A mixer is a closed event between a sorority and a fraternity. Most often the event is a social function. Being closed means the event is exclusive event between the two organizations.
Mixers are one of the best parts of Greek Life. This is a setting to meet new people and learning about other organizations in your Greek Community. Follow the following steps to ensure your fraternity has plenty of mixers with sororities, but also that your mixers are a success.
1 – Ask the Sorority to Have a Mixer!
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you never ask a sorority to have a mixer with your fraternity, then you will never have a mixer. The point? Don’t be afraid to ask the sorority to have a mixer with your fraternity!
For some odd reason, many fraternity men are intimidated by sororities. They will sit around during their fraternity meetings and complain for hours on end why there aren’t more fraternity mixers. The same group that complains about having no mixers is also the same group that doesn’t have the gumption to actually ask the sorority to mix.
Asking a sorority to have a mixeris a compliment. By asking you are telling them that you think a lot about their organization and want to get to know their members better. It is never a negative thing to let a sorority know that you are interested in them. Remember, the worst thing they can do is say no, and I assure you they will do so in a classy and respectable way.
Don’t ever be shy about asking a sorority to have a mixer with your fraternity.
2 – Selecting a Theme for the Mixer
Before you ask though, you have to have an idea of what you are asking. You will look like a fool if you ask a sorority to have a mixer, they ask what you were thinking, and then you say you don’t know.
At this stage, you don’t have to decide on a theme, but you need to have some ideas. Are you going to have a social event or are you going to have a community service activity? Where will the event be held? When do you want to have it?
There are a bunch of themes that will work great with equal success. The one key to the theme of the mixer is there needs to be an active component to the event. The sisters and brothers have to do something together. This ensures there won’t be the awkwardness of everyone looking around not knowing who to talk to or what to do.
I wrote an article titled: 153 Sorority and Fraternity Mixer Ideas. This is a great resource to get some ideas.
Be prepared with a few ideas for the potential mixer. Nothing is obviously set in stone, but the more fun your idea sounds the more likely the sorority will want to mix with your chapter.
3 – The Invitation Process
It is important to follow the proper sequence of getting a mixer scheduled. You can’t just shoot an invite over to the sorority and hope they respond positively.
The first step is for someone in your fraternity to reach out to the sorority to discuss the possibility of having a mixer. When this meeting or phone call happens, the brother in charge needs to let the sorority know that the fraternity would love to have a mixer with the sorority.
The representative from the sorority will ask what you had in mind. This is when you float your ideas out. The key point here is to let the sorority know this is what you were thinking, but would love to collaborate to ensure the sorority has a great time.
More than likely, the representative will tell you that she will discuss with her committee and get back to you. That is perfectly ok and normal. This conversation may go on for a few days or weeks until both parties get on the same page. Don’t be annoying, but stay persistent.
After you have agreed on the details, send the sorority a formal, written invitation inviting them to the fraternity mixer. Instead of mailing it, have someone from your fraternity hand deliver it. Maybe it’s a good idea to send your new member class to deliver it? Regardless, this is a nice touch.
4 – Always Keep It Classy
I know there is a portion of your chapter that wants the theme of the mixer to be a lingerie party or a bikini party. Or crazier, there will be brothers that think this is going to turn into a giant hook-up party.
I hate to break it to you, but neither of those things are going to happen. It is extremely tacky to suggest these types of provocative themes, and will definitely put off the sorority.
Here is an article I wrote titled: How Do We Get Closer with Sororities? This is a great read about the two different approaches brothers often have in these situations.
Your goal for the event is to build a better relationship between the two organizations. You want to show the sorority that the fraternity is a group of respectable gentlemen. You want them to leave thinking what a class group your fraternity is, and how they would love to have another event with you.
Always, always keep it classy if you want to build a real relationship with the sorority.
5 – Clean the House
If you are having the event at the fraternity house – clean it. When you think it is clean, clean it again because it is probably still nasty.
