This is an article from an alumni brother from Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Spring Hill College. A donation to his chapter was made on his behalf for this submission. Go here to learn more about this program.
I am now an alumni member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, but during my undergraduate career I served as the Chapter Educator for our chapter. As some schools have instituted a deferred rush process, meaning that freshmen are not allowed to participate in the rush process until the spring semester of their freshmen year, this has caused some added stress in the selection process of fraternity big brothers.
I understand that every chapter operates differently and that each may have its own way to make these selections. However, in our chapter it was my responsibility as the Chapter Educator to make these decisions.
Since we had a deferred rush, I realized that many strong bonds had already been formed between our active members and potential new members. I am also of the strong belief that a relationship of a big and little brother plays a vital part in the development of that member within a fraternity. So in order to help aid in my decision making process, I wanted to be have input coming from both ends.
After rush was over and bids had been accepted, I had each new member present me of a list with three names that were to be their potential fraternity big brothers. I also had the active chapter present me with the same type of list.
This enabled me to compare the lists and be more aware of the relationships that our new members had already formed with active members and aided me tremendously in selecting who would be the Fraternity Big Brothers of our chapter. Along with these lists, I also made sure that anyone who was to be a Big Brother met all of the minimum standards for membership within our chapter, which included GPA, philanthropy hours, attendance, etc.
If they were not a faithful member, then in my eyes they did not deserve the privilege of becoming a Fraternity Big Brother. How could they mentor if they had not been responsible members themselves?
As well as meeting these requirements, I felt it necessary to make sure that anyone who was a Big Brother would be available and have the time/make the time for his Little. Joining a fraternity is a growing experience and one which can require support. A Fraternity Big Brother must be available to support their Little Brother.
On a final note, if you want to make major changes within your chapter, the Big Brother program is one of the best places to start. If you allow those who are successful and have been contributing members in all respects to hold the honor of being the Fraternity Big Brothers of the chapter, then the overall success and well being of the chapter will be ensured. They will pass on their traits to the new members and the chapter will flourish, grow and head in a positive direction.