There are nights when Alice and a certain white rabbit visit me in my sleep singing, “You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date!” Do you think perhaps I have too much Disney and Convention planning on the brain? Nah! As we kick-off our 365-day countdown to Convention 2013, I hope you’re setting your clocks right along with me! I am absolutely thrilled to have the honor of being your National Convention Chairman. I find myself continually asking, “Do I have a Sigma Fairy Godmother?” because I feel like the luckiest woman alive as I help bring Tri Sigmas together at the “Happiest Place on Earth” for Convention 2013 themed, “This I Believe…”
I realize I have very big shoes to fill because when I attended my first Convention, it was so wonderful that I knew without a doubt I would be back for many more to come! Not only was it a Sigma-sensory overload of purple, pearls and violets everywhere, but it was also my first “reality check” that Sigma was bigger than me, my circle of friends, my chapter, and even my campus. What was this powerful event that that caused hundreds of women from all over the country and of all ages & backgrounds to come together for? Why were all these women laughing so loudly? Hugging so tightly? Debating so strongly? Crying together so softly? Our Triennial Convention, by definition, is the supreme governing body of Tri Sigma. However, it was obvious to me, even at the age of 18, that it was so much more than that. My first Convention was simply magical and I wouldn’t know it right away, but it would go on to change my life forever, “This I Believe…”
Like a kid that looks up at their parent wide-eyed after seeing a piece of that famous Disney magic so amazingly beyond explanation that it has dumbfounded them to the point where they simply exclaim, “How did they do that?!” I had no words to describe Convention to my friends when I arrived back at school that fall. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if I can do a sufficient job today after attending multiple Conventions because it’s just an indescribable feeling you get in your heart after spending time at one. The best [yet admittedly the least eloquent] way I can describe Convention is that it’s like a mullet—it’s business in the front, party in the back, and it always makes you giggle with joy when you think about it.
You are probably either smiling at your screen or have your jaw dropped right now that the I have described this monumental event that so many hold near to their hearts simply as a mullet, but stay with me. Trust in magic and trust that this analogy will make sense in the end, “This I Believe…”
For those of you that haven’t had the opportunity to attend Convention, I’ll help you visualize what all this talk of it being a “governing body” actually looks like…it looks like the world’s largest chapter meeting! There is a head table where our Executive Council presides, much like chapter officers do, and in the audience there is what is known as the Convention Body. The Convention Body is made up voting delegates each representing our collegiate and alumnae chapters and National officer positions. This may look similar to what you’d know as chairmen and chapter members. Additionally, there is a seated gallery where non-voting members can take part in the business of the Convention Body, because don’t we all like to have our voice heard in matters that effect our Sisterhood? Whether you currently are or once were a collegian, you know chapter meetings are where all the major decisions are made. So on a National level, Convention is your opportunity to help form and mold the organization. Believe it or not, our National position on topics, such as hazing, alcohol, non-discriminatory practices, office structure, ritual and even what our badge looks like were not made by our Executive Council while sitting around Walton House. Under the guidance of our leadership, everyday members, just like you or me, make our bylaws and position statements. What makes Convention so wonderful is that absolutely ANY member can attend. It doesn’t matter if you just took your pledge last year or 50+ years ago, if you’re from our Alpha chapter or our newest colony, if you’ve stayed connected over the years or not…everyone is welcome. It’s what makes our Sisterhood special and unique, “This I Believe…”
It’s a Party in the Back…
Do you think I would invite you to Florida and have you sit inside at meetings all day? Absolutely not! You know how much fun Tri Sigmas can be! Along with a spectacular local Convention Committee comprised of members of the Central Florida Alumnae Chapter and the amazingly supportive National Headquarters’ staff, we promise to deliver a Convention filled with magical moments, lifelong memories and more twists and turns then the teacup ride at the Magic Kingdom! The fact that attending Convention is a both financial and time commitment and quite possibly the only vacation some members will have all year is not lost on me. Because of this, when setting out the goals for the Convention committee, I personally asked that each of them go above and beyond to make this an event filled with surprising wonderment around every corner. We are determined to make it worth every penny and minute away from home for you. As Lumiere says, “Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!”
It Will Always Make You Giggle!
As a result, you can look forward to many new and exciting events added to our 2013 Convention agenda, such as a surprise “eye-popping, jaw-dropping” Sisterhood event, a luncheon for members and their children with perhaps a few Magical guests added to the invite list, and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where Alice finds outlandish millinery essential to the fun!
Registration will open in the Spring of 2013, but in the meantime, I encourage you to check our National Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog and website for future updates, hints, giveaways, contests, and, of course, the official countdown! However, I would be doing my position and our Sisterhood a disservice if I didn’t challenge you to actually speak to someone about Convention. As a Membership Recruitment Advisor, I tell my collegians, “Just share you story; they’ll want to join you.” I truly hope by sharing a little glimpse into why Convention is so important to me, I have encouraged at least one woman to attend as a result. So let’s open up some Convention dialogue with one another and share some magical memories, because if this is a fairytale, I hope our clocks never strikes midnight!
See you in Orlando, “This I Believe…”
Courtney M. Stone 8( : )
National Convention Chairman
[Add Mouseketeer Ears to your signature too if you can’t wait for Convention 2013!]