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Best Practices Library

Brother Development

Brotherhood Events Chapter Retreats Guest Facilitators LEAD Program
Mental Health Officer Transitions Points Systems General Fraternity 

Brotherhood Events and Ideas

BD1 - The chapter hosts an event entitled Bad Movie Night. Weekly, the Chaplain hosts the viewing of a subpar movie at the chapter house that members are free to come to and have a casual laugh.

BD2 - The chapter hosts a brotherhood event called Old Guy, New Guy Night. This brotherhood event 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 sporting event. A dinner is usually part of the event.

BD3 - The chapter utilizes its Committee on Brotherhood as its honor board. Once or twice a quarter, the committee meets and opens 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.

BD4 - When the chapter eats as a group, they follow a code of etiquette. For every violation of the code a member donates $1 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.

BD10 - 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.

BD45 - The chapter has a weekly dinner at a local restaurant with a bunch of TVs for sports viewing. The chapter has eaten dinner there at the same time on the same day for the last ten years. If an alumnus is in town and wants to visit with the chapter they know to show up to that dinner. The chapter members are also encouraged to bring PNMs and have a weekly consistent event to help PNMs meet the brothers. Attendance isn’t taken and the attendance can vary from ten members to the entire chapter. 

BD12 - The chapter does a brother challenge every single week to help more members participate in chapter activities. For example, on Super Bowl Sunday, the chapter will challenge members to create the best chicken wings and sauces and will have some members judge the competition.

BD13 - 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 to have the privilege of attending formal.

BD14 - The chapter holds one small brotherhood event each week. In order to have new, innovative, and creative ideas for brotherhood events, each class of brothers (freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors) are responsible for planning a set number of weekly brotherhood events per semester.

BD38 - Chapter holds an optional weekly spirituality 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 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.

BD35 - 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.

BD34 - 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 earning a high grade in a class or on a test.

BD46 - The Chapter held a Pizza and Puzzles brotherhood event where members were split into teams and competed against one another to see which could be the first to finish an extra-large pizza and a 200-piece puzzle. Based on feedback from the event, the chapter is planning to conduct another Pizza and Puzzles competition as a mixer with a campus sorority.

BD47 - Chapter hosts a semester-long ping pong tournament where brothers compete in heats - with the final bracket happening during a larger scale brotherhood event.

BD48 - Chapter hosts a monthly event where brothers contribute a statement of how they have contributed to / benefited the chapter over the last 30 days. 

BD49 - The chapter designs weekly brotherhood challenges for members (e.g., healthiest eater, funniest t-shirt, most touchdowns in Madden) to increase brotherhood participation; there are prizes and incentives (e.g., gift cards) for winning a weekly challenge.

Chapter Retreats

BD8 - The chapter goes camping each semester. There, around a fire, the chapter reviews the Ritual and teaches it to the newly initiated members.

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

Guest Facilitators

BD25 - Chapter uses guest facilitators from campus who develop unique educational material for the chapter to make sessions different and never repetitive.

BD33 - The chapter regularly invites representatives from the career development office to teach members about how to develop their resumes. These presentations are helpful for brothers as they begin preparing for interviews and job fairs.

BD39 - The chapter hosts "Faculty Lectures" where professors speak at the chapter's home on an intellectually engaging topic of the professor's choosing.

BD31 - Sample Facilitator Thank You Letter

BD32 - Sample All Chapter LEAD - Alumni Speaker Series

LEAD Program and Educational Programs

BD20 - To be considered as a nominee for the 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 has a position of Career Development Chairman who helps 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.

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 daily and it tends to be more convenient.

BD26 - Chapter is starting an alumni mentorship program to help with scholarship and the implementation of LEAD Phase III.

BD27 - The chapter has two elected LEAD Chairman. One is elected on the calendar year and the other is elected on the academic year so that there is always an experienced LEAD Chairman organizing events.

BD28 - The chapter conducts a LEAD programming conference, called LEAD Day. During this event, the chapter coordinates with alumni and volunteer facilitators to lead sessions in each phase of the LEAD program. By the end of the conference members will have attended at least 3 individual LEAD sessions and 2 All Chapter LEAD programming sessions. Chapters in the surrounding area are also invited to participate.

BD54 - The chapter conducts educational sessions with newly initiated brothers to educate them on performance and reflection of the Ritual.

BD55 - To better manage the load of the LEAD Program, the chapter holds Phase I and II sessions only in the fall*, and Phase III and IV in the spring, sprinkling in All-Chapter LEAD when it is best to fit it into the schedule. *The chapter only takes a fall candidate class, thus all candidates participate in LEAD Phase I during their candidate term. 

BD29 - Sample Program Evaluation and Attendance Roster

BD30 - Sample Program Checklist and Resources Document

Mental Health

BD9 - Chapter has a program called Peer Coaching. Each chapter member is paired with another member and works 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.

BD50 - The chapter has "Chaplain Chats" each week after chapter. The basic premise is that anyone who wishes to stay after chapter ends and discuss their current issues, struggles, and success are welcome to. It is an informal gathering where brothers can share what is on their mind and what they are focusing on that week.

BD56 - The chapter has several brothers become mental health certified each year through a campus program.

Officer Transitions

BD40 - 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.

BD41 - Sample Officer Transition Retreat Agenda

BD42 - Sample Treasurer Transition

BD43 - Membership Development Plan for Chaplain and LEAD Chairman

BD44 - Sample Officer Transition for LEAD Chairman

Points Systems

BD7 - The chapter utilizes a brotherhood points system. At the end of the semester, the points each brother accumulates is put into a raffle with a chance to win Sigma Nu gear and apparel.

BD51 - The chapter has a brotherhood points system that will have brothers have their names placed on a "Brothership" plaque, wall, etc. The chapter will have multiple events throughout the year that brothers would be able to attend and earn brothership points. 

BD52 - The chapter utilizes "housing points" to encourage active participation in events, scholarship hours, and holding positions/committees. The individuals with the most points receive a better room placement for the following academic year. 

BD53 - The chapter uses QR codes to scan for attendance at all events – to accrue points for their brotherhood contest, also to track brothers who have been coming to events, and to check in on delinquent brothers.

General Fraternity Resources

GFBD1 - Sigma Nu Teambuilding Guide

GFBD2 - Secret Thoughts of a Ritual - by Edward M. King

GFBD3 - LEAD Attendance Tracking Sheet

GFBD4 - LEAD Certificate Order Form

GFBD5 - LEAD Myths and Misconceptions

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

GFBD13 - LEAD Master Facilitator List

GFBD14 - Building a Successful Chapter Retreat

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 to Austin Lloyd, Director of Chapter Services, at austin.lloyd@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: 

© 2015-2022 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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