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  #46  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:30 AM
TechSigmaNu TechSigmaNu is offline
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First off, this thread discussion has strayed from the original question. Now after being "captain obvious", I would like to quickly address each of the statements you are all presenting.
  1. National awards are good indications of chapters that have excelled in national agenda, thats a given. In a "world that is becoming flatter" (Book by Thomas Friedman), competition for good jobs and getting into upper-level academia is exponentially increasing. So to recognize chapters that push for good grades, community involvement/ service, and reducing risk is beneficial for the chapters and the members of those chapters. Do you think that every member of "XYZ" fraternity will get an interview from one of their alumni? (rhetorical). And fyi, there are leaders that born but a majority of leaders are developed, and I say that because someone said, "Good chapters don't need "leadership programs", they attract leaders themselves" and what you are doing is a "leadership program" as well.
  2. I am a Sigma Nu as well and yes we do get a good deal of advice and insight from Headquarters about chapter operations, but I would like to say that if chapters don't change with the times then we are going to become non-existent. And honestly our National program has changed with the times for the better otherwise I wouldn't have joined. Personally I think the word hazing is used too frequently and could be used as an umbrella term to convict meaningless situations, BUT I think that "And getting yelled at/screamed at/punished when you screw up encourages you to do better." is stupid!! All that gets you to do is live life through repetition and not understand why the hell the screwed up. I have played basketball collegiately and I have had good coaches and ones that just yell and hope that it works out. The way you develop leaders is by putting them in REAL LIFE SITUATIONS!! And that is what Sigma Nu does, we have a program called LEAD and yes without creating situations to parallel the lessons it is useless, but it creates the types of steps necessary to develop logical, calm, and ethical business leaders of tomorrow!
  3. Pledge driving is wrong but it has the right mentality behind it. We looked into the concept but using active members to do the action, but like Kedzman said it is redundant the problem lies in just not letting people get drunk and I have been too drunk too many times I am not the golden child by any means. But another thing you can try to create is creating a list of people that are able to drive and use them to drive the drunks around or maybe if you are cautious keep a box of labeled keys at the door monitored by the door check-in people.
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  #47  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:28 PM
gtdxeric gtdxeric is offline
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Originally Posted by CrackerBarrel View Post
You watch out for your house and keep brothers out of trouble by having a pledge driving program, nationals says it's hazing.
I'm going to play devil's advocate here. If it's really about keeping brothers out of trouble, why not have a program where both brothers and pledges take a turn driving people around? This would ensure that you could keep the program going year round, not just in fall when you have lots of pledges.
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  #48  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:44 PM
EE-BO EE-BO is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
Winning awards from your national fraternity, your school's administration or accolades that often come easiest to the group with the most manpower (i.e. intramurals - of course you can get a good intramural team w/ more guys to choose from) doesn't necessarily make you the best or most popular fraternity where it counts, in the eyes of the students and rushees.
This is exactly right. The concept of top tier is entirely a social one. It is about where your guys come from and what sororities you mix with. That's it.

I also agree to an extent with Elephant Walk about the leadership issue. Back in my time we hated our nationals and wanted nothing to do with them. Currently, members of our chapter are attending some of these leadership conferences and on balance they really like them. For officers, it has helped them in practical ways too- risk management, budgeting etc.

But I do not believe in the "drinking the Kool-aid" kind of stuff. Young men do grow and mature in their fraternity experience if they are inclined to do so, but you have to start with someone who is already leadership or success oriented. Fraternities can offer a place where most members just have fun and a few take on responsibility (as officers) that will help them in their own professional careers. But the idea that we can take a pile of chicken shit and turn it into chicken salad with a few inspirational seminars is silly.

Point being, I do see value in what our nationals offer the chapter these days- and many of the guys want to do it, so I support it. But I also appreciate the fact- as Elephant Walk implies- that if you want to have a solid top tier chapter, you have to start with guys who are solid to begin with. And while so many like to pile on about how top tier fraternities are all about booze and drugs, I should point out that the top houses at Texas with very large numbers still manage to have average GPAs over the all-men's UT average.

