Members of the Fraternity Community,

I am writing to you all today in response to the recent tragedies that have affected our campus. There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a very difficult time, a time when our community has suffered from the loss of lives near to us. Many of us knew the individuals who passed away these last few weeks. There is no doubt that they will certainly be missed. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and classmates.

In the midst of these hard times there is always the hope that better times are just around the corner. I know that the same is true for all of us here on the Hill. Perhaps it is because Spring Break is less than a week away or perhaps it is because we have begun to look out after each other and encourage our friends. Regardless of the cause, I think its important to take a moment to recognize how well we have come together, supported each other and mobilized the resources at our disposal. On that note, read the list outlined in Associate Dean of Students Travis Apgar's for signs to look for in a student in distress.

I also am very much aware that, this week, stress levels are extremely high. As a result, I am going to strongly urge that all fraternity related extra-curricular activities be put on hold until after Spring Break. As a start, I am canceling the General Body IFC meeting, Tri-Council Meeting and New Member IFC meeting scheduled for Wednesday. I am also strongly encouraging that all New Member events be canceled until after Spring Break. At bare minimum, I ask that chapters take into account the high stress levels of this week and allow new members to focus on academics and their mental health and safety. 

I would also like to thank all of you who have sent me emails with suggestions and ideas for the event and for how we as a Greek community can move forward from here. I appreciate these ideas and will do all I can to see them implemented. As always, I am here to help so let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns. If not, I hope you all have a great week and enjoy spring break.

And remember that despite all that is going on around us, we have a duty to look after one another and to take care of our brothers. Please consider taking sometime each day of this week to say something positive to a friend or cheer up a brother whose down. Little steps like these can go along way. 

Best regards,

Allen Miller
2010 Interfraternity Council President

This month we have continued to work towards our goal of a more unified and cohesive Panhellenic Community.  The Panhellenic Council co-sponsored Women's Wellness Week with the Women's Health Advisory Team (WHAT), where women from all different chapters came together to discuss issues that plague us such as self-esteem, personal wellness, and competition brought upon by social media outlets.  The discussions were lively, honest, and very effective. 

We are also continuing to address the issues brought upon by the Call 2 Action (C2A) initiative by creating various Task Forces within our community and starting to open the channels for discussions on the issues. 

Also, we are continuing our Extension efforts and have started meeting with an Extension Exploratory Committee.  The committee will diligently review qualitative and quantitative data about the health of our Panhellenic system to help our chapters make an informed and intelligent decision about deciding to extend. 

The new Executive Board is extremely enthusiastic and we are working on many new and exciting projects and ideas to further the growth of our community.

Grade Reports for all chapters for Spring 2009 and Fall 2009 is now available.

Fraternities (pdf)
Sororities (pdf)

Former Cornell IFC President Eddie Rooker received the “Greek Leader of Distinction” award at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference in February. According to the award description, Rooker is one who truly “exemplifies the ideal of fraternity/and or sorority membership in their daily lives”.

Soon after joining Sigma Alpha Epsilon, where he is also a New Member Educator, Rooker began his ascent to presidency as the Vice President of University and Community Relations. As VP UCR, he created and developed many of the present IFC's annual philanthropic events.  The following year, he served as IFC President, where he answered the Call to Action Initiative set forth by the university and alumni to increase awareness and address the challenges facing our community related to social responsibility and New Member Education programs.

Rooker also dealt with the repercussions of the H1N1 virus at Cornell where he convinced 42 chapter presidents to temporarily restrict social events in order to prevent the possible spread of the illness. The list of ways in which he has served the Cornell community is endless, as is the praise that his peers bestow on him.

Rooker now presides as a graduate council mentor for all fraternities at Cornell.  For over a decade, Cornell University Greek delegates have attended the NGLA conference where it has received dozens of awards and national recognitions.

A partnership between the three councils and Kaplan Test Prep will offer students in the fraternity and sorority community many new opportunities in standardized test preparation.  The recently established partnership was created to help members of the fraternity and sorority community “take an important step toward accomplishing their career and academic goals,” said Suzy Olsen, Center Manager of Kaplan in Ithaca.

The partnership entails numerous scholarships and discounts that will benefit every chapter member.  Specifically, all chapter members will receive scholarships for all test preparation programs and will have access to Kaplan’s financial needs based tuition assistance program. This includes private tutoring, classroom courses and self-study programs for the MCAT, GRE, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GMAT and PCAT.  “Free and half off course certificates [will also] be awarded to chapter members at IFC’s [and MGLC's & PHC's] discretion,” said Olsen.

A primary goal of the partnership is to “further the academic performance within each chapter” to help individual members “take an important step toward accomplishing their career and academic goals,” said Kaplan.  In addition, chapter members will receive access to admissions workshops and seminars to help gain an advantage in the graduate school admissions process.  Ultimately, Kaplan and the IFC are both very excited about this partnership, which will prove highly beneficial to Cornell’s Greek community.

Executive board members from the Interfraternity, Multicultural Greek Letter and Panhellenic Councils traveled to Hartford, CT in February for the annual Northeast Greek Leadership Association (NGLA) Conference. 

