Happy New Year brothers! The national council recently met in New Orleans for our annual winter council meeting. While there, we gave updates on the work done since national convention and began planning for the next six months. The weekend was full of great conversation and planning for the future. Below you will find a brief update on the work the council tackled during our meetings.
Jack Lee, National President
Evan Thompson, National Vice President for Colonization and Membership
Marco Krcatovich, National Vice President for Programs
Zac Humphrey, National Vice President for Student Affairs
Doug Stotter, National Vice President for Professional Relations
Earlier this quarter, Jack attended a meeting with Chair for the Board of Trustees, Rod Chesnutt, and National Executive Director, Steve Nelson, in Fort Myers, FL. This meeting has occurred for several years and was an opportunity for Rod and Jack to work with Steve to kick off the biennium.
Kappa Kappa Psi had representation at The Midwest Clinic with Evan, Marco, and Doug, as well as multiple other members of national leadership including governors and board of trustee members. The conversations following the clinic indicate that it was a great meeting.
The fraternity and the sorority will have representation at the annual Honda Battle of the Bands event held in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with Jack, Evan and Zac will attend on behalf of the fraternity.
DISTRICT CONVENTION PLANNING
Jack is currently working with the district presidents to provide feedback on their convention plans. This process involves the use of a convention plan template created by Immediate Past President Christine Beason that allows for all convention related information to be included in a single document. This makes the review process more efficient and streamlined.
In addition, Marco has notified the district councils of funds they were awarded based on leadership fund requests submitted prior to the winter council meeting.
NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETINGS
The council has made plans to begin meeting on regular basis in between our in-person winter and summer meetings. These meetings will be a venue to give updates on projects in-progress as well as discuss current fraternity business to help give more time to the big picture conversations and planning discussions that take place during in-person meetings.
COLONIZATION AND MEMBERSHIP
Evan shared that our three active colonies are on track to be installed within the next few months and that we have already begun receiving applications for colonies using the updated application that debuted in the fall. The council reviewed these applications during our meetings in New Orleans.
The council also had a discussion relating to a national leadership development program that would replace the National Leadership Symposia that was discontinued in 2012. Evan and Marco are both working on how this can be done in a way that will most benefit our membership.
Evan reported that as of our council meeting in New Orleans, there were 210 total chapters, with 4,613 dues paying members. He also shared that the average chapter size is 20 brothers.
Evan also gave an update on the Curriculum Development Committee, which had a series of in-person meetings directly prior to the start of the winter council meeting. The goal of this committee is the development of a National Membership Development Program and more on that will be presented at the upcoming district conventions.
The fraternity currently is accepting applications for new Chapter Field Representatives (CFR) as the current two are entering into their final semester. The council wants to thank Andy Melvin and Chris Young for all of their hard work and dedication over the past two years. If you are interested in applying for CFR, check out the more on the application process here.
Evan has also begun the process of planning for this upcoming District Leadership Conference that is attended by the district presidents over the summer. This work is coordinated with his Tau Beta Sigma counterpart, Jonathan Markowski.
PROGRAMS AND AWARDS
Marco shared the progress of his work towards streamlining the awards application process as well as leading a conversation centered on the evaluation of awards and program applications. He is going to be working with National Headquarters staff to create dedicated sections of the national website for each award or program that will also feature past winners, FAQs and other resources that would be helpful for aspiring chapters.
Marco also reported improved participation during November’s National Month of Musicianship. This year 170 chapters listed at least one participating event on their Fall Activity Report (FAR), with 28 chapters meeting his goal of four activities throughout the entire month. This is up from the 2014 totals of 150 chapters doing at least one even and 17 reporting that they did four. The resulting conversation centered on effective ways to promote programs like this. It also led to a discussion about expanding the theme months to other pillars of Kappa Kappa Psi. Marco and Zac are going look at how best to implement this idea moving forward.
During the meetings, Zac relayed many concerns and questions that have cropped up from active students throughout the fall. These ranged from changes made at national convention to if and how districts could accept credit cards for district related events. Concerns like these led to conversations about ways that the council could communicate upcoming changes in a more effective way, as well as making better use of the District Convention Town Hall format.
The future of the Kappa Kappa Psi Presents/VPSA student chats was also discussed. Based on those conversations, Zac is going to experiment with the podcasting format and transform the Kappa Kappa Psi Presents sessions into ones where brothers can submit questions and comments ahead of time or during a prearranged time period. Zac and his guests will then discuss those submissions and other points relating to the topic of the episode. These conversations will be recorded and made available to brothers nationwide. Be on the lookout for more information regarding this going forward.