Whether it was during your new member education, or when you took on a leadership role, you have likely learned a bit about how advisors work to support your chapter and better the collegiate experience. Advisors are often sorority women who volunteer to give their free time to support collegians, encourage chapter development and ensure chapters are on the pathway to success. This can be a large undertaking, and many advisors do this in addition to full-time careers and supporting their own families.
Chances are an advisor in your chapter has done something to help you, sometimes without you even knowing about it. During the month of April, we focus on the impact advisors have made and show our appreciation for all the hard work that they do, but you don’t need to wait until April to show appreciation. Think of other appropriate dates and events such as Founder’s Day events or Advisor birthdays where you can show some love. Appreciation can be as small as a hand-written note or as large as a chapter ritual, whatever your chapter decides personalizing the experience will only make the gesture more impactful.
If you are a leader with a specific advisor you work with frequently, take some time to reflect on how they have impacted you during your term. Invite them to get coffee or lunch with you to talk or write them a heartfelt card. You don’t need to spend a large amount of money or dedicate a lot of time to show how grateful you are, especially if you are speaking from the heart.
Working closely with an advisor fosters a special relationship between sisters of different generations, use this opportunity to learn more about their experience as a collegian, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you have in common.
If you oversee a small group of chapter leaders or work closely with a committee or similar sounding board, encourage your sisters to work together to come up with a small gesture. Something brainstormed together will allow everyone to reflect on their experience and will make the resulting gesture more personal.
Similar to the above suggestions, schedule a meal with your sisters and advisor. Make sure that this meal isn’t dedicated entirely to chapter business, but rather focuses on getting to know each other and bonding together. If your advisor is not an initiate of your chapter, schedule time to walk with them around campus, this can be a fun time to share chapter history that goes beyond the chapter space that your advisor may not be aware of.
Chapter Wide Appreciation
If possible, set aside a chapter meeting to focus on advisor appreciation, if there is time in advance brainstorm ideas with the entire chapter. Many members may not be familiar with the advisors that support their chapter, so use this opportunity to have all advisors introduce themselves.
If your chapter has a budget dedicated to advisor appreciation, consider some gifts that could be presented during this time. Ideas could include individual cupcakes, small goodie bags filled with self-care supplies, or a gift certificate to an advisor’s favorite store. This is also an excellent time to connect with your chapter ritual. Work with the sister in charge of rituals to determine if there are any formal or informal rituals that could be performed during a chapter meeting. Seek out member resources for further ideas that are focused on private organization specifics.
One way to show your appreciation is to send an eCard. There are many sites that offer free or low-priced cards that can be sent digitally. While this may not be your first choice, your advisor fully understands the need for physical distancing and will still appreciate the thought. Similarly, you could send a virtual gift card your advisor can use after social distancing orders are lifted.
Think about hosting a digital celebration. You could share kind words or ways your advisors have helped your chapter or just have this time for other members to learn more about your advisors and vice versa. Sometimes, advisors may not get to know everyone in the chapter and this is a great time for them to share stories about their time as a collegian or what they do as an advisor. This is a great time to get creative and do what works best for your chapter!
Advisors are vital for students and chapters to succeed. They give their time freely to students and it is important to show them that their hard work is appreciated. Work with other members of your organization and get creative! There are plenty of ways to celebrate the advisors who make such an impact on your chapter and on the lives of your members.