Newly elected leaders for greek councils plan year

Kevin McCahill

More community, more philanthropy and, of course, more fun are the agenda for newly elected officials in the greek community.

Late last fall, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils selected their new president and vice presidents, who began work last week.

Electrical engineering senior Alex Vu is president of the Interfraternity Council, and genetics, cell biology and development junior Gina Rozinka is president of the Panhellenic Council.

Brian Brothman and Abby Weinandt previously held the president positions.

Alpha Chi Omega junior Sukie Crawford was elected executive vice president for the Panhellenic Council and Beta Theta Phi senior John Hutchinson was named the Interfraternity Council’s executive vice president.

The executive officers include the president, executive vice president and vice presidents in charge of areas such as public relations, finance and academics.

Vu is a former president of Delta Tau Delta and has been an orientation leader and an Institute of Technology committee member.

Rozinka is a member of Alpha Phi and was the vice president of member development for the Panhellenic Council last year.

Vu said this year a big goal is to improve relations with the University and its nongreek students.

“The past hasn’t been poor, but it has been neutral,” he said. “We haven’t really known each other.”

Vu said he hopes to be more ambitious than past leaders and plans to work with groups such as the Minnesota Student Association and student-athletes.

Rozinka said her goal is to continue to improve how the greeks are seen by the University.

“I feel in the past few years the greek community has done a lot to try and change the impression of what the greeks are to the “U’ as a whole,” she said.

Rozinka said the greeks focus on philanthropy, leadership and scholarship, but most people only “see some drunk kid in a (greek) T-shirt.”

“This is our year to change those negative stereotypes,” she said.

Vu agreed.

“We’ve got to clean up our image,” he said. “We get portrayed as one type of thing, and that’s our fault. We really want students to know we are a total package.”

Amelious Whyte, chief of staff for the office of student affairs, said the new officers will be a good addition.

“Both (vice provost for student affairs) Jerry (Rinehart) and I are looking forward to working with them,” he said. “They have so many ideas to make a stronger greek community.”

Whyte said the community has shown improvement in retaining its numbers and doing better academically.

“What’s happened in the last few years is that there has been a stronger working relationship between greeks and the “U,’ ” he said. “They realize that and are willing to work with us. We see them as partners.”

Panhellenic vice president Crawford said that this year the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils plan to work more closely together than in past years.

The two councils meet once a month and meet separately each week. Vu said 40 percent of this spring’s greek events will be sponsored by both councils.

“In the past, sometimes one council is picking up the slack of the others,” he said. “This time both councils are excited to work together.”

Minnesota Greek Alumni Partnership President Lorna Fox said she is looking forward to working with the new presidents.

“I’m extremely impressed with both of them,” she said. “I’m excited they have a lot of interest in the two councils working together.”

Fox said the former presidents worked as mentors to those elected, which helped for a fast start especially in the Panhellenic Council.

Fox said she sees big things in the upcoming year.

“A lot of these women have known each other for many years and are friends, and they aren’t afraid to communicate with each other,” she said.