Zeta Epsilon Chapter was founded at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin on October 24, 1981.
445 initiates (as of June 2018)
During the weekend of April 23–25, 1981, Zeta Epsilon was colonized at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. The university is a merger of Downer Women’s College in Milwaukee and Lawrence College in Appleton and is a small, private, liberal arts institution. At the time of Zeta Epsilon’s founding, the campus had 1,100 students.
Lawrence has a picturesque setting with graceful, limestone academic buildings and residential halls overlooking the Fox River. A magnificent memorial chapel inspires the compact campus and the quaint residential community in downtown Appleton. Paper mills line the Fox River, which cuts through the center of town.
Among other strengths, Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music attracts many students. The Greek system is small but strong, and demand was high among the women’s groups for a new chapter to join the campus. Panhellenic voted in the fall of 1980 to form an extension committee to research national groups and asked four to give a presentation in February of 1981.
Fraternity President Sally Moore Nitschke, Beta Nu—Ohio State, traveled to Appleton in February to make the presentation to the Panhellenic and the extension committee along with representatives from Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Gamma. The following month, Kappa was notified that it had been selected as the fourth sorority to join Lawrence University. Colonization Recruitment began the week of April 21–25 under the direction of Marjorie Converse, Gamma Delta—Purdue, Chairman of Extension. The colonization team also included Barbara Laitner, Beta Mu—Colorado, 1978–80 Field Secretary; Cathi Gelhaar, Epsilon PDA; Nancy Laitner, Diane Delayo and Talby Hardy, 1980–81 Field Secretaries; Cathy Harrison, Laurie Schmidt and Lynn Atkinson, Eta—Wisconsin, members. Other Eta actives and Fox River Alumnae Association members also participated.
On Thursday evening, a reception was held in the Gold Room in Downer Hall on campus. Punch, cookies and a slideshow were enjoyed in addition to the beautiful singing by Eta members. Potential new members signed up for interviews to be held the next day. On Saturday, a colonization luncheon was held in Colman Hall and all of the young women were presented with invitations to membership. To the thrill of everyone in the room, they accepted their bids unanimously! A short pledging service followed and the remainder of the day was spent taking pictures, singing Kappa songs and giving many hugs.
The charter members were a diverse and multi-talented group with women from many states including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Rugby, photography, tennis, politics, advertising, math, psychology, vocal performance and theatre are few of the interests. Diane Delayo and Talby Hardy stayed with the colony until June. Sheila Cloyes, Beta Mu—Colorado, was appointed their Graduate Counselor to help prepare them for Installation in the fall and assist in making their first official year as a chapter successful.
Zeta Epsilon Chapter was installed at the local Masonic Temple on October 24, 1981. Fraternity President Sally Moore Nitschke, and Marjorie Moree Keith, Gamma Alpha—Kansas State, Director of Philanthropies, were the installing officers. Graduate Counselor Sheila Cloyes, Beta Mu—Colorado, and Field Secretary Wendy Paxton, Epsilon Omega—Dickinson, joined by Province Directors Cathy Bernotas Gelhaar, Epsilon—Illinois Wesleyan, and Jane Weinhagen Ullom, Epsilon Zeta—Florida State, assisted in making the weekend memorable. Local alumnae on various committees helped make the weekend a success.
Alumnae and active chapters from Epsilon Province greeted the new chapter with many lovely gifts, and members of Eta—Wisconsin, served as big sisters while visitors from Upsilon—Northwestern, and Alpha Deuteron—Monmouth, also participated. Barbara Laitner, Beta Mu—Colorado, former Field Secretary, served as toastmistress for the banquet held at Dower Hall where Lawrence President Warch’s comments reflected interest and optimistic commitment to sororities on campus.
The new Kappas were a diverse group, which included the cheerleading captain, student body president, an opera major, a rugby player and a language major who spoke Russian. Zeta Epsilon was off to a great start!
In 1981, Kappa Kappa Gamma joined three other thriving sororities on the Lawrence University campus - Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Pi Beta Phi. All of the sororities were strong on Lawrence’s little campus, and pledge classes were always 20 or more girls each year. Kappa Klans of five or six sisters each were created to help members get to know one another. Zeta Epsilon held ice cream socials, bowling parties, a pumpkin walk, and cookouts to get to know each other. Use of correct Kappa ritual and sisterhoods were great strengths of this new chapter. They established Kappa Krush (selling Orange Crush sodas with a note to be delivered to your crush) and Kappa Grab-a-Date events. In 1987 Kappa had the highest GPA on campus and were at quota for membership totals.
Membership in all sororities at Lawrence University dropped in the 1990s, and sadly Pi Phi disappeared from campus. 1994 - 1995 were tough years. There were attitude challenges, and Zeta Epsilon held a fall retreat to try to get things back on track. A lot of time and effort was expended by the VP Standards at this time. They established a chapter goal of SALSA - Sisterhood, Academics, Leadership, Social Activities.
