Greek Leadership Conference Suggests Shift in Risk Management

Kim Novak gives the Keynote Address in CSC lecture hall. PHOTO BY ALEX RAUSCHER.

Kim Novak gives the Keynote Address in CSC lecture Hall. PHOTO BY ALEX RAUSCHER.


Monday’s annual Greek Leadership Conference aimed to inspire members of the eight Greek organizations on campus to challenge the status quo, articulate and demonstrate the esteemed values of the Greek community, and be leaders who will collectively leave a lasting impact on Westminster College.

President Akande began the program in Coulter Science Center lecture hall by mentioning Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” He said this speech is the “ultimate blueprint” for how each person can lead from where they are.

“Dream about how far your Greek organization can go,” Akande said. “I’m going to be here right beside you, letting you know you can dream big dreams.”

After Akande’s welcome, the keynote address was given by Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NovakTalks, Kim Novak, who is recognized as a national expert in student-focused risk management.

Novak said that, like Akande, she believes in having big dreams. However, she said she is also a fan of data and numbers. She went on to tell the audience that members in Greek organizations have a higher probability of participating in high-risk activities, such as hazing and dangerous drinking.

On college campuses, where policies and consequences are put into place to reduce these risks, Novak called for students to move the focus away from a list of “thou shalt nots.” She asked for there to be a shift in focus from liability and fear of punishment to doing the right thing.

“You have the critical role and obligation to take care of each other,” she said.

Novak explained that with this shift, the emphasis is placed on being healthy.

Students agreed that this change increases accountability among one another and were in favor of adopting the shift she proposed.

“I thought the keynote was helpful because she approached risk management in a new way,” Liz Carthen, ’17, said. “She framed it to make our lives as risk managers easier.”

Following the keynote were breakout sessions, which included “Responsibilities of a Greek Leader,” and “Ethics and Accountability.”

The conference ended with a reception hosted by President Akande and his family.

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