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Courtesy of Meghan Gaffney

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has a new member. Last week, Meghan Gaffney took over as Associate Director at OFSL.

Gaffney will oversee Penn’s nine Panhellenic sororities, including the Panhellenic expansion plan. She will also help the Panhellenic Council’s Executive Board coordinate formal recruitment and Panhel-wide philanthropy events.

Gaffney believes that involvement in Greek life will increase over the next several years and is very excited by the prospect. She noted that across the country, more college students are rushing.

“Nationally, fraternity and sorority life is more desirable than it has ever been. There’s a definitely trend of a spike across campuses,” Gaffney said.

While Gaffney is excited to start numerous projects and dive right in, she also wants to observe how Penn works and get to know the system first.

Gaffney wants to make an extra effort to make sure Panhellenic groups feel supported by the office, especially since OFSL did not begin the year with a sorority point person.

With talk of recruitment starting, Gaffney wants to assist Panhellenic chapters with their rush process . She hopes to increase training for Rho Gammas — the women who lead students through Panhel’s recruitment week — so they are better prepared come rush time in January.

Gaffney comes from West Chester University, where she was the Assistant Director of Sorority Life, but her duties were evenly divided between Greek life and general student affairs.

Prior to West Chester, Gaffney worked at Hofstra University as a resident director. It was at Hoftsra that Gaffney realized she “loved being involved in student affairs.”

Gaffney has a deep connection to Greek Life. Prior to graduating in 2006 from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Gaffney was part of the Theta Kappa Pi sorority, which does not have a national branch.

Gaffney is excited to come to Penn because she sees similarities between the West Chester Greek community and Penn’s. She noted, however, that “for Penn students, [Greek life] is part of their experience, but not their whole identity.” At other schools, she explained, students are involved in fewer activities and much more focused on their Greek lives.

During her first year at Penn, Gaffney hopes to help strengthen a new partnership between the Penn Greek community and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia . She also acknowledged it can be tough to avoid competitiveness when raising money for causes, so she hopes OFSL can help level the playing field while also encouraging organizations to give as much as they can through their individual philanthropic events.

“It’s important to exist not in the spirit of competition,” Gaffney said. “We should see who’s good at what and ask them for help.”

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