This past weekend, leaders from nearly every single one of Zeta Psi’s undergraduate chapters met at Lafayette College in Easton, PA to embark on a journey of leadership training, collaborative learning, and networking. As past attendees of the Educational Foundation’s Kirby Leadership Conference can attest to, the professional development opportunities, coupled with inter-chapter networking and camaraderie garnered throughout the weekend indeed makes an impression to last a lifetime.
On Thursday, attendees were welcomed to Pennsylvania by IHQ Staff, volunteers, and the Zeta Psi Grand Chapter. Along with introductory sessions led by Phi Alpha Stuart Bowers (Phi Epsilon ’81) and Tyler Boisvert (Nu Sigma ’10), chapter leaders were also split up into smaller working groups that collaborated closely over the next several days. These groups were each led by skilled elder volunteers with vast experience in facilitation and a breadth of knowledge in all things Zeta Psi.
Friday was the first full day of the conference, and began with a breakfast at the historical Tau chapter house on Lafayette’s campus. Chapter leaders then explored their DiSC profiles with Maurice Ducoing (Psi ’03). Through this session, Phis learned to identify their own leadership styles, and how to best work with their peers’ varying personality types. After lunch, Phis participated in a discussion on sexual misconduct prevention & reaction, following which they split up into their small groups for a more intimate facilitated discussion. Friday also featured sessions on secrecy within the fraternity, collaboration with our collegiate partners, and gave new chapter leaders an opportunity to meet with their Regional Education Consultants.
Saturday featured Zeta Psi’s infamous Risk Management Scenario: a fully-immersive educational experience that requires chapter leaders to navigate a risk management nightmare. Through this experience, chapter leaders gain invaluable insight into aspects of bystander intervention, deescalation, proactive risk management, and crisis response. Though often a long and grueling day, chapter leaders walk away from the scenario with a heightened awareness of the importance of a robust risk management strategy, and the necessity of bystander intervention in chapter operations.
On Sunday, Zeta Psi was joined by Annie Forrest of the OneLove Foundation. This session was a general introduction to OneLove, and how chapters can bring the foundation to their own campuses. OneLove is Zeta Psi’s preferred philanthropic partner emphasizing healthy relationships and the prevention and intervention in cases of domestic abuse.
As always, we would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to those that make these experiences possible for our undergraduate leaders. The F.M. Kirby Foundation has been a consistent sponsor of the Kirby Leadership Conference, and the conference would absolutely not be possible were it not for their continued generosity. We would also be remiss to not mention the dedicated volunteers who sacrifice their own time and energy in order to make this weekend’s events happen.