Dr. Viancca Williams
Fraternity and Sorority KC Chair-Elect
Director, Fraternity and Sorority Life
University of Central Florida
Joint Candidate Statement
The purpose of the NASPA Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community (KC) is to understand the impact fraternal organizations have on campus and educate NASPA professionals on issues, trends and best practices that help fraternal organizations contribute to the missions of their universities. With over 1,400 members, it is imperative the KC provides a forum for professionals working with fraternities and sororities to learn, collaborate, and expand effective practices that positively impact these organizations and the institutions they are a part of. Our intention in running for Co-Chairs of this Knowledge Community is to enhance the current initiatives and offerings provided that elevate members’ learning, explore creative and strategic approaches for the operations of fraternity/sorority functional areas, and increase the engagement of members and different stakeholders through collaboration, advocacy, and data-based/evidence-informed methods.
Together, we bring almost 25 years of expertise in the fraternity and sorority functional area, along with experience from a variety of institution types, serving in different professional roles throughout our careers, attending and facilitating diverse professional development experiences, knowledge from evidence-based practices, and careers external but transferrable to higher education. Our knowledge of higher education principles and related information is expansive, our strengths complement each other, and we represent a wide array of experiences and backgrounds. Combined, these attributes contribute to our inclusive leadership centered on listening to, advocating for, and understanding the many perspectives encompassing fraternity/sorority advocacy.
Our Philosophy as Co-Chairs
The tenets of our joint leadership philosophy as Co-Chairs of the KC are partnership, advocacy, and forward thinking. In the area of partnerships, we believe in the importance of continuing and maintaining strong relationships with umbrella organizations and headquarters staff members in order to advance fraternities and sororities; we would like to complement these relationships with the inclusion of faculty, research organizations, and higher level administrators to provide different and necessary perspectives and direction for our work. We also believe in the need to advocate for the fraternity and sorority experience as well as the functional area and related staff. Last, we want to embrace the future of fraternity and sorority life; this trajectory includes confronting systems of oppression within fraternity and sorority life, prioritizing systems of inclusion and inclusionary practices, maximizing research-based practices to reduce risk, examining the purpose of fraternity and sorority units with a wider perspective (focused on resources such as time spent, finances, staffing, and deliverables) and articulating the returns of the experience, linking student success practices to fraternity/sorority life work, and seeking unconventional collaborations.
Our Purpose as Co-Chairs
As Co-Chairs, our approach will uplift the KC’s purpose by building on its current foundation and strategic plan dedicated to community engagement, partnerships, and advocacy. Our purpose will be rooted in action, intention, and being solution-oriented. We will commit to actionable items that allow the functional area to be pragmatic and action-centered; as part of this process, we will measure initiatives that are implemented and use knowledge gained from this assessment to enhance practices. Additionally, we will be intentional about seeking and distributing knowledge that is research-based and/or assessed. Last, we want to build upon conventional approaches and seek unconventional means in order to identify transformational practical solutions.
Our Goals as Co-Chairs
To carry out this outlined philosophy and purpose, our goals as Co-Chairs are the following:
- Honor the KC’s current work and build upon that foundation
- Implement a collaborative approach to establish measurable goals that lead to the KC’s and functional area’s progress for the next three to five years
- Address barriers to KC engagement and establish engagement opportunities for those who can enhance the work of fraternity/sorority affairs yet have not found a voice in the discussion
- Elevate scholarship related to fraternity/sorority practices and strategies that work
- Be futuristic by thinking beyond our current mainstay
- Fill communication gaps and identify opportunities for synergistic solutions through cross-functional dialog and advance the conversation related to fraternity/sorority affairs in constructive and innovative ways
- Incorporate voices of experts from related fields to make an impact in facilitating culture shift
- Expand the scope of the KC to include overlapping societal issues/solutions in developing research informed practices
- Establish intentional approaches to building an inclusive community where individuals feel welcomed in the KC space and engage in the work despite the areas they represent