We’ve put a lot of effort and study into how we should be organized internally, not just to make sure that chair holders aren’t overburdened with too much responsibility, but to help focus areas of interest for what the brother wants to do with a particular position. Thus, we’ve created a few groups of positions within our fraternity to adequately cover every aspect of the Chapter’s day to day operations.
The group of officers of the fraternity make up the Executive Board, which consist of; the President, the Vice President of Internal Affairs, the Vice President of External Affairs, Treasurer, and Secretary. This group is in charge of carrying out the goals and vision of the rest of the Chapter, and making sure that we keep on track from one year to the next.
We also have the Internal Affairs committee, which is chaired by the Vice President of Internal Affairs. This committee is made up of; the House Manager, the Membership chair, the New Member Educator, and the Academic chair. Collectively, this committee is in charge of things that are internal to the fraternity, such is educating members about triangle and other skills, and organizing events like Founder’s Day and summer work weekends.
The other major committee that is used in the External Affairs committee, which is chaired by the Vice President of External Affairs. This committee is made up of; the Social chair, the Recruitment chairs, the Service and Philanthropy chair, and the Public Relations chair. Similar to the Internal Affairs committee, the External Affairs committee is in charge of everything that is external to the fraternity, so events like Pi-Mile and Extra Life can happen without too much hassle.
One thing that the Chapter has learned is the importance of properly sharing information. The biggest improvement that we’ve made is the platform that we use to communicate with each other, Slack. Previously, the Chapter had been using Google Hangouts to communicate between members of the Chapter. For some time, this worked rather well because every student had Google Hangouts available to them. The Chapter migrated away from Google Hangouts because we found that the overwhelming amount of information and notifications turned members away from the platform. We also tried using multiple Google Hangouts, but that seemed to only divide groups and make the problem worse.
Then came Slack. During LTW, we had discussed our situation with other chapters of Triangle and one of the things that was recommended to us was Slack, along with GroupMe, Facebook Messager, HipChat, Discord, and of course Google Hangouts. The idea of changing our messaging platform had never really crossed our mind as we had a lot of our alumni in our Hangouts. In hindsight, this was probably why so many of the active members had turned off their notifications in the first place; simply way too many people in one place. After returning to the arctic motherland that is Michigan Tech, we continued our research into the different platforms and finally concluded that Slack was the most viable alternative, and the Executive Board decided to give it a go and beta test it for awhile.
Another area where automation has greatly helped out the Chapter is our social media presence. By using Zapier, we have posts on our social media synchronized between Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Zapier is configured to watch for posts on Instagram and automatically copy the posts to the other two platforms, allowing us to have a unified presence without much hassle for our Public Relations chair.
We also highly encourage members to improve overall operational efficiencies of our Chapter. Sometimes, interested brothers are willing to write some custom tools for the others to benefit from or look into alternative toolsets that more closely resemble the Chapter’s needs and wants. We are constantly improving how the Chapter is run and only improve with time. Take this website for example; this was designed by a handful of brothers to be as easy to use and maintainable as possible. Allowing additions to be made with little to no effort, and requiring nothing more than a wiki page, attached to the GitHub repository for this website.
Several of the brothers have also created a few other tools that interface with Slack. These tools do everything from managing sober drive shifts, to keeping track of Chapter statistics, and bring all of that information into Slack. Information about nearly every aspect of the Chapter can be accessible at your fingertips. Majority of these tools are open source, and can be found on GitHub. From there, you can even deploy your own instances of the tools and incorporate then into your organization.