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.
I just got your new book, The Fraternity Leader, and love it! Many brothers in my chapter frequent your site and value your opinion. This brings me to my question:
We recently chartered on campus and our alumni have raised around $5000 dollars for us to furnish our house and make a formal room. This includes leather couches, lamps, tables, drapes, etc. Now there is a debate on where this room will exist in the house. The brothers largely (90% of the chapter) want it in one room, while the alumni want it in another room.
How do we get what the chapter wants while not upsetting the alumni? Should we just do what they want and swallow our pride? I won’t get into the pros and cons of each, we as a chapter just want the alumni to listen to and respect us. Many are saying they’d rather have nothing at all than what the alumni are offering us. Please help!
First off, thank you for the feedback on The Fraternity Leader and the site. I am glad your fraternity is taking advantage of both.
To answer your question, I think you need to remember the golden rule – He who has the gold makes the rules….
If your alumni ponied up five large to help the fraternity out, then they have earned the right to decide how the money is spent.
It would be in EXTREMELY poor taste for the undergraduates to complain and would severely hurt future fundraising efforts. You should be extremely grateful that you have alumni who are that dedicated and generous. Be sure they always know how much you appreciate them.
That being said, I am very curious as to why your alumni would want something different than the undergraduates. It seems odd to me that you guys would have differing opinions.
My suggestion: have a talk with the president of the alumni association about this issue. Explain to him that you understand that he will have the final decision in the matter, but you want to make sure that he understood the chapter’s thoughts. Also, take the opportunity to thank him again.
Hopefully you can come to a gentleman’s agreement where both sides are happy.
I would be very curious to hear more about the situation. Would you mine posting in the comment section the pro’s and con’s you mentioned in your question?