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Hazing … Why Would You?

(Education, Leadership) Permanent link

Guest Blogger Angela, Ohio State

Let’s say your boss says to you, “Sally, I am so excited to have you join our team. But before you can officially join, I need you to do a few degrading things to prove yourself. Don’t worry, they are traditions that all employees must do before they work with us.” Would you want to work there? Chances are, you wouldn’t.
The idea that you need to qualify your membership with degrading acts hurts everything that it means to be a sister. Kappa is not a gang. We are a sisterhood, a close-knit group of diverse women spanning generations and life experiences.

Sometimes hazing is hidden in the form of traditions or fun. Sometimes it’s “little h” hazing: scavenger hunts and the like. Sometimes it goes beyond “little h.” As a group of women focused on excellence, we need to be proactive and educate our members, advisers, alumnae and potential new members about the positive nature of our membership process. We need to avoid letters like this one:

Dear Mom,

I wanted to be here, I promise I wanted to be here. I love the relationship you have with all of your sisters, your confidants, your Greek family. Maybe it was different back then. Maybe it was the times, the traditions hadn’t started, or maybe you started the traditions in a different spirit. But now this hurts. I’m sorry. I can’t be a part of something that hurts so much.

I love the colors. I love the sisterhood; I love the house and what the Fraternity stands for. Nationally, the organization seems so strong.
But I don’t love the jokes, the degradation, or the bullying. I don’t like the feeling that my sisters only like me if I’m okay with participating in activities I consider hazing. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel good. I want it to stop.

You had such wonderful experiences. You told me stories about the highs and lows that your sisters supported you through. You told me about Greek Week and the socials, but you never told me that I would feel so low trying to become a member of this organization.

Love always,

Your daughter

Membership shouldn’t be something that is earned through hazing. Chapters work so hard to recruit compatible women. Why degrade and wear them down? We are stronger when all members are whole.

Kappa supports National Hazing Prevention Week by Promoting Respect to Prevent Hazing. How will you  Promote Respect this week? Share your chapter’s activities on our Facebook page and tweet with us using the #NHPW2012 hashtag.

Kappa Wants You!

(Leadership) Permanent link
Guest Blogger Mary Belvin, Field Representative Chairman, Tennessee

We would love for you—our awesome graduating seniors—to apply for a Field Representative position. You would be an asset to the team. We are looking for women like you … who think on their feet … who take a common-sense approach and apply it to improving chapter function.  You don’t have to be the most involved member of your chapter. Maybe you’re involved in other organizations on campus or have “real-world” work experience dealing with all types of people. Chapter Council experience is important, but position is not.  All you need to understand about Kappa is how it runs as an organization.
We often hear women claim that they are interested in a Field Rep position, but worry that postponing their long-term job search or taking a year off from a “real job” will hurt their career. Being a Field Rep is a real job. It’s a salaried position, no different than going to work for any company as a consultant. National retail stores hire consultants to visit their franchise stores and ensure they are following company policy, keeping finances current, following risk-management policies and keeping employee satisfaction high, all while maintaining expense reports, travel reservations and housing arrangements. Kappa’s Field Rep positions are no different.

After a year of working as a Field Rep, you’ll have a wonderful addition to your résumé. Field Reps are flexible, have wonderful public speaking skills, serve in management roles and know how to maintain current reporting and documentation.

Kappa wants you: the nursing major, the business major, the education major, the PR major—any dedicated member with leadership experience. We are looking for the women who perhaps could make a one-year commitment between undergrad and medical school, law school, PT school, or graduate school.

Kappa wants you! Apply to be a Field Representative by November 1.  Questions? Contact Headquarters at kkghq@kkg.org or 866-554-1870.

Kappa’s Stanford Chapter Was First to Build and Own a House, and Produce a U.S. First Lady!

(Education) Permanent link

Beta Eta Chapter was founded June 10, 1892; closed 1944

Reinstated as Beta Eta Deuteron in 1978

Stanford University (formerly The Leland Stanford Jr. University) established in 1891, Stanford, California

A Snapshot
Beta Eta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Stanford University survived an earthquake; the chapter house was ravaged by fire, and members adjusted to the changes of two World Wars. But suddenly, in 1944, Beta Eta was gone, removed with all the other women’s fraternities from the Stanford campus.

The Early Years
Beta Eta was established in 1892, six months after a chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. The two women’s fraternities, in an agreement about bidding procedures, set the stage for the Panhellenic organization.

