ALUMNI RELATIONS


The president will often be the most visible undergraduate member to the chapter's alumni. Thus, the president will have to work closely with the university alumni office to communicate with alumni. An effective president can assist both the alumni officer and the Advisory Board to increase alumni involvement.

The president will represent the undergraduates in all their relations with the various alumni groups such as the area alumni associations. If the president seeks to understand the alumni perspective on issues affecting the chapter, he must keep the lines of communication between the chapter and alumni open.

RECRUITING ALUMNI

The president should assist in the recruitment of alumni volunteers. Each semester or quarter, the president should work with the advisor and the alumni officer to identity alumni who have the skills, interest and time it takes to aid the chapter. The president would assist the alumni officer and advisor as needed, perhaps writing letters to potential alumni volunteers or writing a short list of the chapter’s recent accomplishments. More importantly, the president can prioritize the chapter’s needs in terms of alumni assistance and then identifying offices that require mentors.

If the chapter needs to recruit alumni to work with the undergraduates, generally the advisor and alumni officer would be responsible for such an effort. The president should assist these officers in achieving their goals, but is probably too busy to be totally involved in the recruitment process.

What the president CAN do is set a tone for the recruitment of alumni, by making it known that recruiting alumni is a chapter priority and that all members should do everything they can to make alumni feel welcome.

NEGATIVE ALUMNI

All too often a chapter is faced with the presence of an alumnus (or alumni) who is a negative influence. These alumni take many forms. Some seek to relive their experience through the current members. Others will seek to involve themselves in the decision making process of the chapter, offering unwelcome or unneeded input. Most common are alumni who return to restore negative traditions to the chapter. These traditions are often in conflict with the current policies and practices of the chapter and/or the fraternity and can result in the chapter being disciplined for the restoration of these “traditions.”

The president must take a proactive stance in addressing negative alumni. As these alumni pop up, the president must ask the Executive Committee to take a unified position and confront the individual alumnus. The president should address the alumnus through the following steps:
  1. Establish contact
  2. Agree on the problem behavior
  3. Discuss why the behavior is not appropriate according to the current membership’s policies and ideals
  4. Ask the alumnus to modify his behavior to conform with the undergraduate’s current policies and practices.

If this is unsuccessful, the president, through the Executive Committee, should propose a solution acceptable to the chapter. As a last resort, the president should be aware if the chapter’s disciplinary process allows for undergraduates to take action against alumni whose actions violate the policies or ideals of the Fraternity.

REWARDING INVOLVED ALUMNI

The president should make sure the chapter has a program in place to recognize the accomplishments of involved alumni. Such a program will accomplish two objectives, First, the recognition for currently involved alumni serves as the motivation to sustain their involvement. Simple acts of recognition go a long way toward sustaining volunteers. Also recognize the contribution of an alumnus’ family members, who forgo time with their family member when they are involved in Fraternity activities. Second, the program serves to lure other alumni into renewing their commitment to the chapter. By publicizing the recognition for involved alumni, others might be sparked to offer their assistance.