WAA Chapter Leader Handbook


The first job of every WAA chapter is to be welcoming to all UW–Madison alumni and friends. For those in your area, your chapter is the face of the university. Through special events such as Welcome to the City, chapters introduce alumni to a group that they can call their own local Badger “home.” That welcoming spirit also applies to the chapter’s relationship with current and future Badger students: events such as Badger Student Send-Off Celebrations welcome new students to the university and introduce them to the concept of WAA chapters. In short, chapters welcome Badgers.

Here are some ways to be welcoming:

  • Embrace your role as the face of UW–Madison and WAA
  • Be responsive by answering inquiries — calls, emails, social-media interest, and in person at events — in a timely fashion
  • Be helpful and hospitable
  • Have fun: being a Badger can be a blast!

Chapter Website

WFAA will host a website for qualifying chapters. Chapter websites keep the Badgers in your area informed about chapter activities and events. Your website should include information about scholarships, fundraising, chapter leadership, networking opportunities, community-service events, and social gatherings such as game-watches. To maintain a chapter website that’s useful to the alumni in your area:

  • Work with your chapter representative to post event notices well in advance of their dates
  • Update the website frequently so that it stays fresh
  • Keep it simple: don’t clutter the pages with extraneous material
  • Be accessible by having points of contact such as an email address and social-media accounts
  • Display your game-watch location prominently under Badger Hangouts

Get Started with Your Chapter Website

Social Media

Chapters can use social- media accounts to promote their activities and events. They also offer great ways to start a discussion: if your board is looking for opinions, don’t be afraid to ask your audience through social media. Alumni can also use social media to pose questions to find out more about what’s going on. And social-media posts give alumni who are new to the area a way to ask for tips and advice.

Keep these general ideas in mind:

    • Social media can be effective for promoting events, contests, and other time-sensitive topics
    • The chapter member who is posting to your social-media accounts should be skilled in those particular tools (Facebook, Instagram, Line, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WeChat, and/or WhatsAp)
    • Understand your chapter’s “bandwidth” and ability to maintain a social-media presence; it’s better to not use social media than to use them badly
    • Consider your audience: find out which social-media networks your alumni are already using and meet them there
    • Keep your posts light, fun, and relevant to chapter activities and university- related topics; follow

@wisalumni, @alumnipark, and @uwmadison on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter for content ideas

  • Avoid political and controversial topics

Learn More

Badger Student Send-Off Celebrations

Chapters host Badger Student Send-Off Celebrations to welcome incoming freshmen, transfer students, and parents from your chapter’s area to the university community.

Learn More