Zeta Epsilon held Round Robins, Kappa Krush parties, Pledge Formals, mixers, cookouts, tailgates, Shish-Ka-Quad parties, Panel/IFC picnics, Pumpkin Walks, Halloween seances, Murder Mystery parties, camping retreats, and Blue and Blue Dinners. They also participated in intermurals and activities with other sororities and fraternities. Many hours were volunteered for the Fox Valley Domestic Abuse Center and the Children’s Booth at Celebrate. January 1999 brought a formal recruitment that yielded no new members, and a time of revamping and reorganization began.
By the next school year, Kappa was first on campus in GPA, and they had a very successful Karamel Apple Sale to benefit the Fox Valley Domestic Abuse Center. Greeks now comprised 20% of the campus population.
By the turn of the century, Lawrence University had 1,400 intellectually curious, diverse, multi-interested students from nearly every state and 50 countries, with 4 fraternities and 3 sororities: Beta Theta Pi, Delta Gamma, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Kappa Tau, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. The campus is divided into two parts, the Conservatory of Music and the regular college. A great number of students study at the Conservatory, but many also pursue degrees from both the Conservatory and the college.
Members of the Zeta Epsilon chapter represented all areas of academia from vocal performance and art history to classics and physics. Zeta Epsilon continually celebrates diversity and independence in conjunction with bonding as sisters in the Fraternity. Kappas participate on a broad scale in nearly every aspect of the Lawrence community. Proof of deep involvement is evident in the variety of extracurricular activities, including SOUP (Student Organization for University Programming), Mock Trial, Baroque Ensemble, Gaming Club (a community for gamers, dedicated to creating an inclusive, fun, friendly group for any Lawrentians who share a passion for card, board, video games and beyond!), Lawrence International (aims to help international students adjust to life at Lawrence and provide a forum for international and domestic students to meet and engage in conversation on world issues), Mortar Board, Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens (SLUG), Women in Physics, to name several. Members of KKG take leadership roles in their many organizations and sports, representing Viking athletics in crew, cross country, swim, tennis, track and field, basketball, and soccer.
During this decade Zeta Epsilon hosted and participated in many events to raise money for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, Reading Is Fundamental, and our local philanthropy, Harbor House, a safe shelter for women and children hurt by domestic violence. Kappa Karamel Apples, Kappa Krush, Kappa Karnival and Kappa Field Day were favorites philanthropic events. Kappa Karamel Apples is held in the fall during the annual Homecoming football game; the chapter sells caramel apples at the game with a variety of sprinkles and nuts as toppings. Kappa Krush starts the week leading up to St. Valentine’s Day. Kappa members staff a table near the dining room during meals and promote the philanthropy. Students, faculty and staff purchase Crush soda cans and personalize messages on cute little cards tied to the can then delivered by the Kappas to the intended recipients.
Academically, the chapter concentrated on improving their GPA and were recognized in 2006 with the Panhellenic GPA Cup for having the highest GPA of the sororities on campus. The women set up study tables two times a week, as well as encouraged each sister to set individual academic goals for each term. Sisterhood events included movie nights and Kappa lunch once a week.
n January 2012, we had formal recruitment and got our largest New Member Class ever out of it - 15 girls. They were initiated in March. We had a lock-in at a Baskin Robbins as a sisterhood event, and it won us best sisterhood in our Panhellenic council. We had the hot wing-eating contest, Too Hot To Handle, again for Spring Greek Week and it was very fun and successful. Our President at the time, Hallie Witmer, attended Convention. We had COBs in the Fall and got 5 more new members from it. We did a cakewalk for Fall Greek Week. We also did Kappa Karamel Apples at our school's homecoming football game. Throughout the year, we stayed on the academic excellence plan and continued logging our study hours, but we have not yet been able to get off the plan.
Our campus is a small (1400 or so students) liberal arts college. We have three Panhellenic sororities on campus. None of the sororities have housing; instead we each have meeting rooms. Our chapter is small with about 40 members, but we are very tight-knit and all care for and help one another with both chapter and individual needs.
We had recruitment in January and we got a 5 new members from it. We then had Winter COBs and got 5 more new members. They were initiated in April. We had a Baskin Robbins lock-in as our first sisterhood event with our new members. We received the award for Most Panhellenic Sorority from our Panhellenic Council. Our president at the time, Hallie Witmer, received an award for Outstanding Demonstration of Leadership.
Two members received scholarships for winter term dues, one being from our house board and the other being the Marion McMillen scholarship. In the spring, we had our annual Too Hot To Handle hot wing-eating contest, which was fun and raised money for our local philanthropy, Harbor House. Late in the Spring, our meeting room was broken into. We caught them and sent them to our campus’s Judicial Board. Their punishment was to each write us a letter of apology. We did COBs in the Fall and got 2 more new members from it. We also did Kappa Karamel Apples at a volleyball game, since the homecoming football game was rained out. In the Fall, at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, we were able to get off of the academic focus plan, since we had all worked hard and raised our cumulative GPA. Being off of the focus plan allowed us to organize more mixers and sisterhood events.
