When junior Camille Zarzar, a sister of Alpha Chi Omega, was elected president of the College Panhellenic Council (CPC), she had a vision for CPC and Greek life to become more unified and purposeful.
“I was taught to lead by example,” she says. “I wanted to see a change so I had to make the change.”
CPC serves as the governing body for the four National Panhellenic Conference sororities at UNCG: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega and Sigma Sigma Sigma. Camille, a community and therapeutic recreation major with a minor in business, recently was re-elected following a successful first year as president.
One of her early goals was to raise awareness about Greek life and to highlight the many benefits of participating, from leadership opportunities to philanthropic engagement to educational programs. “The executive board strives to provide support, fun programs and a positive representation that enhances each chapter and the lives of every Panhellenic woman at UNCG,” Camille says.
Every fall, CPC hosts formal recruitment for the four Panhellenic sororities. Camille, along with the CPC executive board and recruitment counselors, encouraged woman to “Go Greek,” learning first about the benefits of Greek life in general before selecting a specific sorority.
As a result, Panhellenic recruitment soared and the number of new members jumped from about 90 women to about 130 women in just one year.
“Recruitment was the moment when I started to see how big of a change was happening,” Camille says. “It was proof that we were stronger than ever.”
Camille is excited about the impact that CPC can make going forward.
In the last year, Panhellenic chapters have conducted a total of 2,861 hours of community service and raised more than $10,000 toward their respective philanthropies.
Camille wants to help create an environment in which those numbers can grow even more, including leveraging the collective energy of the chapters behind a common philanthropy. While each chapter supports its respective philanthropy, now they also join together toward a common cause – supporting Circle of Sisterhood, a foundation that believes sorority women have the ability to empower women and children around the world by removing educational barriers.
With the addition of a VP of Philanthropy, Michelle Nash, on the CPC executive board, Camille is confident the group will be successful in supporting Circle of Sisterhood.
“I never imagined I’d be doing what I am doing now,” she says. Camille was young when she was elected – only a sophomore. But former Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life Brian Ford was instrumental in mentoring Camille. They met weekly, a practice that continues now that Curtis Tarver is in the role.
“It’s important to have someone, a role model in your life who pushes and encourages you to reach your potential. When I began this position a year ago, I didn’t know what I was capable of. Brian was a great guidance. He put trust in me and that helped me find the confidence I needed in this position. He not only challenged me, but the entire executive board by letting us create goals and visions and then bring them to life.”
Story by Kerri Whatley ’13, contributor
Edited by Andrea Spencer, University Relations