It’s the first week back on campus and the “Back to School” hype is at an all time high. You’re reuniting with friends, enjoying a plethora of events, checking class schedules, scoping out new faces and getting acclimated to your new collegiate status as a freshman, sophomore, junior or a blessed senior (Thank you Jesus!)
Yeah. Your school pulled out all the stops to make a good impression on all its beloved students. Whether it’s a huge sign, a free t-shirt or a small pen, no matter where you look, something or somebody has school spirit infused in it.
Back to School festivities are a great catalyst for Greek organizations to launch their fraternities and sororities into the forefront of student’s minds. Here are three easy, interesting and subtle ways your organization can capitalize off of the “Back to School” energy and leave a lasting impression on your student body.
- Para Placement
As a marketing person, I have always thought of my sorority as a business. In order to increase visibility and revenue, advertising is always pertinent in executing great events and attracting quality prospects. One of the easiest ways to get the word out about your organziation is to simply wear your letters. However, the key to wearing paraphernalia, especially the first few weeks, is wearing it strategically. Ask your chapter members to wear their letters/colors in classes where there are plenty of new faces. If you have a job (on or off campus) that doesn’t require a uniform, wear your letters there. If you’re involved in other student organizations, see if you can wear your paraphernalia to their outreach events. Students are going to see you on the yard with your sorors and frat brothers all the time. However, if an aspirant wanted to find out more information about your organization, they might find introducing themselves a little intimidating. When students see you in other places and spaces, it shows potential aspiriants that you’re a multifacted and well-rounded group. It also gives aspirants and members more opportunities to get to know each other on a one-on-one basis.
2. You CAN Sit With Us
At times, we Greeks can seem a little unapproachable (Yes…we can. Don’t front.) One way to combat this stereotype is to plan guerrilla events or gatherings. Think about hosting weekly “Lunch & Learns” for the first month of the school year. Use this time to help students find out about campus resources, give advice on time management, offer insight on certain professors, give tips on how to pinch pennies, etc. Or plan “Kick-Off Kickbacks”. Kick-Offs Kickbacks can be a small social gathering where students can come to learn about the best ways to kick off the school year. Borrow some of the discussion topics you talked about in the Lunch & Learn. Or switch it up and talk about more informal things like adjusting to college, overcoming personal struggles, and exploring topics that enhance one’s personal development. At the end of the event, then talk about Greek life.
Have members invite new/unfamiliar faces to these guerilla events. You don’t necessarily need it to be formalized nor do you need to plaster your name on a flyer. Just simply say, “Hey, me and some friends are giving advice on so and so…I think you’d probably like it. You should fall through,” and let that be that. To reduce the chance of speculation, meet in an inconspicuous location. Choose a common area that isn’t so popular that people start speculating but familiar enough to where it’s easy to find. It might also be wise to ask chapter members to refrain from wearing loud paraphernalia. Putting on events like this show that you are knowledgeable, helpful, perceptive and most importantly…human.
3. Link Up
The first couple of weeks of the school year are reserved for getting to know your campus. This includes becoming familiar with the people, departments and organizations that keep your college or university running. Whether it’s a professional or social organization on campus, now is the prime time to link up and create a directory of resources your organization can tap into throughout the year. Generally speaking, schools will host various organizational/departmental expos for students. Send a few our your members to these events and exchange information. Find out what other organizations and departments are doing this year and what they have to offer and vice versa. Establishing good relationship and rapport with potential program partners can be beneficial to you in many ways. These partnerships can help you boost your event attendance, add value to your program content, increase financial aid/co-sponsorship when it comes to funding programs, and allows you to build your own personal network.
I hope these tidbits can help you elevate your chapter networking for the upcoming year. You’re going to have a prosperous, progressive and positive upcoming school year! And I’ll be here with you all the way through. Be blessed fam!