The Circle of Sisterhood brings together all of the sororities for communal philanthropy
In the Greek community, the Panhellenic Council is the governing body for all Panhellenic organizations. For a total of seven sororities on campus at Christopher Newport, the Panhellenic executive board is in charge of creating events for potential new members (PNMs), streamlining communications from each chapter to another, voting on bylaws, and evaluating the health and morale of the community. Beyond the maintenance and support of the Greek community, the Panhellenic executive board contributes to a nationwide philanthropy as well: Circle of Sisterhood.
Sam Hernandez, Vice President of Signature Events in CNU’s Panhellenic executive board described the purpose of the nationwide philanthropy. “Circle of Sisterhood is a foundation that works to remove barriers for women in other countries and in the US,” Hernandez said. “Barriers in a sense that take them away from education, and help girls receive an education. The Circle of Sisterhood pays for school supplies, mosquito nets, books, and as well helps build schools in those areas so they are able to achieve an education.”
For the 2019 year, Hernandez has been deeply devoted to promoting Circle of Sisterhood to the public and Greek community.
“It has been instituted for 3 to 4 years, but the awareness hasn’t really been there. Random fundraisers would be planned out, but attendance was lacking. Sam has dedicated a lot of time towards events, like Circle of Sisterhood week, just so people know about our philanthropy and where the money is going towards,” Taylor Lambert said, President of CNU’s Panhellenic’s executive board. The past executive board asked for Hernandez, when she became elected into her position about last year, to implement new events to promote Panhellenic’s philanthropy.
In order to create a chain reaction about the choice behind their philanthropy, the executive board bought the copyrights of the documentary film “Half the Sky.” The film is encompassed as a visual rhetoric when put alongside Circle of Sisterhood, plunging into the hard to discuss topic of the oppression women face worldwide, but how to turn oppression into opportunity. On Nov. 5, during the week of their Circle of Sisterhood week, Panhellenic displayed the documentary for all sororities to see. All of the sororities came together for one purpose, and it was to enlighten themselves about the honest truth that is happening in countries that prevent women from receiving an education.
This event has never been done before on CNU’s campus, and thus it illuminated and raised awareness about Circle of Sisterhood. Panhellenic has plans to have the upcoming executive board to plan more viewings for the documentary so all sorority women are given the chance.
Beyond this viewing, students at CNU may have noticed throughout the year Panhellenic’s new collaborated events among CNU’s sororities that have as well promoted Circle of Sisterhood, while also exhibiting Greek unity. Once the pairings were made, the sororities would have to create their own idea and then were given the task to execute the idea into an event. For example, some events that have supported this cause are Pancakes for Panhellenic with Delta Gamma and Phi Mu, and Painting with Panhellenic with Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha and Zeta Tau Alpha.
“When the chapters were planning these events together, they as well had to discuss what the money was going towards that they were raising. This was an easy way to get the word out about Circle of Sisterhood’s purpose,” said Lambert.
All of the above-mentioned events have helped Panhellenic get the word out about their Circle of Sisterhood, while as well increasing fundraising for their philanthropy. Lambert continued, “While trying to raise awareness for our philanthropy, we also definitely have had an increase with how much we’ve raised in the past– which is really exciting!” Hernandez added that, “That honestly wasn’t my main goal, my main goal was to raise awareness, but the fundraising the Greek community has helped make was a plus.”
The 2019 Panhellenic executive board will be ending their term on a high note for the Greek community at Christopher Newport. They confidently have developed changes that will undoubtedly continue their mission of Greek unity, and assure the collected awareness of their philanthropy.
~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~