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Advisors: A Sorority Leader's Most Untapped Resource

Sorority officer, when was the last time you talked to a chapter advisor? Was it last week with a reporting question or last year at primary recruitment? If you don’t have an established relationship with your advisor, it can feel intimidating to reach out for support. You might worry that reaching out will get your chapter in trouble or bother your advisor. 

Sister, if this is you, I want to give you my favorite tip; your advisors are your number one untapped resource for success. 

As a sorority alumna, I’ve been on both sides of the advisor relationship dilemma. As a sorority chapter leader, I underutilized my advisors and often faced challenges in trying to tackle big problems on my own. As an advisor, I recognize areas where my relationship-building with collegiate officers might be lacking. So let’s talk about it. What are some practical ways to think about and utilize a relationship with your chapter advisors?

Myth Busting: Your Advisors Are NOT Here to Get You in Trouble

Often, the thing getting in the way of a productive relationship between sorority officers and advisors is the fear of getting in trouble. Let’s set the record straight: your advisors do not want to see your chapter fail or get into trouble. It’s actually the opposite. Your advisors want to prevent you from getting in trouble and see you succeed! As an advisor myself, I strive to help our chapter leaders get things done in a way that is accurate and rewarding. Seeing them succeed is my greatest accomplishment.

Make the First Move

If you’ve read this far thinking “I don’t even know who my advisor is,” then this tip is for you. Don’t be afraid to make the first move in forging a relationship with your advisor! Whether it’s sending an email introducing yourself or scheduling a “get to know each other” zoom call - make the effort to get connected to your advisor. Usually, you can get their contact information from your chapter database or a previous officer. Making the first move to build a relationship will be hugely beneficial towards finding support during your officer term!

Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions

My first job as a chapter advisor is to answer questions. Whether it's something small like asking where to find a document or something large like a risk concern - never hesitate to ask your advisor for help. We want to answer all your questions and will help you find the answers you’re looking for!

Thinking of Your Advisor as Part of Your Toolbox

When explaining the value of advisors, I like to use the analogy of a chapter calendar. At the start of your term, you get acquainted with the calendar. You read through it, write down important dates, and ensure you have a plan for the year. After that, do you just throw the calendar away and never look at it again? No! You’ll continue pulling out that calendar throughout your entire year. In a similar way, your advisor is a tool in your toolbox. A resource that you should get to know, check in with regularly, and utilize to support you in doing your personal best. An advisor is your greatest resource, don’t forget to utilize her!

Developing a strong officer/advisor relationship is one of the most valuable connections you can make in your sorority journey. The connections you make with alumnae will support you as an officer and into the future. Never miss a chance to take full advantage of that opportunity. 

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