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Kianu Cabinet (October 2009)
Kristen Lichtenauer '10: President
Carrie Sanor '11: Vice President
Nikkie Wiard '10: Secretary
Leigh Ann Porter '11: Treasurer

Interviews:

Kristen Lichtenauer '10: President

KristenKristen Lichtenauer

Your sophomore year you served as Greek council representative and last year you served as Kianu Vice President. What did you learn in those two positions that will help you this year as President?
Having the opportunity to hold the past two positions I have held has helped me this year in a million ways. Serving as a Greek council representative my sophomore year enabled me to learn about the responsibilities and expectations every Greek organization holds at Muskingum. Along with this, I learned how to better communicate with my peers at different social clubs, Student Life staff and more importantly, my sisters. Serving as Vice President my junior year did not only build on to my communication skills but also expanded my knowledge of conduct and procedures of the University, while learning a lot of “behind the scenes” details that our club holds. With both positions I have had to manage my time effectively while staying organized and motivated, which has positively impacted my role this year as President tremendously.

[To read Kristen's VP interview from last year, click here.]

How has Greek life changed (for better or worse) during your years at Muskingum?
Greek life has had some definite changes in the three years that I have been here at Muskingum, some believe it is for the better, and others believe it is for the worst. In my opinion I believe it has been for the better; it has made both our community and club stronger in the end. One of the biggest changes that we have faced was last year when Muskingum adopted a new recruitment process. By adopting this new procedure, we have seen Greek life become more exclusive and united. The basic way this process works is that the total number of girls rushing is taken and divided by six (how many sororities we now have on campus) and that becomes our quota that every sorority can accept. If that number is not met on our beloved pledge day, we can decide as a club to try and reach that number throughout the six weeks of pledging. Knowing this, the Rush chairs knew they had a very important job to do. With that said, I believe we had one of our most successful recruitment seasons that I have experienced. Kylie Snyder and Elizabeth Thomin did an amazing job at making our ideas fresh and creative. We were the sorority that decided to not let this new system hinder us, but we took it on as a challenge—and did quite well. We were the only sorority to reach quota on Pledge day…which left us all smiling!

What was your favorite part of the retreat this year?
It is hard to name a favorite part of retreat because retreat is one of my favorite parts of the year. I love the unity we share during the week of retreat that can sometimes be lost with the business of the school year. Whether it is volunteering at our various service locations, holding class meetings, or participating in activities with alumni, everyone has one goal on their mind; to make our club better. Everyone comes refreshed and ready to make this year a better one than the last. I absolutely cannot get enough of it. I believe we had a very successful retreat but not only for the reasons that I mentioned previously, but for another reason which this sisterhood continues to survive on; fellowship. During retreat we worked on making the club better, but also on making ourselves closer with one another. One example I can share is the night we went to the Fieldhouse. Before we were to start our class meetings and other planning, we had planned time to just have fun. Some girls gravitated to the pool and others decided to walk the track while catching up on each other’s summer. I had so much fun that night, and mostly because when I looked around, everyone was laughing and truly enjoying each other’s company. It is times like these that you are reassured that your heart led you to the right place.

What is the most important thing you took away from the retreat?
The most important thing I took away from retreat primarily came from the activities with Michele Sheets. She is simply amazing and has had a huge part in the success we have had as a club in the last couple of years. With her, we discussed many aspects of the club in which we could stop, start, and continue doing. As President, this has helped me to better understand where we are as a club and where we want to be by the end of this year.

What goals do you have for Kianu this year?
As President, my goals for this year are:

How do you feel about Muskingum changing its name from College to University?
I feel it is a change for the better. Changing to Muskingum University will not only recognize us nationally but also internationally. It will also provide many with the opportunity to enroll in future PhD programs. I think this is a chance for Muskingum to grow, but not in a negative way. President Steele has made it certain to the students and staff that the atmosphere which Muskingum is known for will not change. I am very excited to see where Muskingum University goes from here.

After graduation, how would you like to be involved with Kianu?
For me, after deciding to pledge I found myself wondering how this club would ever be able to change my life. It did not take long before I found my answer. Being a part of Kianu has been more than just wearing three letters on a sweatshirt, it is about the bond that you form with girls which you never imagined possible. It has shown me you can be accepted for exactly who you are. Knowing this, it is hard to think that this is my last year of Sunday night meetings, rush parties, late night ball meetings, intramural flag football games, and our silly themed parties. With this being said, I cannot imagine myself not being involved with Kianu in some way after graduation. Although I do not yet have a distinct plan of action when I become an Alum, I plan to consider my many options to stay involved and see where my next chapter in Kianu takes me! :)


What is the most daunting challenge Kianu now faces?
For the senior class, our challenge is to educate the girls who will continue to run this club after we leave. We must fully educate them on our traditions, morals, and values. It is our responsibility to make sure they know how much of an impact Kianu can make on them if they let allow it. For the junior class, their challenge is to continue to grow as a pledge class; to find every girl’s strength, and build on their weaknesses. For new actives, their challenge is to continue to learn about every aspect of Kianu, to give Kianu a chance to change their lives. As a club I believe our challenge is to encourage one another to be the best we can be; as a student, a friend, and a sister. Once we do that, we will have the chance to make Kianu the strongest it has ever been.


