If you are reading this, you are probably a VP of membership development, a new member educator, and/or a recruitment chairman trying to establish your chapter’s mentor program, or maybe you are a newly appointed mentor in your chapter just trying to get grounded in your new role as a mentor. I encourage you to follow along this series of mentoring resources on the PIKE Blog, where I will take you through the necessary information to help formalize a mentor program at your chapter, define what it means to be a mentor, discuss the necessary skillsets of a mentor, and give you guidance on how to utilize the resources provided to in order to prepare you to be the best possible mentor to your mentee.
A mentor is an older member in the chapter who provides a younger member with support, counsel, and friendship. Mentors are good listeners, caring, and want to help make a difference in the lives of young people. The relationship is based upon trust and focuses on the needs of the mentee, encouraging them to develop to their fullest potential.
- You can positively impact the future of a young person
- You can play a role in reducing a member’s failure in college and the chapter
- You can help improve grades and class attendance
- You can help prevent drug and alcohol problems
- You can give young people an inside track to a successful future
By knowing the purpose of a mentor, you are going to be better equipped to be one yourself.
The Mentor Program
Considering that individual members will go through different phases of development depending on when they join the chapter, it is recommended that the chapter incorporate a mentor program to provide guidance for members at the outset.
The purpose of the mentor program is to promote the development of members and to ensure members are fulfilling their expectations in the Fraternity as they progress through their time in the chapter and the True PIKE Experience. Additionally, the mentor program exists to help members adjust to the fraternity and college life. The mentor should be appointed prior to new member orientation for a new member because you want the new members to have immediate support through the entire process and their journey through the True PIKE Experience.
As Robert D. Lynn (Presbyterian College, Mu ’31) said, “Yesterday is gone forever; Tomorrow is yet to be; The destiny of Pi Kappa Alpha rests today with thee.” This profound statement has never been truer as it relates to the mentor/mentee relationship. Over the course of this relationship, you can help shape the culture of your chapter by fostering the personal growth of the individuals that you encounter, therefore leaving your chapter better than where you found it.
There has been a True PIKE Experience Mentor Program handbook created to help in this endeavor which can be found in the myPIKE Resource Center, which outlines the following:
- The Purpose/Objectives of the Mentor Program
- The Roles & Responsibilities of a Mentor
- Different Skillsets of a Mentor
- Mentor/Mentee Relationship Timeline
- Criteria for Selecting a Mentor Candidate
- Mentoring through the True PIKE Experience
Additionally, to aid in the measurement and evaluation process of the mentee, there is a Mentor/Mentee Guidebook that is also available in the myPIKE Resource Center, which outlines the following:
- How to Utilize the Guidebook
- How to Work with the Mentor
- The Role of the Member Development Cabinet
- Setting Goals
- Documenting Personal Reflection
- Objective, Commitments, Goals, Personal Reflections, and Benchmarks for Each Phase of the True PIKE Experience
The Role of the Member Development Team in the Selection Process of a Mentor
It is recommended that the mentor candidate is appointed by the vice president of membership development in conjunction with the recruitment chair and the new member educator according to high standards of personal integrity, academic achievement and proven chapter and campus leadership as illustrated in the criteria section for a mentor candidate (see mentoring blog eight – Establishing Selection Criteria for a Mentor to learn more about that criteria). A meeting should be held between the vice president of membership development, new member educator, and recruitment chair prior to the new member orientation to discuss the criteria of mentor candidates and assign mentors to mentees. It is important to establish the mentor/mentee relationship prior to the beginning of the new member education process so that mentors can begin developing a relationship with their mentee. If the relationship is established later in the process, valuable time will be lost in the development of the mentee.
The Chapter’s Role in the Mentor Process
Pi Kappa Alpha will set the standard of integrity, intellect, and achievement for our members, host institutions, and the communities in which we live.
Although a mentor/mentee relationship is between two individuals, there should be opportunities on which the mentee can act upon. The chapter has a duty to provide its members with programming and engagement opportunities to fulfill their commitments. By optimizing the chapter climate, you create an environment that is conducive to the success of the individual members. To ensure the chapter is meeting the expectations of the individual members that comprise the chapter, there are commitments outlined on the following pages for the chapter to consider for its various areas of programming in order to help fulfill the individual member experience.
Objective of the Chapter
To empower every member to develop in the best way possible
As a member of the chapter, you understand:
- The chapter should implement programming for all members
- The chapter should utilize The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Ritual
- All members of the chapter should utilize the guidebook and the Garnet & Gold
- All members should strive to become a Community Leader
- All volunteers working with the chapter should be educated about the True PIKE Experience
- All aspects of the True PIKE Experience are meant to prepare you for success in life
Note: You will use this section to learn more about the role the chapter has with providing opportunities for each member through other areas of programming, as well as how you can maximize the impact of the True PIKE Experience for every member of your chapter.
