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Mackenzie Lukas, Wharton senior and former editor for Under the Button, was the Panhellenic Council's first ever vice president of health and wellness.

Credit: Luke Yeagley

The Panhellenic Council will now require all sororities to have a wellness point person in each organization. The move is part of Panhel's recent initiatives to improve mental health awareness in sororities.

The wellness point people will be trained and follow the Panhellenic Council wellness curriculum that former Vice President of Health and Wellness and Wharton senior Mackenzie Lukas had created last fall. The curriculum will require each person to conduct various workshops and activities each month in different areas of wellness, such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management. 

In spring 2018, the Panhellenic Council introduced Lukas, who is a former Under the Button editor, as the first vice president of health and wellness. Lukas had originally planned to require all sororities to establish a wellness chair by this spring. 

Current Vice President of Health and Wellness and College junior Teagan Aguirre has since found that most sororities already have a position similar to a wellness chair, and will instead put in place a general requirement for a wellness point person. She said the wellness point person will substitute the creation of individual wellness chairs.

Aguirre added her goal is "not to create another additional position" but to work with each chapter on the certain aspects of wellness which they have identified as important to them.

Delta Delta Delta, for example, has a body image coordinator, Aguirre said. Panhellenic President and Wharton junior Claire Canestrino said Alpha Delta Pi also has a student-chaplain role in charge of wellness.

Credit: Joy Lee

Current VP of health and wellness for the Panhellenic Council, Teagan Aguirre, plans to have workshops on sorority recruitment for freshmen women in the fall semester.

In fall 2018, Sigma Delta Tau added a second wellness chair to the organization, Wharton junior Meg Sreenivas said. As SDT's first wellness chair last year, Sreenivas created an email campaign where members could fill out a Google Form asking campaign committee members to send encouraging, anonymous emails to another sister.

"Someone on the committee will write you a personalized email with some GIFS, telling you you’re going to be great," Sreenivas said. "It’s nice because you don't even know who is sending you the email but someone cares enough to submit to you or write it."

Sreenivas said 609 emails were sent out to SDT members in the first three months of the campaign.

"I think [wellness] is something that can be easily overlooked, but I think it makes a huge impact to a sorority when they do have wellness initiatives," Sreenivas said.

College freshman Rachael Villari said Chi Omega has a Personnel Advisor who has similar responsibilities as a wellness chair and has walk-in hours for sisters to sit down and discuss their personal concerns. 

"Especially in the beginning when you’re new and you don't know anyone, it's nice to know you have one person to talk to at least if you ever have any problems and you’re not feeling great about something," Villari said.

College freshman Camryn Kozuch, who accepted a bid from Chi Omega, emphasized that mental wellness should be at the forefront of sorority life. She also said rush, which occurs during the week before classes begin in the spring, was excessively intense.

Throughout the semester, Aguirre also plans to have workshops on sorority recruitment for freshmen women in the fall semester, "recognizing it is a stressful process." Aguirre, a former 34th Street design editor, will also plan wellness pop-up events that will replace Panhellenic Council's Wellness Week, which began in 2017.

"I think by having it as a pop-up event once a month would kind of make sure that the idea of wellness is carried out throughout the whole year rather than one week," Villari said.