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6 Things I Wish I Knew as Risk Reduction Chairman


Dear Newly Elected Risk Reduction Chairman,

Congrats on your new position. As the chapter’s most recent Risk Reduction Chairman, 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. It is easier than I assumed – most, if not all, brothers want our events to be safe. And I can play a role in ensuring that happens. There is natural buy-in to what the Risk Reduction Chairman is doing.
  2. It is harder than I assumed – while there is buy-in to having safe events, there can sometimes be pushback on how you attempt to do so. There will be situations when your position will require you to confront some of your best friends because they are making poor choices.
  3. There’s a blueprint to doing this well – as mentioned above, fundamentally chapter members support your position because it helps support their goal of having safe events. And fortunately there is a blueprint to consistently creating safe, and still enjoyable, events – the Fraternity’s Risk Reduction Policy and Guidelines.
  4. Know your stuff – one of the most important parts of your position is helping plan chapter events and activities that operate in compliance with the Risk Reduction Policy and Guidelines and IFC/University policy. To do that well, you need to know those policies.
  5. It’s not just the parties – the job is not just to make sure the rules are followed at the parties. You are responsible for reducing risk across all areas of the chapter’s operations. For example, work with the Fire Marshal to conduct a fire drill once a semester and create emergency exit routes to be posted throughout the house. Coordinate with the LEAD Chairman to ensure risk reduction education is incorporated into the overall LEAD calendar. There are many opportunities for you to reduce risk in the chapter outside of the social events.
  6. Help is available – making sense of all those different policies can be one challenge. Learning how to actually create events and activities that complies with those policies, and is still fun for the members and guests, can be an entirely different challenge. Fortunately, there is a team of allies and experts that, like the chapter members, are in full support of helping the chapter create safe events. Consult that team (alumni advisors, Fraternity/Sorority Life Office, General Fraternity) regularly.

I hope you find this letter helpful as you take over the responsibilities of your new position. I’m always ready to provide support, answer questions, and do whatever else you need to help you be successful as our Risk Reduction Chairman.


“Recently Retired” Risk Reduction Chairman

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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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