Initiate events are being planned, interviews are being conducted, meetings are being attended and your Chapter’s history is coming alive. It must mean that Initiate Mid-Review is near! In case you forgot, according to Article IX Section 5 of the National Constitution, all Chapters are required to meet with their Initiates to provide feedback on their progress at least once during the Initiation Program. Great idea, right? Providing feedback to our Initiates helps them better understand what requirements they have fulfilled, and which they have not. It gives them the opportunity to get back on track, and also helps make a smooth transition from Initiate to Member.
Do you need some help figuring out how to incorporate the Initiate Review into your Program? No worries! Here the Top 8 Things to know before starting:
- Keep Good Notes: Be sure to keep accurate and up to date attendance records. If you notice an Initiate has missed a few meetings or events, go talk to them about it! Do not automatically assume that the Initiate has lost interest, they may simply have misunderstood the requirements. Keeping good notes will also provide actual data of where the Initiate may be falling short on attendance requirements.
- Be Professional & Personal: The purpose of the review is to help the Initiate. It is important that the Initiate Advisor or someone close to the Initiate discuss any concerns or issues in person, remaining factual and professional in delivery. Our purpose is to assist the Initiate in overcoming obstacles, making them feel supported, not alienated.
- Stick to the Facts: Make sure those Members assisting in the Initiate Review provide feedback on the specific Initiate Requirements, avoiding commentary on personality, appearance or anything not related to the Characteristics of an Ideal Brother.
- Reach Out To Resources: If you are you worried about having a difficult conversation with an Initiate, reach out to your resources. Student Government, Student Life Offices, Chapter Consultants, Faculty and Alumni Advisors are all willing to help you when needed…but you have to ask! These folks can provide all sorts of helpful hints on handling tough conversations.
- Mind Your Timing: If you have a large class, be sure to plan ahead and make sure there is enough time after the review for the Initiate to catch up and improve. If you are feeling overwhelmed, make it a team approach by asking a few Members to assist you in the process. Make sure to have a meeting to discuss your approach so all Initiates are treated equally.
- Initiate, Review thy Self: Create an Initiate Review Sheet and ask the Initiate to “review” themselves before you meet with them. This way, you will have a better idea of where to start the conversation and know how much explanation you will need to provide.
- Don’t Forget to Celebrate! If you have to point out a few areas for improvement, don’t forget to point out what the Initiates are doing well. Remember what it was like when you were an Initiate, and remind them why you wanted them to be a Member in the first place. Everyone responds better to constructive criticism when is accompanied by a few compliments!
- If At First You Don’t Succeed… Remember this is a new process so there are bound to be some bumps in the road. Have open discussions with your E-Board and your Chapter on what has worked and what has not, then adapt the process as needed for the next Initiate class.