Sorority women attend Panhellenic Conference

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Sorority women attend Panhellenic Conference

Story by Maya Hodson, Staff Writer

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Founded on May 24, 1902, the National Panhellenic Conference was created to gather Panhellenic women from Greek life communities across the country to be informed on new Panhellenic policies, practice for executive positions and learn new ways to promote Panhellenic spirit on campus.

Panhellenic is the governing organization of 26 different sororities. The sororities in Panhellenic agree to uphold bylaws, codes of conduct and best practices to make the overall sorority environment on college campuses a positive one. 

“The purpose of Panhellenic is to unite all the sororities under one badge in order to create that positive environment, rather than letting the competition between sororities hurt us all,” junior Hannah Greer said. 

Each of Baker’s sororities are part of the organization and together they form the Collegiate Panhellenic Council. The council is made up of eight executive board members and three chapter representatives, at least one from each house.

“We fully recognize on our campus that our sorority life would not thrive if one of our chapters starts to decline,” Greer said. “So we encourage positivity and support among our chapters rather than competition.”

Three women from Baker that attended the national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on Feb. 1 and 2 were Executive Vice President Hannah Greer, Vice President of Recruitment Maddie Lutgen and Assistant Vice President of Recruitment Blaire Pirie. Assistant Director of Student Life Advisor of Fraternity and Sorority Life Josh Doak, the nonvoting member of the council, accompanied them.

They received information on how to end hazing on all campuses, how to set goals and achieve them, how to promote unity among sororities, how to encourage best recruitment practices among sororities and how to be a strong collegiate woman. 

“We will take all these lessons and more back to our own campuses to continue the impact that this conference will make,” Greer said.

With it being Lutgen’s first year on the Panhellenic board and her first time attending this conference, Lutgen digested a lot of positivity.

“We were able to work with Panhellenic chapters all across the country, which is something we are not able to do often,” Lutgen said. “It is important because it is a reminder of what we should be doing and why we are doing these things. It was really eye-opening and made me excited to get started with Panhellenic.”

Pirie agreed that the conference was a great way to get accustomed to Panhellenic, being her first year as well.

“It [the conference] gave those of us who are new to the board some stepping stones and information to help prepare us for our terms and the year ahead,” Pirie said.

Pirie said she enjoyed hearing about the different ways that other sorority communities are run and how Baker operates compared to much larger schools. 

“It was honestly kind of odd hearing about the issues at larger schools compared to some of the things we’d like to improve on; it’s like an entirely different world on other campuses.”

Greer said she believes this conference is an important event because of the tools it gives women who attend that they can now take back to their individual campuses.

“I most appreciated the opportunity to talk to other women about how to create a circle of sisterhood,” Greer said. “And, it’s even more than that — it’s not just us sorority women supporting other sorority women. What’s most important is that women support women. Regardless of whether or not a woman is in a sorority, she has value and deserves respect. This conference gave me ideas for how we can share that message with all women on Baker’s campus, and thus, to promote sorority life and to uplift womanhood at Baker.”