What's this all about?
August - Working with your band
How did the Midwest District serve their bands?
Alpha Theta - This chapter's service begins the week prior to band camp. They pick up all the uniforms from the dry cleaners, then sort and stage them so everything can be issued during band camp; and then they help with uniforms throughout the rest of the season. On the Sunday night prior to band camp, they host a bowling night for all their 1 Star members (rookie marchers). Throughout the year they will occasionally provide freezies to the band after a hot rehearsal, as the band provides water sources. At the games, they distribute water and apples to the band members. For the wind symphony they provide snacks and treats when they go on tour. Their PMs, prior to their initiation, do small projects in the music building such as cleaning and organizing rooms.
Alpha Iota - Band camp, known as Spat Camp in Minnesota, is the busiest service time for the chapter. Annually, they host an ice cream social in the middle of camp, and rent a paddleboat on the Mississippi River for a huge dance celebrating the end of camp! This year, they added a new program specifically for the beginning of camp when only rookies and band leaders are there. They provided cake for everyone and told the band leaders to take a few of their section's rookies and bring them to meet the rookies and leaders of other sections. By all accounts, the event was a huge success, and they are looking forward to continuing this event next year!
Alpha Mu - For August, the chapter worked with their band by helping their band's GTAs stuff music folders for our Concert Band and our Symphonic Winds Ensemble! They worked along side their Kappa brothers to make the start of the semester run smoother for their directors.
Beta Psi - The members that are in marching band helped with some equipment and offered guidance and friendship to the incoming freshman.
Delta Kappa - For the month of August the Delta Kappa chapter of Tau Beta Sigma worked with the band by helping with uniform, secondaries and instrument check out, they provided meals twice during the week, helped set up/tear down the field and they wore letters on a designated day during the camp.
Delta Xi - They put on a social every day, to encourage new members to get to know other members and make friends. They did an ice cream social, a photo safari, a hangout night at a band member's house, a pep band rehearsal and event, a "sportsball" social, and the section olympics. They also helped fit uniforms and hand out instruments and lockers to new students. They made copies and handed out all of the music they will need for marching band until Christmas. They are helping a new director transition into his job so the members who weren't marching have been asking constantly what they can do to help. This included helping him pull music for the Concert Bands and Jazz Bands before school started.
Zeta Delta - They definitely were busy helping out the uniform staff. The Marching Jayhawks recently donned new uniforms this year. They encountered endless boxes, many safety pins and an influx of hangers. They also do their best to provide water and food to the band regularly during game days.
Zeta Nu - This August, Zeta Nu's prime focus was band camp. They helped with registration, donated band camp "survival" kits to rookies that included water, bandages, fruit snacks, pencils, and a list of after camp activities as well as donating butt bags (as usual). During camp they hosted after-activities with Kappa such as s'mores, root beer floats, Panther Palooza, and a night at the WRC.
Zeta Omega - They helped fit Marching Mizzou for uniforms during band camp. During lunch and each night we had a different section come to the uniform room to be fit. We had each member at different stations for each part of the uniform.
Theta Mu - They held activities for the band members to attend. Before the whole band arrived we had a campus tour walk for all the new members so they would know where to go when school starts. The first full day that we had everyone for the band return we had a cookout and a game night. The second day of band camp they were supposed to have a water balloon fight but the weather did not cooperate, so they played a huge game of signs instead. On the third day they held a campus scavenger hunt. The fourth day they held band olympics. The very last day they held a band dance to relax and celebrate that they survived band camp.
Theta Xi - They focused on serving the bands by helping run uniform checkouts for their 350+ person band, and also set up their 3rd Annual First Year Member picnic, providing a free lunch to all of the new members of the marching band and their newest pep band. They have also helped our local middle schools with some 1st year band instrument placing.
September - Sisterhood
How did the Midwest work on their sisterhood?
Alpha Theta - September is their main time for recruiting so they see a large influx of Sisterhood events. Things they did this year included an ice cream party, attending a Boston Brass Concert, decorating paddles prior to their 3rd degree together, and visited a pumpkin patch. They also later in the year had a dinner outing with the whole chapter and sponsor, a Christmas party with whole chapter, and a whole family had a home-cooked meal together.
