Totally l-o-v-e- ing, loving my job! -K

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bowling for Barack

Balls, pins and politics, oh my! Here we are out on the town with some Obama homies at a local bowling center. Last night we went to a grass roots community event in support of Obama. We were proud to show some love for Barack, but more importantly we wanted to take part in the conversation. It's so important to get people talking not only about the election but about issues that matter. Even if you're not 100% sure about what you believe or who you think is the best candidate to call the oval office their own it's okay (a lot of us are confused right now). But you can ask questions, read up on what's going on in this world of ours, and discuss issues and current events with your peers so that when the time comes you are confident in your vote. You are going to vote aren't you? Good!
Really, Becca should be the one writing this blog entry, she has a serious love for all things political, but at the very least I wanted to get the pic of us in our bowling shoes posted! : )
Loving life and loving the lanes,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


While in Mexico we enjoyed some delicious cervezas & margaritas with our pals at a local bar. Good times! We totally appreciated the disclaimer printed on the yard-sized glasses full of alcohol (below). An excellent message for the patrons who were mostly tourists and quite honestly, mostly wasted. We now have more fresh material for our new spring break program which will premiere next semester. Some of what will be covered is alcohol as an emotional lubricant, decoding the language of intoxication such as beer goggles and the walk of shame as well as sure fire tips to make sure that you and your friends have a great time you will never forget and still get home safely. Exciting details and special deals coming soon.
Wait a minute...Does this mean that our time in Mexico is technically a tax write off? Our CPA will be getting a call pronto!

"WARNING-Yard consumption may enhance the appearance of others. We are not responsible."

Adios amigos,

Brothers 4 Change

Below is a recent article that appeared in the SEIFC Sound, a publication for fraternity men in the southeast. We are extremely proud of this article, SEIFC for supporting it's message and the great work being done by our Brothers 4 Change everywhere. We hope you like it and please share this message with others.

Focus*Determination*Hope & Promise

Kelly & Becca

Brothers 4 Change

Kelly Addington & Becca Tieder, Professional Speakers and Co-Founders of Unite for Change

All too often we hear the frightening statistic that 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted while in college. What would you say to a friend, girlfriend or partner who tells you they were sexually assaulted? At some point in every man’s life, someone close to him will likely disclose that they are a survivor of sexual violence and ask for help. More and more men on college campuses today have a friend or partner who confides in them and often they aren’t quite sure how to react. A supportive male presence during a survivor’s recovery can be invaluable which is why it’s necessary to understand the importance of your role in the healing process and to be prepared to respond with care and understanding, as a brother for change.

People who have been sexually assaulted often experience a range of emotions and reactions; no two survivors of assault will feel exactly the same. After an assault a survivor begins a difficult struggle to gain control of their life and to heal their soul. They often have feelings of fear, guilt, anger, loss of control, panic or shame. Sometimes survivors will experience a stage of shock or numbness. They may try to ignore what has happened to them in hopes that the feelings will disappear. Some survivors do not want to talk about the assault and try to forget that it happened. At some point something could trigger the survivor’s memory and the thoughts and feelings of what happened could suddenly reappear. This could happen weeks, months or even years after the assault took place. It’s important to keep in mind that survivors heal in their own way at their own pace.

As a friend, family member or partner, your help during this process is essential. Survivors need a great deal of support and caring as they begin to address and work through this very frightening experience. Remember that your primary role is to be a friend and your support and understanding are important factors in the healing. You are not a counselor, or a lawyer, or a doctor; your friend should turn to professionals for the best information on emotional, legal and medical issues.

Steps you can take to help:

Believe them
Believe your friend unconditionally. Expect a friend in crisis to be confused and don’t criticize. It’s not your role to question whether or not they were sexually assaulted.

Help them explore their options
Don’t pressure them to do what you want to do. Empower your friend! Let them know they are not alone and remind them of available resources (campus counselor, campus or community rape crisis center, women’s center, hospital, police department, peer educators, etc).

Allow them to react
Remember, there are many ways for a survivor to respond after being raped. Don’t ask a lot of probing questions.

No more violence
It’s important to remain calm and as hard as it may be, it’s important to refrain from offering to “hurt the person who did this to them.” Although it’s natural to want to protect your friend, an aggressive reaction is not a good response.

