Alumnus William B. “Bill” Geddy (Georgia Southern) has held a variety of roles within Sigma Nu. Currently serving as a Division Commander and the Chairman of the Theta Kappa Alumni Advisory Board, he has also served as a member of the Theta Kappa House Corporation. Brother Geddy was named Sigma Nu’s Alumnus of the Biennium and Chapter Advisor of the Year at the 66th Grand Chapter in Nashville, Tenn.
1. How have you structured Theta Kappa’s AAB?
There are 15 people on Theta Kappa’s AAB. As chairman, I’m a facilitator and coordinator for the group. We have advisors for every major office and those that request one. While I helped structure this, we are truly a team of advisors and I give credit to my peers who actively contribute and hold each other accountable — I am just at the helm right now. The chapter is engaged as well — we are always looking for ways to improve our engagement model. In January 2014, we added the outgoing Commander as he graduated.
Finding advisors for the board is like recruitment; and, recruitment is 365 days of the year, you’ve got to go out and find people.
2. Any best practices with your work from Theta Kappa?
We have regular conference calls in addition to our face-to-face meetings. We also took a page out of Mu Chapter’s (Georgia) success and started a call with the new candidate’s parents and laid out our entire program on the phone. In that call we tell them what they can expect and also what we won’t do. It has built strong relations and communications with the parents.
We’ve also instituted a policy that alumni volunteers have to sign an alumni code of conduct. It’s basically the same code of conduct that the chapter officers sign, minus a few items that are specific to students. It adds to the importance of the advisor and helps set the right example.
3. What would you say to a collegiate member who doesn’t take advantage of all that Sigma Nu has to offer?
Becoming engaged, stretching yourself and your skills, and becoming an officer — then participating in regional convocations, school opportunities, and Grand Chapter is a great opportunity. One of my peer Division Commanders in Atlanta, Jason Dooley, has volunteered as an alumnus and attended every Grand Chapter since he graduated. There are many dedicated alumni volunteers out there. Unfortunately, not everybody takes advantage of this and some people come to our collegiate chapters for the wrong reasons and others never think outside their own chapter.
Not every chapter member is going to get this right away and you can’t lose sleep over the minority that don’t figure it out. Some of these guys are just going to take a longer time to develop.
4. What are some trends that you see from the successful chapters you have worked with?
I’m seeing a growing trend of the leaders from strong chapters that include their leadership positions on their LinkedIn profiles. I’ve connected with a lot of undergraduate brothers and I see that they list Commander, Social Chairman, or whatever their officer position happens to be. I think it is a great way for young leaders to advertise what they are doing and also connect with others. Any employer is looking for key attributes that differentiate you from the pack and increase the odds of a successful hire.
5. What’s your advice for working with chapters that can be difficult?
No advisor can be there 24/7, and that’s not their role. We are not there to be policemen, rather it is to provide good, common sense advice and mentoring. When issues are encountered, confront them.
We want Sigma Nu leaders to make good decisions, sometimes that means they are hard and may not be popular, but they are right — we support leaders who make good decisions. But no one is perfect — leaders make mistakes — advisors are there to help developing leaders not make the same mistakes others made.
The goal of a chapter or alumni leader is to have the right programs and structures in place so even the brothers that join for questionable motives have an environment where they too can grow, develop, and flourish