For the Program for Excellence to work, Alpha leadership must decompartmentalize. Often Alphas allocate responsibility for activities based on the primary constituent addressed. Recruitment chairmen plan events for recruits, social chairmen plan events for guests, etc. The Program for Excellence promotes events that serve multiple purposes at once. For instance, in our traditional model, the Alpha plans a day at the soup kitchen for Brothers and members of the pledge class as a philanthropy event. If applied under the Program for Excellence model, the Alpha expands this event by inviting a sorority to join them as well as the top ten men on the Alpha’s recruitment names list, thereby making the event a social and recruitment event as well.
Events must fill a niche market opportunity on the Alpha’s host campus. If Alphas are going to organize an activity, they should do so at the highest level in an area of competition where the highest level expected isn’t offered or isn’t offered enough. Everything below that becomes a waste of time and resources.
Every event is a recruitment event. Recruitment applies to new undergraduate Brothers, as well as new alumni donors and advisors. Thus, while initiation and other facilitations of the Fraternity’s ritual are not suitable undergraduate recruitment events, they are highly-suited to the recruitment of newly-involved alumni. All other events should be used in the recruitment of new undergraduates.
If all events are recruitment events, then the only way to recruit is via year-round, values-based, dynamic recruitment. Alphas must replicate their most popular recruitment events throughout the year, not just during rush.
Every event, with the exception of initiation and formal meetings, is a pledge education opportunity. Alphas should integrate the member of their pledge classes into the daily routine.
Events, with the exception of wine tastings and the like, should not be based on alcohol. While they do not always need to be dry, events should focus on something else. This ensures values congruence, reduces risk, and improves perception.
Philanthropy and community service are tools through which the Alpha hones the character of its members and adds value to their experience. However, they are not part of the purpose of the organization; Alphas do not exist to serve the community or benefit charities. They do so because such activity is inherent to the nature of a Chi Psi gentleman, and Alphas benefit from the conditioning and developmental opportunities that lie within these activities. This advocacy supports philanthropic activity that involves the entire Alpha. To teach the benefits of service and self-sacrifice, we don’t need to raise thousands of dollars. Spending valuable time helping others creates value for others while fostering relationships and developing character.
Finally, Alumni must support this strategy with well-populated, involved, and engaged advisory boards. These must create mentoring and coaching relationships with undergraduate leaders, disseminate expectations clearly, and provide perspective.