Programming Guide for Fraternities & Sororities

One of the many ways that you can impact campus as a fraternity or sorority is to host campus events. There are several steps in the planning process and this guide can assist you in the creation and implementation of your event. Remember that any event where alcohol will be present must follow the FIPG BYOB or Third Party Vendor (PDF) requirements AND the Lycoming College Social Events Policy. All fraternities and sororities are required to host at least one substance-free event (outside recruitment) each semester.

While there are a variety of resources to assist you in the program planning process, this guide will help you identify the campus offices that you will need to interact with to successfully host your event. If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development at x4118.

All campus events MUST be registered with the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development by using the Event Registration Form (PDF).

Develop an Idea

Your organization may have had many events in previous years. The first thing to think about is—do we want to do the same thing that’s been done before? Try BRAINSTORMING all possibilities. Think about:

  • What's our goal?/Why is this event important to host?
  • Pretend your event goes off without a hitch. What does that look like?
  • What do we want the participants to get from attending our event?
  • Who is responsible for the event?/Who will answer questions regarding the event?
  • Who will be paying for costs associated with the event?
  • What would the overall "theme" be?
  • Who will attend our event? What is the projected attendance number?
  • What kinds of events would help us meet our goal?
  • How can we contribute to the campus culture?
  • What method do you have for organizing event details (i.e. do you have a notebook you save all documents in, or are you using email only)?

When you begin planning, it is essential for these questions to be answered before you move on to the event logistics. A little advance consideration can dramatically improve the quality of your event. It is suggested that program planning begin 6 weeks prior to the event.

Review Your Group’s Budget

Make sure of the money available to you and how it has been allocated. Budgets are a very important factor when planning an event. Knowing how much money you have to spend gives you a framework for what you can actually afford to accomplish.

The Office of Student Programs & Leadership Development offers an emerging programs grant. Your organization could be eligible if you are offering a new and unique program. Contact Larry Mannolini at mannolin@lycoming.edu or x4118 for more information. In addition, fraternities and sororities may solicit for funds from Student Senate. However, fraternity and sorority funding requests must be made through Panhellenic and IFC. Have your Panhellenic or IFC delegate discuss the possibility of securing funds with the treasurer or president of the respective council. Keep in mind that budgets are due a semester in advance and Senate sets the budget timeline for requesting funds. You must plan in advance if you would like to utilize this as a source of funding.

Selecting a Date

Refer to the campus calendars to make sure you are not programming against another event, on a break, or during exams. Student organizations are not permitted to program after the last class day of the semester. Also, check with other organizations to ensure you aren’t overlapping with one of their programs. The Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development can provide assistance in checking for conflicts. It is suggested that you have 1 or 2 alternate dates in case there is a conflict or your first choice for location is not available.

Secure a Location and Register the Event

To reserve a room for your event, check the scheduled facilities listing.Once you have determined that the space you want to reserve is available, submit an online request.

Some spaces require the approval of a department other than Student Programs. If that is the case, you will need to contact the facility coordinator prior to submitting your online requests. Facility coordinators can be accessed here.

Please reserve rooms as soon as possible. Please note that your space is not reserved until you receive an e-mail confirmation and reservation number. Keep your confirmation and reservation number for future reference. Make sure you provide set up information on the room request. Failure to do so could lead to your facility not being set when you arrive for the event.

Once your space is reserved, you must register the event. All fundraisers must be registered and approved by the Dean of Students Office, Long Hall 102. All other events must be registered with the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development. You can pick up the Event Registration Form in the Student Programs Office on the 3rd floor of Wertz or download the form.

View the Campus Facility Usage Policy

Events held off campus must still be registered with Student Programs Office.

Organize The Planning Committee

Talk about what’s involved in staging your event. What WORK GROUPS will you need? [Publicity, Food, Decorations, Program, Ticket design and sales, facilities] Which members will be responsible? How can you recruit more helpers?

Plan The Details

Invite your chapter advisor to your meeting or schedule a meeting with a Student Programs staff person to help you with details of policies and with ideas about how to do what you want to do. We’re glad to help you with budgets, work groups, equipment needs, food, and ticket sales & publicity.

Some specific details to keep in mind

Catering – Food and refreshments can change the quality of every event. As you consider this, receptions, refreshments, and full meals can be provided by Sodexo. The Catering Manager can be contacted at x1292. All events in the Wertz Student Center MUST be catered by Sodexo. You should outline your catering and food information in the Event Registration Form.

Room Set Up – Remember that if you have specific requests for room set up, sound systems or projectors you need to work out the details in advance! Sound systems and projectors are available on a first come, first serve basis and require a deposit.

Advertising – Plan your advertising in advance. Nothing is worse than having a great program planned and having no one show up. Fliers, posters, Facebook, table tents, campus e-mail, and word of mouth are great ways to ensure you get the word out about your event.

Implement the EventWe can help you with a check list of trouble shooting on Event Day and making sure that everything is in place for a safe and successful event. 

Some things to think about:

  • Have an Event Coordinator in charge of the day’s itinerary.
  • How will the day of your event work? Consider this as you plan, and delegate roles to people helping you. Areas of assistance may include ticketing, set up of centerpieces, sound or decorations, emceeing, general supervision, serving food, and cleanup.
  • Check for set-up of your room; account for all equipment ordered; meet with chairs of all committees to identify areas of concern and to “get on the same page.”
  • Be sure, if money is involved, that all procedures are well planned and ready to go. 
  • Designate a specific time for the location to be set up, along with a crew of people to help with cleaning up after the event.

After The Event

Part of hosting an event is ‘wrapping up the loose ends’. As an event manager, it is your responsibility to make sure decorations are returned, and that any outstanding debts are taken care of, and that any unresolved matters regarding the event get taken care of.

Evaluate the Event

Remember the goals that you set at the beginning?  It’s now time to take a look at those and see if you met them. Also, it REALLY helps your next year’s officers if you do a detailed evaluation of the event. What would you do differently? What are you particularly proud of? How good was your planning process? Were enough people involved?

Be proud of a job well done!