Once an agreement is established with a college or university and Lambda Chi Alpha International Headquarters, a plan is put into place to formalize the colonization. Lambda Chi Alpha has a three-phase expansion timeline.
Prior to Phase 1 the expansion staff is hard at work preparing for the upcoming colonization. The expansion team will perform a campus assessment, analyze prospective members, and research the success of other national/international organizations conducting similar efforts. Once these assessments are concluded, a full marketing plan is developed.
Before on-site efforts begin, the main focus will be on alumni development. This may include the recruitment of additional alumni to join the initially committed volunteers and supporters. One major component of a Lambda Chi Alpha expansion is the formation and implementation of an Alumni Advisory Board. Lambda Chi Alpha feels that the local alumni are an integral component for the General Fraternity when supporting a colony. This is why an in depth recruitment effort of alumni occurs and an extensive training process of an alumni advisory team (comprised of at least 12 alumni) is executed. We feel that the creation of an alumni advisory team is the most integral aspect of our colony’s maintenance. They will see all day-to-day operations of the colony and will be the most useful resource for the colony and especially its officers.
Prior to the expansion, the professional staff depends a great deal on the support from university officials, specifically in the office working directly with fraternities and sororities. Previously mentioned, we depend a great deal on referrals, and these will begin with the resources made available through Greek professionals on campus. We also look to obtain the contact information for those unaffiliated male students on campus.
If possible, we would like mailing labels and/or e-mail addresses for all unaffiliated men so that we may send them information about the Fraternity. We would also like to send mail and e-mail to select alumni, staff, and student leaders to inform them of our colonization and to invite them to specific events. Additionally, we would need assistance in scheduling our events in the appropriate facilities. When dealing with upperclassmen as prospective members, we often ask for comments from the student life staff.
Additionally, we encourage assistance in fostering a relationship with the entire Greek community. We want to build a positive relationship with the IFC so they can possibly offer assistance to the expansion in the following ways:
- Solidify the expansion date early to allow maximum preparation time.
- Work with us to design an expansion that will be successful.
- Provide us with multiple avenues for contacting prospective members (direct mail, advertisements, open house prior to the start of recruitment, e-mail addresses, etc.)
- Assist us with housing for the expansion period and room reservations for events.
- Provide positive word of mouth: a new fraternity means more opportunities for everyone, not more competition.
It is always our goal to work with the university IFC as much as possible. It is important for the new colony members to be integrated into the Greek system, and an active role and participation in IFC would help promote and foster the spirit of a Greek community. Staff members on site will meet with the IFC and will help integrate new colony members into their role on the IFC.
Potentially, professional staff could begin speaking with interested students three months prior to the colonization. Lambda Chi Alpha approaches expansion one of two ways. One approach is a “from scratch” effort. The other method of colonization is to absorb an interest group. This method is usually undertaken when an interest group contacts Lambda Chi Alpha and inquires about the possibility of affiliating with an international fraternity. Examples of interest groups include: local fraternities, men’s clubs, residence hall floors, or other organized men’s groups.
A member of Lambda Chi Alpha’s Professional Staff will meet with the interest group, explaining the benefits of affiliation with Lambda Chi Alpha, as well as the responsibilities of membership. If it is decided by both parties that the affiliation would be in their mutual interests, the affiliation is sanctioned and becomes official.
If an interest group is not available or uncultivated, conversations with students would then focus around preparation for a “from scratch” effort. Interested students would assist the professional staff with marketing and logistical efforts during the three months leading up to the on-site recruitment efforts.