BY SHRUTI RAM – STAFF WRITER
It seemed like just yesterday the idea of another sorority joining Centre’s campus was little more than a rumor. However, after the sorority presentations, and the recent announcement that Kappa Delta has been chosen to colonize on our campus, students are more excited than ever about the changing dynamics of Centre’s Greek life. The Cento wanted to explore how students and members of the extension committee felt about Kappa Delta joining Centre’s Greek community.
Centre’s Director of Greek Life, Alycia Tidrick, is excited about the extension process coming to a close.
“The Extension process up to this point has been a fun, but very busy, experience,” she shared, “I think it has allowed our Panhellenic community to unite in pursuit of a common goal and people are really excited to welcome a new organization to campus,” she said. “While we’ve determined which organization will be invited to colonize, the journey is really just beginning. Many more adventures lie ahead as we prepare to welcome Kappa Delta to campus and support the new group in the years to come.”
Tidrick shared that the office of Greek Life is in the process of working with Centre’s Communications Office and Kappa Delta on a PR plan and formal announcement.
First-year and Beta Theta Pi member Michael Leopold is excited about the new sorority.
“I’m really excited for the new sorority and for new service opportunities and charities,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for Centre and the women on campus. The ratio of fraternities compared to sororities has been off for some time now, so I think it will finally achieve some balance.”
The idea of a new sorority is exciting to unaffiliated women on Centre’s campus as well, who see it as an opportunity to change their mind about Greek life.
“Being unaffiliated, I’m actually very excited,” First-year Talei Cody said. “I see it as an opportunity to be a founding member of a new sorority or use it as another way to gauge my interest for the other, [existing] sororities on Centre’s campus.”
Alpha Delta Pi was the last sorority to colonize Centre’s campus in 2001, and Tidrick feels that Centre students are excited at the prospect of another Greek organization on campus, reflected in the high turnout rate for the sorority presentations.
“Overall, I think that students seem to be excited,” she said, “It’s been over 15 years since we last added a new sorority to our community, so this is a very unique and special opportunity for our students. There also seems to be quite a bit of support for the new organization—we had over 100 students attend the presentations last week, and I think that’s a sign that they’re invested in this process and are eager to see what the new group has to offer to our campus community. Hopefully that support and enthusiasm will carry over into next fall [as] support from current students will be critical to the success of the new organization.”
One thing’s for sure, adding another sorority into the mix promises to shake up recruitment the coming year.
“Nothing is final yet [concerning recruitment],” Tidrick said, “we will work with Kappa Delta representatives throughout the spring and summer to finalize a colonization and recruitment plan, but tentatively we anticipate that they will colonize in the Fall and will have the opportunity to extend bids to upperclass women during the Fall semester. We anticipate that they will fully participate in formal recruitment in Spring 2017, so we will be working with the Sorority Recruitment Council to make necessary adjustments to the recruitment schedule to accommodate the addition of another group.
Sorority members have mixed feelings about what to expect from recruitment after Kappa Delta comes to Centre in the fall.
“I think [Kappa Delta’s colonization] is a great way to open up and diversify Greek Life on Centre’s campus,” senior and Delta Delta Delta member Becky Barefield said. “My friends on the extension committee have talked about how Kappa Delta wants to focus on having a diverse chapter, not just in terms of ethnic diversity, but also in terms of interest groups on campus, such as the Bonner, Grissom and Posse scholars. As a senior, I won’t get to see it [play out], but it seems they have an awesome plan for recruitment.”
Barefield also shared that the addition of Kappa Delta should increase the competitiveness of the recruitment process on the sorority side.
“I think it would be good to decrease class sizes,” she said, “but I think in addition adding another moving part to recruitment, Kappa Delta seems to have a very aggressive approach to recruitment,” she said. “They are going to be looking for the same positive qualities that the other organizations are looking for too, and instead of allowing the chips to fall where they may, it’s going to make all the sororities more aggressive about recruitment. I think some niches are going to move around after Kappa Delta arrives.”
One sorority member, who would prefer to remain anonymous, had concerns about how recruitment would be affected by the new chapter.
“I’m apprehensive about how this will affect sorority recruitment,” she said. “I think it will be stressful to have small class sizes after having big ones for the past few years. However, I want to do whatever I can to welcome the new sorority to campus, and I’m interested to see how Greek life changes in the future.”
Overall, students seem to feel positively about the addition of a new sorority to Centre’s campus, even if sorority members have to anticipate how it will affect formal recruitment. Only time will tell how the sorority will change the dynamics of Greek Life at Centre, but it seems students, both Greek and non-Greek, are excited about the changes they may be able to