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Get Off the Bench: Why Step Up to Be a Chapter Leader


Before becoming president, I never imagined I would lead my chapter.

The first KD I met on campus was a strong leader. She was involved in residential life, peer mentoring and her sisterhood. She was my idol. I later joined Kappa Delta because I wanted to surround myself with confident women like her, many of whom take on key leadership roles on campus and in the chapter.

With council elections coming up in the fall of my sophomore year, I started thinking of the sisters I knew who would make for a successful council. I never considered serving on council was something I could do. I saw council members as other talented women who were going to step up to lead. I was intimidated and didn’t think I had what it took.

When the president at the time, Daisy, approached me at lunch and asked if I had thought about running for council, I was flattered but surprised. I told her I had thought about it, but wasn’t sure yet. A few hours later, she messaged me and told me I should consider running for president. I was extremely hesitant. I was scared she would see that I wasn’t good enough, that there were other sisters who would be better in the role. I was afraid I would choose to run for election but the chapter wouldn’t choose me. I talked with Daisy over coffee about the position, my hands shaking so much I spilled coffee all over the table. But she still encouraged me to apply.

Over the next few weeks, I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to run as the chapter’s first sophomore president. It took me a while to work through my initial doubts and insecurities before I finally made my decision. I set my pride aside and thought about this group of women and what they had given me in my few short months as a sister. I pictured myself serving as president: leading chapter meetings, working with a council of women I called my role models, being the individual chosen to represent my chapter. I knew in my heart I wanted to give back everything I had to this group that had given me so much. I decided to run for chapter president. I am so incredibly glad I did.

This past year as Theta Beta’s president has been challenging. I had to learn how to better budget my time, advocate for our chapter to so many different campus groups, form relationships with campus staff, work with a council diverse in leadership styles and opinions, and keep 180 women active in and passionate about our chapter. Through all of these experiences, I have grown so much. I am confident I would not be the leader, sister and person I am today without this experience. I am so thankful for Daisy who saw the potential leader in me and for my chapter who trusted and encouraged me over the past year.

My advice for anyone who has even a little interest in taking a leadership position on council or as an appointed officer – don’t count yourself out! Stop thinking there are other sisters who should do it or would do it better. Think instead about what your chapter means to you, what they’ve given you and what you think you can give back. You are a valuable Kappa Delta, and your unique strengths are needed by your chapter. Let go of the fear or insecurity or complacency or whatever it is that’s holding you back. Get off the bench and be the leader your chapter needs.

Allison Camm
Chapter President
Theta Beta-Washington/St. Louis