by Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre
I am scared right now.
What are we going to do? As a professional who supports fraternities and sororities, my mind immediately goes to chapter operations. People have cancelled all intake. No more meetings. No Greek Week. No philanthropy events. Schools are closing. Organizations are halting travel. Staff is working remotely. What about initation? Recruitment? Essential/non-essential gatherings? What about our seniors… is this really it for them?
But then I get a sense of clarity.
Brothers and sisters, we are more than just roommates and event planners. Here is where we have the opportunity to thrive…
- Social distance does not have to be isolation. Our friends at Active Minds wrote this fantastic resource on staying emotionally healthy during this time. Connect with each other regularly.
- When it comes to recruitment, everything is fine. Seriously. We’ve got you. (keep an eye on our Phired Up social media for free education and resources related to any and all changes you might encounter). We do this for a living. We are going to help you through this. This is the place and space where you have the opportunity to continue to recruit and retain members by showing that you care, checking in on fellow students, and make sure they know you are still there (even at a distance). Continuing basic friendship touch points with people you were courting to join your organizations is the most important thing you can do right now… not only because it’s the right thing… but also so you won’t lose momentum. Keep connected to prospects and potential members.
- Don’t stop the party. Why not plan a google hangout with 10 other brothers or sisters, name one person the DJ, let loose and enjoy each other’s company… go on a little Netflix binge one afternoon while video chatting together… Get some personal videos up on your chapter YouTube channel ASAP to make your brothers and sisters laugh… Start a book club, read and discuss via conference call or FaceTime or GroupMe… Have a brother or sister teach a group workout class via Facebook live… People are social creatures, don’t seclude yourself; our world is too modern for that.
Your brothers and sisters need to laugh… to be told it’s all going to be ok… and they need connection now more than ever. Sisterhood and brotherhood isn’t built in a day, whether it’s in-person or on-line. Reach out. Care for one another. Be there for each other.
I know I’m grateful for the people in my life who are being both responsible and relational. We all have the capability to be both right now. Especially as sisters and brothers.
Oh, and wash your hands.