IFC-Panhel leaders vow to uphold tradition at inauguration

Amy Hamblin

The newly installed 2004-05 Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association executive boards swore to uphold and improve Northwestern’s robust Greek tradition Tuesday night at Sigma Alpha Epsilon temple.

“NU’s IFC and Panhel have a strong tradition of being a prominent position in the nation,” said Kyle Pendleton, NU’s associate director of fraternity and sorority life.

Pendleton said he would like to see IFC and Panhel become nationally recognized again as “leaders of innovative Greek initiatives.”

Mitch Holzrichter and Kelly Shimizu will head the boards, replacing outgoing IFC President Jeremy Esposito and Panhel President Erin Birk. Chapter presidents and chapter delegates vote for the executive board.

Holzrichter, a Weinberg junior, and Shimizu, an Education junior, will overlook NU’s 29 chapters that belong to the two governing bodies. Both presidents come to the position with past experience on IFC and Panhel executive boards.

“We did pave the way for some major changes,” said Birk, a Weinberg senior.

Major initiatives implemented by the 2003-04 board include Greek Week in May and expanded IFC self-governance rather than university-imposed punishment. The framework for a hazing task force was set in place but has not been fully implemented by IFC, said Esposito, a Medill senior.

“The upcoming board should work to solidify the advances we have made with Northwestern administration,” Esposito said.

In the past year, IFC has grown more judicially independent of NU, handling their own internal problems, Holzrichter said.

“What I look forward to this year is really pushing for self-governance,” said Holzrichter, who also serves as advertising manger for The Daily.

He also said he hopes more fraternities will be able to have alcohol on the premises, but his primary goal is to “revamp” some dilapidated houses.

Since NU is the lease holder for the fraternity houses, Holzrichter said, NU needs to uphold its duty to repair the houses. He said about five houses require significant repairs, including Pi Kappa Alpha’s condemned house.

Pike is the only fraternity in IFC without a house.

Although Esposito said IFC has seen many problems — including Kappa Sigma’s charter being revoked and the recent investigation into an incident at a Delta Tau Delta pledge event — people continue to rush and show interest in the Greek system.

“We must be doing something right,” Esposito said.

Always high among both IFC and Panhel’s priorities is increased membership. Although Shimizu has no plans for major changes in Panhel, she said one of her main goals is to bolster recruitment.

Except minor tweaking with the recruitment process, no real changes were seen within Panhel this year.

Pendleton said his goal for Panhel is to continue to reform and improve Winter Rush.