Carrie Sanor '11: Vice President

CarrieCarrie Sanor

What inspired you to run for VP?
Last year I was one of the few sophomores elected into a position for this club. Having that position made me feel like I wanted more out of this club. I felt that as Vice President, I could really voice my opinions and help move this club into the right direction for the future. I love being involved, and I knew this position would sometimes be a challenge, but overall, I wanted to be able to make a difference.

How do you envision the Kianu Club 20 years from now?
Wow, twenty years seems so far in the future. I hope twenty years from now that Kianu will have grown in size, but kept all of the same values. I would love to come back and see the club have even stronger sisterhood bonds.

What was your favorite part of the retreat this year?
Actually, I'm an Orientation Leader for opening weekend, so I missed out on most of retreat.

Why did you choose Muskingum?
My Great Aunt and Uncle went to Muskingum, as did many of my high school teachers. They spoke very highly of this college, but that's not the reason I chose to come here. I came for a campus visit and fell in love. The faculty and staff that I had interactions with were so sincere and very helpful. I love that this campus is small enough that I feel like I know a lot of people, but big enough I can still meet more people. I love that I feel like I belong here and I have a place. I can't say enough wonderful things about this college (now University).

What goals do you have for Kianu this year?
I have a lot of goals for Kianu this year. But one of my main goals is to see this club grow closer. I want to have more sisterhood bonding such as movie nights, going bowling, going shopping, or whatever else. Sometimes I think we forget what really brought us all together and that we share something very special. It really needs to be nurtured and cherished.

When and why did you decide you wanted to pledge Kianu?
I decided to pledge Kianu the morning of Bid day my freshman year. At least that's when I made my decision final. I lived across from a Kianu on third floor Mem. On move in day she came over and introduced herself and said if we ever needed anything to let her know. That is when it all started happening. Then that winter I saw this girl and her sisters playing in the snow together having the time of their lives. I decided I wanted to have something like they did. My first Kianu event was Cocoa with Kianu and everyone there was so nice and I wanted to get to know them more. But when I really decided I wanted to be a Kianu was the night of final party. The atmosphere and everything had such an impact on me. I was tearing up before I left the house. The letters the girls read aloud were so sincere and so thoughtful. I knew that I had to be one of them. Ever since then, I have known I made the right decision. I love all my sisters so much. I still think of them as some of the nicest ladies on this campus.

If you had a magic wand and could change anything about Greek life at Muskingum, what would you do to make it stronger?
I would make the recruitment process stronger. I've been happy this year so far because some of the other sororities are making more efforts for recruitment. We need to act more as a community and help each other out so that we can all benefit from the new recruitment process in the spring.

What is your favorite Kianu memory?
I have so many amazing Kianu memories, but one of my favorites just happened last week. On Tuesday night we had a movie night. We put up a sheet in the meeting room and had a projector play a movie called 17 Again. A lot of people showed up and we all had pillows and blankets and (of course) pizza and pop. It was just so fun watching a movie with my sisters and feeling like we were twelve at a sleep over. It’s something I think we really should do more often.

After graduation, how would you like to be involved with Kianu?
After graduation, I would love to come back for some of the bigger events. Maybe it would even be fun to come back and talk to current members.

What is the most daunting challenge Kianu now faces?
I believe one of the most daunting challenges we're facing now is not getting along as a whole. I feel like ever since I have been a member, there is always conflict. I know we're all woman and it's hard to avoid drama, but it's sometimes never ending. I just wish we could all get along and act like sisters.


NikkieNikkie Wiard

Nikkie Wiard '10: Secretary

What inspired you to run for Secretary?
I decided to run for secretary because it was a role that was important to the club, but also not a HUGE role. I was new and wanted to ease my way into this club. I am now so glad that I took on this position!

You transferred to Muskingum last year from Ohio State and pledged this spring. Were you interested in Greek life when you were an OSU student? If not, what was the difference that caused you to be interested in Muskingum's Greek life system?
Absolutely not! The Greek life at OSU was completely different then what is here at Muskingum! The girls at OSU were very snobby and it was known that you must have a certain look to pledge certain sororities. At Muskingum, it was a smaller community and the sororities were all filled with all kinds of girls. I felt very accepted from the moment I came into the Kianu house and I love that I can learn something different from everyone.

