Greek Chic- Time to Cozy Up!

Brr! Its getting chilly out there already! Time to pack up the tanks and flip flops and break out the hoodies and boots! But are you REALLY ready for this winter? Not unless you are fully armed with all your warm and fuzzy letter gear! How about some of these cozy items?

Sorority Snuggie– They do exist ladies, and Greek Gear has them! Choose your favorite color, thread color, and sorority. Perfect for those lazy movie nights with your sisters!

One thing your Snuggie won’t cover? Your feet! But don’t worry, we’ve got those covered too. Our Sorority Slippers are sure to keep you comfy and warm all winter long! The colors change to represent your organization and your letters will be sewn on as well!

Just a couple basic things to get you prepped for the cold! Remember, enter save20now and receive a 20% discount off your entire purchase today on Greekgear.com!

‘Tis the Season- TO WIN A SHOPPING SPREE!

Can you believe the holiday season will be here in less than a month?! Here are GreekGear we are already getting into the season of giving- which is why we want to give your entire CHAPTER a SHOPPING SPREE!

One lucky chapter will win a $250 shopping spree on GreekGear. This is how it works- First, submit a photo and brief description of some accomplishment, service project, or campus activity that your chapter has performed this semester. GreekGear.com will feature one chapter a week through the month of November. The first week of December we will host a facebook-wide vote for the favorite chapter featured. The chapter with the most votes wins the shopping spree! Simple as that! But wait-it gets even better! Each chapter that submits an entry will receive a code that unlocks a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon! Email your entries to mmark@inarush.com!

3 Campus-Wide Events to Host!

Ever feel like every organization hosts the same events at different times during the year? Time to rid that bad habit! There are plenty of awesome activities to involve your entire campus! I have always been a fan of open campus events because it is a great PR tactic, as well as a great way to meet PNMs (Potential New Members). Perhaps there are students who have never considered Greek life and ignored the invitations to Recruitment week- this is the PERFECT opportunity to catch them! Campus wide events provide a relaxed atmosphere where your organizations love, dedication, hard work, and lasting friendships can speak for themselves. So, here are 5 fun activities you can host on your campus:

1. Etiquette Workshop- College will fly by, and before you know it you will be out in the “real world.” What better time to learn and practice your manners than now?! You can do the research and host the workshop yourselves, or bring in speakers to do it for you!

2. Self Defense Class- I think this would be so fun! It was something I always wanted to try. There are many different organizations out there who will come in to teach you these valuable skills. One organization that you may find interesting is Girls Fight Back. It was established 10 years ago after the collegiate founder’s friend was attacked and killed. More info at girlsfightback.com

3. Danceathon- Perfect for a fundraiser/ charity event! You can raise money and have a dance party at the same time, does it get any better?

Have other ideas?! Let’s hear them!

3 Tips to Better Communication

We spend all day, every day communicating with others verbally and non-verbally. While it may seem simple, it can often be very complicated and cause problems. I’m sure you have experienced some type of miscommunication in your GLO. Many of these issues could be avoided completely if proper communication is used. Though there are endless tips and skills to improving communication, today we are just going to focus on three basic tactics.

1. BE HONEST
First and foremost, honesty is the best policy! However, it is often the most difficult part of the whole communication process. Sometimes we have to address tough issues that make us uncomfortable. We fear making a fool of ourselves, rejection, or ruining a relationship. Even though all of these things may be scary to us, we have to keep in mind that if we are not honest, nothing will ever be accomplished and we will drive ourselves crazy with the “what ifs” (trust me, you don’t want to come down with a case of the “what ifs”!). Before you state your honest comments, make sure you think about what points you want to get across, and what the best phrasing is. Which leads me to my next suggestion…

2. Use “I” Statements!
When you approach someone about a potentially tense situation, the last thing you want is for them to feel attacked or bombarded. The best way to avoid this is to use “I” statements. This is a method developed by the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution & Conflict Management. Creating a successful “I” statement is easy, just play a little game of fill in the blanks!

“I feel ___________ when __________ because ____________.”

Using these statements will keep the other person from getting defensive, resulting in a more beneficial conversation. I can tell you from experience, THIS REALLY WORKS!! Give it a try!

