by Dan Freshman, IFC VP for Communications

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs wrapped up its annual Emerging Leaders Experience seminar series on Tuesday, April 20th, graduating roughly 40 young Fraternity and Sorority leaders from the program. 

Hosted by Assistant Dean of Students Kara Miller, the program spanned three weeks and featured several lessons and discussions on value and leadership training, as well as several work assignments outside the meetings.  Guest lecturers included Associate Dean of Students Travis Apgar and representatives from Cornell Outdoor Education. 

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs officially graduated students on Friday, April 23rd in Anabel Taylor Hall, with the handing out of certificates and a brief reception. 

The program is conducted every year with the help of Bob Selander ’72, a former Sigma Chi and current president and CEO of MasterCard.  This year, the program featured a revamped format, taking place over a month with sectioned meetings, rather than one overnight event.

Here are your 2010 Emerging Leaders Experience Graduates:

Samara  Ahmed, Alpha Xi Delta
Angel  Aleman, Lambda Theta Phi
Christopher Ames, Beta Theta Pi
Darrick Antell, Alpha Sigma Phi
Kenneth Babcock, Phi Kappa Tau
Jessica Beidelman, Delta Delta Delta
Jeff  Choi, Sigma Phi Epsilon
Manuel Correa, Psi Upsilon
Manuel Davila-Molina, Phi Kappa Tau
Bruno Lucas, Theta Delta Chi
Hannah Deixler, Sigma Delta Tau
Amy  Dreisiger, Alpha Epsilon Phi
Emily Foreman, Sigma Delta Tau
Tommy Fu, Zeta Psi
Hollis Hanley, Kappa Kappa Gamma
Alyssa  Jacobson, Alpha Epsilon Phi
Stefan Jovic,  Tau Kappa Epsilon
Michael Kehoe, Phi Gamma Delta
Shivani  Kumar, Alpha Phi
Nathaniel Lee, Kappa Sigma
Jill  Marshall,  Kappa Kappa Gamma
Stephanie Menke, Alpha Epsilon Phi
Zachary Miles, Phi Gamma Delta
Lana  Miller, Kappa Kappa Gamma
Megan Nemlich, Alpha Xi Delta
Isa Poggi, Kappa Kappa Gamma
Andrew Reilly, Delta Tau Delta
Matthew Riemer, Zeta Psi
Ariel Robinson, Pi Beta Phi
Charles Rose, Phi Delta Theta
Benjamin Stamp, Alpha Gamma Rho
Laura Stamp, Alpha Zeta
Carlos Vazquez, Lambda Theta Phi
Eric  Viña, Phi Delta Theta
Justin Zupnick, Theta Delta Chi
Briseida Castellanos, Lambda Pi Chi
Andrew  Martinez, Lambda Theta Phi
Yahaira Barrera, Lambda Pi Chi
Eric  Stucker, Delta Tau Delta

by Matthew C. Ullmann, IFC Communications Staff

To earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America, one must earn 21 merit badges.  In spite of achieving the highest rank of Eagle Scout, Shawn Goldsmith, a newly inducted brother at Sigma Nu, greatly surpassed the minimum requirement.  Goldsmith has earned all 121 merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts, an exceedingly rare feat.  Over a five and one half year span, starting at age 12, Goldsmith earned around 60 of the badges.  The deadline for a boy scout to earn merit badges is eighteen.  “When I found out my grandma was sick, I got the remaining badges in 6 months,” said Goldsmith.

Goldsmith earned badges in activities ranging from public speaking to bugling to water sports to wilderness survival, where he had to “sleep out under the stars and cook [his] own food.”  Despite achieving this feat, Goldsmith is continuing his involvement with the Boy Scouts.  He currently serves on the executive board of the Greater New York council, which composes all five boroughs of New York City.  Goldsmith hopes to “make [the Boy Scouts] even better and motivate more people to join”.

