So your fraternity did something stupid and got caught. Now your fraternity is on social probation – most likely for one semester. What do you do now?
Let’s analyze the impact of being on probation for an entire semester. First, a typical college student is supposed to be in school for only four years. This means that they would be on probation for 1/8 of their college career.
Also, being on social probation will kill recruiting. What kid wants to join a fraternity that is limited in what they can do? It is like trying to get a basketball recruit to come to a school on probation knowing they can’t attend the big dance.
By far the biggest impact of being on probation is what it does to the morale of the brotherhood. I witnessed this first hand as my fraternity was on probation for one semester when I was in school.
What ends up happening is the fraternity house is no longer the center of the social world for the brotherhood. Brothers drift away to find their fun somewhere else. The lingering effect is huge. Even when we got off probation, it was very difficult to get brothers to come around the house. They had developed other ties during the semester off – and often those ties became more important than the fraternity. Probation, simply, is a fraternity killer.
This is time when the fraternity leadership will prove their worth. To keep the social scene alive, they have to be creative. The chapter needs to find a way to have fun, but still abide by the restrictions placed on them.
This is the perfect time to have a road trip or party with other chapters at other schools. Social events can be had at 3rd party venues instead of at the house. Brotherhood events are crucial to keeping the brotherhood strong. Be sure the fraternity attends concerts, sporting events, movies or anything else as a group. And be sure to plan a large post-probation bash at the house that the school so the brotherhood has something to look forward to.
Remember though – don’t be stupid. Have a full semester of fun, but don’t break your probation. This will only spell more trouble for the fraternity, and simply isn’t worth it. The last thing in the world a fraternity on probation needs is to get another semester of probation.
If the leadership realizes the issue, and doesn’t accept this as a death sentence, the fraternity can actually come out of probation stronger than when it went in. And whatever the fraternity did to get on probation – DON’T DO IT AGAIN!
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