At the beginning of this school year, Lawrence’s new president, Mark Burstein, was inaugurated. He is a good president who is much more present than the last one, though he could use some education on the Greek life on campus, which we are offering to him. Our chapter is rather small, comparatively with chapters on bigger campuses, but that allows us to be very close-knit and have great interpersonal relationships. None of the sororities at Lawrence have housing, but we each have a nice room of our own on campus in which we hold our weekly meetings, as well as other smaller meetings and some sisterhood events; we are also free to hang out and do homework with one another in our room, as it is a very safe and comfortable space.
Following recruitment 2014, Zeta Epsilon pledged 15 New Members in January 2014, including 1 legacy. Following recruitment, we have an All-Greek event with all the Greek organizations on campus to celebrate New Members. We later have a Baskin-Robbins lock-in sisterhood event to welcome new members. Kappa Krush is our Winter Term philanthropy event, which took place February 10-12. We sell Crush soda cans with proceeds going to our local philanthropy, Harbor House. Blue and Blue and Fireside ceremonies took place on February 28, 2014. Initiation took place March 1, 2014, and new member formal took place that night. Nerd Day was held March 15 to encourage members to study for exams. We had a sisterhood weekend at Bjorklunden, our northern campus, from April 11-13. A leadership consultant visited our chapter April 13-18. During Greek Week (May 12-16), we host Too Hot to Handle, our spring term philanthropy event. It is a hot wings eating contest with the proceeds going to Harbor House. May 19-23 was reverse I-Week to celebrate seniors, culminating with Senior formal on the 23rd. On May 25 we hosted Mother’s Tea, where we invite our mothers to campus for tea, crafts, and getting-to-know-you activities. May 26 was Senior Send-off and Key Pass. The last meeting of the school year was held June 1. Nerd Day was held June 7, our final event for the school year. Our first meeting for the 2014-2015 school year was held September 21, 2014. We held continuous open bidding events from September 22-24 and pledged 2 new members on September 28. For Fall Greek week (September 30-October 1), we hosted Greek Gourmet Grilled Cheese in conjunction with Delta Tau Delta. We sold a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches with the proceeds going to Harbor House. On October 11, we hosted Kappa Karamel Apples at the homecoming football game. We sold caramel apples to support Reading is Fundamental. We had a ceremony to celebrate Founders Day on October 13, complete with chapter and fraternity history presentation as well as a speaker from Harbor House. Additionally, we had a leadership consultant visit from October 13-October 17. November 2 we celebrated Dad’s Day, where we invite our dads to campus for a tailgating-themed event. Blue and Blue and Fireside were held November 14 and initiation was held November 15. Our last meeting for the term and the year was held November 16. We had two Nerd Days November 21 and 22 as our final events for the term.
We started off 2016 with Formal Recruitment. After three days of recruitment, 7 girls accepted their bid. On Martin Luther King day, our VP-Organization planned a Leadership Day where a Kappa leader taught us how to work well with others. During the week of February 8-12, our Philanthropy Chair put on an event called "Kappa Krush" where students could purchase Crush soda cans for a $1 and leave a note that can be delivered to their "crush". This money was donated to Harbor House in Appleton, WI. The new members were initiated on February 27, and our New Member Formal took place at the Radisson Hotel on March 5.
During spring term, we did COBs and had 2 girls accept their bid. On March 29, our VP-Organization planned another Leadership Day where the members of the Chapter Council met and talked about any problems in the chapter and ways to integrate the new members more. Our VP-Organization also planned a sisterhood event called "Dress for Success" where our sisters went to New York and Company at the local mall and had the manager teach us how to dress for interviews. We were then allowed to shop. Greek Week took place from May 9-15, and our chapter put on a philanthropy event called "Too Hot to Handle" which was a wing eating contest. The money raised from this event went to Harbor House in Appleton, WI. The following weekend, our two new members were initiated on May 21, and we had our Senior Formal that same night. We had our Senior Send-Off on May 30, and the seniors did their Key Pass before initiation.
When we returned to school in the Fall, we did COBs and had 3 girls accept their bid. During the weekend of October 15-16, our school has "Family Weekend", so our Event Chair planned a Kappa Brunch where our sisters' families were invited for brunch on October 16. Our Philanthropy Chair also planned an event called "Kappa Karamel Apples" which took place during the football game on October 15. The money raised from this event went to Harbor House in Appleton, WI. The new members were initiated on November 5. We had a sisterhood weekend at Bjorklunden, our northern campus, from November 11-13. On November 13, our chapter conducted elections.
Zeta Epsilon received Honorable Mention for Ritual at Convention. We received this award even without a nomination from our advisers.
The three philanthropies that our chapter supports are Reading is Fundamental, the Kappa Foundation, and Harbor House in Appleton, WI, a battered women’s shelter. Every year we hold Kappa Karamel Apples, Kappa Krush, and Too Hot to Handle to support our philanthropies.
