Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The power of a print

A month or so ago, it seemed as though my Facebook newsfeed and Twitter stream were full of posts about Lilly Pulitzer prints from women all over the sorority world. My comment at the time was:

"What could happen if we harnessed the power of the sorority women vying for Lilly Pulitzer prints and actually did something meaningful?" 11:25 PM Mar 4th via Echofon

This weekend, the posts about prints have returned in force. I've been invited to Facebook events encouraging me to vote. (I said "no, thanks.") Here's the thing: I can somewhat understand why you want to rally tens of thousands of members around the country in order to be able to say that your organization is the next one to get a print. Somewhat. But I'd understand a lot more if you used that exact same power on a regular basis to do something more meaningful and impactful for our world.

Think about the number of women across the country (and around the world) who have connected with this effort through their national organizations in one form of social media or another. What if just half of those women who have engaged in this effort on some level gave $1 each to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation to create educational opportunities for women worldwide? Or donated $1 each to your sorority educational foundation to create scholarships for women to participate in educational or leadership events? Or donated $1 to your national organization's philanthropic cause of choice? You could contribute to support students in attending one of the AFLV Global Immersion Trips (as pictured above).  Or one might just simply share about one of these important causes on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed instead of, or, in addition to sharing about how they voted for a print. What if?

We have tremendous power as sorority women. I truly believe we can change the world. That responsibility belongs to you, and it belongs to me. If it makes you feel better, make sure you have a really fashionable matching bag and scarf in your organization's print as you set out on that mission. And, in the meantime, my kudos to the marketing team at Lilly Pulitzer for a job well done.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday!!

For those of you who are pop culture junkies like me, Rebecca Black has given you a big reason to get through the week until Friday comes. Today, AFLV gives you one more: Day Two of the Western Fraternal Leadership and National Cultural Greek Leadership Conferences. And just like Rebecca Black’s music video, today at #WFLNCGLC11 is going to be “Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun!”

We start the day with a great friend of mine, Jessica Pettit, who will lead us through our opening general session. I met Jess almost five years ago when I was an undergraduate at The University of Arizona. She was a social justice educator for the university, and definitely taught me how to be a better fraternity man through my actions as an ally to others.
We’ll continue our Educational Programs in the morning followed by the Affiliation Luncheon. You don’t want to miss this!! With over 700 people at #WFLNCGLC11, it’s easy to stick with your delegation and not branch out to meet new people. Luckily, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have sponsored today’s Affiliation Luncheon that gives us a chance to connect with members of our own sororities and fraternities from other campuses. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear about ALSAC and St Jude’s work, which has transformed the lives of countless families, and find out how you can help their work. Don’t forget to bring a camera to lunch!! Snap some photos of your sisters or brothers. Who knows? Maybe you’ll wind up on your organization’s website or publications.
After lunch, you’ll get a chance to check out some of our featured speakers. Check out pages 23 and 24 of your conference program book to learn more about these dynamic presenters; you won’t be disappointed. We’ll round out the afternoon with two more Educational Program Blocks before heading in to our evening.
This year, #WFLNCGLC11 offers three structured excursions for our guests. There are trips to Anaheim to see an Angels baseball game, to Disneyland to enjoy the theme park, and to the shopping and restaurant district known as Downtown Disney. For more information, please stop by the Registration Desk to inquire about these excursions or to purchase tickets. One important thing to note is don’t miss your bus! If you miss the AFLV shuttles, you will be responsible for your own transportation back to the conference.
I hope you all are having an educational and enjoyable experience! In the words of Rebecca Black, “Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday is afterwards, I don’t want this weekend to end!”

Cameron Blair Warner is a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and a Graduate Student at the University of Texas at Austin.

It's Clicking!

As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and currently serving as the advisor to the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) at the University of the Pacific here in California, I understand that culturally based fraternities and sororities have very unique needs. I have been given the specific task of assisting with the National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference (NCGLC) and ensuring that all of our culturally based members are getting the tools that they need to best navigate their conference experience.

As the first day of the WFL/NCGLC educational sessions get underway, it's amazing to see that the information being shared is starting to click! As a Graduate Intern for the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV), I am truly enjoying all the conversations that I'm having with all of the many students in attendance at the conference.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of assisting presenter Sam Centellas of OutSight Consulting during his presentation, "Quality over Quantity: The Worlds Greatest Excuse." I loved watching him work his magic as he engaged the students in an honest dialogue about intake/recruitment practices. While droppin' some knowledge, the students were challenged to think outside the box and turn the intake/recruitment process into one that is less scary for potential members. Many of the students stayed after to get some extra tips on how they can bring his tips back to their campuses.

I can't wait to see more light bulbs go off as WFL/NCGLC continues. I remember attending this conference as an undergrad (way back in 2008), and really getting inspired to make a change on my campus. I was able to identify a speaker to bring back to campus, made connections with other chapters going through circumstances, and most importantly I was inspired to become a Greek Advisor myself.

If you do nothing else at this conference, make sure that you are taking the time to really self-reflect on what you can do to strengthen your leadership skills and discover what it means to live your values!
See you around!

Shante Hearst is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a Graduate Student at the University of the Pacific. She is serving as a Graduate Intern for the West Fraternal Leadership Conference and the National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Welcome to #WFLNCGLC11!

It’s here… the weekend that so many of us have been waiting for… it’s #WFLNCGLC11!!!! Did you ever think you could be so pumped up about a hash-tag with no vowels?? I bet you didn’t.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, for those of you who have never been here before, and for those of you who are just as excited as I am, let me welcome you to the West Fraternal Leadership and National Cultural Greek Leadership Conferences 2011. I’m excited and grateful you have all jumped on board this ship that’s about to set sail.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Cameron Blair Warner, I am a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, and a member of Beta Theta Pi. I am a graduate intern for #WFLNCGLC11, and will be serving with ten other rockstar interns and an unbelievable conference staff.

Graduate… what? Interns? Conference staff? The first time I came to this conference (back in 2007), I had no idea what a conference staff or intern was or what they did. If you’re like me you may be wondering the same, so let me tell what I do:
I’m here to help YOU!!

The conference staff have been planning this event for months, and together with the interns, have been training tirelessly to make #WFLNCGLC11 an enjoyable and valuable experience for you and your delegation. If you’ve had a great experience, or want to share something you’ve learned, shout it out! Sign your tweets with the #WFLNCGLC11 to grab our attention.
Today you’ll see our staff around the Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa in burnt orange shirts with silver name badges. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to get our attention and ask for assistance. Some of us will be spread throughout the hotel to help welcome you to Orange County and #WFLNCGLC11, while others will be tasked with specific duties like working the registration desk.
Oh hey, that reminds me! We’re trying our best to streamline the registration process for you so only one person from your delegation, either your Head Delegate or your Fraternity/Sorority Advisor, needs to check in your group. Please be patient with us; there are over 700 #WFLNCGLC11 attendees this year and we want to get you your information as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy the conferences!
The kick-off event of tonight starts at 7:30pm in the Pacific Ballroom on Level B2. I strongly encourage you to use the escalators and stairs to get down to the B2 Floor; with so many of us here at #WFLCNCGLC11, the elevators are bound to back up. After our general session, we’ll move in to our first Educational Programs, followed by the closing General Session at 10:45pm in the Pacific Ballroom. Look for me on stage as I introduce Wendi Fox tonight!
I hope you have a great time here at #WFLNCGLC11!! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog… I have a feeling that it’s going to have a lot of “FUN FUN FUN FUN” involved.

Cameron Blair Warner is a graduate student at the University of Texas Austin and a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.