Thursday, February 10, 2011

So you think you can Greek?

The 2011 Central Fraternal Leadership Conference/National Black Greek Leadership Conference in St. Louis has finally arrived!! Training with the rest of the undergraduate and graduate student interns was a blast and we are ready to welcome a record-breaking number of attendees! The energy is contagious and I cannot wait to experience something “life-changing,” as previous attendees have described their experience.
Try and picture this: nearly 2,350 fraternity/sorority leaders from around the country in one convention center discussing all things “Greek.” I cannot help but ask, “So you think you can Greek?”

It’s time to start seeing the bigger picture of the fraternity/sorority community. So you know your organization’s history, values, ritual, colors, chants, etc., but how much do you know about the other organizations in our fraternal family? Striving for excellence and upholding the values of our own organizations is great, but we must continue to advance the entire community…TOGETHER! It’s time to work together, to challenge our perceptions of what Greek really means, and to inspire positive results from our brothers and sisters.

Each conference attendee is bringing a unique perspective. We have new members, chapter leaders, council presidents, advisors, alumni, unaffiliated supporters, headquarters staff, NPC, NALFO, NPHC, NIC, associate representatives, professional speakers…the list goes on and on. Overall, representatives from 164 affiliations are at the conference! Yes, that is 164 different affiliations! I want to see letters I’ve never seen before, I want to hear chants that make me say, “Wow,” I want to have a fresh outlook on fraternal values, and I want to share it with someone when I leave the conference. How about you?

So, do you think you can Greek? Be prepared to think again.

Jon Bell is a graduate student at the University of Kansas, a graduate Intern at Baker University, and a member of Alpha Delta Gamma.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The life of a #CFLNBGLC11 Intern: Pre-conference

Day 1 of intern training for the Central Fraternal Leadership Conference/National Black Greek Leadership Conference in good ole’ St. Louis, MO complete! Being this is my first year interning for the conference, I really had no idea what to expect, except that I was about to embark on a crazy/amazing adventure that involved late nights, early mornings, new faces, and great opportunities for learning along the way!
Our first day of training was pretty laid back, and being at a Greek leadership conference, naturally included some fun ice-breakers and “get-to-know-you” activities, along with a fabulous presentation by Jason and Mark on how to set up notice boards! We also toured the America's Center to see some of the spaces that we would be spending the next week of our lives in! The night wrapped up with a fun staff and intern bonding night at the local “Flamingo Bowl”, where yours truly scored a Turkey! =]

Overall, we had a great first day! We interns are starting to learn names, faces, and affiliations and are having some great conversations about our involvement in and love for our Greek experience! This is after all, the reason we are all here!
I am looking forward to digging deeper into the conference schedule tomorrow! We know we have a jam-packed week ahead of us but can’t wait to help work to make this conference run smoothly for all of you conference attendees! “Meet me in St. Louis” on Thursday at the registration table! Keep an eye out for all of us interns in our spiffy new orange conference oxfords!

Christina Miller is a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato and a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.

What are you going to produce?

I never have been much into blogging. But if it wasnt for a simple blog post on Phired Up I for sure wouldn't be in St. Louis today with this great opportunity. Producing something, even though it was small, opened a door.

It doesn't matter what you are interested in because if you produce something and can get it in front of other people who share your interests something will come from it. While this is my first time at CFL/NBGLC, I can tell this place is filled with like minded and talented people. Being one of the youngest people the room, I get that 'small fish in a big pond' feeling. But I wouldn't have even been put in the pond if I didn't produce something first.

So my question for those who will be attending this weekend, "What are you going to produce?" It's not what you get from this conference but instead what you do with it. This weekend there will be over 2,300 people who get an experience. Could you imagine if every one of them actually produced when they got back to their campus? If that ended up being the case, we might just need to get a bigger pond.

Clark Buckner is a student at Belmont University and a member of Alpha Tau Omega. He is serving the #CFLNBGLC11 team as an Undergraduate Intern.