IFC welcomes 2017 with new board members, philanthropy

GVL / Courtesy - IFC IFC new board members

GVL / Courtesy – IFC IFC new board members

Ashlyn Korienek

With hopes to continue the initiatives their predecessors began in 2016, the Grand Valley State University Interfraternity Council has elected executive board members to serve for 2017.

Among the many changes made in December of 2016, Joshua Woolard, who previously served as the vice president of executive records, was named the Interfraternity Council’s president and Patrick Wagner, who served as the philanthropy chair, is the new IFC vice president.

Speros Panagos, the former IFC president, felt his term was progressive and the executive board pushed to achieve goals and prepare future members to continue making vital strides in the Greek community.

“(I feel) honored to have given back to Greek life here at Grand Valley,” Panagos said. “It has done so much for me. The task now is to carry that momentum to future executive boards so the IFC can continue to serve as a useful resource to fraternities here.”

Preparing for 2017, Woolard said his goals as president rely on building a strong support system with organizations, increasing philanthropy and inspiring other board members to sustain success within the community.

“My goals for my term are simple, provide any and all support that any organization may need,” he said. “I plan to also encourage and try my best to inspire my executive board to strive for successes within the community, and through philanthropy that will blow all of our past events and endeavors out of the water.”

The fall of 2016 overturned many philanthropic opportunities and funds. In November, Wagner announced a partnership between the IFC with the Special Olympics Michigan chapter as its official philanthropic organization.

The first event held, a Grand Rapids Griffins ticket fundraiser, raised $600 toward the Special Olympics.

Raising the bar for the next event, the IFC’s “Broomball Tournament” is expected to raise around $1,000. If accomplished, Woolard said the total would exceed $1,600 within the first six months of adopting the Special Olympics.

As the IFC hosts winter recruitment until Bid Day Wednesday, Feb. 8, IFC recruitment chair John Polakowski said the first task in the council’s plan is to inspire others to join the Greek community during recruitment.

During the winter semester, the Greek community experiences a significant drop in the number of bids compared to formal recruitment in the fall.

“In the winter, recruitment is slower and not as active,” Polakowski said. “We are expecting a good group to go through recruitment this winter.”

Typically, each fraternity might bid on five to 15 individuals during the winter recruitment process. Last semester, the fall of 2016 brought in more than 300 total bids.

Despite the change in campus climate, Polakowski is predicting a successful semester. In addition, Woolard added the IFC searches for quality, eager members throughout the year.

“I never intended on going Greek,” Woolard said, “but after hanging out with the men of Delta Tau Delta, it never felt like I was joining a Greek organization. It just felt like I was gaining an amazing support system and friend group. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities GVSU Greek life has given me.

“As for the upcoming months, I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds.”