LSA junior Rachael Reeves said in high school she never would have dreamed that almost three years into college she would be giving speeches and running meetings. But as the newly elected president of the Panhellenic Association, the group responsible for governing most sororities on campus, she’ll be doing just that.
Reeves said that the major focus of her time in office will be working to bring the Greek community closer together.
She said being involved in Greek life, as the former president of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, empowered her and gave her the support and courage necessary to become a student leader.
“I was strongly encouraged by the women in my own sorority to run for president of my house,” Reeves said. “I feel as if my experience as president of my sorority has given me the skills to capably run an executive board, but those skills will, of course, have to be tailored to a more diverse community.”
Reeves said her main goal as Panhel president is to increase junior and senior retention and work more closely with members of the other three Greek councils.
“I have personal intentions that I would love to see continued through 2009,” Reeves said. “These include building strong relationships with IFC and the multicultural councils, older members of the Greek system and other organizations such as Healthy Houses.”
Reeves said she doesn’t have specific plans in mind for how she’ll work with the other Greek councils, but added that collaboration will be extremely important for the future of the Greek system.
“The Greek system needs to focus on unity, and by polishing the skills necessary to run a board and interact well with the members, other organizations, the adults and the University of Michigan, it’ll be possible,” Reeves said.
Besides reaching out to other Greek councils, Reeves said she also wants to focus on internal issues within Panhel, but she won’t decide on any specific plans until she meets with the rest of the executive board.
“I believe that goals warrant specific timelines and need to be formulated as a group, as Panhel works as a team,” Reeves said.
LSA junior Meghan Glynn, the incoming executive vice president of Panhel, worked closely with Reeves in the past as another member of the Alpha Chi Omega executive board. She said she is eager to continue their work together.
“She’s a great leader and she has excellent ideas for the executive board,” she said. “I’m just really excited for Rachael’s enthusiasm and dedication to trying to improve the system positively.”
LSA junior Stephenie Lazarus, Panhel’s vice president for public relations, said in the short time since Reeves’ election, she has already shown great leadership.
“Rachael has great ideas for the Panhellenic Association and has already approached me with ideas for next year’s recruitment.” Lazarus said. “Also, she has begun to utilize the entire executive board and is very receptive to everyone’s suggestions.”