Before Orientation, Potential New Members (PNMs) express their commitment to join the Fraternity through the Induction Ceremony. The Induction Ceremony must be performed before any Orientation activities begin and must be performed according to our Ritual Manual. Check
A PNM is chosen because of potential leadership, initiative and good moral character. It is your chapter’s responsibility to help develop these qualities during the orientation period so that the new member becomes a highly motivated, knowledgeable and committed member who is willing and able to fully serve the Fraternity and, in turn, to enjoy the benefits and rewards of Fraternity membership. This is done by teaching them, by encouraging their participation, by making them feel needed and wanted and by guiding them to maturity and growth.
Before You Begin:
- Create a packet to be given to PNMs that includes a calendar of events they are expected to attend, the Member Manual, and any other information you want to provide to them.
- Outline all important events including Induction, Sunrise Ceremony and Initiation.
- Plan your education curriculum. You should be meeting with PNMs at least once a week to educate them about LKS.
- Review the Statement on Hazing and Code of Conduct with PNMs and current members. Have all PNMs sign the Code of Conduct and keep in the chapter files. (Current members should already have signed this at the beginning of the year.)
- Ensure you have all LKS supplies needed: Member Manual, New Member pins, Ritual Books, etc.
- Examine all your planned events to ensure that they fall under the Risk Management Policy. Evaluate why events are held and what benefit it will have to the PNMs. If you have questions about whether your event falls under the Risk Management Policy, contact your Region Supervisor and Grand Vice President for Collegiates.
- Communicate clear expectations to current members about what is expected and what will not be tolerated to ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable throughout the entire recruitment and orientation process.
Orientation is a time for:
- Educating and training the new members.
- Active members and new members to develop relationships.
- Learning, maturing and growth for the new member. This is accomplished only with a positive attitude and a helping hand from the active members.
Orientation is not a time for:
- Meaningless or time-consuming tasks for the new member.
- Causing mental trauma, embarrassment or ridicule.
- New members to “prove” themselves worthy of membership through foolish or demeaning activities. You have already deemed them worthy of membership.
Goals of Orientation
1. Develop Leadership
- The orientation class has role models for leadership in their relationships with the Membership Educator(s) and the chapter officers. Their examples of effective leadership cannot be overemphasized.
- The orientation class should elect officers, form committees and operate as a “mini chapter”. Every group has potential leaders. They need to be recognized and encouraged…they will be chapter officers very soon!
- Involve the new members immediately in chapter committees and activities. Don’t wait to start using your new talent!
2. Form Personal Relationships
- The Big/Little Sister system offers an effective way for PNMs to have a meaningful one-on-one personal interaction with an active member. Big Sisters should be assigned immediately to give the PNM a special confidant. The Big Sister should be able to take on the commitment and the responsibility of a Little Sister. The closeness and companionship shared between them and the support offered to the new member socially, fraternally and even academically often forms a life-long bond of sisterhood.
- Within the orientation class, bonds of friendship and loyalty form as the group meets, plans and works together. These close relationships are a necessary part of the orientation period because they are a significant contribution to the continuity and cohesiveness of the future of the chapter and the Fraternity as a whole
- PNMs should be invited to some Fraternity activities. They must be made to feel welcome and to contribute as part of the group.
- Significant information from the LKS Member Manual should be incorporated into the chapter’s orientation program. PNMs should be able to successfully answer questions asked in the Member Manual.
- PNMs should be encouraged to become acquainted with other LKS chapters and to reinforce the importance of their part as a portion of the whole Fraternity.
4. Successful Working Unit
- The orientation class may be encouraged to develop projects (professional, service, and/or fundraising) for the entire chapter to be involved with. The PNMs will gain valuable experiences in goal setting, leadership, project management and teamwork by planning and coordinating chapter activities and projects.
- An orientation class cannot be required to perform projects or tasks that do not involve the entire chapter membership.
Organizing your chapter’s orientation period is easy with these planning tips.