Libby Mueller, Senior Staff Writer

The Alpha Delta Phi fraternity (Alpha Delt), in conjunction with Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Miami University Athletics, will host the premiere First Thursday Leadership Forum event of the year. Titled, “Sports Leadership,” the forum will feature Miami head coaches and athletics staff discussing relevant student issues and leadership.

The panelists will include men’s basketball coach John Cooper, women’s track and field/cross country coach Kelly Phillips, women’s basketball coach Cleve Wright and deputy athletic director Mark Rountree.

The event will take place Thursday, Sep. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Taylor Auditorium.

The event is part of a series of forum events started last year by Alpha Delt in collaboration with different Greek and non-Greek organizations on campus, according to professor and Alpha Delt advisor Rocco Manzo. The first one was held last February.

The events help Alpha Delt and other fraternities and sororities fulfill the requirements of the Community Advancement Program introduced in 2012 by the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in a way people find worthwhile and enjoyable, according to Manzo.

Director of the Cliff Alexander Office Jenny Levering said the Community Advancement Program encourages fraternities and sororities to meet standards in five pillars, including scholarship and learning, service and philanthropy, community, leadership and values and brotherhood and sisterhood.

“It was designed to encourage chapters to provide programs that would develop their members and develop their chapters,” Levering said.

Alpha Delt President Michael Schwarz said he hopes the panel will, in addition to fulfilling requirements, address relevant issues for the Alpha Delt fraternity. For instance, Schwarz said the panel will help the fraternity learn how to deal with hazing incidents from a different organization.

“It’s going to kind of help our fraternity as well,” Schwarz said. “For example, we’re going to talk about hazing incidents. There can be hazing incidents in athletics [too].”

Schwarz said it will also give new perspectives on leadership and development.

“How do [coaches and athletics staff] get their athletes to stand out on campus? Frankly, athletes are looked up to,” Schwarz said. “[For example], do they have meetings, seminars they attend? There’s a target on their back as well, like Greek life. We’re recognized on campus. It’ll be good to hear from a different organization that has some similarities.”

Deputy Athletic Director Mark Rountree will be a panelist at the forum. He said he hopes students who attend the forum will learn that being a good leader requires a lot of work.

“Developing leadership skills is something that a person has to work at,” Rountree said. “Being a leader’s not easy. You have to work at it every day. You have to develop your level of commitment, your level of composure, your level of communication.”

“Sports Leadership” is the third in the series of First Thursday Leadership Forums started by Alpha Delt.

The past two events included “Taking a Stand: Leadership Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement,” in partnership with the Office of Diversity Affairs, and “Kristin’s Story,” a forum on sexual assault prevention in partnership with Alpha Chi Omega, Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault (MARS) and Sigma Pi fraternity.

Manzo said the setup of the panel will be a discussion.

“The panel will be a moderated discussion with some questions we have created to get the ball rolling, but once the discussions starts we’ll hope to have a free flow of interaction,” Manzo said.

Manzo said the events have started to slowly increase collaboration among Greek organizations and other organizations on campus, which was one of the goals of hosting the events.

He said the feedback from both Greeks and non-Greeks who attended the events has been mostly positive.

“They may not have wanted to attend the programs when they first heard, but after they went they found it was a worthwhile experience to think about different angles of leadership,” Manzo said.

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