We addressed and combated challenges through our Leadership Action Plan goals. Our focus areas included philanthropy and alumna relations, effectively using programming meetings, participation in committees and budgeting, and involvement in and understanding of the Panhellenic Council and knowledge of Kappa and chapter history. We aimed to address these challenges by giving a philanthropy presentation during new member periods, having more hands-on RIF related volunteering, planning monthly programming meetings covering topics of interest to the chapter, making committee agendas organized and efficient, holding one committee meeting per month, keeping committee members involved by delegating tasks and meeting regularly, holding a programming meeting informing members about the history and function of Panhel, enforcing attendance at Panhel meetings more strictly, and having the Panhel delegate be more explicit about the proceedings of Panhel meetings.
Recently, a local sorority, Beta Psi Nu, joined our Panhellenic Council as an associate member. We are also starting to work more closely with non-Panhellenic and non-Inter Fraternity Council Greek organizations, such as Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Renovations to dorms and small group housing are beginning to occur across campus. Along with this, there has been discussion regarding the relocation of our meeting room as renovations are completed across campus. Our chapter currently has 40 active members and 11 new members. Our numbers fluctuate greatly over the course of the year since we have deferred recruitment.
Zeta Epsilon holds meetings in our designated meeting room located in the Panhellenic Wing of one of the university-owned dorms on campus. Our chapter does not have (and has never had) a house or any type of group housing. In terms of changes on campus, diversity has been a popular topic for discussion. One significant change on campus was the addition of loft-style housing in Coleman Hall. This living space includes a living room, a kitchen, and rooms for 8-20 people, depending on the loft.
One issue our chapter has been experiencing is attendance and accountability. While we are all sisterly towards one another, attendance at our sister's events is lacking. This is something the chapter has discussed, and we hope to increase attendance for upcoming events.
We typically raise money for Harbor House in Appleton, WI. The chapter choose this organization because this is a place that benefits greatly from our fundraising.
This year was as one would expect, full of numerous activities that brought sisters together in the name of Kappa. Our chapter has deferred recruitment, so our recruitment takes place the second week of January, just after our term has started. The week leading up to this is full of crafting, practicing, and total focus on recruitment. It's nice because we use this big event as a way to boost Kappa spirit and reteach all members about Kappa's symbols, history, philanthropy, and everything in between. Increasing Kappa pride and Kappa spirit has been a main focus the last couple terms, and this was a perfect way to kick off the new term in the name of Kappa.
We flowed through this term with our normal weekly meetings, and volunteered on MLK jr. day as a sisterhood, but the biggest importance was making our new pledges feel welcome and at home as they began their Kappa education journey. During the week of February 6-10, our Philanthropy Chair put on an event called "Kappa Krush" where students could purchase Crush soda cans for a $1 and leave a note that can be delivered to their "crush". This money was donated to Harbor House in Appleton, WI. As the term continued, the chapter felt it important to address the possibility of seasonal affective disorder and personal well being through a programming event lead by one of our faculty wellness members, Erin. This was extremely important because the second term of the year tends to be the hardest, and we wanted every sister to be understood and feel a comfort in her sisters.
We were lucky enough to be able to schedule our LC visit to coincide with our Inspirational Period, including everything revolvimg around initiation. This was an amazing opportunity to have a graduated sister come in and remind the chatper of what this is all about and make sure everything ran smoothly and accurately. Our LC was amazing and we learned so much from her. Because of the other Greek chapters on campus, we added sisters through continuous open bidding in the spring as well. Having two initiations back to back helped bring our sisterhood together and continue educating everyone on all things Kappa.
In May, WE WON OUR GREEK WEEK. The amount of participation from Kappa members was unbelievable and extremely awesome. Not only did we show our fellow greek organizations a lot of support, we also hit our philanthropy event (Too Hot To Handle, a wing eating contest) out of the park. Everything was so successful and we were able to help out a lot of good causes in the process.
As our year came to a close, we showed our support for our sisters through "nerd days" that help with studying and coping with the stresses of finals, and an alcohol awareness programming event that educated everyone on informed drinking habits to help keep everyone safe and smart in the upcoming summer.
This was a big year for Zeta Epsilon Chapter! With the changes in leadership and membership, our chapter shifted its focus on sisterhood and support. More specifically, our VP Standards and President worked closely to shift standards committee to a support outlet for members. In addition, to further strengthen our relationship with Kappa Kappa Gamma on a national level, our chapter's VP organization arranged multiple visits from an LC and EME trainer. These visits helped our leadership increase its knowledge on expectations of each position and ways to improve internal support. This helped our sorority grow and flourish further under the ongoing focus letter. We started off the year with formal recruitment in January, welcoming eleven new members into our chapter. During that week, Katie O'regan, an LC, visited our chapter, helping the new leadership transition more smoothly into their positions. For the rest of winter term, Zeta Epsilon chapter focused on welcoming and educating the new members, initiating them in late February on both the Lawrence and Northwestern campus. Several senior programming events occurred in February and March, focusing mainly on nutrition and finance education.
