Alpha Sigma Tau Officer Academy and Recruitment Boot Camp were simultaneously held in Indianapolis Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30, 2013. Programming for Officer Academy –which had nearly 200 attendees –included a variety of topics, ranging from leadership style to social skills to conflict management. Recruitment Boot Camp provided collegians with the tactics, skills and training necessary to make advanced recruitment improvements in their chapters. Pilot chapters for the Sorority’s Four-Year Member Development Program also gathered on Sunday for training on how to facilitate and deliver the program.
The weekend began with the Welcome Session for both Officer Academy and Recruitment Boot Camp attendees. During the Welcome, which was hosted by Rachel Bourgeois, Phi Chapter alumna and former Alpha Sigma Tau Educational Consultant, collegians received an overview and advice for the coming days; were introduced to Chris Covington, Alpha Sigma Tau National President; and engaged in icebreaker activities. Additionally Kris Haskin, Vice President of the Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation, announced the 2013-2014 academic year scholarship recipients and explained to collegians the role and importance of the National Foundation.
After the Welcome, Recruitment Boot Camp attendees began the intense program built to provide collegians with the latest tactics in recruitment training. Sixteen incredible professionals in the fraternal industry graciously volunteered their weekend to facilitate Recruitment Boot Camp for 32 Alpha Sigma Tau chapters. The facilitators, led by Laurel Peffer Price of CAMPUSPEAK, were:
- Krista Bennitt, University of Washington
- Angie Bong, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Ashley Broskey, Alpha Pi, Washington and Jefferson College
- Dexter Bush-Scott, Northeastern University
- Trace Camacho, Michigan State University
- Adam Cantley, University of Delaware
- Sam Centellas, Ivy Tech Community College
- Jason Handberg, Theta Chi Fraternity Headquarters
- Ashley Huff, Sigma Kappa Sorority Headquarters
- Tara Rabinowitz, University of South Carolina
- Tabatha Sarco, Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity Headquarters
- Ashley Smith, Psi, Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority Headquarters
- Victoria Stankus, Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity Headquarters
- David Stetter, University of Southern Indiana
- Kate Wehby, Gamma Xi, Illinois State University
- Sarah Wild, SUNY Plattsburgh
Programming for Officer Academy began on Friday evening with Ginny Carroll, CEO of inGiNuity and Founder and Chair of Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, Inc., who hosted People Smart: Leveraging Your Leadership Style and Gift of Sorority. Ginny facilitated the DiSC instrument for participants to understand their own leadership tendencies and to learn how to read others’ styles so they can become more empathetic leaders.
Ginny Carroll also facilitated The Gift of Sorority, which explored the surprising history of the sorority movement and put sorority traditions into context. Alpha Sigma Tau sisters thought about how the right type of sorority experience will have a significant impact on their future. Also on Friday evening, collegians participated in a T-shirt swap, where they exchanged Alpha Sigma Tau shirts with collegians from other chapters.
On Saturday, participants spent seven hours with fellow Alpha Sigma Tau sister Jessica Gendron Williams, Vice President of the Women’s Division at Phired Up Productions, as she hosted a session on Social Excellence. At this session, attendees practiced “The Four Pillars” of Social Excellence: Curiosity, Generosity, Authenticity, and Vulnerability. Additionally, they learned about first impressions, exchanging contact information, social etiquette, listening, and remembering names.
After Saturday’s dinner, attendees had the opportunity to ask their burning questions to a panel consisting of Chris Covington, National President of Alpha Sigma Tau National Council; Alli Miller, National Vice President of Alpha Sigma Tau National Council; Kris Haskin, Vice President of the Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation; and Jim Paponetti, Executive Director of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority. Questions ranged from “How can we endow a chapter scholarship?” to “How did a man become involved with a sorority?”
Following the Panel Discussion, Alpha Sigma Tau Headquarters Staff introduced the new collegiate chapter officer structure that will be implemented by all chapters in the fall semester of 2013. Finally, to conclude the evening, collegians had an opportunity to discuss Hot Topics with members from other chapters to gain new ideas, share best practices, and learn from each other.
For Recruitment Boot Camp participants, Saturday was comprised of skills training, work in small groups, and the creation of the chapter’s action plan. Led by their small group facilitators, RBC chapters worked incredibly hard, many well into early Sunday morning.
On Sunday, Recruitment Boot Camp participants wrapped up with a session on how to implement the new ideas they learned, while Officer Academy attendees had the opportunity to attend three 50-minute sessions. The programs included Planning an Excellent New Member Program, New Officer Structure Q&A, What’s New in the GIN System, Exceptional Sisterhood, Contributing to the Progress of Mankind, How to Resolve Conflict Within Your Chapter, Virtual Connections, and Get on Board: Preparing Yourself to Serve on National Council.
Representatives from the 14 Member Development Program pilot chapters attended Mastering Facilitation, a program hosted by The Leadership Institute – Women with Purpose. During this training session, the participants learned how to facilitate workshops and properly implement the Sorority’s Four-Year Member Development Program, which all collegiate chapters will implement in the fall semester of 2014.
The busy weekend concluded with the opportunity for members to visit National Headquarters. Twenty-one chapters visited Headquarters, where they saw Alpha Sigma Tau history, jewelry, archives, and more.
Based on the feedback from Officer Academy participants, plans are currently underway for the 2015 Officer Academy.