Meet Rachel Funk

by Lauren Budd | 10/16/14 10:21pm

Funk is the 2014-15 Panhell president.
by Tracy Wang / The Dartmouth

Panhellenic Council president Rachel Funk ’15 has taken her position at a time marked by significant changes to Dartmouth’s sorority system, as well as to the Greek system as a whole.

Funk said that last year’s president, Eliana Piper ’14, convinced her to take the role because it has the power to make great change on campus. Funk has been involved with combating sexual assault since freshman year and realized that a Panhell leadership position would expand her ability to make change.

Her duties as president include discussing issues with sorority presidents, working with administrators and the Greek Leadership Council and devising initiatives to push as an organization. A recent example is “Sororiday,” during which sororities cancelled social events with fraternities to highlight the importance of female-dominated social spaces and to celebrate sisterhood.

Funk, along with the rest of the Panhell executive board, came up with their main goals for the year, which included increasing inclusivity, addressing sexual assault on campus, making recruitment more transparent and accessible and expanding programming.

Changes regarding sexual assault include requiring new Greek members to go through Dartmouth Bystander Initiative, an educational program designed to train participants how to intervene in potentially dangerous situations. Greek leaders must complete a longer, more thorough version of the training.

Calling it “a really great time to be a leader,” Funk said that she was optimistic about the plans.

“We can’t expect cultural changes or a cultural shift to happen overnight,” she said. “A lot of changes we make are just the start.”

Though her new role as president requires considerable time and effort, Funk said that the human element makes it rewarding.

“One particular rewarding moment was talking to sisters in houses and people who went through the rush process who really liked the changes and thought that they made a big difference to how the system works, and that they understand it a lot better.”

Piper said that Funk is well-suited to be president, a position that “takes over your full Dartmouth experience,” during a time when Greek life is under increasing scrutiny.

“She has so much tenacity and so much grit, and she really follows through with projects,” Piper said. “She also has such a good ability to see beyond her own experience and kind of see a bigger picture, and she’s not afraid to speak up.