The Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils honored leadership, scholarship and dedication to community service in Cornell’s Greek system at the 14th annual Fraternity and Sorority Awards Ceremony. At the ceremony held yesterday in the Straight, individual houses, leaders, chapter members and faculty received awards for their achievements.
Members of the Greek councils also reflected on all that the fraternities and sororities accomplished this year.
According to Lindsay Williams ’03, vice president of communications for the Panhellenic Council and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the Interfraternity Council has taken measures to eliminate hazing from its pledge process. The National Panhellenic Council passed an alcohol-free resolution for all of its member sororities and the Multicultural Greek Letter Council has expanded to 12 houses.
The awards given included Outstanding Service, Outstanding Facility and Financial Management, Outstanding New Member Program, Most Improved Chapters and Outstanding Leadership in Greek Councils.
On Site Volunteer Services recognized one of the accomplishments of the Greek system as a whole. This was the Greek Challenge, organized through a partnership between the Ithaca-based service organization and Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils.
As part of this undertaking, the councils pledged to complete 30,000 hours of community service and raise $10,000 in fundraising by the end of the academic year.
According to Itai Dinour ’01, coordinator of On Site, the fraternities and sororities have already reached 33,000 hours of service and will exceed the fundraising goal before the end of the semester.
“All parties involved are confident that $10,000 of fundraising in the Greek system will be complete within the next couple of weeks,” Dinour said. “This is a tremendous accomplishment on the part of the houses and they all deserve an award for reaching such a high goal.”
A member of the administration also praised the Greek system’s service and fundraising commitment.
“We do so much service and philanthropy and I think the community knows that, but now they can really see the magnitude to which this is done,” said Adria Nobles, assistant dean of students, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.
According to Dinour, six houses completed over 1,000 hours of community service. They are Delta Chi, Delta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Gamma and Sigma Chi.
In the award that On Site presented, the inscription by Margaret Mead read, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!”
Also recognized at the ceremony was Felicia Hunt, assistant dean of students, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, who will be leaving her post at Cornell to relocate to Los Angeles. Suzy Nelson, associate dean of students for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, presented Hunt with the award.
“Your impact on Greek life at Cornell has been amazing. You transformed homecoming … implemented a new member orientation program and just really helped make the Greek system what it is today,” Nelson said.
According to the planning committee for the awards ceremony, the achievements of the entire Greek system were a focal point of the program.
“Today, all of the efforts that people put into the Greek councils and their houses as a whole is recognized,” said Rachel Gordon ’03, executive vice president of the Panhellenic Council and a member of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority. Gordon was the recipient of the Outstanding New Leader award.
The recipients of awards also took the opportunity to discuss their experiences in the Greek system after the ceremony.
“I am proud to have taken a leading role in tearing down the hazing walls and creating a solution to prevent hazing from taking place at all in individual houses,” said Brian Strahine ’01, president of the Interfraternity Council and a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
The Interfraternity Council presented Strahine with the Edwin Fitzpatrick Award for Outstanding Council Leadership.
“Being a leader and member of Cornell’s Greek system has really had an impact on my life … I am more confident and it has really shaped my undergraduate experience,” said Rebecca Walker ’02, president of the Panhellenic Council and a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. Walker received the award for Outstanding Greek Leadership.
“The most that I have learned has come from my experience with the Greek system,” she added.
Archived article by Seth Harris