Chat Transcript from Chat held with
Venerable Grand Prytanis Mark Romig on July 30, 2003
(Grand Histor Brian C. M. Barrett, also participating)
Question was not seen due to technical issues
Mark Romig : Frater John - regarding exposure and carrying the enthusiasm from Conclave, I think the Province Education Conferences make for a good road trip - these should be held in your area this Fall - usually between now and October. Contact your Regional Director and get the schedule if you already haven't heard of one. You should also look at organizing a statewide athletic event - where your statewide chapters can come together for a weekend of fellowship. RLC's in the Winter are you next best bet.
RedAntTeke : VGP....what are rush numbers looking like across the whole Greek world?
Mark Romig : On rush numbers, we do not have stats yet for this year - obviously - but we seem to be ahead of the curve in our peer group. Our numbers were up overall around 7% last year - more than the other large Fraternities. Our message is working.
Mark Romig : I am hearing that overall, today's incoming students are looking to join - and looking for a group that provides them support for their issues - school, public service, social networking. The 90's were a disaster for this.
chtank : Frater Make, One key issue is the establishment of a Grand Council Standing "Alumni Involvement Committee...to provide alumni programming, including outreach, development, and training for all alumni." I would like to know when this will be implemented
Mark Romig : The Alumni Involvement Committee is now official - we are looking for a few good men to serve on the committee. This was a key focus this past Biennium - and this committee will coordinate the most important resource we have. Send your interest in serving to Frater Erik Glenn at HQ.
Mark Romig : As I have always said, our undergrads/collegiate members are volunteers as well. If someone is interested in serving, then I will take them on!
Brian C. M. Barrett : The Alumni Involvement Committee will have a conference call in the second week of August to transition some of Charlie's work
RedAntTeke : Mark, can you talk about the biggest challenges facing TKE right now?
Mark Romig : Yes - I stated that risk management will kill us if we do not get a hold of our rates and actions.
Omicron TKE : Frater Romig in your opinion is the spread of TKE more important than the growth of individual chapters?
Mark Romig : The growth and health of TKE starts at the collegiate chapter. This has to always be our main focus. When and if we see expansion opportunities - and it makes sense - then we proceed.
RedAntTeke : VGP, the financial health of the Fraternity has been slow on the mend. What is the current prognosis?
Mark Romig : Current prognosis f the financial health of TKE as a non-profit organization - it is favorable. But we have a looming risk management issue - as the cost of coverage is going up - and at any time, a major lawsuit against TKE could shut us down. That's reality - and how one member's actions can kill it for the entire Fraternity.
Mark Romig : The new website should be up and running this coming month. You can e-mail Heather at HQ and confirm - firstname.lastname@example.org
tkewiu934 : The site will be live tomorrow...
Mark Romig : Fraters - who is planning an Alzheimer's event this semester? I am looking for each chapter to raise about $450 per year for the next two years, and we will make our goal.
Omicron TKE : I know we are planning a bikini car wash
Mark Romig : Great - would love to be there - Remember, you funds need to be sent to the TKE Alzheimer's account in Chicago at the National Alzheimer's Association. Do not give to the local chapter or TKE will not get credit at the Reagan Research Institute. I have run into a few situations where chapters have done great work but we did not get them the credit they were due.
MODERATOR : For more info and the form to send your money in go to http://www.tkecentral.net/alz
Omicron TKE : Doing the normal philanthropy events have proven to be not as effective as interacting with the community
Mark Romig : Yes - in fact, you can do both and still raise some great funds.
Animal: Will HQ schedule any RLC's in Florida in the next few years? Good weather and a chance for Tekes to see Florida, not only as a spring break destination. The South Florida Alumni Can help in the planning?
Mark Romig : RLC's in 2004 - Philadelphia, Charlotte and St. Louis - and a large PEC is being planned for the West.
MODERATOR : Frater Mark, aren't there 6 RLC's?
