Genevieve Fishman was elected president of the Panhellenic Council last week, and the current Alpha Chi Omega president is looking forward to taking on her new role. We sat down with Fishman to talk about her sorority experiences, goals, and plans for improving the Greek community:
Onward State: Why did you decide to run for Panhellenic Council president?
Genevieve Fishman: I had contemplated the idea of running for the Panhellenic Executive Board. On night one of elections, I was not a candidate for this position. The course of events that night became my second chance. I was nominated on the spot, accepted, and ultimately, I was elected into the position just two days later. I decided to run for the position because I questioned how I could walk away from leading 4,000 of the most powerful women on campus, alongside a strong, level-headed executive board. I have dedicated almost all of my collegiate experience to being a member of the Panhellenic community and I don’t plan on stopping my involvement now.
OS: What does being named Panhellenic president mean to you?
GF: Being named Panhellenic President is a true honor. I want to work to inspire this community, just as they have done for me. I would like to take my term and attempt to instill the reason that Panhellenic was created in the first place. A culture of great things happening — philanthropy, education, membership, THON, friendships, love.
OS: What changes do you intend to make during your term?
GF: There have been so many changes this past year within this community. I hope to work to clear gray areas in our community. I want to improve upon the relationship with Panhellenic and IFC — better aligning our rules, refining our risk management practices. I plan on creating effective change that will sustain in our system and I will work with my executive board to do so.
OS: What aspects of sorority life do you hope remain the same?
GF: I hope that Panhellenic’s values and the way this community portrays them remain the same. I joined Alpha Chi Omega in the first place because we are a culture of incredible aspects. I hope that this community continues to educate and be a helping hand to those in need.
OS: What do you feel your greatest challenge as president will be?
GF: I understand that most of my goals won’t happen overnight. This being said I feel that my greatest challenge as president will be patience and perseverance. I will work to make sure that all of the council’s goals are made effective in the smoothest possible fashion.
OS: What are you most excited for in your coming term?
GF: I am most excited to see what my executive board and I accomplish. I want to see the negative stigma associated with Greeks disappear. I am excited to form relationships with chapters. I believe that forming these relationships will give me the ability to assist chapter members and presidents in improving their individual chapters.
OS: What experience have you had that you believe made you qualified for this position?
GF: My freshman year I worked alongside VP New Member Education. I really enjoyed that experience shaping new members in fully initiated members of the Greek community. Holding that position sparked my interest in being Chapter President of Alpha Chi Omega.
OS: How has this experience helped shape you and prepare you to become Panhel president?
GF: My experience as Chapter President has only helped further my interest in being on the Panhellenic council. As Chapter President, I have learned the ins and outs of how Panhel functions.
OS: Greek life has recently undergone some changes — does this make the challenge of being Panhel president any different?
GF: The changes Greek life has undergone doesn’t make the challenge of Panhellenic President any different for me. Either way I would put all of my effort into this position. I think there will pressure regardless of these changes. I plan to use the pressure to my advantage.
OS: Finally, if you were a dinosaur, what would you be and why?
GF: I’d have to say Barney. He has taught me all I know and I wouldn’t be who I am today without him.