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The Marietta College is struggling to improve brotherhood participation in all fraternity events, not just social events. This feasibility report explores four potential options, in order to increase the total brotherhood participation. These options include: fining students who don’t go to all events, rewarding students who go to all events, talking to alumni to understand what makes a successful event and using that information to hold a successful event. Lastly talking with other fraternities that are successful in having high brotherhood participation, seeing what they do that allows for their high brotherhood involvement and implementing their tendencies to come up with new ideas for all fraternity events.
This report recommends that Marietta College uses ideas from both alumni and other fraternities, seeing as that will provide the best option to increase brotherhood involvement because it will increase excitement from students and therefore generate more participation. This method seems ideal because implanting successful ideas from other fraternities will only benefit Marietta College.
Additionally, recreating past successful events will be exciting and give more reasons for students to participate. Rewarding students will prove to be cost inefficient over an extended period of time, and the fraternity will end up losing money. Imposing fines and restricting party privileges will increase the overall brotherhood involvement, but it will be for the wrong reasons. Students will show up for the sole purpose of not losing money or being able to party, and the morale will still be low with the same problem remaining prevalent.
The Marietta College provides all of its members a unique experience, of both amazing party life and the ability to make connections that will last a long time. However, being in a fraternity isn’t all about parties and letting loose, it’s also about being a good student and a serviceable member to your community. Not doing so can pose severe problems to their chapter; therefore, it’s essential to have established the balance within the fraternity between civic duty and social life.
As a current member of the Marietta College it has become evident that some students are focused on partying and have forgotten that there are more ways to be involved in the fraternity than partying. Currently, attendance is abysmal since some students feel that they can learn what happened in chapter through our chapter recap posted on the listserv. In addition, there is a lack of student attendance and participation at our own sponsored philanthropies. When students prove to be more invested in partying than the fraternity itself, it can be detrimental to the fraternity. Lack of overall involvement can lead to a negative reputation of the fraternity on campus, hurt recruitment efforts for new members, decrease brotherhood morale, and put the fraternity at risk of sanctions.
Therefore, it’s very critical to consider the options to increase the overall involvement from students, for the betterment of the fraternity. When there is both high involvement in social events and community events, Marietta College is at its best. This entails great chemistry from the entire brotherhood and when this is prevalent events are run at a higher success rate. Additionally, when there is high involvement from the brotherhood it affects the recruitment process, and social life in a positive manner.[footnoteRef:1] For instance, higher involvement translates into more dialogue at chapter and in turn helps promote new creative ideas on how to have a high success rate when brining in new recruits. For parties coming up with creative themes for parties will be at higher rate when all students are involved with the process; also, the atmosphere at the party will be great when morale is high making for a more enjoyable party. [1: Anzivino, Monia, and Michele Rostan. ‘University Student Participation in Out-of-Class Activities” (Brill Sense, 2017) 185-216.]
Several factors were considered when weighing options for increasing brotherhood involvement in Marietta College activities. These factors were based on what was most essential in the process of increasing the overall involvement from the brotherhood.
Corporation from other fraternities- Not all fraternities at Marietta College are on the best of terms with each other, and when trying to seek assistance from those who are you are not well liked can prove difficult. Not receiving full cooperation from fraternities is a concern that has to be taken into account, when pursing the option of getting ideas from them.
After speaking with faculty, conducting brotherhood surveys, and researching information about fraternities a list of four options were created in order to help increase overall brotherhood involvement.
Sanctions will increase participation from the brotherhood because they will not want to lose money, nor will they not want to be allowed to all social events.
Rewarding students will increase participation because students will want to seek the benefits of being involved.
Alumni where students once too so they have experience and know how to increase participation. Their knowledge will allow for the creation of new methods to increase brotherhood involvement.
Interviewing other fraternity members that are successful with having great student participation will allow us to adopt some of their ideas, and generate more involvement from students at Marietta College.
To better understand which alternative would be the most sensible to implement in order to increase overall brotherhood involvement, intensive research was completed.
When trying to increase the brotherhood involvement at Marietta College, there were several options that had the potential to become successful. With no absolute perfect alternative, an evaluation of each option was created to determine the one that was the most attractive.
Sanctions have always been a great way to curb negative behavior. Marietta College has members who participate in negative behavior, in which they place a higher value on partying then they do be a serviceable member to the community. Imposing sanctions to students that miss internal or communal events is a great way to curb that negative behavior. Of course, there are certain practical measures that would need to be taken. For instance, if there is a reason that a student can’t attend an event, a grace period of a weeks’ notice should be given so council can account for everyone’s whereabouts and same would hold true for emergencies. In addition to fines restricting party privileges will serve as another incentive for students to come to all chapter and communal events.
This option has a great potential to increase brotherhood involvement, as students will come to more events to not be fined or miss out on social events. Simultaneously this option can be viewed negatively by students, who have varied commitments in a majority of other areas. As well as students who are short on cash and they may not be able to pay a fine that they are served. Additionally, students who pay their social dues and then miss a chapter or communal event will take exception to the restrictions, and this may lead to increased tension among students.
Depending on the number of missed events each sanction has its own punishment, which coincide with what Dominic thought was fair. This chart in appendix A below will explain how the sanctions are given out and the potential pros and cons of implementing this option.
Some individuals need to be rewarded in order to exhibit a desired performance.[footnoteRef:2] At Marietta College, the action of rewarding a student for doing his duties is unprecedented, but may serve as a great option when trying to increase brotherhood participation. [2: Arthur, David, and John Andrew. ‘Incorporating community involvement in the management of sporting mega-events” (1996). 21-27.]