After spring break, the chapter began spring term with a focus on sisterhood, attending the conservatory’s opera starring multiple Kappa sisters. Later in April, an EME trainer visited our chapter. We focused mainly on the the function and improvement of sister support both within and outside of Kappa. This comradery carried over into Greek Week, helping Kappa take first in Lip Sync and win for the third consecutive year! Furthermore, our philanthropy chair organized successful wing eating contest, raising several hundred dollars for Harbor House, a local organization sheltering survivors of domestic abuse. To celebrate our sister, we had a sisterhood event in the chapter room to watch the royal wedding and drink tea. For the last several weeks of the school year, we focused on our graduating seniors, planning a fun formal and senior send off. The seniors also had a dinner with the chapter’s advisors at the Melting Pot. During our last chapter council meeting before summer break, we looked over the reassessment of our chapter’s focus letter. As recommended, each member of the council agreed to reach out to their specialist and discuss their position during the summer. During the summer, we had some major renovations of our chapter room thanks to our house board. To increase the space and comfortability of the room, much of our furniture was replaced and the floor was completely renovated. Outside of the chapter, our president and marshal attended national Kappa events, including the Leadership Conference and 2018 General Convention. One of our members also notified she received a large scholarship through Kappa based on her academic achievements.
Our chapter immediately began COBs once school resumed, welcoming three wonderful new members, who were initiated in late October. Furthermore, our panhellenic council organized an All Greek Hazing Conversation, which was considered a programming event for our chapter. A guest speaker was brought in to discuss the impacts of hazing on both individuals and the organizations themselves. To celebrate Founders Day, we had an event for the entire chapter and any alumni that could attend. We organized the event to not only focus on the founders themselves, but also the important memories that tie each individual to the organization. Later that month, we went apple picking as a sisterhood event, then using the apples for our annual Kappa Karmael Apples. Held at a home football game, most of the chapter helped make and sell caramel apples to fans. All proceeds were given to Harbor House, our local philanthropy. In early November, a majority of our chapter spent a weekend in Door County at Lawrence’s second campus. The weekend consisted of hikes through the woods, sisterhood games, and an important discussion of Kappa rituals and their meaning. Additionally, there were several Greek Diversity Initiative and Phanel meetings to discuss stereotypes and the socioeconomic restrictions of greek life. Many Kappa members were in attendance for both events. During the last few weeks of fall term, we were fortunate enough to have another EME and LC visit, helping the chapter elect new Kappa leadership for the upcoming year. To promote a smoother transition, especially within the new structure for the Epsilon district, Hannah and our VP- Organization organized a leadership evening. Our chapter finished off the term with Friendsgiving, a new chapter tradition. This event involves each family making a dish to pass for the entire chapter. Describe the recent changes on campus and describe the chapter’s overall nature.
Greek life on the Lawrence campus has become increasingly criticized and questioned as growing numbers of sexual assault reported were associated with fraternities. These motifying numbers have resulted in the formation of several greek associated groups to examine and change these current realities faced within fraternities. For example, the Greek Diversity Initiative was established several years ago with a mission to discuss and effectively encourage the involvement of marginalized individuals in greek life. While these issues are still ongoing, the entire greek community has multiple conversations a term now to decontrust barriers and change toxic environments. Zeta Epsilon chapter has experienced a large shift in attitude over the last year. This newfound optimism and confidence is largely due to the new members initiated during last formal recruitment. Their sheer positivity has allowed this chapter to reduce the amount of internal conflict and instead focus on sisterhood. Myself and the older chapter members are incredibly excited to watch the new leadership flourish.
Harbor House is a local organization that empowers individuals and educates the community on domestic abuse. It provides shelter for individuals affected by domestic abuse. Members of Zeta Epsilon volunteer their time by providing child care for families currently being sheltered at the facility. We hope to continue supporting victims of domestic abuse within Outagamie and Calumet County and raise awareness on this important issue within the local community.
Our chapter is fortunate to have many leaders within our group. This leadership can be seen out of Kappa (in things like athletics, clubs, and the conservatory) and in Kappa through the particiaption in leadership conventions and other committees. Our sisters have seemed to take to heart our goal of increasing Kappa pride.
Because we met the number requirement for chapter members, we did not do recruitment or initiation in the fall. This was a nice break because instead of focusing on teaching new members about Kappa, we were able to focus on becoming a tighter sisterhood with the sisters we already had.
We did philanthropy events, including our known Kappa Karmel Apples, and sisterhood events, such as going to the trampoline park together, going to the pumpkin patch, having stress free nights in the Kappa room, and even just getting meals together. We had elections on November 12th and will be transitioning those positions when we return for the next term. This year was the beginning of a huge Kappa pride and spirit turn around in our chapter. As everyone gets closer, they love each other more, and love Kappa more for bringing them together. It only goes up from here.
