Fun Facts and Favorite Things About Kappa

Members of Kappa Kappa Gamma talk about fun facts about Kappa and what being a part of Kappa means to them.

Filmed and edited on my iPad.

Music by Jimmy Eat World.

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Kappa Kappa Gamma Leadership Programs

In this video, Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnae Alex Doerfler discusses her experience and knowledge of Kappa leadership programs including Leadership Academy, which she attended, and the responsibilities of Leadership Consultants.
(Sorry about the background noise!)
Filmed and edited on my iPad.
Photos used with permission of owner.
Music by Imagine Dragons.

Kappa Kappa Gamma House Tour

A tour of my sorority house, Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of New Mexico. We are the Gamma Beta chapter. This video was filmed and edited on my iPad. The photos are used by permission of the owners or are owned by me. The music is by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen.

A History of Fraternities, Pt. II

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Founders of Kappa Kappa Gamma, one of the first Greek letter women’s organizations.

In my last post, I discussed the history of the earliest beginnings of fraternities, through about the early 1800s with the founding of three fraternities at Union College. Now, we will move forward and go into more discussion about how today’s fraternities and sororities were founded and hit on some milestones.

In 1851, the women of Georgia Wesleyan created the first women’s secret society, “secret sisterhood.” Later in 1862, the Morrill Act made it possible for new western states to establish colleges for their citizens. The new land-grant institutions, which emphasized agriculture and mechanic arts, opened opportunities to many farmers and working people who were previously excluded from higher education. Faculty welcomed the founding of student governments and the U.S. population began diversifying and this was reflected in college populations as well.

“Sorosis” was founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois and began colonizing other chapters from the get-go. The organization was considered to be the first women’s fraternity. The Sorosis charter was relinquished in 1884 due to the prohibition of secret societies, but in 1888, they became Pi Beta Phi, a women’s fraternity still in existence today. 

In 1870, the first women’s fraternities with Greek letter names were formed. Kappa Alpha Theta was founded at DePauw University in Indiana and three months later, Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded at Monmouth College. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi are now referred to as the “Monmouth Duo.”

Today, there is a national group that acts as a governing board of sorts for all 26 sororities called the National Panhellenic Conference. It was founded in 1902 and began with 10 initial organizations. The first attempt at establishing such an organization is 1891 and earlier historical documents reference attempts at “rushing and pledging agreements” among organizations at different institutions.

Similarly, the North American Inter-Fraternity Conference (NIC) consists of 74 organizations. At its founding in 1910 they had 26 groups on board.

In addition to traditional fraternities and sororities, there are also Multi-Cultural Groups. Although racial and religious restrictions have been abolished in all NIC and NPC organizations, the new generation of “culture interest” organizations has arisen to serve the interests of communities whose number in the traditional Greek system are historically small and dispersed. These groups are mainly for racially, culturally, or religiously different groups that wanted to develop their own fraternities.

Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. was the first black Greek organization and was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In January of 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha became America’s first Greek-letter organization for African-American college women. The first Latino fraternity is Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity and was founded in 1931 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Now we have a basic knowledge of the history of fraternities and sororities in the United States. In my next post, I will zero in a little more and focus on the history of Greek organizations at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Social Media Final Project Editorial Calendar

For my final project, I am going to cover my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and will localize it by focusing in on my chapter at UNM, the Gamma Beta chapter.

 

Week One:

  • A History of Fraternities
  • History of Kappa Kappa Gamma
  • History of Gamma Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma

Week Two:

  • Philanthropy
  • Programs
  • Chapter organization and member involvement

Week Three:

  • I will come up with more as I write the other posts and figure out how this project is going to work! 🙂

Our Story: Kappa Kappa Gamma

The organization I have chosen is the sorority I joined in the Fall of 2010, Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Kappa was founded in 1870 in Monmouth, Illinois at Monmouth College when six young women marched into the chapel at Monmouth wearing golden keys in their hair and declared themselves as the members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kappa’s official founding date is October 13, 1870. The word “sorority” didn’t exist at the time of its founding so it is actually a women’s fraternity. In all of our documents and correspondence, Kappa is referred to as “the fraternity,” and is never referred to as a sorority.

Kappa’s flower is the mythical Fleur-de-Lis. The flower we use as its stand-in is the iris. The Fleur-de-Lis is also one of Kappa’s symbols along with owls and keys. The fraternity’s colors are dark and light blue and its jewel is the sapphire. Our national philanthropy is Reading Is Fundamental. Kappa’s national open motto used to be “A Tradition of Leadership,” but in June 2012 was changed to “Aspire To Be.”

