Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi,
Thank you to everyone who participated in the availability poll! Based on the responses, the first VPSA-hosted student chat will be next Tuesday, September 22nd, at 9pm EDT. The topic for this first session will be the Online Membership Reporting System. Our guest co-host for the session will be Aaron Moore, National Alumni, Historical, and Development Coordinator. He has a long history with the development of the OMRS and is a great resource for your chapters. Please come with your questions and OMRS-related experiences to share!
The rest of this announcement will be in two parts. The first part will detail the new format and structure of these chats going forward this biennium. The second relates to the online meeting tool the fraternity has at its disposal. I will provide links to the tool’s website that include system requirements, download instructions, and FAQs.
I am excited to continue the great conversations that were started in Lexington! See you online Tuesday evening!
Zachary T. Humphrey
National Vice President for Student Affairs
Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity
Part I: Introducing Kappa Kappa Psi Presents
After listening to the feedback received in Lexington and the following weeks, I have been working with members of the national leadership, as well your district leadership, to revamp what was formerly known as the VPSA Student Chats. Out of those conversations, Kappa Kappa Psi Presents was born.
The idea behind Kappa Kappa Psi Presents is that once a month, your VPSA will host an online conversation between the active brotherhood nationwide that revolves around a central topic or theme. Participating in these conversations will be a knowledge-area expert from the national level that will act as a resource in addition to the VPSA throughout the conversation. An hour will be allotted, which will allow brothers to actively engage with each other as well as with members of the national leadership. Kappa Kappa Psi Presents will not be a video chat, but rather an audio chat, as video is one of the great limiters in online meetings. Also know that there is a 50 participant maximum.
To give brothers a sense of how the hour flow, I give the following breakdown. Each conversation will start with introductions on the theme and host as well as a quick update on the work of the national level. Next, I will turn the conversation over to the guest host and allow them to give a quick overview of their experience as it relates to the topic. I will then pose a series of questions that either myself and the other co-host have come up with or questions that brothers have submitted ahead of time. From there, the goal is to allow the bulk of the time be given over to the brothers in attendance to ask questions of their own and share experiences. Towards the end of the hour, I will begin to wind down the conversation and make any relevant announcements (the next chat topic and time, etc.).
You might be asking, “what if I cannot make a session, but I have a question or I want to hear other’s experiences on that topic?” Fear not! As mentioned, I am encouraging brothers to submit their questions or conversation topics relating to the Kappa Kappa Psi Presents topic beforehand. Starting on Saturday, September 19, brothers will be able to send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org that contain their questions.
In addition, I plan to record the audio of each session. The goal is to work with Robert Bratcher, our National Publication Manager and Multimedia Designer, to publish a monthly podcast with the recorded audio that will be made available following each session. This will allow access for brothers who cannot make the time, or for brothers who were not able to attend due to participant restrictions imposed by the software.
Now you are probably wonder what are the types of topics we will discuss during these monthly sessions. In the conversations since convention, some of the topics and themes that active brothers want to discuss are as follows:
- the Online Membership Reporting System
- the Podium/social media
- 3rd degree, then what? (continuing membership ed/active-in-training when they get their bid/are candidates, etc.)
- director and/or sponsor transitions/relations
- de-mystifying the board of trustees
- graduating seniors/alumni association/life membership
- chapter: small and isolated? (small chapter problems)
- chapter: too big to fail? (large chapter problems)
- transitions (officer, membership status, etc.)
- managing finances (not just how to fundraise, but acting in fiscally responsible manners, making financially sound decisions, planning for the future, etc.)
- service (how do chapters address needs, come up with what to do, etc.)
I figure this is something that will develop and evolve organically as the program gets going based on feedback, as well as trends that are observed by your district and national leadership.
Part II: Online Meeting Tool
The national organization has an account with OmniJoin. To access the online meeting room click here. I am linking OmniJoin’s FAQs and system requirements. The tool works on Windows and Mac based machines. Note that for Windows, it works on IE 9 or later, Chrome, of Firefox browsers. For Mac, it works on Safari and Firefox browsers. There is also a mobile app that works with iOS. You can find more info on mobile access here. In order to participate, you will have to install either the browser plug-in or the client application on your computer or mobile device.
Starting at 8pm EDT on Tuesday, I will have the meeting room open to allow brothers the opportunity to try logging on as this is a new tool for the active membership. It is a fairly straightforward process to install, whichever method you choose. The first time I used it, it took less that two minutes to get up and running.
Please, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out!