“Do stay connected to Cornell. It’s good for you,” said Carolyn Neuman ’64, member of the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Council, speaking at the 18th annual Greek Awards Ceremony yesterday in Trillium.
The event was sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs in conjunction with the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Letter Council, and Panhellenic Association. Each year a committee of students, alumni and staff reviews each chapter’s progress toward achieving a high standard of success through the required end-of-year evaluation. The committee determines chapter and individual awards based on the new member program, a judicial summary, alumni involvement, attendance at leadership and educational programs, involvement in the council, and philanthropy events.
Over 300 Greek student leaders, faculty, alumni, and administration attended the ceremony to honor the Greek system’s achievements from this past year.
“There are many reasons to celebrate. Greek life at Cornell has provided each of the honorees a chance to develop their leadership skills and handle stress and adversity to the best of their abilities,” said Neuman, in her opening remarks.
“You have elevated Cornell University Greek life to an exemplary model for the Greek system throughout the country. Only you are aware that you are proven leaders, not potential leaders. That is why our Greek system is so important to the Cornell community,” she said. “Greek life has programs that provide support and respect for its members. All of you will soon join a legacy of those who will support a future of Greek life,” she said.
The ceremony was hosted by Samara Fetto, the executive vice president of the Panhellenic Association, Patrick Pierre-Louis, executive vice president of the Multicultural Greek Letter Council, and Chase Nielson, executive vice president of the Interfraternity Council.
Fetto explained that the planning for the ceremony began in the beginning of the semester. “The council officers have really helped me to prepare for this event. Everyone worked very hard to put together a ceremony that would recognize the distinguished leaders of our Greek community,” she said.
Fetto sat on the committee that selected individuals who were outstanding council and chapter leaders this year.
“The Greek awards help to celebrate those who show poise and confidence when working with the other members of their chapters,” Fetto said.
“A leader is one who stands out above all the rest and inspires members to inflict change within the chapter,” she added.
Fetto was among the thirteen other students recognized as outstanding chapter leaders. “I was shocked that I was chosen as one of the outstanding chapter leaders. The selection committee went to great lengths to keep it a secret from me,” Fetto said.
The committee looked at numerous criteria to select the most improved chapter awards including philanthropy, member participation, scholarship, and alumni involvement. Each nominee was interviewed by the steering committee and was then chosen based upon the past years performance and interview.
“The most improved chapter award recognizes chapters that have worked diligently to correct problems within their organizations and have made great strides to improve over the course of the year,” said Fetto.
“While they may not have achieved the desired goals set by the councils, the awarded chapters have made great progress toward their desired goals,” Fetto said.
The outstanding chapter award recognizes chapters that have done an outstanding job in implementing each component of the Strategic Plan, a set of chapter guidelines, set forth by the OFSA.
Jenna Odett ’07, president of Alpha Chi Omega, was delighted that her sorority was named as one of the most outstanding chapters.
“This award is really due to the hard work and dedication of all of the sisters in our chapter. We have worked very hard this year to unite our sisterhood,” she said. “The success of our chapter is due to the highly energetic and dedicated members of our executive board who continuously strive to make our chapter stronger.”
Brian Strahine ’01, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, was pleased with the turnout of the event.
“It is important to make sure that our top Greek leaders and chapters are recognized at least once per year in order to show the rest of Cornell how Greek life is a positive organization on campus,” Strahine said.
“We must recognize the people and chapters that make the Greek system such a success. We are all very proud of the students for all of their efforts this year,” said Strahine.
The twelve most outstanding chapters were presented with awards. These chapters include: Pi Delta Psi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, Phi Kappa Tau, Sigma Pi, Pi Kappa Phi, Acacia, Sigma Alpha Mu, Psi Upsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha, and Phi Delta Theta.
Archived article by ALLISON MARKOWITZ
Sun Staff Writer