I chose to use Kappa Kappa Gamma for my final project because it is a big part of my life and also such a large organization with a long history. Kappa is important to me because without the help of these women I call my sisters, I would not be as successful academically or have the leadership traits that they have taught me.

In Kappa, it is impossible not to be inspired almost immediately by the women who make up this organization. Some notable Kappas are designer Kate Spade, actresses Sophia Bush and Ashley Judd, and New Mexico Lieutenant Governor, Diane Denish.

I want readers to learn more about Greek Life in general, but to see what Kappa Kappa Gamma specifically is about. We really are an organization whose aim is to cultivate leaders and foster creativity through leadership. I held an officer position in Kappa in 2012 as Panhellenic Delegate and was given the freedom to essentially do what I wanted to with my position and my adviser supported and helped me with my endeavors. Additionally, I gained a friend in my adviser who of course is a Kappa as well but I wouldn’t have built that relationship if I wasn’t constantly encouraged to be in contact with her and communicate with her.

Kappa is not just 100 college women living in the same big house with Greek letters plastered across the front. It’s your adviser whose kids you’ll babysit on Friday nights; it’s your dance teacher who later gives you a job to help you through college; it’s a network of strong, empowered women who will be your sisters for as long as you allow them.

Social Media Strategy for Kappa Kappa Gamma

One goal we would like to achieve is to increase social media engagement with members of Kappa by 30 percent. By increasing engagement via social media, we will also increase participation in chapters along with active and alumnae giving to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. We would also decrease retention of our collegiate members. We believe that the more connected each member feels to the entire organization, the more likely she is to stay involved through the years and represent Kappa in the best possible way.

To achieve this goal, we will ask chapter Public Relations Chairs to encourage members to engage with Kappa Kappa Gamma’s social media accounts and use the hash tag, #kkg1870. We would ask the same of our alumnae groups. We will measure “@ mentions,” RTs and favorites on Twitter, likes, shares and comments on Facebook, comments and likes on our newly created Instagram and views, comments and likes on our YouTube.

One tactic for this strategy could be summarizing blog posts on social media sites. I often do not click on links in Facebook and Twitter posts because I want the quick, easy to read version and then I’ll continue if it piques my interest. My suggestion would be to offer a short summary and key points in the Facebook post, and then post an external blog link. I think informing readers with the time they have is more important than getting more traffic on the website. If a member only has a few seconds to look on Facebook, she should get the idea of what’s going on without having to read a 500-word blog post.

We will track social media engagement as is, and compare engagement after a six-month period. Three months would be too short because the summer months have a bit of a lull since school is out and there aren’t as many activities and meetings going on. If we measure over a six-month period, we are more likely to get a true representative calculation of how successful we were in increasing engagement by 30 percent. 

Social Media Audit — Kappa Kappa Gamma

For this week’s blog, I’ve decided to do a social media audit for my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kappa was founded in 1870, shortly after the end of the Civil War and before the word “sorority” was even introduced. Kappa is a women’s fraternity founded on the belief that women have the potential to impact the world.

Kappa’s target audience for its Web presence is potential new members of the fraternity, new members, active members, alumnae and members of the media who may need to research Kappa for journalistic reasons. Kappa lists all of its social media outlets on the home page upper right hand corner, or “above the fold.”

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The different social media sites listed are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, the Kappa blog, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr. The fraternity recently changed its logo and tagline over the summer. The new logo is the modern-looking blue fleur-de-lis and the new tagline is “Aspire to be.” They have done a pretty good job with keeping social media profile photos consistent with the new logo. Only the LinkedIn and Pinterest pages are different; each have the fraternity crest as the photo but different versions on each page.

The only social media site Kappa is not using that I find very surprising is Instagram, especially because college students use Instagram all the time. Almost all of the girls I know in Kappa have an Instagram and I think if Kappa were to start an account, it would be very successful. I have found that Twitter and Instagram seem to be the most popular social media sites with my group of friends.

Strengths the organization has in its social media presence is man power (or woman power, in this case). There are a lot of people on staff to create content and a lot of members they are following or who are constantly sending in content and inspiring further content creation. Weaknesses are that some of the pages don’t get publicized a lot. There are not a lot of recent uploads on the YouTube page and the pages that get updated most often are Facebook and Twitter. I think an easy update to the YouTube would be to publicize that the undergraduate giving challenge deadline is nearing. They could have updated the video that they originally made and post a new one to inspire and excite members about giving to the Kappa Foundation.

Competition that Kappa could have among social media could be with other Greek letter organizations in a “who did it better” sort of way. Unofficial Kappa pages can also be a problem with anonymous accounts that post inappropriate things or just general things that make the fraternity look bad.