I think we can all agree that the landscape of fraternity and sorority life is changing. The value of a college degree is changing. The type of involvement students are looking for is changing. The types of resources our students need is changing. If you keep up with current news and trends, you’ve seen the daily headlines showcasing sorority women. We must recognize these changes to stay relevant.
Today, students are looking to maximize their college experience. They desire more inclusivity on campus and within our organizations, and they are unwilling to accept tradition or “the way it’s always been” as an answer.
Because of this and the culture of today’s society, both campuses and national organizations’ offices need to change to meet the needs of the student – and that includes Kappa.
The Long-Range Planning Task Force has spent significant time studying the structures of other organizations and discussing the needs of Kappa’s members. As a college administrator who oversees fraternity and sorority life at a large Southeastern Conference campus, I can tell you that I am in constant communication with staff members at various other NPC organizations, as many of our NPC friends have already adopted a new model. Certainly we talk about the challenges we’re facing, but we also discuss campus trends, the changing college student and the federal regulations that impact the student experience.
I shared the need for Kappa to broaden the staff support of its headquarters with the Long-Range Planning Task Force, and now I share it with you. While we are and will always be a volunteer-led organization, there are some functions that are best supported centrally at Fraternity Headquarters.
Staff members offer a new dimension of support for collegians and campuses. Our undergraduate women operate sophisticated businesses that often require a different level of support and guidance. To address the many complex issues campuses and chapters are dealing with today, training and expertise in this field is required and is something that staff members can consistently devote themselves to.
In order to make volunteer jobs more manageable, this additional staff support is a necessity. The alumna volunteer of the future is likely working full time, while managing a busy family life and many other commitments. We don’t want our members to have to choose between volunteering for Kappa and something else. But in order for that to happen, we need to alter the model.
I am excited about the opportunities of the new structure for our organization. The proposed changes are positioning Kappa to be NPC leaders in anticipating the changing needs of our organization, our campuses and our members. This structure will allow for more manageable volunteer roles and will help us to continue cultivating strong alumnae to serve as advisers and specialists.
I encourage you to read about the plan, ask questions and think about how you will serve in this new era of Kappa. There is a place for each one of us, no matter the time we have to give or the expertise we have. Kappa has given us all so much–I hope you will consider how you will return the favor.
Anna Edwards Long-Range Planning Task Force Committee Member