If you are an undergraduate member of a fraternity or sorority who has been nothing more than a social member, why are you expecting a small group of undergraduates to manage the chapter? My advice is to get out of the back row at the chapter meetings or if you’ve already stopped attending meetings, make the commitment to return. Get involved on campus and in the chapter. Provide service to others. Ask chapter leaders what they can do to get you more engaged in your chapter. If you joined only to “party” and “hookup”, move-on. You are not bettering yourself or others.
For the fraternity and sorority system to thrive, undergraduates must be committed to creating a culture of excellence. If not, you should expect that your membership and/or chapter’s existence will end. Chapter leaders must ask the right questions when recruiting new members to ensure they will fit the culture of excellence for the chapter. The operational budget must reflect a balanced chapter and not one that is primarily social. Chapters need to think of “social” as much more than just a big party with alcohol and a large number of “party-goers”. This is a great moment in time for critical thinking and creative-skills building opportunities for chapters and their memberships to develop social programs that members “buy-in” to that also checks all the boxes for safe risk management. Undergraduates and their alumni/ae volunteers must be committed to developing young members who are good students; who care and respect others; who value service; who learn leadership skills; who are career-ready; and who are willing to remain committed to the fraternity and university for their lifetime.
The Path to Student Members Success (think of this as an undergraduate oath)
If student members will commit to the below, you will not only help your chapter succeed, you will create a better personal brand that will ensure that you are “career-ready.”
- I will stay engaged in the chapter for my entire student membership and serve as an officer and/or committee chair at least once.
- I will commit myself to achieving the highest GPA possible.
- I will be involved in at least one campus organization and make it a meaningful experience.
- I will contribute no less than 25 hours of community service and $100 per year, as well as learn more about the non-profits I’m supporting.
- I will take the time to get to know as many members as possible.
- I will respect myself and others.
- I will not abuse alcohol or drugs and I will help encourage fellow members with a problem to seek counseling.
- I will not haze and will not allow others to hazed.
- I will not be involved in sexual assault or accept other members doing the same.
- I will not fight or accept others doing the same.
- I will not be biased of those different than me.
- I will not cause damage to my Chapter House or any other facility and I will not accept others doing the same.
- I will not ignore alumni/ae when they walk through our doors and will go out of my way to get to know them.
- I will pay my membership fees in a timely manner.
- I will encourage others committed to excellence to join our chapter.
- I will develop a resume and LinkedIn profile; use campus career resources; and network with alumni/ae and parents to help me secure internships and a full-time job upon graduation.
- I will make it a goal to improve myself and the chapter during my years as an undergraduate.
- I will commit to my fraternity/sorority and university the day I graduate to be a lifetime committed alumnus.
Matt Noble, President of FMG
Check out my next blog in this series: Message to Alumni/ae Fraternity and Sorority Members
Please feel free to share your comments with me at email@example.com.