I have observed the weekly meeting of a particular fraternity on October 23. Since it was during the finals week, the members met in one of the members’ house. It was an emergency meeting because the next day they will celebrate sem ender in a resort. The members have to finalize what food to prepare or how much money to contribute for the expenses. Aside from this, the head wanted to talk to the members about the expulsion of a female member of their counter-sorority.
Since it was their last meeting for the semester, and not everybody was present, the secretary just briefed the members of what they have agreed upon during their previous meeting.
The head then took over. He presented his suggestions and the members were free to agree with him or present their own suggestions. At some point, the decision was leader-dictated, especially when no other suggestion seemed acceptable. But most of the time, the members agreed on a consensus. The head emphasized that for them to reach a decision, everybody must speak his mind (Mind Tools, 1995-2007).
When they talked about the expulsion of the female member of their counter-sorority, everybody wanted to talk at the same time. The secretary and the head brought order to the meeting and asked each member to say something. Some provided testimony about why the female member deserved the expulsion while others expressed the opposite. One of the members, who was the president for external affairs and was responsible for coordinating with the counter-sorority, provided an account of what really happened, as was told him by the head of the sorority. Other members related their conversation with the expelled sorority member.
The head of the fraternity was the designated leader for the meetings, except at times when he could not attend. If this happens, the vice-head takes over. However, there are special instances where another member of position can call for a meeting. This is allowed if the committee members are the only ones required to attend.
For a fraternity, assuming specific responsibility is very important. Usually, the head distributes responsibilities to the committee heads, and then the committee heads further distribute them to the committee members. This way what they should do is done in a faster and consistent pace. The secretary is also expected to take note of the minutes of every meeting.
There are always disagreements during meetings. As was in the last meeting, some wanted to exclude alcohol beverages for their outing while some wanted to include the drinks. Others also preferred food that some did not. On a consensus, the members finally decided that whoever wanted to drink can bring alcohol.
The fraternity was able to talk about important matters without digressing. Moreover, more than half of those present have other business matters to attend to that day, so they were eager to finish the meeting and get on with their businesses. I have observed that at some points, the fraternity was not complete in its treatment of the subjects. There were times when one of the committee heads would present information about a subject that they have already talked about. But I guess it was because they have too many subjects to talk about that some matters were forgotten.
I would personally feel comfortable with the fraternity because I happen to know them. They were my friends and they were kind enough to let an outsider observe their meeting. However, if I were an outsider who doesn’t know them, I wouldn’t feel comfortable at all since I would be addressing a group of men who I don’t know. Moreover, there was this mentality that fraternities and their members as well, mean nothing but trouble. It would be hard to talk while considering what they think about me while I address them.
“Decision Making Techniques.” Home page. 1995-2007. Mind Tools Ltd. 25 Oct. 2007 <http://www.mindtools.com/>.