[This piece was written by WatchTheYard.com guest writer Alexzandria Chill | UNT Graduate. Marketing Freak. Frankie Bev Fanatic. Adamant Knowledge Seeker. Lady of ZPHIB (Pearl Clu5). Founder of Blog: @DPTaughtMe]
We know that you’re in planning mode for the upcoming semester and we want to make sure your year is as amazing as possible. One of the best ways to serve as a catalyst for change on your campus is to become a mentor. January is National Mentoring Month and yall know we are all about personal and professional development! So this month, we’ll be focusing on the power of Greek mentorship, tips on how to use your letters to become influential forces in your peer’s lives, and challenging the perception of generational mentorship within Greekdom.
So, let’s talk Prophytes. Older Greeks from different organizations are constantly having conversations with each other, voicing their distress concerning the caliber of undergrad Greeks and the dearth of knowledge, deference and gumption they seem to display. Though various factors play into the success or failure of individual chapters, it’s an ever present fear that the lack of efficient and innovative leadership and peer mentorship may play a major role in how well we prepare our incoming Greeks to carry on our legacy.
Rather than ranting and raving about why new lines need to do better, how they need to learn this, that and the other and boring you with “Back in my day” stories, here are some easy ways Prophytes can combat the problem with these 3 Proactive Prophyte Mentoring Tools.
I. Play Match Maker
Step 1: Fill In the Blank
Preferably before intake, chapter exec board members should take inventory of four primary variables concerning their members: academic standing, anticipated graduation, community influence, and member talents/skill sets. These determining factors will help you strategically identify what voids your chapter needs to fill and who they can fill it with. Say, you have 3 people graduating with high gpa’s next semester. You need to make sure that you try to fill all three of those seats with high performing students. If you’re currently lacking a mover and shaker in your chapter, jot down non-Greek students who are making progressive moves and how they’re going about doing them. If paying for flyers or videography is hurting your chapter’s budget, look for aspirants who have an artistic capability who might be able to create material for free as a means to contribute to the chapter. As people head out, take note of who needs to come in. And when they do, Step 2 comes into play.
Step 2: Match Up
Match new members up with current Prophytes that have similar interest, skill sets, majors and/or aspirations as each other. This will serve as the Neo’s initial mentor(s). As the semester goes on, your chapter members will develop a relationship with their respective Prophyte(s). Big Brothers/Big Sister will take them under their wing and teach them the ropes about how to run an efficient organization. Keep in mind the voids that need to filled in the future and train younger members on what to do and how to go about doing it the proper way. Investing in each other is the best way to maintain and build legacy. Allowing chapter members to nurture relationships built on mutual interest and personalities will not only help the bond develop organically, but it will help newer members understand the value they bring to the table and how to implement it long after their Prophytes have graduated.
II. Check Ins
College students are already juggling a lot. Classes. Jobs. Organizational obligations. Social events. Community service. Financial struggles. You know… adulting. However, as the old adage goes “ You make time for what you want.” When it comes to the stability and integrity of our organizations, it’s also dire that we make time for what we need. What we need is consistent student development via peer mentorship. Prophytes and mentees should set up consistent check-ins with each other to track the progression of their transition into Greek Life. Now, each check-in doesn’t always have to be uber serious. That aint fun. Let the time frame and topics range. Maybe once a month, you meet up for 45 minutes to talk about chapter business, answering any dangling questions and helping the mentee understand certain challenges Greek Life brings. Twice a month, you can do 15 minute phone calls just to see how he/she is doing. It doesn’t take much. Just make sure the check-ins are practical to your schedule, manageable for all persons involved, and most importantly – personable.
III.Quarterly Chapter Development Camps
Piggy backing off the previous statement, it is important that the chapter as a whole maintains its relevance and integrity by investing in student development. Another way to achieve this is to have chapter development camps every quarter (or every three months). Make it a mini-working retreat. Each meeting should be focused on the four factors listed earlier: academic standing, anticipated graduation, community influence and member talents/skill sets. Periodically, use a chapter meeting as a time to identify and discuss developmental progress, areas of improvement and solutions for those specific factors. Keep track of everything discussed so the exec board can reference the trends and places of improvement for the upcoming year. Also, use this time as a means to work things out. Have mini-workshops where members are allowed to brainstorm plans, solutions and initiatives that will help propel the chapter and the organization forward. Encourage groups to present to the chapter and take votes on which plans, solutions and initiatives they think would be beneficial to implement going forward. These exercises will help members think outside of themselves and help them focus on the purpose and vision our Founders initially set for our organizations.
If these tidbits were helpful to you, let us know! Share, Tweet or IG me at @DPTaughtMe or comment below. I would love to hear your feedback. Here’s to another successful semester! Be easy Fam!