Council holds officer elections

Kayla Schantz —

The Collegiate Panhellenic Council held elections for next year’s executive officers Thursday and will also hold elections Nov. 19.

The Panhellenic Council is the governing body of the 13 sororities at Iowa State. It is an organization made up of women from all the sorority chapters, with two delegates elected from each to attend the meetings and represent their houses.

The executive council is made up of 12 officers who lead the entire organization.

The council’s bylaws state that “the executive council shall be responsible for executing and abiding by all policies established by [Collegiate Panhellenic Council].”

Erin Curtis, senior in kinesiology and health and current president of the Collegiate Panhellenic Council, said her main duty is to communicate with university professors, alumni, chapter presidents, other councils and the greek affairs staff. She also advises the council and runs weekly meetings during the year.

“I absolutely love every part,” she said of being president.

She said she enjoys working with council members and being able to meet university professionals, including ISU President Gregory Geoffroy.

The other executive positions for the council include vice presidents of judicial affairs, risk management, recruitment, marketing, communications and public relations, and director of scholarship, fiscal director, director of special projects, new member coordinator, prospective member liaison and recruitment guide coordinator. 

The term for executive members is from January to December. Elections take place in November in order to prepare the newly elected women for their positions.

Some of the executive positions have only a few candidates who have applied. In addition, there is currently only one applicant for the position for president. Katie Mott, assistant director of greek affairs, said that’s not abnormal.

“Traditionally, the president is someone who has been on [the council] before or is a former chapter president,” Mott said.

The problem is that the women with this experience graduate, get internships or are elected to other positions of authority within their own sororities. As a result, many qualified women choose not to run because they don’t feel they have the time to commit to the position.

“Being president is a daunting task,” Curtis said. “It’s a big responsibility, a lot to take on.”

Members of sororities can apply for executive positions by filling out applications and writing proposals. During the days of elections, each candidate gives a speech and has two representatives speak on her behalf.

Mott said the qualities sought in candidates are involvement with the greek community or previous executive experience in their own sororities.

The complex election system could be another reason for the low number of candidates. Many of the women don’t have the time to prepare for the event or are intimidated by it.

Mott also pointed out that “[the council] competes with a lot of outside groups.”

Despite the high level of responsibility and time commitment, Curtis said the position is worth it.

“It’s something I never thought I would be able to do,” Curtis said. “It was a wonderful experience. If someone has the time and can commit to it, and if their heart is 100 percent in it, go for it.”