Handbook for New Members

Kappa Omicron Nu History

Kappa Omicron Nu was established on February 21, 1990 by the consolidation of Kappa Omicron Phi and Omicron Nu. Following a successful three-year collaboration as an Administrative Merger, Kappa Omicron Nu was structured to realize the synergistic benefits of two strong organizations. Kappa Omicron Nu gives voice to advocacy for scholarship; clarity to the quest for excellence in scholarship, research, and leadership; leadership to a sizable scholarly community for critical dialogue, collaboration, and networking; emphasis to examining the responsibility of scholars to the profession and society; commitment to enriching the intellectual environment through its local and national initiatives; and priority to innovative and enhanced services. In 1995 the Society changed its definition of field to Family and Consumer Sciences. Headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, Kappa Omicron Nu is located close to the Michigan State University campus.

Omicron Nu was founded in 1912 at Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan. At that time there were three academic programs at Michigan Agricultural College: agriculture and engineering for men and home economics for women. Maude Gilchrist, Dean of Home Economics, recognized that women did not have the same advantages and opportunities as men. Agriculture on the campus had Alpha Zeta to recognize high scholarship, and Tau Beta Pi was the honor society for engineering. Faculty members were familiar with other honor societies because Agnes Hunt was a Phi Beta Kappa member and Grace Stevens was a Sigma Xi member. So the Dean and the faculty decided to do something to recognize home economics scholarship. They formed Omicron Nu to set high standards for the newly emerging programs in home economics and to provide an incentive for scholarship. The purposes of promoting scholarship, research, and leadership were the motivating factors behind its expansion to other campuses across the country.

The formation of Kappa Omicron Phi, ten years later in 1922, was suggested by Mabel Cook in the dietetics class of Hettie Margaret Anthony at Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, Maryville, now Northwest Missouri State University. Miss Anthony, Head of Home Economics, provided leadership to the honor society for the first fourteen years as it expanded to other campuses and became a national organization. Emphasis was placed not only on intellectual and scholastic excellence but upon personal development—intellectual, spiritual, ethical, and aesthetic qualities. The society undoubtedly benefited from the unique leadership of Hettie Margaret Anthony. Her scientific mind, courage of conviction, sound judgment, and deep interest in the welfare of women contributed to the values and stability of the organization. Her memory is perpetuated through an annual fellowship for graduate study. Fifty years after its formation, Kappa Omicron Phi opened membership to men.

Kappa Omicron Nu is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. It is an affirmative action/equal opportunity organization.

Kappa Omicron Nu Mission

The mission of Kappa Omicron Nu is empowered leaders who use an integrative approach to enhance quality of living through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research.

Kappa Omicron Nu values recognition, reward, advancement and strong affiliation networks.

These ends enhance the ability of the organization and chapters to prepare scholars and researchers as leaders for the 21st Century.

Means for Accomplishing Kappa Omicron Nu Mission

To accomplish the mission, Kappa Omicron Nu shall:

  • promote scholarship and encourage intellectual development,
  • promote research and foster the spirit of inquiry,
  • confer distinction for high achievement,
  • promote leadership development,
  • stimulate student and faculty dialogue,
  • enrich the intellectual environment of higher education institutions,
  • encourage high standards of practice and ethical behavior,
  • and promote attitudes of professional responsibility for the public good.

Meaning of Kappa Omicron Nu Membership

Membership confers honor and obligation. The honor is in recognition of integrity, high standards of scholarship, and the promise of a future as one of achievement. The obligation involves earnest and loyal efforts toward the advancement of scholarship, personal development, leadership development, and maintenance of the high standards of Kappa Omicron Nu. Opportunities included in membership are tangible and intangible:

In concrete terms, honor society membership:

  • adds to the individual’s record, providing recognition and increasing marketability;
  • meets one of the requirements for entrance at an advanced level in numerous professional and technical occupations in federal service (higher entry salary);
  • increases the qualification of the student for financial benefits in the form of fellowships and scholarships;
  • complements and extends the educational program of the institution; and
  • entitles each person to continuous membership through payment of national dues; to access to all Kappa Omicron Nu functions; to recognition of membership status in order to transfer membership to other chapters.

In abstract terms, honor society membership:

  • offers opportunity for individual recognition;
  • affords parental pride in the achievements and recognition;
  • provides for association with other students of similar intellect and ability;
  • provides additional incentive for maintaining excellence;
  • provides leadership opportunities;
  • assists the student in participating in the decision-making realm of the institution;
  • provides an opportunity for close association with some of the faculty;
  • offers a support system for responding to peer pressure for mediocrity and for defending the right to achieve.

Kappa Omicron Nu is known for its high ideals and for achievement of its purposes. Students and college campuses are richer for having honor society experiences because members are helped to develop into persons they are capable of becoming.

Financial Obligations

1. Initiation Fee: The fee paid at the time of Initiation qualifies the member for all benefits of national membership, including a subscription of Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM. Undergraduate collegiate members shall not be required to pay further national dues until two years after the baccalaureate degree is granted; graduate student collegiate members and professional members shall pay dues at the next dues renewal period.

2020-2021: $65.00

2. Chapter Dues: Each member pays annual chapter dues to maintain active chapter membership status. The dues amount is set by each chapter.

3. National Dues: Active membership is maintained after the initiation membership expires by payment of national dues. Active membership qualifies the member for all benefits of national membership. Chapter membership requires payment of annual national dues.

2019-2020: $70.00

National Kappa Omicron Nu conducts membership renewal for the national organization and chapters, and chapter dues are returned to the chapter. Collegiate members, after graduation, may support the chapter of choice: either a collegiate chapter, local alumni chapter, or National Alumni Chapter.

Kappa Omicron Nu Risk Management Policy

The Risk Management Policy of Kappa Omicron Nu includes the provisions which follow and shall apply to all honor society entities and all levels of honor society membership.

Alcohol and Drugs
1. The possession, use, and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages, during an official event, or in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, county, city, university, and other institutions.
2. No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through the chapter treasury nor may the purchase of same for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the chapter.
3. No chapter members, collectively or individually, shall purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor.
4. The possession, sale, and/or use of any illegal drugs or controlled substances at any chapter sponsored or endorsed event, or at any event that an observer would associate with the honor society, is strictly prohibited.
5. No chapter may co-sponsor an event with a charitable organization, alcohol distributor, or tavern where alcohol is given away, sold, or otherwise provided to those present.
6. No chapter may co-sponsor or co-finance a function where alcohol is purchased by any of the host chapters, groups, or organizations.
All chapters shall comply with local fire and health codes and standards for ceremonial and food functions.

No chapter may conduct activities that create embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule, nor any other activities that are not consistent with the regulations and policies of the educational institution.

Civil Rights
Membership in Kappa Omicron Nu is open, without restriction as to race, creed, sex, national origin, conditions of handicap, and sexual orientation.

An annual review of the Risk Management Policy of Kappa Omicron Nu is required of each chapter.

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