Greeks, Get Armed, Leave a Better Legacy
Last night, I was the keynote speaker at the NGLA 2015 Conference in Hartford, CT. My topic was “Greeks, Get Armed, Leave a Better Legacy.” My Greeks from Bridgewater State University gave a great overview of what I spoke about at the session. Their takeaway was the five points that I spoke about in A.R.M.E.D. – Articulation, Recruitment, Motivation, Elimination, Delegation. Whenever I speak on this topic, I hope that one or two of these strategies will resonate with the students giving them the confidence and enthusiasm to go back to the group and implement those skills.
Thank you to Tyler, Emma, Holly, Jordan, Michael, Emily, Lex, Tori, Gina, Alexandrea, Allie and Whitney for their comments and overviews of the presentation. I look forward to hearing more from them on the implementation of strategies in their GREEK organization.
“Through his presentation he touched of a few key points such as recruitment, articulation, elimination, delegation and motivation. He was very blunt with all of these points but in reality, he needed to be. He gave us the cold hard truth on things we do very well as a community but was not afraid to go over the bad of our community.”
“…in regards to the battle against the stereotypes of Greek life was give up your letters or fight the battle. We can walk away from the problems and stereotypes of Greek life by simply taking off our letters. We can misbehave; drink as much as we want, let our grades go, just by taking our letters off. But that’s too easy and who would want that. My letters are what I take the most pride in, they are what keep me grounded and responsible. They push me to be a better woman, friend, student and sister. There’s no problem that could make me give that up, so here’s to fighting the battle.”
“The A.R.M.E.D approach is a very effective step by step process in order to complete this mission. We all have those members who are the “oops members” for lack of a better term. They join Greek life for the wrong reasons, do the bare minimum within the chapter (if that at all) and cause problems for their organization that give people those negative stereotypes. If we do a better job at Articulating our values up front, we can do a better job Recruiting members who embody those certain values. Once those recruits have become members you Motivate them to contribute in some way necessary to help the chapter. Elimination is the next step to getting rid of those “oops members” who are not motivated in any way and do nothing good for the chapter and only wreaking havoc for them. Delegating those members to represent all those values they embody and find ways to better their chapter even more is a great way to ensure the chapter can continue to grow in a positive manner for years to come. Michael Miller may not have been in Greek life himself but he definitely opened my eyes as to how to resolve some of the problems we think there is nothing we can do about.”
“The keynote presentation revolved around the acronym ARMED which stood for Articulation, Recruitment, Motivation, Elimination, and Delegation. While all of his points had merit, the two that truly spoke to me were motivation and elimination. As Sage of Sigma Pi, I find motivation to be one of my most difficult tasks. How do you motivate a chapter of 40-50 men that don’t want to help themselves? Michael alluded to the idea of making things a competition and truly challenging brothers to better themselves by pointing the finger. Although elimination sounds like a harsh term – this was one of the most impactful pieces of Miller’s speech for me. Michael talked about how we always tend to try and appease to the “bottom 10%” of the chapter – the naysayers and brothers who make life more difficult than it has to be. This truly got me thinking and gave me motivation to go back to my chapter and resolve similar issues.”
“Tonight, he impressed me with his passion and drive for helping students. As an aspiring Greek Advisor, helping people grow within their letters is so important to me. Student’s finding a home in their respective brother or sisterhood is a feeling we all found, and watching new members find that is what drives me to be someone who they look too for advice and help on their path.”
“The other point he made that I really liked was about motivation. I think motivating an entire chapter can be super difficult. A great tip he gave was to make ideas a competition. When you need a theme or a solution to an issue split the chapter up into teams and have them try to come up with the most. Competition drives people a lot more than just staring at them waiting for an answer.”
“Tonight our delegation had the privilege of seeing Michael Miller speak about getting ARMED in Greek Life! With all the stereotypes out there about Greek Life, it can sometimes feel like a battle to keep our good name intact, but through this dynamic and informative presentation, Michael Miller gave us the tools to fight back. Though Articulation, Recruitment, Motivation, Elimination and Delegation, Greek leaders can help to create a positive legacy which will remain with our chapters for years to come.”
“Tonight we were fortunate enough to have Michael Miller speak, and really break down how we can create our own legacy. The one part that really stood out to me was actually getting rid of the members we were always chasing after.”
“The main speaker tonight was Michael Miller. Michael showed a lot of passion for Greek life as whole, even after admitting that he had never gone Greek. One of the things that Michael made clear to all of us was that we are a large part of the problem of stereotypes among Greeks. When organizations talk about other organizations badly or don’t correct people when they say incorrect things about Greek life,we all add to the ideas that Greek life is like what you see in the movies. One girl at the conference even said that she was surprised that she didn’t have to get hazed to join an organization. These things should be common knowledge! As a Greek community, we need to work harder to make ourselves better. Within our organizations we can stop talking about each other and other organizations on campus. When people use stereotypes as a justification about why Greek life is bad, we can correct them. Greeks are the primary sources for any information about Greek life. What we present in out letters is how the rest of the world looks at us. And we’re always wearing our letters.”
“After hearing so many great things about Michael Miller and how empowering his speeches are from my BSU peers, I finally got to see one of his presentations. What did I learn? I learned that sometimes in order to inspire others you have to give them the finger, I was really startled when Michael told us to do this. No, it’s not the inappropriate finger you’re thinking of. Other people are more inclined to participate if you single them out and make it clear that you have confidence in them. Point them out of the crowd (the finger I was referring to is your pointer finger, silly). I learned that even though Greeks can be singled out of the crowd in a negative way, it’s our positivity that keeps us going.”
“I learned many things today, but the ones that stuck with me the most are to be open minded about these new things I’m learning and to soak everything in because this is an opportunity that not everyone gets to see.”
“If I can tell you the most important aspect I took back from what he said, it’s delegation. So many of us struggle with getting our chapters to participate. Instead of asking, why not start telling people what they are going to do and hold them accountable for it.”
These are snippets of articles written by the students. For the full articles, please visit the BSU Greeks Blog.