Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Letter to Parents of a prospective member

Now that Rush (ahem, I mean RECRUITMENT) season is in full swing, some of the prospective members may need help persuading their parents that joining a fraternity is actually a positive thing.

This letter was written by Chuck Eberly (an Order of the Golden Heart recipient) to parents of a young man who is considering joining. It is longer than is reasonable to post in its entirety so I have put it on a server for download in MS-Word format.

Here are a few excerpts where Chuck explains the positive side of fraternity life.
[...]In the more than thirty semesters since the chapter's founding, Sig Ep (the nickname) has been above the All Men's Average nearly 80 percent of those semesters, while the next highest chapter has been above the All Men's Average slightly under 30 percent of the time. Young men need an atmosphere where the expectation for academic performance is strong. If they find that atmosphere, their own performance meets the expectations of the group.
Of course, a college fraternity experience includes more than an atmosphere that supports classroom performance. [...] Young men are easily attracted to the perceived benefits and privileges of membership, but they seldom realize that benefits and privileges are attached to performance expectations and obligations. Among the topics covered [in an orientation discussion] are scholarship, personal and group behavior, responsibilities to self and chapter as a member, relationships with the opposite sex ..., the use and abuse of alcohol and other substances, how to study and take examinations, campus resources, and the initial explanation of Sigma Phi Epsilon's Balanced Man Program.

[...M]en who join Illinois Nu are a full member (sic) the moment they join the fraternity. They attend all chapter meetings, and should they choose, they are eligible to become officers of the chapter within a semester of their joining the group. The "horizontal" membership structure helps to markedly lower the incidence of misbehavior, whether the behavior be something akin to hazing, personal servitude, or other activities.
A very positive and thoughtful explanation of what it REALLY means to join a serious college fraternity.

Chapters are encouraged to download and modify the letter to fit your own needs and circumstances. The HQ site also has a "Parents" section with more information.

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