The 27th Archons’ Academy is in the books! Having to navigate online learning posed some unique challenges but also offered new opportunities and we are very proud of what we were able to put together: Rather than just try to do what we always do, we greatly broadened the scope of the academy and opened it to more members and new topics. Over the course of January, we hosted 8 educational sessions with over 16 hours of total programming. Sessions ranged in size from well over 150 undergraduates, to some smaller more targeted discussions with only a single representative from each chapter in attendance. In the end we had just over 200 unique undergraduate visitors to the Archons’ Academy in 2021 – making it the largest educational event Psi Upsilon Fraternity has ever hosted!
The academy opened on January 9th and had a more traditional Archons’ Academy agenda, but allowed us to not only invite Archons, but also both 1st and 2nd Angelos. The International Office staff led a day where our members: learned about the importance of our history and values; walked through what to do in a crisis and how to think more through a harm reduction lens; participated in a session around organizational leadership and exploring what their Chapter’s capabilities were; learned and practiced some fundamental goal setting skills; and we rounded out the day with the nuts and bolts of reports, paperwork, and deadlines.
Our January 11th session focused on mental and emotional wellness and how to support each other in that space. Through a new and exciting partnership with the Jed Foundation, Dr. Thea Zunick led our Chapters’ 1st Angelos, Risk Managers, and Health & Wellness Chairs through the “You Can Help a Brother” curriculum, which focuses on noticing signs and healthy ways to intervene between peers. Through our partnership, this curriculum is now made available for Advisors and/or campus professionals to deliver to every Chapter.
Executive Director Tom Fox led our Treasurers in a detailed session on Budgets, Dues, & 990s on January 12th. Our Treasurers were able to understand the process and concepts of budgeting, they were able to engage with each other on different methods of dues collection, and lastly were able to understand the forms required to remain an organized group.
Our Service, Philanthropy, and Fundraising Chairs were invited to our January 14th session on Philanthropy in a Remote Environment. Through our excellent partnership with CrowdChange, Director of Client Success Liam Moore discussed the purpose and need for raising funds now more than ever, and different tools to do that. We ended our session with our members having the opportunity to engage, brainstorm, and crowd-source ideas to turn their in-person events into virtual ones.
On January 19th, we held our biggest session of Archons’ Academy. National Speaker Mike Dilbeck presented his keynote “DignityU” that focused on understanding dignity and treating each other with respect. Our Chapters’ 2nd Angelos, Risk Managers, Social Chairs, and New Member Educators were able to receive great information and steps on how to embrace dignity, and then participated in a very engaging question and answer session with our Speaker.
Through our new partnership with the educational company Plaid, we offered our Chapters’ Archons, 1st, and 2nd Angelos a new personality leadership assessment that covered team dynamics, conflict, and career exploration. Plaid Partner Chris Woods delivered an engaging deep dive into the Birkman Method Assessment, and broke down each category thoroughly and explained how the categories all relate to each other.
Recruitment Chairs and at least 2 other members from each Chapter joined us on January 26th to explore recruitment tips and tricks. Zach Lepperd, Director of Fraternity Growth for Beta Theta Pi Fraternity led our “Let’s Talk Recruitment” Session, where he unpacked recruitment fundamentals, social media recruitment in a virtual world, and best practices for a relationship centered recruitment.
We rounded out our new Archons’ Academy with our January Archon Town Hall and “Advice from an Archon”. Roy Krishnan, Upsilon ’21 (Rochester), Drew Hill, Xi ’21 (Wesleyan), and Randall Kliman, Gamma Tau ’21 (Georgia Tech) each shared their own advice from being an Archon through the Fall semester. All attendees were then placed in breakout rooms where they could get to know each other, bounce ideas, and ask each other questions about how to be successful during their time as Chapter President. We ended the session with Randall, Drew, and Roy sharing the most important thing they have learned from being Archon, and how new Archons can be successful this Spring.
We hope and plan that in 2022 our Archons’ Academy will be in person at the Psi Upsilon International Office and give our chapter presidents the ability to interact with one another but cannot ignore what we learned from casting a wider net and meeting with so many officers. E-learning is not a fad that will be going away, and we will be continuing to host virtual opportunities to compliment in person experiences going forward. We are also extremely proud and thankful to all our brothers who participated in the 27th Archons’ Academy – our undergraduate leaders were thoughtful, engaging, and sincere with their care for Psi U.