facebook flaming

Our standards board is inconsistent and unfair. How should I go about addressing this?

Answer:


I hate standards and judicial boards.  The reason I dislike them is they typically serve as a forum for brothers to single out a brother on subjective issues.  This type of ganging up on a brother is not positive for the chapter.

Realize that when I say this I am not saying that your brothers should not be held to a high standard.  I believe they absolutely should.  However, those expectations should be documented in your chapter constitution.  That takes all the subjectivity out of the equation.

So my answer is to eliminate it and make your constitution a document that governs brother’s actions.  If you are in the minority, be sure to point out the inconsistencies to chapter leadership.  When a rule is broken, be sure it is actually a rule and not something made up by an overzealous exec board.  Remember their role is to enforce the existing rules, not create new ones on a whim.

Question:

At a school where the average number of members for a fraternity is 60, we are going to be around 40. We have had 3 rather small pledge classes in a row and a lot of people graduated being part of the colonizing class. I told brothers that we need to “dirty rush” more people. However, there is a lack of initiative from the brothers to actually do it. In my opinion, small pledge classes are completely avoidable if you dirty rush and get enough of the young men interested. Do you have any advice on how to boost the numbers in pledge classes? Thanks!

Answer:

It doesn’t pay to take shortcuts in life.  That is what you will be doing by dirty rushing.  By focusing on getting freshman drunk then getting them to pledge you will be getting the wrong type of people to join your chapter.  These guys will ultimately do more damage than good once they become members.

I have written two articles that will give you a ton of great ideas for recruitment.  They are:

 31 Days to Better Fraternity Recruitment

Fraternity Recruitment: 5 Ways Your Fraternity Can Kill It

And if you want the holy grail – be sure to check out the chapter on recruitment in my book The Fraternity Leader.

Question:

I was rushing into a house and was debating whether or not the fraternity I was in was right for me.  I realized it was not during I-week/Initiation.  I dropped pin the next week after moving out. I realized how much I LOVED Greek Life but hated my houses actions and was wondering (even though I know the usual policy) if I could join another house?

Answer:

If you were initiated, then you cannot join another house unless you are expelled from your current one.  Here is an article that answers all the questions you may have on this subject:

Question:

My university’s Greek community has recently started widespread use of a smartphone app that acts as an anonymous local forum. Several posts crop up on a daily basis talking smack about our chapter, and in response, several of my brothers downloaded the app and joined the fray themselves, even going so far as to complain about our own chapter. As my chapter’s president (and a near graduate), I am firmly of the belief that as fraternity men, we should be mature and above this petty high-school level gossiping, so I’ve asked my chapter to refrain from using it (among other anonymous forums), and plan to ask other chapters for a gentleman’s agreement to likewise abstain.

However, I’m getting some pushback, even from my fellow officers, on the basis that people need a place to vent. I’ve attempted to encourage resolution of problems face-to-face, as well as educate my brothers on the potential consequences of social media outbursts, but it all seems to be falling on deaf ears. How can I discourage use of social media in this manner without implementing a social media policy (which I’m all but certain would be shot down if proposed)? Please advise.

Answer:

I wrote about this very topic in my new book The Chapter President.  I have not heard of an app like the one you discuss.  The concern I typically hear is people flaming on Facebook.

Regardless of the medium, you have to put a stop to it.  It sounds like you have tried to address it in a one-on-one setting and you have tried to solicit help from other brothers.  There really isn’t much more you can do from that perspective.

I think you need to go another route.  Often, brothers cause these types of problems when they are bored or don’t have pride in the chapter.  As president, it is your job to make sure that doesn’t happen.

My advice would be to accomplish something as a chapter that the brotherhood would be really proud of.  Maybe throw the best party in the history of your school.  Maybe raise an insane amount of money for a local charity.  Maybe recruit your biggest class ever.  Regardless, bring pride back to your chapter and I believe the pettiness you are seeing will go away.

Question:

I feel burnt out. I didn’t think the typical fraternity burnout was conscious to the fact that he was ‘that guy’.  But after serving my chapter as Chaplain for one semester so far, and noticing a lack of caring for our Ritual, and general irreverence towards it, I just feel like I’m wasting my time. Why should I even bother trying to offer Ritual Review sessions and working with an Initiation Team to prepare the best Initiation Ritual performance possible when some
of my brothers are going to actively undermine my efforts and chapter leadership paints me as the bad guy?

Honestly, at this point I just feel like I’m ready to check out, but I’ve still got at least 3 semesters left as an undergraduate. The organization that I joined 2 years ago seems so different to the one I just tried working with tonight to initiate our newest members.

Is this really burn out, or is it something else entirely? How do I fix it?

Answer:

I admire your passion.  You have a desire to do your job to the best of your ability and you should be commended for that.

Leadership isn’t easy.  People won’t always follow you.  You challenge is to find another way to connect.  If the programs you implement currently aren’t well-received, try new ones.  If you can’t get in through the door, find a window.

Once you figure out a way to connect with your very important message, you will feel much more rewarded in your role and your burn-out will go away.

Question:

I am in a professional engineering fraternity. My fraternity has just 12 active brothers and focuses just on academic excellence. I understand that academic excellence is crucial but I want to be a part of a fraternity which is more social and will help me with issues outside class. I do want to be a part of my fraternity as well. I was wondering if I can join another fraternity, already being a member of one Greek lettered organization?

Answer:

Yes – it is common for people to join service, social and academic fraternities.  To make sure you find the right one – be sure to check out my book – How to Join a Fraternity.

Question:

Is it true that one great pledge class can turn a fraternity into a top house within a couple years?

Answer:

Yes – and I’ll take it a step further.  It is possible for one pledge to turn a fraternity into a top house on campus.

The key is finding strong leaders.  If you find a rock-star leader, then he can take your chapter to great heights.  A class full of good leaders can turn around a chapter very quickly.

These questions were submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.






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