NEWS FROM THE GRAND BASILEUS

International Grand Basileus Deborah Catchings-Smith
The countdown is on! The 57th Biennial Boule  is just five
days away. I am excited to see each of 
you  as we make history during our "Intentional Journey."  We will have a record-breaking number of sorors, affiliates and  guests at the boule! I can't wait for you to see what's in store. 

Sorors, please remember that with growth comes change. Due to the  historic attendance, there will be theater seating for plenary sessions. That means there will not be any tables as we are accustomed to having. But, that is okay. Bring your laptops and your Bylaws & Constitution and let's be ready to handle Sigma business.

Royal blue and gold make green! We are going green during the boule and reducing waste by communicating through our Boule App. It can be found in your app store under Guidebook or on your computer. This demonstrates another sign of growth for our illustrious sisterhood.

Here are few other  quick reminders about the boule:

Please pack your royal blue, gold, white, black and bling. Don't forget comfortable shoes to walk around the hotel. Also, we are stepping up our shoe game on July 13 for Flats Friday! Wear your cutest flats. Bring your favorite shawl too because the rooms can 
get cold.

Rhoers, please pack your royal blue, gold and black. Don't forget your workout attire, sundress, hat and gloves! I look forward to seeing all of  our butterflies in Dallas!

Service is what we do and this boule will be no exception. Join us for our Day of Service at the We Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College. Sorors, Philos and Rhoers, wear your International Day of Service T-shirt, or a gold t-shirt, and be ready to hop on the bus Wednesday at 7 a.m.

Our undergraduates and Rhoers are teaming up during the boule for several activities including collecting items for their service project. They will make donations to the Ronald McDonald House. Let's help make this Community Service Program a success. All sorors, Philos and Rhoers are being asked to please bring coloring books, crayons, socks, travel size toiletries and more. 

We have designed something for everyone during this boule. Our affiliates have several actives for learning and bonding. Our Sigma Gents are included as well. Plus, we can't wait to help our  Philos celebrate a milestone - 75 years!

Sorors, of course, while we give back to the Dallas community, we will  ha ndle Sigma  b usiness. We have many workshops scheduled that will enhance your leadership skills and help ensure that we are intentional and impactful so that we are sisterhood for the future. Please make plans for Workshop Wednesday!

There is so much more to share about our boule! Please stay connected with us via the Boule App and on social media @sgrhoupdates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Let's trend! Be sure to use the following hashtags:
#SGRho #SigmaGammRho #SGRhoBoule. Also, add the official Boule Frame to your Facebook profile picture. It is live and ready to go! Just click on your pic, look for "Add Frame" and then search for Sigma Gamma Rho 57th Boule Frame.

I am so thrilled about what's to come during our time in Dallas! Let's take this time to reconnect and remember the foundation our seven Pearls laid almost 96 years ago! See you in the Lone Star State July 11 - 15!
MORE BOULE NEWS 

As we create new memories in Dallas, let's also reflect on our times together in the past. Please share your Favorite Boule Moment on social media on Thursday. Post those interesting stories and pictures about connecting with your favorite sorors. You can also send t hem to International Grand Epistoleus Angela Spears at  pressoffice@sgrho1922.org .

Here's another boule opportunity. Are you looking for a way to use your education and training in the fields of higher education, law enforcement or investigations/auditing? Consider serving as an ombudsman! Ombudsmen provide a critical service to the sisterhood by guiding members accused of misconduct through the disciplinary action process. Ombudsmen are independent counselors who work autonomously. Travel is not required to participate. Ideal candidates include police officers, military personnel, auditors, criminal investigators, inspector general investigators, accountants, attorneys, past syntakti and current professional ombudsmen.

You must be an alumnae soror with a minimum of five years of membership. Are you ready to sign up? Register for the Ombudsmen Training and Certification Session using the Boule App. Bring your laptop or cellphone with you as well as a copy of the disciplinary action policy (electronic or hard copy).

We look forward to seeing you in Dallas!
OUR CENTENNIAL MEMBERSHIP GOAL IS BECOMING REALITY
 
International First Grand Anti-Basileus Rasheeda Liberty
At the 2016 Boule, the Centennial Committee challenged the membership to increase the total active membership goal to ensure we enter our next 100 years strong. Today, I am proud to say that we exceeded our goal for the 2016-17 sorority year (100.7 percent), and we are trending to meet our goal for the 2017-18 year (99.4 percent). This sets up for success as we approach 2022 and beyond.

