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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 08:30 AM, by April Brown

Many chapters are currently recruiting new leading women to join Kappa Alpha Theta. The day a new member accepts her bid and takes her pledge to join Kappa Alpha Theta, we as initiated members have the responsibility to protect the well-being of our members, promote a high standard of excellence in all aspects of Fraternity life, and be a leader in the fraternity/sorority community. As reflected in our mission statement, we have promised to nurture each member throughout her college and alumnae experience and offer a lifelong opportunity for social, intellectual, and moral growth as our members meet the higher and broader demands of mature life. In accordance with these goals, Kappa Alpha Theta does not tolerate any acts that may be constituted as hazing.


The new member process sets the stage for creating a positive experience for each incoming young woman. Officers, advisors, and mentors provide an official introduction to what Theta is all about, and this first impression will last a lifetime. New member programs are designed to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community. Hazing prevention is reinforced through chapter and campus educational programs, encouraging open and honest conversations on how each group, campus, and the greater fraternity/sorority community can cultivate an atmosphere where everyone feels included, safe, and welcomed.


When we educate our members to identify all forms of hazing, even if it is not part of their chapter experience, we empower them with the knowledge of what hazing is, what it looks like, and how to respond if members ever found themselves in a compromising position (i.e. a bystander to hazing, or partaking in another team/organization's hazing practices). With this knowledge, we hope our members would not participate in activities that are seen as campus traditions (i.e. serenades, etc.) as they are forms of hazing and counter our ability to foster an inclusive community.


An additional component of hazing prevention education includes providing resources and outlets for members to find professional support. In 2007, Kappa Alpha Theta united with other international fraternities and sororities to found the Greek Anti-Hazing Hotline, available to anyone who thinks they or someone they know have been or may become victims of hazing: 1-888-NOT HAZE (1-888-668-4293).


By continuing to educate and provide resources regarding hazing prevention to our college and alumnae members, we can continue to build on Kappa Alpha Theta's foundation that aims to value each member and encourages us all to live out our values and mission statement.


Help us spread the message that Theta is an organization that strives to ensure every member feels included, safe, and welcome. The #40 Answers to Common Excuses for Hazing campaign is currently underway, leading up to National Hazing Prevention Week Sept. 19-23. Follow along on social media during using the hashtags #40Answers and #LeadingWomenDontHaze.

April Brown, Eta Theta/Central Florida, serves as the chapter compliance committee chairman for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 09:41 AM, by Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel
Nicole Eovino, advisory board chairman of Theta Kappa/Louisville, with one of her advisees at Grand Convention 2016
As the Theta staffer in charge of volunteer engagement, I speak with chapter advisors on a daily basis, and lately, I've been noticing a certain sentiment among them.

The start of the new school year is, of course, an exciting time for Theta collegians, but this year, our advisors seem more eager than ever to get back to campus, see the undergraduates, and get started on chapter goals.

This summer, Theta held its 72nd biennial Grand Convention. It's an inspiring experience that brings women from every chapter together and provides the opportunity to reflect on chapter operations, celebrate accomplishments, and brainstorm about the year ahead. Grand Convention always seems to energize all who attend. Chapter officers and advisors have been eager to put these new ideas into practice for the last six weeks, and with the beginning of a new semester, it's finally time!

But beyond the motivation that Convention brings, an even bigger driver is that these alumnae genuinely care for and love the collegians they serve and they want to see them, and the chapter, grow and succeed. It truly is why they do what they do, and in fact, they downright missed you. A few comments straight from advisors themselves:

"I am very excited for the collegians to come back! I look forward to seeing their refreshed motivation heading into a busy fall. The women come back from summer with new ideas, and it is going to be fun to see how those plans fit into the chapter."
-Erin Smith, Epsilon Zeta/Mississippi ABC

"I am so proud of the progress that our officers and all of the members of Theta Kappa/Louisville have made (last semester) and am very much looking forward to what this semester will bring!"
-Nicole Eovino, Theta Kappa/Louisville

"I am so excited for the Gammas to be back! Summer is fun, but I love being around them and seeing their awesomeness up close."
-Liz Gumbel Duvall, Gamma/Butler ABC

"Fall is an exciting time for any college student, but this year is an even more special one. Eta Xi is celebrating 10 years in 2016, and it's wonderful to have been just a small slice of that history as an advisory board member. So many important Theta events will take place in the next few months, including the chapter celebrating its first decade with an alumni brunch in November. I could not be more proud of the chapter and wish them a safe, smart and happy semester."
-Laura Magnotta, Eta Xi/Quinnipiac ABC

Are you a college chapter advisor or chapter officer? Why are you eager to get back to your Theta role? What's your top Theta priority for the year ahead?

Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel, Gamma/Butler, is assistant director of alumnae engagement at Theta headquarters.

Posted On: Monday, August 8, 2016 08:24 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Spring/Summer Issue

As part of an ice-breaking exercise the other day, I was asked to develop a personal tag line, and the first one that popped into my head was pretty frivolous: "You can't have too many shoes." I love shoes, but, yes, I can see that it might be possible to have too many. One can only wear one pair at a time, after all.


Self-indulgently, there are many things, in addition to shoes, that I enjoy having in large quantities. One of those is magazines.


