Brave Enough to Start The Spark

Special Guest Post By Rula Andriessen, Extension Consultant, Alpha Gamma Delta

[Phired Up worked with Alpha Gamma Delta on a highly successful extension project at Arizona State University this semester.  We asked Rula to share her thoughts on the experience.  She chose to inspire others to "Be Brave Enough to Start the Spark."  Thank you Rula!]

stsSomewhere, maybe acknowledged, and maybe not, there is a question in the hearts of fraternity/sorority undergraduates.  It could be a question of personal value – their worth to their organization.  It could be a question of their organization’s value and worth on campus.  Maybe it’s uncertainty about a new member program.  Maybe it’s doubt about proclamations of genuine friendship and the possibility for innovative thought. 

Maybe their questions will go unspoken and unanswered.  What would inspire them to reevaluate themselves and their organizations?  What would start the spark?

I began this semester fresh off the road from a tiny private college, where I talked and read “I Heart Recruitment” constantly.  I told the women I worked with to question their surroundings, and I believed in the power of a great question.  I used the programs in the great pink book to make the powerful point that people join people, and that women should make a friend to gain a member.

I moved to the Valley of the Sun, Arizona State University, where an amazing friend wrenched the pink book out of my grasp with one hand, and with another swift movement, pushed me toward a group of strangers.  “Go.  Make friends,” was my instruction.

My initial experiences were, in a word, awful.  I felt uncomfortable and horribly incompetent.  How could I, a professional relationship builder, be socially unintelligent?  I attended school out of state and made all new friends…I traveled abroad by myself…I lived out of my suitcase in a different stranger’s house every week for a year!  Perhaps most uncomfortable was the idea that I had been running around the country shouting “Phired Up Recruitment” from the rooftops,  only to find that my own capacity for it seemed pitiful.

What could I do to make this better?  I could only continue talking and inquiring and smiling – I could only continue stepping out of my apartment every day with the words of a great consultant “phiring” around in my head – “How many lives will you affect today?” 

The key word in this question is “you”.   I began to regain my self confidence.  I have something to offer.  The Greek community needs the change I offer with my organization.  Our organization needs the change we can make as a group at this university.  What I’m offering will be a great opportunity for amazing women on this campus.   What I’m offering may change their lives forever and will definitely bring them to friends they might never have met.

Maybe someone’s unspoken question will be answered.  Maybe this Greek community will get a real idea of their unity.  Maybe the extent of their true supportive fraternal spirit will be tested and revealed by this colonization.  Our group may redefine the meaning of positive traditions and innovative changes.  Maybe our group will help redefine fraternity and sorority organizations at the New American University, ASU.

Social interactions occur because people inherently need each other.  Maybe we can’t know how wide open our world can be, or how beautifully needy we really are, until we’re brave enough to stand up, step out, speak up, and bring someone into our lives.

Real bravery can be as simple a pleasant one-liner:  “Could I ask you a question?”  And can lead something more amazing than you can imagine.

So, are you brave enough to start the spark?

Delta Xi Colony at Arizona State University used Values-Based Membership Recruitment to gather a group of thoughtful, interesting, innovative women as colony members of Alpha Gamma Delta.  Intelligent question-asking and genuine human interest became the basis of the Leadership Consultant-led recruitment.  The group looks forward to a May 1 installation and a dynamic future at the New American University, ASU.