The office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has just initiated its newest pledge class.
This year, JaMon Paschall and Nick Stepaniak join Margaret Hayes on the first floor of Anderson Street to oversee all 25 Greek lettered organizations, which are divided into four Greek Councils.
Last yeark, for the first time, the coordinators of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), PanHellenic Association (PHA), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), were all overseen by the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Tracy Machtan. Machtan left DePauw over the summer and the position has not yet been filled.
“When Tracy was hired last summer, it was a newly created position, so while we will eventually look to fill that role, we are more than able to cover those responsibilities,” said Hayes. “Myrna Hernandez, assistant dean of students for campus living and community development, will assume the majority of those responsibilities again with Tracy's departure. Our main concern was ensuring each of the councils and chapters were set up with advisers (Stepaniak and Paschall) before students returned for classes.”
Newly hired Stepaniak believes the coordination will work well.
“I think it’s going to be really good with the three different coordinators in the three different areas, he said. "It's really going to help with the community unity aspect of fraternity and sorority life."
Hayes is excited for the potential Paschall and Stepaniak bring to DePauw.
“I think it will be good to have new faces around CLCD - both Nick [Stepaniak] and JaMon [Paschall] are fresh out of graduate school, so they have the most recent education in terms of student development theory, the landscape of higher education, etc.," said Hayes.
Both Paschall and Stepaniak arrived at DePauw in July.
“So far since I’ve came here it's been pretty crazy with training, so I got here and I did my personal training just kind of getting acclimated with the university,” Stepaniak said. “I’ve just been going through old files and resources and different resources that we have, stuff from different chapters, new member education programs, looking at the history of DePauw. Looking at the Greek Life history and then got right into student leader staff training and then move-in.”
There has not been a lot of time for the new coordinators to get acclimated to their positions. But all three Greek Life Coordinators do hold bi-weekly meetings together as well as a weekly meeting with the greater whole of Campus Living and Community Development.
“Long term, I think its going to take a good chunk of time because I didn’t go to DePauw,” Sepaniak continued, “to just kind of learn the lay of the land and kind of learn how things are done around here but I just kinda dove in and I’m learning on my own and at all the stuff they have done in the past and all the stuff they are looking to do, I looked at their goals, and [am excited to] work with this executive board.”
Stepaniak hails from Grand Valley State University where he was the Assistant Living Center director and has worked with the Greek systems at both Clemson and Central Michigan University.
Aside from getting acclimated to DePauw, Stepaniak is looking forward to working with the men of IFC as well as the chapter presidents and serving as a support system to them.
“I know all chapters have alumni and advisory boards and things like that so just [having conversations about] what can I do as the Greek life coordinator for their specific area to kind of help them with different things that are going on within the chapter," Stepaniak said.
On the other hand, Paschall is looking to not only support his councils, MGC and NPCH, but to advise and encourage them to impact DePauw as a whole. Paschall is ready to assist the members of these chapters with issues that may arise.
“Since they are both minority groups they my need a little more assistance and support. I am kind of there to be that institutional advocate for them to insure their success." he said.
Paschall has six previous years of experience with the Greek System through his schooling. Most recently he graduated with his M.Ed. in Student Affairs from Western Kentucky University.
In his first semester here, Paschall would like to see members of MGC and NPHC reach further into the DePauw community.
Paschall added that his goals for both councils “is to encourage them to think bigger and on a larger scale; they do a lot of events, it's very tiring and they receive little recognition from DePauw as a whole because they only focus on the minority student population a lot of times, and so I want them to think bigger impacting the DePauw community as a whole.”
Looking forward, he would like to bring more students to DePauw.
"Even with just myself working with admissions and bringing more students here, the more students we can work with to form our councils and we can develop them into great leaders that will persist and are able to be retained year after year," Paschall said.
One of his main goals in combating campus climate issues is to work with the administration and his colleagues to make sure issues are heard and addressed.
“I believe it starts with our Greek community, connecting with our IFC and PanHellenic Councils and working with them to see how we all can operate together as a whole and then letting that ultimately impart the impact for the DePauw community as a whole," he said.