By Courtney Klaus, Editor- In- Chief
Newman’s executive board of the National Society of Leadership and Success is deliberating whether to deactivate the current chapter and bring a different honor society to campus.
NSLS is a leadership honor society that has chapters at 645 colleges nationwide. At Newman, there are currently 86 inducted members, who each paid a fee of $85 to begin the induction process.
The executive board released an official statement on Tuesday that said:
“We the executive board have decided that we wanted to find an organization that better meets the needs of our student body. We are in the process of finding and approving a club or organization that better fits the learning and communication style of our students and provides them with the best opportunities to improve themselves and the society around them.”
Multiple sources confirm there was concern among executive board members that the cost of joining the organization was not worth the opportunities it provided students.
According to the NSLS official website, $80 of each $85 membership fee goes directly to the national office.Of that $80, $2 goes to NSLS-offered scholarships, while the leftover $5 stays with the chapter on campus.
Every chapter is responsible for paying $2,800 annually to the national office. These funds, according to their website, “offset a small portion” of the expenses associated with keeping the organization running. The funds from membership fees are supposed to cover the balance, Adviser of NSLS Morgan Calvert said.
According to its website, NSLS membership offers scholarship and internship opportunities, leadership training and access to speaker broadcasts that showcase notable public figures.
Newman University is one of three colleges in the state of Kansas that has an NSLS chapter, the other two being Fort Hays State University and Kansas State University. Newman’s chapter is the oldest in the state, founded in 2010.
President of NSLS Micah Vander Griend said in an email that consideration to deactivate the chapter started in the summer, when executives and staff members were debating whether to continue the club into the fall.
Vander Griend said there is discussion with administration to get a new honor society on campus for the NSLS board to lead.
Sophomore Leanne Vastbinder said she had mixed feelings about her decision to join the organization last year and believes change is necessary.
“I think the people that run it are very good intentioned and do a good job of leading it with what they are given, but I don’t believe the program is engineered in a way where you can really grow and develop skills. It’s more like you’re jumping through hoops,” Vastbinder said.
Vander Griend said current members of NSLS who already went through induction will remain lifetime members of the national organization and will retain their benefits even if the Newman chapter is deactivated.
Calvert said in an email that she and the Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe are currently working with the NSLS executive board to schedule a meeting with all members regarding the future of NSLS.
Courtesy photo, viterbo.edu