Mark Romig : There were 6 this past year - but we found the attendance to be light at all six - and the Fraternity lost money - we work hard to break-even - basically try to pay for the cost of the food and beverage and rooms, and educational material with registration fees. We also have to guarantee room blocks - and when we don't get the sign-ups planned, we have to eat the costs, etc. etc. etc. So - we are being more strategic this year - and hopefully getting a larger turnout. The only problem is finding a site for the West - that is why we are looking to develop a PEC at some time as a regular RLC.
chris.grasso : Here is my $.02. Regionals are great events. But if every province has a well done conference the benefits to tekes are so much greater and cost efficient.
Mark Romig : Question - I am interested in chapters and their practice of ritual. How often are we doing ritual? What do you find effective?
Chris - ThetaTau465 : Our chapter never ended up practicing until that day of, and would do a quick run-through. The people that had done it many times were okay - but the new fraters could have used more help.
Omicron TKE : We have one ritual at the beginning to start of the quarter and another towards the end to initiate new members. One thing that I know many chapter don't do it sing the actual closing ode, that alone has made our ritual more meaningful to the ADD Frater in my chapter
Mark Romig : I think all one needs to see is a ritual performed at a Conclave or an RLC and get the bug to do ritual more often. Short of that - a session on the history and meaning of the ritual usually is inspiring. You should schedule one soon.
MODERATOR : Another ? - NYTeke: "Frater Romig, to answer your request for more suggestions for open communication between grand council and the chapters....I think having a forum for discussion with one or more Grand Officers each month online would be a very valuable to us undergraduate members"
Mark Romig : I like that idea, Frater Ryan. You should coordinate with Frater Mayeux so he can keep track for you.
Animal : Yes, this idea of having open discussion over the net is a great idea, props to those who came up with this idea Fraters!
Mark Romig : Frater form Omicron - what is the alumni situation. You have such a strong history. Are they disconnected totally?
Omicron TKE : Frater Romig- with a few incidents that we had a few years back and lost many men from our house along with a lot of sentimental items that belonged to the house, the alumni I think have lost a little faith in the house itself
Nathan TKE Zeta Pi : yeah we have had a lot of great alumni support as of late we just had are first annual alumni golf tournament it was a good turn out for the first year and are looking forward to the upcoming school year as the tornado that hit campus kind of evened the score in the housing situation of fraternities
Omicron TKE : Its not that we don't have any alumni support but a mere 4 to 5 board members is all that we have. After the house dropped to only 8 men and we were financially hurt I think that word spread through the fraternal grapevine that omicron was destined for bad things. Although we have had a tremendous growth and just recently filled up the house with members I think that all we need now are a few very important key events that show us back and strong to grab back the attention of the 1,000 alumni that we do have out there
Mark Romig : Frater Nathan - I find golf events to be a great way to get alumni back
Animal : Frater Nathan: Does your school have football, you can also plan an Alumni event during Homecoming Weekend
Brian C. M. Barrett : With regard to alumni support, you may want to seek out prominent (or not so prominent) men in your community that are eligible to become honorary Tekes...especially those that you do business with on a regular basis. Tau Omega has done this successfully -- they have also drawn in alumni from other chapters outside of Ottawa..
Animal : We recently had a camping trip for Alumni and the chapter in north Florida, camping trip maybe, also you can also schedule, one day activities such as: Home Run Derby: Alumni vs. Chapter, etc...
Mark Romig : And if you ever get the chance to initiate your Father or brother as an honorary - as I had the honor last week at Conclave with my Dad - do so.
Chris - ThetaTau465 : Are there plans to provide more electronic copies of Manuals via TKE.org? i.e.: Black Book or Alumni Association Manuals, etc
Mark Romig : Frater Mike - this chat is an excellent first start. I think greater usage of The Teke - more submissions from chapters is key, and use of the TKE website to post. We also want to move to the Black Book on line. We have asked that it be done. Stay tuned. This is important to all of us.
MODERATOR : I believe most of the manuals are being re-worked and possibly will be placed online soon?
Mark Romig : Yes - you are correct, Ryan. It just makes sense that we have these manuals accessible to us all the time.
