Panhellenic’s Dynamic Duo
When Pi Chapter’s Sam Worrilow and Amanda Beth Cohen took the helm of sorority leadership at Syracuse University, they set the bar high and helped their sisters do the same.
March 15, 2011
JUST IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, it’s not at all usual for two sisters from the same sorority to capture the top two seats of a college Panhellenic council. That’s especially true on a campus like Syracuse University, home to our Pi Chapter and a very large, thriving Greek community filled with well-qualified sorority leaders.
So when Phi Sig sisters Samantha “Sam” Worrilow and Amanda Beth Cohen ran for President and Vice President of Membership Recruitment (after serving as their chapter’s Archon and Panhellenic Delegate, respectively), and then won, we stood up and took notice.
Now, as their year of service concludes this spring, we’re standing up to applaud them – for their extraordinary commitment to preserving and promoting true Panhellenic spirit, for one of Syracuse University’s best recruitment showings ever, and for being role models to their Pi sisters, who also celebrated one of their best recruitments in 10 years.
We’re not alone in our praise. Syracuse’s Greek advisor says much the same about this dynamic duo’s outstanding performance and the positive legacy they’re leaving behind.
“Sam and Amanda have a rare ability to see beyond themselves and do what’s best for everyone,” says Eddie Banks-Crosson, SU’s Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. “Their prior experience as chapter leaders was obvious, and it has always been clear they care deeply about the success of not just our Panhellenic council, but our entire Greek system.”
Consider a few highlights from their list of considerable accomplishments this year:
- Greater unity among all 12 NPC chapters. In the past, different chapters didn’t always get along – and members on the board tended to view their roles as separate from the rest of the council. Not anymore, says Sam: “We’ve really emphasized how much we have in common instead of our differences. We’re a united front that’s committed to showing the Greek community and campus that if we work together, we can do anything.” Case in point: the Panhellenic’s first-ever “Sisters in Action” event, where women took 10 buses to different parts of the city to perform community service projects – and, in the process, got a chance to interact with each other. “It was a great success,” says Amanda.
- Stronger ties with multicultural Greek councils and organizations. “We made great strides reaching out to groups our Panhellenic typically hasn’t partnered with before, such as for social events or service,” explains Amanda (i.e., National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, etc.). “We went to the NGLA conference this year, and it really opened our eyes to the benefits of greater networking among the councils,” she adds. (Note: NGLA – the Northeast Greek Leadership Association – is led in part by Assistant Executive Director Josette George Kaufman, a Phi Sig who also serves as our NPC Delegate.)
- Record-breaking spring recruitment. Sure, part of this is due to increasing interest among college women who recognize sororities offer valuable leadership and learning opportunities. But an estimated 14% jump in potential new members in a single year can only be attributed to stronger teamwork between the Panhellenic council and Fraternity & Sorority Life, improved communication among sororities and a concerted effort by every organization to promote the benefits of going Greek. “It was a great year,” Sam says simply. “We worked hard, but it was worth it.”
- Even more Phi Sig Pride at Pi. They don’t want to call themselves role models, so we will: By stepping up to run in the Panhellenic elections, Sam and Amanda were making a statement to the campus that Phi Sig women can be top leaders. By performing their jobs well, they proved it. And that sense of confidence – that Phi Sig Pride – built upon the chapter’s other recent successes, ultimately pervading the group, impacting the quality of women they won and the entire recruitment experience, says Phi Sig’s Executive Director Michelle Ardern. “We couldn’t be prouder of them,” she adds.
Phi Sigs forever
Once they graduate this May, both women expect to use what they’ve learned from these experiences in their careers: Sam, in the education or political fields, and Amanda, in media or public relations.
Neither plans to stay away from Phi Sig for long.
“We really look forward to getting involved as alumnae,” Amanda says, speaking for both of them. They nod together as she states this – demonstrating how two leaders who know each other well can communicate a shared vision for themselves and their future. “It’s exciting to think of taking that next step,” Sam says.
Knowing what great things they can accomplish by working together, we can’t wait until they do.
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