Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From the NPC Chairman: Sorority women use their voice and their vote

Ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote – a right known as woman’s suffrage. However, before the ratification, women, who became members of our 26 member organizations, found courage to establish women’s-only organizations where they had voice and vote in a safe forum.

Many of the early leaders in our organizations were also active in the women’s suffrage movement, advocating for us, the future generation, when they petitioned for voting rights and the right to run for office. I’m confident they would be proud of the sorority women who work in public service or hold office across all forms of government today.


Generally speaking most of us take our voting rights seriously and cast our ballot on election day. It’s part of our duty as community citizens and every vote really does count. But, if you don’t, this is a reminder that the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) supports and encourages not only our members but all women to pursue economic, social and political equity, along with leadership and civic engagement.

Women have the power in 2018. Through our votes, we can help put more qualified women candidates into office since more women than ever before are running at state and local levels.

I encourage you to become an educated voter, exercise your power and encourage other women to register to vote if they have not done so.

Register to Vote (Voter Voice)

Let’s do our part and honor those women who came before us who fought for the rights and privileges of which we enjoy today. Spread the word and use your vote.

Voter Resources on USA.gov

Interfraternally,







Carole J. Jones
NPC chairman 2017-19




Monday, September 24, 2018

Spotlight: Cleveland Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarships

As the costs of higher education continue to be a concern for today's students and their caregivers, NPC encourages Alumnae Panhellenics to put an emphasis on scholarships in their annual programming efforts. Scholarships can provide students with the needed assistance to pursue their life’s passions.

The Cleveland Alumnae Panhellenic has had great successes with their Alumnae Panhellenic scholarships. Hear what they have to say about what makes them so successful:

"The Cleveland Alumnae Panhellenic has proudly supported a scholarship program since 1915 – 103 years! We are fortunate to have a separate foundation, Cleveland Alumnae Panhellenic Endowment Fund (CAPEF), holding more than $200,000. CAPEF has its own bylaws that govern how the money is invested and managed. CAPEF recommends a scholarship amount to be distributed annually and CAPA considers the recommendation and votes to approve the amount to be awarded. We share our fall fundraiser profits with CAPEF and host an annual scholarship luncheon where scholarship winners are recognized. During the luncheon, CAPA's Ways and Means committee puts together a basket raffle that benefits CAPEF. We typically raise $2,000-$2,500 towards future scholarships.

Our Alumnae Panhellenic promotes our scholarship program in a few ways: 1) Each delegate contacts their headquarters and asks for an email contact list by zip code (our surrounding 7 counties) of women currently enrolled as collegians and forwards to our scholarship chair that email blasts out the information. 2) The scholarship chair sends the information via email to NPC and Ohio Colleges Panhellenic advisors to post on their webpages and promote at meetings. 3) Alumnae delegates promote to their own alumnae chapter members to encourage collegiate and alumnae to apply. 4) Alumnae delegates themselves promote to individual collegiate chapters (email, Facebook, Twitter etc.). 5) We host all of our scholarship information and documents on our website: clevelandpanhellenic.org.

The current CAPA president's sorority hosts an annual luncheon the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in May. The attendance varies from about 150-300 people. This year it will be on Saturday, May 18, 2019, 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo - Stillwater Place. All are welcome to join us to see firsthand how we celebrate our scholarship winners!"

The Cleveland Alumnae Panhellenic also shared this advice if your Alumnae Panhellenic is starting a new scholarship program or wants to improve on an existing one:
  • Set up the scholarship application online from the beginning. 
  • Determine the eligibility requirements and scholarship amount and add to the group's standing rules.
  • Raise funds ahead of time and possibly set up and endowment fund with a separate board of trustees to manage the fund. 
  • The scholarship committee should have a least six members that review each application independently to give it balance. 
  • Use the scholarship to promote your Alumnae Panhellenic to a wider audience. Who knows, today's scholarship winner may join their local alumnae chapter and possibly be a delegate to Panhellenic someday.

Spotlight: Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarships

As the costs of higher education continue to be a concern for today's students and their caregivers, NPC encourages Alumnae Panhellenics to put an emphasis on scholarships in their annual programming efforts. Scholarships can provide students with the needed assistance to pursue their life’s passions.

The Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic has had great successes with their Alumnae Panhellenic scholarships. Hear what they have to say about what makes them so successful:

"Our proudest accomplishment is the money we have raised for our Scholarship Awards Program. Scholarship fundraisers began in the 1940s when Phoenix Panhellenic Association held dances to earn money for scholarships. Over time, these efforts transitioned to a fashion show and luncheon.

All Council members and local alumnae clubs promote our Scholarship Awards Program throughout the year. Representatives attend College Panhellenic meetings, host events at the local universities, such as our Slices for Scholarships and Snacks for Scholarships, to encourage local collegians to apply for the Phoenix Panhellenic Scholarship Awards Program but to also research other potential scholarship opportunities through their own organizations and the NPC Foundation. Social media has enhanced our efforts and has an immediate impact with collegians. In addition, the movement of our scholarship application process from paper to online has increased our number of applicants.

Scholarship Awards Recipients and outstanding Panhellenic women in Arizona are recognized through our Woman of the Year and Emerging Leader of the Year Awards Programs at our annual Celebration of Sisterhood. We also invite the greater Panhellenic community, Fraternity and Sorority Life staff and College Panhellenic leadership from the local universities as well as other volunteers who help to make our fundraising a success. In May 2018, we awarded over $20,000 in scholarships, which included our first scholarship from the National Panhellenic Conference Foundation’s Phoenix Panhellenic Association Centennial Scholarship Endowment.

Phoenix Panhellenic has been fortunate to enjoy a 40+ year partnership with Thunderbirds Charities. For groups contemplating creating a new scholarship program or expanding their current one, our advice is to look for a partner -- ideally a large charitable organization that could provide the opportunity to turn volunteer hours into scholarship funds. Encourage Council members to share their fundraising enthusiasm beyond their immediate groups by going out to their local clubs, collegians, and communities to increase the awareness of your program and to increase your ability to supply the most volunteer hours possible to earn the maximum funds for your scholarship program."

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Providing resources, finding solutions to improve campus safety

National Campus Safety Awareness Month has been part of the back-to-school public conversation every September since 2008 when it was first approved by Congress. It’s the perfect opportunity for everyone in the fraternity/sorority community to continue the important discussions surrounding sexual violence, student care strategies, hazing, alcohol abuse and dangerous social cultures on college campuses today.

The National Panhellenic Conference has been vocal on the topic of student safety on campuses for many years and is committed to partnering with our student life colleagues to create cultures where students advocate for one another and find sustainable ways to shift the dangerous culture at a faster pace than it was created.


We have been and continue to be committed to providing resources and finding solutions to improve campus safety. Of particular note:

  • The NPC Student Safety and Sexual Assault Awareness Special Committee developed the NPC Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit for our College Panhellenics to use for education purposes and share with other women on campus. The committee also developed the “Real Talk Time: College Panhellenic Sexual Violence Assessment Initiative” program that will be piloted on four campuses this fall.
  • The NPC Board of Directors approved a position statement against sexual assault in February 2015.
  • NPC continues to participate in social media awareness campaigns like National Campus Safety Awareness Month that are aimed at creating environments of compassion and respect on campus.
  • In 2016, NPC joined Texas Woman’s University’s “Cultivating Safe College Campuses: A College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Consortium.” This group seeks to establish consistent, effective prevention and response measures to campus sexual assault.
  • In November 2017, NPC issued a “Call for Critical Change” in sorority/fraternity life by bringing together leading campus administrators, subject matter experts and sorority leadership to work toward creating opportunities to address critical issues within our Panhellenic communities.
  • NPC continues its partnership with “It’s On Us,” an organization that works to educate, engage and empower students and communities across the United States to do something, big or small, to end sexual assault. It has been inspiring to see the creative ways our members, both collegiate and alumnae, have come together to lead the way toward finding value in addressing problematic behaviors.
  • In August 2018, the NPC Board of Directors approved a revised Government Relations Platform with one of its focuses on the advancement of student and campus safety.
  • Each of the 26 NPC member organizations have their own student safety and advocacy programs and efforts that are supported by NPC through social media and other public relations outlets.

