September 6, 2015
OSWEGO, N.Y. – The Student Involvement department of SUNY Oswego’s The Point held risk management training for all presidents and new member educators of Greek life organizations and sports teams and clubs on Friday.
As each person entered the training session, a packet was handed out with pages of information on hazing, sexual assault, drug abuse and addiction, as well as liability, among other things.
The first part of the session involved breaking off into four groups and answering a question assigned to your specific group about topics to be covered later in the session. One question asked about activities that members of the presidents’ organizations engage in that might create liabilities for them as the heads of their organizations or their organizations as a whole.
Liability does not have to be a bad thing; anything that can cause harm is considered a liability, said Justin Brantley, a graduate assistant for SUNY Oswego’s Student Involvement.
The packet provided information about the signs and symptoms of drug problems and substance abuse from HelpGuide.org and gave advice on how to get help for you or someone you know who has these issues.
Aside from providing advice on how to get help with problems with drugs, guidance on how to keep personal and organization-wide social media presence professional was also given.
Hazing was the topic that received the most coverage. From going over a list of questions to help determine if something is hazing, to providing everyone with the university’s hazing policy, to showcasing the New York State laws regarding hazing, it was the main subject of a session that was populated mainly by presidents of sports teams and Greek organizations.
The student leaders who were present at the session were informed of a variety of things to help keep their organizations out of trouble in different situations.
The meeting concluded with the guiding suggestion that every organization should have a risk manager to, as the packet states, “look for behavior that can be risky or put the organization or individual officers or members in a situation where they may be liable and then work to remove that situation.”
Some of what was discussed was new and some of what was discussed was new to the people present at the session as incoming presidents of their organizations/teams.
“[The training] made us aware of the new qualifications and rules and better informed us of how we should act within our organizations,” said Ketsia Rodriguez, a leading member of Phi Lambda Phi.
It was not just informational for the student participants, though.
Michele Canale and Justin Brantley, both graduate assistants for Student Involvement in The Point, conducted the session together in place of Michael Paestella, the director of Student Involvement. Both said they gained something from the session themselves.
Brantley said he got to put a lot of names to faces for organizations on campus.
I gained some liability knowledge to share with organizations who come seeking help from Student Involvement in the future, Canale said.
This is Canale’s second year as a graduate assistant with Student Involvement. Brantley has just four weeks of experience with the department.