Three Things to Remember When Initiating TORCH
This fall, the Tau Xi Chapter completed their first membership intake process, since its chartering. Naturally, this process had its ups and downs, and through it I gained 3 pieces of advice to keep with me.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
The TORCH process is something that requires an intense amount of dedication and preparation. With national mandated deadlines about when certain materials are due and need to be ordered, a precise timeline of your intended TORCH process will save you headaches in the future. This timeline should include the specified dates of the mandated 42-day TORCH calendar, as well as more informal dates, such as when food for informal/formal rush should be ordered, deadlines to make decisions on venues, and get appropriate paperwork signed by your advisor or Greek Life office (if undergrad), and securing necessary personnel, like DJs and caterers.
To accompany the timeline an itemized budget should be created outlining all expected costs for the duration of the TORCH process. Some costs to include on this document are food, venues, A/V technology (if applicable), and decor. Should your chapter decide to have a neophyte presentation, this is an added expense that should be outlined as well, including costs for presentation outfits, masks , DJ’s and other items that your chapter elects to include. This itemized budget should be as specific as possible, meaning that anyone in your chapter should be able to take this list, go shopping and get everything on your list without asking many questions. Include item brand names and stores along with company names, contact info and prices. You want to make this process as easy as possible!
Remember that lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for others.. Be as proactive as possible when initiating a TORCH process. Do not wait until the last minute to throw a plan together. Take time to thoroughly design the best plan of action that will benefit your aspirants and chapter members. Be courteous to your chapter members by giving them adequate time to gather resources to support this TORCH process.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
The TORCH process isn’t just the membership committee’s duty. It requires active participation from most chapter committees. As the membership chair, you should actively consult multiple committees like the finance, fundraising, publicity and social event committees.
Have your finance and fundraising committees help you develop your itemized budget based on your set allotment of funds and any money you plan to bring in from fundraising. Consult you social event committee to plan membership based events to gauge interest as well as to best prevent any conflicting dates between the TORCH calendar and general social events. You don’t want chapter members to be overwhelmed with too many large events to plan in a short time span. Be sure to inform your publicity committee about any pictures/videos you’d like to be taken (like at induction and neophyte presentations) as well as any publicity you’d like to curate about the TORCH process. Some of this publicity may look like a social media post inviting aspirants to informal rush or a news article highlighting the impactful community service the newly inducted sorors completed following induction.
Communication is an active act. Don’t hesitate to ask others suggestions or advice on topics you are not confident in or want more knowledge on. Your chapter is here to support you and your TORCH process. Let them.
When inducting new sorors, in sense, the chapter becomes their parent. Upon induction, new sorors are thrust into a new life, a new world of which they will need guidance. It is our responsibility as older, more experienced members of Sigma Gamma Rho to teach and mentor “younger” sorors the right ways and operations of the Sorority. Like a child mimics its parent, “younger” sorors will mimic their “older” mentors. Being new members, anything that “older” sorors do, they see as right. In their eyes, we have no reason to do what’s wrong. We are all they know in Sigma. So watch what you do and what you say; be the soror you want them to become.
Your children will become who you are, so be who you want them to be.