By IRINI BROM – CENTO WRITER
From the history of Chi Omega’s short-lived stint in the 1980s to the addition of new housing beside the Kappa Alpha Theta House on Greek Row, rumors are always buzzing about the potential for a new sorority. In fact, these rumors have been partially confirmed—though still very early in the process, the Student Life Office and Panhellenic Council are open to exploring the addition of a fifth sorority on campus.
So it’s true—Centre may possibly be thinking about maybe looking into what adding a new sorority would do to our current Greek life on campus. In reality, however, the council and the college have made no real leaps in bringing a new organization to our beloved campus.
“The most important piece of information I’d like to reiterate [to the students] is that there is no guarantee that we will be adding a fifth sorority chapter,” Director of Greek Life Alycia Tidrick said. “We haven’t formed an Exploratory Committee yet, and no decisions have been made.”
Perhaps then those who dream of an additional Greek organization are disappointed. But the admission by the administration to begin talking about the issue is rather big news, especially for other sorority women. And regardless of if and when it happens, it does pose an interesting question: What would adding a new sorority do to Greek culture? In an environment where one parking lot or one dining table can have significant effects, what would a change like that do to campus?
After speaking to members from multiple sororities about the possible addition of a fifth chapter, it seems that the feedback on this possible goal for our campus has been positive.
“I really don’t mind having a fifth sorority,” junior Kiera Bowman of Alpha Delta Pi said. “Actually, I think it would make recruitment run more smoothly for all sorority women on campus because it would diminish the stress we feel over not having enough sorority members per potential new member.”
It is true that more women register for recruitment than there are open spots within all of the sororities. In fact, last year there was an average of 69 women in each sorority during formal recruitment and 126 women registered to participate as potential new members (PNMs). Are these numbers worrisome? Are more and more women falling through the cracks due to the sheer amount of women participating? Do we need a fifth sorority to help us place all of the PNMs into a house that they will one day call their home?
Tidrick reassures us that this is not the case. Actually, Centre Greek life doesn’t have a problem placing students at all. With an impressive placement rate of approximately 98 percent, Centre Greek life has had a placement reputation that is nothing less of “incredible.”
“If more women register for recruitment, we’ll increase the size of our new member classes,” Tidrick said.
That seems to be a simpler solution for the large numbers of women participating in formal recruitment than bringing an entire new sorority to campus, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better.
“I think it would be really interesting to have another sorority on campus to do events with. I think it might be hard to get a new sorority started at first, but once it got its foundation it would be really neat to have another choice for PNMs,” sophomore Madison Stuart of Delta Delta Delta said. “For example, maybe none of the four sororities on campus right now really cater to a young woman here and so she decides not to rush because of that, but if we included this new sorority, maybe she could find her niche and get to call this new place her home.”
And her sentiments are matched by Senior Marlee Dubios of Kappa Alpha Theta.
“I went Greek so I could have an additional support system,” Dubois said. “I value family a great deal and coming to Centre I was missing my family a lot. The companionship and constant support system that Greek life offers was the perfect fill for that void. I think an additional sorority on campus would allow for so many more options into Greek life and reach out to more PNMs. I think it would also bring in more philanthropy opportunities and allow for more contributions to the community as well.”
Not only has the feedback been positive about a new addition, but it’s also a great indicator for how well Greek life is doing on campus.
“The fact that we’re even in a place to engage in these discussions is very exciting and speaks to the overall health and strength of our Panhellenic community,” Tidrick said. “We have four incredibly strong, accomplished sorority organizations on our campus, and it’s their collective success that allows us to be in a position to even discuss the possibility of pursuing extension.”