Alpha Iota - September is recruitment month for Alpha Iota. Many of their recruitment events are about building their sisterhood better for current members and potential members. One of their favorite new events this year was a bingo night. It was such a hit with their membership that they are currently scheduling a second bingo night as a purely bonding event!
Alpha Mu - For their focus on sisterhood, they went to a bowling alley along with their Kappa brothers. Nothing like a little friendly competition to bring everyone all together.
Beta Psi - For sisterhood, they had a pot luck social, a movie night social, and a game night.
Delta Kappa - They award a Symphony Bar to a deserving sister in the chapter who exhibits qualities and ideals from our 8's and 5's. They also do an activity called "What's On Your Plate?". This is a sisterhood activity where each member wrote down various things they may be struggling with, and then swapped plates and had another sister write advice on the other side of the plate.
Delta Xi - They had an open social the second weekend in September. They also went to a sister's relative's house for a bonfire night. There was socializing, s'more making, and a great time had by all. The next weekend, the chapter went to the local nursing home to play music for the people living there. The last was a themed chapter meeting. On bid night, we all wore our pajamas since it was going to be a long night deciding who would get bids.
Zeta Delta - Warm fuzzy's, laugh, trust worthy connection and boat loads of love just seem to come naturally for this chapter. They have done a lot of things to keep this present in their chapter. They hosted a lake day with their PMs, they hosted a spaghetti dinner in a cozy apartment and for the most part they flaunt this sisterhood throughout the year in our dedication for band.
Zeta Nu - They had sort of a counseling night at one of their meetings. They all put their stresses or problems in a bucket and someone read them aloud to the chapter so everyone could hear their problems from a different perspective. They laughed, cried, and bonded through being open with one another. They started doing this and similar things (such as sharing positive things that happened that day) during meetings to build a better sense of community.
Zeta Omega - They had a Sisterhood night where they watched Netflix and ate pizza. It was a great night of bonding and a good break from studying.
Theta Mu - During rush week they incorporated sisterhood to show what is to be a sister of Tau Beta Sigma. They started rush week with an information night and introduction games. The next day the did a treat trek where they walked around campus eating treats and answering questions anyone may have as well as playing games. The next day they held a service project. They helped the colorguard instructor to take inventory and organize the colorguard cage. The next day they had a tie-dye and signs night. The last day of rush week they held a cookout. They had sand volleyball and other activities available for anyone that came.
Theta Xi - In September they participated in their usual variety of sisterhood events and tried a new one named "Tau Beta Sportsball" where they played a variety of sports, games, or did homework on Central Campus.
October - Alumni Relations
What did the Midwest do to include alumni?
Alpha Iota - Alumni connections is a primary focus of Alpha Iota for this year, and not just during the month of October. Prior to this year, they had no ongoing record of their chapter alumni or methods to welcoming their engagement. Led by their History Committee, they spent the fall semester building an alumni directory in order to collect Alpha Iota stories from current and alumni members in a spring history initiative. Specifically in October, they worked with the University of Minnesota Marching Band Alumni Association to put an article in their newsletter inviting TBS alumni to join our alumni directory.
Alpha Mu - They sent out invitations to their alumni inviting them to attend 3rd degree and see their new members be initiated into the sorority.
Beta Psi - Their chapter contacted alumni to double check and update all contact information on file. They also wrote a letter to them discussing changes, improvements, news, and events of the chapter. The letter included an invitation to the Big Band Dance fundraiser they hosted, as well as an events calendar for the semester. They encouraged them to attend any of their chapter events to meet their new members.
Delta Kappa - A few of their alumni came in to chapter meetings to talk about district and national happenings.
Delta Xi - They started a pen pal program between alumni members and current active members. Six alumni and ten actives are currently participating. The alumni who are participating have given nothing but extremely positive feedback. Each year, the Delta Xi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma and their brother chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, Delta Gamma, host a chicken dinner after the homecoming football game specifically for the alumni to come back and reconnect with current band members. The chicken dinner is open to all band and orchestra alumni and current members, not just members of the chapters. They had a good outcome of both types of people.