Hosted at the Hartford Convention Center, the Tri-council travels to the event every year for a series of helpful seminars and presentations on improving Greek communities. 

The keynote speaker for the event was Mike Dilbeck, who presented his nationally-recognized presentation, “Response Ability,” a discourse on bystander intervention.  Other keynote speakers included CAMPUSPEAK founder TJ Sullivan and Professional Chill-Out Guru™, hypnotist and photographer Haiji Otto. 

In the near future, the Tri-council would like to bring several of these presenters to campus to enlighten the whole Greek community.  Also serving as faculty for the event included the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs very own Jarrod Cruz and Kara Miller; Kara served on the programming planning board for the event, while Jarrod was a presenter for some of the weekend’s breakout session. 

By the end of the weekend, the Cornell Greek Community took home two awards; the Amy Voijta Impact Award for Multicultural Initiatives for went to Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, Inc. and a Greek Leader of Distinction Award for former IFC President Eddie Rooker.  The Tri-council would like to continue its tradition of attending this event next year with their new respective executive boards.

The Tri-Council Change for Change coin drive is in full swing. At the advice of the IFC's official philanthropy, the United Way of Tompkins County, Change for Change selected Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services as our beneficiary.

This decision was made in early February, before the string of tragedies that hit campus.  Mental health and crisis prevention was previously targeted as a need for the community.  Nevertheless, the Interfraternity Council is hopeful that fraternities will be able to unite around this cause to help the community. 

Among IFC chapters, Kappa Delta Rho is leading the way in donations with a whopping $184.59.  Phi Gamma Delta trails behind in second place with $50, with Phi Sigma Kappa not far behind with $48.36. 

The IFC is extremely excited about the impact that this fundraiser will have on our community and look forward to its continued success.  The final numbers will be tallied during Day of Demeter, while weekly updates can be found online.
by Alexandra Hildreth, PHC VP Recruitment, Publicity & Extension

Shortly following the 2010 Formal Membership Recruitment period, a group of women not placed in a chapter or did not participate in the Panhellenic recruitment process joined together to form an interest group.  Their leader was an initiated Delta Phi Epsilon transfer student.  Initially they started out by calling themselves a Delta Phi Epsilon interest group but after communication with their national organization and our council they began calling themselves a new sorority interest group.  

The existence of this group brought up a question that is always in the back of the councils mind—is it time to bring another chapter to our campus?  In the Fall of 2008, Alpha Omicron Pi closed.  Before that we have not seen any entry or exit since the spring of 2004 when Delta Phi Epsilon left our campus and Alpha Xi Delta entered in the Spring of 2005.

We take the existence of this new sorority interest group very seriously because we believe as a Panhellenic Council that any Cornell woman who wants to participate and become a member should have that opportunity.  In a general body meeting this past February, the council voted for the formation of an Exploratory Extension Committee.  This committee will consist of a representative from every chapter and will explore the idea of extension.  We will look at statistics from formal recruitment going back seven years.  We will also compile qualitative questions we want to collect from members of the Panhellenic community that address the issue of extension.

Currently every chapter’s total is set as 150, and only three chapters fall below this number.  We are still in an Informal Recruitment period where these eligible chapters are participating in Continuous Open Bidding (COB).  Our chapters are more full than we have seen them in a while and with this new interest group the prospect of extension seems plausible.  

Over the next month the committee will compile a formal presentation with both quantitative and qualitative data to bring to the council.  At this point we will propose a vote for extension.  Each chapter will have three weeks to communicate with their headquarters and will have one vote to say whether or not they are in favor of moving forward with extension.  There needs to be a two-thirds majority (currently 8 out of 11 chapters), for this to occur.  

If the vote is yes we will move forward with contacting the National Panhellenic Conference and extend the invitation to join our campus to every organization that is currently not recognized on campus.  The time line for adding a new chapter is not set in stone; however, we anticipate that we may potentially see a new chapter in the fall of 2011.  The notion of change can be difficult in such a traditional community but we are making a concerted effort to assess whether or not this is the proper time for extension.
by Virginia Tyrone, PHC EVP

From the 56 very qualified applicants to the Junior Panhellenic Council, 33 were chosen (3 from each chapter) to represent their New Member Education class and resolve issues that New Members feel exist.

The Junior Panhhellenic Council will be planning and organizing a service event of their choice to occur in late April. They also elected a JPHC Executive Board (comprised of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Philanthropy positions) to lead the council to a successful semester.
Virginia Tyrone, PHC EVP

Every year, New Member Educators have the difficult task of planning an engaging, educational, and memorable New Member Education period while on a budget. In their efforts to make this an easier feat, the 2010 Panhellenic Council Executive Board created a $300 scholarship. Chapters applied with a detailed description of what program they would like to hold, what Panhellenic wide and chapter specific values it pertained to, and how this event would enrich their new member’s experience.

Congratulations to Alpha Chi Omega! Alpha Chi Omega won the scholarship for their plan to hold an annual off-campus, catered, lineage and sister bonding dinner. This dinner is aimed to strengthen the bonds of the new members, current members, and alumni, promoting the lifelong sisterhood that they share.