In addition to his involvement with the Boy Scouts, Goldsmith is very active within the Cornell community.  He is the founder and President of Cornell DECA, an organization that teaches social responsibility in business.  Goldsmith is also Sigma Nu’s Interfraternity Council Representative and an associate in the Mutual Investment Club of Cornell, among other activities.  Goldsmith, who initially did not plan on joining a fraternity, considers his membership at Sigma Nu one of his most rewarding activities.  “Sigma Nu provides me with a completely different outlook on things at Cornell and in life.  It will really broaden my horizons,” said Goldsmith.

by Dan Freshman, IFC VP for Communications

The Statler Hall Auditorium overflowed with dancing, laughter and backrubs last Monday as world-renowned motivational speaker, author and hypnotist-trainer Hajii Otto took the Cornell campus by storm with his “College: Live It, Love It, Celebrate It” seminar.  The Hawaii native, who goes by the official moniker “The Chill-Out Guru™,” captivated a raucous audience with a litany of stress-reducing techniques aimed at both body and mind.  Topics included dietary habits, breathing techniques, etiquette, dance moves, photography and even de-stressing product recommendations.  The event was sponsored by the IFC, MGLC and Panhellenic Councils, with the guidance of OFSA Advisor Kara Miller.  The vast majority of individuals in audience were Greek, including much of the Kappa Delta sorority.

The former University of West Florida Delta Tau Delta brother and industry wellness consultant performed the seminar for free; the certified communication specialist donates three complimentary programs to various organizations over each year.  After meeting executive board members from the IFC, Panhellenic and MGLC councils at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference last February, the college/corporate trainer felt that the campus’s recent string of tragedies justified donating a program to Cornell.  Nevertheless, the event ran so successfully that the licensed massage therapy instructor may come to Cornell again in the near future.

Sophomore Natalie Raps is the Arts & Sciences Representative for the Student Assembly and is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

With almost 14,000 undergraduates, almost 7,000 of them women, and 1,150 of those women involved in Greek life here at Cornell, it is obvious that sorority women are encouraged to discover the substantially diverse opportunities available for us here at the Big Red. My choice to get involved at Cornell happened to involve the Student Assembly.

In general terms, the Student Assembly is the student governing body that represents all undergraduates at Cornell.  I first discovered the Student Assembly because I wanted to try something new.  While I debated running for Freshman Representative, my mother kept encouraging me to run by repeating the wise words that “No one knows you yet, Natalie.  No one knows anyone yet, so they can’t vote based on popularity”.  Even though my mother’s veiled criticism to my past social existence was meant to be helpful it was that much harder to decide to campaign in front of my yet unknown peers.  My better judgment kept flashing me back to my fourth grade school wide election in which my terror of speaking in front of the entire class only subsided when I learned that I had lost the Treasurer’s seat.  However, the uplifting ending to my tale of political woe occurred in October of 2008 when I ran against 22 other great candidates and narrowly snagged third place for Freshman Rep. Even if I had lost I still would have relished the experience because I made some great friends along the way and it launched me into the roller coaster ride that defines my time on the Student Assembly.

As I stepped into my first meeting, I was overcome by the warm and accepting environment from S.A. “veterans” who encouraged me to speak out on issues that I believed in and stand firm on my (sometimes controversial) beliefs.  The feelings of acceptance, love and kindness was exactly how I felt the moment I joined Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women.  By joining Pi Beta Phi (or Pi Phi), I was surprised that instead of limiting what I was involved in on campus (which I thought might happen in my stereotypical idea of a sorority) I was instead supported by my new sisters to be myself and make Pi Phi proud.  With my love of Pi Phi and my role as the Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee for the Student Assembly, I was lucky to be able to connect the two things that have allowed me to grow the most at Cornell. 

I owe a lot to Pi Phi because each and every sister has been so great in helping me deliver on my campaign promises. In conjunction with the M.E.S.S. Express, we recently launched a pilot program so that hopefully by next year students can potentially have pre-paid taxi cards that act much like a meal plan in order to take safe rides home late at night.   While our campus is beautiful, it can turn into a scary place late at night for many women who walk home in the dark by themselves. I know that during this prelim season, my sorority sisters and I have been taking advantage of this card in order to stay at the library later and knowingly have a safe and quick ride home.  The ability for Pi Phi to help create new initiatives along with the Student Assembly gives me great hope for the ability of sorority women around campus to use different organizations in order to make a difference at Cornell.

If my story has intrigued you in any way please know that women representation on the Student Assembly is always needed.  The chance to evolve as a leader, no matter what organization, is something that I would encourage to any sorority woman. That being said, the Student Assembly is looking for women (and men!) to be on Committees involving Residential Life, Communications, Appropriations, Women’s Issues, and Environmental Issues just to name a few. Committees meet either weekly or bi weekly and allow for students to make a difference at the school that we all love.  Furthermore, in the Fall there will be 3 Freshman seats and 1 Transfer seat available for all incoming students. 

