Friday, July 1, 2011

Diamonds in the Desert: Part III

Alpha Delta Pi Heritage
I had the privilege of seeing an initiation of alumnae members (and as I mentioned before, the initiation of a founder's descendant) and man, our ritual never ceases to amaze me. That is the thing that separates Greek letter organizations from other "college clubs": these values our founders set into place so that we can live by them and become better people. Our rituals are meant to help us develop our values and become better members of society. It's amazing to me that I am part of an organization that is 160 years old with values that have been passed down generations. So next time you do ritual at chapter meetings or initiation, really take the time to absorb it all. Carry it into your actions and daily life and you will really see the world in a different light.

Response Ability
'11-'12 Leaderhsip Consultants with RAProject Facilitator Chris Blackburn
The Response Ability Project delves in to bystander issues. It is meant to help individuals get past bystander behavior and take action. This presentation deserves a whole blog post of its own (which make come in the next couple weeks) and I HIGHLY recommend that any chapters or council's look into this for any workshops they may be planning.  Some highlights and food for thought from this presentation:

  • We all have these values we have grown up with and values that have been set for us by our organizations. If we aren't putting them into affect, what's the point of having them?
  • "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" -Marianne Williamson
  • "It's so frustrating to want to do great things when no one wants to put in the effort" -anonymous text from workshop attendee (Chris posted a phone number on a the screen where attendees could anonymously text concerns about their chapter)
  • Around 20% of members, or the vocal minority, cause 90% of problems in chapter. What about the other 80%? We call that the silent majority. What happens when 80% say nothing to everything?
  • How do you deal with these issues? Identify the problems, Go beyond your negative feelings of them, and Take Action.
  • "Be the First, Be the Finest, and continue on Forever" - Chris Blackburn
This was a great and relevant presentation to I'm sure the majority if not all of the members in the room. How easy is it to just sit back and see things happen even though you aren't happy with them? One of my big things is don't complain about things if you aren't going to anything about them. Don't like what's going on in politics/government? Did you vote? No? Well, don't complain. Don't like the way your Exec/IFC or Panhellenic Council/etc. etc. are doing things? Did you help or throw in ideas when they asked? No? Well, then don't complain (and if you have these complaints and did participate, I am so sorry and that is def a time where you should sit down to talk to an advisor or officer about your concerns). Just because a certain route is the easier one, doesn't mean it's the best one. So let me repeat this TAKE ACTION. Do what you feel is best, and not just the best for you but for the bigger picture. Even if it may not always be the most fun or favorable decision all the time, boy, does it pay off in the end. This little paragraph does not do the lessons of this workshop justice so I'll have to touch on it again at a later time.

Panhellenic Love
In Convention tradition, a luncheon was held to celebrate our Panhellenic Sisterhood. A Procession of Flags of all 26 NPC organizations is made as their founding date and university are announced. I love my Panhellenic sisters and as I've said before, this overarching conference is so important to the success of Greek life. Pete Smithhisler, President and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference was the keynote speaker at our presentation and had some amazing things to say. Some highlights of his speech:

  • Leadership is not a responsibility, nobody has to lead..."-Amanda Burr, Age 8
  • "For those to whom much is given, much is expected" - quoted by JFK from the Gospel of Luke
  • Things change when you can give it everything
  • So many people spend too much time putting band aids on problems and not enough on the bigger picture
  • "The greatest achievement was at first and for a time, a dream" -William James
  • Is it courage to take a chance in the moments that matter? What will your moment be?
It really is a privilege to be selected by your peers into a leadership role. I know that at times it can feel like too much is expected of you or that your overwhelmed but that's when you reach out. I think one of the truest marks of a leader is one that can reach out to others in times of need. Just because this responsibility was placed on you, doesn't mean that you have to do it all by yourself. That's why your chapter has teams, committees, and alumnae advisors to assist you. I know that so many people just get stuck in what's happening right now at this moment (and unfortunately, they get stuck in the past too) and it's a great thing to live in the moment, don't get me wrong. Appreciate what you have but don't lose sight of that bigger picture. You are one part of this larger organization and it's so amazing to think that you share the same values with someone in Ohio or Texas. Most of all, don't ever be discouraged and reach for your dream, whether it's a stellar 4.0 GPA, your dream job, or Golden Lion, you can reach it with perseverance.

Education through Workshops
With the help of the Foundation and some great speakers, various workshops were held to help members with different aspects of chapter operations. I attended the Trust workshop which was a great way to learn how to improve your integrity and self trust. Any of y'all participated in the True Colors workshop at the Adelphean Compass or DLC? Well, there was a workshop at Convention that took it a step further to teach memebrs how to communicate with different "colors". Want to find you what your color is? This one's a little different than the one I've taken, but you get the idea (I'm a gold #sorryforbeingoverbearing, I'm working on it). Other workshops included Enhancing your Realtionship with your Fraternity and Sorority Advisor (FSA), Healthy v. Hurting Leadership, House Corporation, Advisors, and Alumnae Associations.

Zeta Alpha's Executive VP Lauren,
President Kate,
and Formal Recruitment Chair Lexie, with the
Excellence Award!
This, of course, is one of my favorite parts Alpha Delta Pi events 'cause the hard work of so many chapter's are recognized. Awards are given periodically throughout the week but the big night, is the final dinner. Dinner begans with the Golden Lion Processional. The Maxine Blake Golden Lion award is the highest honor bestowed upon a chapter. All chapters who have ever received this honor process into the dining area with flags bearing the years they have received the award. I was so proud of the three new chapters inducted into this Hall of Fame and look forward to seeing new ones in 2013. I, of course, am SO PROUD of my Zeta Alpha chapter sisters for all the awards they received at Convention. Some of their awards included Alpha Education Achievement, History, Total Membership Education Excellence, Recruitment Excellence, Finance Excellence, Philanthropy Excellence, and, for the first time ever in our chapter's history, THE Excellence award. My chapter sisters dedicated so much work over the last three years and this recognition is well deserved. For any of you who were in chapter, knew of our chapter or worked with our chapter then, you know how amazing it is to see where they are now. I am so proud to call these amazing women and leaders my sisters and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to the great things that are still to come for them. 

Golden Lion 2015, Zeta Alpha is coming!

So I know this blog post series on Convention are not even close to encompassing the amazing-ness of the week. I really hope everyone, whether your an Alpha Delt or another fellow Greek, has the opportunity at some point in their lives to attend their organization's Convention, Conclave, etc. It truly is an unforgettable experience.

Dallas, Texas
Looking forward to seeing you in 2013 for the next
Alpha Delta Pi Convention!


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