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Best Practices Library

Candidate Development

Big Brother Programs

CD1 - As part of their big brother program the Marshal holds 2 mandatory sessions to be eligible for being a Big Brother.  At these sessions, he talks of what is required and expected of them as big brothers.

CD2 - The Marshal and LEAD Chairman interview each candidate's selected Big Brother.  They cover topics regarding financial obligation, proper conduct and ethical responsibility.  The chapter does this to ensure that the potential Big Brother is aware of the responsibility that comes with becoming a mentor.

CD3 - Sample Big Brother Ceremony 1

CD4 - Sample Big Brother Ceremony 2

CD5 - Sample Big Brother Contract

CD6 - Sample Big Brother Night Procedures and Rules

Candidate Education Ideas

CD7 - The chapter assists candidates in landing campus employment if they so desire, meet key University officials and introduce each candidate to the Greek Advisor, Vice President of Student Affairs and President of the University if possible.  This practice allows key University leaders to learn the names and faces of candidates early and helps candidates find involvement opportunities.  Doing this has assisted the chapter in landing Student Body Presidents, IFC Presidents, etc.

CD8 - Each candidate is given a weekly worksheet by the Marshal in which they plan out how they will spend their time that upcoming week.  Each candidate's Big Brother will review the plan with the candidate and offer him advice/tips on how to better manage time.  This program assists in improving candidate academic performance and also in acclimating candidates to the various commitments that go along with being a member.

CD9 - Each candidate class meeting utilizes parliamentary procedure just as a chapter meeting would.  The Candidate Class President runs the meeting while the Candidate Class Recorder distributes an agenda to all candidates.  The candidate classes utilize roll call, reading and approval of minutes, committee and officer reports, old business, new business and announcements.  During the announcements portion, the Marshal provides his report and announces any chapter updates/events for the upcoming week.  The candidate class is organized in much the same way as the collegiate chapter, responsible for many of the same responsibilities that it has.  This practice prepares candidates to be productive and contributing members upon initiation.

CD10 - The chapter treats their candidates as the next leaders of the chapter, involving them in everything from intramural sports to the committee system and allowing candidates to play vital and active roles in the chapter.  All initiates take individual responsibility for getting to know the candidates, the progression of each through candidate education, and work to assist candidates to prepare for future leadership roles in the chapter.

CD11 - Periodically, the Marshal gives the candidate class a controversial topic and moderates a debate amongst candidates in a manner similar to a chapter meeting. This is designed to prepare the candidates to be able to handle conflict appropriately in chapter meetings once they are initiated.

CD12 - Brothers assist all candidates in getting involved in one other campus organization.  Mock interviews are conducted to help candidates gain an advantage.

CD13 - The chapter created a candidate class code of conduct to which all candidates sign their name.

CD14 - A sample webpage aimed toward educating potential new members and their parents on the expectations of candidacy. Website Example 

CD15 - The chapter contacts candidates’ parents and friends to write personal letters to the candidates. The chapter then surprises the candidates by giving them these letters which allows candidates to reflect on who they are as a person and how they have become that person. 

CD16 - The chapter has each candidate class complete a candidate class 'petition' prior to initiation. This is a mini petition/PEP including everything that the class has done over the course of the semester. It also includes brief bios about each person and how they contributed to the fraternity and what impact it made on their semester.

CD17 - The chapter arranges a brotherhood retreat with each candidate class.  During one night of the retreat, each candidate writes a short paragraph describing what the Cardinal Principles of Love, Honor, and Truth mean to each of them.  Every candidate shares what Love means to them and the members then discuss actions they have seen that demonstrate members acting with Love or what they Love about The Fraternity.  This is repeated for both Honor and Truth.  The Truth session is saved for last as it tends to be the most revealing.  Similar to the unity circle, members tend to be open and honest about themselves and issues the chapter is facing.

CD18 - The chapter each semester facilitates a conference call for the parents of all candidates.  This call gives parents a sense of the organization's purpose, basic expectations of membership, what the fraternity has and does not offer, etc.  This gets parents engaged from the start and begins building valuable relationships between them and the chapter.  The more engaged and informed parents are, the lower the potential for member apathy.  

CD19 - Halfway through the candidate program, candidates elect new candidate class officers so that more candidates can gain officer and leadership experience.

CD20 - The chapter uses "The Way of Honor" as a tool for Candidate Education. Candidates have weekly readings that they discuss in Candidate Class meetings and at LEAD Phase I sessions.

CD21 - Chapter conducts a "supplemental" LEAD Phase I session where they bring in alumni to discuss "Dawgs History" (UGA football/athletic history). This is generally done on a Friday or Saturday prior to a football game. It does a great job of getting the candidates excited/connected to the university and athletic program and gives them an opportunity to interact with various alumni in an informal setting.

