November 8, 2001

Greek System Elects Leaders For IFC, Panhel

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As the end of the semester quickly approaches, the governing councils of the Greek system elected their executive board for 2002. The new boards will take the oath of office in January, and will serve until December of that year.

The Interfraternity Council elected Jason Conn ’03 as its president. He defeated Jason Hudes ’02, new member recruitment chair for the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. Conn, current Vice President of University and Community Relations for IFC and a member and former president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, expressed enthusiasm to begin his work at the chief executive of the governing body.

“I look forward to continuing to raise Greek issues on campus, and making our organization a more powerful influence on the Cornell community,” Conn said.

In his campaign speech, Conn stressed the importance of revising antiquated judicial and social policies. He explained that these policies were written many years ago when the atmosphere at Cornell was different, and the Greek system was much smaller. He added that these policies just create unnecessary hurdles for fraternities.

“If we all break [the rules], let’s change them,” Conn said.

Brian Strahine ’01, current President of the IFC praised Conn and expressed confidence in his abilities.

“Jason has the ability to recognize the needs of the council and the Greek system, and will do his best to address those needs,” Strahine said.

Conn is also a member of the Order of Omega Greek Honors Society, and the recipient of the President’s Student Service Award for completing over 100 hours of community service during his tenure as Vice President. He accepted this award from President George W. Bush last spring.

In addition, Eli Selinger ’03 ran unopposed for the office of Executive Vice President of the Interfraternity Council. He currently holds the position of Vice President of Judicial Affairs for the IFC.

A major goal of Selinger’s agenda is increasing formal rush numbers, which had decreased last academic year.

“Small houses need to increase their numbers, large houses need to maintain them, and houses on West Campus need to keep strong in light of the West Campus Building Initiative,” Selinger said in his statement to the IFC.

Several members of the IFC recommended caution in the direction of the council for next year.

“I hope that the IFC does not lose track of why they are here, and that they do their best to stress the issues that are most important to fraternity brothers. We often focus too much on little issues and lose sight of what’s most important,” said Sean Mackay ’02, former Vice President of Judicial Affairs for IFC.

Voting on the remainder of the positions on IFC has been tabled until next week.

The Panhellenic Association, which governs Cornell’s 13 sororities, elected Lindsay Williams ’03 President. She defeated Cathy Carswell ’03.

Williams, current Vice President of Communications for the Panhellenic Association and a member and Vice President of Public Relations of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, accepted the mandate with a goal of using the strength of the number of women involved with the council to promote their agenda.

“Panhellenic is the largest women’s organization on campus. I hope we can use that size and strength to make positive change,” Williams said.

She also mentioned the ongoing need to portray the Greek system at Cornell in a positive light.

“We have started on a wonderful path toward informing our community of all aspects of our organizations and replacing thoughts of binge drinking and ‘Animal House’ behavior with thoughts of philanthropy and deeply rooted friendships,” Williams added.

Rebecca Walker ’02, current President of the Panhellenic Association, praised Williams for her dedication to the council.

“She has many innovative ideas for Panhel and a solid vision of what she wants to accomplish in her term,” Walker said.

Jenna Lewis ’03, a member and current President of Delta Delta Delta sorority, was elected Executive Vice President of the Panhellenic Association. Lewis defeated Kathleen Schindler ’03 for the position.

“Her energy and optimism are boundless, and the dedication she showed to Tridelt this year will certainly carry over to her new role,” Walker mentioned about Lewis.

According to Walker, Lewis is best known for her program planning on the Panhellenic Health Advisory Team (PHAT) and the Delta series, a new member education program for sororities. Current outgoing leaders of the two councils offered some advice for the incoming Executive Board members.

“Be prepared to roll with the punches and stay flexible. Sometimes challenges will come your way that you just can’t predict,” Walker said.

“Start early and get the ball rolling in January,” Strahine said. “A year goes by really fast.”

In addition, the 2002 Executive Board of the Panhellenic Association consists of the following members: Vice President for Communications, Lauren Bleich ’03; Vice President for Judicial Affairs, Stephanie Moore ’03; Vice President of University and Community Relations, Leah Wittman ’04; Vice President of Recruitment, Publicity, and Extension, Brooke Yakin ’04; Vice President of Formal Membership Recruitment, Rachel DeVries ’04; Vice President of Programming, Dana Shanis ’04; Vice President of Finance, Brenna Halliday ’04.

Archived article by Seth Harris