BY SHRUTI SHANKAR RAM – STAFF WRITER
It’s no secret that Centre College is proud of its Greek Community, recently ranked number eight on the Best College Reviews’ 50 Best Colleges for Greek Life in the country. Rumors began to circle last year that a new sorority may be joining Centre’s campus and students recently learned this year that the three finalists are Alpha Sigma Alpha, Kappa Delta and Phi Mu, and that they would know which one would be chosen by this spring.
Though it may seem like things are moving quickly, the addition of a fifth sorority is something that Centre has been considering for the past few years. Centre College is currently home to four different sororities—Alpha Delta Pi, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma—all of which are thriving, with full pledge classes in the past few years and much involvement on campus and with their philanthropy. Their success confirms the fact that a new sorority would be a positive addition to Greek Life on Centre’s campus, as many faculty members and chapter advisors felt that the sorority chapters were becoming too large.
The number of incoming Centre College students interested in Greek Life also appear to be steadily increasing, and a new sorority would give more students the chance to join and benefit from Greek Life.
However, some students are unsure how to feel about the news.
“I love all our sororities,” junior and Alpha Delta Pi member Shelby Adams said. “I’m nervous to see how adding a new sorority will change that dynamic, but I’m excited to see what happens!”
Director of Greek Life Alycia Tidrick, is very optimistic about the impact the new sorority’s will have on campus.
“I think that it will be an invigorating force within our community,” she said. “We have four very strong, successful sorority chapters, and the addition of a new group will hopefully present new opportunities and challenges that will bring our community together under a common goal and inspire us to keep setting the bar higher.”
Senior and president of the Panhellenic Council (PHC) Mary Cundiff thinks the new sorority will add more diversity to Greek Life at Centre and give Prospective New Members more choices when it comes to finding the right fit for them.
“This new sorority will bring new ideas, opportunities, points of view, philanthropy as well as their uniqueness to the community,” Cundiff said.
PHC, the umbrella organization for all of Centre’s sororities, first discussed the possibility of a new sorority joining campus last year. All the sororities shared their thoughts on the matter and the reaction was positive overall, allowing Centre to go forward with the process of looking for a new sorority to join the campus. In the spring of 2015, the Extension Committee was formed, consisting of sorority members, including delegates from each of the four organizations, staff, faculty and alumnae representatives.
Tidrick shares that the responsibilities of the committee include “reviewing applications, selecting finalists, assisting with the coordination of on-campus visits, and reviewing feedback to inform a final recommendation about which organization should be invited to colonize.”
The Extension Committee announced the three finalists currently being considered to join Centre’s campus this week, squashing the popular rumor that Chi Omega was returning to campus. Representatives from Alpha Sigma Alpha, Kappa Delta and Phi Mu will visit Centre in late February or early March of 2016. After these visits, the Extension Committee will be in charge of making the formal recommendation regarding which organization will be invited to form a colony here at Centre College, and PHC will vote on the decision by April.
If the vote passes, a formal invitation will be extended to the chosen sorority and the summer of 2016 will be spent in preparation for colonization. If all goes well, Tidrick anticipates the new sorority will colonized either in fall 2016 or spring 2017.
Tidrick also confirmed that the newly relocated Bungalow on Greek Row would be the chapter house of the fifth sorority, and that the new sorority’s members would be able to move in during the fall of 2017.
Tidrick and Cundiff agree that all three organizations they are considering are very strong contenders, and the final decision is going to be a difficult one. Luckily, Centre College students will be able to help the Extension Committee make this difficult decision. All students will be able to attend Q&A sessions this spring with the representatives from the contending sororities, open to all members of the campus community.
“Everyone who attends the presentation will have the opportunity to provide feedback that will be taken into consideration during the final decision-making process,” Tidrick said. “We’re hoping to have a strong turn-out of students, faculty, and staff members so that we can gather feedback from across the campus community.”
Regardless of what the final decision is, it seems that the new sorority will have a positive welcome here on campus. The Cento will continue to monitor the progress of the selection process throughout the fall semester.