So you have a remarkable chapter? Let’s take a closer look…
By Ben Pendry, NIC
and Dave Westol, Limberlost Consulting, Inc.
What is a “remarkable” chapter? What separates a remarkable chapter from other
chapters on your campus?
Ground rule # 1: No references to social life. We don’t care which chapters are popular or
which chapters your chapter functions with—the social pecking order relates to
“Remarkable” in what way?
Ground rule # 2: No reference to intramurals. Give us a QB with a quick first pass, at
least one good receiver, a rusher and a d-back and you take the IM trophy in football. And
that makes your chapter “Remarkable”?
Ground rule # 3: We don’t care whether you have a house or not. We don’t care about the
square footage, how much money has been invested in the house or what it looks like.
Ground rule # 4: Big numbers in recruitment or a large chapter size does not equate to
Ground rule # 5: Stop boring us with “famous alumni/ae” You and I didn’t join because ___
___ was/is a member.
Oh yeah. That old bromide about 48% of US Presidents, ad infinitum isn’t accurate. Reach
into your clue bag and come up with something other than lint, dust and a few Gummy
And before you use the term “Sisterhood” or “Brotherhood”—explain to us how you quantify
that elusive quality or strength.
A few questions for you:
If your members were not wearing letters or badges or any other indicia of membership,
would people on campus recognize your chapter? And how?
Grade Point Average: How does that relate to “Remarkable”?
Name one event or project that is unique to your chapter—something that was created,
developed and implemented by your chapter—that benefits the campus or community and
does not involve the collection of money.
Are “families” Big, OK or No Big Deal in your chapter?
Is pledge class unity Big or NBD in your chapter?
Do you have specific, measurable expectations for members? Hint: GPA, paying bills on
time, living in the house if required, involvement.
Unorthodox or unconventional ways to evaluate chapters:
The composite: for men’s groups—baseball caps in 2008 mean probation in 2009.
Condition of the Ritual books:
How do members recite your creed, credo or mission statement?
Percentage of members who attend at least one regional/national event during their time in
Your academic excellence program: library hours (yeah, those really work) or “Excellence
If we asked your neighbors for their impressions of your chapter, what would they say? The
police? Fire department? University judicial affairs office?
What year in school is your governing group representative?
Where is the charter in your chapter?
When things go wrong, what is your first response:
“These were the actions of some rogue members”
“Don’t you have any idea of how much money we raised for charity last year?”
Or the one we rarely read: “We accept responsibility for the actions of some of our
members. We are, after all, a sisterhood/brotherhood. We all took the same vows and
we also vowed to hold each other accountable. We offer this apology to everyone and we
commit ourselves to improving our chapter and our Greek community”