I am reminded of this title. And there is a reason for this. When I was doing my “Fraternity Hunt Watch” last year and part of this year, I was very leanaent of not signing things right away. Now you probably are asking or saying that Why did you do that? I would have signed up on the spot. Well, that’s not how it works. Let me clarify. The method I used last year, is what my father once suggested in looking for a job, or in his case, trying to get me to join up with the Military, which didn’t happen after 9/11. But in retrospect the part of getting the info/asking questions really pondered the mind, and it should also serve as a reference to those looking or seeking something they really want to desire. Now I’m not saying nor implying to hold anyone back. But if you want to know the method: here are some tips to keep it in perspective:

1) Get the Information FIRST! Always get the full the info from either a book or mainly in person to get what you’re stored in for later down the line. This can be for anything. When I was doing the Fraternity Hunt, my main objective first was accessing information. Pretty simple, huh? I used the internet, email, books and articles to get what is it that I need to know before going to meetings or meeting a representative. Also this goes for jobs too. I’ve done this at career fairs as well. Speaking of books for the black greeks, I highly recommend getting the book “The Divine Nine” by Lawrence Ross, Jr. It is pretty detailed and from many groups, they even think that it is a great resource of information.

2) Ask Questions! When you are in the meeting or have been invited to a informational session, always ask questions! Before I went to the Fraternity Meetings of the Kappas, Alphas and Phi Beta Sigmas, I always have questions on hand to ask the fraterntiy. This is really important. Why you ask, I mean you can’t just simply walk in and not knowing anything. As a sample, I have compiled a list of questions below about the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Alumni Chapter this year, and I used it at the meeting here in Milwaukee:

Alpha Phi Alpha Milwaukee Alumni Chapter Fraternity Questions

1)  What are the membership requirements for the Alumni Level?

2)  What types of community work does the fraternity involve in?

3)   How many members are in the Milwaukee Alumni Chapter?

4)   What does Alpha Phi Alpha does different from the other Fraternities? (example: Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, Omega Psi Phi) In terms of service, leadership, membership, etc?

5)   Does Alpha Phi Alpha (Either Alumni or College Chapters) get together with other Fraternities and/or Sororities for special events?

6)      Besides the March of Dimes, which other organizations (either local or national) that the Fraternity assist in need?

7)   What are the profiles of the individuals in the Alumni Chapter? (Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers?)

8)  What is a well known philosophy that the Alumni Chapter carries?

9)   For the new prospective Alumni applicants, what is the fraternity’s main objective of upholding the Alpha Phi Alpha goal for them to follow or understand?

When I wrote these questions, I utilized random thought. That what this is. And it was just a way for me to prepare in asking. It helped out. And combined with the book I was able to summarize my objective. There is nothing wrong asking questions in general, which goes for anything.  Real talk.

3) Don’t sign anything! (yet) It’s ok not to be sure. But asking why not to sign anything right away, is to simply give you the chance to compare and analyze of what you received. Even though that sometimes groups or organizations sign folks right away, but you have the opportunity to say upfront, “I don’t want to sign anything right now. But I am interested to hear what the group has to offer and ask questions.” Like I said it’s all about having to hold off of the paper work, and having a conference to discuss all the possibilities, and then making a decision. That decision may take weeks or months to think about. I know that in today’s era, it’s all about getting it right now. But let’s be clear, if you do this the slow way (ala baby steps) and having a broad mind set, it is really going to set the tone of your objectives.

So think about it.  And the chances of joining the groups will still be greater. And the chances of working for an organization/company will be greater as well.

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