Best Practices Library
BD1 - The chapter has two unique and interesting brotherhoods it performs. The first is entitled Bad Movie Night. Weekly, the Chaplain hosts the viewing of a sub par movie at the chapter house that members are free to come to and have a casual laugh. The second is more formal and is entitled Old Guy, New Guy Night. This brotherhood is designed specifically for the Candidates and Seniors. Once a semester, the Chaplain facilitates a formal event in which the Candidates have an opportunity to interact and get to know the Seniors and vice versa. A typical event would be attending a Cleveland sporting event. A dinner is usually part of the brotherhood.
BD2 - The chapter utilizes its Committee on Brotherhood as its honor board. Once or twice a quarter, the committee meets and opens up the meetings to members-at-large. Once in session, all members present voice their opinions/concerns regarding the performance of officers as well as bringing forth any issues members have between one another.
BD3 - At the conclusion of each week's Executive Board meeting, the Executive Board will nominate, discuss and vote on the Kingpin of the week. The Kingpin honor is given to a member who went above and beyond in helping a fellow member or the chapter during the previous week. At the chapter meeting which occurs after Executive Board meeting, the Commander announces the Executive Board's selection for Kingpin and explains why he was chosen.
BD4 - When the chapter eats as a group they follow a code of etiquette. For every violation of the code a member donates ten cents to the chapter. This is a long-standing tradition of the chapter and helps to teach new members etiquette and to keep the members acting like gentlemen.
BD5 - Knight of the Week. In every chapter meeting the chapter votes for a Knight of the Week. This person can be nominated by any member of the chapter. The person who nominates the candidate for the award will give a brief explanation as to why he is being nominated. The topic is not open for discussion. After all nominees have been named the chapter will put their heads down and raise their hand when the name of the person they feel is most deserving of the award is read off.
BD6 - The chapter divides into four 'houses' that are essentially Greek family trees. The houses are Rock, Star, Serpent, and Sword. The chapter uses these to promote friendly competition amongst the brotherhood.
BD7 - There is a brotherhood points system and at the end of the semester, the points each brother accumulates is put into a raffle and they give away different Sigma Nu gear.
BD8 - The chapter goes camping each semester out in the woods. There, around a fire, they review the Ritual and teach it to the newly initiated members.
BD9 - Chapter has a program called Peer Coaching which was developed from a program at the College of Chapters in 2009. Each chapter member is paired with another member and work through a developed program for members to coach each other on personal goals and to challenge each other on a personal level. Overall the chapter has seen great success from this program in that officers are willing to be open to the suggestions from members, and members trust their officers.
BD10 - Every chapter meeting, the chapter presents the brother of the week award in form of handing of a copy of "The Giving Tree" by Shell Silverstein, in which the giving brother has written something nice about the person he is about to give the book to.
BD11 - *NEW* Chapter implements a "Brother Book", where a member recognizes another member in the chapter for an honorable deed and then hands the book to that member. That member then holds the book until he is ready to recognize another member for being honorable by writing it in the book and then handing the book down to that member. This process continues until the book is filled.
BD12 - *NEW* The chapter has a brotherhood point system that will have brothers have their names placed on a "Brothership". This practice results in or leads to excellence for brother development. The chapter has many different brother events throughout the year that brothers would be able to attend and earn brothership points.
BD13 - *NEW* The chapter currently does a brother challenge every single week to help more members participate in chapter activities. For Super Bowl Sunday, the chapter will be challenging members to create the best chicken wings and sauces and will have some members judge the competition.
BD14 - *NEW* The chapter designates certain events (LEAD sessions, chapter meetings, campus educational programming, etc.) throughout each semester as "Snake Events." Brothers are required to attend a minimum of 75% of Snake Events in order to have the privilege of attending formal.
BD15 - Sample Brotherhood Retreat Agenda 1
BD16 - Sample Brotherhood Retreat Agenda 2
BD17 - Sample Brotherhood Retreat Agenda 3
BD18 - Sample Brotherhood Retreat Agenda 4
BD19 - Sample Brotherhood Retreat Agenda 5
LEAD and Educational Programming
BD20 - To be considered as a nominee for Executive Board, The chapter has in place a bylaw that requires members to complete Phases I and II of the LEAD Program.
BD21 - The chapter is starting a position of Career Development Chairman who will help with LEAD Phase IV implementation as well as directing information on career fairs, career resources, jobs and internships to the chapter.