MODERATOR : Mark - NYTeke : "Frater Romig, I know a lot of the brothers in my Chapter would like to see some system set up to help undergraduate Tekes network with Alumni. For example, if an undergrad Frater was interested in being a doctor, he could go to tke.org, select "Medical Doctor" from a menu, and then be presented with contact info for those Alumni who said they wouldn't mind being contacted. Does anything like this exist?"
Mouse MuLambda : I agree with Moderator, in this dying market for jobs, it would help to have an alumni database, I know that Mu Lambda has incorporated this program...
Mark Romig : The Life Loyal Teke program is being built for this very purpose - lifelong networking. We will be building a job networking process with the resources developed from enrollments in this program. In the meantime, a strong alumni association attached to one's chapter is also a good source of contacts for careers.
Brian C. M. Barrett : I know we have been talking about having a super data base with profiles that fraters would be able to update on line...we are working on it and the Patriot system that we will be putting in in the not too distant future is the first giant step in t his direction.
Animal : One idea that we in Miami are doing is forming a Mentor Network within the Alumni in the Tri-County area and listing them in their Career section and forming a list for the Chapters to seek out these Alumni and use them as Mentors and possible one day trips to their place of business to learn more about what each of them do, and see if it might interest them in their future decisions.
Chris - ThetaTau465 : how has the response to the Life Loyal program been, so far?
Mark Romig : We have had more than 150 sign-ups - and we just launched it at Conclave!
chris.grasso : Moderator, Will online chats be a regular/semi-regular event?
MODERATOR : The chats will be on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, there are some obvious issues and once they are ironed out, we will release a schedule
MODERATOR : Frater Romig - For provinces and some alumni associations, finding a web service to host can be a problem, is the a possibility in the future that the International Fraternity may provide some hosting?
Mark Romig : Ryan - good question. Let's float that to Frater Ferber tomorrow and see what the capacity is or may be for that.
MODERATOR : With that I'd like to thank Frater Romig for his time.
Mark Romig : To all Fraters - have a good night. This was a terrific first start for us. Many thanks to Frater Ryan for organizing.
MODERATOR : and all of your patience fraters, this was a first run with this system, and we'll improve it for next time!
Mark Romig : Fraters - many thanks...Thank you, Ryan. Great start. Good night! I love this Fraternity!
Brian C. M. Barrett : Thank you all for keeping us all LIFE LOYAL TEKES!
Mouse MuLambda : does someone have a transcript of the entire chat log for tonight?
MODERATOR : I have a transcript and will post it on tkecentral.net in the next few days
chris.grasso : Ryan, When would you like to try this again?
MODERATOR : I need to make some changes to the system, I can't schedule a date right now
MODERATOR : it will depend on how many things I need to fix!
MODERATOR : Estimate in 2 weeks perhaps?
MODERATOR : Perhaps Frater Barrett would field a few questions?
Brian C. M. Barrett : Sure --- ask away
MODERATOR : Fraters the Grand Histor is still here, if you have any questions for him?
Scott-DU : Can the Grand Histor suggest some chapter alumni associations that are very successful?
Brian C. M. Barrett : Fraters, sorry I was on the phone with the VGP...I don't have any reference points at hand for successful alumni associations but let me check ---send me an e-mail to remind me and I will research this for you.
chris.grasso : Brian, Epsilon, Alpha Tau, Beta Sigma, to name a few. More will pop up momentarily. I will be glad to help by talking to any Frater that wishes. Chris Grasso home 210-764-8579, office 210-7342620x223, cell 210-260-4483.
KX450 : DOES ANY ONE KNOW WHERE IS THE NEXT CONCLAVE?
MODERATOR : New Orleans
MODERATOR : Mike Gebauer: "What are your feelings about starting an Area alumni association where a Chapter one already exists?"
Brian C. M. Barrett : Fraters, one of the things I think we need to re focus ourselves on is the establishment of geographic alumni associations --- so many of us have to be mobile and travel literally around the world in our careers I think it would stand us in good stead if we promote these types of associations to ensure that Tekes from elsewhere know that they are welcome as Tekes in their new home towns.