Elon student creates leadership academy for fraternity and sorority life students

By Ginna Royalty

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Students engage in an activity

Students from all 25 fraternities and sororities met on Saturday morning for the inaugural Officer Leadership Academy.  Students were able to engage with other leaders and members of the Greek community.

The day included breakfast, activities, sessions, lunch, and a keynote speaker. Each session had a different focus including leadership tools, position-specific topics, community collaboration and campus resources.

The day included breakfast, different activities and sessions, lunch and a keynote speaker. Each session had a different focus, including leadership tools, position-specific topics, community collaboration, and campus resources. There were 27 different speakers for the sessions, which included students and staff members. Kevin Snyder, author of

There were 27 different speakers for the sessions, which included students and staff members. Kevin Snyder, author of Proud of Purposeful: THE Fraternal Experience and motivational speaker gave the keynote address.

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Sara Elgart, senior, with Dana Carnes, director of the Center for Leadership

Sara Elgart, senior, saw a need for something like OLA last spring while serving as president of Sigma Kappa. She realized that Greek leaders needed resources, training and leadership development within their own campus community.

Through many conversations with the Fraternity & Sorority Life staff and other student leaders, OLA was born as her Common Good Project for the Leadership Fellows program. Leadership Fellow’s are tasked with implementing a positive change on campus before graduating, a Common Good Project.

“In the future, I hope this conference continue to grow as leadership at Elon and in Fraternity & Sorority Life remains an integral part of the success of the Greek community,” Elgart said.

“Students have such an opportunity to make a difference and I hope this conference continues to empower them and give them the tools and resources to be able to make that impact!”

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Becca Johnson, senior

Becca Johnson, senior, led a workshop on LGBTQIA inclusion in Fraternity and Sorority life. Although Elon was ranked #10 in the Campus Pride Index this year, there still seems to be a lack of conversation for members outside of the LGBTQIA communities.

The workshop sought to challenge participants to step outside of their comfort zone and think about difficult questions.

“Most students who are involved in FSL aren’t necessarily thinking about the challenges that an LGBTQIA individual might face because these issues don’t apply to them,” Johnson said.

“Recognizing straight privilege is important and as Elon’s LGBTQIA population continues to grow, the strong Greek presence must accommodate more diversity.”

Around 135 students attended the leadership academy and were able to attend both workshops that interested them as well as workshops relating to their leadership role or position.

“Often I find that sorority or fraternity leadership can be very insular,” said Clare Shaffer, junior. “It was really productive to have a structured space to collaborate with others who hold my position in different organizations.”

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