Educational Administration, Department of
A Character Campaign: Exploring a Common Morality in Fraternity Life at a Post-Secondary Institution
Date of this Version
The purpose of this study is to explore the potential impact on Greek life of the “Show Your Red Character Campaign,” a campus-wide character development program, on the moral development of fraternity members. This study also hopes to explore how to ensure the productivity of the Campaign and how the outcomes decided upon by the Campaign student leadership can be met. Chickering (1969) said college students moved through seven "vectors" which contribute to the formation of identity. One of these vectors, labeled developing integrity, concerned moral development. The college experience forces students to shift from a literal belief in the absoluteness of rules and norms to a more personal, relative view. Questioning the way things are and how they should be, students see the world as very complex and that context is important when judging or explaining events (Astin, 1993; Perry, 1970). Principles are developed about what students see as not only right-wrong and good-bad, but also as fair, just, responsible, compassionate, and caring.
The literature for this research study included Alexander Astin’s research on student outcomes and how they are affected by college environments, Arthur Chickering’s Theory of Identity Development, specifically focusing on his seventh vector, developing integrity, W.G. Perry’s Theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development, and C. Early’s research on examining how Greek students and organizations influence ethical and moral development.
After analyzing the data from fifteen face-to-face interviews of undergraduate participants who are members of a traditional fraternity five major themes emerged, including integrating Campaign, communicating Campaign, developing good/ethical behavior is always good, qualities of good/ethical behavior, and fraternity member education.
The results from this qualitative study revealed that the most efficient and productive way of implementing the Campaign into traditional fraternities is to integrate the Campaign into an already existing system within the fraternity. In order to increase the involvement and transparency of the Campaign, positive incentives should reinforce what the Campaign is trying to accomplish.
Advisor: James V. Griesen
A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor James V. Griesen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2012
Copyright (c) 2012 Christopher Louis Devlin