Mustang Daily Staff Report
The resignation of two executive board members led to Cal Poly Panhellenic Council restructuring at the beginning of the quarter, but the organization’s new leaders are hoping to keep moving forward in spite of the changes.
“It was a minor setback, but the women really rallied and powered through it,” Cal Poly Student Life and Leadership fraternity and sorority life coordinator Diego Silva said. “We are back to fulfilling our goals for the year.”
Silva has taken over for former Panhellenic adviser Renoda Campbell, who — after serving on the council for five years — left to take a position in Cal Poly Student Academic Services in January. In his capacity as greek life coordinator, Silva said he had worked closely with Campbell for years, so it was natural for him to take over.
“I was second in command,” he said.
Silva himself has worked in greek life on campus since January 2011, and worked previously as a consultant for the Sigma Nu fraternity at the national headquarter level.
He said he will be filling in as adviser until they find a new person to fill the position.
Campbell wasn’t the only resignation to impact the council that month.
Recently -elected Panhellenic president Melissa Smitheram also chose to resign in January. The nutrition junior had been installed into her position at the end of fall quarter, following an election in November, but at the beginning of winter quarter announced she could not continue in her role because of personal matters.
“She was unable to fulfill her duties fully to her attention,” now-president Anca Todor said of Smitheram’s decision.
At a Jan. 24 panel meeting, delegates agreed Smitheram’s role would be taken over by Todor, an economics junior and council vice president. They also voted to make Kelly O’Rouke — the then-council secretary — the new vice president.
“Of course we had become close as a board, and we were sad to see her go,” Todor said. “But we decided to support her decision and act quickly to proceed because we are so early in the school year.”
The announcement came as a surprise to Silva as well.
“It was definitely unexpected, but we respected her decision for doing so and her privacy for why,” he said.
So far, the transition has gone over well, Vice President for Public Relations Danielle Durante said.
“I would say everyone was very supportive and understanding because all of us were elected by all of the houses,” Durante, a business administration sophomore, said. “They had faith in us that we would proceed well.”
Both Durante and Todor said the executive board has a lot of plans for the upcoming year. They have been working closely with the Pride, Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention and Gender Equity centers.
“One of our goals is to become really involved with the clubs on campus: reach out to non-greek organizations and support the community,” Todor said.