Zeta Delta - During the month of October, Zeta Delta recently elected a new Alumni Liaison. He has done an absolutely incredible job. They've grown even closer to their alumni. Joe established a weekly Tuesday Applebee's night with Alumni and other Zeta Delta members. They've also started to invite alumni to their weekly trivia team. They also make it so that they are able to sing with alumni at the end of every homecoming game.
Zeta Nu - Here is the link to the Alumni Newsletter (http://eepurl.com/bBHCsT) that they sent to their alumni in October. They send them monthly newsletters about what the chapter is doing.
Zeta Omega - They had one of their alumni members, Amanda, come to a Prospective Member education class and talk about life after college and how Tau Beta Sigma has helped her in her life.
Theta Mu - They started Alumni Day with the alumni coming in before the game to see what they will be doing at the halftime performance. They then had the alumni sit and play with them during the game. After the game the alumni and the band was offered dinner, which was followed by an alumni ceremony to thank them.
Theta Xi - Theta Xi had a Alumni Breakfast. This was a great time for actives and alumni to mingle over a hot breakfast after a Cyclone victory on Homecoming!
November - Ritual
What did the Midwest do to focus on ritual?
Alpha Iota - Alpha Iota's initiation ritual was held on November 17th and they welcomed 8 more wonderful, unique sisters into our bond. This was their first ritual since hosting ritual at Midwest District Convention last year, and they really wanted to maintain the improvements to their ritual performance that were implemented for that event. Their main focus was to have ritual lines other than the president and vice president parts to be completely memorized, but they did have the script for each person in case of memory lapses. Ritual was a success by all accounts, and they just placed the order for a president's robe funded by the Midwest District Ritual Scholarship.
Alpha Mu - The ideals of the sorority were reviewed with all members and our ritual regalia was visited in order to make sure our symbols and other objects were ready in preparation for the upcoming degrees.
Beta Psi - Their chapter had Third Degree scheduled in November, so they were able to incorporate the focus easily. They reviewed their ritual supplies and purchased some new items. They also had their final membership class and their members reviewed the 8s & 5s. Everyone was asked to identify how the ideals of TBS play into their daily lives.
Delta Kappa - They recognize outstanding sisters that live ritual and ideals in their daily lives by awarding them a Symphony Bar.
Delta Xi - This chapter did not execute any activities in November, but they came up with a plan for the upcoming semester. They will spend time each week at chapter meetings to go over the sorority songs. After their new PMs are initiated in February, they want to have a chapter meeting where they will discuss the sorority's secrets and symbols. This will help everyone review the things all chapter holds dear, since currently members are only exposed to them once or twice a year when they hold a ritual.
Zeta Delta - For the ritual focus, they asked their members to think about what's special to them about ritual. They also decided to specially teach their PMs a lot of these special parts about ritual. Some of the things that their members have said about ritual were how they like the solemn connection with their Tau Beta chapter during these rituals. They strive to foster this connection by making sure that the seriousness of the ritual is still present and maintained.
Zeta Nu - During the PMs first education class they learned about the 8s & 5s, so the actives reviewed each during a chapter meeting. Sisters were asked what the ideals meant to them in their own words. They plan on having a quiz over a different ideal every week, so they can be able to continue the education process with each of their members.
Zeta Omega - Their educators went through the ritual book to describe what each symbol of third degree meant as a re-education lesson for all actives member and for our newly initiated members.
