Behind the Scenes at MTM
This blog is a day-to-day update of what is going on in Mu Tau Mu. Eventually we'll move the older journal entries from our livejournal space but for now to read the archives (entries prior to May 19, 2005), head over to http://www.livejournal.com/users/amzmtm/.
Things you'll hear about here include notification that new photos or other items are posted on our private website (more about the site is here), more detail on our activities than you see in our month-by-month history blog, news from Case, news from the collegiate chapter, news from Alpha Chi Omega at large, and occasionally fun new ideas on their way to implementation. Links to the private site will take you directly to the item mentioned.
To protect the privacy of our members, only first names will be given.
With a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in our social media experiment, this award is for you (especially our CWRU AXO sisters @ElyseM @amy_z and @flowerstrewn who did not miss a single week in the 6 months of the project!). [We look forward to thanking all Twitter participants in a follow up post next week - thank you #CharityTuesday tweeters!]
From our application:
In May 2009, we launched a 26-week long pilot project with the following goals:
- to promote domestic violence awareness in real time;
- to educate Alpha Chi Omegas and the general public about issues related to DVA and other causes important to Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Chi Omega Foundation;
- to give our members who are active in social media an opportunity to “live our Alpha Chi Omega values” in a very real and timely way.
- to illustrate how involved Alpha Chi Omega is in real-life issues and to break down stereotypes about sorority women.
We recruited sisters active on Twitter to join a facebook group so we could email weekly announcements, which were then cross-posted to our MTM blog and the facebook group discussion page. As the group grew, so did participation. We also took the logical step of including instructions for everyone to participate on Facebook and their personal blogs in addition to (or instead of on) Twitter.
Charity Tuesday started out strong on May 12 on Twitter with 28 participants. That first “message” (thanking Alpha Chi Omega Foundation for their work to end domestic violence) reached an audience of 10,189.
Over the weeks, we promoted our domestic violence awareness partners (like the Give Respect! Campaign), applauded our collegiate chapters, celebrated the first White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, and mourned the passing of long-time DVA advocate Farrah Fawcett. We made a lot of friends on Twitter – women and men whose work to end domestic violence humbles us all. And we learned some lessons.
One lesson came out of our most popular week. By popular, we mean we reached the largest audience. We shared a short film called Cut, starring Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Atonement) directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, The Soloist). In the UK it was labeled too violent for television. We asked people to watch the video and vote in a poll. That week the video was viewed 4,848 times. Our poll had 100 voters: 7 thought the film was too shocking; 92 did not. The lesson we learned was that the more interactive our weekly project, the better! We had a stack of comments on the poll as well, so adding that was a good experiment.
One of our other successes of the pilot project was the member drive we hosted for the Foundation Cause on facebook. It led to Alpha Chi Omega Foundation having the second most members among all the other NPC Foundation groups on facebook Causes! We also encouraged donations and are happy to report Alpha Chi Omega is #1 in this category!
Alpha Chi Omega's National Housing Corporation teamed up with My World and Cat's Meow to create a series of 30 of Alpha Chi Omega's chapter houses and lodges in miniature. The most exciting part is that you can purchase a replica of the Case Western Reserve AXO house!!
The order form is here, and the code for the Zeta Upsilon House is MW003850. Each house costs $30 which includes shipping and handling. When the photos of the other houses (not pictured here or on the order form) is available, we'll add a link to the comments of this post. Happy shopping!
We'll have 2-3 more posts about Alpha Chi Omega Convention, including an official report on the business conducted there, but we wanted to share the Mu Tau Mu - Zeta Upsilon news right away!
First a little bragging: Congratulations to us (Mu Tau Mu) on doing so well in the alumnae chapter awards! We were a Finalist for the 2010 Alumnae Chapter National Council Trophy!
(Our MTM Delegate, Liz S., accepts the National Council Trophy Finalist award from the Alpha Chi Omega National Council.)
(Zeta Upsilon collegians and alumnae with the trophy: from left to right: Amy Z, Candace, Chelsea, Erin, Liz, Amy B (honorary ZU) and Susan.)
Mu Tau Mu also won the inaugural Domestic Violence Outreach Award for our 2009 Twitter #CharityTuesday project (more on that soon, so proud!). We were also finalists in these alumnae chapter award categories:
PACE (Promoting Alpha Chi Everyday)
Special Event (for ZU's 25th Anniversary Silver Carnation Ball)
Collegiate Support - Distance Chapter
We also had two "firsts" for Zeta Upsilon at this Convention: our first Convention Page (Chelsea) and our first member of the Convention Choir (Karen T).
(In this photo of the Convention Pages with National President Marsha Grady, Chelsea is second from left in the front row.)
(In this Convention Choir photo, Karen is in the front row on the far right.)
We are very proud of all of our awards and recognition, but in nothing are we more proud than we are of the strong friendships we share. Truly the best part of Convention is getting to see sisters! We had a table full of Zeta Upsilons for Reunion Night Dinner Saturday and were lucky to have 16 of us together at Reunion Night Part 2 hosted by alumna Nikki. Thank you Nikki and everyone who attended. We had a wonderful evening together.
(from left to right, back row: Tracy ZU '01, Liz S ZU '03, Karen ZU '01 , Susan ZU '87; 3rd row: Lisa ZU '90, Steph ZU '10, Caitlin ZU '08; 2nd row: Jen ZU '89, Amy ZU '86, Rachelle ZU '98, Nikki ZU '88; front row: Chelsea ZU '08, Erin ZU '09, Liz ZU '87, Candace ZU '09, Pam ZU '87)
NPC (with our fraternal partners) has been working to make campus housing safer and more affordable. It’s great to see that the Act that will be voted on today in the US House is named in honor of fellow CWRU alumna Stephanie Tubbs Jones! STJ represented the district in Ohio that included CWRU and was a real advocate for issues like student housing and CHIA (the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act, which would make donations for housing or housing improvements to fraternal organizations tax-deductible).
The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Fire Prevention Act (H. R. 1791) is scheduled to be the first bill voted on during the House session this morning. You will be able to watch the vote on CSPAN. It should occur between 10:20-11:00 a.m. EST. The bill now has 70 sponsors.
As you may recall, this bill will authorize federal matching grants to install fire suppression systems in existing student housing including fraternity and sorority houses. It will preserve at least 10 percent of the funding for the exclusive use of fraternities and sororities. To receive federal funding, a recipient must prove at least one-half the cost of the improvements will be provided through means other than federal funding.
The bill will be part of the suspension calendar which means a fast-track vote with no amendments. It requires a 2/3 vote to pass.
The passage of this bill in the House shows that our work does matter. This is one of two pieces of legislation where we have been the main outside influence, and all of us should be very proud of our efforts.
(NPC is the National Panhellenic Conference, which is the umbrella organization that all 26 sororities belong to, including Alpha Chi Omega).
This video shows the huge difference a sprinkler system can make:
The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Fire Prevention Act passed the U.S. House today by a voice vote.
Congratulations to our fifteen CWRU Alpha Chi Omega graduates: Erika, Jillian, Rose, Rachel, Preethy, Chelsae, Jen, Katelin, Christine, Amy, Stephanie, Allison, Abigail, Samantha and Kelli.
Katie Couric was the Commencement speaker:
It was wonderful to hear about her connections to Case Western Reserve, her work combating colon cancer and thoughts on courage, kindness, service and volunteerism!