By Ben Nye (Arkansas)
What are some practical steps to being a good member? It’s a simple question, and yet one that often gets overlooked in the bustle of chapter meetings, paperwork deadlines, and all the other tasks chapters have to worry about each week. Non office-holding members make up the majority of most chapters and finding ways for these members to contribute is important to Sigma Nu’s success. These five simple steps are ways each brother can be a contributor and fulfill his oath to Sigma Nu.
Read The Law
An important aspect of Sigma Nu membership is knowledge of the Fraternity’s Law. The Law serves as Sigma Nu’s instruction manual: it articulates rights, responsibilities, obligations, and proper procedure. A full knowledge of Sigma Nu’s Law allows for proper operation of a chapter and successful navigation of membership . Without awareness of the Law, it is impossible to know if an idea or behavior is within the legal limits of Sigma Nu.
Know The Ritual
Sigma Nu’s Ritual is its oldest and most distinguishing document: The Ritual binds all Sigma Nus together in ways that nothing else can. Members reciting The Ritual take part in a tradition combining high ideals with rigorous standards that have existed since the founding of Sigma Nu. Knowing The Ritual is essential for participating fully in all chapter ceremonies and will give each man a greater appreciation for its importance.
Pay Your Dues
Like all other organizations, Sigma Nu must be well equipped financially to operate. The primary form of revenue chapters are allowed to collect is member dues. It is therefore essential that each member pay his dues in a timely fashion. There will be no socials, philanthropies, and minimal recruitment without finances. Furthermore, Sigma Nu’s national organization would collapse without the revenue to support educational programs and new expansion projects.
Serve on a Committee
One of the methods for chapters to get things done is through committees. Committees, when working properly, can alleviate stress of the leaders, involve multiple members, help younger members learn officer positions, and improve the effectiveness of the chapter. Members should seek out opportunities to serve on committees and when on them should attend meetings and seek responsibility.
Attend Chapter Meeting and Contribute to Discussion
As most business matters worth considering come up during chapter meeting, all members need to attend. A member must be in attendance to have his voice heard and not attending communicates indifference and apathy to the membership. Familiarity with Robert’s Rules of Order can help too. This is what Sigma Nu uses during its biannual Grand Chapter, and every member should have a base level of familiarity with Robert’s Rules of Order to apply during chapter meeting.