Your house is a representation of you and your fraternity. Take pride in its appearance.
That means take the trash out. Clean up outside. Toss a mop and some Lysol on the floor to get the beer smell out. Put away anything that may be offensive to your guests.
Pay special attention to cleaning the bathrooms that your guests will be using. In case you haven’t noticed, girls are different than boys. Make them feel comfortable at your house. Be sure to put extra toilet paper in the bathrooms, and make sure there is plenty of soap and clean towels to wash hands.
This is all about making a good impression. Make your guests feel welcome, and they will probably want to come back.
6 – Be a Gentleman
During the mixer, you are a representative of your fraternity. You always want to have fun, but you also always want to be a gentleman.
Be presentable – shower, shave, comb your hair, press your shirt. Take pride in your appearance.
Have good manners. Don’t swear like you are in the Navy. Open doors for ladies. Offer your seat to those who don’t have one. Don’t speak poorly about others.
Most of all be proud of your fraternity and the event. You are a fraternity man, one of the most elite on campus. Act like it.
7 – Make a Give-Away
This is a smart marketing move if done right. Make the investment into some type of give-away for the sorority.
The obvious is making an awesome T-shirt that both the sorority sisters and fraternity brothers will like to wear. When they wear it on campus, people will see that your fraternity has a relationship with the sorority. That is a good thing.
Think deeper than that though. What if you had some type of graphic made for the event (very cheap to do on like a zillion different web-services) and turn it into a sticker? You can attach that sticker on a Yeti Tumbler or something similar as a give-away. Hopefully the gift is something the sorority sister will use, and it will stand as a reminder of the great time they had with your fraternity.
This doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, it just has to be thoughtful. A simple gift is a way to let the sorority know how important they are to you, and how much you appreciate the time they invested with your fraternity.
8 – Be Smart with Social Media
I don’t have to tell you to be smart on social media. Any idiot knows that. You can use social media to your advantage though.
You want the Greek Community to know you are having a mixer with the sorority. You want potential new members to know about the event. You want other sororities to know about the mixer, and hopefully they will see how much fun it was and want to have one too. This is all very positive public relations for your fraternity.
On the flip side, be respectful of your guests. You want to share the great time your fraternity is having at the mixer, but you don’t want to make your guests uncomfortable with being put out there. This is a very difficult thing to determine in the heat of the moment, so be aware and use your best judgement.
9 – Be Smart with the Schedule
Make your requests wayyyyyyy in advance. Sorority calendars fill up fast as they are very active organizations. Also, they typically are much larger than fraternities, and thus makes scheduling that much more difficult. You will get left out in the cold unless you schedule months ahead.
In addition, on the day of the event make sure your brothers know the plan. If they need to be somewhere at 7, tell them 630 to build in a buffer. It would be extremely embarrassing for the sorority to show up and the fraternity not be there. There is no such thing as being ‘fashionably late’ in this instance. In this instance it is called ‘being rude’. Make sure your brothers know what is expected and hold them accountable for those expectations.
10 – Have an Exit Plan
You don’t want to drag an event out forever. If you do, the last thought the sorority will have is that the fraternity mixer never ended and they couldn’t wait to get out of there. That isn’t good. You want them to leave wanting more and with no negative thoughts.
This is a good lesson for life as well. When you date, leave on a high note. Don’t drag the date out for hours and let the thoughts of ‘I can’t wait to get home’ creep into the girls head. I always leave work functions a few minutes before everyone else when I know the people I was with thinks highly of me. I am hoping that when I leave they will share nice thing about me. They can’t talk nicely behind my back if I’m still there.
So end at the appropriate time, and make sure you have a plan to get everyone home safely.
11 – Say Thank You
Send a hand-written thank you for the mixer. This is a common courtesy a gentleman, and one that will be appreciated by the sorority. It is such a simple gesture, but I promise it will go a long way.
I want to give a special thanks to Rebecca, a sister of Alpha Delta Pi at Virginia Tech, for helping me on this article.