Panhel Selects Officers for New YearBy Zareena Hussain
The Panhellenic Association elected its new officers last month amid an unusual twist of events in the election of its new president.
This year's elected officers for Panhel are President Jamie A. Buller '99, Executive Vice President Connie W. Pong '99, Vice President Rush Julie J. Muyco '98, Secretary Stacey L. Schreiber '00, Treasurer Peggy J. Hollerman '00, Social Chair Katherine N. Oates '00, Community Service Chair Jennifer A. Kelly '99, Housing Chair Vicki I. Chin '99, and Public Relations Chair Anita J. Wu '99.
The elected officers will take office the first week of February.
AEPhi candidate rejected
Panhel has specific policies to avoid the domination of one sorority within the greater governing body. One such policy is the rotation of the offices of president, two vice presidents, secretary, and treasurer among the five sororities.
This year it was Alpha Epsilon Phi's turn to have one of its members take on the reins of the Panhel presidency.
"This rotation is not automatic," said Assistant Dean for Residence and Campus Activities Neal H. Dorow, adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
According to the Panhel constitution, the candidate who is presented by a given sorority for the position of president must be "passed" by five delegates, one from each sorority, said Amanda J. Underwood '98, Sigma Kappa's delegate.
The candidate becomes president unless four out of the five delegates cast "no" votes against her, Underwood said.
In a secret ballot, the delegates voted to reject the AEPhi candidate, Shirley S. Mihardja '99. Mihardja served this past year as Panhel secretary.
The position of Panhel president was then thrown to an open election in which Jamie A. Buller '99 of Alpha Phi won.
The second election is not open to the losing sorority from the first election, since the sorority is expected to put forth its best candidate in the first place, and the assumption is that any other candidates would be rejected as well, Underwood said.
Mihardja declined to comment on the delegates' decision.
AEPhi upset by decision
Deborah G. Carlton '99, president of AEPhi, read a statement to the executive board of Panhel after the decision.
"We are upset over the rejection of our candidate Shirley Mihardja, who we felt was well qualified after spending a year on Panhellenic executive board," Carlton said. "As a new sorority, we were looking forward to the opportunity of continuing our support of Panhellenic by serving on the executive board once again."
"We are upset that we will not be a part of the executive board; however, we would like to wish the new executive board the best of luck," she said.
Current Panhel President Laura L. DePaoli '97 expressed her disappointment as well. "I am also upset that AEPhi will not be on execboard," she said.
"I support the decision of the five delegates. They voted as they saw fit," DePaoli said.
Underwood said that she could not speak about the discussion among the delegates that preceded the vote for president because the discussion is confidential.
But "the vote wasn't against Shirley or AEPhi in any way," Underwood said. "She did a wonderful job as secretary."
AEPhi declines other post
AEPhi had the opportunity to have one of its members run for positions on execboard other than five rotated positions. However, they offered no candidates to run, DePaoli said.
The sorority will have a presence in Panhel by the AEPhi representative, Laura L. Sandler '99, who will serve this year.
Dorow said he was surprised by the decision of the delegates.
"I think Panhellenic will look at this part of the election process and see if it should continue," Dorow said.
The position of rush chair, which Buller had originally been elected to, is now open. Panhel's executive board will wait until next term, when most of execboard will be back from Independent Activities Period, to decide who will be rush chair.
"I felt it would be unfair to Panhel to take both positions," Buller said.
"Panhel has grown a lot and has become more well known on campus. Laura did a lot of that. I would like to continue that," Buller said.
Buller said that she plans to get sororities more involved in encouraging each other's events, like their community service efforts. Buller also seeks to improve on the communication of Panhel activities to member sororities, she said.
"I would like to get Panhel members more involved in Panhel activities," Buller said.
DePaoli ends year as president
Looking back at the past year, "I feel I really organized and structured the organization well," DePaoli said.
This organization included revamping the constitution and bylaws to bring them more in line with the recommendations of the national Panhellenic Association as well as scrapping old programming and events that were unsuccessful in the past.
Some things that were started during DePaoli's term as president were a newsletter, a World Wide Web site, an awards ceremony, and a Panhellenic appreciation dinner.
"I'm really happy how the sororities worked together for positive change," DePaoli said.
Another issue during DePaoli's term was the possibility of bringing a new sorority on campus.
"I foresaw a really good addition was the possibility of extension," DePaoli said.
This possibility, however, was voted down by the sororities.
Points that were made in favor of extension were the large size of the existing sororities and the fact that Panhel would like every woman who rushes a sorority to be able to receive a bid, DePaoli said.
The arguments against a new sorority were the need of time and space for AEPhi, a new and small sorority, to grow as well as the fact that "waiting a few years wouldn't hurt anyway," DePaoli said.
For the future, DePaoli said that she would like to see Panhel continue to provide quality programming for women, put together another successful rush, and foster good intersorority, faculty-Panhel, and Greek-non-Greek relations.