Although they’re nearly 500 miles apart, two years ago the Alpha Omicron Nu Chapter at Eastern Gateway Community College in Ohio and the Alpha Eta Psi Chapter at Suffolk County Community College in New York found themselves in similar positions: each chapter had a total of three members and no activities to speak of. But now, both have turned things around by reactivating their chapters.
Alpha Omicron Nu
Alpha Omicron Nu advisor Karen Spindler said her chapter had been dormant for eight months when she took over and confessed she didn’t even know where to begin.
Today the chapter boasts roughly 500 members and has increased participation exponentially. They’ve earned a Four-Star ranking and gone from nominating two All-State Academic Team members last year to eight this year. As the chapter prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, they now have Five-Star status in their sight.
It all started with raising awareness and increasing membership, and Karen said along the way they discovered that success breeds success.
“Our administrators have been so supportive; two of them attended the regional convention with us,” she said. “Administrators and faculty have started a fund along with the college foundation to help eligible students pay membership fees.”
Chapter officers said they’ve also found one thing that doesn’t work — waiting for perfection.
“In our case, it seems that focus is more important than training,” said chapter president Jonathan Cobb. “A lot of our success has come with just saying ‘I think I can do this’ and jumping in.”
Online member Victor Billingsley believes their team’s strong connection also contributes to their achievement.
“We support each other,” he said. “We’re a tight-knit family.”
Karen, who’s also a PTK alumna, said she couldn’t be prouder of what the chapter has accomplished.
Alpha Eta Psi
Similarly, Alpha Eta Psi emerged from a decade of inactivity to be named New York’s Most Distinguished Chapter at the 2018 Regional Convention. The chapter also had a member elected to regional office, earned a Five-Star designation, and received 11 awards.
So, how did they do it? Alpha Eta Psi Chapter President Felicia Molzon reveals there’s no secret formula — just hard work and hitting the basics.
“We found our greatest successes came from continuing our efforts regardless of the outcome,” she said. “We started with programs attended by only a few students, but we continued to produce ideas and follow through until we created a synergy and built a larger PTK community.”
Their Tips for You:
- Make sure everyone is doing what they do best. There’s a role for everyone, and everyone’s share is pivotal to success, no matter how big or small.
- Personalize member experiences. “Inductee Introductions” provide a small bio of each new member that is read as their name is called. It sends the message that everyone is important.
- Remember what it means to be PTK. Be the change you want to see in the world and remind members they are part of this bigger picture as they make a difference on campus and in the community.
- Host meet and greets to grow the chapter. These often yield many new members.
- Develop a permanent campus presence with a chapter display that can serve as a conversation-starter.
- Schedule PTK Awareness events on campus by setting up tables, providing information, and following up with emails.
- Offer fellowship events to help fill open chapter officer positions.
- Consider shared officer positions, which allow leaders to understand their roles before being thrown in head first.
- Go through the Chapter Leaders Guide step by step. Start setting goals and assigning responsibilities.
- Build knowledge by attending international events like PTK Catalyst and Honors Institute.
- Use Zoom or a similar program to include as many members as possible, including online ones.
- Encourage members who can’t necessarily participate in traditional campus events to help from where they are.
- Invite alumni to participate and help the chapter grow.
Want more information on reactivating? Use these Advisor Tools, visit our webinars, reach out to your Regional Coordinator, and if possible, schedule a visit to the to receive personalized one-on-one training at PTK’s headquarters by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.