March 9, 2014

Panhellenic Women’s Wellness Week Will ‘Empower Women’

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The Cornell Panhellenic Association will bring the issues of mental and physical health to the forefront this week during Women’s Wellness Week.

Some of the activities planned for the week include a self-defense workshop, a lecture and a mental-health workshop, according to Nina Klopfer ’15, vice president of programming for Panhel said.

“This year, we wanted to focus on many kinds of physical and mental wellness that are vital in keeping members of our community safe and strong,” Klopfer said.

While the event was not held in 2013, Klopfer said each year the week is offered, events differ slightly ,“but ultimately strive to meet Panhellenic’s goal of empowering sorority women.”

Erika Whitestone ’15, president of Panhel, said Women’s Wellness Week and preventing sexual assault are two “extremely important” initiatives for the Panhellenic community. She added that Women’s Wellness Week is not the only initiative the Tri-Council has launched to combat sexual assault.

“Our goal … is to provide a safe environment for brothers, sisters, friends, faculty and the rest of the Cornell and [the] greater Ithaca community,” she said. “In order to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault, the Tri-Council has several initiatives and programming.”

Jeanie Gribben ’15, wellness chair of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority, said sisters of her sorority have been active in facilitating the week, and the sorority is encouraging sisters to participate.

“We’re absolutely encouraging our sisters to attend the events through different forms of communication,” Gribben said.

One of the major events of the week is the “No More” photo shoot — an all-inclusive stand against sexual and domestic violence — according to Klopfer. She said the shoot is the Greek community’s take on a nationwide initiative to stop sexual assault and domestic violence.

Whitestone said all students are encouraged to participate in the photo shoot event — sponsored by Panhel, the Interfraternity Council and the Multicultural Greek Letter Council.

According to Klopfer, Panhel aims to have Women’s Wellness Week be both educational and helpful.

“Overall, while Women’s Wellness Week is designed to be a fun and informative series for Panhellenic women, it is our hope that its effects will be powerful and visible across campus,” Klopfer said.

She added that she hopes the week will continue to grow and include more events sponsored by groups outside of the Greek community in the future.

“It would be wonderful to see a more comprehensive schedule incorporating even more campus organizations, students and community members in the future,” she said.