National Pan-Hellenic Council looks to unify within, build image at UNL

Though the National Pan-Hellenic Council is smaller than other Greek councils on campus, president Satanna Schunk is helping the “divine nine” make a name for itself at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

The National Pan-Hellenic Council at UNL houses four of the nation’s nine historically African-American Greek organizations that include both sororities and fraternities. Schunk, a senior forensic science major, is a part of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority and has been president of National Pan-Hellenic Council for two years now. 

Schunk said she knew she wanted to become president of NPHC because it was an opportunity for her to have a huge role in an organization that was important to her.

“I wanted to become president the first time because I wanted to gain leadership skills in a larger group,” Schunk said. “The second time I ran for president, I wanted to improve the relationships of the organizations in NPHC, and improve the management and function of the council.”

Technically, NPHC only allows a president to serve for one year, but, due to how small the council is, Schunk said she was elected to stay for another year. She said remaining on the council for two years has allowed for her to be better trained in her position and has allowed her to make more changes to NPHC.

“Going into my second year as serving as president, my goals are the reason why I ran again. I want to make sure that NPHC has visibility on campus,” she said. “Since we are so small, sometimes it is hard for us to be seen, so I want to work on promoting events and partnering with bigger organizations.”

Autumn Traylor, a senior political science major who is public relations chair and historian for NPHC, similarly said NPHC needs more visibility on campus, but also expressed the need for more unity among the council’s own organizations.

“We just want to promote more unity within our organization, and then outwardly toward students, so they are more engaged in our chapters, as well as NPHC together,” she said.

Not only has a second year of presidency given Schunk the opportunity to make changes, it has also allowed her to grow as a person and develop her own character.

“I think my favorite part about being president is the ability to improve my leadership skills and work with so many other people on different councils and basically develop my leadership skills through them on how they lead their council,” she said.

While being a president has its perks, Schunk said it’s not always easy. Holding the office as president means there are many responsibilities to take care of. The president has to oversee council members, any incidents that happen within the council, events, holding a good image for NPHC and serving the community.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is time management, being responsible for going to all of your meetings and making sure that you communicate thoroughly with individuals,” Schunk said. “Really the big two are time management and communication.”

Traylor said that, as president, Schunk has a lot of responsibilities and a large workload, but she manages to balance everything nicely and does a great job of leading NPHC.

“I think she’s doing great as president. She’s great at organizing and staying on top of things,” she said. “I applaud her for attending all of the meetings that are required of her. I feel like she has a very busy job on top of her schoolwork, so I think she’s doing a great job in that case.”

According to Schunk, a new president will be elected in December. For now, Schunk said she will maintain her position and mold NPHC into a stronger council with a larger presence on campus.

This year, Traylor said NPHC is focusing on becoming a more widely known organization and promoting itself more on campus. But, in the meantime, it will continue to be a place where students can feel valued for their individuality, while also coming together with shared ideals and values.

“I like the differences we have in each of our organizations and that we are still able to unify together under the same umbrella because we all have the same goals for our organization; the scholarship and the service, the brotherhood and sisterhood,” she said. “We can be individual, but we can also still come together and cooperate.”