Greek Excellence

August 20, 2013

WPI’s Panhellenic Council has been presented with an award for excellence by the National Panhellenic Conference, one of the nation’s largest advocacy organizations for women.

Chosen from scores of nominees, WPI is one of only 14 college councils selected for this prestigious honor. Says Nicki Meneley, executive director of the conference, “These awards are given to those who are following the exemplary standards set for Panhellenic women.”

With organizations located at more than 600 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada, the NPC is quickly seeing its vision of sorority women working together to positively influence academics, programming, and community relations become a reality. At WPI, the Panhellenic Council is the governing body of all the sororities on campus and oversees areas such as judiciary processes, recruitment, philanthropy, and community service. The 12 members make it their duty to assist all the sororities in understanding the NPC’s rules, and teach them how to represent the national council – and WPI – as proud Panhellenic women.

“My vision for this council is to be an organization where all the sororities form a cohesive team in making Greek Life inspirational and empowering,” says Diana Nguyen, president of the WPI Panhellenic Council. “It is in this way we promote interfraternal relations among the sororities and fraternities and the greater WPI community as a whole.”

One way the council achieves this goal is by holding campus-wide events to bring together multiple organizations. In the past, the council has enjoyed friendly competition alongside other organizations at events such as Greek Week and the Color Run. Members have also engaged in community service, ranging from hosting blood drives to participating in Work on Worcester, often referred to as WOW, which involves up to 300 students traversing the city to perform community-improvement tasks wherever help is needed.

While the council provides affiliated women with many leadership opportunities, it also acts as an open forum for students and the general WPI body to be in contact with all the sororities at once, Nguyen notes. Through these vital lines of communication, organizations can find a co-sponsor for, promote, and receive support for their events. Just last year, Active Minds was able to promote through the Panhellenic Council its bureau speaker, Colleen Coffey, who has made it her mission to spread awareness of mental illness and silence the stigma it carries.

When asked about the impact this recent award has had, Nguyen is quick to thank one certain individual.

“This award is largely because of Cori Nawn, vice president of Judicial, who put together this whole application. She had noticed that our council has never applied before, and because she saw what passion and drive this council has, she wanted to initiate applying yearly,” Nguyen says.

It’s that passion and drive, the council agrees, that are the reasons for their success. Nguyen notes the commitment of each person within the organization – individual presidents and delegates included – toward maintaining a strong and unified Greek community. This dedication, she says, is the underlying foundation of all the rules they follow and every event they hold.

Going back to their win, Nguyen­­ simply says, “This award is just proof of how much time and effort each one of us gives to our ultimate goal.”

– by Kelsey Keogh