The two largest Greek organizations on campus elected their new leadership teams in a set of elections this week with the incoming presidents of both councils vowing to promote a more positive image on campus and in the community.
The Panhellenic Assocation, the umbrella organization of 16 of the University’s sororities, elected LSA junior Taylor Schmidt as its new president, while the Interfraternity Council, the governing organization for 31 of the University’s fraternities, elected LSA junior Jared Jaffe as its next president.
At IFC’s elections last night, Jaffe stressed the need for IFC to be more vocal and assertive as a community.
“I would say that my main goal is to make sure that the next council is more vocal, because there’s nothing worse than wasted potential, wasted opportunities and ideas that many of you held and many of your predecessors held,” he said in his candidacy speech. “And if you are not vocal, this is detrimental to our society.”
In an interview after the election, Jaffe said one of his main goals as IFC president will be to improve the image of fraternities on campus.
“We need to affect the community positively so that people know that fraternities aren’t just about hanging out and that we do things to better themselves and the community,” he said.
Schmidt was elected at Panhel’s elections on Tuesday. In an interview after IFC elections last night, Schmidt said she ran on a platform of “positive visibility.”
“Pretty much promoting our positive image on campus, whether through wearing letters or doing service in our letters,” she said.
Ryan Knapp, IFC’s public relations chair, explained in an interview that IFC and Panhel follow similar election protocols that use a run-off election system.
“We have a slate where each candidate has interviewed with their respective member of the e-board and then as a board, they have an application process, where they have specific questions that they answer,” Knapp explained on Monday afternoon before the IFC elections. “And then, we interview them, and we create a slate of people we think are qualified for the position and then we present that to the president.”
Knapp said candidates could submit applications between Oct. 1 and Oct. 22 and were interviewed by current executive board members between Oct. 22 and Nov. 10. After that, the executive board had a week to produce the slate that was presented at the elections.
“Every chapter that’s recognized by IFC has a seat at the table and each one, provided they’re in good standing, has a vote (in the election),” Knapp said.
IFC elections also follow a strict protocol with specific time restrictions.
“It is a long process, because to give everyone a fair shot, there are three parts,” Knapp said. “There’s the speech by each candidate, there’s a pro and con for each candidate, and there’s a discussion afterwards.”
Outgoing Panhel President Katie Rosenberg explained that Panhel elections follow a similar process.
“It’s the same deal, the president speaks for five minutes, the other candidates for three,” Rosenberg said. “We don’t have the discussion in between and we don’t do question and answer. We just do speeches, mostly pros, we don’t really ever do cons.”
And while the process is long, Knapp explained it is necessary for the organizations to function properly.
“We’ve had pretty good protocol as far as the process goes, we’re going to try to really stress upon the fact that we’re really electing our future leaders. We’re really trying to find the best candidate for the position at this time,” he said. “It’s a process that’s worked really well for us in the past, when you’re trusted in something of this magnitude, it is really important.”