Enticing students with rewards can prove very beneficial to overall brotherhood participation. A system on how many events a student needed to attended and based on their attendance they would receive a gift that seemed fit. Students who have the highest attendance receive the best gift, setting a precedent for others to follow, the more events you attend the better your gift.
Although rewarding students may increase involvement, it will cost the house money that doesn’t need to be spent and not there. The budget is already with little to no wiggle room for extra expenditures, and in order to carry out the rewards for students there would be a need for some source of extra cash to have in order to make this option work. This idea will exhibit positive results in the early stages, but will we see this idea prove to cost inefficient and will drain the house of its funds. Furthermore, this option only perpetuates the idea of increasing involvement based on sole personal gain. The chart in the appendix B will demonstrate how many events a student will have to attend, in order to get a reward and the pros and cons of this option.
Interviewing other fraternities is a great way to compare the different strategies that aren’t working at Marietta College, and compare them to strategies of fraternities that are experiencing high involvement. This method will allow for Q&A sessions, in which valuable information can be taken and then implemented to increase brotherhood participation at Marietta College activities.
For some fraternities on campus meeting with other fraternities isn’t a possibility because there is such an intense rivalry between the two, that the release of any positive information to the other house would be viewed as a form of treason.
Through interviews with both fraternities, one thing that they did that stood out was that they hold week long philanthropies with other sororities and host different events that raise proceeds and donate them to charity. Additionally, both fraternities do a great job in determining when they hold chapter, in order to see high attendance. During football season they hold it every Monday right before the big Monday Night football games on ESPN. Everyone comes to chapter and then they order wings and watches the game together, not only are all the students there but they are bonding at the same time.
After meeting with both fraternities, great ideas were taken from these meetings in order to increase participation. First creating our own week long philanthropy, while inviting girls is a great new way of doing a philanthropy event that will appeal to brotherhood. This will allow students to get involved with creating different events for each day, as well as having fun with all their friends. Second scheduling chapter before big sporting events is a great way to get everyone there talk about the issues of the week and then after enjoy some sports and food. Lastly, there are no drawbacks from implementing these ideas seeing as they are plausible and was the top leading alternative chosen by the brotherhood, on how to fix the problem.[footnoteRef:3] [3: Martietta College. Greek Life. https://www.marietta.edu/greek-life. (2019).]
Interviewing alumni members would provide great insight, from a group of individuals who were once in the fraternity and went through the same problems that are ongoing. Alumni members are always the first individuals who try and help their students with any assistance that they can provide. However, alumni are very busy and an interview that is rushed may have no real information that will prove beneficial to increasing brotherhood involvement.
Although challenging several successful phone interviews were conducted, one in which it completed with a former prior, who only graduated five years ago. This interview was valued over the others as he was a member more recently than the others and would be able to relate more to the times now.
First and foremost, the main lesson gained through these interviews was the concept of respect. Even despite tough times, it is important that everyone respects each other and at the end of the day the brotherhood is a family. Also, the interviews provided insight into a traditional Marietta College philanthropy, that hasn’t been done at this chapter in years.
Exploring this option provided invaluable information on how to deal with adverse situations between the brotherhood, and provided ideas on what type of events were done in the past that lead to high brotherhood involvement. Utilizing the alumni is also a great option as they offered up their wisdom free of charge, and were willing to provide any further assistance to help increase the brotherhood involvement.
Each option has an attractive character that promotes a greater participation of the Brotherhood. The imposition of sanctions on the Brotherhood will limit a large number of social lives and, therefore, participate more in charitable activities. In addition to increasing Brotherhood participation, fines for the entire Brotherhood can also provide additional funds for the Brotherhood to do what it sees fit. Despite the potential benefits of sanctions, deficiencies do not make this option the best solution. For example, a student may not be too kind, not only because a chapter was lost but he paid all social expenses and could not participate in social activities. In addition, it is difficult to impose social restrictions because nothing can prevent students from attending parties. In addition, some students may not be able to pay a fine, so they will not attend this chapter.
Rewarding students for participating in this chapter will increase participation at the beginning of the implementation process. However, participation increases for the wrong reasons. As students, they will no longer participate in activities to seek personal benefits instead of family renewal activities. In addition, the reward to students will demonstrate inefficient cost for a long time. At the end of the semester, the available money will no longer be rewarded because the money must be allocated to the priorities of the house, such as donations, chef’s salaries and cleaning staff, and social and community activities.
Interviews with alumni and other members of the fraternity provide a new way to increase sibling participation. Interviews are the most difficult part of scheduling conflicts, but the information provided in the interviews is invaluable. Talking with other fraternities is essential to understand how they differ from us, which allows them to achieve higher success rates. After understanding your success, this provides new ideas on how to increase the participation rate in this chapter. The same goes for interviews with alumni. They also provided valuable lessons on how to overcome difficulties and presented the idea of recovering a day-long philanthropy from Marietta College.
After researching and weighing all of the criteria of each option the option the recommended option is to combine interviewing both alumni and other fraternity members to increase overall brotherhood involvement. This option made the most sense in terms that these were both the highest options picked in the brotherhood surveys, on how to increase involvement and also presented no drawbacks. Implementing a combination of both strategies will not affect the cash flow of the house, increase involvement for the wrong reasons, or bring about any tension among students; and implementing the options of sanctions and rewarding students would cause those effects. In fact, this option will increase involvement for the right reasons because adopting what fraternities do in having chapter right before games will give students a reason to come, so that they can watch the game together right after. The other options will not be able to have this affect, therefore making this option the best option to increase overall brotherhood involvement.
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