November 13, 2007

Panhel Elects New Executive Board

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On a campus with one of the largest collegiate Greek system in the United States, the Panhellenic Association, the largest women’s association on campus, is the umbrella organization for Cornell’s sororities.
Panhel recently held its annual executive board elections. The current executive board will preside until the end of January, and then the new executive board will take over.
Katie O’Neill ’09 of Alpha Xi Delta will be president of the new board, Sarah Watterson ’09 of Kappa Kappa Gamma will be executive vice president and Rowena Perry ’09 of Alpha Phi will be vice president of communications.
“I got involved when I was a freshman in my spring semester on the Junior Panhellenic Association, which is a model for new members on a small scale, and I wanted to do something more, take a more active role,” O’Neill said.
According to the current executive board, Panhel is a great resource as it enables a group of dynamic women to come together.
Sarah Kopper ’10 of Delta Delta Delta will be vice president of judicial affairs, Phoo Nyo ’09 of Alpha Phi will be vice president of formal recruitment and Rachel Quigley ’09 of Delta Gamma will be vice president of recruitment, publicity and extension.
Panhel is part of the Greek community in several ways. In addition to helping sponsor and coordinate Greek Week, which takes place every fall, it plays an important role in the formal recruitment process, and sponsors several events that serve the greater Ithaca community. On Halloween, for example, Panhel sponsored a trick-or-treat trail for the Ithaca community, where children could visit sororities, fraternities and program houses to trick-or-treat.
The overlying goal, according to the executive board, is not only to unite the Greek community, but also to branch out into the greater Cornell community and prevent people from stereotyping the Greek community.
To reach out to the rest of the campus, Panhel recently organized a self-defense program that was open to all women on campus.
According to members of the board, people should understand that Panhel is there to help all women in need, even those not involved in the Greek system.
Members of Panhel attend the Northeast Greek Leadership Conference yearly, where they share ideas with other chapters that are also programming and planning community service. At the 2005 conference, Panhel was awarded excellence in every category possible. The awards allow the Panhellenic Association to showcase its completed work, in addition to recognizing how individual chapters’ initiatives contribute to the greater Greek community.
Panhel has existed for many years — since sororities have been at Cornell — but the organization has grown significantly in the past 15 years.
Other newly elected officers include Jennifer Hillman ’08 of Delta Delta Delta will be vice president of University and community relations of the new board, Alison Ewing ’10 of Kappa Delta will be vice president of programming and Elizabeth Phillips ’09 of Pi Beta Phi will be vice president of finance.
“We’ve added a lot more positions so that we can keep up with all the chapters and all of their growing needs,” said Pooja Shendure ’08, the current president. “We want to unite the chapters and also want to serve as a support and liaison to the administration, advisors and other top-level-people in Cornell. In order to continue to do that, we have to grow.”