Addressing issues such as inclusion, gendered violence and sexual assault, WPI’s Greek community earned several awards at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association’s (NGLA) annual conference in February.
WPI’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council received the Amy Vojta Impact Award for Multicultural Initiatives for their work with the Greek Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Panhellenic Council’s work bringing awareness to sexual assault, microaggressions against women and gendered violence earned it the Amy Vojta Civic Engagement Award. And Phi Sigma Sigma was honored with the Amy Vojta Impact Award for Risk Reduction for its work being mindful of and taking steps to reduce risk in their chapter and community.
“WPI students are tackling issues that are very present on college campuses,” says Student Activities associate director Christine Kobza. “In true engineering process they are constantly thinking about how their delivery systems can be better, more effective, and how can more students be reached.”
WPI attends NGLA annually, sending delegates from both councils. This year’s conference included about 1,100 attendees from more than 100 schools across the Northeast and a few outside of the northeast regional area.
IFC president Eric Peterson ’19 says his group’s work with the Greek Diversity and Inclusion Committee is important. “Receiving the award, with inclusion being such a big issue today, makes me proud to be a member of the Greek community here at WPI. I know that Greek organizations are under a lot of scrutiny nationwide, and understandably so, but here at WPI we hold ourselves to a higher standard and have the opportunity to focus on these larger community issues,” he says.
Panhellenic president Rosie McCarthy ’19 says the effort her group and the IFC have put into inclusion and diversity is exciting. “I am honored to see the growth within the Greek community from both an inside perspective of being a part of the committee, and as a sister and leader in the community,” she says. “Seeing the small changes even a few people can begin to make in their daily lives creates a small wave of change.”
Aylin Padir ’19, member-a-large for Phi Sigma Sigma, served as risk manager during the time for which the sorority received the Amy Vojta Impact Award for Risk Reduction. “I am truly honored to have been recognized for my work to reduce risk in our chapter,” she says. “Risk manager definitely isn’t a popular position, but it is an important one, so I’m extremely happy to have contributed to making my chapter happier and healthier.” Padir gave presentations to the chapter on topics such as fire safety and sexual assault.
Juliana Wakeman, Phi Sigma Sigma advisor at WPI, earned the Guenzler Award, which recognizes significant volunteer commitments within the Northeast. She was presented with the award during WPI’s Greek Recognition Awards on Monday evening.
“She is constantly engaged, no matter the time of day or night. Juliana is always willing to answer questions or talk through any challenges our chapter is trying to work through,” a nominator wrote in this year’s submission. “She is always a great listener and a fantastic person to talk to whether it is about chapter or even career advice.
“Her open mind and level head allows her to offer different perspectives and ideas to others and myself whenever we are faced with an issue. She is technically our chapter’s CKA, but she is far more than that to our sisters. She is a mentor, role model, and friend.”
-By Lauren Curran