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The GW Hatchet

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MGC restructures leadership to promote visibility amid dwindling interest from members

Rachel Kurlandsky | Staff Photographer
From left to right, Multicultural Greek Council chapter presidents Estefania Hernandez, Kate Olid and Olivia Poole.

The Multicultural Greek Council restructured its executive board to a committee comprised of MGC’s chapters’ presidents due to fluctuating support from officials and dwindling interest from members to hold leadership positions.

Presidents of four out of the five of the MGC’s active chapters said they decided to rebuild their leadership system after a lack of interest from chapter members to join the executive board and adviser turnovers caused advisers from Fraternity and Sorority Life to not host elections for the incoming executive board last summer. Leaders of the MGC said they were not familiar with how the former executive board operated and hope the restructure will draw more visibility to the MGC by allowing them to better collaborate to put on more events.

Senior Samar Baig, a member of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. and former “member-at-large” for the MGC, said FSL advisers are responsible for hosting elections for the council in the summer. She added that FSL didn’t send out “notices” about the elections until late September, which resulted in the group not having a formally elected executive board.

“We work hard to keep our names out there and have memberships, keep our retention rates good and keep getting people to join our organization,” Baig said. “If we don’t have that umbrella of something that brings us all together, it’s really going to harm our overall efforts as individuals from frats or sororities that all come together and are multicultural.”

E’Quince Smith, an area coordinator for FSL, said in late September elections for the former council would be held in mid-October but later postponed the elections for the executive board until the spring semester because there are eight positions on the executive board, and only five chapter members expressed interest in leadership positions, according to emails sent to the MGC’s chapter members obtained by The Hatchet.

Senior Olivia Poole, the president of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., said positions on the MGC’s former executive board like fundraising chair and community service chair were vacant last year because members of the MGC’s chapters did not want to hold positions. She added that there were “too many” positions on the old executive board because there was a small number of chapter members interested in holding leadership positions.

Poole said the council’s FSL adviser changed three times last semester, preventing the council from electing an executive board.

“Until this semester, where we got this new restructure since last semester, not much was happening because we had changing in advisers,” Poole said.

Poole said Roy Montgomery, the former director of student involvement and leadership, was supposed to be the council’s adviser for the academic year. Montgomery left the University early last semester, according to an Oct. 2 email sent by David Bonilla, the assistant director of student involvement, to the MGC’s chapter members obtained by The Hatchet.

Assistant Dean of Student Life Brian Joyce said advisers for the MGC are assigned each academic year. He said staffing changes are made “as needed” to support the MGC’s needs.

“As with all student groups, the University is committed to the success of the MGC,” Joyce said in an email.

Joyce declined to comment on whether the MGC’s adviser had changed three times since the summer, why advisers have changed and how officials communicated with chapter members about the turnovers. He also declined to comment on whether officials were looking to secure a permanent adviser for the MGC.

Poole said the MGC had low turnout at a sticker sale and study hours they hosted last year because only a few former members of the council were trying to coordinate programming for chapter members.

“If there was things trying to occur, it was only a few people from different orgs to really try and pull it together,” Poole said.

Poole said she hopes the restructured council can host events like fashion shows or a cultural cook-off to showcase all of the chapter’s cultural differences. The MGC hosted events like study hours and a donation drive last year, according to their Instagram.

“I think in terms of what we want to see, I think it’s more outward representation of showing MGC exists,” Poole said.

President of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc., Kate Olid said the MGC has been under a “state of emergency” since last semester because there is not an elected council.

Olid said the MGC revised its bylaws in early April that eliminate certain sections of the council’s constitution like elections and officer positions when the council is under a “state of emergency,” according to the updated bylaws. She added that the original bylaws are set to accommodate when there are seven active chapters and more participation from chapter members like last year when there were six active chapters.

“Too much about the old MGC was before our time,” Olid said. “It’s hard trying to build it back up because none of us really know what the old MGC is like.”

Olid said the representatives collaborated with each other and their current adviser to plan their first event this academic year, “Food Tour,” by assisting the council with booking spaces on campus. Olid said the event will take place April 26 in Kogan Plaza and will feature samples of each chapter’s respective cuisine and pre-packaged versions for purchase.

Olid said hosting the MGC-wide events like “Food Tour” will help increase visibility of multicultural Greek life on campus.

“We’re not as big as Panhel or IFC,” Olid said. “A lot of people don’t really know what MGC is.”

Senior Estefania Hernandez, the president of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad / Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. and one of only two active members in the chapter, said she hopes the new council plans events and programming to increase the MGC chapter’s presence on campus.

“The purpose overall is meant to allow MGC orgs to put themselves out there and promote the fact that we exist on campus so more students will be able to know who we are and what we do,” Hernandez said in a message.

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