First and foremost, I bring to you greetings from the “Glamorous and Fly” Gamma Xi Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. The poodles here at Florida Memorial University work diligently together on recruiting new members and working hard for the good Sigma. We are big on living by the principles, “Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service.”
Right after making their special presentation to the campus, the neophytes of Spring 2018 began working by giving back their service. Their first community service was at the “Million Meal Pack.” The event is put together by the Miami Dolphins and AARP. The objective of the event was to pack over 1 million meals to be delivered by U.S. Hunger to adults in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The volunteers were able to pack 1,017,504 meals. I found the event to be very enjoyable and entertaining. One thing about giving back your time, is the joy you find in it!
The event began with thousands of people in an assembly line. We combined ingredients and nutrients to make the meals. The best part about the event was competing with the other tables to see who would make the most meals within the time span. We also got the opportunity to engage with players from the Miami Dolphins team.
It was definitely a pleasure knowing that we helped fed thousands of people within the community!
Tau Xi Chapter
Georgia Southern University
Things You Need: raffle tickets, prizes (TBD), possibly posters, possibly raffle permit
With the Tau Xi chapter being a freshly chartered chapter, we needed to have a great campus breakout event. What better way to show the campus what Sigma Gamma Rho is about than by showing them one of our community service initiatives. To do this we paired with the brothers of the Lambda Upsilon chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (TKE) to execute what we named “The Sweetheart Raffle”. We partnered with this group of men because cross-council partnership is something the Tau Xi chapter was really interested in spearheading on our campus. They were also a smaller organization interested in expanding their image on campus, like us, so we figured that we could work together to reach our chapter goals and donate to a great cause. To begin the project, our chapter basileus sent an email to their chapter president extending an invitation for his chapter to work with us on a joint community service project, to which he enthusiastically responded and set up a time for a planning meeting.
Why the Sweetheart Raffle?
We began planning this event in January 2018. As a chapter we wanted an event we could implement successfully and quickly. Someone came up with the idea of a date auction, which we weren’t all in on. From there, the idea of a Valentine’s Day raffle emerged. Buying Valentine’s Day gifts can get expensive, because you want to show your significant other just how much they mean to you. That’s why we decided to raffle away possible Valentine’s Day gifts. The prizes were meant to function as an impromptu gift for someone to give their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.
The Planning Meeting
In attendance at the planning meeting were both chapters’ presidents as well as their community service chairs. At this meeting, we discussed the potential prizes for the raffle, necessary precautions, and advertisements.
Prizes and Prices
Both parties agreed to give away a total of four prizes to our college community. The second, third and fourth place winners received a teddy bear paired with a $50 Visa gift card. The gift card price was determined based on the relative cost of dinner and a movie for two. The first place winner received the grand prize which included a box of the finest chocolates from Z-Chocolats which were directly imported from France, an $85 value.
Prices and Money Collection
The total cost of all the prizes was just under $250. Since this was a joint service project, our chapters split the intended costs of these prizes equally. We also agreed to sell each raffle ticket for $5. Our goal was to sell 100 tickets, bringing in $500, leaving each chapter with at least $250 to donate to the March of Dimes. To collect money, we accepted cash, CashApp and Venmo. When planning events like this, it’s important to have multiple means of payment. I find that students usually pay with mobile banking like CashApp or Venmo, while adults favor cash.
Neither of us had the campus social media presence for our main advertising efforts to be pushed through social media. Because of this, we decided our primary advertising method would be to jointly table at a central location on campus. For us, this is what our campus calls “the Rotunda” as it’s where most organizations will host their tabling events or fundraisers, because it is a high traffic area for students heading to class.