3. BE CONSCIOUS OF NON-VERBALS
Last, but CERTAINLY not least- pay attention to your facial expression, eye contact, and gestures when having conversations. You may have a nervous habit that you don’t realize, but it would really effect the conversation. Personally, I tend to cross my arms often. I don’t do it to purposely close myself off, I just happen to have long arms and don’t know what else to do with them! But I have to think from an objective perspective- others see my arms crossed and assume that I do not want to be approached or that I am unhappy. Try to maintain eye contact, keep your hands at your sides, and face the person directly.

These are three very simple things to think about before you confront that elephant in the room! I hope they help! Are there any other tactics you use to communicate successfully?

Greek Chic: Greek-Professional

As a Greek, you know that there are many different functions that require a diverse Greek-Wardrobe! Some of those occasions are likely to be professional dress; which is why today we are showing you how to put together a polished look and include those letters!

Let’s start with the guys! There are a couple different options out there, depending on the occasion and the weather! First- the ever popular Polo. Polos are great for a wide variety of occasions and you will definitely get a lot of wear out of them! Customization options for this item include: shirt color, thread color, text, letters and font!

We also have the classic Fraternity Sweater. This is great for fall/ winter and is great with jeans or slacks. Perfect for formal recruitment! You also have the customization options for this sweater.

Now for the ladies! We also have a few different styles of polos for you to choose from. My favorite is the Rhinestone Polo. The rhinestones add a feminine twist to the basic polo, and come in a variety of colors. Click HERE to view our assortment of polos!

Another option you may consider is a Sorority Placket Shirt . I have seen chapters wear these during recruitment events with dark jeans or slacks and it looks very classy and chic! Again, you can choose your shirt color, thread color, letters, and font. You can also pair it up with a blazer or sweater for Badge attire days or interviews!

Freshmen: In or Out??

I recently stumbled across an article regarding the ban that will be placed on Greek recruitment of freshmen at Princeston University starting in Fall 2012 (You can read the article HERE). Essentially, the reasoning comes down to this statement:

“We have found that they [Greek Organizations] can contribute to a sense of social exclusivity and privilege and socioeconomic stratification among students. In some cases they place an excessive emphasis on alcohol and engage in activities that encourage excessive and high-risk drinking. A major concern is that they select their members early in freshman year, when students are most vulnerable to pressures from peers to drink, and before they have had a full opportunity to explore a variety of interests and develop a diverse set of friendships. We hope students coming to Princeton will want to expand their circle of acquaintances and experiences, not prematurely narrow them.”

Interesting statement. At my university, first-semester freshmen could not join Greek organizations either. However, the reasoning had a scholastic basis. There was a minimum GPA requirement and incoming freshmen have 0.00 GPA until the conclusion of their first semester. Freshmen were allowed to meet with Greeks and express interest, but any formal steps in the initiation process were prohibited. Now, I don’t completely disagree that it could be beneficial for freshmen to wait until they get “the lay of the land” you might say. That first semester can be overwhelming and you don’t want to rush into anything too quickly. You want to develop a routine, get your grades in order, and observe the differences among GLOs. Yet, you could also argue that allowing freshmen to join will give them a better support system which will help them adjust to their new lifestyle. Pros and Cons to both, of course!

Also note- Princeton has stated that it does not even recognize any Greek chapters. It is confusing as to how that works, and how they are banning freshmen recruitment when they have not recognized any Greek organizations- I still haven’t figured that part out yet! I will update the post if/when I get that one sorted out. Until then- weigh in on your thoughts! Should freshmen be in or out??

Greek Chic: 3 Things for Your Chapter House!

This week in Greek Chic we’re talking about how to jazz up your chapter house!

1. First things first! Make sure everyone on the outside knows just what organization this house belongs to! Our Neon Signs are unique and eye catching; day or night, these signs are sure you get everyone’s attention!

2. Add a little spirit to your living area with these Fraternity Crest Pillows! A new item to Greekgear.com, these pillows are sure to be a hit! For the ladies, don’t worry we have you covered too! How chic are these new Damask Sorority Pillows?!

