At the end of Molly Durham’s recruitment week freshman year, she received a bid to Delta Gamma, where she said she found 50 new sisters. Now, as the president-elect of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Panhellenic Association, she hopes to use her experiences to connect women across campus.
Durham, a junior biological sciences major, was elected in November and began her year-long term at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester. She said she ran for Panhellenic Association president to bring a new perspective to the UNL Greek community and because of her own experience in Delta Gamma.
“It’s filled with girls that are super empowering and different from who I am, and they push me to be a better person, so I’m super lucky,” she said. “Part of me running for president was that I want to make sure that everyone else can have the experience I had because I have no complaints about my life or my experience in the Greek community.”
In order to be considered for the council, Durham said she had to fill out an application and submit letters of recommendation. Staff in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the previous Panhellenic Association put together a proposed slate of the new executive committee, according to Allie Hall, Panhellenic vice president of membership development and member of Alpha Omicron Pi.
After each Panhellenic chapter has an opportunity to review the applications and propose its own slate, the proposals are combined into one slate, which is voted on by one delegate from each chapter.
“I had a lot of experience inside my chapter, and I was looking for something different,” Durham said. “I thought that running for Panhellenic would be something fresh.”
One of Durham’s goals is to portray Panhellenic in a more positive light. She said sororities sometimes have a bad image, like with recruitment, which she said some people love and others don’t. As president, Durham said she wants to show the positive side of Panhellenic, like philanthropy and sisterhood.
Durham said her main presidential responsibilities are leading meetings and being present in the community to represent Panhellenic. Durham said she wants to increase the bond between Panhellenic and the chapters.
“I think that this is something that has been weak in the years past, but last year, they were starting to work on that,” she said. “It’s really important that the chapters all know what is going on, especially during recruitment. I think that it will increase the bonds between chapters if they see they have a strong tie to the community.”
Hall said Durham has been a huge help in planning events, which can be difficult due to many conflicting schedules.
Because the semester just started, Hall said she hasn’t been able to work with Durham a lot, but she’s excited to see what the future holds.
After growing and learning from her experiences in her sorority, Durham said she is excited to get a new look at Panhellenic while also bringing her own ideas.
“This year is all about new perspectives,” she said, “and Panhellenic will be an interesting perspective into the Greek community.”