You’re a new officer! Now what? 9 ways to rock the beginning of your term

Congratulations on being elected or appointed in a ZTA officer role! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year.

Now that you are in place, what do you do next? Get going with these top ways to rock the first 90 days of your term. Take notes and check each one off as you go. You’ll be ready to start your year with a bang!

1. Get to know your officer role inside and out by doing your homework. Read the manuals, guides and resources available to you. So much can be found on the Sisters Only site under officer resources.

2. Meet or talk with those whom you will be working with, like advisors, National Officers, other chapter officers or committee members, faculty/staff members and/or vendors. Learn about each other and bounce your ideas off of them. You might just become best friends!

3. Build teamwork as an Executive Committee or Program Council. Play games, get to know each other and find ways to collaborate and cross-program.

4. Get organized by creating your own binder and files. Create a calendar for the year ahead and highlight and color-code important deadlines and events. Check out the Sisters Only site for your resources if you haven’t already!

5. Dream of what you could accomplish as a new officer and create a clear vision. Members want to follow leaders who can dream beyond the chapter’s current challenges and clearly articulate a brighter vision of the future.

6. Brainstorm new ideas for your office. Think about creative solutions before immediately going with your first idea. Don’t get stuck with what your chapter has already done. Be bold!

7. Listen to other members and see what ideas they have for your officer role. Talk one-on-one or send out a quick survey online. What would they change about your office or the programs you plan? This is valuable feedback to make your year successful.

8. Make SMART goals for the year by using this tool. It will help you set personal goals and set up the steps to achieve them

9. Spring into action by working your plan. Nothing will happen unless you DO something!

Bonus! Do an officer photo shoot as sisterhood bonding. Find tons of ideas of concepts on the ZTA Pinterest Page. Create your very own signature move.

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A Zeta’s guide to New Year’s resolutions, as told by the best gifs of 2014

It’s that time of year again—the moment we’ve painstakingly cultivated Pinterest boards about—it’s New Year’s resolution time.

Below are nine resolutions we could all follow to make our lives a little brighter in 2015, according to some of the best gifs and moments of the last year.

  1. Do more of what makes you happy.
    We all need a spirit-boost every once in a while. Make time to do things that make you happy this year, like rewarding yourself with a post-study session dance break.
  2. Prove there is more than meets the eye.
    As sorority women, we are constantly battling stereotypes. Make a promise to yourself and your sisters that 2015 will be the year of living ZTA values to break down those stereotypes.
  3. Make friends with someone you don’t know.
    Go out of your way to get to know someone new. This could mean going out of your way to talk to someone in one of your classes or at work—maybe even someone in another Panhellenic sorority—or just spending more time with a new member you haven’t gotten to know very well yet. Strike up a conversation by doing something nice for them!
  4. Be healthy—mentally, physically and emotionally.
    Lose the Grumpy Cat blues by deciding to take charge of every aspect of your health this year. We even have some resources that can help! Check out our wellness Pinterest board and our new fraternity-sponsored mental health programming, Behind Happy Faces.
  5. If you fall, get up and dust yourself off.
    Take a note from Jennifer Lawrence’s red carpet/award show appearances in 2014: Sometimes falling down can be endearing, especially if you follow it by accepting an award for something awesome.
  6. Try something new!
    No matter what you do this year, take a trip outside your comfort zone. Travel somewhere you’ve never been before, learn a new skill or go out on a limb for the sake of fashion.
  7. Let go.
    A list about 2014 wouldn’t be complete without a “Frozen” reference, so here it is. Follow Elsa’s example and let go of things that have held you back in the past!
  8. Make teamwork a priority.
    When we work together, we can accomplish great things. Don’t forget, team work makes the dream work in 2015.
  9. You do you!
    Keep chasing your dreams this year and don’t let anyone knock your style! Set tangible goals and accomplish them in your own way. It doesn’t matter how you get there, so long as you do.

Having trouble deciding which one of these you want to take on? Let us help you pick with our ZTAFeed quiz!

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15 ZTA facts to ring in 2015

Now that the new year has arrived, we are ready to dive into 2015!  Ring in 2015 with these ZTA facts dedicated to the number 15!