Listen to them
Offer your support and offer your time. Let your friend know that they can talk to you about their experience when they are ready.

Let the survivor be in control
Encourage them, but let them be in control. They decide if they want to talk with someone, press charges, etc.

Encourage them to seek help
Talk about the kind of support they need and keep talking about it because their needs will change as they work through the crisis. If they suspect they have been drugged encourage them to go to the hospital immediately to have a rape kit done and to be tested for drugs in their system.

Seek professional help
Insist that your friend seek help if the crisis escalates to the point of being worried about their safety or long-term well being.

Never blame them
Say clearly and with care, “It was not your fault.”

Get help for yourself
Don’t blame yourself for the feelings you may have after learning someone close to you has been sexually assaulted. It’s important to pay attention to your own needs and express them to your friend and others.

If you are their partner, with their approval, use appropriate touching and language to reestablish their feelings of worth. Gentle touching will help let them know that you understand and respect them. Let the survivor decide when sexual activity should begin again.

After some time has passed you may wonder if the survivor has moved on and no longer thinks about the assault. This is extremely rare. Recovery is a long process. Check in with the survivor to let them know you are there whenever they need to talk about it.

As a friend or partner of someone who has been sexually assaulted you may experience feelings of guilt, fear, anger and helplessness and you might need someone other than the survivor to talk to about your feelings. It’s important for you to get help for yourself too. We recommend speaking with an advocate or counselor. If you choose to talk with a family member or another friend, remember to respect the confidentiality of the survivor. Helping a friend through this can be life changing and this may be a good time to examine your own attitude about rape and to learn more about sexual assault and how it affects us all. If the 1 in 4 statistic does not settle well with you (and we certainly hope it doesn’t) do something about it. You can start by becoming a source for social change. We can change things for the better by communicating and influencing one person or a few people at a time.

Here are some suggestions to help you transform your campus culture-

1. EDUCATE. Learn more about sexual assault and talk with others about what you’ve learned.
2. VALUE. Don’t refer to people as whores, sluts, skanks, etc.
3. LEAD. Be a role model and honestly tell people how you feel.
4. RESPECT. Confront language that promotes sexual violence. (Ex: “She’s nice and drunk.” “Look at that outfit, they’re asking for it.”)
5. CONTRIBUTE. Help raise awareness; it can be as easy as posting a message on facebook or myspace.

As fraternity members and student leaders you vow to carry on the legacy of brotherhood that your founders established long ago and many of you set a personal goal to leave your chapter better than you found it. Why not take it further and make a commitment not only to your chapter, but to your university? As a leader you have an opportunity to influence change, to leave your campus better than you found it. We challenge you to empower your brothers, your sisters and your entire campus community to be a part of the change. Get people talking about issues that matter to you and you’re half way there. Many of the resources and programs for sexual assault awareness and prevention are already in place on your campus it’s simply a matter of partnering with university professionals and other organizations to share the information with your peers and help shape the programs to be even more useful for Greek life and the entire student body.

Students are the most powerful element in changing campus culture and making their community a safer place. As a leader in Greek life you have an opportunity to use your position to make things different, to make your chapter and your campus what you want it to be. Albert Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” What will you do? To learn more about Brothers 4 Change visit or contact Kelly and Becca at

Monday, October 08, 2007

80's Totally Rock!

We just got back from our annual girls trip which turned into an amazing Mexican Fiesta! 5 beautiful days and 4 glorious nights away from the regular hustle and bustle of the world, digging the complete relaxation, endless fun and care-free vibe a cruise to Mexico brings. I love vacation!

We thought we'd share a pic with y'all which happens to be from our tribute to the 80's evening. We thought it would be fun to deem a night totally 80's and strut our hard core throw back fashionista selves all over the ship. I was living life to the fullest rocking a side pony, and beautiful bedazzle dangle rhinestone earrings as well as gorgeous bright blue shadow and a super shimmer pink lip stick. Becca owned her pastel painted lids and fab liquid liner and brought the whole look together with ultra big hair swooped up in what happens to be one of my personal favorite do's from the day, fondly referred to as the snorkel scrunch. Whatever you choose to call it just know that I love it.

