Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Message From the NPC Chairman: Living our values and telling the positive story of sorority

Summertime…and the living is easy! That is certainly a phrase we all need to heed so we can use the summer months to step back from our busy lives, slow down a bit and approach the fall and new academic year refreshed and ready to recruit new members.

As sorority members, we all know our organizations provide great value to every member and to every potential member on campus. Our respective groups were founded on ideals and standards of behavior that respectable members of society would applaud. However, even though collectively, we are one of the largest, most visible and most active values-based organizations on college and university campuses, the perception–and too often the reality–is that fraternities and sororities have fallen away from their values. That said, it’s all of our responsibilities, collegians and alumnae, to live our values and tell the positive sorority story.

  • Every NPC organization is guided by founding principles and values that serve as a moral beacon for its members. We use educational programming to help our members incorporate these principles and values into their daily lives, and our emphasis on values helps college women develop the moral foundation for their future actions.
  • We are the nation’s largest network of young volunteers. Sorority women are committed to improving the world in which we live. Each year, NPC-affiliated collegians and alumnae donate more than $28 million to worthy causes and volunteer almost five million hours in their communities. Our emphasis on volunteerism prepares members for a lifetime of community involvement.
  • Our comprehensive leadership programs teach values-based management skills to our members and our members graduate with the management and interpersonal skills needed to excel in today’s work environment.

Then there’s the softer side. Sorority membership provides our members with a safe environment for personal growth and development. Friendship is the cornerstone of sorority membership and it was friendship that brought together the founders of all 26 member organizations.

There’s also the support we give one another as Panhellenic sisters, enabling us to meet the challenges we face in today’s world. NPC has a rich history that embodies unified coalitions among women. I am certain that each of you, as a collegian or alumna, has experienced the power of Panhellenic women working together.

All of these components–living our values, volunteerism, philanthropy, leadership programming and friendship–are part of each of our stories. It’s our responsibility to share our experiences so that the young women participating in recruitment today will have heard about our organizations long before they enter college. We are the best public relations we have.

So, this summer, as potential new members consider sorority membership, remember to share your sorority story and promote the sorority experience!


Carole J. Jones
NPC Chairman 2017-19

Monday, June 10, 2019

2019 Photo Contest : Share Your Story

Today marks the beginning of the 2019 NPC and TSL Photo Contest! The contest will be open until July 10 with the two winners selected by July 15. The winners will either receive an instax mini 9 camera or a $50 NPC Store Voucher.

Every sorority woman's story is unique and we want to showcase the authentic experience through real sorority women! Whether it is spending time with your sisters at home or volunteering to read with children at the local elementary school, we want to see it! Share your pictures with us and have a chance to be featured on the National Panhellenic Conference website and social media or on our soon-to-be revamped The Sorority Life website and social media page.

Submit photos here.

The contest rules are as follows.

We know that sorority isn't just for four years, so photos of all collegiate and alumnae women are welcomed and appreciated. All that we ask is that there be 1-15 women and that the photo is brightly lit and not edited. Each photo will count as one submission towards the drawing with a max of six submissions per person. You are more than welcome to submit more than six photos since they may still be selected for the sites; however, only six submissions to the drawing will be counted. 

NPC can't wait to showcase all the adventures you have as sorority women! This is your chance to share your story. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Message From the NPC Chairman: Taking our priorities directly to Capitol Hill

Cherry blossoms weren’t the only things making their presence known in Washington, D.C., during the month of April. On April 10, more than 250 fraternity and sorority members, both alumni and students, were on Capitol Hill advocating for sororities and fraternities and the value the experience provides to our members. 

Our organizations create a unique community of support. They are the one place on a college campus, where through a shared single-sex experience, young women or men can enjoy a sense of belonging, empowerment and personal development.

This is why, each year since 2002, the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition (FGRC), which is a collaborative effort between the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), Fraternity/Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) and Fraternity and Sorority Action Fund (FSAF), goes to Washington, D.C., to advocate for and educate legislators on the value of sororities and fraternities and the policy priorities important to NPC and NIC.

