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10 Questions With New Panhellenic President Alayna Zanghetti

Delta Zeta’s Alayna Zanghetti was recently elected president of Penn State’s Panhellenic Council last week.

Before she gets down to business, we sat down with Zanghetti to talk about her past experiences, upcoming goals, and plans for improving the Greek community at Penn State.

OS: Why did you decide to join Greek life? 

Alayna Zanghetti: Coming from a small beach town in Florida, I didn’t know anyone when I came to Penn State. I have always valued friendship and the closeness of my relationships with teammates on sports teams and with my family. Going Greek seemed like a perfect way to meet people with similar values of sisterhood, academics, and philanthropy while making genuine friends that would last a lifetime. And for me, Greek life has been just that. Joining Greek life has introduced me to so many incredible friendships and aspects of Penn State. It has made a big school like Penn State feel intimate and more fulfilling.  

OS: What has been your best Greek life memory so far? 

AZ: Definitely 2019 Greek Sing. I have been a dancer all of my life, and when Greek Sing sign-ups came out, my friends and I were so excited to join. My sorority was partnered with 3 other chapters that I did not know well before we began. By our final practice, many members of these chapters became great friends that I probably would not have met if it weren’t for participating in Greek Sing. We all enjoyed the practices and getting to know each other. And we ended up winning, which resulted in our performance at 2019 THON! It was such a great experience – I met so many new friends and winning with a THON performance made it even more special! It’s a great example of what Greek life is about – fun, friendship, and great memories! 

OS: Why did you decide to run for Panhellenic Council president? 

AZ: This past year, I was elected Panhellenic Delegate for my sorority. I got to see first-hand all of the incredible things that the Panhellenic Council does and its impact on Greek life at Penn State. I think sometimes from an outside perspective, Greek involvement gets a bad name and in my experience, that is undeserved and inaccurate. I decided to run for Panhellenic President because I want to help others see the positive aspects of Greek life. Sororities are not just social organizations. They are organizations that value and encourage sisterhood, philanthropy, self-confidence, acceptance, inclusion, inspiration, integrity, wellness, and more for today’s young women. Panhellenic epitomizes everything that I treasure in life: friendship and sisterhood, loyalty and trustworthiness, respect and integrity, acceptance and inclusion, and caring and giving back to my community. I found my home within Panhellenic life at Penn State, and I hope to help others do the same as President. 

OS: How do your past experiences make you qualified for this position? 

AZ: As a past Panhellenic Delegate, I understand the responsibility that each sorority president and delegate has to their chapter and our university community. In my roles as an executive board member of my sorority and my Penn State dance team, and from leadership roles I have had on sports teams and clubs in the past, I have learned to work collaboratively with others, even with those who have a different opinion.  I have always been someone with a lot of passion for things that I love. I have a drive inside me that pushes me to try to make everything better and I pride myself on always giving it my absolute all. I plan to use these skills and positive passion to help make Panhellenic life the best it can be at Penn State 

OS: How does coronavirus make the challenge of being Panhellenic president different? 

AZ: I think the biggest challenge with the coronavirus is finding ways to maintain a positive spirit and good participation at events. I think everyone right now is a little over using Zoom for all our events, meetings, and communications. Nobody wants to look at their computer for another hour for another event. I want to work with the board to make sure we are creating exciting and interesting events that people will want to attend and find creative ways to meet the challenges that the coronavirus mandates and guidelines present. This means relying on alternative means of communication. Lastly, I want to continue to make meaningful personal connections with other organizations within the university community, which can be a lot harder than in person.  

OS:  How do you plan to collaborate with the rest of the PHC executive board? 

AZ: I am a big advocate of teamwork and collaboration. I believe that listening to other viewpoints and incorporating the best elements of every idea can often result in the most creative and effective solutions to problems. I will lead the Panhellenic Executive Board and the Council to work collaboratively as a cohesive group to develop strategies that benefit all of our chapters, with the goal of making Greek life at Penn State a great experience for all.

My goal is to create an atmosphere where the Panhellenic community works closely together as a sisterhood that inspires others and truly supports each other. I want to support the Panhellenic Council members in all matters, building personal relationships with each of them, and pitching in to give assistance whenever it’s needed. 

OS:  What are you most excited about being Panhellenic Council president? 

AZ: I am most excited to work with the new board and continue to build better relationships with the other councils and organizations at Penn State. I am excited to be a voice and advocate for the Panhellenic Council and continue to work hard to show our community all that Greek life has to offer. In a time when much of the world feels divided, isolated, and distressed, Greek life offers a level of support, inclusion, and friendship that is unique and unsurpassed. I’m excited to have an opportunity to lead Penn State’s efforts to make this goal a reality. 

OS: What changes do you intend to make during your term? 

AZ: I think the past executive board has done a great job of building good relationships and unity with the other councils and among chapters, and my goal will be to continue to build and develop these relationships and alliances. I also want to implement more diversity and inclusion training and resources to better educate all of the members in Panhellenic. This is a really important element of the goals of our board and we have already begun to discuss ways to implement these essential objectives. 

OS: What advice would you give to other chapter presidents and their executive boards? 

AZ: The best advice I could give them is to work collaboratively, lead by example, and not be afraid to stand up for your beliefs. Every person brings something unique to the table, and those differences are a blessing. We should advocate for diversity and inclusion among our members in all of our chapters. Being on my sorority’s executive board was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but one I will cherish forever. You are a leader and advocate for your chapters now, so use your voice! It may be challenging at times, but the benefits and rewards to you, to your chapter, and to our Penn State community is worth all of the stress.   

OS  Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur what would you be and why? 

AZ: Probably the Dreadnoughtus. Its name literally means “fear nothing”, and they are one of the only herbivores that had little to no predators, which I think is pretty cool.   

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About the Author

Renata Daou

Renata is a sophomore majoring in International Politics and one of Onward State's contributors. She's from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil and no, she doesn't live in the middle of the Amazon forest. She likes learning new languages, reading, writing, and talking about the one time she went bungee jumping.
Follow her on Twitter @renatadaou to see her rant in Portenglish

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