Fraternity communication brings brothers together.
Seems pretty straightforward, right?
Sure, but what matters is how good communication makes those connections worthwhile.
We often talk about chapter communication in terms of expectations of brothers by officers, advisors, and other higher ups. We talk about it in terms of rewards and punishments based on those expectations.
We strategize how to plan and execute events, how to analyze our results and do even better next time. But we don’t often discuss what motivates brothers to invest their lives in the chapter in the first place. We don’t normally frame showing up and going above and beyond—all while struggling as a full-time college student—in terms of what brothers seek from those experiences.
This is exactly why we should thank members for their hard work.
Let’s look at a few effective ways of Giving Thanks to Your Members.
Public Displays of Affection
We know, PDA usually has a negative connotation. But when it comes to recognizing your members’ hard work, you want to shout your love from the rooftops.
Publicly thanking members not only makes them feel appreciated, it also gets everyone involved in the thanks-fest. Here are a few ways to pull off the perfect public “thank you.”
A Brotherhood Event
These chapter gatherings are a perfect way to show thanks, because they’re typically laid back, not too expensive, and simple to plan. Thus, you can hold one of these events once a month, or even once a week.
Some examples include:
- midnight bowling
- road trip
- go to a local drive-in
- order a bunch of pizzas
- basketball on the campus courts
- bonfire on the beach
A Thank You Greek Gala
When the simple get-together doesn’t cut it, and you need a bigger megaphone, you can stage a bigger event (just remember to budget for this event at the beginning of the semester).
Consider renting a hotel ballroom or other large space, or, weather permitting, holding it in the tranquil serenity of your campus park.
Provide food and beverages for everyone, bring a PA system, and let everyone hear your praise. Talk up the chapter GPA, charity volunteer hours, or whatever you feel are top chapter accomplishments.
You can also have fun activities, music and dancing, and hand out creative award certificates (“Most Likely to Go to Taco Bell at 4am” or “Chapter Clown,” etc.).
Build your theme activities around your venue choice.
TY Means Thank You: Digital Recognition
The expediency of the internet is expressed in the acronyms we use online, like omg, lol, and ty. We can use that expediency to give instant and widespread thanks to our members for little or no cost.
Try one of the following or a combination of these digital expressions of gratitude:
- Blast member accomplishments on social media.
- Create a “chapter newsletter” that talks up the chapter’s good deeds.
- Alternately, include a (small) section in an alumni newsletter about chapter news.
- Include a “news of note” section on the chapter website.
- Create some public member lists, like top GPAs, most volunteer hours, etc.