Whenever I heard the regional director was coming, I’d get everybody to clean the chapter house, put on a collared shirt, go over what not to say and have only executive officers reach out for a meeting. As chapter president, I wanted to ensure the chapter didn’t get in trouble. The regional director came, nothing was noticed and he left. Nothing bad came from his visit, but nothing good came, either.
What it took me too long to realize as a chapter president was that regional directors have a lot to offer. The goal at each chapter visit was to help us improve the chapter and each other. He was our link to the Headquarters staff and much of the resources and training my chapter needed, specifically with recruitment. From services such as workshops focused on standards board operations and recruitment tactics to helping recruit faculty fellows, our regional director was there to help.
The same is true of your regional director. He has anywhere between 14 and 27 chapters in his portfolio that he works with day to day. With knowledge of such a wide breadth of diverse chapters and experiences, your regional director can provide value to many of the challenges and situations at your chapter.
When he comes to your chapter, make the most of that visit.
Figure out what you want to accomplish when the RD is in town. Regional directors are trained in recruitment, the Balanced Man Program, standards and accountability, finances … and the list goes on. If you ask your RD for help in a specific area, he can provide it!
Schedule meetings before he arrives on campus. We send out emails to our executive officers and alumni to schedule meetings at least a week in advance. If you’re a rising leader wanting to meet with the regional director, contact him first. Every regional director’s contact information is listed on the SigEp website.
Prepare in advance of your meeting. Most likely, you’ll have a half hour to an hour scheduled with your regional director. Don’t expect him to come with an entire agenda — he may not cover the topics you were hoping to, so lead the conversation.
Expect a real person, not a business transaction. People become RDs because we love working with our undergraduate brothers and building great SigEp chapters. Your regional director wants to get to know you as a person, a brother in the same Fraternity.
Plan events where you need help. Your regional director went through the Kenneth S. Maddox Summer Development Program and is capable of helping organize nearly any event your chapter hosts. Be sure to let him know about any recruitment events, scholarship banquets, philanthropies or Rituals you’re planning so he can try to attend. We have hours of training that cover a broad scope of disciplines a chapter could benefit from.
Your regional director may only be stopping by your chapter for a few days a semester because of the number of chapters he oversees. We took this job to work with our brothers to better and challenge them to continue becoming balanced men and living up to our Cardinal Principles. Make the most of that visit to better yourself, your brothers and your chapter.