Membership Committee Report, Fall Semester, 1963-1964


Donald A. Kawash

Kappa Omicron
Alpha Phi Omega
University of Massachusetts

The following document was transcribed from original Reference Document (4.99 mB).

A Preface

Because Alpha Phi Omega is a fraternity and hence places the emphasis on its activities on individuals rather than on niceties and efficiencies per se, the following Membership Committee report shall be somewhat informal and rather personal.

Report of Activities

The Membership Committee for the fall semester, 1963, consist of the following people:

The budgeted $75 was exceeded by $5.

The first of two smokers was held on Monday, September 24th, at 7 PM in Hampshire, Essex, and Bristol rooms of Student Union.  The guest speaker was Bill Burkhardt, Assistant Dean of Men.  17 prospective pledges and 30 brothers attended.  The second smoke was highly publicized, with leaflets going out to all the men dorms.  Thirty prospective pledges should be attended the smoker which was held on Wednesday, October 3rd 7 PM in the Commonwealth Room of the Student Union.  Dean Hopkins was a schedule speaker and came down with laryngitis, and brother Paul Nowill, which presently an area director, filled in until Dean Field arrive, having been asked to speak on very short notice.

Twenty-five pledges were initiated Saturday evening, October 6, in South Deerfield under Mount Sugarloaf in the outdoors. The ceremony was followed by a party at nearby apartment brothers Bob Johnson, Lorin Johnson, Don Kawash, and Dave Nathieson. A second initiation of 10 people was held Monday October 8, and 3 more initiates were subsequently held within the following week in which a total of 5 persons were pledged.

A ritual revision committee consisting of Don Karwash (chairman),  Bob Jornsen, Lorin Johnson, John Goodrich and Dick Strecker reached compromise solutions on certain changes to changes ultimately approved by the brotherhood are attached to this report on a separate page

Pledge meetings were held every Monday night the offices elected second of these meetings were as follows:

The position of Historian is new work out very well, largely due to the fine efforts of the officeholder who made to position a to  valuable one. 

These meetings were held every week at 7 PM and Student Union. Pledge executive board meetings were held on Sunday evenings at 7:30 in the Hatch.  The pledges were subject to the following requirements:

For every meeting missed, the pledge was required to attend an extra hours service time. A pledge caught without his pin was subject to as many as three hours and added service time.

The pledges worked on the regular brotherhood projects and initiated two projects of their own - sheet with over 1000 signatures to Sandy Olson and work camps at Hillside School in Marlborough.  The chairman and originator of both projects was Tom Christenson.

The boards of review were held on Tuesday December 10th and Wednesday December 11th.  The following brothers served on the boards of December 10th.

The board of December 11th was comprised of the following:

The pledges were voted on Monday, December 16. An opaque projector was used to flash their pictures onto a screen so that the brothers could better associate names and faces. Seven people were granted extensions. Extensions must accumulate 20 hours of service time, 50 brotherhood signatures and all the services of their then fellow pledges. The following people will grant extensions:

The initiation was held on Wednesday, December 18 at 8 p.m. at the Methodist Church in Amherst. The following people were initiated into the brotherhood at that time:

It was followed by a horror show party at the Amherst appartment of four brothers who prefer to remain anonymous having been done their duty to Russell's and to their fraternity. The sight of so many newly initiated brothers, most of them freshmen and sophomores partaking in this true spirit of fraternity was truly warming for us all.

A Personnal Critique and Ssuggestions

Extensions: the flop, largely because the second VP took no initiative.

Ritual revision: it was one of the Membership’s prouder achievements. We took the attitude that the ritual must be truly symbolic of what the fraternity as a whole stands for. ToWe realize that the nature of our chapter has evolved in its unique way, and it is felt that the changes lent greater meaning in concision to the ritual.  The more significant change was the deletion of the portion of the old should hold which read as follows “I renew my faith in God" There was a de-emphasis on scouting and a new emphasis on the international aspect of service program to changes work, admittedly, slightly but nonetheless has represented the most significant changes in the chapter's history. 
pledge program: my critique is made in light of a large pledge class and any suggestions in this section Monday in for a large class.

Smokers: the first was a bit of the flop.  The canceled by went extremely well.  To switch to the Commonwealth moment helped as did the increase publicity's leaflets.  The fact that dean field willingly substituted as guest speaker indeed Hopkins despite the fact that he was hostile to the smoker had already begun made real impression on the thirty prospective attendees this is reflected in the fact that 28 and 30 perspectives ultimately pledged.

Pledge initiation: holding it outside and following up with a social gathering was a good idea and work out very well.  It is recommended that the semiformal nature of the ceremony be maintained and that it be held off campus and outdoors if the possible.  This not only helps them in meeting one another, but the common experience imparts a necessary group cohesion.  Granted there was no need for five ceremonies. But it should be noted that of the five people initiated at small ceremonies, four of them were for outstanding pledges and are now brothers, while the fifth is an extension who has shown a lot of enthusiasm.  The only axiom to be deduced from this experience is that the Membership VP must use his own discretion on such matters and be willing to hold a special pledge and ceremony for anyone who seems sufficiently anxious to join.

Pledge meetings :  They were far too chaotic.  A brother should act as a parliamentarian and the better part of the meeting should be instructional system of allowing the pledges to run their own meetings should be maintained as it is good leadership training.

