Chapter Advisor Accreditation, page 6

Common Chapter Advising Situations & Issues

While most every chapter has their own nuances and personalities, some of the issues the chapters face are common throughout chapters across North America. Below are a few of the most common chapter issues PIKE encounters and suggestions for ways to address them:

Low Participation

  • Re-examine the required events and activities. Are the events “required” just because they’ve always been done that way, or do the directly contribute to the mission and vision of Pi Kappa Alpha?
  • Ask members what they want to see out of their member experience in Pi Kappa Alpha. What events and activities are their favorite? How can you structure future chapter programming so future members see the benefits of attending?
  • Ensure that everyone is involved in a committee that they care about and want to give their time back towards.

Disputes and Conflicts Between Members

  • Meet with the complaining chapter members to learn the scope of the conflict. As we all know, there are multiple sides to each story, so be deliberate and patient to learn the full scope of the situation.
  • Depending on the source of the conflict, establish a plan to address the issue. For example, pulling in another chapter member who is close to the disputing parties to discuss their relationship and hold a mediation to move forward.
  • If the conflict is chapter wide, it might be worth holding a retreat or brotherhood event to try to repair damaged relationships and trust within the chapter. In this case, transparency between the conflicting chapter parties is key.

Chapter Attendance is Low

  • One of the main reasons that chapter attendance is low is due to meetings being out of order or too long.
  • Audit the chapter’s use of parliamentary procedure to eliminate unneeded discussion and chatter.
  • Ensure that officers are not just reading word for word from documentation, minutes, or other chapter business that will be sent out after the meeting.
  • Consider time limits on officer reports. This will encourage them to share only the necessary information in their report.
  • Find ways to make meeting more fun that make people want to attend.

Members Aren't Paying Dues

  • Encourage the chapter treasurer to be transparent about the budget with chapter members. After all, it is their money and their fraternity experience.
  • Hold people accountable. Brothers who pay their dues on time and in full are essentially subsidizing the brothers who have not paid. It is ok to list who has or who has not paid dues in chapter meeting to encourage payment.
  • Encourage the chapter to be transparent with their dues during the recruitment period. Some individuals can be surprised by the amount of dues they are asked to pay and therefore drop or are unable to pay.

Lack of Continuity From Year to Year

  • Assist the executive board/officers with planning an officer transition and goal setting retreat.
  • Distribute a copy of goals from the retreat to all advisory board members and chapter leaders so that the advisory board members can check-in on goal progress during their bi-monthly communication.
  • Ask chapter officers to keep a timeline of tasks they complete throughout the year. Pass along this information and other positional information at the transition and goal setting retreat.

Poor Chapter Retention

  • First, determine the period of when individuals are leaving the chapter. Is it prior to initiation, right after they signed bids, their senior year? This will be a big factor in determining the root causes.
  • Schedule exit interviews for those who leave the fraternity on good terms to determine why they left.
  • If the issue is with academics, help the chapter come up with an academic achievement plan to incentivize its members to focus on school. Be sure to utilize existing university resources in this plan.
If you need help or have general questions, please email volunteer@pikes.org.