Blake (thesharpedflat) wrote in muphiepsilon,

MY Chapter update

Hey Guys,
Blake here again. Just wanted to let you all know, that I have been posted by the mu upsilon chapter to be the LJ liason for out chapter at Eastman. As of right now, our chapter is undergoing some drastic changes due to many different issues within the fraternity. If you guys have any orginizational advice for how to keep the chapter flowing, please don't hesitate. Hope you all are doing well, and happy winter break!
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Hi Blake! This is Zack from Lambda Chapter down the road at Ithaca College. Our chapter, while still somewhat small in number, has come back from almost total collapse to become a very strong and bonded chapter. We've been anxious to get in touch with you, and I know that we'd love to help you guys out with your chapter in any way that we can. We're also looking to organize some district social events, so you probably would have heard from us soon anyway. Please feel free to get in touch with me and let me know any ways we can be of assistance. Best wishes for the holidays!

Mu Phi Epsilon - Lambda Chapter
Ithaca College
AIM: PolygonKid
We had the same problem at my chapter. We almost had a major bail-out, so I had to have a little "come to Jesus" meeting with the chapter. One thing we did was establish a chapter mission statement. It seems that beyond the principles of Mu Phi Epsilon, everybody had an idea of what the chapter should be. So we had a meeting and got everybody's ideas together and wrote a short mission statement so it was clear what we wanted the Delta Tau chapter to be. I think it's helped a lot. We also do something called "word from heidi" were our secretary has some group activities that are designed to help us get to know eachother on a more personal level. This was mostly used to alleviate tensions between the singers and the instrumentalists, but it could work generally too. Hope that helps.

-emily t.
Hi Emily,
Sorry it took so long for me to respond to your post. I'm sitting here with my seceratary and she and I were both wondering what kind of activities you guys do to bring about that unity. Let me know. Thanks :) Blake from MY at Eastman
The main thing we did last semester was write our own personal chapter mission statement. Everybody had a different idea of what our chapter should be about...some people thought we didn't do enough community service, some people thought we didn't have enough parties...nobody knew what we were about. I took an informal meeting and just said "what do you want this chapter to be." I basically picked out two or three people to sort of mediate the meeting and let everybody talk from there. I actually laid out of most of the discussion minus things that needed to be said about by-laws. I personally went to one person and asked him to be at the meeting and to help mediate discussion. He wasn't an officer but he was somebody who people would listen to and I knew he would get a good discussion going. I also knew that people would listen to him. The other person that mediated the discussion was our steward.

I think a lot of good came out of the meeting. One thing we decided to do was have informal chapter meetings off campus...or rather out of the music building. We had been meeting in the main music classroom, but people felt that for an informal meeting, it was too "formal." The other thing I've tried to do is have something fun attached to informal meetings. The day we had the big meeting over the mission statement we had a hidden talents contest. The big chapter meeting last semester was also our "pizza chapter" where we order pizza out of the chapter account. Nobody can refuse free food. I'm actually having informal chapter tomorrow night and I plan on baking cookies. I'm also considering buying Twister to play with the chapter. Basically anything that makes people laugh helps in my opinion.

The other main thing that we've had for a while is something we call "words from heidi." It's basically meant to help develop personal connections between members of the chapter. We used to have a lot of vocalist/instrumentalist hatred in our chapter and it made the chapter very fractured. Our secretary comes up with the ideas for the words from heidi. One thing we did is we had every chapter member write down something positive about every person in the chapter. The secretary then typed up the comments and passed them out to everybody. We've also done secret pals. Hidden talents was another words from heidi activity. We also had a little lesson exchange. Like a pianist would give a violin player a piano lesson, ect.

I guess one of the biggest things I've learned from the chapter is that rush was fun but being a member wasn't. All the new members commented about how much fun we had but then meetings were boring. You've just got to temper the formal with the informal. For the amount of serious stuff you do you have to have just as much fun stuff. Also, be ultra supportive of your chapter members. We had a chapter member who made it to the top 10 at miss georgia and I sent an email to the chapter giving her congrats. I've also put funny pictures of chapter members up on our bulletin board. Our chaplain had a prayer list email that she ran during the summer so that nobody lost contact or got out of touch.

I hope that helps some. It's definitely a process that takes some time. I should add one thing though, and it's not to knock the hold president of delta tau, but I had to make a point of distancing myself from the previous "administration." She pushed people away and made the chapter all about what she wanted to do and didn't really care about anybody else. Don't get me wrong here...she was my roommate and is still a good friend, but she didn't listen to her chapter. That lead to my unity problems this year. She had managed to distance most of the chapter from her and most people didn't give me a chance to change anything or fix problems because they thought that because I was her friend that I'd act the same way.

I don't know what the situation is at your chapter, but sometimes you just have to start afresh. That's basically what I had to do this year.

In Mu Phi love,