Bold, Fun, Positive (FREE HUGS!)

by Matt Mattson

Today I am at Colorado State University where I’m working with the fraternity community on a long-term partnership to increase the quantity of quality men involved in Greek Life.  I was out on campus today working with fraternity/sorority members and had such a positive experience I just wanted to blog about it really quick to share the the positive vibes with others…

img00263-20100824-1050We were working a table on the 2nd day of school in the middle of campus to promote a program going on at 6 p.m. tonight (see below).  I wasn’t sure what to expect having seen lots of terrible promotional tables for Greeks around the country.  But I was just blown away by a couple of wonderful things I saw going on (and that I got to help with).

First of all, the energy and enthusiasm of the students working the table was absolutely infectious.  They were looking to have fun.  They were creating an enjoyable, funny, light environment.  The fraternity/sorority members working the table were literally trying to make people’s day as they wandered past and headed to class.  Their intention was pure.  They just wanted people who walked, skateboarded, or bicycled past to smile for a moment.

img00264-20100824-1112My favorite part of the day, as hinted at in the title, was when a sorority woman named Brigitte (it’s a French name, she told me) started offering free hugs to everyone that walked past.

For the first few minutes after she did it, she was 10 for 10.  PEOPLE WANTED HUGS!  Even I was surprised at a) her boldness in just randomly choosing to start offering free hugs, and b) how excited people were to recieve them!

Brigitte eventually got rejected by a few people who said, “I don’t like hugs.”  That didn’t get her down though… she offered the only logical alternative — a high five!  Brilliant.

The program we were all out on the sidewalk promoting was Phired Up’s Social Excellence training.  These students at Colorado State University took our advice from this blog and chose to provide a gift to non-Greek students… they img00265-20100824-1150chose to provide an opportuity for non-Greeks to learn about how to be SOCIAL (and Socially Excellent).  Some of my favorite lines from the Greeks promoting the program to passersby were, “Do you like friends? I do. Come to this program tonight and make some.”  Or, “Come to this social networking event tonight – you might meet your new best friend, or your future LOVER!”

Fun.  Just plain fun.  Tons of positive energy.  Acts of intentional kindness.  Smiles.  High fives.  Hugs.  That’s the kind of people I want to be around.  That is the kind of people that will find recruitment success this fall.  Not because they’re being nice so that they can recruit people.  They’re being nice… also they’ll probably recruit a lot of people.  Great intention. Great execution.

Thanks CSU Greeks!