Monday, February 28, 2011

Upcoming Event: Rock Chalk Revue

Rock Chalk Revue is nationally recognized as one of the largest student-run philanthropy activities in the United States. Each year the organization hosts a variety show produced by University of Kansas students to benefit Douglas County United Way. This year marks the 62nd annual production. The show will take place on March 3-5 at the Lied Center. Tickets are on sale now at
KU students write and produce the satirical musical revue as well as fill leadership and fundraising roles. Judges selected five shows from 12 entries. This year the five selected shows include;
—    “Above the Weather,” Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and Sigma Chi fraternity
—    “Myth of the Campanile,” Chi Omega sorority and Phi Delta Theta fraternity
—    “A Little White Lie,” Kappa Delta sorority and Pi Kappa Phi fraternity
—    “Just Ad It,” Gamma Phi Beta sorority and Delta Upsilon fraternity
—    “Holiday Hysteria,” Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Beta Theta Pi fraternity
In addition to the variety show, Rock Chalk Revue hosted a benefit concert in the fall and multiple community service events throughout the year. Leading up to the show, student organizations have a chance to submit community service hours to the Rock Chalk Revue advisory board. These hours will be tallied and the organization with the most hours will be recognized with an award on the last night of the variety show.
Last year Rock Chalk Revue raised $47,000 for the Douglas County United Way. Since 1991, the organization has raised more than $800,000 for United Way.
Panhellenic women devote countless hours to this organization. Allie Donahue, one of the directors for Kappa Alpha Theta, explains why she gives so much time to Rock Chalk Revue and what Rock Chalk Revue has given back to her. 

“My experience with Rock Chalk Revue began my freshman year when I performed in Flying Solo: A Super Musical. My sorority Kappa Alpha Theta was paired with Pi Kappa Phi. As a freshman, I truly felt honored to be in the show.  Almost immediately after my first semester at college started, I became involved with the process of attempting to get our group on the Lied Center stage. We spent many nights having vocal rehearsals for our audition CD and our performance in front of judges at Oral Interviews (the audition process). This is when my college experience took off!  The night we found out that our show was chosen to perform has so far been the best night of my college experience. Being involved in Rock Chalk Revue has immensely affected my time at KU and in my sorority. I found that being involved with the show gave me a purpose in my sorority and an outlet for the dancing and theater that I left behind when I came to college. I found quickly that Rock Chalk Revue was a great way for me to get to know other people in other houses. My best friends and roommates are people I got to know through the organization. The boys from the fraternity that we did the show with are still close friends today and we have formed a great group of friends.
Now that I have moved on from just being a cast member to being a director, Rock Chalk Revue has been a completely new and rewarding experience. Being in charge this year has helped me to be a more responsible student. It has challenged me to manage my time by applying myself fully in school and working to make our show Above The Weather the best it can be. This year when my sorority was placed with a new fraternity, I worried that there was no way these boys could match up with the boys I worked with last year. I quickly realized that these guys were going to be good friends and great to work with. As I stand in front of our cast at practice I love the feeling of leading our group to our fullest potential. My other co-directors and I have worked so hard this year and have formed a strong bond. I find that through Rock Chalk Revue I am continually making new friends. It has also helped me to feel a connection to the Greek community and to the University of Kansas.  Rock Chalk Revue has truly shaped my time at KU. I no longer feel lost in the huge student body, I now have a name and I am proud to represent Kappa Alpha Theta. Even though Rock Chalk Revue can be really hard sometimes with long nights, stressful rehearsals, and overwhelming work load, in the end the reward makes it all worth it. We make great friends and irreplaceable memories. The best part about the whole experience is that win or lose, we did this for United Way. The fact that through doing something I love with people I care about is beneficial to the community is one of the most gratifying parts. As our cast hits the stage in the next two weeks I will remember all of the great moments I’ve had with these people while applauding my friends from last year with their new partners. When we take our final bow, I’ll be hoping to return to the stage next year.”
Allie is a sophomore Kappa Alpha Theta majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Dance

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Tradition of Service

We all know that the University of Kansas is a school of traditions. Our university was founded upon the well-known (and deserved!) "dislike" of our neighbors to the east. KU established some traditions of our own: the waving of the wheat, “Beware of the Phog,” and, my personal favorite, James Naismith's greatest sport of all time --basketball!

Being a member of the Panhellenic community, I am no stranger to tradition. The very pillars that uphold our Greek system are resting upon timeless traditions and practices of service, scholarship, leadership and sisterhood.

Another tradition of KU is Rock Chalk Revue. Although not born at KU (we stole it from K-State and made it better), this annual event has become KU's most creative and philanthropic tradition. Each year paired Greek houses write and produce the annual satirical musical revue as well as fill leadership and fundraising roles.

I personally could not dance or sing in front of one other person, so obviously I would not be able to perform in front of the 5,000 Rock Chalk Revue audience members that have been attending every year for the last 62 years. But I wanted to be a part of this legacy. So I chose to get involved in a different way: I interviewed to be part of the Rock Chalk Revue Advisory Board.

My experience on the Rock Chalk Revue Ad Board as the Alumni Relations Coordinator has opened many doors for me. I was thrown into endless networking possibilities with hundreds of former Rock Chalk Revue alumni. I met new people (the other Ad Boarders) and quickly learned to rely on them to help me complete my position's tasks. We've had a great year! It's hard work, but the entire Rock Chalk Revue Ad Board has witnessed the development of this year's shows from the "theme reveal" night and it's truly amazing how it's turned out!