It naturally comes with the territory that a top tier house offering the best social opportunity is going to attract people from successful backgrounds who are going to tend to excel in other areas of their lives. And that, to me, makes a lot of the scorn and criticism mere "country club envy."
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  #49  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:52 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by gtdxeric View Post
I'm going to play devil's advocate here. If it's really about keeping brothers out of trouble, why not have a program where both brothers and pledges take a turn driving people around? This would ensure that you could keep the program going year round, not just in fall when you have lots of pledges.
I know a woman who used to be an advisor to her sorority had told the girls if they ever needed a ride to call her, and the national told her SHE wasn't even allowed to do so. The reasoning that was if a member - pledge, alum, or collegian - drove someone home, it put the liability burden on the sorority for anything that might happen.

I'm sure lots of chapters do have programs like this - because they care about their brothers'/sisters' safety - but sadly, they have to do it under the table.
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  #50  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:04 PM
EE-BO EE-BO is offline
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Originally Posted by Kedzman View Post
I am disappointed in your thinking because it's too easy and common. Most Greeks join for a lot of the wrong reasons - they just wanna party. They miss the point that all of our national organizations were founded 100+ years ago for virtuous and nobel reasons. Somewhere along the way, the culture changed, values changed and so did fraternities.

National organizations offer their top awards to high-achieving chapters that live out their founding principles. This takes a lot of hard work, dedication, delayed gratification, discipline, accountability & more. The fact that you don't value such awards or the organizations who earn them is an indictment on your character.

Throwing big parties and breaking the rules isn't unique or difficult. Rather, it is common and easy. Thus, you are members of common, lethargic organizations. You are like dinosaurs marching toward extinction and you don't even realize it. You laugh at hard work and embrace folly.
I will try to be polite here.

I strongly disagree with your first paragraph. We are talking about SOCIAL fraternities here. While it is absolutely true that founding fathers of fraternities put forth noble ideals to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and create an organization greater than any individual member- the concept was always socially driven. And if you read up on your history you will find that partying and pranks etc. were a HUGE part of fraternity existence in the early days. Fraternities have been mistrusted and misunderstood from day 1 by a segment of the population and by many universities.

Big parties are just a reflection of what most people do when they are young- no matter what kind of organizations or friendships they have. When my parents and grandparents would have dinner parties or other events with fellow Army buddies- they retold great stories about the parties and the fun times. They did not sit around reading from the Officer's Code.

When I go to alumni parties, we talk about all the crazy stuff we did in school- we don't sit down and reread our pledge manuals.

Partying together is where the brotherhood comes from. It does not have to involve alcohol or drugs, though it often does. But again that is no different than any other group of people on this planet.

What is forcing some change right now are legal realities which affect other organizations besides fraternities. GLOs are not the only groups that routinely get sued when someone cannot control their own behavior and is seeking a scapegoat.

Now we do have to deal with that, but it does not mean that in dealing with it we are rejecting 100+ years of history and saying "that was all bad and this new way is all good." That is just salesmanship and spin- usually uttered by professional fundraisers seeking to raise tax free money for national fraternities. It has its place in the current financial environment for most fraternities, but it is not the 100% reality.
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  #51  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:50 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by Kedzman View Post
Most Greeks join for a lot of the wrong reasons - they just wanna party. They miss the point that all of our national organizations were founded 100+ years ago for virtuous and nobel reasons. Somewhere along the way, the culture changed, values changed and so did fraternities.
Brother, I hear what you're saying, but I don't agree 100%.

Back a few years ago, when I was just starting off in my own colony's existence, a long time alumnus who also happens to be very influential within our organization introduced me to the 'iron triangle,' or 3 B's of recruiting -- that being babes, bucks, and booze (not necessarily in that order). These things are key to how many very successful organizations operate today.

Later on, I attended our College of Chapters in 2001 (the first return to Lexington). There, HQ introduced the Values Based Recruitment program. I think that's what you're alluding to. VBR is great in that it involves somewhat of a paradigm shift in recruiting. No more do they want us to go after the guys who are going through Rush only to have a good time -- we want the guys who are after what we're after -- Brotherhood, Support and Friendship. We talk up things like our core values, the reason we were founded, etc.

