New greek council aims to last

A council of seven historically black greek chapters started in the fall.

Anne Millerbernd

The fourth and newest greek council at the University of Minnesota is building its foundation on campus.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council — the member chapters of which broke off from the University’s Multicultural Greek Council last semester — is working to register with its national office as an official campus student group. Some have tried bringing the National Council to campus before, and its leaders say they hope this attempt will last.

National Pan-Hellenic Council members say they also want to better educate the University community and other campus greek organizations about their organization’s values. The national council is a group of nine historically black fraternities and sororities, seven of which have chapters at the University.

The decision to split from the Multicultural Greek Council was set in motion by business and marketing education senior and Phi Beta Sigma member Profit Idowu. He’s been working since 2012 to bring the National Pan-Hellenic Council to campus.

Idowu said it didn’t make sense for these organizations to operate separately under the Multicultural Greek Council when the National Pan-Hellenic Council exists to unite them as a collective.

Unlike the Multicultural Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s University of Minnesota charter adheres to standards set by the national organization.

“We are all organizations striving toward pretty much some of the same causes,” Idowu said. “And I really thought it was time that we come together and stopped working in silos.”

Idowu oversaw efforts to finalize the council’s executive board and constitution last semester.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council’s national constitution states that any school with two or more of the nine member organizations should form a school-level council, Idowu said.

Though there were attempts before this year, no one had been passionate enough to create a lasting council at the University, he said.

He wanted this year’s attempt to be the final try at bringing the NPHC to campus.

“I definitely wanted to make sure that what we wanted to create … [was] a lasting council,” Idowu said.

The guidance of the group’s adviser Mia McCurdy was crucial to the organization, Idowu said, because she provided direction that helped the council get its footing.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council has only four executive members. Though this is fewer leaders than the University’s Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils have, University National Pan-Hellenic Council President Deeqa Hussein said she hopes the council’s board will grow.

Hussein and Vice President Yasmine Nur were recently elected by the University’s seven National Pan-Hellenic Council member chapters.

Multicultural Greek Council President Nancy Mahdy said that she knows both women personally and thinks they’ll make effective leaders.

“I think they’ll be great leaders [because] they’re always very passionate about what they do, no matter what it is,” she said.

McCurdy said the group has surprised her with its dedication since she started working with it.

“The [National Pan-Hellenic Council] students here … all have big goals,” she said. “But they also have good heads on their shoulders as far as how to get those goals.”