Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ode to Chapter Operations: C.O.B., I Love You

Dear C.O.B.,

Thank you!

Thank you for always being there for me when I've needed you - the binder in my dorm room, on the go on Pride Online (Manuals by Section of course!!). Whenever I have had a question over the last year, in addition to my sisters and advisors, you have been there all-knowing! Just when I think something is unique to our chapter, or that we're in an unknown situation - there you are with not just a page but an entire section dedicating to solving the crisis, fixing the situation, implementing the plan or building the chapter!

Thank you for the timelines, the transitions and laying down the law!

Love and Loyally,

Since I was elected in a special election at the end of the school year last year, I have a particular love for the C.O.B. Sisters in my chapter usually tease me since I've been known to give answers that include "In section _____ of the C.O.B., it says ______"
and although they might laugh, I know that when I can reference the C.O.B. on a subject, it's being done the way it's supposed to with no digression from its purpose or our values.

It's not just the C.O.B. I love, I love all of our officer manuals! They have answered so many of my questions and the questions of other women in the chapter, officers and members-at-large a like!

So I propose these few steps to make your life a little easier!!

1. If you are an officer read your manual. The WHOLE thing. Cover to cover. You will not absorb everything but you will become familiar with the manual and at least be able to recall things that you might have to go back to, to reference later.

2. Check the manual first! 9 times out of 10, I am asked a question and when I open the C.O.B. or the officer manual the answer is not only there but it is there bolded with a specific answer and its own section or chapter.

3. Manuals are our greatest resources! They are gifts from our Executive Offices or International Headquarters for us to use - they were all collegians once, and they know what they're talking about! Consider the C.O.B. the best advise we could ever get from CBG!!

<3 Love and Loyally

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Little Bit Of This and A Little Bit Of That

These past few weeks, thinking about my role as President and a sister (at this point I apologize for my last two post being almost the same...'goals' are kind of on my mind!!) and I was brain storming new ideas and approaches that we could try and utilize in our chapter. What can we do to grow? How do we reach all of our members? Why don't we get perfect attendance at all of our events?

The answer to my questions came in the form of T.J. Sullivan - I heard T.J. speak at our leadership conference this year and I have been completely obsessed with him ever since. I read his blog The Hungry Student Leader almost everyday. In today's hunt, I found this article: Please All The People Some of The Time

This many of T.J.'s entries do...hit me like a ton of bricks. A "duh" moment. Not everyone shows up to everything because no everyone likes everything.

As leaders in our chapter we're prepared for people t get mad at us, to get angry, to "hate" us or come to us with problems. Every discouraged leader has heard "you can't make everybody happy" millions of times, or "If you can't feel the heat, you're not cooking" but there's no standard or obvious plans to host and develop effective programming! Yes, our Chapter Operations Book or your officer manuals give you guidelines for events, for chapter meetings, for chapter education sessions but no one has the key or a secret guide to being successful in executing chapter plans or socials or sisterhood events - PR needs and tools are different on every campus, the culture is different on every campus....

The key to T.J.'s article is that different activities need to be held throughout the year the appeal to the different tastes, availability and interests of our members. Movie nights may be the perfect first for some of our sisters but the others want to play sports. Some sisters aren't competitive are don't want sports - they want to take trips and get off campus!! So maybe all 185 sisters don't come to every single event but if every single sister goes to one of our many events then we should consider ourselves successful!!

This past Sunday at our chapter meeting we did some strategic other words we talked about the things we don't like and how to change them. We discussed our expectations and our ideas. IT WAS AWESOME! My sisters had some amazing ideas that might not have appealed to everyone, but had some more excited than I'd ever seen!

When making the chapter calendar remember that while we share the same values and that we all wear the same letters our interests, hobbies, and skill sets are all different. Our similarities make us Alpha Delta Pis, our differences make our chapter unique!

Love and Loyally <3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And...What Do You Have To Show For Yourself?

It's been almost one year since I was elected President. I can hardly believe it. I'm more than half-way done, where did this year go?! Coming into office i had so many goals and ideas about what our chapter could do and what we could accomplish! With a little more than 6 months left, I have a few more things on my to-do list!

I want to post them now so that next Fall when I pass the torch - or gavel - I can say "here's what I did, now it's up to you to make it better." That's the objective right? That we each - every member, officer, sister - bring something different to our chapters. We have different talents, skills, interests, and ideas. If we each leave a little something behind with our chapters, the next generation will take that and make it a little better, a little more effective. When they leave the next, after them, will do the same.

I'm not saying we can never be satisfied or that we are not successful, but I am saying that we should rest on our laurels, that we shouldn't get tired or even lazy. We shouldn't ever do things because that's how they were done, or "that's how we've always done them." Something might work for the chapter for a few years but as the chapter culture or "personality" so to speak, changes, so much our mays of doing things.

Here are my goals for the next 6 months:

1. Work on ways to develop leadership within our chapter ~ host a "Leadership Workshop" within our chapter for sisters interested in running for an office, utilize committee or event chairs for everything!! Any sister who is interested in a leadership role should be given the opportunity to do so!

2. Improve communication! The GIN system is great for our chapter but can be used more, the question boards, discussion boards, the ability for sisters to post things on the "wall" we need to use this better, but how? Update our facebook page and chapter website for potential members and parents. Hold event meetings so all the different officers working together can talk face-to-face.

3. More philanthropy events, fundraisers by class!

4. Greater participation!! I feel like sometimes our chapter does things because they have to, this is the thing that upsets me most, and sometimes something feels like it's missing. We need new means of motivation, new experiences that bring us together, new activities that are fun but structured enough that we can use them as a means of discussion or bonding.

5. More opportunities to get to know different sisters - Bible study, book exchanges, study groups, family dinners!

Here they are just a few more things on my to-do list! Any ideas? Any experiences? Throw them my way! I know how lucky our chapter is to have the amazing women we do, I want to make sure they're getting the experience that they expected and hoped for! I believe in my sorority, I believe in Greek life. What do you want out of your membership?! Let's make it happen!

Ready? GO!!

Love and Loyally