Like most large groups of people, fraternities and sororities sometimes need to survey their members. For these Greek organizations, surveys can be used for voting on potential pledges, party themes, philanthropic endeavors, and more. Of course, one of the most common uses of surveys for fraternities and sororities across the country is to vote on the key roles within the chapter (such as fraternity/sorority president, recruitment chairperson, treasurer, house manager, and other organization-specific roles). So, here’s how to survey your fraternity or sorority for various leadership positions.
Running for fraternity president (or sorority president) is a fine way to recreate the democratic process and help build political experience (both for those running for different positions and the members of the house voting for their favorite candidates).
However, managing these elections isn’t always easy. Ensuring that every fraternity or sorority member has a fair chance to vote, keeping the election within the sorority/fraternity budget, and keeping people honest are just a few of the challenges that the fraternity and sorority members managing the election must face.
Using online tools for sorority and fraternity elections can be a great way to ease the process and ensure every member of your Greek organization gets a fair chance to vote. Before we get into how going online can help with running a sorority election or a fraternity election, let’s take a look at the traditional voting process.
The “Traditional” Sorority/Fraternity Election Process for House Officers
While specific Greek organizations (and even individual chapters on certain campuses) might have a different fraternity voting system or sorority election process, there are two key components to most elections:
- A Weekend Debate Event. The current leadership arranges a specific day for candidates to make their arguments before the whole of the brotherhood/sisterhood for why they’re the best person for the position. This is typically done on the weekends so the society’s members have the free time to listen to speeches (and ask candidates their sorority and fraternity election questions) without worrying about having to get up early for class the next day.
- A Written Ballot. After the debates/speeches are over, fraternity/sorority members are handed their ballots and asked to fill them out. In particularly close elections, these ballots may need to be recounted several times for various positions.
The trouble with the process is often the written ballot. While good scheduling and time management can ensure that the debate/speech event doesn’t inconvenience society members (such as by dragging on till 3 am), paper ballots are easily lost, damaged, or miscounted. This is a common problem even with government-run elections!
Going Online with Greek Elections
As an alternative to relying on paper ballots that can be lost or damaged, your Greek organization may want to turn to an online voting option. Going online with Greek elections can help fraternities and sororities by:
- Improving Vote Collection. With paper ballots, it’s all too easy for a vote to get lost. Using an online form ensures that every vote given is captured. Also, using a digital voting tool can help ensure that every voter fills in responses for every position (you can require a response for questions with SurveyLegend!).
- Improving Anonymity. In-person voting can be compromised through nothing more than an over-the-shoulder peek (or a ballot dropping to the floor). Online surveys allow voting from members’ phones with electronic ballots – which can make them the ideal sorority and fraternity anonymous voting solution for privacy reasons.
- Eliminating Count Errors. One of the problems with traditional paper ballots is that manually counting the votes can lead to inconsistencies. There are numerous cases where ballots being recounted led to controversy (such as the infamous Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election). Electronic votes are easier to collect and count—eliminating errors from manual counting methods.
- Reducing Costs. Printing and distributing dozens (or even hundreds) of ballots takes time and money. Using an online voting form that you can send to every frat/sorority member’s inbox costs virtually nothing and takes a fraction of the time. There are even some free survey tools you can use to deliver ballots electronically.
- Preventing Fraud. Paper ballots can be manipulated all too easily. A lost ballot here or a quick scribble there can invalidate a vote. Electronic voting not only eliminates confusion, but it also makes sure that each person gets one vote for each position. So, electronic voting can help ensure fairness in fraternity and sorority elections.
On top of all of these benefits, using electronic voting tools simply makes things easier for your election managers. Instead of having to sit down and manually go through every ballot, they can set up a bar chart view and see who won each position with a clear, easy-to-understand view. This saves hours that can be better-used studying (or celebrating).
Ensuring Security and Privacy (and Honesty)
Some have concerns about the security and privacy of electronic ballots. Many people worry about their votes not being anonymous or private when they use an electronic ballot that was emailed to them—and some even worry about the risk of electronic votes being manipulated.
At SurveyLegend, we work to assuage these concerns by using top-class security in our survey tools. Our surveys are encrypted with TLS v1.2 and meet the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards for data security and privacy. Data transfers within the SurveyLegend site, app, and survey form are all highly encrypted so your data is protected from prying eyes.
Wondering how to run a sorority election? Running for fraternity president? Or just want chapter input on the next Greek party theme? SurveyLegend has you covered. We protect your respondent’s data so fraternity and sorority members can rest easy instead of wondering about potential security risks.
Wondering how to run a sorority election? Running for fraternity president? Or just want chapter input on the next Greek party theme? All of these are great reasons for holding fraternity or sorority elections online.
When you’re ready to create your online ballot, survey, or poll, SurveyLegend has you covered. We protect your respondent’s data so fraternity and sorority members can rest easy instead of wondering about potential security risks. Want to learn more about SurveyLegend? Get started today for free!
Have other ideas on how to use online surveys, such as voting during fraternity or sorority rush? Hit us up with your ideas below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Greek organizations can use surveys to vote on chapter leadership positions, rushees and pledges, party themes, philanthropic endeavors, and more.
Online surveys improve vote collection, improve anonymity, eliminate count errors, reduce costs, and prevent fraud.
Printing and distributing ballots any time a vote is needed can be expensive whereas online voting is free or costs very little.
You can hold an online Greek election using an online voting platform such as SurveyLegend.