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  #1  
Old 10-19-2015, 01:06 PM
AST384 AST384 is offline
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Unhappy Adjusting Alumnae Relationships

Hi everyone! I graduated in 2012 and became an alumna of my chapter. I recently accepted a position on the advisory board. Our chapter has been hit with allegations by our national organization the last two semesters. So, I joined the advisory board along with another woman and we're trying to make some positive changes. Before the two of us joined there was only one advisory board member. Now there are three of us but I am the only one who was a collegiate in this chapter.

The problem we are having is our alumnae. When I was a collegiate we had an issue with alumnae relations. The alumnae were angry they were not informed of events on campus and essentially they were "out of the loop." So, we started inviting them to things and getting them more involved with us. Some of their interactions are very positive but some are also excessively negative. Some of the alumnae (especially the older alumnae) like to bully and essentially haze members. It's like they come back just to talk down to new members, especially at homecoming. It's really embarrassing.

The woman who was originally the only person on the advisory board finds it completely bizarre that we even invite alumnae back. She thinks the best approach is to stop telling them when things are going on. Now, this may seem like a fine idea but the alumnae are going to ask what is going on so surely if the active girls don't tell them it's not going to make them very happy.

I don't think it's appropriate to completely cut ties with them but I realize that there needs to be a change. We'd like to start asking our alumnae for donations to the chapter and we'd like to eventually have enough support that a scholarship fund could be generated. So I don't think we should burn any bridges. We just need ways to shift the alumnae's focus from coming back to party, haze, and be ridiculous to coming back to be helpful and supportive and have a positive impact. Any ideas? We really need to fix this.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2015, 01:44 PM
MaggieXi MaggieXi is offline
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We had a similar issue on my campus with a small group of alumna who would come back and torture current members. We consulted with our regional leadership at the time who gave us some good advice. We also had a very frank conversation with the current members right before an event (specifically Homecoming) to let them know it was ok to set boundaries. I suggest you reach out to your AST leadership for advice and go from there. PM me if you would like to hear some of the things that we did.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2015, 02:50 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I went to Clarion so I know EXACTLY where you're coming from and the challenges you might have. Especially if there are still a lot of alumnae in the area. You definitely do not want to listen to the board member who wants to cut the alumnae out of events...because EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYONE and they'll be madder than wet hens if they find out about things second hand.

What age-ish are the alumnae who are causing problems? Their attitude more than likely is colored by their collegiate experience.

The best thing you can do is go to the alumnae who are being positive and ask for their help in getting these other women's heads out of their butts. Again, there may be longtime rivalries and interactions going on that actually have very little to do with the current sisters. The advantage of smaller chapters is that you know everyone inside and out...the disadvantage is that you know everyone inside and out.

Please feel free to PM me if you want.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:47 AM
purpleandpearls purpleandpearls is offline
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When I first graduated, the rule in my chapter was that if an alum wanted to attend anything, they needed permission from chapter leadership. More often than not, the requests were from recently graduated members that were going to be in town for the weekend and were staying with another sister and didn't want to have to sit at whoever's apartment while they went to a social. Because most of the chapter already knew this individual, permission was almost always granted.

There wound up being issues and so the chapter changed the rules. Instead of alum having to ask permission to attend events, there are now certain events alum can always attend, like formal and big/little, and certain events they can never attend like socials. Also, whenever there is an event that alum can attend, the chapter does send out notice but it includes the rules that need to be followed.
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2015, 12:22 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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I thought as an active (and still agree) that once a sister graduates, she really should separate herself from the chapter for 2 years. Especially if she's still on campus for grad school or whatever, it can be hard to make the transition to alumna status if she's continually just around. And it takes a remarkably short period of time before she becomes that creepy old lady who is always coming around.

Find yourself an alumnae association to affiliate with and let the college girls do their thing. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:32 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I don't want to out the OP, but that is not how her campus works. For one thing, many of those "creepy" alumnae were not active since before they even set foot in a college classroom.

This is not a situation where you want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2015, 12:56 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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That would be the sort of thing the CHAPTER can't do anything about. Not speaking to her, since her hands are kind of tied. But the alumnae should know to back off. So you might say I was speaking to the air in hopes that a guilty party would read it and take heed. I know, I know. Wishful thinking.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2015, 12:35 PM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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How about this: put the blame on your executive council.

"We'd love to invite you to our semi-formal bash but Exec won't let us. Please let us comply so that we won't get our charter pulled."
You can imply that it's just for a couple of years....which should be enough time to break them of the habit, and you can go to a format of inviting them to only certain things.
Your Exec (or whatever you call it) would probably be glad to take the blame! But discuss it with them or your regional officer first so that when those angry ladies call them to complain, they can back you up.

As far as a recent graduate (of the same chapter) serving as an advisor...sometimes there is simply no one else who can do it, but it's always preferable to wait to let her contemporaries graduate.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2015, 12:45 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I'm part of our alumni advisory leadership group (I'm nominally in charge). One thing which I think is important for alumni is to ensure that interaction with collegiate members is both positive and productive. It's all about finding the right people to advise in the right things.

One thing we've been successful with is not having a rigid structure. It allows us to let alums quietly stand down without being fired from a position when other commitments become more important. It also allows you to make sure the alumni advisory group is properly structured for the chapter it advises. And chapters' needs change every year.

Now alumnae coming back to haze members is serious and should be dealt with first by whoever is in charge of your alumnae group and should she fail, move up the chain of command. That is completely unacceptable and if that happened in my organization, i.e., alumni coming back to haze members being known about and not dealt with by leadership, we could be looking at sanctions from HQ.
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2015, 06:55 PM
ThetaPrincess24 ThetaPrincess24 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post

Now alumnae coming back to haze members is serious and should be dealt with first by whoever is in charge of your alumnae group and should she fail, move up the chain of command. That is completely unacceptable and if that happened in my organization, i.e., alumni coming back to haze members being known about and not dealt with by leadership, we could be looking at sanctions from HQ.
Yes! Yes! When I was board chair for my chapter, we had a few young alumnae/recent graduates that I had to flat out have a frank discussion with regarding the encouragement of undermining advisors, chapter leadership, and interference in the elections process. I had a few frank discussions with alumnae, older and in some cases much older than myself who had trouble grasping the concept that policy changes over time based on a variety of issues, but always with a purpose. This means what was policy or permitted in their day does not fly today and to please respect that--I even gave them copies of updated policy. Further I informed them if they could not respect current policy and stop undermining and badmouthing it to members and chapter leadership, to please stop coming around. I took some initial flack for it, but it worked. I might also state that I had backing and support from chapter leadership, my entire advisory board and district team as well, which helped.

This kind of issue was a growing cancer in my chapter for quite a while. Once this stopped, chapter leadership gained more confidence and the chapter was able to move away from that and operate at a more efficient level without the added drama. They still struggle with some alumnae support but that has more to do with not planning events at an optimal time (9pm on a Sunday night for example), lack of notice, and alumnae that fail to keep their contact information up to date.
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2015, 11:11 PM
pilam13330 pilam13330 is offline
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We had the same issues at my chapter. A lot of alumni coming around, expecting things to be ran like "the good ol' days"

It basically came down to, alumni were welcome, here are the rules, if not followed then you will be asked to leave. Any and all concerns were brought to attention of the alumni advisor (myself), then i would take them to the chapter level and get answers.

I found a lot of the newer guys are intimidated of the older fella's that never come around much, and that causes them to lose control of everything. I always found it easier to contain any situation like that by having the alumni advisor be the middle man, and help explain how things have changed
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