New FSL leaders look to build community as first step
When juniors Tori Ganahl and Evan Anderson became Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council Presidents, they both had the same goal in mind: a better community.
On Dec. 6, the new board members met with the previous PHC and IFC board to discuss how they could start bridging the gaps between Fraternity and Sorority Life and the community, Ganahl said.
“I want to develop a system to better relationships,” Anderson said. “Communication is a two-way street.”
One way FSL plans to build internal communication is through the Greek Leadership Academy during winter term, Ganahl said. While it is not a new program, Ganahl said it is one that brought her closer to other members because it is away from campus and focuses on what the community needs without the distraction of classes and technology.
“I can’t emphasize enough how powerful we can be when we are all in one room,” Ganahl said.
Anderson said he seeks to build connections between all of the IFC chapters.
“I really want to unite our houses better,” Anderson said. “There’s a very big disconnect between each house and the next. For example, the biggest thing is when one fraternity has a philanthropy on campus, no other fraternities will show up. I think that’s a huge misstep by our community because we need to realize that when one of us looks good, we all look good.”
Lauren Neely, PHC vice president of civic engagement, is the youngest board member as a sophomore. Neely said it is her job to overlook philanthropies and community service within the chapters, offering opportunities for women to get involved and ensuring their hours are met.
Neely said one way for sororities to do this is through Circle of Sisterhood, the national PHC philanthropy that gives girls around the world a better opportunity to access education.
“We’re just really excited to make a positive impact in Greek Life,” Neely said.
Sarah McGowen, PHC vice president of membership development, said her job is to look at the scholarly side of FSL.
One way McGowen said she will be building community and communication is through conversations and feedback in the winter term with the Junior Greek Council, a group comprised of one member from every FSL chapter, and linking it to education. Then she wants to talk to the people in membership education to discuss what they can do better.
These new board members say they had to do a lot to get to where they are now, including previous leadership positions.
McGowen said she was the director of scholarship for Delta Gamma, connecting her to her new position where she now communicates with the of directors of scholarship. Neely said she was on Junior Greek Council last year and helped plan Greektoberfest, which gave her experience and a love for philanthropy.
Anderson said he had a lot of experience from being an Eagle Scout and the vice president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. Ganahl had an internship with the PHC president her freshman year for two terms, and then ran for president of Delta Gamma her sophomore year.
McGowen said a huge part of what got her to the PHC board was accepting the possibility of rejection.
“I would tell members, especially new members, not to be afraid of to take risks and reach out to people about leadership opportunities,” McGowen said.
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.