3. Are you always on the go? Don’t be late! Check out our Sorority and Fraternity clocks! These are useful for any room in the house!


Just a few things to get you started! Want to see more? Let us know!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”- Steve Jobs

It was incredibly disappointing to learn of Mr. Jobs’ death yesterday. I consider myself somewhat of an Apple junky/ Apple marketer’s dream! More than just making cool products, Steve Jobs created something radically different, and in doing so- inspired a generation. I think we could all really learn something from Jobs. Even in our Greek communities, his message can be utilized.

I have discussed my Greek journey many times throughout this blog, but in case you missed it here’s a quick recap- My chapter was comprised of the founding members of the the only nationally affiliated sorority on our campus. While it may not seem like a big deal to outsiders, especially non-Greeks, to us it was everything; and on our campus, it was radical. At our university, things were pretty set in stone- you didn’t mess with the status quo…until we did. Yes, it was difficult and yes we failed many times, but eventually we succeeded, and I truly believe that the school is better for it. Now, the university is expanding at rapid speed, almost too quickly to keep up. Am I saying that a new sorority on campus caused that chain reaction? Not necessarily…but maybe it sparked something, and maybe it got the ball rolling.

Mr. Job’s was 100% correct in his quote. You don’t have to think inside the box anymore. Having a problem with your Greek Life system? Don’t be afraid to make a change. Don’t be afraid to be the one person or the one chapter who takes a stand. Not every chapter is the same, even if they are on the same campus. You don’t have to do what others do, find ways to be unique. Who knows what you could spark! Innovation isn’t just for engineers, its for anyone who wants to take something and make it better. There are always ways you can improve your chapter or university, so be creative and courageous. Don’t just settle for the norm.

5 Ways to Improve Member Retention

Retention of members is something that every organization will struggle with at some point. In Greek life, it is especially important because there are standards that must be met in order to be accredited. When retention becomes an issue, it can be incredibly frustrating for officers or other dedicated members. A heavy workload may fall on fewer members because there are not enough people to properly distribute the work. Here are 5 ways you can improve your retention:

1. Find the root of the problem.
The most important step is to find out why members are not attending meetings or events. Maybe there is a simple fix to the problem. Sometimes there are issues between members who don’t feel comfortable around each other. If that is the case, mediate a conversation and help bridge the divide. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding that went unnoticed. There are endless reasons that could be the cause, but one thing is for sure- you can’t fix a problem that you don’t know exists! Talk to your members and listen to what they are telling you.

2. Empower your members.
Sometimes you will run into a situation where there is one person or a small group of people who try to take on everything themselves. This can be frustrating to other members because they feel that they are not being heard. They also may feel that they do not need to put in the work because someone else will just do it for them. You NEVER want this situation to occur. It is not beneficial to anyone, or the chapter as a whole. A Chapter is a team and teamwork skills should be utilized. Empower your members to take charge and accomplish their goals. In my chapter we always talked about “doing what you say you do.” Show others how rewarding it is to accomplish a task and trust them enough to handle situations on their own. This will build their self-confidence and benefit the chapter 🙂

3. OBSERVE!
This is very important! Don’t wait until full panic mode sets in to change things. If you notice that a couple of people have been missing even 2 weeks in a row, talk to them! Find out what is going on right away before the problem worsens. Also, take note of verbal and non-verbal ques during meetings and events. If you sense tension- take care of it immediately. Not only will this avoid future problems, it will also show members that others DO notice if they are unhappy and care to fix it.

4. Communication is key.
Without a doubt, communication has to be one of the most common problems in any relationship. I have seen first hand how communication issues can tear apart a group. Make sure that members are communicating with each other in healthy ways. You always want to ensure a respectful and open atmosphere!

5. Mix in some fun!
Last, but certainly not least, have fun! So many times we get bogged down with work that we forget to have fun. Meetings are meant to accomplish tasks, but don’t let “business” spill over into socials and every outside conversation. If you feel that things are getting too stiff, plan more socials or even a chapter retreat! You want to have a good balance between work and fun, too much of either will lead you down the wrong path!

Remember that these things happen to every organization and they are fixable! Follow these tips and enjoy your successful retention!