If you know anyone interested, encourage him or her to find more information at assembly.cornell.edu/SA or feel free to email me at nrr25@cornell.edu.  I would love to meet for coffee at Libe Café…stereotypical I know; yet their Chai lattes never get old.  

by Corinna Romantic, PHC VP of University and Community Relations

On Saturday, April 3rd from 1:00-2:00pm, the Panhellenic Council sponsored an Easter Egg Hunt in the Ithaca community. The event was for members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program of Ithaca. Because of the overwhelming demand for "Bigs," there are many unmatched "Littles."

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Program created a Saturday program for all "Littles" who are not matched so that they can interact with the college students who volunteer as "Bigs" for the afternoon. The hunt was specifically for these children who are currently unmatched.

Members of the Panhellenic Council stuffed and then hid almost 300 eggs at Stewart Park. There were 20 children between the ages of 4 and 14 who, when released to begin searching for eggs, were filled with smiles and laughter.

The children loved searching the area for the eggs and the members of the Panhellenic Council received equal satisfaction knowing that the children were having fun. We hope to make this an annual event with the Big Brother Big Sisters Program.

by Maricela Perryman, VP Formal Recruitment

In December of 2008, Cornell’s Panhellenic Council was one of the first to vote in a two-tier Total system, which means there are different Totals set in the fall and the spring semesters. Fall total for 2008 has been 108 since 2005.Total for the past spring recruitment was set as average chapter size. However, due the drastic difference between average chapter size and Total in the fall, Panhellenic decided to reevaluate Total for the fall of 2010.

A vote was proposed for March 17th to raise Total to 118, average chapter size for the fall. Two-thirds was needed to pass, but the vote was not passed. However, a vote for April 21st was re-proposed to once again vote for Total to increase to average chapter size, and this time passed.

During discussions about Total, Panhellenic Council considered largest chapter size, average chapter size, and median chapter size for the new Total. However, all the women felt most comfortable with 118, which was the average chapter size. Smaller chapters might be nervous about the effort to recruit more, which is why other numbers were not chosen. However, with the new Total size, this will increase the opportunity for women to join our Panhellenic system, which is great for the Greek community as more chapters will be eligible for COB (continuous open bidding) recruitment in the fall.

Sometimes convincing chapters to participate in COB recruitment is difficult but since more chapters will be eligible to participate, this will help add a more positive outlook on fall recruitment and open up our doors to more interested potential members.

by Allen Miller, IFC President

The month of April has been a month marked by highs and lows. Yet through it all the IFC has come together and been pivotal in affecting change on campus and throughout the community. After the unfortunate events involving a number of student deaths in the weeks leading up to Spring Break, the IFC worked with several other large student groups to organize a community gathering to promote mental health and campus unity. Along those lines, the Change for Change fund raising initiative has turned out to be an incredibly appropriate program as all the proceeds are going to Suicide Prevention Agency of Tompkins County.

The IFC has also been actively involved in increasing the amount of positive exposure new students get to the Fraternity and Sorority community. An increased amount of attention is placed on increasing recruitment during the fall semester. This coming academic year several events will be offered during orientation week and the focus of Greek Week will be much more on recruitment and new students. Additionally, the IFC is currently debating implementing a dry, values-based recruitment weekend towards the end of the fall semester. The proposed weekend would be a preview of rush week and provide prospective members with another opportunity to be exposed to the fraternity system here at Cornell.

As the semester winds down, we have begun to turn our heads to the end of the year events. With end of the year reports all written, turned in and graded, and a successful Greek Awards. The first Saturday of May will be Day of Demeter, where members of the Fraternity and Sorority community will disperse throughout the city of Ithaca and help serve various businesses and non-profit organizations. Before we know it another semester will have gone by and the summer will be here. We will then begin preparing for the fall semester and another successful year in our community.

by Nora Allen

This month has been an exciting month for Panhellenic that has brought many new opportunities! 

On May 5th we will be voting on Extension and the possibility of bringing another Panhellenic chapter to the Cornell campus.  The entire campus seems to be buzzing about the possibility and we are all eagerly awaiting the vote! 

This year we also launched a new Sister-Sister program that paired 4 sororities together at a time to develop and plan a sisterhood event for the entire community.  We recently had an extremely successful event that every Panhellenic chapter came to and we are looking forward to our next event this May that will be a barbeque with MGLC! 

Our Executive Vice President, Virginia Tyrone, and I are also working on a 2-year New Member Education Strategic Plan which we are very excited about and hope will help re-vamp our process.