Kappa Blog Header

The Kappa Blog

Sisterhood in Action

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Whitney Cross, Loyola, 20142015 Leadership Consultant

Whitney Cross 

My name is Whitney Cross, and I am absolutely delighted to say that my first job out of college is being a member of the Leadership Consultant team. While I am originally from St. Louis, Mo., I chose to attend Loyola University Chicago to study political science and international studies and to eat all of the deep-dish pizza my heart desired.  During my time with my chapter, I was fortunate enough to be what we call a campus liaison, which means I was the primary point of contact for all things Loyola within Kappa, followed by a stint as chapter President.

During my senior year, we were asked to participate in the Installation of the new chapter at Elmhurst College.  I was in awe of how the Fraternity operated as an international organization, and seeing the amount of support Elmhurst received from Kappas everywhere, I was totally set on having that experience again. It was for this reason that I applied to be an LC, and I have not been disappointed! Each week I am able to see our incredible sisterhood in action.

After just over a month on the road, I already find it difficult to pinpoint which moment is my favorite. I have seen sisterhood in late-night practices for Membership Recruitment, as undergraduates dance around the chapter house in a Recruitment-induced daze. I have seen sisterhood in adventures around New York City in search of an Italian festivals best cannoli, just because I mentioned that I was craving one. The most incredible display of sisterhood, however, I was fortunate enough to experience with Lindsey, a fellow LC. On our very first visit, the chapter received a heartbreaking piece of information during a membership selection session. Instead of breaking down and giving up, the chapter finished the session, and, without any discussion, moved to the front lawn to handle the situation how they knew best: prayer and song for their sister. In this difficult time, they joined hands and rose up to support one another. As Lindsey and I stood hand-in-hand with the chapter, you could feel the power of this incredible, undeniable sisterhood. It was that overwhelming feeling of pride that I felt during the Installation of the Eta Phi Chapter at Elmhurst.  This memory, which I was lucky enough to experience at my very first chapter visit, remains the best memory I have had as an LC thus far. I am so honored to have been given the chance to experience this sisterhood each week, and I am looking forward to many more weeks of eating too much, laughing until I cry and learning about how each chapter lives Kappas unbreakable bonds every day.  

Loyally,

Whitney

Editors Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page to learn more about the position and apply today!

 

Leadership Consultant FAQs

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Johanna Jo Kanes, UC Davis, 20142015 Leadership Consultant

Jo Kanes

As Leadership Consultants, we love questions. We live for questions! No matter what campus we find ourselves on, there are bound to be 101 questions from chapter members, advisers and people we meet along the way. As LCs, we are resources for chapters and alumnae volunteers, so think of us like Wikipedia (or a living Kappapedia) if we dont know the answer, we will give you links to people who do.

One of the best parts about being an LC is knowing that, at the end of a chapter visit, you were able to empower undergraduates to problem solve and encourage women to aspire to be the best versions of themselves, both in their Kappa roles and as individuals. How do we do this? By acting as a motivational fairy Kappa Sister of sorts. Whether its through Membership Recruitments, officer transitions, new member programs–– you name it; we are there to lend a hand!

Differences in campus cultures and chapter needs means there are a variety of questions we get asked on a daily basis, so I thought Id share some general questions I get asked most often. Some are generic, some are technical, some are personal, but all are important and valid to making improvements, sharing Kappa knowledge and enhancing the success of chapter visits!

FAQs

Q: Where can I find the Membership Commitment Statement?

A: Members can login to www.kappa.org/members and find both the Membership Commitment Statement and Emergency Card by clicking More Resources>Members - Active>Annual Accountability. Every undergraduate should sign the Membership Commitment Statement and update her Emergency Card at the beginning of each school year. New Members can sign a hard copy of both forms until they are initiated and able to log into the Kappa website.

Q: What are the new grade requirements for membership and how do I implement them within my chapter?

