What IFC & NPC Needs to Teach NPHC & MGC

In my last blog post, What NPHC & MGC Needs to Teach IFC & NPC, I explained some of the things that I feel NPHC and MGC (NALFO/NAPA ) organizations are doing exceptionally well. Hopefully, IFC and NPC members reading the post were able to gain a new perspective on those particular elements of their chapter operations.

Little did I know, that post would get picked up on Twitter, and become my most viewed post to date. So, as to not keep you waiting anymore, I present some of the things that NPHC and MGC council members and chapters could learn from their counterparts in IFC and NPC.

Targeted Recruitment
Recruitment might as well be a four letter word in the NPHC/MGC community. NPHC and MGC organizations rely on their prestige and prominence on campus coupled with their national reputation in order to attract members to their organization. By the way, this is recruitment, it’s just being done in a different way. In my personal opinion, and in my experience, NPHC and MGC chapters fail to reach out to the preeminent leaders on campus, and instead, only rely on those interests who show up to their events.

In the IFC/NPC world, we talk about always-joiners, never-joiner, and maybe-joiners. Check out the chart below for the break down of the types of prospective members on your campus.

When NPHC and MGC chapters rely solely on members seeking them out, they are only reaching out to the fifteen percent of the campus population that already knows they want to join a fraternity or sorority. Those fifteen percent are often-times only looking for a good-time, and end up being the ones who cause the most of the problems for the chapter.

The best IFC and NPC chapters actively seek out leaders on their campus who they know share their core values and will contribute to the betterment of the chapter. More so, they have developed a variety of methods to attract these individuals (scholarships, co-sponsorship of events, service projects, etc.). NPHC and MGC could take a tip from IFC and NPC organizations by identifying leaders on campus, and simply inviting them to start becoming engaged with the chapter.

Celebrate Success
Our IFC and NPC chapters take tremendous pride in the various accolades they receive. Their chapters their hardest to win Greek Week and/or intramurals, take home awards at the annual Greek awards ceremony, and receive recognition from their national organization as an outstanding chapter. On a council level, IFC and NPC councils fight for regional recognition through the AFLV Awards process (at which NPHC and MGC councils are grossly underrepresented).

More importantly than walking away with some nice hardware and bragging rights, this common goal galvanizes the organization together in an effort to achieve a specific positive outcome. It’s this competitive spirit and drive for recognition that helps IFC and NPC chapters and councils constantly improve.

NPHC and MGC organizations need to celebrate their successes in the public light. Despite often having smaller numbers than their IFC and NPC compatriots, they are certainly doing work worthy of recognition. So find some sort of recognition program that is important to  your chapter and take the time to fill out those applications; you just may be surprised when you realize how good it feels to win.

There are plenty of other ways IFC and NPC could help NPHC and MGC, but in the interest of conciseness, I’ll stop it here. Do you have some suggestions of your own? Make sure you leave a comment!

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What NPHC & MGC Needs to Teach IFC & NPC

Some of the most enlightening conversations that I have been able to witness occur when members of separate councils sit down to talk about the way that they operate as a chapter and/or council. Although we all have shared values, and face many of the same struggles, we often operate extremely differently.

I have seen women from National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council (NAPA, NALFO, etc.) chapters stare perplexed as a National Panhellenic Council woman tries to tell them about their formal recruitment process. Conversely, Interfraternity Council men and Panhellenic women are often confused as to exactly what their counterparts in the NPHC and MGC communities are up to.

This blog post will make the case for three things that NPHC and MGC chapters are doing right, and as such, need to be teaching our IFC and NPC organizations.

Chapter Collaboration:
Attend any major NPHC/MGC event, and you will almost undoubtedly see members from that organization wearing letters or paraphernalia who you have never seen before. This is because they are members from other colleges and universities in the area who came to your campus in order to support their brothers and sisters. Because of their smaller chapter size at many institutions, NPHC and MGC chapters make incredible use of the support that is offered to them by other chapters in the state and/or region.

IFC and NPC chapters could learn a thing or two from this type of collaboration. Far too seldom do IFC and NPC chapters reach out to other chapters in a collaborative effort. If you’ve ever attended a workshop or conference with other chapters and/or organizations, then you should already know that other chapters are an amazing resource for new ideas. IFC and NPC chapters can utilize chapters in their areas for new ideas related to campus programming, socials, working with your national philanthropy and/or initiatives, and chapter structure and managements. Additionally, opportunities to collaborate exist in the areas of community service and philanthropy, leadership development, and much more.

Lifelong Commitment:
Another thing that NPHC and MGC organizations do extremely well is instilling a lifelong commitment to the organization. Members choosing to join these organizations know full well that upon graduation they will be expected to remain active within the organization on the local/regional/state/national level.

Unfortunately, far too often within our IFC and NPC organizations, we here the phrase “I was in a fraternity/sorority when I was in college” or “I was in Alpha Alpha Alpha during my undergraduate years”. The only reason that any fraternity or sorority member should ever use these phrases is if they chose to leave, or were removed from their respective organization. IFC and NPHC chapters need to take a tip from NPHC and MGC organizations and instill this commitment before a bid is handed out. Potential new members need to fully comprehend the life-long decision they are making when they choose to accept a bid into your organization. Instilling this commitment will bring you truly dedicated new members that will transition into passionate, committed leaders within your organization as well as active, contributing alumni.

Respecting Organization History:
Here’s a quick experiment, walk up to the first 10 NPHC or MGC members that you can find; ask them to about their founders, and the history of the organization. Now do the same to the first 10 IFC or NPC members that you meet. I can promise you that without a doubt, every single NPHC and MGC members can name all of their founders, their founding principles, and provide you with a strong overview of their organizations history. I would not be so sure that would be the same for our average IFC and NPC members.

IFC and NPC members; have you ever noticed that NPHC and MGC organizations refuse to wear their letters in any color other than those established by their national organizations? Do you think it’s weird that they won’t let you put their letters or crest on your Greek Week shirt? Well, that’s because they place a special value upon the outward representations of their organization. I find it disconcerting when I see IFC and NPC chapters who buy their letters, or make their t-shirts in every color of the rainbow besides those established by their founding members. I understand the desire to stand out, be different, and have the coolest looking gear; but when you wear colors completely alien to your organization, you lose a piece of your organizations identity for which your founders worked diligently and deliberately to establish.

In addition, you will never, ever, EVER see a non-member of an NPHC or MGC organization wearing that organizations letters, crest, drop, tiki, etc., unless the national organization has a policy which allows for it under specific circumstances. So to my IFC men and NPC women, think twice before making that sweetheart shirt, or giving your best guy/gal a lavalier. When in doubt, talk to your national organization, and ask them what their policy is on non-members wearing your letters, logo, and crests. </rant>

Through these three areas in particular, our IFC and NPC chapters could learn a lot from NPHC and MGC chapters. If you are a member of and IFC or NPC chapter, take the time to talk with fraternity men and women from outside of your councils. Learn what they are doing well, and how you can implement these successes from within your chapter. If you are a member of an NPHC or MGC organization, feel free to share these successes, and explain why it is that you do certain things differently. Also, wait for my next post for ideas you could learn from IFC and NPC chapters.

Have a comment? Feel free to leave it here.

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