Alumni & Advisors
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Alumni and Advisors play a critical role in chapters' success or lack thereof. Alumni offer historical perspective, and advisors are sometimes able to assist in providing continuity for a revolving door of undergraduates. Both the inter/national organizations and the university expect a lot of chapter advisors.
I never hear from anyone associated with my chapter. Why not?
Your chapter may not have accurate contact information for you! Please update your information with them, and do not hesitate to contact the local chapter advisor or the president.
How can I update my contact information with my chapter?
Contact the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life at 507-389-6076 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and that person can provide you with contact information for your chapter's current president or pass your information on to that person. While you're updating your information with the local chapter, please consider updating it with your inter/national organization's office and the MSU Alumni Association (507-389-1515) at the same time. When our students are looking for alumni lists, these are ALWAYSthe first two places they look. Also ask to have your Alumni Association record tagged with the name of your chapter!
I am trying to contact fraternity brothers or sorority sisters from my generation. How can I get their contact information?
Requests for alumni information must be made by an office on campus. If you are trying to set up a reunion or another function, contact the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life at 507-389-6076 or email@example.com, and that person can assist you in searching for records that the university may have.
I can't contribute a lot financially. What other ways are there for me to help my chapter?
This is a great question to ask the current chapter leaders or current advisors. Often times, there are more advisory opportunities available. In addition to this, current undergraduates have a hard time guaging what types of events alumni would be interested in coming back for. Sometimes, they're not comfortable asking, either. Offer suggestions, or offer your assistance in setting up events to draw brothers or sisters back. Founders' Days (both local and inter/national) or Initiations are great opportunities to get together and reminisce.
Things are so much different now from what they were like when I was in school. I simply don't fit in any longer.
In some cases, it is true that things are much different than they were years ago. We live in a more litigious society where risk management is a much greater concern than they were back in the hayday of the "Animal House" mentality. Our chapters are realizing that they can't survive with that mentality and that inter/national organizations and universities won't have anything to do with groups that try to. Alumni who may have experienced the "Animal House" era are valued as brothers and sisters, but we hope they realize that times have changed...for the better!
This being said, the basics remain. Our organizations were founded upon a core set of values that we try to exhibit in our daily lives and in our interactions with each other. Our organizations still provide a network that extends beyond the walls of our alma maters. Our Rituals, the primary things we have in common with each other, regardless of the time period we're from, remain largely unchanged. We hope that, despite some of the differences in our undergraduate experiences, fraternity and sorority members will celebrate the brotherhood and sisterhood their groups truly stand for!
I am a member of a fraternity or sorority that does not currently have an active chapter on campus. How can I go about starting a group or reopening my chapter?
The Interfraternity Council has adopted the North American Interfraternity Conference's (NIC) open expansion policy. This being said, there are still processes that need to be followed. The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has specific requirements and regulations that govern sorority expansion, even if a chapter has previously had a presence on campus.
Alumni involvement and advisory support is key in the success and survival of any chapter. There should be a base of committed alumni willing to provide support to any group looking to expand or reopen on campus. Even if there are alumni willing to support a local chapter, it is also important to involve headquarters staff and determine if there is support for a local chapter from that level. Any university decision regarding support of a group's expansion is made in close consultation with undergraduate governing councils, local/regional alumni, and inter/national headquarters staff. Timing has a lot to do with decisions, and the decisions regarding support are not always permanent!
I would like to provide financial support to my inter/national organization, local chapter, or the Greek Community. How can I go about doing so?
Almost all inter/national organizations have a charitable "wing," known most frequently as the "Foundation." These foundations provide support to educational endeavours in the form of programming or scholarships. The "educational" nature of spending is key in determining tax deductibility of contributions made. Some foundations allow for support to be directed toward specific chapters, while others do not. Please consult with your organization's headquarters for specifics regarding this.
Local chapters are able to accept outright cash gifts, but, generally speaking, local chapters do not meet IRS requirements to grant tax deductible status to your gift. We may be able to work with the MSU Foundation to direct gifts to local chapters for educational or scholarship purposes. Please contact the MSU Foundation (507-389-1515) for more information.
Our office provides several educational opportunities for Greek Community members, and financial support is welcomed, as the annual operating budget does not fully fund all of our activities. If you wish to provide support for our ongoing educational programming, for students attending leadership conferences, or for Greek Community scholarships, please contact the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life at 507-389-6076 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss opportunities. We will work with you and the MSU Foundation to make the most of any gift you may wish to make.
IRS regulations regarding tax deductibility of contributions are complex and a cover-all explanation or guarantee can not be provided by our office. Tax professionals should be consulted on these matters.
Suggested resources for Alumni and Advisors:
- Association of Fraternity Advisors' Chapter Advisor Handbook
- Sorority and Fraternity Life Faculty/Staff Advisor Suggestions
- Minnesota State University Alumni Relations and Special Events Office
- Minnesota State University Foundation
- MSU Homecoming Website