Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Mariah Mayhugh, International Vice President for Division 4.
This has been a year of change, adaptation, and growth for all of us. Although 2020 hasn’t been the year we expected, it has also opened up opportunities for us to better ourselves.
Phi Theta Kappa is no exception. This past April, PTK Catalyst 2020 moved to a virtual platform. The International Officer candidates all campaigned (and were elected) online, which was different from anything PTK has seen before. But it also broke down a barrier; we didn’t have to find the money to pay to attend Catalyst just to campaign.
We discovered that a virtual campaign can work and be more accessible to all members. Out of our continued commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have decided to approach the International Officer campaign in a new way starting in 2021.
In 2021, anyone who wishes to run for International Office (and I highly recommend it!) will be able to do so from the comfort of their own homes. All candidates will be showcased on Phi Theta Kappa’s website with a candidate-provided information piece as well as two videos — the candidate delivering their Honors Study Topic Speech and a caucus interview by a current International Officer. A real-time virtual session hosted by PTK Headquarters will allow chapters to interact with the candidates.
For the first time in PTK history, every chapter will be able to vote in the preliminary election, regardless of whether you will be attending Catalyst. Each chapter may appoint one active member as a voting delegate to cast their votes in all five International Officer races. The preliminary election will be held in March 2021.
But the excitement doesn’t stop there!
The preliminary election will narrow the candidates down to four semi-finalists for each position, for a total of 20 semi-finalists. Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters will pay for the travel, hotel, and registration for PTK Catalyst 2021 for all semi-finalists to come to Baltimore, Maryland, in April to continue their campaigns. This removes any financial barrier members may have faced to campaign for Phi Theta Kappa’s highest student leadership position.
Once we are at PTK Catalyst, attending chapters will appoint a voting delegate to cast their ballots in the final International Officer elections. The candidates will be featured in general sessions and will also have campaign booths to visit one-on-one with Catalyst attendees. An International President and four International Vice Presidents (representing our four divisions) will be formally installed on the final night of PTK Catalyst.
Be on the lookout for more details and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Applications will open in October, and I highly encourage you to run. The whole process is thrilling and will help you to improve as a leader, regardless of whether you are elected. Running for International Office has never been more accessible, so this is the year I believe you should go for it!
Check out this fun video, and share it with your fellow members: