Courtesy of Sorority and Fraternity Life at Cornell.

The Cornell Panhellenic Council elected a new president, vice president and additional executive board members on Sunday.

November 14, 2017

New Panhellenic Council President Hopes to ‘Break Down Institutional Barriers’

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Christina Nastos ’19 and Juliet McCann ’19 will take over next semester as the new president and vice president of Cornell’s Panhellenic Council after being elected to the positions on Sunday.

Nastos said she is excited to work with everyone on the Greek Tri-Council executive boards and hopes to maintain and strengthen Panhellenic Council’s presence on campus.

“I am particularly interested in fortifying the relationship between Panhellenic and the ‘typical’ chapter member by providing programming of interest to Panhellenic members,” she said in an email. “I have always admired the enthusiasm members have about their respective chapters, and hope to broaden the scope of that enthusiasm to the larger Panhellenic community.”

The Panhellenic executive board is comprised of 10 members from nine chapters.

Nastos said she hopes to “revitalize” formal recruitment by extending diversity and inclusion initiatives “to the very first time a [potential new member] walks through a chapter’s door in January.”

Greek life, Nastos said, was founded on principles of elitism and “sentiments of these archaic notions subtly persist in our Greek system today,” but she said she hopes to “break down the institutional barriers.”

“I’d want to give student groups outside of Greek life a forum to express their frustrations and try to reinvent that negative energy as implementing positive change,” Nastos said, referring to students who had helped institute the Greek Tri-Council’s diversity and inclusion plan.

McCann said Panhellenic can “continue pushing the Greek community in the direction it has been going by increasing diversity and dialogue within the community.”

“It is my goal to create spaces for collaboration between both individual chapters and other organizations (such as IFC, MGLC, and non-greek organizations),” McCann said in an email.

Greek leaders wrote the Tri-Council Diversity and Inclusion Plan in response to multiple incidents earlier this year, including one in which a black student said he was punched in Collegetown by a student who was said to be an underground member of Psi Upsilon.

“Since Greek Life is so prominent at Cornell, it’s very easy to stay within a Greek ‘bubble’ when trying to problem-solve, but I’d definitely hope to listen to the unique perspective non-Greek leaders can provide,” Nastos said.