Fraternity Judicial Board Disaster

fraternity judicial board

Most fraternities have a judicial board.  These are set up to provide judgment when a brother isn’t meeting the fraternity’s expectations.  Be very, very careful though.  More times than not, judicial board hearings will turn into disaster.

Let me share two stories about judicial board hearings.  In the first, a brother was the first wave of non-alpha brothers to hold an executive board position.  This particular brother was the pledge marshal.

Truth be told, he wasn’t doing the best job in the world.  The more vocal alpha brothers couldn’t stand it, and called for a judicial board hearing.

What resulted was a disaster.  The hearing turned into a giant bitch session directed at one brother.  You can imagine how he felt.  I am sure it comes as no surprise that he distanced himself from the fraternity after that episode.

The second story involves a fraternity vice president.  This guy was supposed to show up at a party sober and be responsible for the event.  Unfortunately, he showed up drunk and late.

A judicial board hearing was held, and it turned into another ugly bitch session directed at one brother.  Again, this brother distanced himself after the incident, and eventually quit.

The moral of the story here is it is never a good idea to single out a brother in this manner.  The very best thing that could happen is you create resentment.  The worst – you can lose a brother.

If you have a problem with a brother, it is best to attempt to handle it behind closed doors with individual discussions.  It is important in any organization to hold members accountable for their actions.  In one-on-one discussion the brother with the issue will be less defensive, and hopefully the problem can be worked out.  This will minimize the long-term fallout of the confrontation.

If you do decide to hold a judicial board hearing, be sure your fraternity is prepared to lose the brother.  These are very delicate situations, and probably aren’t worth it in the long run.

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