Future U.S. first lady Lou Henry (Hoover) was a sophomore and not yet a Kappa when Lucy Evelyn Wight (Allen), Beta Beta Chapter—St. Lawrence, Grand President (1890–1892), went to Stanford for graduate study. The two became close friends. Evelyn Wight became Stanford’s first dean of women, and Lou Henry was initiated in 1896.

Initiations had taken place in the music room of Roble Hall, and the chapter met in members’ rooms. Later a second-floor apartment was rented, and then a house on campus. By the spring of 1899, business arrangements had been made for building on the west side of Lausen Street where the only other structure was the Phi Delta Theta house.

Kappas made daily trips to watch the progress of construction, and the move was made in January 1900. Beta Eta was the first Kappa chapter to build its own house and the first to own a house.

The earthquake of April 18, 1906, brought normal college life to a halt. There was great damage on the Stanford campus. When the chapter returned to school in September, members found that the house had remained untouched during the summer, rather than repaired, since labor and materials were so scarce. A luncheon for freshmen had been scheduled for registration day. Because their dishes were broken and the plaster down, the resourceful Kappas partied on the porch.

Early in September 1918, the house was damaged by fire; and again during summer quarter of 1927 there was a fire and chapter members returned to find the roof gone. By January 1928, aware of the difficulties of separation, the chapter was able to get back together. The local alumna corporation and the Fraternity had made it possible to repair the damages, and the Mother’s Club had raised a considerable fund to help refurbish the house. In 1934, the house association constructed a much-needed wing to provide additional bedrooms, a chapter room and a lounge.

World War II Years
During World War II, several rooms in the chapter house were blacked-out so the girls could study, and there were changes to their living habits. The girls squeezed their own orange juice for breakfast when oranges were available; did their own house cleaning; and skipped an occasional meal “to humor the cook.” And they understood “It is a very little part of war’s reality … . These changes show that life on a college campus need not be as carefree as ‘the good old days’ in order to be one of the most wonderful times in our lives.”

During World War II, social affairs and volunteer work were often combined, taking the form of benefits. The chapter was interested in Belgian War Relief, and the plans of the food administration. The chairman of the Stanford Women’s Red Cross Unit was a Kappa, and there were regular Red Cross hours and much knitting. Three actives left for service in France.

Although Beta Eta had acquired pledges early in 1944, and Initiation was conducted that spring, by the term’s end, Beta Eta too was gone. The administration and the dean of women, a fraternity woman herself, had shown a consistent disapproval of the fraternity system and, for 20 years, sororities and their alumnae fought a losing battle.

--Excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976.

Editor’s Note: Not long after the 1870–1976 history was published, Beta Eta was reinstalled!


Back To School and Healthy Eating

(Education) Permanent link

Claire, Auburn

Whether you are going to school for the first time, headed back to school for another year, or dropping off a new little student, chances are, you’re feeling your schedule slowly become full of after-school activities, clubs and organizations, sporting events and more. All of the excitement that comes along with school can sometimes make us feel busy and rushed, and gives us little time to plan healthy meals.

Feeling blah about breakfast? Overwhelmed by all of the possibilities for dinner? Need a few ideas? Check out The USDA Ten Tips Nutritional Education Series to help plan healthy eating (They’re printable and perfect for sticking to the fridge!)

Ten Tips for Adding More Vegetables to Your Day (From the USDA’s Ten Tips Nutritional Education Series):

    1. Discover fast ways to cook.
            • Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick-and-easy side dish.

    2. Be ahead of the game.
            • Cut up vegetables and put them in a freezer bag. Pull them out to cook when you’re short on time!

    3. Choose vegetables rich in color.
            • Brighten your plate with veggies that are red, orange and dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals!

    4. Check the freezer aisle.
            • Frozen vegetables are quick and easy, and are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables.

    5. Stock up on veggies.
            • Canned vegetables are a great addition to any meal. Stock up on canned tomatoes and beans, mushrooms and beets.

    6. Make your garden salad glow with color.
            • Brighten your salad with colorful vegetables such as black beans, shredded radishes, red cabbage and watercress.

    7. Sip on some vegetable soup.
            • Heat it and eat it!

    8. While you’re out.
            • If dinner is away from home, no need to worry. Ask for a side dish of steamed vegetables instead of the typical fried side dish.

    9. Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables.
            • Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at lower cost.

    10. Try something new.
            • Try a new vegetable. You never know what you might like!

What tips do you have for living healthy?

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