We decided to table everyday from February 1 - 12. This time frame was chosen as it gave us time to have repeated and extensive exposure to the students on campus. The drawing was done on February 13, because the intention for the prizes were for them to function as Valentine’s day gifts. During this tabling period, our chapters each had a representative jointly table at the Rotunda during the weeks leading up to the drawing. Though this was our primary mode of advertising, we also created a flyer to share and promote through our chapter, personal and council accounts. Sidenote: You can also use tabling as a way to promote your social media. When participants purchase their ticket, invite them to watch the drawing on you social media then provide them with it.
Even though the presidents and service chairs were a part of the planning process, all chapter members were expected to contribute to its execution. We created a shared Google Sheet with TKE and had everyone sign up for shifts to table during the day. Each chapter member was also tasked with selling at least 5 tickets, through tabling or personal interactions. We calculated that if each chapter member sold at least 5 tickets, them we could easily reach our goal of 100 tickets. (Our chapter had 13 members; TKE had a little over 20)
We did the drawing on February 13, just in time for the winners to present their new gift to their Valentine! We broadcasted the drawing on each chapter’s Instagram Live, to build the suspense for the raffle participants. At the end, we thanked everyone for participating and announced that we had met our goal of raising over $500. Then we contacted the winners to set up a time for them to claim their prizes. At the times they claimed their prizes, we took pictures with them and posted the winners receiving their prizes on our social media.
Precautions and Things to Consider
Before you hold a raffle, check your local/state laws surrounding it. To hold a raffle in the State of Georgia, you need written permission from your county sheriff. This meant that we had to fill out a form stating our intent for the raffle and receive the signature of the county sheriff. The brothers of TKE handled this part of the preparation. According to them, this whole process took about 10 minutes as the sheriff’s office had all the paperwork they needed to fill out and was really helpful.
When people purchase raffle tickets, be sure to have them write their name and number on the back of their ticket so that you have a way to contact them if they win!
As a newly chartered chapter, this was the Tau Xi chapter’s breakout campus event. Tau Xi benefited from the collaboration in the following ways. It was an invaluable experience to be able to work closely with an older chapter on campus to see the process of how to implement a successful Greek, campus-oriented event. As a chapter, we knew that the Lambda Upsilon chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon had successfully held raffles before, and this was an event planning experience that we were eager to learn. We were also able to gain knowledge about the Interfraternity Council and Lambda Upsilon chapter’s operations which we in turn used to reflect on utilizing within our own chapter. With the history of Greek life being centered around friendship, through brotherhood and sisterhood, through the completion of this event, we definitely found newfound friends in each other.
Overall, this event was an amazing success as it allowed both organizations to heighten their on campus presences, learn from each other, and make friends in each other all while supporting an incredible charity organizations. The total amount raised was over $500, which we donated to the March of Dimes under our respective chapters and organizations.
Vegetarian Southern-Style Collard Greens
With today being Thanksgiving, try this healthy alternative recipe! Collard greens are naturally fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, low in calories, a good source of calcium and fiber, and an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate. Most southern recipes for collard greens call for either smoked meats or salt pork, which can add more sodium and fat to the dish. This holiday season, we’re kicking that extra sodium to the curb!
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Applewood smoked salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 lbs. collard greens, leaves only, rinsed and chopped
TT black pepper
TT hot sauce
(TT- to taste)
Coat a large deep skillet or pot with vegetable oil
Sauté onions until almost tender, over medium heat
Cook until onion and garlic are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes
Add in vegetable broth
Season broth with smoked salt and red pepper flakes
Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed
Bring broth to a simmer and reduce heat
Add in collard greens (Greens will wilt down as they cook)
Simmer for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Do not boil.
If desired, add in more smoked salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and/or vinegar.
You are the Brand!
Our social media timelines are inundated with impeccably dressed, faultlessly poised, and perfectly captured photos of members across the D9 family. We are both awed and annoyed by their seemingly mastered art of photography. Angles, lighting and outfits always on point. Greeks and non-Greeks are drawn in to their post, click like, and follow the hashtag. Do they wake up like this? No. They have simply become experts at promoting their brand.
