We all fuck up. At some point in our tenure as actives, we’re going to inevitably do something drunkenly stupid (or just regular stupid) that alienates a brother, causes damage, or puts the house in danger. For many infractions, there are traditional avenues of discipline, but sometimes, a brother’s transgression isn’t severe enough to merit a full-on tribunal process. Some guys just need a quick kick in the pants to set them right. Here are a few “off the books” punishments that work well as a deterrent for future bad behavior.
1. Bartending Duty
This is for relatively harmless issues. You don’t clean up your shit after repeated warnings? Boom, bartender status. Being the guy who serves up drinks isn’t actually that bad. You get to mix with everyone at the party and if you can convincingly toss a shaker, you might even impress some ladies. It does basically ground you from all other party activities, which makes it pretty difficult to continue trying to seal the deal with Brandi, or whatever her name is, once she leaves the bar to go socialize. If something hilarious happens in the living room, you’ll miss out on it, and you’ll be tormented by the sound of everyone laughing about what happened. Are you still going to get drunk and make up silly drinks for people? Sure, but it’s ultimately a lonely enterprise at the end of the day.
2. Ban On Out Of Town Trips
Look, you don’t want to ban someone from house parties unless you absolutely have to, because you want your chapter well-represented at your own parties. If there’s an upcoming trip to a baseball game, concert, or New Orleans, though, consider taking your wayward brother off the list of people allowed to go. But do so carefully. If this is your yearly Mardi Gras trip, he had better have fucked up pretty bad, because that’s a fucking sizable punishment.
3. Doing What The Pledges Do
Depending on the severity of the crime, pick a night that he has to participate in whatever you’re forcing the pledges to do. We actually made a pretty solid tradition of this, because nothing shows solidarity better than an active who’s already earned his stripes coming down into the ranks of the grunts to do work. Plus, what’s a better motivation as a pledge to perform well than having an active down in the mud with you? For the troublemaker in question, having a physical reminder of what he had to go through to join your brotherhood will help him appreciate it better. He’ll think twice about hitting on an officer’s girlfriend after having to do [fill in the blank] Night again.
4. Agreeing To Be A Future Scapegoat
This is tricky. Obviously, you’re not going to throw a brother who pissed off the chapter under the bus for serving minors or something truly serious, especially if it wasn’t him doing it. As someone who has volunteered for this dubious honor in the past, it’s certainly effective–pranks, minor vandalism, the sort of stuff administration frowns upon, but doesn’t truly give a shit about. Because of a certain internal incident, I agreed later to take the fall for a prank I had nothing to do with that got me banned from intramurals so our quarterback could play. Was I okay with it? Well, I had a broken arm, preventing me from playing any sports that fall anyway, so yeah.
5. Designated Driver
I feel like I don’t really have to explain this one. You fucked up, so you don’t get to get fucked up. Is this the most cruel punishment ever? Possibly.