Dealing with problem brothers is difficult with any fraternity leader. Fraternity leaders often expect their fellow brothers to hold themselves to a higher standard than the general student population. When that standard isn’t met it is up to the entire brotherhood to address the issue.
That being said, the best way to handle these types of issues is to set a policy that everyone agrees to. This policy should probably be a part of the fraternity constitution. If a brother breaks a policy, then the repercussions should be stated clearly.
Essentially we are talking about five types of problem brothers. The first type of brother is one with substance abuse issues. Substance abuse by itself should not be punishable by the fraternity. If a brother wants to get high or drunk at his apartment – that is his business. However, it becomes the fraternities issue if it happens on chapter property or at a chapter event. The chapter should have a strict policy against drugs at the fraternity house or any fraternity event. The penalty for breaking that policy should be stiff – such as turning that brother in to the university student conduct board. Normally a brother who has drug issues will eliminate themselves from the fraternity due to a combination of the other problem issues which I will go into below.
Alcohol is a little tougher. There seems to be a problem brother or two that becomes uncontrollable when drunk in every fraternity. They seem to get in fights and become an ass to everyone around. There should be a policy that states that an executive board member has the authority to remove any brother from an event if they become too obstinate. The brotherhood should agree to back this e-board brother in this situation. If this happens a few times it will eventually cause the problem brother to stop. If the situation happens too many times, the brother should be kicked out of the fraternity.
The second type of brother is the brother with terrible grades. This type of brother hurts the fraternity with his poor GPA and normally brings others down with him. A fraternity should set a clear expectation for minimum GPA. If the chapter is serious enough about grades, they will institute a program to help the brother who can’t meet the minimum.
The third type of brother is the brother that won’t pay their dues. This brother should be removed from the chapter. He is stealing.
The fourth brother suffers from disinterest. If the brother pays his dues and meets all other standards, than the problem lies with the fraternity more than the brother. The fraternity is not doing enough to make it important in the brother’s life. That is a red flag for a chapter that needs to improve.
Finally, there is a problem brother who is a jerk. Sometimes a pledge makes it through their pledge period and becomes a brother before the rest of the fraternity realizes it was a mistake. This is a very difficult situation. Like all difficult situations, the best way to attack it is to address it head on with the person in question one on one. Be sure to give specific examples of the behavior and explain why it makes them look like a jerk. Hopefully, this will solve your problem. If enough guys address it, the problem brother will eventually take the hint or will quit.
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