Theta Mu - The way that Theta Mu focused on ritual in November was by interviewing two members, an active and a newly initiated member, about what ritual means to them. When asked what does ritual mean to you one members answered; "Ritual is a part of who we are as a sorority; it brings us back to what we were founded on. For each person ritual means something different and yet it brings us all together for the same reason. Ritual is really important because it reminds us what the sorority is as a whole and what we are here to do along with the ideals and beliefs of the 8 & 5's. When the same question was asked to the new member she had some troubles trying to figure out what to write since this was all new to her. She said, "I think it is an honor to go through the rituals, and to me ritual means to become part of something and to also strengthen the bond as sisters of Tau Beta Sigma." Another thing we do that deals with ritual that we do every two weeks is we choose an 8 or 5 to look at that week and notice if any of our sisters are living that 8 or 5 to the fullest then the get recognized at the meeting for doing that.
Theta Xi - During their bid night and the meetings previous, they discussed what makes a good member of TBS (following the 8s & 5s, service) and what being a member means to each of them. They also recognize sisters every meeting that live ritual and the ideals. The sister is nominated by another sister and is then recognized by the entire chapter with a certificate, a small gift, and an absurd question to answer.
December - Chapter Operations
It takes a lot to make sure a chapter run smoothly. As we transition to the Spring semester it’s a good time to take a look at how we run our chapters and see what changes can be made to make our meetings and events run smoothly.
How did the Midwest improve their chapter operations?
Alpha Theta - In a recent anonymous survey administered by the president, their chapter believed that for the most part their meetings are run efficiently. They currently post the agenda on the board and work our way down the list, so there is a structure, but they do also have comments and side conversations that happen. It does take a little bit sometimes to get back on track, but it allows for a productive and fun meeting. During the last review of their chapter’s constitution, the role of parliamentarian was added to the vice president. There are times where voting should happen but we just move forward. They also are working with how the committees operate; needing to bring forth recommendations and allowing the chapter to vote on actions instead of acting on their own and then telling the chapter what they are doing. As for communication, we operate fairly smoothly, between using a private Facebook page, mass texts for quick reminders, and group chats on Facebook for committees or people grouped for a special assignment. They also use their school’s Blackboard page to post meeting minutes, PowerPoints from education, and other national documents for quick and easy access.
Alpha Iota - Their December was overwhelmed by a major transition; they elected a new vice president, ritualist, and member at large because two sisters had the opportunity to study abroad in the spring. While this process took most of their attention, they are now able to start spring semester with a fresh beginning. Currently, they have scheduled for their first meeting a full chapter discussion about goals for the semester and meeting organization. Over the fall semester, they have tried many different seating arrangements, meeting agendas, and break out activities to add life to the chapter meetings, and looking to spring semester, the will discuss what changes to keep.
Alpha Mu - They evaluated their chapter's means of communication in that we talked about creating a twitter for our chapter. Agendas are already created by their president before every meeting.
Beta Psi - For the chapter operations focus, they revamped their chapter’s google drive documents. They confirmed that all agendas and minutes had been uploaded and sorted them by date. Members were asked to bring their laptops to a meeting and they reviewed usage and navigation of their google drive documents and google calendar.
Delta Kappa - They have agendas written up for each meeting so that they run efficiently and the parliamentarian has written up a cheat sheet of basic Robert's Rules related to common functions in their meetings so that the members have a better grasp on how the meetings should be run.
Zeta Delta - They have begun to have officers send their reports to the president so that he can make a schedule of events for every meeting. This has made their chapter meetings go a little bit more smoothly. They've also been encouraging people to open up about any concerns they have by having an anonymous comment box for the president. These operations have definitely helped out with the way that their chapter functions. Ultimately they've been able to make their meetings shorter and they've been able to address issues and concerns of different members.
Zeta Omega - In December, the Zeta Omega chapter focused on Chapter Operations by following an agenda that their president makes to allow their meetings to be more efficient. It also allows members to send the president anything additional that they would like to discuss.
Theta Mu - They sat down and talked about how they can be a better functioning chapter through communication and Roberts Rules of Order. They also taught the new members what voting is like and they got their own personal plaques they had to break.
Theta Xi - This one was a little bit hard for them to do as they had a single meeting between Thanksgiving and dead week. The meeting focused a lot on a summary of the semester and specifically talking about how their bid process could be improved for the next semester. They also had a large holiday party which made them use the powers of Robert's Rules to get through their business as efficiently as they could.