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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:00 AM, by Laurie McGregor Connor

Fraternities and sororities are the nation's second largest provider of college student housing. We provide housing—and one-of-a-kind experience—for more than 370,000 of the most active students on campuses. Yet, donations toward building and maintaining our houses are restricted from receiving full tax deductions.

The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) would provide our houses with equal access to facility upgrades under the law. By simplifying the tax code, all non-for-profit housing (including fraternities and sororities) will be able to gain incentives to increase funding for life-safety and capacity upgrades like fire sprinklers and alarm systems. If integrated into tax reform, CHIA—which has always enjoyed bipartisan support—will also make a meaningful difference in the student debt crisis, by expanding the offering of affordable collegiate housing options.

Now we need your help. Tell Congress to include CHIA in the upcoming tax reform package. The more voices Congress hears, the more likely students across the country will gain the benefits of safe and affordable student housing. Thank you for your support.

Posted On: Monday, October 23, 2017 07:13 AM, by Teresa Silva Smith

On October 24, we're celebrating 10 years of the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity Housing Corporation. Happy birthday, FHC!

Since 2007, our housing corporation has provided and maintained safe, competitive, and desirable homes for our collegians. FHC facilities not only enhance the sisterhood of our college members, they also foster alumnae affinity and support the health, heritage, and future of our college chapters.

To celebrate this milestone, here are a few of FHC's top moments from the past 10 years:

  • FHC interior designer Jennifer Coleman, Delta Epsilon/Arizona State, developed a custom Theta fabric collection that is used for FHC upholstery and home furnishings. An adorable tote bag using this fabric is available for purchase!

  • FHC introduced new technology and custom-designed items in its facilities.

  • FHC has invested more than $16 million in chapter renovations!

  • FHC is growing for even better service. We started with two staff members and now boast a team of eight, including professional interior designers!

  • Three Theta chapters (Tau/Northwestern, Alpha Eta/Vanderbilt, and Beta Delta/Arizona) are featured in a Town & Country Magazine online article about the 15 top sorority houses in the country.

  • 85 chapters (58 percent of all Theta chapters) participate in FHC, with four new builds coming soon! (Gamma Iota/Kentucky, Delta Omicron/Alabama, Theta Theta/NC State, and Theta Nu/Georgia Tech)

Learn more about the benefits of joining the Fraternity Housing Corporation, view featured renovations, and more on its website.

Teresa Smith, Phi/Pacific, is the executive director of the Facility Housing Corporation.

Posted On: Monday, October 9, 2017 07:16 AM, by Ellen Barlow

Kappa Alpha Theta will celebrate Day of Service for the ninth time this year on October 19, Bettie Locke Hamilton's birthday. Theta's newly defined Philanthropy Philosophy quotes the words of Former Fraternity President Adelaide McDonald Sinclair, Sigma/Toronto: "The world should be a better place because Kappa Alpha theta exists." In Adelaide's spirit, Theta categorizes philanthropy in the following three areas:

  • Service, focusing on hands-on volunteering for others;

  • Fundraising, or collecting monetary or in-kind donations for causes close to our hearts; and

  • Advocacy, or championing a cause through public support, education, and awareness.

As Day of Service's name suggests, we want our members to focus on the first of the three categories—service. There are plenty of resources on the this website related to Day of Service, from planning to promoting to participating in the annual photo contest.

Our world has been full of heartache for many people recently. From neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville to several natural disasters occurring one right after another, it seems each news day is more overwhelming than the last. It is not easy to watch our neighbors suffer—lives lost, property destroyed, and worlds turned upside down. It's only been a few weeks since Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and surrounding areas. Days later, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Caribbean and parts of Florida, followed closely by Jose and Maria, which took out power on the entire island of Puerto Rico. Couple these with two massive earthquakes in Mexico, a typhoon in the Philippines, and the most recent tragic mass shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas, and we can feel helpless, even paralyzed. But in dark times, the world needs our light all the more—our sparks of consciousness and caring have the power to change lives for the better.

Day of Service can be a reminder that while we cannot do everything, we all have the capacity to do something. One of Theta's three aims is to exercise the widest influence for good, and thus, Kappa Alpha Theta aspires to cultivate philanthropists, who demonstrate tangible works to seek positive change in their communities. As a callback to this, Kappa Alpha Theta staff will be participating in Day of Service by serving two organizations whose missions focus on serving historically marginalized populations in our local Indianapolis community— New Hope of Indiana and Groundwork Indy. We encourage you to do the same.

Whether you live in an area affected by the most recent storms and wish to assist with the ongoing relief efforts or you simply want to serve an organization you care about, Day of Service is about the power of one multiplied by 200,000—the number of living, initiated members around the world. Imagine the impact Thetas can have, if we all give just a little bit of our time to serve others. We hope you will join us in lifting our lanterns and forging ahead to spread the widest influence for good.

Ellen Barlow is an assistant director of education and leadership at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 07:47 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Amy Hayner Kates
Alpha Phi/Tulane

A champion for preserving and maintaining our ritual; a role model to thousands in the Greek community; and the personification of Theta's values, including vision, tenacity, and determination, Amy Hayner Kates's impact on Kappa Alpha Theta will be felt for generations to come. It was with deep sadness that we announced Amy's death in July from heart disease.

Initiated by the Alpha Phi Chapter at Tulane, Amy served two terms as Fraternity president, three terms as Fraternity vice president, nearly nine years on Theta's delegation to the National Panhellenic Conference, and four years as Theta Foundation trustee and Fraternity Housing Corporation board member. Her Theta career began with service as an educational leadership consultant, college chapter advisor, college chapter facility corporation board member, and college district president.

Amy graces the cover of the Summer 2017 issue of the Theta magazine, and you can learn more about her dedication and service to Theta inside.

Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Monday, August 21, 2017 07:40 AM, by Kristi Tucker

If you or your chapter is looking for Bid Day T-shirts, gifts, or just something for yourself, check out Theta's list of licensed vendors any merchandise at FindGreek. As both a website and app, you can search this Pinterest-style site for specific items, vendors, or even items that are on sale.

With more than 600 licensed vendors to from which to choose, FindGreek offers a large range of products in all price ranges. Using these vendors can benefit both your chapter and Theta. By using a licensed vendor, you can assure that you receive quality products and great customer service. In addition, a percentage of the royalties from these vendors comes back to Theta and is used to support our college and alumnae chapters.

Do you have a favorite Theta shirt or piece of jewelry? We hope you enjoy searching and shopping for all of the latest Theta gear!

Kristi Tucker is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 07:27 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Nancy Fairbank
Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas
TED presenter, advocate for the homeless, Marshall Scholar, and future lawmaker, Nancy Fairbank, Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas, first discovered her passion for ending homelessness during a high school group project, which inspired her to write a book sharing the life stories of five homeless teens. Throwaway Youth: Stories of Springfield's Homeless Teens was published in 2016 by Missouri State University.

Her passion for this issue continued into Fairbank's college career, when she turned her attention to government policies aimed at reducing homelessness. She conducted research on poverty policies in nine different countries and worked in a research group at UT Dallas to create a drug prevention and intervention program targeted toward homeless youth. The resulting program has now been implemented at five schools.

Read more about Nancy and other Theta leading women, including an author, a consultant, and an innovator, in the Spring 2017 issue of the Theta magazine.

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

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