Every summer Zeta Tau Alpha invites chapter President and Vice Presidents out to a destination location for a leadership conference. This year I traveled with my president, Sara, to the ZTA headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana for the yearly conference.
The theme of the conference was “Create the Change: the right, the good and the true” and the seminars revolved around leadership styles, leading changes in the chapter, follow through (doing what you said you would do), recognizing our values, recognizing “watershed moments”, working as a team (a chapter), and of course making the change. We worked in small groups with leaders of chapters of similar size to our own and attended conference wide seminars. Over 600 colligates from 155 chapters were in attendance. It was inspiring to hear the stories and testimonials from other girls regarding their chapter hardships and the comebacks that were made.
In addition to the workshops, we were also submerged in the ultimate “sisterhood retreat.” We were placed in rooms based on our position and chapter size. I was paired with a VP from Missouri and a VP from Virginia. It was awesome to compare chapter lifestyles (even though we are located all over the nation we all hold the same values, frustrations, and goals) and exchange ideas to bring back to campus.
This year the conference organizers worked to incorporate technology into the program. We were encouraged to use twitter all weekend in hopes of trending #ZTANLC in addition to serving as a platform for girls to chat about the program and seminars in real time. It sounded like an odd concept at first… why would you want to have everyone plugged into her phone texting rather then talking face to face? However the concept worked out really great – there was not way I was going to have the time to interact face-to-face with all 600 girls, so the twitter feed worked well to share ideas and comments. Sara and I, being the tech savvy RIT student we are, were tweeting like it was our job. At lunch on Friday day were called out in from of the crowd and told to report to the back of the room. Sara and I immediately thought we were in trouble, so we ran to the back... turns out we were attracting MAJOR attention from National Council and the Fraternity office from our tweets and they wanted to INTERVIEW and PHOTOGRAPH us to honor us for our efforts! When we saw Miss Riddle (current national president) at IO she knew exactly who we were from our tweets and said we were awesome! Major props to the Rochester ZTAs! So needless to say, I think Sara and I made a solid impression to National during our four day sprint.
(For anyone who would like to revisit our trip check out the @RIT_Alissa or @RITZTA twitter accounts for thoughts, photos, and videos from our trip.)
In addition to all the leadership seminars and sisterhood activities – we also traveled to college park to check out the ultimate “Greek Row” and tour the Zeta Tau Alpha headquarters, take photos with the national president, and represent for RIT in the guestbook.
Needless to say the experience has been the high point of my sorority involvement and has totally changed my perception on the organization, my purpose within the chapter, and my possibilities for future involvement when I graduate from ZTA this spring!
Zeta Love and Mine,