The FGRC collectively represents 92 single-sex fraternities and sororities nationwide with more than 800,000 undergraduate members at over 9,500 chapters on almost 700 campuses, as well as more than 9.1 million alumni. The NPC and NIC set and execute the advocacy agenda for the FGRC.

This year, our group had more than 460 meetings on Capitol Hill between fraternity/sorority members and legislators or their staff, focused on the value of the fraternity/sorority experience and two higher education policy priorities. The first priority is to ensure our members’ freedom of association rights are not being violated by any institution of higher education that accepts federal financial aid. The second is for Congress to enhance federal disclosure laws related to hazing so parents and students will know which student organizations provide an experience that is meaningful and does not risk the health and safety of its members.

These topics directly align with the NPC Government Relations Platform, specifically Pillar One: Preservation of the sorority experience and Pillar Two: Advancement of student and campus safety. 

Working together with like-minded individuals and organizations, we will continue to build support for the soon-to-be-introduced Collegiate Freedom of Association Act (CFAA), which focuses on:
  • Preserving students’ ability to choose the organization they want to associate with by preventing universities from taking adverse actions against students who are members of fraternities and sororities simply because they chose to join a single-sex organization.
  • Protecting the rights of single-sex organizations to define their own membership criteria by preventing universities from requiring our organizations to admit members that do not meet our membership criteria.
  • Providing all student organizations with equal treatment under the law by ensuring universities cannot impose operational policies or restrictions on single-sex organizations, including the timing of recruitment, that are not imposed on other student organizations.
We are also working with elected officials to introduce the END ALL Hazing Act that requires colleges and universities to have a webpage with information about any student organization that has been disciplined for hazing or other misconduct that threatened the well-being of students in the last five years. Additionally, we continue to support the REACH Act (H.R. 662/S. 706) – Report and Educate About Campus Hazing – which would require universities to include incidents of hazing in their Clery Act reporting and provide students with educational programming related to hazing.

Our organizations’ values of character and dignity guide our members in their daily lives as they serve their university communities. The value of protecting our single-sex experience and keeping our members safe now and into the future cannot be overstated, and NPC will continue to lead the way in advocating for the sorority experience and the health and safety of our members.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Alumnae Panhellenic Success Story: Northern Nevada Alumnae Panhellenic Welcome Program

NPC recently spoke with representatives of the Northern Nevada Alumnae Panhellenic Association (NNAP) located near Reno, Nevada, about the programs they hold throughout the year. Here's what they shared: 

NPC: What topics does your Alumnae Panhellenic typically highlight during the year for programming? 
NNAP: We have a Welcome Ceremony every May to welcome graduating sorority members into alumnae status. We hold an International Badge Day luncheon and invite collegians to the luncheon as well. Starting in 2020, we will be adding a scholarship component to the luncheon and we will be giving out one or two scholarships at the luncheon. We host multiple Sorority 101 events in the spring and summer for young women graduating high school and their parents to inform them of the benefits of sorority membership in college. We hold a minimum of two sisterhood events a year, and we provide outreach to other Panhellenic groups.

NPC: What do these events look like?
NNAP: We will hold the Welcome Ceremony one of the sorority houses near the University of Nevada-Reno campus. We expect 25-30 graduates as well as 10-15 alumnae to attend.

The International Badge Day Luncheon grows every year and this year we hosted approximately 60 sorority members. We are hoping for 75-85 attendees next year. It is held at a local event space.  

Sorority 101 will take place at some of the high schools and another location to be determined during the summer. We have been doing this event for several years.  

Our two sisterhood events this year were a Halloween-themed Bunco event, where we brought items for Lexie’s Gift, a local nonprofit (see below). We recently held an arts and crafts themed-event at our local “Board & Brush,” which is a place where you create wooden signs and artwork for your home.  

Finally, we hold an annual membership party in the summer where we come together to socialize, plan for the upcoming year and celebrate our sisterhoods. It is also a time when we collect dues and encourage membership in the Northern Nevada Alumnae Panhellenic (NNAP)!  

We also have continued our book club. They meet every other month at the homes of the members.

