The North American Inter-Fraternity Conference (a.k.a. the NIC, a.k.a. the group that lobbied to make it harder to investigate college rape cases) is launching a “sophisticated public relations effort,” according to the Huffington Post. K.

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In the past several years, frats have received what seems like an increase in negative media attention after students have died, been hazed and sexually assaulted under the auspices of healthy college behavior, but somehow, the NIC feels that frats’ behaviors isn’t what is to blame for the image problem.

HuffPost obtained a white paper that outlines specifically why fraternities are suffering:

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At the top, the white paper blames current fraternity woes on “lack of human and financial resources,” “popularized social media platforms that damage the industry by glorifying ‘frat’ culture,” “intense and constant media scrutiny” and increased regulation from both colleges and the government. These are “drowning out the NIC’s message and diminishing the NIC’s ability to speak with a unified, powerful voice,” the paper states.

“We recognize that the problems fraternities face today cannot be blamed on the performance of the NIC,” the NIC white paper adds. “We acknowledge that these problems are often caused by some of our members’ inability to self-govern and adhere to basic membership expectations.”

The documents also outline the creation of the NIC 2.0 Commission with the purpose of restoring “trust and confidence in the conference.” They note that government relations will still be an important part of the so-called trade association, and encourage fraternities to demonstrate their “support and patience as they begin the important task of restoring trust and confidence.”


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

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Image of the University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi frat house via Getty.