The University of Central Florida
What is Panhellenic?
The UCF Panhellenic Council is the governing body over the twelve National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities located on our campus. The Council is comprised of eleven executive officers, chapter presidents, eleven chapter delegates, and junior delegates. It is the responsibility of the Council to unite all twelve chapters in the spirit of Greek unity, to enforce the NPC guidelines, and to oversee and regulate the recruitment process. The Council works year round to promote positive ideals of sorority life at UCF, and contribute to the UCF community through involvement, leadership, academic, philanthropy, school spirit, and overall support.
We, as undergraduate Members of women’s fraternities, stand for good scholarship, for guarding of good heath, for maintenance of fine standards and for serving, to the best of our ability, our college community. Cooperation for furthering fraternity life, in harmony with its best possibilities, is the ideal that shall guide our fraternity activities.
We, as Fraternity Women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of the individual fraternity and Panhellenic life. The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live.
The National Panhellenic Conference evolved gradually through a cooperative spirit among women's fraternities. As early as 1891, Kappa Kappa Gamma invited all Greek-letter women's collegiate fraternities (there were seven at the time) to a meeting in Boston on April 16 and 17. The groups discussed interfraternity courtesy, fraternity jewelry and stationery and Greek journalism. A second meeting was planned in 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair, and although some representatives were there, no records exist of the session.
Early histories of women's fraternities contain accounts of "rushing and pledging agreements" or "compacts" among fraternities on various campuses, and also many stories of cooperation and mutual assistance. However, no actual Panhellenic organization existed and and no uniform practices were observed. By 1902, it was obvious that some standards were needed; therefore, Alpha Phi invited Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega, and Chi Omega to a conference in Chicago on May 24. Although Alpha chi Omega and Chi Omega were not able to send delegates to this meeting, the session resulted in the organization of the first interfraternity association and the first intergroup organization on college campuses. (The North-American Interfraternity Conference for men's fraternities was organized in 1909.)
This meeting and the next few resulted in several mutual agreements, especially regarding pledging. Up to this time no guidelines had been set, and women could be pledged to groups before enrolling in college and even belong to more than one group.
First called the Interfraternity Conference, the organization has been variously named and renamed the Inter-Sorority Conference (until 1908); the National Panhellenic Conference (until 1911); the National Panhellenic Congress (until 1917); the National Panhellenic Conference (until 1921); the National Panhellenic Congress (until 1945); and finally, the National Panhellenic Conference.
The name change is significant to the NPC philosophy because the organization is a conference, not a congress. It enacts no legislation except for the conduct of its own meetings. Other than the basic unanimous agreements that all groups have voted to observe, NPC confines itself to recommendations and advice and acts as a court of final appeal in any College Panhellenic difficulty. One of its greatest services is providing Area Advisors for College Panhellenics and Alumnae Panhellenics.
The conference meet annually until 1914, when it was voted to have biennial sessions beginning in 1915. While some interim sessions had been held prior to 1971, provision in the Constitution was made at the time for the necessary sessions. The Conference voted in 1993 to have an interim session in even-numbered years. The chairmanship is held in rotation according to each member group's entrance into NPC.
(From the NPC manual)