Not a lot of big changes have happened on campus. There seems to be a certain stigma in regards to Greek life, but we are slowly working on that through diversity intiatives and personal invitations to events. We, as Greek life, are trying to open up more and become more approachable and inclusive. Our chaper has been on a focus letter this year. We have been working hard to get off of it, but some things take more time than others. We have, however, made a lot of progress and only see more improvement from here. Having pride in being a Kappa, working on sisterhood, and having an overall respect for being a Kappa has been our goal and our focus. We plan on continuing to work on all of this and make our chapter the best it has ever been. For philanthropy, we stick to the Kappa Foundation, Harbor House, and (because we do not have RIF near us) varying organizaitons that help local children (the elementrary schools, blessings in a backpack, the Boys and Girls Club, etc.). This year has been fairly diverse in philanthropic hours because so many of our sisters are involved with different things. Some volunteer with the special olympics and ask sisters to join. Others have their own events they are holding (like a Halloween party for kids with disabilities, or an Hour of Power swimming event) and we will usually be the primary volunteers. Our commons kitchen has a food recovery program that was started by a Kappa, so we tend to be the majority volunteers for that too. Everything varies, other than our Kappa bound philanthropy, but if a sister asks us to volunteer, we support it. In regards to our Kappa based philanthropy, every year we hold Kappa Karamel Apples, Kappa Krush, and Too Hot to Handle to support them. The organizations and events we chose to participate in all fell under what our chapter considers respectable and impactful. We all just want to continue making a difference in people's lives, especially those in our community. We hold meetings in our chapter room, located in the Panhellenic wing of one of the university owned dorms. It hasn’t changed for many years now. We do not have a house, nor have we ever had a house. We are working on changing the interior decoration in our chapter room in the near future.
One of the most memorable first moments of 2019 was welcoming our new pledge class! We initiated ten new members who have been wonderful additions to our chapter. In the first round of primary recruitment, the potential new members get to know our chapter by casually talking to most of our members. In this round we inform the potential new members what Greek life is like at Lawrence and answer any questions that they have. There are posters of what we all major and minor in and other extracurricular activities everyone is involved with on campus. In this round we get to talk to the potential new members the most and get to know them. Round two is centered around our philanthropy. We inform them on the organizations that we support and how we do so. The Kappa Kappa Gamma foundation, Harbor House, and Reading is Fundamental are the organizations that we often volunteer and fundraise for. During this round we wrote letters for little kids about our favorite books and what inspired us to read. We also made bookmarks to give to the children. We gave the letters and the bookmarks to an elementary school and public library. This round we got to know the potential new members very well. Round 3 focused on our ritual and getting to know the potential new members even more. We also made this round more personalized to our potential new members by telling them how we saw Kappa in each of them. It helps our potential new members get a really good idea what Kappa means to us and what it could mean to them. For our winter philanthropy, we held an event on campus that we called “Kappa Kappaccino,” where we sold coffee and donuts on campus to raise money for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Another event that we hosted during spring term was Too Hot to Handle, where we had a cookout during Greek Week to raise money for the Harbour House, our local philanthropy. We will be doing an event at the local elementary school next week. For this event, we will be doing fun activities with third graders about the Wampanoags, which is a topic they have been learning about in class. We hope to get them excited about learning by doing a coloring activity, reading stories, and watching a short clip about the tribe. At this event, we will also be asking for book donations. Our new member formal was held on the second floor of the Warch Campus Center. The theme was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” inspired by the Dr. Suess children’s book. Our decorations included a sky photo backdrop, a map of the world for us to mark where we are all from, balloons, and streamers. We also provided snacks, such as chocolate fondue with treats for dipping, popcorn, and fruits. With our new members still getting to know their sisters, this was a great way for them to enjoy their sisters’ company and their first official Kappa event! In the spring, we held continuous open bidding to add three new members to our chapter. For our first round, which was held in our Kappa room, we had a spa night. We got to know our potential new members by painting our nails, doing face masks together, and eating snacks. The following evening, we held a game night in our Kappa room. We played Uno, Apples to Apples, Jenga, and many other board games. We had about six potential new members come through COB’s, including one Kappa legacy. There were a few concerns raised about a few of the potential new members, however we try to give each potential member the benefit of the doubt and overlook trivial campus gossip. Ultimately, our decision came down to who we all thought would not only fit in with our chapter, but also help us improve by bringing new and refreshing ideas. We welcomed three new members into our chapter, and they have all been wonderful additions. Senior formal was held at Pullman’s, a nearby restaurant right along the river. Dinner was provided, along with a cash bar. The formal was in honor of the graduating senior class. It was themed the “The Final Rose,” and we gave real roses to give each of them. We also had note jars for each senior, for our chapter members to leave them all kind messages and words of admiration. Our last week of the term, we held both big/little reveal and senior sendoff together. Our three