How the Ir(Vine) Grows

How the (Ir)Vine Grows: Tech for All Councils

by Matt Farrell

Like many communities, UC Irvine Fraternity & Sorority Life had noticed declining interest in joining over the last several years. But what was rock bottom?

The Interfraternity Council found that out this January, when SIX students showed up to their potential new member orientation (for 15 chapters).

The community needed a SYSTEM, and adding ChapterBuilder helped the Council attract 148 potential new members this fall. Not a bad increase! Even better, ChapterBuilder became the central hub for all 3 Councils at UCI.

We talked to some key students who made it happen, and heard three clear themes. Check it out in their own words!

Starting More Relationships

Luis Escalante, Interfraternity Council VP of Recruitment: For my council, ChapterBuilder was something new that none of us were familiar with, but our directors emphasized how much it would simplify the recruitment process. Once I started playing around with the website, I was able to keep track of any PNMs we needed to contact and send SMS messages to those individuals.

Tiffany Aihara, Multicultural Greek Council President: The MGC’s recruitment rate doubled since the last academic year because we were able to reach out and keep in contact with more individuals. ChapterBuilder makes it easier to communicate with prospective members so that we can build an interaction that promotes our organizations.

Alyssa Koba, Panhellenic Recruitment Counselor Coordinator: The biggest change that ChapterBuilder allowed us to make was that we were able to keep track of PNMs that were being contacted in the months leading up to recruitment. This really allowed us to ensure that all interested PNMs were being contacted but were not repeatedly being messaged with the same information. ChapterBuilder also allowed us to contact PNMs directly through text messages which seemed to be the most effective form of communication.

Tracking More Relationships

Tiffany: ChapterBuilder allowed our council to stay in contact with individuals who were interested as well as send reminders and updates about our organizations’ recruitment schedule.

Alyssa: This year, Recruitment Counselors posted the link to the ChapterBuilder registration page and mentioned that if PNMs are even slightly interested in PHA that they should register in order to receive more information. This really allowed us to target PNMs who were interested in joining the council and put them in contact with Recruitment Counselors who were trained to market the benefits of Panhellenic. After women registered through CampusDirector, I went in to ChapterBuilder to change their statuses and let our Recruitment Counselors know that these PNMs longer need to be convinced to register for recruitment. It allowed us to focus our efforts on those who still needed to register.

William McKay (IFC President): We had hosted info sessions before and promoted them by posting on facebook pages and group chats, but we had limited success. With ChapterBuilder, we had a mandatory info session and had potential new members fill out a link to join our database. We found that communicating with PNMs on ChapterBuilders messaging system was far more effective at getting people to events than anything we tried in the past.

Setting up a System

Luis: I really think that future councils will not be as successful if they don’t use ChapterBuilder to communicate with people. In terms of recruitment, it allows the council to invite PNMs to events without them being intimidated at all.

Tiffany:  ChapterBuilder will be helpful in the future because it gave our council a platform to reach out to more individuals than when we were in-person. It was nice to have a platform where we could track all of our conversations with people who seek interest.

Alyssa: Of course we are always interested in expanding our community and gaining members who never saw themselves as the “sorority-girl type.” It really allows us to gauge the interest of PNMs and concentrate our efforts on providing more information to those who are genuinely curious about Panhellenic Sororities.

William: I believe ChapterBuilder is essential to the success of the future execs of this council because this database allows us to gather info on PNMs so easily. ChapterBuilder was certainly our central hub for recruitment this year. We posted an interest form on various social media platforms and we messaged freshmen directly with the link to sign up. The stream of communication between our exec board and our PNMs was flawless.