A: The grade requirements were changed at the 2014 General Convention. Your chapter should update its chapter Bylaws and Standing Rules to reflect the change. Currently the grade requirements stand at a B+ average for incoming freshman and a B- average for undergraduates. Those averages are dependent on your university scoring system. Working as a team your Academic Excellence Committee, Academic Excellence Adviser, Standards Committee and Province Director of Chapters can put together a comprehensive action plan for the transition. Dont hesitate to reach out to your PDC and Regional Director of Chapters to discuss your plan for implementing the changes!

Q: What is Kappa like across the country?

A: Kappa chapters are very diverse around the continent (dont forget our Canadian sisters!) However, because we are all bonded by the Kappa sisterhood, the differences only work to highlight the ways in which chapters are all the same. At every chapter you will find involved and dedicated women working to make their chapters successful. Youll also find an emphasis on academic success, philanthropy and involvement in campus life. I cant help but notice that every Kappa I meet, whether a cheerleader, engineering major, or student leader, has a sense of pride, wonderment and aspiration that connects us all.

Some chapters are big, some are small, some are housed, some have suites, some have 200 members while others have 80. Yet Kappas are women with true commitment and passion no matter what the characteristics of the chapter. I find that the more Kappas I meet the more in awe I am of our wonderful organization. The ritual that binds us all is a beautiful reminder of the ideals that connect us.

Q: Why did you become an LC?

A: I think if you ask any of the LCs, we will all tell you a similar answer. Each of our college experiences was only bettered by our Kappa experience. Being involved in this organization has taught us so much about leadership, friendship and ourselves. Kappa was one of the most defining aspects of my college career and I wouldnt have it any other way. The ability to give back to the Fraternity and enhance the college experience of other women is why I wanted to be an LC, and why all of us find this job so rewarding.

Q: How do you apply to be an LC? Are there requirements?

A: The application is available online! You can find it at www.kappa.org> About Us> Our Team. The requirements are listed on the application. Dont hesitate to apply even if you feel you havent served in big positions. Every Kappa experience you have is important and meaningful. Oftentimes, being creative and dedicated to what you do is more rewarding than a title.

Q: What makes each chapter unique?

A: This is a great question with a million answers. As another LC, Kat, likes to say, It is apples and oranges because every chapter is so unique. The brilliant thing about Kappa is that there is so much room within the framework of our organization to make Kappa your own.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

A: Listen genuinely and graciously.

Q: Where can I find successful ideas from other chapters like mine?

A: There are SO MANY good ideas that chapters have. A lot of the Chapter Council positions have Facebook groups you can join for discussions, tips and ideas. Reaching out to Kappas at other schools is another great way to find ideas that you can tailor to your individual chapter. You can also follow other chapters on social media to see what they are up to!

Q: Where do I find information on GIN systems?

A: A great source of GIN information is the Kappa GIN System website. The website offers a ton of information and provides you with contact information should you need more help.

Q: How do you live out of a suitcase?

A: I pack a robe, J. Crew Minnie pants and my running shoes. Those staples keep me happy.

 

Loyally,

Jo

Editors Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page to learn more about the position and apply today!  

Quick Kappa Classy Costumes

 Permanent link

By Cathy Roebuck, Social Media and Communications Specialist

Cathy  

Halloween is this Friday, and if you are anything like me, you have no idea what you want to be or what to wear. Usually this would mean a rush to the local costume shop where only the scrap costumes remain (banana costume, anyone?). This year though, Kappa has you covered. Here are some quick costumes to make this Halloween the best one yet.  

1. Owl: Not only will you win points for bringing a little Kappa into your costume, this quick and easy idea will surely be a crowd pleaser. Grab a pair of funky glasses, glue some feathers to the top and add a paper beak to create a cute owl mask.

owl mask

Martha Stewart

Finish the look by wearing all brown or grab the glue gun and felt to create an owl dress! Cut out scale shapes from different types of felt and, starting from the bottom, glue the scales on to a cheap tank top or dress. The end result will look like feathers and youll have a hootin good time out.

owl costume  

Alpha Mom

2. Favorite Book Character: Take your inspiration from our partners at Reading Is Fundamental. Think of a character from your favorite childhood story and recreate it. Maybe you loved searching and (sometimes) finding Waldo from Wheres Waldo?, or maybe you enjoyed the huffing and puffing in Little Red Riding Hood.

