The Panhellenic Council is run by the National Panhellenic Conference which according to their website, oversees 26 women-only international member organizations that are a part of Greek life. Greek life is an overarching term for fraternities and sororities which are social clubs at universities. Here at St. Joe’s the Panhellenic Council governs five sororities: Alpha Phi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Phi Sigma Sigma, Alpha Delta Gamma, and Alpha Omicron Pi. The council is also in charge of formal recruitment which is a weekend here at St. Joe’s where female students can go through the process of joining one of the five sororities. The Panhellenic Council was put in place to create unity between the sororities at St. Joe’s and oversee formal recruitment weekend. The council consists of delegates from each sorority as well as a president, vice president, and executive board.
Erin Snyder ‘23 is a third-year Marketing Major from Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. She is a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma at St. Joe’s. Snyder is the current Vice President of Member Recruitment (VPMR) of the Panhellenic Council for the 2023 recruitment season. Her position as VPMR comes with many responsibilities. Not only does she oversee the entire recruitment process, she also is heavily involved with the decision making process behind all five sororities and serves as a mentor to encourage what is called “Greek unity” between all the chapters here at Saint Joseph’s. When asked why she wanted to join, she said, “I wanted to be more than just a part of my chapter and serve the Greek community.” She described it as a great opportunity to get more involved with the community as a whole and to meet more girls beyond an individual chapter.
Perception of Greek life changes from individual to individual. While many find it to be a home away from home, sometimes these social clubs can get out of hand. For example in past years there have been many hazing incidents all over the country. Hazing is intentional and reckless activities that are forced to be performed by a potential member in order to gain membership. Fortunately at St. Joe’s there is a strict no-hazing policy which is also enforced by the Panhellenic Council.
The Panhellenic Council has to take this into consideration when dealing with their main focus which is new member recruitment. Their main responsibility is the formal recruitment weekend. This takes place the first weekend following winter break and spans over three days. During the process, girls interested in rushing any of the five sororities have the opportunity to meet and interact with all five of the sororities. The Panhellenic Council is responsible for ensuring that this process goes smoothly and everyone involved in the process has a great experience. There are three rounds: Philanthropy, Sisterhood, and Preference. The first round, Philanthropy, is typically a basic introduction to all of the sororities where you can talk to multiple girls to get to know them better. The second round, Sisterhood, provides girls with the opportunity to visit up to four of the sororities. During this round sororities share their missions and values. Finally the last round, Preference, is a much more intimate day when girls can go back to up to two sororities. Active members demonstrate their ceremonies and rituals. Following Preference day is Bid Night where girls hopefully receive a bid from their desired sorority and start the process of becoming a new member.
The Panhellenic council has many responsibilities on campus and is an integral part of Saint Joseph’s campus. If you are interested in getting involved in Greek life on campus check out the Panhellenic Instagram page for more information.