Sunday, February 14, 2010

What do early morning fire alarms, Minglesticking, and fraternal values have in common? AFLV 2010

This weekend was the annual meeting of the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values and National Black Greek Leadership Conference, which was held in St. Louis. Katie, Emily S., Emily C., left from Butler on Thursday afternoon and made the drive to St. Louis with our advisor Becky Druetzler.

Throughout the weekend we had the opportunity to attend a lot of great sessions and see many inspirational speakers. The great thing about AFLV/NBGLC is that it’s the largest fraternal values-focused conference in the country so we had a TON of options for topics to learn about. While we went to several sessions that applied to our offices (Katie went to a lot about recruitment, Emily S. went to several about social media and PR, and Emily C. sat in on many about hazing and risk management), we also went to a few special interest presentations. On Saturday we saw a presentation about HIV/AIDS from Shawn and Gwenn, a couple that deals with HIV on a daily basis. We also all attended a “Hot Topic” session about the show GREEK, where we watched clips from the show and talked about different issues from the series such as hazing, media portrayal of Greek life, and acceptance and diversity.

Among the many people we got to meet this weekend were our own sisters! On Friday, we attended an affiliation luncheon and had the chance to meet members of our individual sororities from all over the country. It was amazing for all of us to meet so many women from so many different schools and have an instant bond with them. We shared songs, stories, philanthropy and recruitment ideas, and of course, lots of sisterhood! Pretty much anything you could talk about with someone who you instantly feel like you’ve known for years, we did.

Emily S. with Eve Riley, fellow Tri Delta and NPC Chairwoman, and Louise, a new friend and sister from Oklahoma State University.

Katie poses with a group of Kappa Alpha Theta sisters.

The word of the weekend (and a new personal favorite of ours) had to be “minglestick.” The Minglestick is a small, USB-type device that is essentially a digital business card. To “mingle” with someone, you simply point the Minglesticks at each other and press a button. All of your information then transfers to each other, and you can access it on your online account. As much fun as we had throwing the word minglestick around all weekend (not to mention the fun we had using it to completely confuse our friends at home), they were really innovative and useful throughout the conference. For more information on Minglesticks, you can click here.

Single and ready to Mingle(stick)

The low point of the weekend came at about 5:15 on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, when you put a large amount of college students in the same place, not everyone always acts responsibly, and some shenanigans are bound to happen. So, if you’ve ever wondered what three extremely tired, angry, and confused Panhel Exec members look like after being woken up in the middle of the night after someone in their hotel pulled a fire alarm…here’s your answer.

On the plus side, everyone got to see our sweet PJs.

Other than our early morning wakeup call, AFLV was a huge success. Along with the many amazing and inspiring speakers, we got to see a stroll competition, experience a model “Up Till Dawn” event (similar to Butler’s Dance Marathon) for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, learn about other Greek communities, and meet members of other organizations. The weekend ignited our passion for Greek life and gave us many ideas that we can't wait to implement in our own Greek community at Butler!

Becky, Katie, Christina, Emily C., and Emily S. after the final awards banquet.

Also, Pi Beta Phi member and former Panhellenic VP of Educational Programming Christina Lear served as an intern for the conference. Read about her experiences at AFLV here.

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