I still think that the key to success lies somewhere between the old and the new. I think values based recruiting is wonderful, but at the same time, we shouldn't forget the social aspect of the organization, the old 3 B's. Both things are important. I'm not going to pretend to have some sort of cohesive philosophy about recruitment and what works. It never really was my forté. I just think that the truth is somewhere in between the old ways and the new way.. and I'll just leave it at that.

(my opinions are my own, and I do not speak for any other person or entity here)
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  #52  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:56 PM
srmom srmom is offline
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Kevin, I agree with you and very well put.

Of course, we all want people to be the very best they can be - having good values and ideals.

But, it's ok to have some fun too

Love that 'iron triangle' theory - 3 B's haha! I've never heard that!
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  #53  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:34 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I think a lot of NPC and NIC groups have looked at the NPHC groups, seen the incredible involvement they have (by not just collegians but alums), and are trying to emulate it by being more businesslike and putting more emphasis on philanthropy and leadership and the group's principles. (That doesn't mean the NPHC groups don't have fun - of course they do!)

The problem, of course, is that the way NIC and NPC groups rush is completely opposite to rush for the NPHC groups.

I mean, Susie can have 6 breast cancer survivors in her family, and feel very drawn to ZTA because that's their philanthropy - but if Susie walks into a ZTA rush party and feels uncomfortable and doesn't like any of the sisters, she's going to cross ZTA off the list of sororities she wants to join.

We can't rush on the principle of "join the group where you fit in" and make it all about friendship and then once people are in, say that friendship and fun should take a back seat to philanthropy and leadership and living your principles.
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  #54  
Old 06-26-2008, 03:03 PM
banditone banditone is offline
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If it weren't for the 3 B's I probably wouldn't have joined a fraternity.

I guess I'm a bad example, as leadership training was about 367th on my mind when I joined.
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  #55  
Old 06-26-2008, 03:34 PM
srmom srmom is offline
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If it weren't for the 3 B's I probably wouldn't have joined a fraternity
Three Cheers For Honesty!!

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I guess I'm a bad example, as leadership training was about 367th on my mind when I joined.
No, just a normal freshman guy.
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  #56  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:27 PM
PhiGam PhiGam is offline
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All I know is that if I talked to someone at rush who was talking like Kedzman I would walk out of the door immediately.
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  #57  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:44 PM
Elephant Walk Elephant Walk is offline
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Originally Posted by PhiGam View Post
All I know is that if I talked to someone at rush who was talking like Kedzman I would walk out of the door immediately.

I'd do it cuz I figure nationals were spying on us.
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  #58  
Old 06-26-2008, 07:10 PM
nate2512 nate2512 is offline
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Originally Posted by banditone View Post
If it weren't for the 3 B's I probably wouldn't have joined a fraternity.

I guess I'm a bad example, as leadership training was about 367th on my mind when I joined.
Yeah, me either, there are plenty of other organizations that offer chances for all that boring stuff, i.e. student goverment, clubs, and such. None rival fraternities (the real kind) in terms of what they offer socially. I wanted something more from my college experience than the drone of the norm, and while I don't need a fraternity to be social, it definitely structures and supports it.

It's normally not about what you know, but who you know.
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  #59  
Old 06-26-2008, 07:46 PM
banditone banditone is offline
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Originally Posted by Elephant Walk View Post
The only excellent Sigma Nu chapter in the SEC/ACC is Ole Miss', that I can think of. The Arkansas one isn't terrible anymore.

edit: And I'm in over 91% agreement with CB/Phi Gam/etc.
a) Someone needs to find my post on some random thread that had about 10 or so things that determine your "excellence" as a chapter.

b) Also, I need to know these lofty standards you are using and who the “peers” are for Ole Miss Sigma Nu. As far as “good” chapters, I’d like to know what SEC chapters of yours that are THAT much better then:

* South Carolina.
* University of Alabama.
* Auburn University.
* P.S. We get do-overs on campuses we were strong on then got booted off of: (expl: Florida, Georgia, Vandy, LSU)

Sidenote: Arkansas you say is not bottom tier, so I'd assume they aren't horrible. Well, they have only been back on campus for like 2 years maybe? So they weren't horrible for 5 to 10 years.
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  #60  
Old 06-26-2008, 07:53 PM
banditone banditone is offline
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and for the thread: rock-chalk-jayhawk!
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