Article: Greek life directors bring new energy

There’s a whole new vibe in the Greek Life Office with new Director Jay Anhorn and Assistant Director Gina Dowell.

From first impression Elon is, “The strongest greek community I’ve ever been a part of,” Dowell says, “We want to help make it the best it can be.”

Anhorn and Dowell have yet to make waves across campus, but their main goal is to watch out for the students. “Keeping health and safety of the students is number one,” Anhorn says.

“I want to spend time making sure they understand [the] rules,” Anhorn says of recruitment regulations and restrictions on organization-sponsored parties off campus. “I’m here to be fair and watch out for health and safety.”

“I want everyone to have a good experience,” Anhorn also says. “I had a great undergraduate experience,” he says of his time at Lehigh University which has a comparable greek system to Elon’s.

Before coming to Elon less than a month ago, Anhorn was the Assistant Dean for Greek Affairs at Chapel Hill, where the Greek system is more traditional and the student body is comprised mostly of students from North Carolina. Anhorn says these differences really show through.

The difference with the greatest impact is the involvement of parents and alumni from the chapters. With a higher percentage of local students, chapters at Chapel Hill, “Sometimes have a twelve person advisory board,” Anhorn says.

Anhorn wants to focus on creating more of this family atmosphere. “The students want it,” he says. “They need people they can lean on. Gina and I are only two people.”

Not that greeks don’t have plenty of support on campus. “The administration here is extremely supportive and the students know it,” Anhorn says. Dowell agrees saying, “You have an audience,” both in the student body and in the administration.

“This community is in a good place because the administration believes in you,” Dowell says, “We just want to see the students make it happen.”

Students here are involved in so many different activities, Anhorn says it helps strengthen the greek community. “You’re greek but you’re not just greek,” says Anhorn.

Dowell says she wants to see greeks living their rituals. “I think we’re doing great things in service and great things in philanthropy,” she says, but you should believe in the rituals and ideals of your chapter. “They should know you’re greek because you have a sense of pride.”

“I would like to see the majority of our greek students have some kind of leadership training,” she continues, whether that is a conference, a class, or other programs Elon offers.

Between informal fall recruitment, planning for formal spring recruitment, and all the events, philanthropies and service in between, Anhorn and Dowell are behind the students 100 percent. Dowell is confident, “This is going to be a good year.”

Read this article as it appeared in The Pendulum, Elon University’s student newspaper.

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