Requirements: we did not adhere too rigidly to the rules, it being my personal feeling that we perhaps expected too much from a pledge class of which one-half were freshmen.  The basic requirements are solid enough, however, and as we continue to grow, is becoming imperative that a new emphasis on fellowship be placed.  If we had to maintain our status as a fraternity, is essential that we know one another.  If there was one aspect in which the brothers as a whole sales was getting to know the pledges.  This is not to say it was the fault the brothers alone.  But nonetheless, it was the obligation of fraternity to extend his friendship, not to high in its waiting for the outside is to eventually to data.  Friendship applies to extend the ones in first, it means taking the initiative.  He finished while it should be remembered that there are many reasons for the same year, several of them beyond control of the brothers of pledges.  Success industry guy can best be attended only by pledges and brothers working together on service projects.  This points out in striking fashion that the success of any membership program is ultimately depending on the active service program.

Pledge projects: The major pledge project at the Hillside school was extremely successful and the school seems like fertile territory for some school year weekend work camps.
Board of review: the boards of the left review went very well indeed.  The board members were carefully selected for their proposed ability to last good questions and analyze responses.  In this rich respect, the board members surpassed my expectations.  He was also hope that they would confuse a wee bit of humility and fright even the best pledges.  I properly filling them with apprehension, it was hope that the pledges would be appropriate to relieve the least on the season -- invitation to the initiation.  This was precisely what happened strongly diminished that the boards be handled in similar manner in the future.

Projector: the opaque projector was used on the voting and it was his presence was a dubious benefit.

Extensions: the policy on extensions has already been outlined.  The reason for intensifying the requirements was that to be given an extension, in our opinion, must be given a “second chance”.
Initiation: it was recommended at the regional conclave that the brotherhood initiation be formal and be held in place unfamiliar to most.  It was in conjunction with this recommendation that we held at the Methodist Church.  It seemed to go pretty well.

More suggestions

I suggestions heretofore have been pertinent to a large pledge class.  Is my opinion however next semester, at least, a pledge class should be small cannot program revamped.  Fillet shakeup very well by comparison with other New England chapters at the regional conclave, has the makings to be outstanding.  One of the reasons I feel the next class should be small is because we need some time to look the wounds women doing from growing pains.  The must not be blind to the warnings we have received to the dangers of rapid and frantic growth.  It is fully as dangerous as a lack of growth.  Is also seems to me that the only way to innovate and hence improve a program is to start small.  This innovation was impossible for our committee for it found itself swamped with 44 pledges. we can keep the pledge class moment holding unpublicized open business meetings in bringing down perspectives for personal contacts.  Pledges should be required to attend brotherhood meetings, preceding these meetings with their own weekly meeting.  The pledge meeting should be primarily instructional nature.  Such a program would make for closer relations between Brothers and Pledges and Better Familiarize Pledges with the Chapters Proceedings.  The way for brothers and pledges to meet each other is to have supervised study hours for the pledges.  This would also keep the pledges and constant contact with one another hence relieving the usual communications problems.

Position of the Membership VP

I personally feel that we should keep the second VP and the pledgemaster separate.  There is simply too much working,too much responsibility for one person handled.  Much depends on the ability of these two people to work together in building a program with a definite own mind.  This respect I was fortunate to have such enable cotton one was told I could work easily.  The second VP should take into account all the requirements of the pledge mastership and whether or not he can work together with the person he's considering before making a final appointment.  The playback to pledge masters primary responsibility construction in building pledge class unity and spirit.  The membership VP is responsible for the bulk of the paperwork, but more importantly, in providing his work with a definite orientation in building a program which will fully in the spirit of airplane fraternity.  He's got to enjoy talking about" selling" he peeled to others.  Is not in his job to build a chapters image on campus in shock, the membership VP has to be quote gung ho" in idealistic about fraternity.  Both in the pledge mastership keep in constant touch with the pledges and individual levels.  Is there responsibility to be fair to both the brotherhood into the pledges.  The should very well mean that the membership VP should be fraternal, that is, I said, is a very healthy frame of mind.  There's a belief among certain brothers that is the pledges must then backwards to satisfy the brothers.  Well strongly feel there was considerable truthfulness statements I do think it's a 50-50 affair.  A group it is much up to the brothers to take an interest in the welfare of the pledges as vice versa.  Our entrance requirements are the stiffest of any chapter New England.  There's no need for stiffening them.  To expected pledges to do anymore for fraternity is to threaten our ideal of friendship.  There's a feeling among some time: offering should be efficiency.  I submit that while efficiency is necessary element in any service program, is not in the membership program.  Efficiency is a tool of the greater and hired goal is not an end in itself.

The primary thing to remember is that a pledge is an individual with his own set of attitudes and feeling towards APO as well as having his own personal problems.  If we stiffen our requirements and continue the trend towards emphasizing organizational niceties, we will in fact be trying to cast a pledge into a kind of mold.  Molding and character building is for social fraternities not for APO.  There must always be room in our fraternity for human understanding, for willingness to expect more of ourselves than we do of others for accepting into the brotherhood people for whom we do more than they can offer us.  the moment the concept of giving leaves the membership program, it leaves the fraternity.  We must give to every pledge his chance to join the brotherhood.  If we do not, we will in betraying a very reason for the existence of fraternity instead of his club.  I say these things because I feel that this attitude is essential to the membership VP.  The position is one which calls for giving me not only a part of one's time and energy, but also a part of one’s self.  Many are the times when some unenthusiastic pledge will embarrass and irritate the Membership VP who has in should always go out on a limb for.  But it's all part of the game.  When all is said and done, he has the knowledge that he done his part in strengthening the fraternity's ideals and service and friendship.  It is this thought which has made the membership vice presidency of very rewarding and enjoying experienced for me.

Respectfully submitted,
---signed by ---
Donald A. Kawash