I wouldn't have had the experience to contribute to such an amazing organization without my Panhellenic involvement. KU is fortunate to have a dynamic group of Panhellenic women to foster community involvement to all women within the 13 Panhellenic chapters. Rock Chalk Revue is just one opportunity to fulfill the pillar of service in the Lawrence community. KU's Panhellenic Association makes it easy to get involved in both the KU community and the Lawrence community.

I was able to learn about my non-dancing opportunity within Rock Chalk Revue through my Panhellenic sisters. Involvement in the community, either philanthropic or social, is rewarding because I know that I use my time to better the lives of those in the same community. My participation in both Rock Chalk Revue and the Panhellenic Association has enabled me to network with alumni and students, build confidence in my communication and leadership ability, and to be a strong part of an exceptional KU tradition!
-- Laura is a senior Kappa Kappa Gamma majoring in Journalism emphasis in Strategic Communications

Friday, February 18, 2011

Upcoming Event: KU Dance Marathon

This year the Panhellenic Association is a proud sponsor of campus philanthropy KU Dance Marathon. Panhellenic women stand for the four pillars of Greek Life, one of those being service. Many Panhellenic women have donated their time to this organization and we wanted to back them in this noble cause.

Tomorrow night Panhellenic women will join hundreds of KU students at the campus rec center for twelve whole hours of dancing fun, in hopes of raising money for Children’s Miracle Network. The event includes activities, food, dancing and a letter writing campaign to solicit more donations. Also, some very special guests will join the more than 400 students signed up for this event. Children and their families who have benefited from Children’s Miracle Network will be dancing alongside the students as a reminder of what this organization can accomplish. The twelve hour marathon is designed to do just that. Students stand for 12 hours in honor of those that can’t and in the hopes that these children will some day be able to stand and even dance along with them.

For the past few months Panhellenic women have been working with other KU students to make this year’s Dance Marathon a success. Dance Marathon is a national philanthropy dedicated to raising money for Children’s Miracle Network. The organization has a presence on more than 100 university campuses nationwide and came to KU in 2007. Since then, the organization has raised more than $50,000 for Children’s Miracle Network and this year they hope to raise an additional $60,000.

Ashley Vega, a junior Kappa Delta has been involved with KU Dance Marathon since 2008. She describes her experience with the organization and what it truly means to serve others.

“Freshmen year I came to KU without knowing about the student organizations on campus or how to get involved. However, through being in a sorority and going to chapter meetings I heard about different opportunities on campus. During one particular chapter meeting my first semester I heard about a great new organization coming to KU called Dance Marathon. I wasn’t exactly sure what Dance Marathon was all about, but I knew that it benefited Children’s Miracle Network and that was something that was particularly close to me.

Children’s Miracle Network is an organization close to my heart because my brother was diagnosed with diabetes at a young age. He was in and out of Children’s Mercy Hospital for a while during the beginning stages. Children’s Miracle Network helped give my brother and hundreds of other children the treatment and care they truly deserved and required. Even though Children’s Mercy recently became unaffiliated with Children’s Miracle Network, I still remain a strong supporter of the organization and all the amazing things they have done and will continue to do. 

Since I felt so connected to this charity I decided to take the opportunity to get involved with this organization. I first got involved with KUDM by being on the IT & Media committee. It wasn’t until the night of the actual marathon that I realized KUDM was the organization I wanted to help define my college experience. Being able to interact with the families that we help raise money for is my favorite part of the organization and why I wanted to become more involved. From there my involvement in the organization skyrocketed and I have been on the Steering Committee ever since. The organization itself has made great strides in participation and fundraising since it first started out. KUDM has not only given me the opportunity to work with some of KU’s finest students and staff, but it helped give me the confidence to become involved in other organizations on campus. Being a part of this group let me see that our work and donations really made a difference in the community and the lives of so many people. That feeling makes it worthwhile to become involved and devote so much of your time to a cause.”

Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Greek, Go Lead

Regardless of the reasons that you have heard for going Greek, I know one thing to be true: Greek life cultivates your ability to lead.
In my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, I have had the honor to serve as Philanthropy Co-chair, Panhellenic Delegate, and, most recently, Assistant Vice President of Recruitment. Serving on our chapter’s Executive Board as well as a delegate for Panhellenic Association gave me insight on the structure and complex decision-making processes of the two large, semi-autonomous organizations.
My Greek involvement has served as a perfect complement to the numerous campus activities I have participated in. They range from leadership organizations, community service, scholastic organizations, and social justice groups. I became involved in many of these organizations simply by being a curious freshman and attending many campus events. However, I was comforted by talking to my older sorority sisters, who had also been in some of the organizations I considered joining and highly recommended my participation.
Student Senate, in particular, I would not have known about had it not been for my sorority sisters encouraging me to run in the upcoming election. I was skeptical at first, but quickly became enamored with the wide range of people I was engaging in conversations with throughout the university. This enjoyment translated into my senate seat and more opportunities for involvement on campus. It also led to my nomination and election as Vice President for my coalition, KUnited. I am still grateful for the immense support I received from the Greek community and the continuous love and help I received during the election from my sorority sisters.
The opportunities and knowledge I have gained while serving as Student Body Vice President have transformed my experience at KU. I have met motivated student leaders, dedicated administrators, and made so many friends along the way. It has also taught me so much about leadership, communication, organization, and, of course, time management. I know that my decision to join Alpha Chi Omega and my subsequent involvement in the chapter and the Greek Community strengthened my leadership abilities and gave me the confidence to get more involved and become a campus leader. So Go Greek, Go Lead.

-Megan is a junior Alpha Chi Omega, majoring in Philosophy and International Studies