We Need A More Democratic Fraternity & Sorority World

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I started my first blog, unfortunately titled The Bond Fraternal, in July 2011.

One month prior I began working for my fraternity headquarters. I graduated from college in May of that same year.

As much as I’ve gained from spending 6 years woven into the national happenings of fraternities and sororities, I can’t say that my ideas have changed. They have been introduced in new ways through my new(er) website, but have remained consistent.

We have problems, and our greatest efforts to address the problems we know we need to address have failed or flatlined. So why are we still turning to the established thought leaders for our latest scoop?

Here’s the gossip everyone hears but few attach their name to:

There is real love amongst the crowd of fraternity and sorority professionals, and it has created some delusional, egotistical, close-minded all stars.

Some have as much influence over the rest of the professional world of fraternities and sororities as Lady Gaga would have over a gay nightclub in New York City. Everything they say is as epic as a Betty White quote. The ground they walk on glo. . . you get it.

There is a fanatic mob of educated, respectful individuals who just happen to parrot everything their chosen Greek Life God says without question.

Through the hubbub and the egocentric bureaucracies it has created in our colleges/universities and national organizations we have drowned out those who have all of the answers to our problems.

The students and alumni of our field are too often ignored. If they are not being ignored they are being researched, and their plain language is twisted and manipulated into an unrelated theory with data and statistics to back it up.

Is there use for research and data in our field? Sure.

Am I suggesting that you are a bad person if you are one of those all stars? No – address your self confidence if I register as someone to be offended by.

Students and alumni routinely suggest that those of us who work in the world of fraternities or sororities are not listening, that we are giving political or roundabout answers to their questions, or that we are more concerned with whether the Rolling Stone will write a damning article about us than we are with providing valuable benefits to our paying members.

They are not wrong, and may be right.

I’m too young to run for my Grand Council, but if I weren’t I would suggest that we defer more of the decisions we make to our students and their alumni advisory structures.

Instead, I’d like to encourage a sense of fraternity activism among our paying student members. I’d like to publicize and support young alumni doing great things before they become rich and famous.

You don’t need to wait for someone with a title or a degree to make decisions for you. Money talks and most organizations have some mechanism for members to vote and be heard. My goal as a fraternity alumnus is to help more members be heard. I would love your help.

Perhaps I’m being a little harsh. . . but I’ve encountered many a professional eager to put students or alumni in their place, so why not see if we can take criticism as eagerly as we can dish it?


This piece was originally posted to LinkedIn.