Sorority chapters are organizations that typically function in hierarchies (executive officers at the top, officers and committees underneath, and then all sisters in general). Since this is the case, most people who aren’t initiated sorority members would assume that the responsibility of sorority communications would fall to a specific position within that hierarchy. However, while this is partially true, the responsibility falls on all sisters in a sorority, from the president to the newly-recruited, first-semester sister.
Sorority management communications is the responsibility of the executive officers, sorority financial communications is the responsibility of the treasurer and finance committee members, recruitment communications is the responsibility of the recruitment chair, and other officers must effectively communicate their goals and needs as well. Sorority communication that benefits all officers and members and the chapter as a whole is the responsibility of sisters in general.
Sorority communications can be a complex issue for a chapter to tackle. While each aspect of communication is handled independently, a sorority must communicate in a fluid and holistic way that ensures that all parts of a chapter are clearly communicating with each other and in concert.
This all likely sounds a little complicated, so let’s take a step back and look at a different way. Consider that a sorority chapter is like a computer. Or for a more up-to-date analogy, let’s say a sorority chapter is like a miniature, hand-held computer--a smart phone. It has a lot of circuits and electronics that you’ve probably never even seen behind the screen and sleek, stylish case, but each part has its own function that makes the phone work so you can post pictures to Facebook and Instagram.
But imagine if all these little parts stopped communicating with one another, and each just did its own thing. What do you think would happen? If you think that all those colorful little sweets in Candy Crush would disappear into the ether, never to be seen again, you’d be right. Now think of a sorority chapter without its parts communicating so that all can come together. The whole thing would come crashing down on your heads, right?
That’s why it’s important to master the inner workings of Sorority Communications and figure out just Who Is in Charge.
Top executive officers such as the president and vice president, and all officers of the executive board, must understand how to effectively communicate in order to properly manage their sorority chapter.
You have to effectively communicate rules and boundaries for the chapter house and sisterhood in general, lead executive board and chapter meetings with updates on chapter business, communicate with the treasurer about budgeting and with the recruitment chair about potential new members (and often you will sit down with these PNMs yourself). You have to be clear and straightforward with your agenda, but also democratic and flexible with ideas from sisters.
Top executives also represent the chapter as the “face” of the organization at events and to nationals, the university and partnering organizations. They must sign contracts and act as a delegate at national meetings.
In other words, top executive sorority officers must communicate by finding their voices as leaders.
The sorority treasurer and, to a lesser degree, members of the finance committee, must communicate the sorority chapter’s finances and state of the current budget to other members. The sorority treasurer must communicate with sisters regarding membership dues, officers and committees about their budget requests, as well as with auditors and banks, the president, parents, national advisors and more.
She must keep detailed records of all financial transactions, dues receipts, invoices, bank statements and cancelled checks. She must give written notices about membership dues, payment plans and dues scholarships to sisters. She must give updates about financial matters at chapter meetings. All these things are considered important aspects of transparent sorority financial communication.
A sorority chapter’s recruitment chair (or pledge trainer) must communicate with potential new members and about them to current sisters, to see if they’d be a good fit. They must communicate with top executive officers and the treasurer about building events to attract said potential new members, as well as to secure the collection of all pledge dues and initiation fees. They have to communicate with new members during and beyond the initiation process, and play an active role in their education and sorority experience.
A sorority secretary has to keep detailed records of chapter meetings, and communicate the minutes and any unfinished business during proceeding meetings. She also counts votes, maintains a membership database and more.
A sorority standards officer has to communicate with sisters about situations that could lead to poor decisions or even personal bodily harm. She has to be able to communicate what the rules are and help enforce them, and to be able to coordinate with the president or a higher authority on these matters when necessary.
Other officers and committee members, as well as all sisters, must do their part to ensure sorority communications continue to be clear and effective. Sorority communications is a team game, and no one in the chapter gets to sit on the bench.
Going back to the analogy of the smart phone, you can see that internal communication is what makes this technology such a powerful tool. The same principle goes for your sorority chapter’s communication. Of course, this is a challenging feat to accomplish, so any tools that help centralize sorority communication and make it easier and more straightforward are a huge boon to your organization. If your chapter is represented by this multifaceted technology, then by its nature sorority software can help your chapter communicate and operate, with everything from finances to recruitment to chapter management and event planning.
OmegaFi specializes in software that can help your chapter build and manage a budget, while optimizing financial sorority communication. Get in touch with us here at OmegaFi to learn more.