new members finally got to find out who their big was! Each big made a large sign and held it over them, and after a countdown they dropped their signs to reveal themselves. Our big/little pairs are Amy and Anna, Rebecca and Liz, and Jackie and Hannah. They are all great pairs and really enjoy spending time with each other. Following big/little reveal, the sophomores sang “I’ll Always Remember You” by Hannah Montana to the seniors. We did change some of the lyrics to make them more Kappa oriented. The juniors performed a skit for the seniors as well. We then fulfilled our tradition where our seniors give us their old Kappa shirts and we all wear everything that we are given. By the end, we are all wearing several layers of clothing and we take a picture. In May, just before we were let out of school, we held interim elections for President, VP Finance, VP Membership, VP Membership Development, and VP Internal Affairs. While this change was announced at our Executive Board meeting, nominations and voting was completed at a formal meeting. Annika Lund was installed as VP Membership Development, Alexis Angemi was installed as VP Membership, Ally Herrera was installed as VP Internal Affairs and the proxy for Ritual and History Director, Elizabeth Liebau was installed as VP Finance, and Ceara Larson was installed as President. In less than one week, the new board was running smoothly and advancing the chapter. With this change in leadership came a change in our advisory board, who came to us with plenty of new ideas and great attitudes. For continuous open bidding of fall 2019, we had a spa themed night and a game night. We played board games together and had two potential new members stop into our room and express interest in Kappa. We gave one bid out to Jordan Adamson and she accepted the bid. Bid night was a pajama theme and we had snacks and got to know our new member after welcoming her in by singing Rah Rah and Oh Pat. VP Membership bought the snacks and set up the room. Since it was for one new member, and the two potential new members that expressed interest are teammates and roommates of current members, the rounds were kept simple so we could focus on getting to know the potential new members. We did not utilize any committee members as it was not necessary. Since we were only giving out one bid, we really wanted to find the best fit for our chapter. We wanted someone who is compassionate, responsible, and showed interest in being a part of our chapter. We had members who did not already know the potential new members chat with them during our spa and game nights so they could get to know them more before discussion and voting. On November 12th, we held big/little reveal in our Kappa room so Jordan Adamson could find out who her big was. On the table we left a crossword puzzle that included hints about her big. These hints included her favorite sports, classes, hobbies, and interests. Each word contained one letter from her name, which was circled prior to starting the puzzle. Once Jordan finished the puzzle, she scrambled the circled letters to find out that Lauren Turner was her big. Lauren then opened the door to officially reveal her identity. This term we had the privilege to initiate four new members: Jordan Adamson, Jaqueline Feldy, Elizabeth Jonjak Plahn, and Anna White. On November 16th, we had our FS ceremony, with one alumnae present. The following morning, November 17th, we held RR and WR. We also had two alumnae present for these ceremonies, who both read for RR. Initiation ran very smoothly, and we are so excited to teach our new members all about Kappa’s ritual and the secret songs that they have been waiting to learn. On November 3rd, we held our elections. Tali Berkowitz was the head of the Nomination Committee, with Jessica Hopkins and Celina Vidos in the committee. During our chapter meeting, Tali presented the slate, and we voted on each position as a chapter. Ceara Larson was re-elected as our chapter President. Elizabeth Liebau was re-elected as VP Finance. Erin Lengel was re-elected as our VP Operations. Ally Herrera was elected for VP Membership Development. Anna Kallay was elected as our new VP Membership. Emma Gilshannon was installed as VP External Affairs. Genesis Rosiles was elected as our new VP Internal Affairs. Annika Lund is now our new Standards Director. Elizabeth Jonjak Phlan was elected as our new Event Director. Kylie Lydon was elected as Risk Management Director. Celina Vidos was elected as the Administration Director. Emily Hoeft was elected as our new Facilities Director. Amy Courter was elected as our new Ritual and History Director, however she stepped down from her position the following week, so Lauren Tuner was elected in her place. A week later we also held Leadership Day at one of our advisor's homes, to help make our transitions smoother and to better understand one another’s leadership styles. We had the Minnie Stewart van come to campus Friday November 1st from 3-5 pm. Due to the weather, we moved the van into the Kappa room. They brought a ton of cool and interesting Kappa items, such as an original gavel, seal, and several other objects from the founding at Monmouth College. They also had a VR set that animated the creation of Kappa where we were able to see our founders sign the original documents that brought Kappa into being.
Some of the most memorable campus-wide changes and events that have occurred over this past year includes the infamous Polar Vortex. During winter term, temperatures dropped to a record-breaking –50 degrees in Appleton. Our classes were cancelled for a majority of that week, and it was considered unsafe to go outside without the proper clothing on. With record breaking low temperatures such as this, it was almost certain that you could get frost bite within minutes of being outside. Another change on campus was with our meal plans. The meal plans changed from a set number of meal swipes and culinary cash over the course of a whole term to a set number of meal swipes renewing weekly with a set amount of culinary cash to last the entire term. For the most part, this change was not been widely appreciated by students. Administration is already considering changing it, since it has caused many issues when people run out of their set amount of culinary cash and do not have enough meal swipes to account for all their meals for the week. Overall, we have had a very interesting and fun year, and we are looking forward to what is to come.
