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The Lyre, Summer 2012 / A New Step in the NHC Journey

Corner_Officeby Aggie Smith Steiner, National Housing Corporation President
(Beta Eta, Florida State University)

In 2010, the Fraternity, Foundation and National Housing Corporation (NHC) embraced a strategic plan to continue our fraternal journey to excellence.  Each entity committed to develop strategies and set programs in place with an understanding that “being a relevant organization, driven by a strong reputation, will enable Alpha Chi Omega to recruit members, retain them and ultimately generate the resources necessary to sustain and grow the whole organization.”  For the NHC, this included taking an in-depth look at who we are, what we do and where we want to be.  These efforts were not only directed at NHC-owned, -leased and -managed properties, but also local house corporations.

When it comes to our local house corporations, many are doing their best to function as a “business with a heart.”  Board members are actively engaged in the process.  They selflessly volunteer their time and expertise in amazing ways to ensure that our collegiate women enjoy premier living environments. Health and safety concerns are quickly identified and addressed.  Décor and maintenance issues are updated on a recurring calendar.  These local house corporation boards benefit from strategic plans.

Unfortunately, not all of our collegiate chapters have such engaged alumnae.  Some chapter facilities are in need of décor updates or major renovations.  On an increasing number of campuses, the collegiate housing environment is changing with little or no warning.  The result is insufficient time available to acquire the funds and support necessary to build.  Economic times continue to be uncertain.  But we all must understand that if Alpha Chi Omega’s letters are on the property, it does not matter who technically owns it.  All Alpha Chi Omega facilities, like our members, represent our organization as a whole.

With increasing regularity, local house corporations are, fortunately, seeking guidance from the NHC on ways to perform their responsibilities and to meet the expectations of the national organization.  Recognizing that fully functioning house corporations are critical to the success of our collegiate chapters, the NHC called upon a group of local house corporation presidents to develop a tool for gathering information—setting expectations and identifying benchmarks for premier living environments.

Last fall, the Housing Corporation Certification Task Force (HCCTF) announced the first-ever certification program meant to identify best practices through a rating system designed to recognize local housing corporations that follow good organizational policies, implement quality business strategies and achieve high-performance facilities.

“We feel this program allows for self-assessment, opportunities to achieve higher performance levels and recognition of the outstanding work of our housing volunteers,” said HCCTF Chair Christina Greenwell Mullins.

This certification program is a major first step in the NHC journey to excellence for all Alpha Chi Omega facilities.  During this year’s national convention, we will be recognizing those local house corporations who have completed the program as “certified” and honoring those who have achieved silver and gold levels.

The NHC’s journey to excellence has not finished, but we are definitely well on our way!

For more information about the Housing Corporation Certification and Recognition Program, please visit alphachiomega.org, Resource Center, Chapter Housing, Housing Tool Kits, Certification & Recognition Program.

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