Initiation Curriculum Lesson 4
QUIZ 3 will focus on the history, but given the amount of information – the quiz will be longer than usual. As with the previous quizzes, have several Brothers on hand to grade these and return before the end of the meeting.
One of the most important things the chapter must do in an initiation program is helping prepare the prospective members to take on active roles in the chapter following induction. Good role modeling is essential for this to happen, so every Brother must bear in mind that their actions speak louder than words.
To approach the topic of being an active Brother, consider having a group discussion where Brothers share their personal experiences in the transition from initiate to Brother. Alumni are great to have for an activity like this, because as time goes by…you gain a better perspective on what the transition was like for each of us. Sharing the benefits of active membership also will help motivate the initiates and get them excited to be Brothers.
The other topic to discuss this evening will be characteristics of a stable chapter. The following activity gives an example of how a chapter can work together on a singular event. Every aspect of the project described depends on the cooperation and collaboration among the Brothers. Use this as an example of how a chapter can work towards a common goal. At the end, there will be an activity for the initiates to work on as a group over the next week.
Team building and collaboration are essentials of chapter stability. The format of the chapter’s structure should be that no one individual or group is isolated in their efforts. Saying that and making it a reality are two very different things, so it sometimes helps to demonstrate how an entire chapter can work together to make an event successful.
Zeta Zeta Chapter holds a canned food drive every fall at Thanksgiving time. This year, the chapter wanted to take a different approach that was more interactive and would help engage all Brothers and committees. The Executive Board oversaw all planning to make sure that each committee was on time with their deadlines and had the support needed to be successful.
Rather than waiting until Thanksgiving, when many collegiate groups and other charitable organizations would be seeking donations, the chapter decided to hold their drive on Halloween.
Below is a description of each committee’s responsibilities in preparation for and in carrying out their event:
- Program and Public Relations: Several weeks before Halloween sent out press releases to the local and campus newspapers announcing that Phi Sigma Pi was going to be out in the community on Halloween collecting canned and dry foods for the local food bank. Flyers were also made to be distributed around the neighborhoods that the fraternity planned to cover.
- Fundraising: Brothers on this committee contacted local businesses that sell and/or distribute foods (supermarkets, delis, restaurants, etc…) and asked if they would be willing to make a bulk donation or donate food voucher or coupons to the local food bank as part of the event. Some businesses were willing to donate monetarily and the committee facilitated the transaction by working with the food bank staff in advance.
- Risk Management: Brothers on this committee met with the staff at the food bank to make sure if there were any restrictions or guidelines that would be relevant to carrying out the food drive. They planned out the routes that the Brothers would take and arranged for cars to help pick up food goods from Brothers throughout the night so that they were not carrying too many items.
- Alumni Relations: The committee contacted all local alumni by phone to let them know about the event and asked if they would be willing to make a donation. Local alumni were also invited to come out the night of the event or to help with driving Brothers or picking up food goods.
- Social and Recreational: All Brothers collecting food goods were going to dress for Halloween. This committee helped create costumes and Brothers get ready for the night. They also planned a post-drive social event for all those involved at the end of the night.
- Awards and Scholarship: Brothers created thank you cards to be given out to every household that donated listing the name of the chapter and local food bank. These were reviewed by the staff at the food bank for approval.
- Executive Board: Chapter officers were responsible for keeping momentum and everyone on task. They also sought out other local chapters and other collegiate groups who might be willing to help collect on Halloween night when the most person-power would be needed.
- Initiation: Having the initiates involved was very important, so each initiate was assigned to work with a committee to learn how event planning was done and then each week leading up to Halloween the initiates would compare notes and teach each other what was being done.
- Service: Brothers on this committee were in charge of logistics the night of Halloween, making sure streets were covered and not done twice. They also were in charge of accounting for the number of items collected and to help deliver these to the food bank.
Not all events can have every committee involved, but many events do require a large amount of preparation, action and post event work. The above is just one type of event that can help demonstrate what it means to work together as a chapter of Brothers.
Ask the initiate class as a whole to write a proposal for a singular event that would include every committee with an emphasis on collaboration and participation by all chapter members. The event proposal should be very specific and detailed with nothing left undecided. Similar to the activity above, listing what each committee will be doing is required. This activity will demonstrate their understanding of chapter collaboration as well as provide new ideas for the chapter to consider in the future.
Recap and Preparing for Lesson 5
At the END of the fourth meeting with the Initiate Advisor, please advise the initiates that QUIZ 4 will focus on the leaders and historical figures of Phi Sigma Pi. They should review and be familiar with the names of any former and/or current leaders identified in The Scholar's Province, the current National Council and information regarding National Staff.