Probation is not an initiation, as you would find in a fraternity. It is instead a period of time that is sustained until the person, in every sense, conducts themselves with the respect that is mandated to be a Patchholder. It's a time in which:
The attitude is conditioned so that he/she displays a sense of responsibility and respect toward the patch holders of the club, without which they will not develop a sense of respect for the group.
He/she is educated in basic MC protocol and etiquette.
He/she is given time to develop the habits that are basic to good security and good communications.
To get into the habit of participating.
To become accustomed to trusting the judgment, at times blindly, of those patch holders who will someday be his or her brothers and sisters.
The list could go on but the point here is to demonstrate that probationary period has definite objectives and that a person will go nowhere in the club if he/she is not aware of this and does not apply themselves to those ends. It's not possible to make a checklist of what is expected from a person in all cases. There isn't any formula for success, but the key is ATTITUDE AND RESPECT. Everything else can be learned in time, but a person's attitude comes from the heart.
As a Prospect, strive to conduct yourself as a responsible Patchholder at all times.
Always display a positive attitude.
Participate as much as you think is acceptable; then participate more.
If you see a Patchholder of your group that you have not met, take the initiative to introduce yourself as.. "Prospect (your name)."
At all gatherings, make it a point to circulate when you have the time to do so and greet every Patchholder who is there.
Don't get overly friendly with someone that is not a regular acquaintance of the club. If someone outside the club has questions, refer them to a Patchholder. Never give out a Patchholder's name, phone number, address, or any personal information to anyone outside the club.
Never give out any information about the club itself to outsiders. This includes, but is not limited to, where the club is based, how many members are in the club, etc.
While in public places, always conduct yourself with your association with the club in mind. Remember that what you do, people will remember; good or bad.
Never let a Patchholder walk off alone in an unsecured area. If he/she is going out to their car, bike, or even just out to get some fresh air, go with them. Watch their back at all times.
Remember who you are 24 hours a day. Your association doesn't go on and off with your colors.
Out of respect, if two or more Patchholders are having a private conversation, don't approach them within earshot, especially if they are talking with a Patchholder of another club. If you feel that you need to interrupt, put yourself in a place of visibility and wait to be acknowledged.
NEVER use the term "Outlaw Club" when speaking to a member of another club.
Never lie to a member of another club. If you are in a situation where you are asked about the club or its membership, it is acceptable to say "That seems like club business and I really can't talk about it". If this doesn't put the subject to rest, offer to put them in touch with a Patchholder for them to speak with.
Always show respect to a Patchholder of another club. Even though they are with another club, they earned their patch.
Never call a Patchholder of another club "brother". He's not your brother.
Remember, your patch is earned, it is not given to you.
Never bring a personal friend or a stranger into the presence of Patchholders without asking permission to do so first.
At an open function, never turn your back to a Patchholder of another club. This is not so much for safety reasons, but as a show of respect.
Always show respect and courtesy to Patchholders of other clubs. Don't come across like you want to be best friends. Be professional in such encounters; keep it short, then move on.
Never be quick to walk up to a Patchholder of another club in a public setting, even if you know them well and the clubs are on friendly terms. If you want to greet them, walk up slowly and wait for them to indicate that they want such a public display to take place. They may be on some club business and may not want to give the general public the impression that the clubs are on such friendly terms. If they look like they are going to ignore you accept it and keep your distance, the best approach is always to wait for them to come to you and let everyone else see that.
Learn what different parts of our patch represent and what the different color combination of yours and other clubs represent.