Sororities and fraternities are always recruiting. Social media platforms are expected to be used to promote positive images of the organization. Your social media post should be intentional and calculated. Think: Would this post increase interest in Sigma Gamma Rho? The turnout at your next informal rush is a direct result of your marketing and branding efforts. The work you put into perfecting your image, marketing and branding efforts will pay off in increased membership.
We have the resources that you need to work on improving your image and branding. Take time to review “Sigma Style: Image & Style Guide” and “Social Media Policy” with all the information you needed to know for effective branding and responsible social media use as it relates to upholding our brand standard.
Tips to Social Media Success:
Be intentional – have a purpose posting that is linked to a chapter goal, event, initiative or to garner interest.
Establish a Social Media committee to develop a social media / branding plan.
Assign the Epistoleus or Webmistress to manage the site(s).
Take, retake the picture until everyone portrays the sorority in a good light.
Post with the intent to recruit.
Always post with a hashtag - establish common hashtags to use in all chapter social media posts
Use your social media accounts to show what being member of Sigma Gamma Rho is all about. Emphasize the positive aspects of sorority life. Be sure your spelling, grammar and hyperlinks are correct.
Each chapter should use social media intentionally and responsibly to share the virtues and values of our Sisterhood. Thank you for improving our online presence by promoting the Sorority through your chapter’s social media platforms.
Dr. Celestine LaVan
Southeastern Region Undergraduate Chapter Coordinator
First, I would like to thank the region for covering the cost of my registration and hotel expenses for the Biennial Boule. I really appreciate the sacrifices made for several undergraduates including myself to be given the opportunity to go to Boule.
At the Boule, I was able to get TORCH level II certified by Syntaktes Martin and Syntaktes Harris. Currently, I serve as Sigma Chi’s Anti-Basileus but I also am the Immediate Past Basileus of the chapter. Being able to get TORCH level II trained at Boule was very beneficial to me especially if my chapter decides to have intake. I made notes and took pictures of several slides, so that I can understand everything fully.
Also, I attended the plenary sessions which were very informative and I learn more about the Sorority’s business sessions. This allowed me to understand Roberts Rules in more detail. It was also good to see the women who lead our Sorority in person.
Moreover, I attended the Leadership Breakfast which was an amazing experience. It was great to be in the presence of our Sorority’s leaders from across the globe. I was able to interact with Syntaktes Martin and take photos with International officers.
Also, I attended the Sophisticated Southeastern Region Undergraduate Meet and Greet at the DoubleTree. I was able to speak to our incoming Undergraduate Chapter Coordinator Celestine LaVan and incoming Youth Service Coordinator Agnes Hina. I was able to build a relationship with both of them and other undergraduates in the room, as we shared our experiences in Sigma Gamma Rho.
Moreover, I was able to bond with the Rhoers which fell in line with our outgoing International Second Grand Anti-Basileus Kathrina M. Ruiz “Rhoer-to-Soror Relations”.
In conclusion, thank you for the opportunity and I will carry back all the information I received to my chapter so that we can carry out the mission of Sigma Gamma Rho.
Photos from Boule:
First and foremost, I would like to preface this article by saying I am so excited to have this tab up and running! This was one of my platform goals that I campaigned on and it truly means the world to me to see us growing together by sharing our knowledge. This article will be a documentation of some of my goals and what it has been like serving as your Youth Services Coordinator.
After being elected in the spring, I started developing my plan for the upcoming sorority year. I settled on the theme of Live a Healthy LifeΣtyle, as I wanted the region to focus on our health, more specifically mental health. I also started structuring the varying competitions that will be available under the resources tab on November 1st.
Overall, this has been very different for me, but the best part so far has been the travel. I have traveled to Montgomery, Dallas, Jackson, Washington D.C. and so many other places! When I say that I am so grateful for the opportunity I mean it. Meeting new sorors is by far one of my favorite things to do and I have met so many of you.