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Essentials E-Publication

Essentials is a monthly educational e-publication provided to AFA members to explore selected topics. Editions seek to start conversation around the way we approach our work and to illuminate innovative ways of pushing the fraternal movement forward. Editions are typically published on the second Wednesday of each month from February to November.



The Essentials Editorial Board plays an important role in the Association’s Strategic Plan and ongoing efforts to provide excellent resources and services to members.

2017 Editors

Christine Lowe, Sigma Kappa Sorority | #AFAEssentials

Amne Harrington, University of Delaware


2017 Editorial Board

Jessica Ashton, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity

Lindsay Wright, University of Cincinnati

Tiffany Dennett, Bowling Green State University

Annalise Sinclair, Presbyterian College

Michael Giacalone, Rhode Island College

Vigor Lam, Cornell University

Caitlin Dobson, Loyola University New Orleans

Vance Pierce, University of Illinois at Chicago

Charles Andrean, Northwestern University

Emily Mitch, Elon University



Members of the Association receive Essentials as a benefit of membership.



The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors welcomes articles for Essentials that serve as catalysts for further exploration and discussion on topics relevant to the fraternal movement. Articles published in Essentials are meant to be starting points for further discussion by the AFA membership. While the articles are not meant to be lengthy, they should be thought provoking and applicable to the daily practice of at least a large portion of the AFA membership. Click here to view the submission guidelines.


Previous Issues (more)

Vol. D Issue 09 - Essentials October 2015

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Kish & Cohen - Top of the Mountain PDF (95.98 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Prentice - When Worlds Collide PDF (88.97 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Miller - Women in Higher Education Student Affairs PDF (98.72 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Sasso - Exercising ManoPause PDF (104.14 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Robinson - Building Resilience through Transitions PDF (78.24 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Zimmer - Women May Not Be the Problem ... PDF (132.99 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. D Issue 10 - Essentials November 2015

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This issue's theme is Governance.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Heminger - Policy Governance PDF (120.04 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Bryson - You Can’t Impeach Vision PDF (118.57 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Sinclair - The Fallacy of Self-Governance PDF (79.61 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 01 - Essentials February 2016

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Free speech: the students we work with at times love it, hate it, demand it, oppose it, definitely use it, and sometimes abuse it. Regardless of how we feel about free speech, it has shaped our campuses and our organizations. The authors in our first Essentials edition of 2016 explore the pitfalls and the possibilities of how we can leverage our work with students to help them develop confidence in using their voice for good, while utilizing those same lessons ourselves. Read on, and then use your voice to let us know what you think! #AFAEssentials
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Morehouse - Reflections on Speaking Freely PDF (76.26 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Shaak - Student Media & Fraternal Organizations PDF (78.71 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Decker - #FreeSpeechMatters PDF (69.56 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Campbell - Anonymous Free Speech PDF (69.35 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Ramkissoon - Scream Queens: Sparking Dialogue PDF (83.07 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 02 - Essentials March 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Boos - Earth Rising PDF (211.26 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Zunick - Beyond the Red Door PDF (62.87 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Anhorn - Always Hit “Reply All” PDF (54.93 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Sohor - Finding Your Place in a World Full of Men PDF (47.46 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Paponetti - Know Better, Do Better PDF (62.12 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Martinez - You Forgot ‘Gender’ in the Roll Call PDF (69.36 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 03 - Essentials April 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Mitch - A Pep Talk for FSL Professionals PDF (68.39 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Crawford - Afraid? Afraid of being too awesome. PDF (66.35 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Cruz - A Pep Talk for FSL Advisors PDF (67.78 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Jones - The Time is Now PDF (231.98 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Shaak - Kid President Approach to Risk Management PDF (109.58 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
D'Alfonso - Changing Perspectives on BBQ Sauce PDF (65.04 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 04 - Essentials May 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Kearns & Steele - All Hands on Deck PDF (61.56 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Bureau - CAS Standards and Planning PDF (74.2 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Benfield, Wagner & Stephens - Strategic Planning PDF (66.27 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Robinson - Not Just a Survey PDF (128.51 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 05 - Essentials June 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Shaak - Recruiting & Retaining Student Veterans PDF (103.3 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Shaak - Home Away from Home PDF (113.95 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Scancarella - Working with Commuter Students PDF (87.83 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Kenney - Finding My Home PDF (47.28 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Huelskamp - Alumni Initiate PDF (57.12 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Hill & Hall - Two Year vs. Four Year, True Impact PDF (60.56 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 06 - Essentials July 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Fischette - I'm a Headquarters Professional, but PDF (77.6 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Furlow - I Went Pro, but Not In Sports PDF (43.88 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Jolly - I'm First Generation, but I'm Not my Guilt PDF (57.58 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Lancaster - I'm An Alcoholic, but I'm Not a Drunk PDF (74.44 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Khampha & Phoumivong - We Are Asian American PDF (72.34 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Sinclair - I Have a Mental Illness, but ... PDF (64.67 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Fuller - I’m a Sorority Woman, but ... PDF (75.12 KB) Administration 7/13/2016
Bielaska - I’m Unmarried, but I’m not an Old Spade PDF (56.52 KB) Administration 7/13/2016

