IU sororities recently released their annual recruitment videos, two to three minute teasers showcasing the chapters' members around campus in an effort to draw new recruits at the beginning of spring semester. The full videos, which are around 10 minutes, are shown during recruitment, which starts in January.
"Chapters typically spend from $1,000 to maybe $3,000-$4,000 on videos," said Josie Myers, IU Panhellenic Association vice president of recruitment.
Sigma Kappa’s total recruitment video budget this year: $0.
“Instead of spending all of the money we were going to spend on the video, we decided to make it ourselves and then donate that money to the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Sigma Kappa president Anne Marie Schaner.
Sigma Kappa donated $20,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association. Schaner and Hine said instead of hiring a professional videographer, booking an area for filming or purchasing music rights, they cut their budget by doing more work themselves.
“That funding came from our chapter recruitment budget that would have been spent on the video and other recruitment tasks throughout the year,” Schaner said. “We did a lot of work on budget cuts on top of spending $0 on this video so that we could donate the money.”
Kyle Davern, manager of the Alzheimer Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s event, said the sorority’s national organization has partnered with the association for 36 years, providing philanthropic efforts.
“With the total contribution between the donation for $20,000 plus their $13,000 they’ve raised for the walk itself, this will be a record-setting year for them,” Davern said.
Schaner and Hine said they taught themselves how to film and edit the video so they complete it in-house. They said they put in extra time filming and editing to make sure the video was still high quality.
“We knew that this type of video would show our values a lot more than another approach that we could take,” Sigma Kappa member Maddy Hine said. “We were excited to spend a lot of time creating this because we knew that it would be the best to show off our chapter.”
Davern said the money donated by Sigma Kappa will go toward Alzheimer’s research and programs for caregivers and patients. He said the organization keeps as much of the donations within local initiatives as possible.
“We want to continue to increase that awareness of the disease so that way people have the proper tools and resources at their fingertips, so they know what to do when the situation arises,” Davern said.
Schaner and Hine said they hope their choice to cut down on recruitment spending will encourage other Greek organizations to reconsider how they spend their money.
“A few years ago, this issue was brought to light with recruitment videos across the nation having $200,000 spent on them,” Hine said. “There’s sort of that fine line between excessive spending and spending the right amount to get your point across.”
Hine said she hopes this video will show how greek organizations can use their resources to promote philanthropy.
“I’m hoping that this video kind of is a call to action to the values of sororities and other Greek organizations,” Hine said. “There could just be a lot of change in promoting these values.”
Myers said rules for sorority recruitment at IU change every year. She said potential regulations next school year would limit budgets for videos to $1,000 and require sororities to work with IU videographers rather than hiring professionals to promote academic values.
“People are just spending a lot of money on these videos that isn’t really necessary, so that’s why the upcoming vice president of recruitment wants to cap the budget,” Myers said.
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