We are in store for a transformational 2017, but why limit that assessment to politics? Let’s discuss what fraternity men and women can expect in the year to come.
The website built to challenge the established status quo of fraternity and sorority life will make a simple transformation throughout 2017. Keep your eyes out for more Q&A’s highlighting fraternity men and women who are creating things to benefit our world. Could a podcast be in the mix? How about a book? There’s reason to start buzzing.
2. The Politics of Relevance
As millennials rise into positions of power within government and governing organizations (fraternities and sororities), we’ll see new disruptions in how campaigns and communications are handled.
That’s not just limited to debate within our field. Anticipate key discussions around SAFE Campus and FAIR Campus, two pieces of legislation designed to address sexual assault on college campuses. Will Donald Trump use the same tactics as Obama to push colleges and universities to take action against suspected aggressors? Will that affect whether SAFE & FAIR Campus are actually needed?
3. Sink or Swim: NIC 2.0
The hype around NIC 2.0 is almost purely based out of curiosity. Will fraternities get their money’s worth out of the new organization? Will it actually affect the way colleges and universities approach the use of their Inter-Fraternity Councils or the manner in which they go about expansion? Will the services colleges pay for maintain value over several years?
If the NIC follows through on its promises, it’ll experience a growth spurt unlike any seen within Fraternity & Sorority Life, but that can come with challenges. 2017 may pave the way for a more NPC-like NIC. Whether that is good or bad is up to your interpretation. If things don’t go well, or the added costs don’t seem to pay off, consider more fraternities pulling support in the years to come.
4. The Vendor Landscape
There are many private ventures which seek to add benefit (and create profit) from the world of fraternity and sorority; how will they fair in 2017? Alliances built with regard to the services NIC 2.0 provides to chapters are sure to buoy the efforts of some. Will that make it more difficult for companies and organizations which choose not to utilize a partnership?
Last year I led a Q&A with the founder of the Catalyst Agency, but there are several organizations now, many built off of the star power of a few highly successful speakers, competing toe-to-toe with giants like Campus Speak to provide education. What kinds of innovations may we see with regard to how we educate our students? There is real opportunity born out of competition, and the speaker circuit continues to heat up.
What changes can we expect to see in the worlds of chapter billing, marketing and communications, recruitment, etc.? Exciting developments are happening with the establishment of companies like Innova in the fraternity/sorority marketing space. What other new products/services will come about to improve the operational or membership experiences of organizations?
I’m aware of two fraternities which currently offer online mentor platforms; is that a long-term competitive edge for fraternities and sororities or another online Learning Management Software situation, which many organizations invested in and subsequently abandoned? Could a vendor offer a unified and affordable solution in both of those cases?
5. Student Empowerment
The focus of this website has and always will be to encourage more decisions being made at the member level. The past two years have truly pushed our organizations and campus communities into strange and uncomfortable territory, whether it be the shuffling of trade organizations, Rolling Stone articles, suspensions of entire fraternity/sorority communities (affectionately titled “The Virginia Complex“), or high-octane and emotional discussions of sexual assault legislation.
At what point do students and members recognize that they pay the bills and that they call the tunes? 2016 was the year many claimed to be “woke” in politics. Maybe 2017 is the year many claim to be “woke” in Greek Life.
These are all what ifs, because it’s impossible to predict the future. One thing is for certain: 2017 is a year in which many decisions are being made with regard to Greek Life. Feel free to pay attention and share your thoughts via the comments or on social media.