As the new year begins, new College Panhellenic officers are assuming the duties and responsibilities of leading their Panhellenic associations. “Panhellenic” is sometimes mistakenly thought to be the officers of the organization or even the administrators who work with fraternity/sorority life. However, a College Panhellenic Association is a democratic entity composed of all members of the NPC sororities on a campus. The College Panhellenic Council is the associations’ governing body and is composed of one delegate and one alternate from each regular, provisional and associate member chapter at the institution.
Important to note, the member chapters give the Panhellenic its authority. The officers and advisors guide; they do not decide. Thus, in order to represent chapters of the Council effectively, the delegates and alternate delegates must be informed and knowledgeable about proper Panhellenic procedures and willing to act on chapter opinion rather than individual conviction.
NPC recommends a delegate and officer orientation or retreat be held to provide general education and one-on-one training. During this time, individual officers should explain their responsibilities and share procedural notebooks, reference material, evaluations and suggestions. Delegates should share the information-gathering and presentation techniques they use when reporting to their chapters.
Further, it is important to note the role, scope and authority of the College Panhellenic. Its purpose as follows:
- Conduct the business of the College Panhellenic only during the campus academic year.
- Promote the growth of individual chapters and the sorority community.
- Organize and sponsor a women’s-only membership recruitment program.
- Encourage the highest possible academic, social and moral standards.
- Coordinate activities, establish orderly procedures and provide for programming in addition to recruitment.
- Adjudicate all matters related to NPC Unanimous Agreements, College Panhellenic bylaws and/or other governing documents, College Panhellenic membership recruitment rules, College Panhellenic code of ethics and College Panhellenic standing rules.
- Actively support the mission of its host institution.
- Promote good public relations.
- Give service to community and campus.
- Sponsor Junior Panhellenic, if appropriate, for specialized programming efforts.
- Promote friendship, harmony and unity among members, chapters, faculty, administrators and campus groups.
- With that purpose in mind, it is not within the authority of the College Panhellenic to release statements to the media or call meetings of chapter presidents for the purpose of taking action on Panhellenic business or casting votes. All decisions and votes of the College Panhellenic are decided by the governing body, i.e. the Panhellenic delegates.
A reminder each College Panhellenic is assigned an NPC area advisor who is knowledgeable about NPC policies and procedures. She is an important resource and can provide assistance and advice based on practical experiences. Panhellenic support specialists, who are full-time NPC staff members, are also available to provide support to College Panhellenics, campus-based professionals and volunteers in answering questions and providing resources.
I wish you well in your Panhellenic endeavors this year and hope you find a renewed sense of clarity and purpose as we work to advance the sorority experience together.
Carole J. Jones
NPC Chairman 2019-21