In the last two years, we have grown by 22 percent which is not a coincidence. The Sigma Family, inclusive of affiliates, has crossed the 10,000 mark which is a historical milestone for us. All regions contributed with double-digit growth over the past two sorority years. The Sophisticated Southeastern Region delivered 26.1 percent growth over the last two years. The Super Southwestern has the highest growth for this sorority year, at 10.8 percent.

We will celebrate these successes at our upcoming boule. As a reminder, the following chapter distinctions were developed as part of the Centennial Membership Challenge:
  • Ruby: 22 - 49 members
  • Pearl: 50 - 74 members
  • Diamond: 75 - 99 members 
  • Centennial: 100 - 149 members 
  • Sesquicentennial: 150 - 199 members
More than 50 chapters will be recognized for achieving a new chapter status. If your chapter achieved ruby status over the past two sorority years or increased to a new centennial membership category (such as ruby to diamond status), your chapter will receive special recognition in Dallas. Growing affiliates will also be acknowledged as well as specific regions for highest number of members and affiliates per chapter.

Thank you for your continued efforts to grow and retain membership in our sisterhood.
NATIONAL DUES SUBMISSION PILOT IMPLEMENTATION
 
International Grand Tamiochus Vanessa Tyson
We are excited to launch the PILOT implementation of online national dues submission! 

The amended bylaw recommendation passed at the 2017 Special Boule states:  Article III Financial Regulations. Section 304. Method of Payment. All chapter and individual assessment monies due to the Sorority shall be paid by certified check, money order, Visa, Master Card, or American Express credit card and other electronic methods authorized by the Board of Directors, payable to Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, and forwarded to the Grand Grammateus via the International Headquarters unless otherwise indicated. The Grand Grammateus shall hold financial cards or credentials until certified checks are cleared. Credit card payments will be subject to a service charge. Fees for using electronic methods shall be paid by the chapter and/or member. Pilot implementation for this amendment began July 1, provided that the process by which local chapters can inhibit national dues from being paid by individuals who are not financial on the local level had been developed and widely disseminated to the membership, and that the online method of payment is active, with full implementation by 2020.
 
Please ensure you attend the Online National Dues Submission PILOT Implementation Workshop that will be offered at the boule.  Chapters are encouraged to sign up to be a part of the PILOT program. If your chapter is interested, please send an email of interest to technology@sgrho1922.org. The deadline for chapters to submit a notice of interest to participate in the PILOT is Aug. 1.
NATIONAL MILITARY INITIATIVES TASK FORCE

Military Initiative Task Force Chair
Dawne Stanton
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is on a mission to Recruit, Reclaim and Retain members for our beloved sorority. As part of the overall R3 Initiative, we were pleased to launch the first National Military Initiatives Task Force (MITF) last fall.
 
Aligned to the sorority's strategic plan, the goal of our leadership is to establish an outreach to all sorors who are affiliated with the U. S. Armed Forces. Your service and duty to this country are much appreciated and should never be forgotten.
 
The primary mission of the task force is to advise leadership on military initiatives. Our goal is to create a pathway on military bases and surrounding communities for establishing a sorority presence through partnerships, branding, membership and enhancing communication avenues with sorors serving or have served in the United States armed services.
 
As we focus on Recruiting, Reclaiming and Retaining sorors, we are seeking to reach out to ALL military sorors - spreading the net far and wide. If you are active duty, reserve, National Guard or retired, we would we love to hear from you. 

We will send out a survey that will serve as a first step to a data-driven solution to the many challenges "Poodles in Boots" face in staying engaged and maintaining active membership. Bottom line, we hope this survey will help us better serve you!

We are working diligently to ensure that we are moving in the right direction so your voices are heard. Look out for future communications within the R3 section of the Golden Communique' and on the national website.

National Military Initiatives Task Force
Soror Dawne Stanton, Chair
Northeastern Region

Soror Voresa Booker
Southeastern Region
Soror Summer Favors
Northeastern Region

Soror Marlischa Hall
Southwestern Region

Soror Hazel Johnson
Southeastern Region

Soror Matii Minor
Southwestern Region

Soror LaTonya Nelson
Western Region

VOTER TAKEOVER

As we know, every vote counts. Please make sure your voice is heard at the local, state and federal level. We have partnered with members of the Divine Nine and the NAACP to ensure that we have an impact on the midterm elections. 

We have agreed to educate, motivate, register and assist individuals in getting to the polls. Please watch the  joint webinar  to learn more. Remember, all elections are important and your local and state elections affect you directly and immediately. We must do our part!  VOTE!
July 2018