Waldo

Babble.com

3. Get Punny:  Think of another way to look at a phrase to come up with something totally unique. For example, a witch doctor or Spice Girls. While in the historical sense, a witch doctor was a type of healer who treated ailments believed to be caused by witchcraft, this phrase can become a cute play-on-words! Pair a witch hat and striped socks with medical scrubs and a stethoscope and people will be applauding you for your creativity.

witch doctor

Onecreativemommy.com

Another play-on-words, dress up as spice girls. No, not Baby, Scary, Posh, Ginger and Sporty but Ground Cinnamon, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Bay Leaves and Nutmeg! Take poster board and draw the label of a kitchen spice, wrap it around your body (add straps to keep it up!) and don a red cap. Quick and simple, this one is sure to get some attention.

Spices

Costume-works.com

5. Food: What might seem a little unusual at first can actually be quite cute. This idea is perfect for last-minuters as it wont take long (or cost much) to put together these cute looks. Pair with a dress matching a fruit color to go as a healthy treat, or add some sprinkles to a white top and grab a small red balloon to make the cherry on top of your perfect ice cream cone. These looks from Studio DIY are a few of our favorites.


Ice CreamStrawberry

Photos by Jeff Mindell; DIY by Studio DIY

6. Queen Bee: No, we arent talking about Beyoncé or the leader of the pack in a high school clique, but Mother Natures queen bee! This easy DIY wont take long, and when you pair the crown with cute bees temporarily glued to a pair of flats, youre sure to be the buzz around town.

Queen Bee

Photo by Studio DIY. DIY by Kelly Lanza.

7. Rosie the Riveter: Always a classic go-to, Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the United States, representing women who worked in factories during World War II while the men were at war. Simple enough to create, all you need is a denim (or chambray) button down and a red bandana.

Rosie

Carol Hannah

8. Bat: A Halloween classic, this idea uses a broken (or cheaply purchased) black umbrella to create wings! Fair warning, this one will require a little sewing to attach the wings to the sweater.

bat

Evil Mad Scientist

9. Jellyfish: This costume idea is perfect if the forecast is calling for rain. With a little bubble wrap, white paint, cellophane and a bubble umbrella, your friends will feel the sting of jealousy when they didnt think of it first! Add a little glow-in-the-dark paint for the element of surprise.


Jellyfish

Martha Stewart

10. Scarecrow: You wont be scaring away the crows with this adorable costume. Grab flannel, overalls, a straw hat, and some hay to create your own hay-man.

Scarecrow

Kastles

BONUS: The Pink Lady!

Some of you who have visited Fraternity Headquarters may have heard of the ghostly figure that wanders our halls, checking on our visitors (If not, read our blog on the Pink Lady and other Headquarters hauntings). Commonly seen wearing her pink robe and slippers, Miss Celinda Hatton was the caretaker of the upper rooms during the early 1900s when the Columbus Womens Association rented the top floor to boarders. Many believe she still roams our halls, checking in on our visitors who stay the night. For this costume, grab your pink fuzzy robe and matching slippers, and white out your complexion to give you that ghoulish look. Another bonus to this costume? You will be the comfiest of your friends!

Pink Lady

As you celebrate this fun season, please be mindful of avoiding costumes that could be construed as racially or culturally insensitive. Remember, even if something is "meant in fun," it can be perceived differently, and may be offensive to others. Keep things cute and Kappa classy this weekend! Have a fun and safe Halloween, Kappas!

