If you aim at nothing, you hit it every time – Chapter Advisor

January 1, 2020 John R. Hatfield 0 Comments

Does anyone know what the hell I’m supposed to be doing?

The majority of advisors do not have a written job description, or they have a job description that is outdated. Some national fraternities do have a description but unless this is revisited yearly and talked through, its lost in the minutia.

If you don’t know what you are responsible for, then it’s easy to lose focus in the chaos. It’s like throwing darts without a dart board. Yes, there is time, effort, and sincerity spent throwing the darts, but it has zero influence, it’s a waste and it becomes frustrating because you never hit the target! My greatest desire is to influence these young men. I want my life to make a difference. I believe that is the desire of every chapter advisor.

Every semester I go to my favorite coffee shop and spend a few hours reviewing active chapters plans and goals and identify how I can keep them accountable and how to help them succeed. Next I think through what my goals are for the active chapter and what I need to do to fulfill them. For example, I may need to put together a program on Emotional and Mental Wellness or collaborate with active chapter to have someone from the University come and have dinner and do a program with the men. When I bring in an outside speaker, after the speaker leaves, I always have a discussion on current issues within the chapter on this topic, what we learned from the presenter, and what we need to implement.

As advisors we must know what we are going to be held accountable for and why. It is imperative. We must have a map. Without one we are continually lost. Others have unspoken expectations that may or may not be realistic, we burn out, and we continually feel we are failing. I don’t know about you, but I hate being in a failure cycle. Its draining and discouraging and causes me to be angry, bitter, and pessimistic. This is not a good place to lead from.

The Top Ten

Basic job description

  1. Promote and lead the chapter in fulfilling the mission, purpose, and sacred values of the fraternity, the why this fraternity exists.
  2. Identify my semester goals for the chapter.
  3. Be the liaison between the chapter and the university, house corps, and national fraternity.
  4. Eradicate all unacceptable behaviors not in alignment with university student conduct and national member conduct.
  5. Educated on current Fraternity and sorority life, university, and societal trends, aka, sexual orientation, inclusion, racial bigotry, acceptance, sexual harassment, assault and rape, consent, Title 9, hazing, alcohol and drugs, emotional and mental wellness and suicide to name a few. These are important programing topics each year.
  6. Build a trusting relationship between active members and himself/herself.
  7. Meet with Exec weekly, holding them accountable to their semester goals.
  8. Talk through and have active chapter provide an outline for every event during the semester, the why, is it in alignment with national and university policies, how could it go rogue, and assess the event during and after. Trust but verify.
  9. Protect the chapter from losing its charter.
  10. Guardian of the culture.


If you don’t have a Job Description write one.

What are your semester goals for the chapter?

How do you help active chapter bring in key speakers?

If you aim at nothing, you hit it every time – Chapter Advisor was last modified: June 21st, 2021 by John R. Hatfield