Since the elections last fall, it has been difficult not to think about some of the challenges facing our country. One that particularly concerns me is the seeming loss of individuals from differing perspectives and backgrounds being able to collaborate on matters of mutual interest.
Facilitating the collaborative efforts of leaders from different aspects of the collegiate experience is the hallmark of Omicron Delta Kappa. The motives that guided our founders sprang from the desire to bring together one body for the general good of the institution and its community, leaders from all parts of the college or university to cooperate in worthwhile endeavors.
By encouraging collegiate leaders to work together on matters of shared interest, O∆K supports our members in developing an appreciation for civility, varying perspectives, contrasting strategies for problem-solving, and conflict resolution. In this contentious period of American history, now – more than ever – there is a significant need to bring together leaders with differing viewpoints, skills and talents, and resources to address campus, community, national, and global concerns.
I often like telling the story of how the members of the circles at Georgia Tech and the University of Kentucky championed the building of the student centers on both campuses. While the Fred B. Wenn Building at Tech opened in the early 1970’s, the Student Union Building at Kentucky opened in the 1930’s. The websites for both of the buildings note the important role that the O∆K circle at each school had in championing the construction of both facilities.
There is a delightful mural which shows how the members of O∆K at UK – athletes, writers, artists, researchers, performers, and other volunteers – worked to raise money to provide seed funding for the development of the union. Each group of involved students utilized their skills and talents to garner resources in support of a shared passion.
Circles across the country still bring together leaders from all aspects of collegiate leadership to complete service projects, support one another, and improve their campuses and communities. At Omicron Delta Kappa, we will continue our work to facilitate the development of collaborative collegiate leaders so that they will have the skills to be effective collaborate community leaders in the future. Our country will need their passion as well as their willingness to work with individuals of different perspectives and points of view in making a better world.
Tara S. Singer, Ed.D.