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LCA 101: Understanding the High Phi Position

High Phi Position

In this installment of LCA 101, we are taking a closer look at the High Phi officer position. In this role, a member is responsible for guiding his Brothers through Lambda Chi’s ritual and helping them understand the value of these teachings. Read on to learn more about the importance of this position.

  • The title “High Phi Manual” may be misleading in the purpose of the book. One of the purposes is for the High Phi to understand his duties in the office. However, the primary goal is for the High Phi and Chapter/Colony to prepare, execute, and learn all the Rituals as much as possible. The manual and its ceremonies should be accessible and open to all Brothers as much as possible. The new High Phi Manual coming this Fall will have five (5) sections and appendices to help Chapters/Colonies achieve that goal:
    • Section 1 – The High Phi’s Role 
    • Section 2 – Preparing for the Initiation Ritual
    • Section 3 – The Initiation Ritual
    • Section 4 – After the Initiation Ritual
    • Section 5 -The High Phi’s Role in Other Rituals of Lambda Chi Alpha Appendices – In-Depth Explanation of Various Topics – Ritual Equipment, History, Resolution Session Training, Bible References
  • We asked the five (5) panelists at the High Phi Officer Webinar what they felt was the most important thing for a High Phi to learn during his term. Here are summaries of their answers:
    • Luke Dinkle – Create and stick to a schedule. The High Phi and Ritual Team need to understand the steps to execute an excellent Initiation Ritual. Poor planning sets you up to fail and deviate from the ceremony.
    • Greg Castanias – The Initiation Ritual and Constitution and Statutory Code encompass all of our laws and policies. A High Phi must align the performance and education of our Rituals with these laws to stay successful and safe.
    • Mike Saunders – Pay attention to the staging direction and materials while reading the High Phi Manual Everything you need to perform these ceremonies correctly is in the book. There’s no need to add anything because then it’s not our Ritual. Also, speak slowly while performing.
    • JB Glass – Remember always to stand guard. Stay strong in your moral courage and analyze any Chapter/Colony “traditions.” Use the Ritual to weigh everything the fraternity does (i.e., Fraternity Education, Pre-Initiation, and interactions with Associate Members). Just because it’s been done does not mean you have to keep doing it.
    • Tim Tucker – Live by example and expect to receive and give respect. However, a High Phi must make a concerted effort to earn that respect and personal power. That way, when it’s time to make difficult decisions, you are in a place to influence others.
  • The panel discussed three questions about introducing ZAX Sessions, strengthening appreciation of the Ritual, and working with Brothers who are opposed to change Chapter/Colony “traditions.” Here are some of the highlights from the discussion:
    • Start small and grow over time. Begin by introducing mini-ZAX sessions or “Phi Facts” about our Rituals to spark the members’ interest. A High Phi must try to foster a thirst for knowledge by keeping the Ritual and symbols constantly before our eyes. The greater interest and expertise will guide the Chapter/Colony when making hard decisions.
    • Take advantage of the time when the Chapter/Colony has only Brothers at the start and end of the semester. Spend that time to review the oaths and set expectations about conduct and interactions. The High Phi has an opportunity to keep the Ritual close to the Brotherhood because the further a group strays from the Ritual, the higher likelihood of disciplinary action to unnecessary situations.
    • If Members are resistant to changing the Chapter/Colony tradition, remind them the Initiation Ritual is the GREATEST and LONGEST standing tradition in Lambda Chi Alpha. We all are initiated into Lambda Chi Alpha BY a local Zeta. It’s the Bond that connects us and transcends the gaps from School to School.

Resources:

Stead Announcement:

The theme of the Stead Leadership Seminar this year will be “Every Man a Man.” The programming will be focused on our High Kappas and our High Phis, and we are asking our Chapters and Colonies to register both of those officers. The event will be wholly virtual, and it will be held Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8. 

Stead will not be series of presentations on how to do the Initiation Ritual properly. Instead, the programming will focus on how we can employ our Fraternity educational programming and the teachings of our Initiation Ritual to drastically change the member experience, culminating in the introduction of the new Ideal Man program.

Still need to register? Click here.

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