BD22 - Chapter hosts a campus-wide Leadership Symposium in which the President of the University and prominent faculty speak regarding leadership on campus. It serves as a more intimate opportunity for campus officials to speak directly to student leaders. It is all organized by Sigma Nu.
BD23 - The chapter holds LEAD sessions during their lunch hour and calls them "LEAD Lunches." This allows time for all members to attend and sometimes the members pitch in for a pizza to be delivered.
BD24 - The chapter utilizes Blackboard (a common online tool students use on campus for classes) to post LEAD discussion questions, quizzes, and documents. The chapter has started to integrate the use of this tool into other areas of operations as members check Blackboard on a daily basis and it tends to be more convenient.
BD25 - Chapter uses a guest facilitator from campus outreach who develops unique educational material for the chapter to make sessions different and never repetitive. A recent example had the chapter explore "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" as an All Chapter Program
BD26 - Chapter is starting an Alumni Mentorship program to help with scholarship and the implementation of LEAD Phase III.
BD27 - Sample Program Evaluation and Attendance Roster
BD28 - Sample Program Checklist and Resources Document
BD29 - Sample Facilitator Thank You Letter
BD30 - The chapter has created a resume bank and regularly collects samples from brothers. This bank has become helpful for brothers to reference when they begin creating their own resumes.
BD31 - Chapter reserves a section of their business meeting to extend "gentlemens." Brothers bestow a gentlemen on themselves or other brothers in recognition of achievements such as landing a job, getting into a graduate program, or earn a high grade in a particular class or on a test.
BD32 - The chapter pairs up younger members with older members from either the same major or the same academic department. The older members then go over resources with the younger members and provide insight on internships, jobs, resume building, etc.
BD33 - The chapter hosts a senior banquet dinner. For the banquet, invitations are extended to parents, local alumni, and faculty members. This serves as an opportunity to connect with those groups as well as celebrate the successes of the graduating brothers.
BD34 - The chapter requires all members to attend at least 1 campus programming event every quarter (semester).
BD35 - Chapter holds an optional weekly Bible session/discussion that is open to both brothers and candidates alike. Each week is centered around a different topic or theme and the lesson plan for each week is provided to the Chaplain via campus ministries.
BD36 - The chapter hosts "Faculty Lectures" where professors speak at the chapter's brownstone on an intellectually engaging topic of the professor's choosing.
Transitions and Membership Development Plans
BD37 - The chapter uses a shadow program for officer transitions. Once new officers are elected, the incoming officers will participate with the outgoing officers in chapter meetings. The incoming officers are also a part of all decisions that happen between election and the end of the outgoing officer's term. This has created capable officers that are able to begin their term with training and experience.
BD38 - The chapter utilizes a shadowing program in order to effectively transition officers. In addition to keeping important transition documents/material, the chapter has timed its elections in a way to give approximately a three (3) month overlap for the officer elect to shadow their predecessor.
BD39 - Sample Officer Transition Retreat Agenda
BD40 - Sample Treasurer Transition
BD41 - Sample Membership Development Plan 1
BD42 - Sample Membership Development Plan 2
General Fraternity Resources
GFBD1 - Teambuilding Activities List
GFBD2 - Secret Thoughts of a Ritual - by Edward M. King
GFBD3 - LEAD Tracking Sheet
GFBD4 - LEAD Certificate Order Form
GFBD5 - LEAD Myths and Misconceptions
GFBD6 - LEAD Administrative Account Instructions
GFBD7 - Steps for Implementing LEAD Phase I
GFBD8 - Steps for Implementing LEAD Phase II
GFBD9 - Steps for Implementing LEAD Phase III
GFBD10 - Steps for Implementing LEAD Phase IV
GFBD11 - Steps for Implementing All Chapter LEAD Programming
GFBD12 - Sample Brotherhood Calendar *NEW*
GFBD13 - LEAD Master Facilitator List *NEW*
GFBD14 - Building a Successful Chapter Retreat *NEW*
Call for Practices
If you have a great example or resource that you think should be included in the Best Practices Library, we want to know about it. Send your examples and resources via e-mail to Christopher Brenton, Associate Director of Leadership Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Officer Resources
The perfect complement to the Best Practices Library is the specific chapter officer resources page. Here you can access additional resources and the chapter officer manual for each officer. Also be sure to check out the following pages on the Fraternity's service and philanthropy related resources: