By Josh Orendi
Often, fraternity and sorority members argue that they are about "quality not quantity," we sing songs about being the best group on campus, and we edify each other after the formal rush period with tears and confirming bear hugs as we tell one another that again this year "we got the best guys/girls on campus" to join our group.
Quality ". We know the independent students on campus, administration, and campus newspaper question the quality of our membership. Why? Our founding values are so noble and we take such care in membership selection. We are an experiment of what happens when the campus's best students assemble together in lifelong bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood. Our organizations are a demonstration of excellence. Right?
Sometimes we feel pride, excitement, fun, or friendship at deep levels and mistake this for a quality organization. To draw a parallel, when some people meet a person that makes them feel excited, aroused, or validated they jump into the proverbial deep end and you hear them tell others that they met the "perfect person" ‐ a quality relationship that is sure to last " this time.
To offer a somewhat objective look at the quality of your chapter, I've brainstormed a few dozen questions you can use to measure the state of the organization. There's no scientific method to my madness. I simply hope to encourage chapter members to reconsider their definition of "quality" and the process they are using to cultivate both quality members and a quality membership experience.
1. Are your members setting the curve or trying to make the curve?
2. Would you let your biological sister date the average guy in your chapter?
3. Would you feel comfortable letting a random member of your chapter explain the fraternity to your mother?
4. When your members say they will do something or be somewhere, do you often find yourself disappointed?
5. Is your membership 100% drug free?
6. If the chapter received an unexpected donation of $10,000, would that money be used to advance the purpose of the organization or entertain the members?
7. Is service something your members do because they believe deeply in the value of giving?
8. Are women referred to in chapter meetings with words that evoke respect and equality?
9. Is your chapter house perceived by the community as a valuable part of the neighborhood?
10. Are the lifelong members of your fraternity continuing to support the fraternity after they graduate from college?
11. Do your alumni speak of their fraternity experience in the present tense or past tense?
12. If a member knew you were skipping a class, an appointment, or another commitment, would they hold you accountable?