Vol. E Issue 07 - Essentials August 2016

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What if?
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Whittier - Value of the F/S Advisor PDF (39.84 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Templeman & Abels - Health & Wellness Lens PDF (62.63 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Pettitt - Sharing the View PDF (59.78 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Pacileo - Cross Council Relationships PDF (40.79 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
McRee - What if I'm the Problem? PDF (273.63 KB) Administration 8/17/2016
McMillen - Direction, Renewal & Testing Assumption PDF (97.6 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Greene - What if CBFOs Didn't Exist? PDF (76.65 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Doctor & Martin - What if NPHC Ban on Pledging ... PDF (71.93 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Bielaska - What if my chapter was virtual? PDF (39.47 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Bergeron - Learning in Fraternities & Sororities PDF (57.79 KB) Administration 8/16/2016
Bailey - Properly Conduct Service Learning PDF (192.14 KB) Administration 8/16/2016

Vol. E Issue 08 - Essentials - September 2016

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This edition comes at a time when many of our communities are in the midst of planning for or wrapping up recruitment, which is essentially a huge marketing effort. Others of us are beginning to think about how to market new programs, leadership opportunities, and even job openings. Marketing and public relations might not be a duty that comes to mind immediately when we think of our jobs, but it is a critical component influencing how our students and colleagues view our programs, communities, and selves. The authors this month share different ways to think about marketing and public relations from a variety of perspectives. Share your own ideas using #AFAEssentials!
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Ressl - Three Elements for Successful Marketing PDF (55.51 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Frendendall - Consideration Guide for (Re)Branding PDF (59.8 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Urban - Does Local Mean Less? PDF (48.1 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Shade - 4 Steps to Creating a Marketing Movement PDF (68.08 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Voll & Fischette - Inspired By or Ripped Off? PDF (94.35 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
McPherrin - Maintaining Your Brand Integrity PDF (74.41 KB) Administration 9/12/2016
Mattson - Marketing: The Cool Way to Do PDF (79.32 KB) Administration 9/13/2016
Barnes - Transparency and the Potential Cost PDF (65.54 KB) Administration 9/12/2016

Vol. E Issue 09 - Essentials October 2016

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In honor of AFA’s 40th anniversary, the Essentials editorial board wanted to recognize those articles that have significantly impacted our own personal development over the years. Thus, this “Best Of” edition was born. Several of our editorial board members have nominated their favorite articles: those they’ve printed and kept in their offices, those they’ve shared with colleagues, and those they’ve referred back to throughout the years. Below you’ll see their reason for nominating each article. We hope you enjoy re-reading them as much as we do!
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Whittier - What if Alumni/ae Volunteers Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Maxwell - Start Conversations that End Hazing Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Cromwell & Cole - How Cultural Competence Shapes Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Levy - What if Assessment Advanced Our Practice?  Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Zimmer - Women May Not Be the Problem Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016
Arrowsmith & Tran - Title IX Empowers Link  more ] Administration 10/11/2016

Vol. E Issue 10 - Essentials November 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Bureau - Together Forward 2004 Presidency Review PDF (150.47 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Case - The More Things Change, The More They ... PDF (105.2 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Miller - From the Desk of The President Elect PDF (118.87 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Miranda - Leadership is Hard PDF (115.22 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Moore - A Reflection from the Current AFA Presiden PDF (111.17 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Pendleton - Time and Change Will Surely Show… PDF (118.6 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Shinn - A Call to Action PDF (130.12 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Tootle - Reflections on AFA’s Founding Years PDF (129.03 KB) Administration 11/7/2016
Whittier - Reflecting on Change PDF (117.86 KB) Administration 11/7/2016

Vol. E Issue 11 - Essentials December 2016

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Pierce_Dec 2016_Advisor.pdf PDF (112.26 KB) Administration 12/12/2016
Pacque_Dec2016_Researcher.pdf PDF (381.09 KB) Administration 12/12/2016
Mattson_Dec2016_Innovator.pdf PDF (141.08 KB) Administration 12/12/2016
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