Phi Mu held their biannual Advisers’ Forum last weekend, which I was fortunate enough to attend for the second time as the Chapter Adviser for the University of South Carolina. Starting Friday night, the weekend was packed full of events and training sessions which provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our roles and responsibilities as Chapter Advisers. The forum brings the Chapter Advisers from all around the country together for training, support, and to meet with our contemporaries. We were able to learn more about Phi Mu’s policies, best practices are for our chapters, shared issues, as well as the Fraternity’s mission and its goals for the future.
Ginny Carroll opened our Saturday morning session with a great presentation on Motivating and Mentoring as a Chapter Adviser. She broke down how generationally we have changed as a society in what we are looking for in our sorority experience and how communication styles have changed. She showed us the different areas of sisterhood that are appealing to each group of women and what we are looking to get out of our membership by generation. One statement she made really struck me as something we should all remember as we try and live our values as Phi Mu women – “integrity is not a value, it’s how you act on your values.”
Beyond the wonderful programming that was offered over the weekend, and learning more about all the resources that are provided to us, the forum is the great opportunity to meet others who are also volunteering with Phi Mu and working with our collegiate women. To me, this is the most valuable take away I have. I was able to make connections to the women who are also working so closely with our chapters and those who are working with similar chapters in size, geography, type of institution, etc. I can now put faces to names and was able to hear the trends and issues they are facing and learn more about what is going on at their campuses with Phi Mu and sorority life in general. I had the opportunity to hear what their women are accomplishing in their chapters, their concerns on their campuses and with their sisterhood, as well as how their chapters are improving. Making new connections to sisters and getting to catch up with those I have met before just strengthens our bond and sisterhood, which ultimately can only help the chapter women we advise.