In relation to all of this, Sept. 24-28 is National Hazing Prevention Week, which brings to the forefront that campus safety includes being educated about hazing prevention. NHPW is an opportunity for college campuses, schools, communities, organizations and individuals to raise awareness about the problems of hazing and promote hazing prevention.

Importantly, NPC continues to advocate for state and federal legislation that appropriately defines hazing as a crime and mandates accountability as well as promotes transparency of reporting hazing incidents on college campuses. As we work to advocate and preserve the sorority experience, we are working to prevent the types of campus tragedies we have seen in recent years by educating and supporting our members and giving them confidence to report inappropriate behavior. 

As I have said before: The sorority community can, and must, do its part to create safer campus cultures where students advocate for one another. That is why NPC will continue in its student safety and wellness advocacy work as well as lead efforts to change by bringing together campus professionals and other like-minded organizations and individuals to work toward creating the kind of campus culture we aspire to build everywhere.

Interfraternally,







Carole J. Jones
NPC chairman 2017-19

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

From the NPC Chairman: Cultivating character on a daily basis

“We as Fraternity Women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of individual fraternity and Panhellenic life.” 
 From The Panhellenic Creed

Character is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. As sorority women and members of the National Panhellenic Conference, we all strive to cultivate positive character traits, and as our collegiate members prepare to return to college campuses across North America, I encourage each of us, as sorority women, to cultivate our character on a daily basis.

As I think about potential new members and what characteristics they look for in the sorority women they meet, the following characteristics come to mind: kindness, humility, honesty, social intelligence and self-control. What characteristics would you add to my list?

On September 26, there is an opportunity to join millions of people around the globe to further cultivate your character by participating in Character Day, a global initiative where school districts, universities, organizations and families of all sizes screen films on the science of character development offered from different perspectives. Resources for planning a Character Day event include short films, discussion materials and a global live cast question and answer session.


Character Day is an advocacy program of Let It Ripple, a California-based film studio that produces mini-documentaries often focuses on social justice issues. NPC was introduced to Let It Ripple through our relationship with Vision 2020. Since 2011, NPC has been a national ally of Vision 2020 and has supported the work of their staff to make equality a national priority through shared leadership among women and men with an initial focus on business and government, where decisions are made, policies set and resources allocated.

Now in its fifth year, Character Day has grown from having 1,500 events in its first year to more than 133,000 events in 125 countries and all 50 states in 2017. I encourage you to learn more by watching this short clip: https://vimeo.com/159254643

To sign up your Panhellenic or organization for Character Day, please click here.

Interfraternally,

Carole Jones




Carole Jones
NPC chairman 2017-19

The Periodic Table of Character Strengths

Sample Character Day Resources
A poster of The Periodic Table of Character Strengths is included in the free, hands-on discussion kit. Also included in the kit: A deck of 44 conversation cards with discussion guides, questions for all ages and quotes related to the poster.






Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Promoting the benefits of the sorority experience

When each of us chose to become a member of a fraternal organization, we found lifelong friends, support to excel in studies and opportunities for leadership development and community service. What many of us probably did not expect was the bond rooted in Greek traditions that we not only share with members of our specific fraternity or sorority, but also with members of other fraternal organizations.


There are more than 4 million sorority women and more than 4.5 million fraternity men – that’s a lot of people who share a common bond of sisterhood and brotherhood. Think about those numbers and the networking opportunities! If you are a college student embarking in a summer job or internship, or even beginning your first full-time job after graduation, you are joining a work environment where you no doubt will have the opportunity to network with fellow fraternity and sorority alumni. By talking about your fraternal experiences, you most likely will be opening doors to endless possibilities in career and volunteer opportunities.

I speak from experience. When I interviewed for my first job, the person interviewing me asked about my sorority experience listed on my resume. She shared she was a member of Kappa Delta, and we “clicked” immediately. She hired me on the spot. I’m convinced it’s because we bonded over sorority life.

Whether you joined a fraternal organization two months ago, five years ago or 50 years ago, hopefully, your experience, like mine, was amazing. So, don’t be afraid to tell your story even when it is sometimes hard to be a fraternity or sorority member. Our organizations have become tarnished by heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking, hazing and lack of responsibilities. The activities of fraternity and sorority members that have led to deaths, mental and physical injury, poor academic achievement and health problems are a contradiction to our rituals and founding principles.

