MGC president brings change

In her new role, Nancy Mahdy is restructuring the greek organization’s council.

Multicultural Greek Council President Nancy Mahdy sits in the office for Fraternity and Sorority Life in Appleby Hall on Tuesday.  Mahdy was setting up the agenda for the first Multicultural Greek Council after electing a complete executive board.

Holly Peterson

Multicultural Greek Council President Nancy Mahdy sits in the office for Fraternity and Sorority Life in Appleby Hall on Tuesday. Mahdy was setting up the agenda for the first Multicultural Greek Council after electing a complete executive board.

Anne Millerbernd

Nancy Mahdy likes a challenge. She’s majoring in mathematics with an emphasis on actuary science while leading three different campus organizations.

But her newest and possibly biggest challenge yet is restructuring from scratch the University of Minnesota’s Multicultural Greek Council, which oversees the six multicultural greek organizations on campus.

Elected in December, Mahdy said she has spent much of her time as MGC president networking and talking with peers and greek leaders to find the best approach for restructuring the council and better unifying its member groups.

The MGC lacked organization last year and had issues with transparency, causing many council members to quit and ultimately dissolving the organization, said Abiola Abu-Bakr, Sigma Lambda Gamma chapter president.

“Its membership wasn’t sustainable,” said the council’s adviser, Mia McCurdy. “People weren’t buying into why it was needed.”

McCurdy, who began advising the council in the fall, made it one of her missions to help the group rebuild.

Navita Lakhram, last semester’s MGC president, focused on rewriting the council’s bylaws and constitution. This semester, Mahdy and other council members will continue that progress.

Unlike the University’s larger Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils, the MGC is made up of only four members. Mahdy and MGC Secretary Brandon Bogan were elected in the fall when the other councils voted in their boards.

But there wasn’t enough interest in the fall election to fill the council, Mahdy said. A second election put Vice President Ken Gonzales and Treasurer Selin Kurtoglu on the council earlier this month.

Mahdy said the difficulty of revamping the council is what attracted her to the position.

“Going into it, I knew that MGC had a lot of work to do, and that was something I was really excited about,” she said. “I know that I have the opportunity to make a big difference.”

Abu-Bakr said she’s confident Mahdy will be a good leader because she gives a voice to MGC member organizations.

“She put a really big emphasis on the point that MGC can’t happen if we’re not all invested in it,” she said.

The MGC hasn’t been close with the IFC and PHC in the past, Mahdy said, but it’s important to her that the groups come together during her presidency.

“We all come with the same understanding that we’re all greek, and that’s wonderful, and we want to embrace that,” she said.

IFC President Cameron Schilling said he’d like all the councils to meet a couple of times each semester and that so far, they’re off to a good start.

Mahdy isn’t new to leadership roles. She currently serves as the sisterhood chair for her sorority, Delta Phi Omega, and she is treasurer for the University’s Al-Madinah Cultural Center.

Mahdy said she looks forward to serving a tight-knit community — which she said is what she loves most about being greek.

Abu-Bakr said Mahdy’s enthusiasm for the position will be important in leading the MGC in the right direction.

“She’s very dedicated, she’s very passionate, and I think those are two qualities that’ll help her succeed and help our council succeed,” she said.