Initiation Voting

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Mid-Initiation Review and Initiate Voting Roundtable

Each prospective member is to be considered and voted on individually, on their merits as a potential member. Brothers should remember that the initiation program is not a personality or popularity contest; rather, it is about preparing the future members of the chapter. A helpful way to approach this voting process is to set aside the question, “Are they a good person?”, and instead ask, “Will they make a good brother?”

Voting on Prospective Initiates

Voting on prospective initiates, sometimes referred to a rushee or candidate, is commonly referred to as a “bid vote” or “rush vote.” The minimum vote for a prospective member to be promoted to initiate is a simple majority, unless the chapter includes in its chapter by-laws a requirement that a higher level is needed, such as two-thirds. Prospective initiates must meet all Constitutional requirements including having a 3.0 gpa at the time of rushing.

If any of the prospective member motions fail, the Brothers should be consulted as to why. For no reason should the list of prospective members be approved or accepted without a chapter vote.

Best practices:

  • take digital photos of each prospective initiate and show them during voting to help Brothers connect faces with names
  • keep debate focused on qualities of the prospective initiates
  • outline voting procedures before any voting begins to allow all chapter members to know the process
  • conduct voting by secret ballot

Voting on Initiates for Induction

Voting on initiates is commonly referred to as a "final vote." The minimum vote for a initiate is a 3/4 vote of Active members of the chapter, not just 3/4 of Active members at the meeting. It is important that members understand how critical their participation is in building the future of the Chapter.

Any initiate who has not met the national and local requirements for initiation is not eligible for induction. Therefore, they should not be considered or voted on.

Additionally, always bear in mind the 48-hour rule laid out in the National Constitution, which requires that all voting on initiates be completed at least 48 hours prior to the Formal Induction.

Best practices:

  • Hold midway votes. This allows the Chapter to raise issues about any Initiates or Brothers's participation and requirements. This allows both parties time to improve rather than simply voting them out at the end. Many universities expect Chapters to provide feedback and discourage or prohibit voting out individuals after they have completed a full Initiation program. Use midway voting throughout the Initiation period to address this.
  • Use “Characteristics of an Ideal Brother” as a guideline for pro/con debates. You can find that document in the Resource Center.
  • Provide the Big Brother an opportunity to be the first pro since that person knows the Initiate best.
  • Avoid generalities or assumptions about Initiates. If there is uncertainty about something an Initiate did, make sure someone has talked to them about it prior to the vote. Negative or con debate should be fully supported with factual evidence.
  • Avoid pro/cons based on "hearsay" (things that they have heard about initiates and not experienced themselves), opinions (no "I thinks" or "I feels"), and predicting how they think an initiate will act in the future
  • If you are unsure what is appropriate for pro/con discussion consider having a period where Brothers need to bring their discussion points to an oversight group who can provide feedback on whether the discussion is appropriate or not.
  • Consider applying a time limit for each person to speak, this forces people to say the relevant stuff while hopefully excluding fluff
  • Chapter Members should only vote if they had enough interaction with the Initiates to adequately speak towards the qualities of any Initiate.
  • Provide a photo/video introduction of each Initiate to ensure Members are associating the correct name with the right individual.
  • Focus on the requirements that have been clearly shared with each Initiate;
    • Meetings Initiates are required to attend
    • Events the Initiates are required to plan and attend
    • Dates of The Ritual Induction Ceremony
    • Score on the National Membership Exam
  • outline voting procedures before any voting begins to allow all chapter members to know the process
  • conduct voting by secret ballot



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