Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Finally - We have a winner!

Congratulations to Matthew Bauer OH - Iota '08 (University of Toledo).

Matthew is the winner of our "Who wants to go to Conclave" contest. His entry, entitled "External Tech Chair and Website Construction" was selected as the entry that best embodied the topic of "Sig Ep, Communication, and Technology." Way to go Matthew. We hope you enjoy your Conclave as much as we always do. We'll see you there!

To read Matthew's essay, Click on the "Read More..." link.

After my chapter has recruited men I often ask them, "how did you find out about SigEp?" to get feedback on how our publicity and recruitment methods are reaching potential new members. I often receive the same answers: Balanced Man Scholarship, through people on campus, posters and flyers around campus, the occasional legacy, etc. But more and more often I keep hearing, "I checked out your website and liked what I saw." The first time I heard this, I was somewhat stunned. However, as the world depends more on technology, more young college men are researching the fraternities at their university, using the Internet, and the chapter websites. Even in this age of technology, not enough chapters have a working website. Furthermore, how many chapters have a respectable working website that would make a young man want to join their fraternity? How many chapters have a website at the level of Ohio Eta, Sanguine et Purpure’s "undergraduate chapter website of the year"?

To solve this problem, I first considered educating RD’s on website construction. When they travel from chapter to chapter, they would provide help and advice on website construction in addition to the typical chapter issues. However, RD’s are recruited for their interpersonal skills, not their computer literacy. Let’s not make RD’s into something they are not and besides, they are stretched thin enough as it is without worrying about chapter websites.

Instead, I propose a restructuring at the national level. Currently, the Director of Technology at SigEp HQ, Sean Leahey, works primarily with the internal network and provides support for the Headquarters' staff on help desk issues. The maintenance of the national www.sigep.org website is handled by an outside contractor. I propose making Sean Leahey’s position the Internal Director of Technology, and creating a new second position, (you guessed it) the External Director of Technology. This person’s job would be to identify areas for improvement in chapter websites and actively help individual chapters build websites that are dynamic, appealing, and something to proud of that can be used in recruitment efforts.

We have HQ directors of leadership development, new chapter development, and health and wellness. Why not have the External Director of Technology working on website development with individual chapters? The Directors of Property Management and the National Housing Corporation work to make sure chapters have a decent place to call home on campus. Why shouldn’t the External Director of Technology make sure each chapter has a place to call home on the Internet as well?

We can take this as far as we want:
  • We have Recruitment Boot Camp, why not Website Boot Camp
  • Website breakout sessions at CLA to share ideas and info between chapters
  • Better education on risk management and the Internet (I won’t name chapters, but I’ve seen pictures of SigEp undergrads posing on a truck bed full of kegs on chapter websites…while wearing letters)

Several years ago, we set the national 3.0 G.P.A. goal to send a bold statement to every SigEp. At Conclave 2007, we should set a new goal: to have a presentable, working local website at every chapter of SigEp within five years. When we put our mind to something, we have accomplished great things in the past. Let us see what we can do when we put our efforts into website development. We work hard to present SigEp well to potential new members on campuses and when speaking in person. We need to realize the potential of local websites as a recruitment tool and present SigEp well on the Internet as well.

Matthew Bauer, ‘08
The University of Toledo
Ohio Iota Chapter
VP of Member Development

We will also be sending this entry and all the others to HQ so they can have the benefit of some of the best thinking by undergraduates.

In the coming days look for other entries here and see what people had to say. As always - comments are encouraged.
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