The University of Vermont received its first national Panhellenic excellence award this summer.
This award is granted by the National Panhellenic Conference to 43 colleges and universities across the country, according to a NPC press release.
The NPC is the umbrella group for 26 national and international sororities. These sororities are located on over 672 campuses with undergraduate members in 3,184 chapters, according to the NPC website.
College Panhellenic associations are sorority leadership groups composed of representatives from all chapters on a campus, according to the NPC press release.
“The Panhellenic Conference acts as a governing body for all sororities on campus,” said senior Lizzie Schratz, UVM’s Panhellenic president. “It’s a nine-member executive board, and there are representatives from each chapter on campus,” she said.
The award evaluates the collegiate Panhellenic associations on criteria such as academics, programming and community relations, according to the NPC press release.
“One of our major areas of excellence that I think we personally stand out in is our programming,” Schratz said.
UVM’s Panhellenic Conference has three to four programs a semester that target topics like social justice, inclusive language and diversity awareness, Schratz said.
“We have a lot of very unique programming that is special to UVM,” she said. “One of the major areas that we excel at is social justice programming and diversity.”
A delegate from each chapter on campus attends the weekly Panhellenic Conference meetings. The delegates help determine the type of programming.
“We have kind of an open forum to see what type of programming [the delegates] would really like to see and what they want, so we can best serve the sororities to educate them in ways we feel necessary,” Schratz said.
UVM’s Panhellenic Conference does not exclusively direct their programs toward Greek life, but rather to the entire UVM community.
“We have a hazing prevention week, and we partner with different club sports to put that on, so it’s open to all campus, not just sorority and fraternity life,” Schratz said.