An afternoon with Gamma-Iota at CU Boulder: Front Range Province Forum
The semester has started, recruitment is underway and chapters around TKE Nation have The Expectation of Excellence. This Fall, take advantage of every opportunity you have to excel. Connect with mentors, forge relationships with your community, engage alumni, and take advantage of your local Province Forums. Don't know what to expect from a Province Forum? You can head over to TKE.org/forums, talk with your local alumni volunteers or reach out to your regional team. There are a lot of great forums happening around TKE Nation this Fall, and each one has its own story. We asked Chief Risk Officer, Greg Roskopf, to share this one from last season's Front Range Province Forum with Top TKE Chapter Gamma-Iota.
One of the best drives to campus is the short drive past the Flatirons into Boulder from Denver - the Flatirons have a way of changing your perspective. They connect you to the landscape, grounding you, and inspiring you to face new challenges. Since the Gamma-Iota chapter is the lone group in the Front Range Province, their version of a forum has a bit of a twist on the typical schedule. Focusing on their growth and providing perspective remained the key topics for the afternoon.
Our Province Forum started with a group coaching session for all officers. Topics such as engaging seniors, recruiting strategies for handing out bids, along with campus and community relations. One discussion of note centered around the strength of the chapter experience. The concern stemmed from the high number of members graduating next year and an increasing focus on recruiting the next generation to take the Bond.
When the entire chapter filled the room, and all were fed, the Fraters discussed the topic of "Know Thyself," one of the inscriptions from Apollo at the temple of Delphi. The chapter broke down their strengths and created a feedback loop for its officers. The point of our session was to better position each member to tell his story. If you can share your story in a meaningful and genuine way, you can tell the chapter's story. Your story is the chapter's story. IAMTKE isn't just a useful hashtag.
This work set up our four points for keeping senior members engaged in the TKE experience.
- Start with New Member Education. Clearly define expectations from the very start, members are more likely to follow it. Creating reasonable expectations for members is nothing new. Talking about what it means to contribute to the Fraternity, specifically throughout the upcoming years, should be a topic discussed with new members.
- Right Size the Experience. Senior year brings with it one last chance to participate as a collegiate in the traditions on campus. It is a time of change for members approaching graduation and their next steps in life. The TKE experience should reflect these changes in time and priority. Be reasonable with how these members can and should contribute. The chapter should be helping set them up for success, especially in these last months before graduation. As a recent graduate becomes established in their career, provide them with the opportunity to be engaged and assist the next generation through their own transitions.
- Start a Task Force. This suggestion can go for almost any issue the chapter wishes to tackle. A task force has a set time, set goal and parameters to finish. Unlike a standing committee, task the membership with developing a solution. At the Front Range Forum, for example, they chose to get the input of those senior members - How do they want to contribute and what are reasonable expectations? This will be vital, moving forward. Go to the source and set them to the task.
- Senior Specific Events. Already in the works for Gamma-Iota chapter is a senior dinner and a session where seniors can advise the Fraters on lessons learned during their time as active members. Focus on what seniors need - time for career preparation, consideration for graduate school tests, and to balance their time with obligations. Enable success, do not hinder it.
The Front Range Forum ended with a discussion on the Membership Quality Board and Q/A. Now it is up to the chapter to follow up on these discussions. How will they tell their story? How will the task force come together and further the ideas already in place to develop the TKE experience? Time will tell. What we do know is these men are focused on growth, proactive with health and safety, and not afraid to put in the work. Like the Flatirons so near to their campus, the Front Range Province Forum provided a dose of perspective and a challenge to be excellent.