CD22 - *NEW* The chapter has developed a powerpoint presentation to inform all new members about parliamentary procedure and Roberts Rules of Order. This helps new members learn how to run an effective business meeting.

CD23 - Sample Sigma Nu History Jeopardy Game

CD24 - Sample Advisor Charge to Candidates

CD25 - Sample Advisor Contact Sheet for Parents

CD26 - Sample Alumni Letter to Newly Initiated Members

CD27 - Sample Parent Conference Call Invitation Letter

CD28 - Sample Initiation Invitation 

CD29 - Sample Positive Points System 1

CD30 - Sample Positive Points System 2

CD31 - Sample Candidate Retreat Agenda 1

CD32 - Sample Candidate Retreat Agenda 2

CD33 - Sample Candidate Retreat Agenda 3

Candidate Education Programs

CD34 - At the half way point of every semester, the Executive Board sits down with each candidate individually to ask how the semester and candidate education have been progressing.  Additionally, each candidate is asked to give constructive criticism of the Marshal and the candidate education program in general.  At the following Executive Board meeting, the officers review their candidate meetings and share general criticisms the candidates levy. Marshals utilize this information to improve the candidate education program and their leadership styles.

CD35 - The chapter utilizes two candidate meetings per week, one dedicated towards completion of LEAD Phase I and another actual candidate class meeting, similar to a chapter meeting, in which business, completion of required projects and upcoming events are discussed.

CD36 - The Marshal provides a listing of the expectations of being a candidate and requirements to become an initiate.  These are presented to those who have accepted their bids and explained to them prior to the Candidate Ceremony.  

CD37 - The Marshal requires all candidates to complete the applicable online session of LEAD Phase I before attending the facilitated portion.  At the facilitated session, the Marshal will have a PowerPoint presentation that goes along with the session discussion and activities.  Each Marshal has the option of editing the presentations.  The program is effective in making LEAD Phase I interesting and enjoyable for candidates.

CD38 - The chapter's candidate education program treats the candidate class as a fully functioning, separate entity within the larger chapter.  Not only does candidate education incorporate the LEAD Program, but candidates are required to plan their own class fundraiser, social event, and philanthropy for the entire chapter to participate in.  The candidate education program is designed to be dynamic and teach candidates the applicable leadership skills to better prepare them for their future as active leaders in the chapter.

CD39 - The chapter has divided its candidate education program into three distinct phases. The first phase is entitled 'love', the second 'honor', and the third 'truth'. During these three phases, which last approximately three weeks each, the candidates are required to complete a certain number of LEAD sessions, attend chapter activities and functions, and other duties as required. At the end of each phase the candidates are rewarded with a big brother, candidate class retreat, and initiation, respectively. 

CD40 - The chapter makes sure that new candidates are familiar with The Law and chapter by-laws by creating a quiz to be completed as part of candidate education.

CD41 - The chapter has assisted the candidate class in establishing their own Honor Board.  The candidate Honor Board can address minor conduct and performance issues within the candidate class.  This promotes accountability and helps candidates learn the process of internal judicial mechanisms.

CD42 - The chapter has created a "LEAD" book that it distributes to all candidates that includes chapter history, organizational structure, candidate expectations, and other resources.  The books provide an outline of the candidate process and the necessary resources and tools for the candidates to have a productive and successful candidate experience.

CD43 - *NEW* The chapter distributes a letter to parents of new members welcoming them to Sigma Nu, introducing the chapter's leadership and alumni volunteers, and inviting parents to participate in a conference call to address any questions they have about the new member process.

CD44 - *NEW* Chapter sends out a "Parents Email" to all parents of candidates following their induction ceremony. The Commander and Marshal provide their contact information as well as a breakdown of finances, expectations, requirements, etc.

CD45 - Sample Candidate Code of Conduct

CD46 - Sample Candidate Education Committee Responsibilities

CD47 - Sample Canddiate Education Program Evaluation

CD48 - Sample Candidate Education Program 1

CD49 - Sample Candidate Education Program 2

CD50 - Sample Candidate Education Program 3

CD51 - Sample Candidate Education Program 4

CD52 - Sample Candidate Education Program 5

CD53 - Sample Candidate Education Program 6

CD54 - Sample Candidate Manual 1

CD55 - Sample Candidate Manual 2 *NEW*

CD56 - Sample Marshal Contract

CD57 - Sample Commander Letter to Candidates

General Fraternity Resources

GFCD1 - Candidate Education Program Components *UPDATED*

GFCD2 - Steps for Implementing LEAD Phase I

GFCD3 - Building a Big Brother Program *UPDATED*

GFCD4 - Guide for Running a Candidate Class Meeting *UPDATED*

GFCD5 - Bulding a Successful Candidate Retreat *NEW*

GFCD6 - Sample Candidate Education Questionnaire *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 christopher.brenton@sigmanu.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: 

© 2015-2017 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: 540.463.1869 | Fax: 540.463.1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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