Question:

My fraternity brothers have put a lot of faith in me. I was recently elected president of my chapter, but as much as I know they love me, I want to show them the same support. I want to help them understand that they need to take their futures into their own hands and that myself and other successful brothers can help give them every opportunity to do so. What I am mainly starting with is brotherhood and academics. I feel okay about our chances of strengthening the brotherhood, but there are a decent amount of guys who fail to see the importance of keeping up their grades.

I really need help with moving their hearts and persuading their minds to eventually see the benefits of working hard in school, whether it be in or out of the classroom. I want them all to be successful in their futures. It sucks to see that some of them are already slipping through the cracks because they cannot grasp time management, studying, and working together. Of course I have the fear of seeing them a few years down the road struggling to get by and unable to enjoy life because I have already seen it happen to some friends from high school. I know that this is something they need to do for themselves, but I just wish I knew how to get across to them why they should change before it is too late. I have been thinking about bringing in alumni and other professionals to discuss what it truthfully takes to earn a specific job to maybe open the eyes of brothers who do the bare minimum. I hope this is a good start.


Answer:

First, congratulations on getting elected.  Your brothers are showing a lot of faith in you, and by the nature of your question I can tell you are going to be successful in your position.

Your academic question is a tricky one.  For me, I was a 3.0 student.  Not good, but not bad.  I really don’t think my grades have ever mattered, and I was shocked at how few times I have had to disclose my GPA in my life.

I had to disclose my grades when I went to grad school for my MBA.  However, I am pretty sure my GRE meant more than my GPA.  I disclosed my grades when I applied for the Air Force, but I believe my course of study (electrical engineering) was much more important than my GPA.  I never disclosed my GPA for a job, and I am fairly certain it matters extremely little after your first one.

My point – you are probably overrating the importance of grades as long as all brothers are passing.  Losing brothers to dropping out can cripple a chapter, but as long as everyone is making grades I wouldn’t worry about it.  They are big boys.  Trust them to handle their business.  That said – here are past articles I have written on Fraternity Academics that may help…

Spend your time as president serving others to ensure they have the best fraternity experience.  The core of leadership is servitude.  You are spot on with focusing on the brotherhood.  If you do whatever you can to strengthen the bonds of your friendships, then you term as president will be a huge success.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask questions should they come up.  Always here to help.  Also, don’t forget to check out my books The Fraternity Leader and The Chapter President.  They are full of advice I learned from being a chapter president.

 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.

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