fraternity officer

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

Question:

I’m pledging a fraternity and I want to run for an officer position immediately after I pledge.  Everyone is telling me it is a huge mistake and that I should wait.  I really want to be the New Member Educator next semester, but I fear it isn’t for me.  Can you tell me what options I have?


Answer:

I’m going to try to sort through the language here and break down your question a bit. You are asking about is it worthwhile to be a New Member Educator and what other options do you have for your first active semester. Two part question, two part answer.

New Member Educator?

I’m not entirely sure being the Educator your first active semester is the best idea. If you were a new member going through the education process, would you want your educator to be learning about the Fraternity and its bigger meaning as well? This position is one that I feel needs to be taken on by veteran members that have “drank the kool aid” and knows ritual like the back of his hand.

Often times, newly initiated members do not know or fully understand the ritual and the history of a particular fraternity. Trust me, that is not a message you want to send to guys going through the education process. Additionally, you do not sound entirely sold on being the Educator at all. Why even consider such a difficult and pivotal position if you are not solid on it?

What other options do you have?

Find a position that both challenges and inspires you that you feel you can do some good in. I can’t tell you what position in your chapter that is, but I’m sure you can find it. If you are someone that REALLY wants to be VP or a Chapter President, it takes a bit of planning. You need to take on positions that matter and perform above expectation.

VP may be too much your first semester, but social chair (or similar positions based on your chapter set up) is a good place to start. Younger members tend to be more enthusiastic about planning events and socials, so use that to perform well in the position.

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

This answer was written by Joe Russo, an alumni brother from Phi Delta Theta and new contributor for the thefraternityadvisor.com. If you are interested in writing for thefraternityadvisor.com – let us know (CLICK HERE)!






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2 thoughts on “From Pledge to Fraternity Officer

  1. To echo Pat… as a pledge you have no idea what the ritual actually says. You don’t really know what your fraternity is about or the lessons the actives are trying to teach you without you even realizing it yet. Seeing the ritual for the first time is an amazing experience, but it’s also just your first glimpse behind the curtain. Just because you know the secret handshake doesn’t mean you really have a PhD understanding of what the ritual actually means on the deepest levels. Your time as an active is ongoing continuing education into that deeper meaning and the practical skills that’ll help you live & share it throughout your lifetime – at least it’s supposed to be.

    The pledge trainer is supposed to be one of the two most expert people in the chapter on that stuff. The other for us is the chaplain that’s charged with maintenance of the brotherhood & continuing education of actives. Those are things you do late in your career as an active. There are many other places where you can make a big contribution to chapter operations. And, just by being an active you have an important role in teaching the lessons of your fraternity to each and every pledge you’ll see till you graduate and beyond.

  2. Tom, although I agree that the fraternity educator should be someone who knows his way around the block, I think that limiting it to people who are “veterans” can be a poor choice as well.
    From what I have found, it is often the older members who are stuck in the old “traditions” of hazing and normally has a mindset that what we have always done is the right way.
    Just a thought.

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