Applying for Campus Awards
By Terina M. Cugliari, Director of Greek Life – High Point University
Campus awards are an important part of the fraternity/sorority community on college campuses across the country. When we join our organizations, we pledge to hold ourselves to higher standards and documenting our achievements is a great way to assess if we are reaching those higher standards. Winning awards is just a byproduct, a way to demonstrate that you are the best of the best.
Applying for awards can be a daunting task. If you feel your chapter isn’t ready to leap straight into applying for the big awards, here are a few tips on how to make small changes to get things moving towards Chapter of the Year.
- Start with smaller, more manageable goals such as achieving a chapter cumulative GPA above the all men’s average or hosting an alcohol free event or mixer.
- Meet with your college or university fraternity/sorority advisor so that you have a good understanding of the awards process
- Your officers should keep good records of: philanthropy events, alcohol free events; community wide and campus wide events. A good GoogleDoc will work wonders for tracking these.
- Recognize individual accomplishments in the chapter. This will help motivate other members.
Chapters become what they are expected to be. If there is no expectation that your chapter will be Chapter of the Year, for example, the group will live up to that and perform poorly. Organizations need goals and they need to know what is expected of them. Share your awards goals with the chapter from the start. Make sure they are aware that the chapter is striving to achieve goals in order to be recognized among the campus community. Communicate the benchmarks to reach these goals such as having a cumulative GPA above the all men’s average; fulfilling a set number of community service hours and so on.
Remember that just because you win an award one year, does not mean you will win it the following year(s). Use awards as a benchmark. A standard for which the chapter strives to achieve each year. A measurement to know that the chapter is continuing to reach a standard of excellence. Awards are a starting point, not an end point.