Mitch Crane

Judge Mitch Crane has spoken on more than 500 campuses across the nation on important issues affecting Fraternity and Sorority Life. He encourages both men and women to educate and set an example for their new members, their campuses and their communities.

“Judge Mitch Crane’s program was captivating and persuasive. He took a tough and skeptical audience and earned their attention and respect through his clever analogies and moving anecdotes. He helped to reinstill us with a sense of responsibility to our ideals and rituals. I wish we had more people like Judge Mitch to remind us of why we are Greek.”

– Michael Bruno, Duke University

“As a new professional, it was great to bring in an outside voice to echo some of the conversations that we have begun on campus. In the days following the event, we continued to have the conversations, and we even had a group take a very pro-active step when they had issues with their new member class. I don’t know that this would have happened without the presentation.”

– Alex Brown, Keene State College

“Last year we had 345 people show up to see the hazing speaker; this year we had 873 people at your speech. Many of them said it was their first speaker they have ever been to about hazing. We had 13,642 students sign a pledge to report and end hazing. 6,542 of those signers took place between 10pm on Thursday and midnight on Friday (after your speech). We have had chapters come forward admitting to hazing practices and are now working with the Greek office on how to overcome that. I’m not going to say that your speech could have saved someone’s life but it most likely did.”

– Greek Life Professional

A Tort is Not a Cake

All too often, students place themselves and others in dangerous situations as a result of a lack of understanding of the laws and campus policies. Student groups often operate blindly, holding risky social events or living in a housing situation that is far from safe.

This misunderstanding of laws and guidelines can have catastrophic results, ending in injury, judicial hearings, probation, loss of a chapter’s charter, jail time and, in some extreme cases, death. Other risks such as sexual assault and substance abuse are not always dealt with in the most effective means, with an eye toward the gravity of the situations.

In his keynote, A Tort is Not a Cake, Judge Mitch Crane uses his time on the bench to help student leaders understand the concept of negligence and the practical implementation of risk management through the use of case studies. By learning how to spot potentially dangerous situations before they become real liabilities, students become true risk managers.

Learning Outcomes
As a result of attending this program, students will:

  • Know the basic principles and tenants of liability law
  • Understand how a person and/or organization can be held legally responsible for someone’s injuries
  • Learn how to make their premises and organization safe for members and guests

Building Better Brothers and Sisters

Negative stereotypes surround members of the fraternity and sorority communities. Members drink too much, haze, buy and sell drugs, are poor students and don’t give back positively to the community.

Organizations that were founded on brotherhood and sisterhood, outstanding service, stellar academics, truth, honor and values are contributing to injuries and death as a result of their activities. Members grow frustrated with the negative media coverage of these events, but are they encouraging it through their behaviors?

In his keynote Building Better Brothers and Sisters, Mitch addresses negative media portrayals of Fraternity and Sorority life incidents. Using real-life examples, he explains what the legal system would do to a person who killed their “brother” or “sister” and quickly draws the parallel to Fraternity and Sorority Life. Students will leave Mitch’s keynote with a refreshing look at why hazing and other destructive behaviors must stop.

Learning Outcomes

  • As a result of attending this program, students will:
  • Learn how simple, seemingly harmless activities can lead to tragedy
  • Understand the basic hazing laws and policies
  • Learn the importance of holding initiated and new members responsible for their actions
  • Have a better understanding of the contradiction between hazing and our values

Mitch’s Bio

Mitch served six years as a Municipal Judge in Chester County, Pennsylvania and has been a practicing trial attorney since 1977. He also served 10 years as a member of the West Chester City Council, including two years as President.

Mitch is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation Board of Governors. He has served his fraternity as a chapter counselor, alumni board treasurer and president, and as a District Governor. He has been awarded the fraternity’s distinguished alumnus award, and the Frank J. Ruck Interfraternity Leadership Award. In August 2005, Mitch received Sigma Phi Epsilon’s highest award, The Order of The Golden Heart. Mitch has also chaired the Current Issues Committee of the Association of Fraternity Advisors, which deals with legal issues and risk management, and in December 2006, he was honored with AFA’s Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to an undergraduate degree in history, Mitch did his graduate work in psychology and holds a Juris doctorate from the Widener University School of Law. Mitch has taught English and Political Science at the high school level and civil litigation at the postgraduate level. He has delivered seminars on risk management, date rape, and hazing on more than 500 campuses coast to coast and at more than a dozen fraternity and sorority conventions.

Mitch retired from his law firm in the Spring of 2007 to serve to Delaware’s Insurance Commissioner as Regulatory Counsel and Director of Consumer Services and Investigations.


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