Spooktacularly yours,

Cathy

 

Tips for Planning a Successful Leadership Consultant Visit

(Leadership) Permanent link

By Caroline Washnock, Centre, 20142015 Leadership Consultant

Caroline Washnock

Picture this: you just graduated from college. Your first post-graduation home is two suitcases and a tote bag; your preferred method of transportation is an airplane; your address changes weekly; your daily schedule is determined by someone you have never met and you have limited control over where you sleep and eat. You are entirely dependent on these strangers to make sure you are housed in a safe place and fed regularly. All the while you are working your first big job. While these strangers may be your incredibly remarkable sisters and you have the chance to meet many people and travel, the life of a Leadership Consultant can be challenging and lonely.

So who would choose to do such a challenging yet rewarding job? Me! My name is Caroline Washnock, and I am a Zeta Gamma from Centre College in Kentucky. I served as Marshal and Nominating Committee Chairman for my chapter and I also spent a fantastic summer working at Fraternity Headquarters as the Catherine Schroeder Graf Heritage Museum intern. After my experience learning about Kappa history and meeting so many wonderful Kappas that summer I was eager to return to my chapter to share my knowledge and passion with my sisters. This inspired me to apply to become an LC so I could share my passion with more of my sisters and help them as they work to better their chapters.

As road warriors, my LC teammates and I have already experienced wonderful visits to many chapters. However, there are times we feel lonely and overwhelmed by our schedules. Below are seven tips for planning our visits so you can ensure that your LC has everything she needs for an enjoyable and successful visit.

1.    Healthy food: We eat out. A lot. While we love trying the best local restaurants or fast food restaurants (we are looking at you, In-n-Out Burger), we do need to eat healthy food, too. Fresh fruit, yogurts and healthy breakfast items are easy ways to help us get the nutrition we need.

2.    Time to work out: LCs appreciate time to work out, especially if we are eating out frequently. Have a chapter member who loves to run? Have her partner with the LC for the week. Starting to get cold outside? Most schools have the option to purchase a temporary gym pass.

3.    Free time: Our schedules do not have to be completely booked, and in fact, we really appreciate when time off is built into our schedule. Since we typically work from morning to evening, having an hour to work on reports or presentations, watch Netflix, or call a friend gives us a much-needed mental break.

4.    Invitations to do things with chapter members: Are you going Target? Grabbing some candy and a soda from the local gas station? Going to a movie? Invite us! Dont forget, we are all recent graduates and enjoy socializing with women our own age. Plus, doing fun random activities with chapter members allows us to get to know you and your chapter better!

5.    Tour of campus/surrounding area: One of the perks of being an LC is seeing so much of the United States (and sometimes Canada). Be sure to schedule a tour of campus for your LC. If time allows, a tour around the surrounding area is appreciated, too!

6.    Meals with non-officers: During many of our visits, we only get to know the officers since we have meetings and meals with them. Consider scheduling meals with chapter members who do not hold positions. This allows us to get to know more women in the chapter, plus it allows these women to ask questions about Kappa and get to know us.

7.    Officer meetings outside of meals: Officer meetings are a really important time for an LC to learn about the officers initiatives, offer assistance and gather ideas to share with other chapters. Be sure to not schedule these meetings during meals, as it is often hard for us to take notes, actively listen and eat at the same time. Remember, meals are a great time for LCs to meet chapter members outside of Chapter Council!

Loyally,

Caroline

Editors Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page to learn more about the position and apply today!

 

The LC Life

(Leadership) Permanent link
By Alex von Springer, LSU, 20142015 Leadership Consultant

Alex von Springer

Hello, Im Alex von Springer and I am a Leadership Consultant employed by the Fraternity for the 20142015 school year. Originally a Texas girl from Dallas, I attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. I graduated in December 2013 with a degree in history and German (and I did it in only three and a half years)! While I am not exactly sure what my professional career will look like, I plan to pursue my masters degree in Business Administration after I complete my work with Kappa. As an undergraduate, I served my chapter as Corresponding Secretary and Risk Management Chairman. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these positions and the growth that the responsibilities of these positions offered me. Kappa inspired me to work toward reaching my potential as a leader among my peers, rather than sitting back and waiting for things to be done.