There isn't much that makes me happier than a tall stack of unread magazines. Who knows what treasures are waiting on their pages? As with wrapped birthday presents, the anticipation is half the fun.


If you haven't already received the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of the Theta magazine, it should arrive in your mailbox in just a few days. So as not to spoil any sense of surprise, I won't describe any of the contents and will let you decide which articles are treasures that need to be read right now and which can wait a bit. While we all have multiple demands on our attention, I hope that seeing the large "Theta" banner across the top of the front cover, as well as the three smiling faces below it, will stir up a bit of excitement for you.

Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and editor of the Theta magazine.

Posted On: Monday, July 25, 2016 08:39 AM, by Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel
L-R: Cheryl Naasko-Pounds, Psi/
Wisconsin; Amy Finnegan, Beta Kappa/Drake; and Nichol James, Gamma Mu/Maryland

Now that we're a month removed from Convention, I've had the opportunity to reflect on one of my favorite observations while in Phoenix: the amount of love that was shown and shared among our Theta volunteers.


I was overwhelmed by what I saw: alumnae seeing each other for the first time in months or years and embracing, laughing, crying, or squealing with happiness.


Some of them shared their beautiful stories of friendship with me, and when we returned home, I wanted to hear more. We posted the following on Facebook this week: Have you made any close friends through volunteering for Theta?


The number of comments, reactions, tags, lovey emojis, etc., that we received was incredible. Here are few:




Five years ago, a recent graduate Theta asked for assistance from Theta alums in Massachusetts and I was the lucky one to answer the call. Abbey Shea is now a fabulous friend and inspiration -- thank you Kappa Alpha Theta for bringing us together!


My friendship with all of you has been such a blessing! It's hard to believe we haven't known each other forever. You are all such an important part of my life and I will be forever grateful to Theta and the Alumnae Committee for bringing us all together!"


You all were there through so much and were such dear friends and sisters. And I'll never forget how you were all there for me during some of the toughest parts of my life even after my official Theta volunteer time was over. You're the best!


I would say my friends met volunteering mean as much to me as my close pledge sisters I've now known over half my life.


This just made me tear up a little!! No words describe how thankful I am for Theta and meeting you! Sisterhood is not limited to our individual chapters!




What struck me about these posts was how these women would never have known one another if they hadn't volunteered with Theta. Many of the friends were intergenerational, and most didn't live geographically near one another.


But what struck me even more was the real and undeniable bond that is created among women when they work hard for a cause they love.

Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel, Gamma/Butler, is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

Posted On: Friday, July 15, 2016 07:47 AM, by Laura Ware Doerre
Laura Ware Doerre
Fraternity President
As president of the first Greek-letter Fraternity for women, I am proud of Theta's long history of providing powerful spaces of support for women. For nearly 150 years, our Fraternity has offered women opportunities to experience leadership, friendship, mentorship, and community service. So I was stunned by Harvard University's decision late this spring to begin blacklisting members of single-gender organizations, including women's fraternities. From the responses I received to a blog post and email regarding this decision, many other Thetas had a similar reaction.

I hope you will be heartened, as I was, by this video, which was released on Monday by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). It powerfully explains why this attempt by Harvard to foster inclusion actually threatens students' freedom of association while doing nothing to further its proclaimed goal of preventing sexual assault.

Be assured that we are determined to defend our right to organize as a single-gender organization and to promote the value of fraternity membership. We are committed to working collaboratively with not only our sister National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups, but also with like-minded professors, campus administrators, and lawmakers.

We need your help in this vital effort! If you have connections to US congressional representatives or senators, Harvard faculty or administrators, or Harvard's governing boards, we ask that you forward their names and any contact information to Laurie McGregor Connor, Theta's director of government relations. We will keep you informed about future developments and how you might assist as we progress.

Laura Doerre, Delta Xi/North Carolina, is the president of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Thursday, June 9, 2016 08:15 AM, by Lauren Lewis

ThetaConnect is the new mobile app created for Thetas! ThetaConnect allows Thetas to connect with other Thetas in their area based on hobbies, interests, and career fields. Users are able to create and attend events in the area that fit in their schedule and that they are interested in. It is free for all Android and iOS users!


And today is ThetaConnect Day! To celebrate, share your photos and stories to social media using #ThetaConnect and email socialmedia@kappaalphatheta.org with any special photos or stories to feature on our social media channels. Even if you only have time for a quick phone call to a sister you haven't seen in a while, make the call and share your story!

Some of the app features include:


Meet a Theta appears on your home page and allows you to connect with Thetas in your area with similar hobbies, interests, and career fields. Tap their profiles to see similar connections you have with them. Be sure to then add her to your contacts, to make it easier to invite her to upcoming events.


Theta Events appears on your home page and allows you to see what upcoming events are happening in your area. Tap an event that interests you to learn more about the event and to RSVP. See an event that a Theta sister would be interested in attending? If she doesn't have ThetaConnect, please send her an invite by typing in her email address.


My Events is available by tapping the red button at the top right-hand corner of your screen, called Events. Here you can create a new event, see events in your area, find the events you are going to, as well as the events you're invited to.


Please download the app today and use #ThetaConnect to post photos of your events with sisters!

Lauren Lewis, Delta/Illinois, is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.


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