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Nov/Dec 2022 | Vol. 79 No. 6

         At the Crossroads: Consider Culture

         By Dr. Debbie LeBlanc

         2022-2024 International President

                                    KG, we have a challenge!     than those of a professional education organization
                              DAs a membership  organi-         — in other words, meetings suggesting DKG was not
                              zation, we are at a crossroads    relevant or vital to their lives.  I also read several
                              that could determine our sustain-  comments  that  members  dropped  because,  when
                              ability in the future.  In my short   they applied for a transfer to another chapter, the
                              time as international president, I   receiving chapter declined the application because

                              have enjoyed moments learning     they “did not know” the person. If another chapter in
        about positive experiences that members have because    our organization thought an individual was worthy,
        of their membership in the Society and all that is offered   why would we not welcome her into the chapter?  I
        to them.  Other times, I have become painfully aware of   also learned that over 30% of the dropped members
        membership concerns and issues that I simply do not     would return if asked.
        understand or accept.  My eyes were opened wide when
        I learned on September 1 that nearly 4,000 members had         Interactions at the

        yet to pay their dues ... 4,000 of 55,000 members.  Let
        that number sink in.  Now of course, we believed that            chapter level are
        many might have already paid and the treasurer  was          powerful and clearly
        waiting to turn in a complete roster, but regardless, that     can make or break
        number was and is startling.  I hope by the time you read            our Society!
        this article that belief is true and membership numbers
        are at or above what we expected.
            In reviewing the  survey responses  from dropped        Chapters are the heart and soul of this organiza-
        members,  I was even more shocked — and truly sad-      tion.  Interactions at this level of DKG are powerful

        dened — when I read the comments.  Of course, there     and clearly can make or break our Society.  So, I
        were the expected reasons: teaching is so crazy now; I   ask you, what can we do?  We can candidly examine
        need more time with my family; I am stretching myself   the culture of the chapter.  Do you welcome each
        too thin; I have an ill family member I must care for ...   person who walks through the door to the meeting?
        I understand those responses and hope that someday      Do you pair a new member with a buddy for the first
        that individual will return to her chapter.  I also hope   year of membership?  Do you offer opportunities for
        that chapter members will let her know they are thinking   all members to engage in a project or participate

        about her and hoping she will rejoin in the future.     in a committee?  Do you offer programs that are
            But  other  comments  were,  frankly, disturbing.    beneficial  to  both  the  personal  and  professional
        Women shared that they had attended multiple chapter    growth of members?  If you answer “no,” “not really,”
        meetings where no one welcomed them or even spoke       or “can’t/won’t” to any one of those questions, then
        to them, unkind and catty comments were made, polit-    what steps will be taken to improve the situation?  I
        ical and religious discussions occurred  that  were  not   encourage members to visit and go to the
        appropriate, or programs were more fun and sorority-like   Resources tab to find a link to   See PRES p. 3

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