During the inspiration period of my freshman year, a fabulous young LC, Emily Fetcho, Butler, visited my chapter. Her love for Kappa and insightful advice for me as a chapter officer sparked my interest in applying for the position. Other wonderful LCs visited throughout my undergraduate career and I was motivated by each and every one of them, hoping that one day I could give back to Kappa on an international level like they were. Thankfully, I am now traveling the continent as an LC, striving to inspire members of this Fraternity to lead and to motivate others in their chapters, college campuses, and their communities!

As Im starting to find out, there are some things I didnt know about being an LC before I took this position, and there are some things that a chapter should know about us before we arrive. So here we go with my BuzzFeed-esque list of the things you may not know about being an LC.

Some Things You May Not Know About Being an LC

1. We are recent college graduates, most of us are only three to six months out of school, so we are very familiar with the demands of college life and of chapter members. We know what everyone feels like trying to juggle school, Kappa, and extracurriculars!

 Alex_One

whatshouldwecallme

2. Being young women very close to members in age, we enjoy the same things chapters doNetflix, mani/pedis, working out, magazines, reality TV and late night frozen yogurt.

 Alex_Two

whatshouldwecallme

3. We dont have a permanent home for eight months out of the year since we are constantly traveling. Because of this, we live out of two suitcases for weeks on end. If chapter members run errands to a pharmacy or store, please ask us to come along for some toiletry refills or just some fresh air you wont believe how happy we will be about the invite.

Alex_Three

Mashable

4. We often work through the weekends for several weeks at a time without seeing our family, friends, or boyfriendswe get lonely! Please feel free to approach us with friendly non-Kappa conversations in your free time. We dont want to butt in on a conversation!

Alex_Four  

whatshouldwecallme

5. As employees of the Fraternity, we love Kappa just as much as you do and are working to help you improve your chapter so please take our instruction to heart. We dont want to see a response like this we want to work WITH you!

Alex_Five  

whatshouldwecallme

Loyally,

Alex

Editors Note: The Leadership Consultant application is now available. Deadline to apply is December 1. Visit the Our Team page to learn more about the position and apply today!

Founders Day 2014

 Permanent link

By Kylie Towers Smith, Simpson, Museums Curator/Archivist

Kylie Towers Headshot

One hundred forty-four years ago, six young college women announced the creation of an organization that would go beyond the expectations of their peers, and dare I say, beyond their own expectations. They likely upset the routine of the chapel service that morning, but little did they know they would upset the routine of college life and coeducation for decades to come. No longer was it acceptable for women to be shut out of the halls of higher learning. While they were pursuing an education and working to support one another, they created a network of members that supports each other emotionally, academically, financially and socially—a network of more than 260,000 women and counting!

I often wonder if Minnie, Anna, Sue, Lou, Lou and Jennie ever thought about the founding of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Were they constantly in awe of what they had created or were they so close to the event that it was much more important to focus on moving the organization forward rather than glorifying its past. History rarely feels like history over the course of a year or two, but I’m grateful that after just six years, the delegates to the 1876 Convention voted to designate October 13, 1870 as the official founding date of Kappa Kappa Gamma. No other charter date could be determined, so the day the women marched into chapel wearing their shiny golden keys (and recorded by the school newspaper) seemed as good a day as any.

I also wonder what the Founders would think about how we celebrate Founders Day today. What if the Founders were online? Between the lunches, brunches and dinners coast to coast, we find hundreds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts. I think the Founders would be tickled to know how many Kappas embrace the founding of the Fraternity. Wouldn’t it be great if we could count the number of members who will dress up and portray the Founders for some program or another?

First Grand President, Tade Hartsuff Kuhns, Butler, once said “The character of the Fraternity is determined by the quality of its individual members, but its success as an organization depends upon their united efforts for the attainment of its aim and object.” I think our Founders would be proud of where we have been as an organization and where we are headed. Kappa’s aim and object are high and it’s only together that we’ll continue to succeed. Happy Founders Day!

Loyally,

Kylie

Mobile Site