Building Administrative Support

Chapters who enjoy their support of their college administration know that the process of reaching that coveted position of favor involves teamwork, commitment and perseverance. To build a relationship that results in increased support for your chapter, focus your efforts on becoming an asset to your institution. Here’s how.  

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Begin with network. We all know how essential a strong network of connections can be to reaching our career goals. The same holds true for chapter success. Often, success happens by meeting the right people and knowing who can be counted on to get the job done. Remember, it’s not who you know, but who knows your chapter. Seize every opportunity to let your institution’s administration, faculty, staff and students know who you are and you are about.

Say thank you. If your administrators make attending a regional or international meeting a reality for your chapter, be sure to say thanks. In the moment, this might mean sharing a picture of your chapter from the event on social media and including your institution’s hashtag and thanks to the administrator for making it happen. Once you return, email or schedule a meeting with your supporters to share more about the experience and how the chapter benefited from attending. Also, don’t discount the value of a written note of thanks signed by all who attended.

Know your faculty. If your college doesn’t already have a faculty appreciation day, your chapter may want to implement one. Many chapters recognize faculty with a special breakfast or lunch or present them with awards to recognize their accomplishments. While honoring faculty, use this opportunity to inform them of your chapter’s achievements and thank them for their ongoing commitment to helping you succeed.

Professors are fantastic fans to have in your chapter’s corner. After all, their mission in life is to teach. When they see their students reaping the benefits of academic success through Phi Theta Kappa, they know they have done their job and done it well.

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Volunteer on campus. When your institution holds new student orientations, be there in force. The benefits of you chapter’s presence are two-fold. First, your presence gives you another avenue to be visible in front of your administrators and lend them support they can count on for a job well done. Second, your chapter gains a prime opportunity to tell incoming students about Phi Theta Kappa and inspire new students to work toward the attainable goal of Phi Theta Kappa recognition. This is just one of the many ways your chapter can assist your college administrators in accomplishing their goals and in the process demonstrate what an indispensable asset your chapter is.

Follow up. It’s not enough to simply do the job. Take time to report back on the great job you did. Build mechanisms into your projects to evaluate their impact and share those results with college officials.  This could include sharing a report that highlight quantitative results like number of students reached by your project to forwarding an email from an individual or organization thanking your chapter for its efforts.

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Connect other student groups. Networking with other student organizations presents your chapter with valuable opportunities to be visible as a team player, to fellowship with other groups and to exhibit leadership. Consider pooling your resources with other groups to complete a project or event and invite other groups to your events. Your chapter may event want to create an officer position to serve an ambassador for your chapter to build relationships with other student groups.

Be proactive. When your chapter has done something great, don’t be shy about it. Prepare a press release and forward it to your institution’s public relations office.  These professionals welcome leads on stories that can draw positive press attention to the institution. Your news might be featured in the institution’s social media, on the college website or event in local media. If at first you don’t success, keep trying. Tie your releases to how the chapter is helping the institution achieve its goals and watch your exposure soar.

 

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