Commitments of the Chapter
In order to ensure every member has the ability to get the most out of the True PIKE Experience, it is up to the local chapter to ensure proper implementation occurs and that there is sufficient programming available to members. The following describes programming recommended for chapters, based on the four commitments of the True Pike, in order to maximize the impact of the True PIKE Experience for every member of the chapter:
- Academic Achievement
- Continually coordinate or provide a quiet environment for members to study
- Organize or direct members to tutoring sessions for help with classes
- Assess the status of academic performance by collecting members’ GPA information once per term
- Personal Education
- Regular education meetings are held for all members (weekly for New Members, once every two weeks for Brother Leaders and Fraternity Leaders, and monthly for Community Leaders)
- Educate members once or more each term on the availability of educational courses offered by the chapter
- Coordinate speakers to educate the chapter membership in a variety of topics related to personal development
- Participate in all intramural athletics and encourage members to participate to field as many teams as possible for that sport
- Encourage members to participate in club and varsity athletics, while also working to recruit potential recruits from club and varsity athletics
- Encourage members to support brothers by attending intramural, club, and varsity athletics
- Organize efforts to ensure the chapter performs well in all intramural athletics, such as tryouts, regular practice, team captains, and playbooks
- Financial Responsibility
- Educate members once or more each term on the financial aspects of the fraternity including dues, myPIKE, payment plans, the chapter budget, etc.
- Work with members to ensure all dues are paid in a timely manner
To My Brothers…
- Member Engagement
- Organize eight or more brotherhood events each term to allow members a chance to foster camaraderie
- Organize an effective mentor program within the chapter
- Educate members once or more each term on all aspects of chapter housing including policies, upkeep, responsibilities, etc.
- Hold members accountable if they do no fulfill their responsibilities to maintain chapter housing
- Organize an International Work Day event each year for members to improve chapter housing
- Alumni Engagement
- Organize one or more significant alumni events each term for members to meet and network with alumnus members
- Establish an effective recruitment program to ensure numerous men have the ability to join
- Educate members in the recruitment program and effective recruitment techniques
- Enable and encourage members to recommend and recruit potential members
- Organize multiple recruitment events to give members the chance to meet and interact with potential members
To My Fraternity…
- Chapter Involvement
- Hold at least one regular chapter meeting and one regular executive council meeting every week to update the chapter leaders and members on happenings within the chapter.
- Educate, enable, and encourage members to get involved in chapter operations by holding various positions within the chapter
- Organize three or more retreats each term including a goal-setting retreat, a transition retreat, and an executive council retreat
- Organize one or more New Member ceremonies each term
- Organize one or more initiation ceremonies each term and encourage participation of members in this ceremony
- Establish and maintain a judicial board program to hold members accountable if they do not abide by all local, state, and federal laws each term
- Establish and maintain a judicial board program to hold members accountable if they do not abide by all chapter and university policies each term
- Educate members once or more each term on chapter and university policies
- Educate, enable, and encourage members to hold members accountable by being involved with the judicial board
- Health & Safety
- Have members sign the Statement of Position on Hazing once each term
- Have members review the Standards once each term
- Educate members once or more each term on the chapter crisis management plan and health & safety program
- Enable and encourage members to assist with chapter crisis management and health & safety by serving as event monitors during various chapter events
- International Fraternity Engagement
- Educate, enable, and encourage members to attend one or more PIKE University events each year.
- Educate, enable, and encourage members to join the phi phi kappa alpha club each year
- Educate, enable, and encourage members to assist with completion of the Chapter Year End Summary and International Awards Application each year
To My Community…
- Community Service & Philanthropy
- Organize multiple community service events to enable members to contribute 30 or more hours of community service or philanthropy work each term
- Educate members about and encourage members to attend community service or philanthropy events organized by other groups on campus or in the community.
- Campus Involvement
- Educate members about and encourage members to become actively involved in two or more other campus organizations
- Encourage members to seek out and hold executive positions in other campus organizations, especially organizations such as student government, interfraternity council, student ambassadors, new student orientation, etc.
- Educate members about and encourage members to attend campus events
- Educate members about and encourage members to participate in and attend Homecoming and Greek Week events
- Campus & Community Engagement
- Educate members about and encourage members to recognize Founders Days of sororities
- Encourage members to promote official Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity messages over social media
- Organize one or more events each term where parents of chapter members are invited to enable members to showcase all the great things about the chapter
- Organize one or more events each term where campus faculty and staff are invited to enable members to build better relationships with these constituents
- Organize one or more events each term where community members are invited to enable members to build better relationships with these constituents
As you can see, the chapter should be offering these opportunities for their members to take advantage of throughout their time in the chapter and the True PIKE Experience. It is through these opportunities that your mentee will act upon in his development as a Pike and future leader.
This is part one of 10 in the mentor blog series. Be sure to check out the Roles and Responsibilities of a Mentor blog to continue your development as a mentor in your chapter. As you will find throughout this blog series on mentoring, mentoring is a journey and should be embraced as such. You should view this opportunity placed upon you of being a mentor as a privilege. I hope you’re ready for the journey. Your chapter, our Fraternity, and the world are counting on you!
To learn more about the Pi Kappa Alpha mentor program, be sure to look at the mentor program handbook and its accompanying resources located in the myPIKE Resource Center (myPIKE > Resource Center > Pi Kappa Alpha folder > Chapter Officer Resources folder > VP of Membership Development folder > Mentor Program folder).
Devon T. Teixeira
Director of Membership Development