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6 Things I Wish I Knew as Marshal 

Dear Newly Elected Marshal, 

Congrats on your new position. As the chapter’s most recent Marshal, I wanted to share the six key things I wish I knew 12 months ago when assuming the position. Hopefully, this list helps lessen your learning curve and sets you on the right path for success with one of the most important roles in our chapter. 

  1. Being prepared is critical – having a detailed, week-by-week plan of what you want to get accomplished in the candidate program is key to being successful. Having this prepared in advance will make it much easier to navigate the constantly changing chapter calendar.  

  1. LEAD is a helpful tool – no need to figure out on your own the key things candidates should be taught before they are initiated. Most, if not all, of the topics and concepts critical for candidates to know, are covered through Phase I of the LEAD Program 

  1. Expect pushback against change – candidate education, maybe more so than any other area of chapter operations, seems to get a lot of pushback when pursuing change. Whether it be fear of change or an assumption what we have been doing is some sort of timeless tradition, expect to get challenged when you propose a change. That doesn’t mean that change should not happen. Quite the opposite. Find allies, be prepared to show how the change will make the program better, and, most of all, persist in leading the program to be better, as the chapter elected you to do.   

  1. 3 P’s of candidate education remember, People, Purpose, and Powerful. Make sure the chapter has set up recruitment to get the kind of quality new members that can be transformed through the candidate program into good initiated members. For example, you are unlikely to transform a new member with a 2.0 high school GPA into a 3.5 college scholar. Make sure everything done in the candidate program is directly connected to an intended outcome of the program. If it isn’t, change it or get rid of it. Lastly, remember the power that the candidate program experience has on both the candidate and chapter. It sets the tone of what membership in Sigma Nu is supposed to be about. The new class will also have a significant influence on the success, or lack thereof, of the chapter for the next 4-5 years. 

  1. Consult your resources there are a significant number of resources available to help you in doing this position well. First and foremost, the written, detailed candidate program is your blueprint. Refer to it often. Your officer resource page is a good starting place to see all the resources the General Fraternity makes available for the Marshal position. 

  1. Consult your team –there is a team of allies and experts standing ready to support you in successfully executing the important responsibilities of being Marshal. Consult that team (alumni advisors, Fraternity/Sorority Life Office, General Fraternityregularly. 

I hope you find this letter helpful as you take over as the chapter’s new Marshal. I’m always ready to provide support, answer questions, and do whatever else you need to help you be successful. Good luck! 


“Recently Retired” Marshal 

© 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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