NPC: How does your Alumnae Panhellenic promote and support programming opportunities? Why is programming a priority for your Alumnae Panhellenic?
NNAP: We have an extensive email list that includes delegates and members and we promote our events through our meetings and emails. Programming has always been a priority for NNAP as we realize we are bigger than our individual sorority membership and it is a wonderful way to get to know so many sorority women in our community. 

NPC: What else would you like to share with fellow Alumnae Panhellenics about your events and programming?
NNAP: We have continued to be involved in our local community and supporting other women through various community entities, one of which is Lexie’s Gift. Lexie’s Gift provides clothing, school supplies and other items that students and young adults in the Northern Nevada area need. NNAP members regularly volunteer here and we just finished working with Lexie’s Prom Closet during the months of January-March, where prom dresses, shoes, accessories and tuxedos/suits were provided, free of cost, to any high school student in the area.  

We also support the individual sorority’s philanthropies by attending events held throughout the year. It is just another example of “women supporting women” in the Northern Nevada area!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Setting Better Expectations About What to Expect During Recruitment

The following is a guest post from Colleen Fowkes, James Madison University, class of 2020.

This past fall, the College Panhellenic at James Madison University decided to try the Potential New Member Orientation Program (PNMO) from LaunchPoint and the National Panhellenic Conference to help better educate potential new members about what to expect during recruitment. 

As the vice president of recruitment-elect at the time, I found the PNMO program to be extremely beneficial because potential new members were able to learn about the recruitment process prior to beginning recruitment. 

The week (or weeks) of recruitment can be very hectic; therefore, I find it extremely beneficial to educate women in advance about the goals and expectations of the recruitment process. I personally reviewed the PNMO program before we had potential new members experience it, and I believe it summed up the importance and concepts of recruitment in a well-detailed manner. 

We also liked that potential new members were able to access this hour-long program through the same program they use to register for recruitment. During recruitment, there seemed to be much less confusion among potential new members on the terminology, expectations and process itself. 

This program benefited the College Panhellenic community by making our job easier before recruitment even began, and benefited potential new members by giving clear expectations of the recruitment process and experience.

About Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO)
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has partnered with LaunchPoint to offer Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO), a program designed to improve a potential new member’s experience with joining a sorority. This online, self-paced educational tool provides consistent recruitment education and a continuing recruitment resource to potential new members as well as a time-saving opportunity for fraternity/sorority advisors. 

PNMO covers many topics, including an overview of fraternity and sorority life, terms and definitions, an explanation of Panhellenic recruitment, benefits of membership and the sorority experience and more. 
For more information, visit the LaunchPoint website or 
email info@launchpointconsulting.com.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Message From the NPC Chairman: Empowering women and girls to be leaders

On March 15, I had the opportunity to participate in a program at the United Nations where sorority women were poised to have conversations with global leaders addressing the very real, and sometimes dangerous, issues facing women in communities around the globe. The program, “Mentoring and Inspiring Women and Girls to be Future Leaders,” was co-sponsored by Delta Zeta and the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development (IFPSD) and its president, Sally Kader.

IFPSD, a nonprofit organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, seeks to promote and reinforce the UN’s commitment to international peace, security and justice through educational programs, public relations and community outreach initiatives.

The program was held in New York City in conjunction with the United Nation’s 63rd Commission on the Status of Women. It featured keynote speaker Jenni Luke, a Delta Zeta alumna and CEO of Step Up, a nonprofit organization that works with high school girls in after-school and weekend programs to become confident, college-bound, career-focused and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Luke challenged the participants to think beyond what their current ideas of mentorship are in order to come away from the discussion with new concepts they could take forward into their daily lives.

Other speakers included the Honorable Maudline Castico, minister for labour, empowerment, elders, women and children, United Republic of Tanzania; Lazarous Kapambwe, permanent representative of Zambia to the United Nations; Modest Jonathan Mero, permanent representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations; and Christy Phillips-Brown, Delta Zeta national president.

Following the panel presentation, the young women in attendance were encouraged to ask questions, which generated discussion on how to address the underlying social systematic structures when it comes to social capital and how to create allies in the transnational spaces. Other questions included: What advice would you give to politically empowered youth to ensure the girls around them remain confident? What steps can we take to make sure women and girls from different ethnic backgrounds are included in mentoring and have a seat at the table? Talk about being empowered. I have no doubt the young women in the room will be future leaders, and this program gave them the opportunity to hear and share ideas on ways to empower women as global citizens.

