Don’t Send your Seniors to the Retirement Home

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We have all seen the problems that senior Brothers create. The mailroom gets clogged up with AARP forms… They leave their walkers and canes around the Lodge… The Lodge Manager is spending most his budget on Depends…

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While these old hags may choose to drink prune juice or have an awful sense of style, they still serve a vital purpose. Seniors are vaults of corporate memory for your Alpha. They have seen Executive Boards, Events, initiations – you name it- they’ve seen it all succeed and fail. Their memory (what’s left) can provide insight so that you and your peers don’t have to build something from scratch when an older model just needs polishing.

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Across the nation, you’ll see a significant decline in senior membership within all fraternities and sororities. What kind of programing does your Alpha currently have geared for seniors?

Here are some of the most common excuses for seniors going inactive and ways you can combat the resistance.

“Too Expensive”

Are your dues tiered for different classes? Try offering a small discount in dues for seniors. You could also offer discounts for attending every Alpha Meeting or making a point to meet the new members. If they think it is too expensive, you have not created enough value for them to want membership.

“I’m looking for a job”

You can help them find a job! Bring in professional Alumni from the area to speak at meetings. Have a mini career fair. Bring in a professional to critique resumes. Have mock interviews. The newest members are offered guidance from the moment they get to school. Make sure your seniors are prepared to head off into the next chapter of their life as well.

“Events are for the younger guys”

Are most of your social events geared towards younger members? Try having more cocktails. The date functions offer a chance for seniors to hang out with people they already know. We have all seen the typical (insert sorority freshman) at larger open parties. Throwing a senior date party is always an option too.

“I don’t know the new members”

Have a few seniors attend New Member Education each week. They can talk about their Chi Psi experience in addition to getting to know the new men.

“Not enough free time”

You are competing with other aspects of their lives. Why is Chi Psi not making the cut? Make sure you are providing programming they enjoy. Offer incentives such as guest speakers to draw greater meeting attendance.

As you engage seniors to attend Lodge events, they will develop deeper relationships with younger members. As we all know from recruitment, people join and stay with organizations because of the people within the group – not the group itself. The same theme goes for senior retention. Make sure you are maximizing the value for these elderly decrepit Brothers.

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