I love the 80's and I love our friends. Like totally!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Greek students shift paradigm?

To our fraternal friends and those who love us I hope you enjoy the article below. I think it is an excellent example of leadership. However it is not the story you normally hear about fraternal organizations. Let us know what you think, is this an example of Greek life as you know it?



Associated PressOctober 4, 2007Fraternities Move Away From Party Image


COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The basement of the Sigma Phi Epsilon house at the University of Missouri-Columbia is filled with familiar fraternity icons like a well-worn pool table, stacks of violent films like "Kill Bill" on DVD, and of course, the stench of stale beer. A closer look reveals a much different scene. With the soothing sounds of a "Zen Cafe" CD playing in the background, Sig Ep brothers listen raptly as a campus yoga instructor leads them through a series of contortionist poses during an 8 a.m. workout. Early morning yoga is just one of the changes at the fraternity since the Missouri chapter adopted its "Balanced Man" program in 2006 - just a few years after the university punished the chapter for hazing.

Now, there are trips to the opera, wine tastings and documentary film screenings. And by eliminating the pledging system - a tradition of initiation critics say encourages hazing - new members are treated as equals from the start. "I didn't really feel like the traditional fraternity life was for me," said Tony Brown, a sophomore journalism major at Sigma Phi Epsilon. "I wanted a place I could come into and immediately feel respected."

For years, fraternity pledges were forced to perform menial tasks, memorize arcane fraternity history and willingly submit to verbal and sometimes physical abuse - all to prove their loyalty and devotion to the group. That all changed at the Missouri chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon when the national organization cleaned house last year following the hazing incident in which a group of pledges were told to "kidnap" an unwitting older member - a prank that caused worried onlookers to call campus police. The national group kicked out a dozen members who didn't measure up to their new standards, which include a minimum 2.6 grade point average, said chapter president Keith Ziercher. Another 41 members chose not to return under the revamped system. For the members who remained, skepticism ran high. It was kind of difficult for us," Ziercher said. It's been a hard transition."

After the national purge, membership had dwindled to 32 men at Missouri. But over the past two semesters, another 25 have joined - many attracted by the opportunity to build friendships through mutual respect, not servitude. We have ways of building brotherhood without the fear that goes along with hazing," said Brown. "We can accomplish the same thing."
After decades of wrestling with the stigma and the legal liabilities created by alcohol abuse, cheating, poor grades, hazing and other problems, fraternity leaders across the country are looking to reinvent - if not restore - the ideals of going Greek. t Missouri, four of the 28 traditional Greek fraternities have eliminated pledging. The change isn't new on campus - Lambda Chi Alpha took that step nationally more than three decades ago.

Nationally, programs such as Beta Theta Pi's "Men of Principle," Lambda Chi Alpha's "True Brother Initiative" and the Sigma Phi Epsilon "Balanced Man" effort seek a return to the roots of campus Greek life. Organizers talk of honor, virtue, scholarship, civic engagement and other core values. early 80 percent of Sigma Phi Epsilon's 253 chapters participate in the voluntary initiative, which began in 1992, said Matthew Ontell, who directs the national Sigma Phi Epsilon initiative. Ontell said the changes have helped make Sigma Phi Epsilon the nation's largest fraternity. We're doing our best to destroy the frat boy stereotype," he said. "This is what Greek life is supposed to be about - holding men to a higher standard."

© 2007 The Associated Press.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy October

The month of October bears important reminders and brings national awareness to causes that are both near and dear to our hearts such as Domestic Violence Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, Cyber Security Awareness and Adopt a Shelter Dog month. But did you know that October is also National Go on a Field Trip month? Fun! It’s also National Roller Skating month, Vegetarian month and even Eat Country Ham month. A little bizarre and definitely unique, that’s why we love them! The fall brings much reason to celebrate so please take a field trip, bring along your skates and enjoy vegetarian delights or delicious country ham if you choose. Don’t forget to bring the camera to capture this very special occasion and keep in mind October is also National Photographer Appreciation month...really it is!
Whatever your passion, whatever your cause, bring awareness to others by talking about it!
Happy October friends!