When it comes to building a strong sorority or fraternity, your new member education program can significantly alter a new active class’s expectations and the quality of members that make it in. You want your fraternity or sorority to be the best that it can be, so you’ve started contemplating ways to improve your new member education program. 

How do you improve your new member education program? To improve your fraternity or sorority’s new member program, it’s imperative to do the following:

  1. Set realistic expectations
  2. Hold new members accountable
  3. Provide opportunities to challenge new members
  4. Focus on active and new member bonding 
  5. Revamp your voting processes

However, it’s important to understand how to execute each of these. Keep reading to learn the details on how to effectively improve your new member education program. 

How to Improve a Sorority or Fraternity’s New Member Education Program

Below you will find more information on executing each of the five steps mentioned above. 

1. Set Realistic Expectations

A sorority or fraternity’s new member education program provides the perfect opportunity to educate potential new members about your organization’s expectations. Up until this point in time, your PNMs might have had a different idea in mind. This is the time to clarify what they will need to do to be accepted into the sorority or fraternity, and what will be expected of them as an active member. 

Doing this will help you determine who is there for the right reasons. If any potential new members aren’t truly on board with what your sorority or fraternity stands for, they’ll drop out during the new member program. While that isn’t ideal, ultimately, you want members who are there for the right reasons. 

However, it’s best to remove the risk of having PNMs that don’t align with your organization’s values ahead of time. To do that, you need to consider how you can uncover those gaps earlier, pre-bid. If you need help finding quality PNMs that best align with your chapter’s values, there is software for that! GreekXperience is the leading software meant to help you find PNMs that will best align with your chapter’s values. The best part is that they’ll do it at a scale that will help you smash your recruitment targets!

2. Hold People Accountable

Some Greek life organizations tend to drop the ball when it comes to the new member education program. They let continuous mishaps occur and accept members that aren’t meeting the chapter’s standards. Then, they end up with active members who are unhappy and not a great fit for the sorority or fraternity. That’s why it’s important to hold people accountable. 

If your potential new members aren’t taking the new member education program seriously, aren’t getting involved, and aren’t trying to build relationships with their fellow potential brothers or sisters and the current active members, it’s best to let them go.

Before deciding to let them go, of course, you can talk with them and set up a plan for them to succeed. In the plan, you should include the following:

  • How the PNM has been failing to accomplish their tasks so far.
  • The tangible steps that they can take to accomplish their tasks moving forward.
  • Potential consequences for failing to achieve these standards.

If they continue to drop the ball, active members need to take that into account during voting. 

3. Provide Opportunities to Challenge People

Providing opportunities for potential new members to take on more responsibility will show you who is willing to step up to the plate. These members will be the ones most likely to take on chair positions in your fraternity. Therefore, it’s essential to give people opportunities to grow and challenge themselves and reward them accordingly.

Additionally, those who take on more responsibility will feel that they got more out of the new member education program. This can result in greater appreciation from your potential new members, which can translate to their active membership.

Some ideas to consider implementing include the following:

  • Organizing a New Member event to teach them budgeting, planning, and marketing skills.
  • Designing a philanthropy fundraiser or community involvement event of their choice, aligned to your organizational values.
  • Supporting campus Greek life initiatives to ensure that they are building and taking care of the whole community, not just their organization.

4. Focus on Active and New Member Bonding

It’s important to make sure that you are setting up activities every week for active members to bond with the potential new members. You can also pair active brothers or sisters with potential new members so that they can have one on one meet-ups.

This one-on-one bonding time will give PNMs the opportunity to learn from existing members how they can best contribute.  Additionally, facilitating bonding will help active members decide who would be a good fit for the fraternity or sorority and confirm to the PNM that they have found the right lifelong brotherhood or sisterhood. 

Overall, the goal is to help PNMs feel more at home when they do finally become initiated. 

For ideas for team building activities, click here.

5. Revamp the Voting Process

Another aspect of the new member education program is voting. You will need to vote on potential new members, so if your voting method is outdated, you should look into ways to streamline the process. While getting feedback from all of your members is ideal, it can be time-consuming. 

Additionally, getting objective feedback can be a hit or miss. Many of you can probably relate to the saying, “but he/she is a cool guy/girl” as a reason to keep a poor fit. The truth is, if you want to improve your fraternity or sorority, someone being “cool” isn’t going to get you there. 

To revamp your voting, you should be utilizing online voting. But even more importantly, you should be utilizing the proper tools to help you objectively analyze whether a PNM is going to be a good fit. Again, GreekXperience is the software that you need to be using. Their software will allow you to customize voting and help keep voting more objective. 

Wrapping Up

Now you know how to improve your new member program. It’s important to invest in the program because your potential new members are those that are going to be your active members. You can’t improve your active membership if you don’t get to the root of where things are failing or succeeding. Knowledge is power.

The right technology can help you manage your new member education process and improve your membership quality from day one. With GreekXperience, your chapter gains in-app voting and feedback customized to your chapter so you can quickly grow a quality membership. This is just one of many more features to help you discover, grow, and achieve in Greek life!

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