  1. The following collegiate chapters were founded on the 15th of the month:
    • Alpha, Longwood University, October 15, 1898
    • *Beta (New), Judson College, April 15, 1905
    • *Omega, Southern Methodist University, January 15, 1916
    • Psi, University of Washington, September 15, 1917
    • Gamma Rho, Auburn University, June 15, 1951
    • *Eta Eta, McNeese State University, May 15, 1971
    • Theta Nu, Auburn University at Montgomery, April 15, 1978
    • Iota Alpha, Robert Morris University, November 15, 1980
    • Kappa Iota, Moravian College, March 15, 1997
  2. The 15th link in our Chain of Chapters is *Xi, University of Southern California, founded April 23, 1910.
  3. These items cost $15 at Crown & Co.
  4. Our 15th National President was Nelly Galloway Shearer, who served from 1974-78 (pictured on the left).Memphis_Nelly Galloway Shearer, Rebecca DeRousse, Jane Gillespie working on Race morning
  5. These three state have 15 total alumnae and collegiate chapters:
    • Alabama
    • California
    • Tennessee
      State Signs 2015
  6. 2015 will mark 15 years of partnership with these NFL teams:
    • New York Giants
    • Indianapolis Colts
    • Miami Dolphins
      NFL 2015
  7. Three collegiate chapters were formed in 1915 and will celebrate their centennial in the new year
    • Upsilon, University of California Berkeley, May 14, 1915
    • Phi, Duke University, June 3, 1915
    • *Chi, University of Pittsburgh, November 6, 1915
  8. In Kentucky, the 15th state to join the Union, we have one collegiate chapter—Beta Lambda, University of Louisville, and two alumnae chapters—Lexington, KY Chapter and Louisville, KY Chapter.
    kentucky
  9. ZTA awarded the first Honor Ring in 1915. The Honor Ring is the highest individual honor granted by the Fraternity. More Zetas received Honor Rings at the 1915 Convention than at any other time, since the award was retroactive to the Fraternity’s founding.
    honor_ring
  10. The 15th most-liked post on our Instagram, with over 1.8k likes, is:
    On Wednesdays, even our pumpkins wear pink! Tag your best ZTA pumpkin art with #WEareZTA so we can see your handiwork. #ztathinkpinkinstagram
  11. The 15th issue of Themis was published in May 1908. It included letters from each chapter, articles on the upcoming Convention, and features on topics that are still relevant today: the importance of lasting friendship, working against Greek stereotypes and keeping the ritual sacred by denouncing hazing.
  12. Three of the ZTA homes owned or managed by the Fraternity Housing Corporation for current collegiate chapters have “15” in their address:
    • Alpha Gamma, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
    • Delta Pi, Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM
    • Alpha Omicron, The University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA
      Houses 2015
  13. The 15th chapter to join the FHC was *Eta Psi at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1980.
    EtaPsi house
  14. The 15th National Convention of Zeta Tau Alpha was held June 27-30, 1937 in Swampscott, Massachusetts.
  15. Springfield, MO Chapter became the 15th alumnae chapter when it chartered on March 19, 1927.

Happy new year!

*Indicates a closed chapter

5 Steps to Finding Your Greatness

As Zetas, we pride ourselves on being leaders, but each of us has areas where we continue to “Strive for Greatness,” which happens to be the theme of our upcoming National Leadership Conference in July 2015.

In this biennium, ZTA is focusing on greatness and here is how you can find your greatness within. It’s within reach, if you follow these five steps to be G-R-E-A-T!

Grow
Find your passion!  What do you love doing? How can you grow and develop in that area? How can you enhance your own skills?

Reality
Take time to really evaluate yourself as a leader.  Sometimes we have an idea of our strengths and they can actually be areas we need to develop. We’ll never know unless we take a minute to reflect on our current reality. For ZTA chapters, this means assessing your real strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.

How my dancing actually looks…

Explore
Get out of your comfort zone and think about new ideas to positively change and improve your reality. Ask other people for fresh ideas and generate tons of creative options. Have fun with it!

Answer
Narrow down your list of creative options and choose the direction you would like to take. Weigh the pros and cons of your final few and make your final choice of what to do.

Take Action
You’ve done the work to figure out your next move. Now, it’s time to do it! Make personal goals and an action plan to make it happen.

There you have it! The G-R-E-A-T acronym is now yours to use. Learn more about it, NLC and the plan for the biennium here.

Quiz: Which ZTA Founder would you actually be?

Have you ever wondered which ZTA Founder is most like you? Find out which of our nine Founders is your twin in celebration of our 116th Founders’ Day.

Share your results on social media using #ZTAFoundersDay!

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Our Zeta Babies, Not So Much (Warning: Extreme Cuteness)

It’s Bid Day, and in a few minutes, you are about to meet the future of your chapter! An exciting moment. The soon-to-be sisters who are about to run toward you represent the next generation of best friends, Little Sisters, study buddies and leaders of your chapter. There is a lot riding on their amazing-ness.

You hope they are as intelligent, kind, friendly, fun, involved and driven as they came across in recruitment! But yet … sometimes, our ZTA sisters call them “our Zeta babies.”

It just doesn’t add up.

While we understand that Zetas who use this term likely mean it as a term of endearment, new members are not babies. If we want them to be the members and leaders we recruited them to be, we need to call them and treat them like the women they are.

8 Ways New Members Can Bond Without Hazing

One of the notorious excuses for hazing is it promotes group unity. Research shows that most members who have been hazed don’t feel that it made them closer (Allan & Madden, 2008).

A positive new member experience creates unity and strengthens their love for ZTA all at once. Below are just a few ways new members can bond without hazing as a part of the process.

Go out for ice cream or frozen yogurt. Just watch your face.

Play intramural sports together, like softball, soccer or volleyball.
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Your VP II-New Member Coordinator can organize a new member retreat/sleepover.

Learn about the beautiful history and values of Zeta Tau Alpha through new member meetings.
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Watch an awards show together and see if you can predict the next fall from Jennifer Lawrence. Remember this one?

Help a sister out by studying together.
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Eat anything and everything with strawberries in it.

Play fun games and team-building activities to get to know each other.
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Reference: Allan, E.J & Madden, M. (2008). Hazing in view: College students at risk. Retrieved from http://umaine.edu/hazingresearch/files/2012/10/hazing_in_view_web.pdf