Delta Sigma Phi, like all fraternities, was established by a small group of students at one university. It was the work of those students that propelled our organization to colleges and universities across the country.
Times have changed since our National Fraternity was formally established at the 1906 Convention, but two truths remains as evident today as they were in 1899:
1. The value of a fraternity is its membership, their achievements and their ambitions
2. A national organization is built to serve as a governing organization and association of its members
The fraternities and sororities of today face significant challenges that can be whittled down to an impression that we are not relevant in the 21st Century. Regardless of the programs and requirements put in place, our efforts to combat that narrative have not improved our organizations' positions.
To be America's Leading Fraternity, as Vision 2025 calls for, we cannot take part in the public relations arms race of the fraternity and sorority world. We must bravely depart from what has not worked.
My ideas for Delta Sigma Phi are inspired by hundreds of conversations I've had with hundreds of members. They are rooted in more than five years of experience working for Delta Sigma Phi on a national level as well as four years participating in our programs and working with my chapter brothers as a student at Stetson University. They have been repeatedly explored on my blog (FraternityMan.com) and in The Carnation.
Thank you for your interest in these ideas and my campaign.
Nik Koulogeorge (AX '08)
Today's generation of student wants accessible leaders who communicate honestly and plainly.
I will explore opportunities to host regular online town halls open to all members and to visit 2-3 chapters prior to each in-person Grand Council meeting.
Members can expect candid, open conversations about the challenges fraternities, including Delta Sig, face. Just check out my website and blog!
To be America's Leading Fraternity, we need to produce America's leading men. It's as simple as that!
I believe the priority of the National Fraternity is to create platforms to allow members to share, communicate, organize and shine.
That means that everything should be up for reconsideration as we revisit our strategic plan, initiatives and programming.
Care and consideration should be placed into not only the actions we take, but how we go about taking action.
Chapters & members should determine how they best convince the world of the sincerity of our purpose.
The National Fraternity is built to enforce national policies, provide member services efficiently and consistently & facilitate connections.
Student leaders should play a bigger part to vet and review major expenditures of revenues from dues.
It makes sense for any organization to revisit a strategic plan after 10 years or halfway through the process.
Delta Sig would be wise to divert attention away from metrics catered to the priorities and talking points of competing fraternities, such as, occasionally impractical, numbers related to membership size, service hours, and educational touchpoints.
Rather, we should orient our national efforts toward enabling our network of men to better connect, support one another's ambitions, and then promote those members to the world!
Delta Sigma Phi's greatest asset is its membership, their passions and their professions. Our greatest competitor isn't XYZ fraternity, it's TED Talks.
The current model of several staff attempting to develop curriculum for tens of thousands of men is infeasible. Let's establish a web-based platform where curated content can highlight the expertise and experiences of our 80,000 members: peer to peer education.
That means letting the interests of members guide where we invest our educational dollars. We don't need flash; we simply need to create a space, or utilize existing platforms such as Linkedin, to allow for greater sharing and communication among our membership.
There is value in programming regarding risk management, but even the best practices among fraternities in relation to risk can't fix what is a broken way of addressing insurance, liability and the behavior of our undergraduate members.
Delta Sigma Phi should lead a national and inter-fraternal effort to reconsider how we insure our chapters (such as chapters purchasing insurance independently or in risk-based collectives).
Doing so would encourage chapter members and visiting alumni to take policies seriously and can eliminate the crippling effect of liability on national operations and initiatives.
The Fraternity can and should better utilize its Undergraduate Advisory Committee to serve as a programming advisory board, and to review major initiatives and expenditures of the Fraternity.
Additionally, the UAC should regularly report unfiltered feedback from students of all regions, giving a direct insight to the Grand Council into the needs and expectations of our paying members.
As a member of our Grand Council, I will work with regional officers to re-establish Regional Meetings in non-Convention years as an experiential leadership experience.
Opportunities to volunteer for Delta Sig are generally unfamiliar to most of our members and rarely designed to make use of a member's talents.
It should be a priority for those interested in better engaging our alumni to expand our volunteer structure beyond chapter advisors, commissioners and the Grand Council.
We should see volunteering for the Fraternity as an opportunity for continued education, and more roles need to be established which make use of the personal and professional talents of our membership.
Finally, these positions should be posted clearly online for any member to apply.
Businesses fail when they make the wrong decision or too many decisions. My hope is to encourage a bolder, simpler more realistic future for Delta Sigma Phi.
When it comes down to it, everything we do as an organization, including our ritual, could be copied. But no one can copy our members, the value of Delta Sigma Phi.
Like the U.S. Government, there are important checks and balances in place, and my hope is to encourage more trust in our students, national efforts geared toward connecting brothers, and a volunteer apparatus capable of advising all 100+ of our chapters to excellence.