Pictured outside the UN event (left to right): NPC Chairman Carole Jones,
Delta Zeta National President Christy Phillips-Brown and
NPC CEO Dani Weatherford

What a powerful partnership Delta Zeta has built with IFPSD and President Kader. Their efforts certainly support NPC’s advocacy efforts to instill good citizenship and service in women in order to improve both campus communities and local, state and federal communities. I was honored to be invited to attend this unique opportunity to advocate for the empowerment of women and girls, and I thank our Delta Zeta friends for their outreach. Other guests attending the program were Dani Weatherford, NPC CEO, and Ginny Carroll, Circle of Sisterhood executive director.

If you'd like to know more about this program, I've included a link to the program video. 

You can watch the program, “Mentoring and Inspiring Women and Girls to be Future Leaders,” as co-sponsored by Delta Zeta and the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development. View the event video from UN Web TV (75 minutes).


Carole J. Jones
NPC Chairman 2017-19

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Better Pre-Recruitment Education Leads to More Empowered PNMs

The following is a guest post from Anna Katsis, a senior at Clemson University during the 2018-19 academic year. 

I had the privilege of serving on our Panhellenic Executive Council for two years as a member of the Recruitment Team. I took on the role of vice president of Panhellenic recruitment for my second year on our Executive Council, which afforded me the responsibility of overseeing primary recruitment during fall 2018. 

Throughout my time on the Recruitment Team, I had the opportunity to interact with many potential new members. As I transitioned into being the VP of recruitment, my advisor mentioned to me there was a new program available to educate potential new members (PNMs) prior to registration. 

At Clemson, we always host a live orientation session for PNMs once they have arrived on campus for recruitment. Historically, this is the time where we educate PNMs about what the National Panhellenic Conference is, explain what membership in a sorority means, discuss key definitions, detail the recruitment process and talk about other councils on our campus. 

A problem for us was that not only were we presenting all of this new information to them in one huge dose during the orientation session, but also these women were being thrown into a completely new environment, new school year and new experience as a whole. It was a lot to take in and we found the PNMs were not fully absorbing all of the information. Women going through recruitment still had many misconceptions about the recruitment process and what being a member of a sorority meant, even though we thought we had given them all the information we thought we possibly could. When the idea of the Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO) program was presented to us, we knew we had found our solution to this issue. 

We believed PNMO would allow us to increase transparency about what the recruitment process entailed and what being part of our community meant before women even decided to officially participate. We customized our PNMO program by creating an introduction video. In this video, we specifically talked about our community, such as how many chapters are on our campus, what we call our recruitment counselors and our community's values. This ensured PNMs were educated about both general and specific information related to the Panhellenic experience.

By having women complete the PNMO modules prior to registration, we were able to answer much more specific questions from PNMs and their parents. Our belief was the modules made it very clear about what the recruitment process entailed and those thoughts were confirmed based on our interactions with PNMs. The women going through recruitment had a basis of knowledge that empowered them to ask better questions and gave them the ability to have more realistic expectations about joining a sorority. In addition, we were able to focus more on logistical information during our live PNM orientation sessions, which allowed for the women to be less overwhelmed during so many new experiences.

We are so glad we implemented Potential New Member Orientation into our recruitment registration process here at Clemson. By providing better recruitment education to PNMs, we empowered them. I highly recommend other colleges and universities take advantage of this program so their PNMs can be empowered, too!

About Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO)
PNMO logo
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has partnered with LaunchPoint to offer Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO), a program designed to improve a potential new member’s experience with joining a sorority. This online, self-paced educational tool provides consistent recruitment education and a continuing recruitment resource to potential new members as well as a time-saving opportunity for fraternity/sorority advisors. PNMO covers many topics, including an overview of fraternity and sorority life, terms and definitions, an explanation of Panhellenic recruitment, benefits of membership and the sorority experience and more. For more information, visit the LaunchPoint website or email info@launchpointconsulting.com.