Founders Day 2019 was held at our adviser, Christina’s home. It was a lovely affair, and we chatted with our sisters, alumnae, and advisers. We had a delicious brunch and discussed the significance of the upcoming 150th anniversary. We conducted the Founders Day ceremony from the Kappa website and sang two songs: "On the Heart of Each Sister" and "Dream a While of Kappa". Overall, it was a success, and the celebration was enjoyed by all!
Zeta Epsilon supports Reading Is Fundamental, Harbour House, and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Each of these organizations is very important to our chapter.
One of the first memories of 2020 was welcoming our new pledge class! During primary recruitment our first round was to have the potential new members get to know our chapter by casual conversations. In this round we inform the PNM of what Greek life is like at Lawrence and what the chapter is like. There are posters around the room that tell the PNM about all of our major and minors and the extracurricular activities everyone in is involved in. Round two is all about our philanthropy. This is when we inform them about the organizations that we support. During this round we colored bookmarks to give to the children for a local elementary school. This is the round where we get to know the PNM very well. Round 3 focused on our ritual. This round is more personalized to the PNM by telling then how we saw Kappa in them. We initiated our 7 new members on January 28 and January 29. Our philanthropy for winter term was “Kappa Kappaccino.” We sold coffee and donuts on campus to raise money for Harbor House. We had our new member formal on the second floor of Warch Campus Center. We provided snacks and drinks, along with multiple backdrops for pictures. We had multiple backdrops for pictures. This was a great event to celebrate your new members. On March 12 we were told that campus will be closed for next term do to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This was a very sad day for everyone because it meant one less term with our lovely seniors. To honor our seniors, we put on senior sendoff that Saturday to say goodbye. The sophomores sang a song to the seniors. We did change some of the lyrics to make them more Kappa oriented. The juniors performed a skit for the seniors as well. We then fulfilled our tradition where our seniors give us their old Kappa shirts and we all wear everything that we are given. By the end, we are all wearing several layers of clothing and we take a picture. Our last day on campus was on March 18 which was the last day for the school year of 2019-2020.
Spring term was very different to everyone at Lawrence. This was the first term that was all online. To keep in touch during the pandemic we had Zoom coffee dates and other fun activites. We also tried to have movie nights on Friday, but we had some technology problems. Our chapter did not have a philanthropy event spring term due to COVID-19.
Our first chapter activity together was on September 20 which was our first chapter meeting for the school year. It was different than normal because it was all online. It was so nice to see all of our sisters for the first time in 6 months. We had continuous open bidding online with themes of game night and spa night. We got two great new members. Our VP Membership went to their rooms to give them a little goodie bag. We celebrated together with an online Zoom bid night. We were able to do a trivia event about our new members in the style of Jeopardy. On November 7 we had big/little reveal. To reveal who the big and little pairings, the bigs did a TikTok. It was a great change on how we normally do big/little reveal due to COVID-19. This term we had the privilege to initiate two new members: Kate and Lyss on November 14, 2020 in an all-in-one ceremony, with Elmhurst University, because of the Pandemic. We had our election on November 8. Genesis was the head of Nomination Committee and presented the slate that we voted on. Lexi Praxel was elected as our new President. Ally Herrera was elected as standards. Elizabeth Liebou was elected as VP Operations. Sam Tolu was elected as VP Internal Affairs. Jessica Hopkins was elected as VP External Affairs. Kate James was elected as VP Finance. Sarah Yochem was elected as VP Membership. Anna Kallay was elected as VP Membership Development. Marlee Matthews was elected as Ritual and History Director. The philanthropy for fall term is that our chapter donated money to Harbor House for their needs. We are doing this because other types of philanthropy events are really hard to do because of COVID-19.
Another obstacle that arose fall term was the movement of Abolish Greek Life. Our Chapter addressed this by having people from headquarters come to a chapter meeting to talk to us about the movement across the country. They also walked us through different situations on what could happen and where to go from there. The next meeting, we came up with ideas to improve and change the chapter for everyone. Also, during the meeting with headquarters, we talked about changing primary recruitment. We are currently in the process of adjusting recruitment, so everyone feels more welcomed.
Overall, it was a great year filled with good and bad times. We learned through a pandemic that has taught us so much about each other and about ourselves.
Chapter Philanthropies: Harbor House Reading is Fundamental Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation Each of these organizations represent the causes that are important for us as a chapter to support.
The chapter included Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training this year by adding a DEI officer. During fall term our chapter had a small committee that came up with different activities to talk about DEI. We had a speaker come to talk to the chapter about their experiences in Greek Life. We are also changing how the chapter does primary recruitment.
To celebrate Kappa’s 150th anniversary, we did the virtual ceremony on October 11, 2020 following a chapter meeting. Our chapter also decided to have the readers for the celebration to be around the country to show that we are together even when we are apart.