Therefore, we have to have conviction to fight the negative and promote the positive. We are the best public relations we have. When asked why you belong to or are still involved in a sorority, tell them why. Talk about the friendships you’ve made, the experiences and lessons that have helped shape who you are, the skills you’ve developed and the memories you’ve created.

For sorority alumnae, it’s our responsibility and privilege to give collegiate members and young alumnae the assistance they need in building relationships as they seek job opportunities. We should also be telling our sorority stories and sharing our experiences so young women participating in recruitment today will have heard the good news about our organizations or know someone who is a member long before they enter college.

The bond of fraternity and sorority membership is strong. We know it inside our hearts and inside our communities. To ensure others can continue to share in this bond, we must also be strong in telling others about our positive experiences and the benefits of membership we all enjoy.

Interfraternally,





Carole J. Jones
NPC chairman 2017-19

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Proactively addressing the challenges of today's world

In fall 2017, the National Panhellenic Conference Executive Committee established four “think tanks” to research and develop recommendations on various topics so NPC could proactively approach the challenges and issues of today’s world. The four think tanks examined these topics: NPC Structure, Recruitment and Expanded Membership Model, Public Relations and Marketing and NPC Call for Critical Change. Their work began in January 2018 and I’m excited to share an update on the work accomplished to date.


npc structure think tank participants
NPC Structure: To be able to act nimbly and quickly, NPC’s operational board of directors should become more strategic in focus. In support of that objective, the think tank proposed a new structure for NPC, with a seven-member board of directors responsible for developing and implementing a visionary strategic plan, representing NPC to external entities and advocating for the sorority experience. At the same time, NPC staff and volunteers will carry out operational work, including serving as area advisors, RFM specialists and committee members. Importantly, each member organization will still have a representative to carry out the Conference work as well as to vote on Unanimous Agreements as sovereign organizations. The essential work of serving College and Alumnae Panhellenics also will not change.


npc recruitment think tank participants
Recruitment and Expanded Membership Model: The Recruitment and Expanded Membership Model examined ways to help ensure sorority membership remains relevant to today’s young women and to assist NPC member organizations and College Panhellenics with growing the sorority experience. Seven subgroups were formed to research and develop recommendations on these topics:

• Variable Quota & RFM implications
• Generation Z and impact on our membership
• Decrease in numbers and how it impacts our cost of doing business
• Ensuring diversity within sorority membership 
• Collection and monitoring of membership statistics (retention)
• Adapting to changing demographics
• Community colleges

As a result of their work, the following priorities for NPC were established: Developing College Panhellenic initiatives regarding diversity and inclusion, assisting College Panhellenics with marketing the sorority experience, promoting financial transparency with potential new members and their families, developing educational tools and resources for College Panhellenics to better attract and serve Generation Z and devoting resources to data collection. There are many more details in these priorities and other recommendations to be considered.


npc pr and marketing think tank participantsPublic Relations and Marketing: This think tank studied ways to communicate with key audiences and discussed how to strengthen the Panhellenic brand and promote the sorority experience. They examined a wide range of challenges and opportunities facing NPC and its member organizations and recommended a phased approach to proactively promoting the value of the sorority experience. Priority will be given to improving the ways in which NPC reaches key audiences to share the value of sorority membership and to assisting College Panhellenics in sharing the story of their own authentic sorority experience.

NPC Call for Critical Change: The Call for Critical Change Think Tank met in late January 2018 to discuss ways to address critical issues within our Panhellenic communities. They identified a number of next steps, and NPC and its partners have been working on these opportunities. The group will continue discussions in June. They will discuss ways NPC and our Panhellenic women could play a constructive and responsive role in their campus communities regarding diversity issues and cultural appropriation. We are committed to working together to find ways for our Panhellenic women to lead the way for social change resulting in healthier sorority and fraternity communities. More to come in this important endeavor.

The NPC Executive Committee thanks the think tank participants for lending their expertise and developing recommendations to help NPC face challenges head-on and advance the sorority experience. 

We look forward to sharing more information as the recommendations are implemented.

Interfraternally,








Carole Jones
NPC chairman 2017-19