Every year at Carlson, several deserving chapters are recognized with the Donald C. McCleary Award for Excellence in Member Development. These chapters have exceptional member development programs that engage brothers throughout all four challenges of the Balanced Man Program (BMP) and bring in volunteers and content experts from their campus and community.
These five award winners all had some things in common:
They engage older members through strong Epsilon and Brother Mentor challenges. For example, Ohio Iota realized that upperclassmen weren’t interested in completing the Brother Mentor Challenge, so they created a Brother Mentor roadmap, creating clear expectations for progress that are engaging and achievable. Maine Alpha personalized their Brother Mentor Challenge to give older members more opportunities to design their own development goals and activities within the chapter and outside of it.
They incorporate outside content experts into BMP programming. Iowa Theta, for example, currently received their Residential Learning Community accreditation and has three faculty fellows who engage with the chapter, meeting with new members, helping with the chapter’s Sexual Assault Awareness Week events, working with Epsilon Challenge participants and mentoring the executive board. Likewise, Montana Beta works with their faculty member and the university’s counseling office to offer a class on psychological issues that impact college students.
They’re intentional and accountable. Maine Alpha keeps its challenge coordinators on track with weekly checklists for each coordinator, helping them keep the overall purpose of their challenge top of mind. Kentucky Beta documented its programming and is able to use similar challenge activities each year with small updates. Ohio Iota utilizes volunteers to help evaluate and improve the effectiveness of each of their challenges.
These chapters have been able to keep their BMP organized and on task through the BMP App. By providing feedback and using the app, four of the chapters were able to help improve the BMP App before it’s delivered to the entire Fraternity. The app has enabled them to maintain programming from previous years and continue to improve on their challenge meetings and activities. By using the app, their BMP planning and execution was more effective, easy and fun.
These examples of strong member development programming can provide a blueprint for areas to focus on when planning your chapter’s BMP. And a well-executed BMP will affect brothers far beyond the college years — it will set them up for success for the rest of their lives.