Monday, February 22, 2021

Finding a Passion for Advocacy

When Ivy, a member of Delta Delta Delta, began classes at Washington State University, she wanted to make a positive impact on people's lives. Knowing one way to do this was through politics, she decided to major in political science. But, it wasn’t until her third year in college when Ivy challenge herself to apply for a state senate internship that she discovered her true passion for advocacy.

Ivy with her chapter sisters during Bid Day.
Each semester Ivy pushed herself to do one thing outside of her comfort zone. Her first year in college, she joined a sorority and gained a group of women who would always fiercely support her. When she was applying for an internship that pushed her outside of her comfort zone, Ivy’s sisters were there to step in and support her. “My sorority sisters are the ones who really helped me out filling out the internship application,” Ivy said. With their help, Ivy submitted her application and waited. 

 It wasn’t long until Ivy heard back and began moving forward in the interview process. While she was nervous, Ivy’s sorority experience prepared her for this moment. All the recruitment conversations, life skills programming and networking opportunities gave her the confidence she needed to believe in herself and her abilities. “My experience helped me present myself in the light I wanted others to see me in,” Ivy said. 

Ivy soon learned she had received the internship and would be working directly with Senator Mona Das. “They couldn’t have placed me with anyone better who best aligned with my values,” Ivy said.

During her time as an intern, Ivy did a lot of things you might imagine an intern would do. She answered the phones, sorted the mail and took notes at constituent meetings. She also gained a greater understanding of the inner workings of state government. She was able to learn about the financial aspects of bills, organize events and wrote proposals. The legislative aids she worked with were able to act as mentors. They offered her advice and ideas on the important work she was doing. Most importantly, this internship helped Ivy find her true passion. “Through this internship, I found my passion for advocacy and realized how many more opportunities I could have to help others with a law degree,” Ivy said. 

Ivy at a plastic pollution rally.

Ivy graduates in May 2021 with the intention to attend law school in the fall of 2022. Before heading to law school, Ivy knows she has a bit more work to do in her community. Over the past year, she has organized many grassroots campaigns to support social justice causes she cares about. By working with others in her community and the local government, Ivy plans to continue to challenge herself to step outside of her comfort zone and to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

From the NPC Chairman: A time for celebrating Panhellenic sisterhood

Dear friends,

WHAT IN THE WORLD? Galentine’s Day…when I first heard about this event on a morning news show, I thought, “Good grief, another holiday for the retail world.” But, the more I thought about it, what a great way to celebrate Panhellenic sisterhood.

According to The New York Times, Galentine’s Day, celebrated on Feb. 13, is for celebrating sisterhood with your women friends, whether single or not. The celebration was created by Leslie Knope, the "Parks and Recreation" fictional main character played by Amy Poehler. She invented the holiday as a tribute to her close girlfriends and hosted a waffle brunch.


I’m going to digress for a moment. My spring 2020 calendar was chock full…until March happened. The last in-person meetings I attended for NPC were the Annual Membership meeting and Board of Directors meeting in Dallas March 7 and 8. After returning home, my husband and I were looking forward to our annual ski trip to Park City, Utah. On the morning of March 15, while getting ready to leave for the airport, all the ski slopes closed resulting in the trip being canceled. While I was relieved that I didn’t have to board an airplane during a time of uncertainty, it was just the beginning of all my travel coming to a halt. My spring calendar had included speaking at the Nashville Alumnae Panhellenic scholarship luncheon, Northern Virginia Panhellenic luncheon and the Houston Panhellenic scholarship luncheon. The time spent with Panhellenic sisters was stripped away.

All of this to say, NPC collegians and alumnae across North America are experiencing the same thing – in-person meetings and celebrations have moved to Zoom and travel is limited. Many of us are tied to our computers as we work or take classes and attend meetings virtually, and Galentine’s Day gives us the perfect opportunity to take a break to connect with our ​​​​​​Panhellenic friends and celebrate sisterhood. 

If we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic, ideas abound for gatherings with sister friends including pink-themed parties, dinner or brunch at a fancy restaurant or a group mani-pedi. But this year, with most of us staying at home, take the celebration virtual:

•    Order your favorite meal and enjoy a chat while you eat.

•    Play trivia together online.

•    Watch/stream a movie together.

•    Take a virtual class – exercise, cooking or baking.

•    Organize a secret cupid gift exchange.

There’s no wrong way to celebrate our Panhellenic sisterhood, and taking advantage of Galentine’s Day is the perfect time to acknowledge the lifelong bond of sorority membership and the experiences we share.​


Carole J. Jones
NPC chairman

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

From the NPC Chairman: Being flexible and innovative in unprecedented times

Dear friends,

As the calendar flipped from 2020 to 2021, it struck me how much our lives have changed since last March when social distancing and virtual meetings became our new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to experience a very different way of living and learning, and has challenged us to be flexible and innovative. 

As students return to campus this month, the safety of our members, volunteers and campus professionals with whom they interact continues to be a primary concern and focus for the National Panhellenic Conference. I get it, many of us have COVID fatigue and we can’t wait for the vaccine to be widely available, but I encourage the use of NPC’s #StopTheDrops educational resources designed for use by College Panhellenics and individual chapters. We must continue to ensure our members are illustrating care for all in our campus communities. 

Given that fraternities and sororities can often set the tone for campus social life, we recognized this fall that a return to “business as usual” was not acceptable and, as Panhellenic women, we are empowered to be leaders in helping to maintain healthy campus communities. By continuing to adopt safe behaviors, NPC members and chapters can help reduce the likelihood of outbreaks and help shape the behaviors of the broader campus community.

As our deferred recruitment campuses prepare to welcome new members, the successes of this fall’s virtual recruitment experience have been shared through educational resources, individual support and panel discussions. Zoom 301, a virtual program with panelists who completed a virtual recruitment in the fall, included a discussion on how to best prepare for virtual recruitment, how to manage the technical pieces of virtual recruitment and how the College Panhellenic can be focused on their work to support chapters individually. Through the hard work and preparation of our chapter and Panhellenic leaders, with support from their advisors, campus professionals and NPC and inter/national organization volunteers and staff, we are confident spring recruitment 2021 will also be successful and life changing. (You can access Zoom 301 and other virtual recruitment resources here.)

Flexibility and innovation continues with NPC’s 2021 College Panhellenic Academy. Scheduled for Jan. 22-23, this year’s Academy has been redesigned to be executed as a virtual event and has a record-breaking nearly 850 participants registered. Collegiate officer breakout sessions will be offered for judicial officers, marketing officers, presidents, recruitment officers and fraternity/sorority advisors. Advocacy Building Block sessions will focus on citizenship and service, health and safety, scholarship and freedom of association, giving participants an opportunity to reflect on NPC’s advocacy efforts and create actionable ways to engage in future advocacy in these areas.

Additionally, we are fortunate to have the following keynote speakers thanks to the financial support of the NPC Foundation: Krystal Clark, who will share her personal story about being a Black woman, her path to joining a Panhellenic sorority and the hurdles that stood in her way; Thea Zunick, who will share not only why self-care is important and necessary, but how Panhellenic leaders can help one another practice self-care and continue the self-care/well-being conversation with fellow students; and Tracy Walder, who will share her personal story about why sorority means so much to her and how sorority helped shape who she is today while focusing on women’s empowerment. 

If January is any indication, as always, Panhellenic women are off to a busy start. Best wishes for a productive, successful and meaningful 2021 as we all continue to confront new challenges during this unprecedented time. 


Carole J. Jones
NPC chairman