What was your favorite part of the retreat this year?
My favorite part of the retreat this year was going to the Fieldhouse and getting to have fun with all my sisters! It was also fun to get to brainstorm about homecoming and rush ideas.

What is the most important thing you took away from the retreat?
The most important thing that I took away from retreat was the fact that we must make Kianu a priority. During rush we have to use time management to make sure we are at all the events and this should carry through into being an active as well.

What goals do you have for Kianu this year?
Some goals that I have for Kianu are to get an amazing pledge class and to make sure that I have my minutes out within 24 hours of our meeting.

When did you decide you wanted to pledge Kianu?
I decided I wanted to pledge Kianu after meeting Michelle Nichols, who is now my big, at a party on campus. She was so sweet and we hit it off right away. She was always inviting me to events and when I was there made me feel so welcome. Once I got to know many of the other Kianus, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this amazing group of women. They were all so sincere and tons of fun!

If you had a magic wand and could change anything about Greek life at Muskingum, what would you do to make it stronger?
If I could change anything about Greek life, I would change the fact that we must register all of our parties. It is sometimes frustrating because the frats do not want to register things because they don’t want to go through the trouble of it.

What is your favorite Kianu memory?
My favorite Kianu memory is pledge day!! It was an amazing experience to rush the hill with all your sisters up at the top cheering you on. I knew from that moment that this would become a huge part of my life!

After graduation, how would you like to be involved with Kianu?
I would like to stay involved as an alum and continue to come back and participate in certain events to see how Kianu is holding up :)

What is the most daunting challenge Kianu now faces?
I think the most daunting challenge right now is getting out there and getting the girls we want! Many of the other sororities have caught on to our recruiting ideas and have taken them for their own club. We need to now go above and beyond to set ourselves apart from the other sororities and show that we truly are the best!


Leigh Ann Porter '11: Treasurer

Leigh AnnLeigh Ann Porter

What inspired you to run for Treasurer?
Being a part of cabinet this year as a junior was an important goal for me. As a new active, I saw the Treasurer position and was inspired. The position of Treasurer has allowed me to obtain a leadership role and manage the finances of the club.

How do you envision the Kianu Club 20 years from now?
I envision the Kianu Club to be the same amazing club I know today, having the best attitudes, events, community service projects and staying classy. :)

What was your favorite part of the retreat this year?
I enjoyed the training presentation about step it up. I feel since this training, many actives have stepped outside their comfort zone in order to help someone in need. I think this training would benefit our club during each retreat to refresh the actives’ memories and inform the new actives of how to be the best you can be.

Why did you choose Muskingum?
As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I knew that Muskingum would be the university I would attend. Muskingum has allowed me to excel in many areas such as the Chi Alpha Nu club, academics and playing women's varsity golf.

What goals do you have for Kianu this year?
As always one of my goals for Kianu is to continue to recruit the best women for our club. Each active is involved in many other groups and I, personally, would like to make more time to have bonding time with my sisters.

When and why did you decide you wanted to pledge Kianu?
I knew I wanted to pledge Kianu when I learned of the services the club provided to others and the feeling I had each time I walked into the Kianu house. I was welcomed each time with open arms and smiles. The bond I have made with my sisters is something that can never be broken or taken away; it will last a lifetime. Kianu is my home away from home. I can't image my life without Chi Alpha Nu.

If you had a magic wand and could change anything about Greek life at Muskingum, what would you do to make it stronger?
There has been a large change in the attitude between each Greek organization on campus this year. As Greek life, we are coming together to promote our Greek community. I feel the continuation of this attitude will keep Greek life around for a long time at Muskingum and maybe we will interest others that we might not have in the past.

What is your favorite Kianu memory?
The day I was activated as a member of the Chi Alpha Nu club was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had set a goal, reached it and was honored to be a Kianu. Since then, I have prided myself on having a strong voice and being the best active I can be.

After graduation, how would you like to be involved with Kianu?
I would like to hold a position within the alumnae side of the club after graduation. Being involved with Kianu does not stop after graduation; we will be sisters and a part of the Chi Alpha Nu club for life :)

What is the most daunting challenge Kianu now faces?
I feel a challenge Kianu has always had is dealing with our stereotype. We are the largest Greek organization on the Muskingum campus and with forty five actives we have a mix of diversity. I feel we embrace our diversity and each active adds their personal touch to the club.


If you would like to nominate someone for this honor (active or alumna), please e-mail ruthsaraconnell(at)gmail(dot)com with your selection. Changes are made as nominations are received.

To see other honorees, click on month:
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2002
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2009
 
2010
 
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Last Update: October 2009