A new sorority will be added to campus beginning fall term of 2016. There are currently three sororities being considered for admittance: Kappa Delta, Alpha Epsilon Phi, and Alpha Chi Omega.
One of these three panhellenic chapters will be introduced into the Union community after a undergoing a thorough assessment process. This process is already underway, and will end with a final vote during this term. Although the chosen sorority will be active during fall term of 2016, they will be placed in housing on Seward Place until the winter term of 2017.
The sorority’s central office will send staff to move into Schenectady to recruit, give bids, and lead initiation. The new sorority will be included in the Panhellenic recruitment week as soon as it begins next term.
The decision to add a new sorority to Union, stems from the overall lack of greek life options for women on campus. Men have eleven fraternities to choose from, whereas women have six.
The three Panhellenic sororities each comprise of 137 women. The incorporation of a new sorority will thus allow for smaller chapter sizes. Overall, it is a goal of Union’s Panhellenic Council to enhance the greek life scene by providing more variation for women. Kappa Delta, Alpha Epsilon Phi, and Alpha Chi Omega provide a wide range of different philanthropies and reputations.
With more than 230,000 members, 163 collegiate chapters, and 209 alumnae chapters, Kappa Delta is a historic sorority founded in 1897 by four young women in Farmville, Virginia. Kappa Delta women sport the colors olive green and pearl white.
Their chapter flower is the white rose. According to their website, Kappa Delta is “committed to inspiring each and every member to lead a values-based life and become a confident woman.” Their main goal, igniting confidence in girls, is supported by their child-abuse prevention philanthropy.
Alpha Epsilon Phi is a Jewish sorority founded in 1909, with over 80,000 members dispersed amongst its 100 chapters. AEPhi members are green and white clad, and recognize the Lily of the Valley as their chapter flower. This sorority is dedicated to friendship and lifelong commitment to the organization.
Although the sorority began supporting Jewish war sufferers, their two modern philanthropies are the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Sharsheret which stands for Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer.
Alpha Chi Omega was founded in 1885 at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and involves 230,000 members. As stated on their website, Alpha Chi Omega is “devoted to enriching the lives of members through lifetime opportunities of friendship, leadership, learning and service.” Alpha Chi Omega sorority focuses its philanthropic activities on domestic violence. Their chapter colors are scarlet red and olive green, and their chapter flower is the red carnation.
The process of admitting a new sorority to Union is lengthy, requiring extensive collaboration between the Panhellenic Council and the college administration. The procedure, although tedious, can be summarized in three steps.
Step 1 is discussion and evaluation. At this stage, officials determine whether the sorority will be beneficial to a particular institution.
Step 2, verification, involves administrators granting permission to establish a chapter on campus.
Step 3 is notification. The National Panhellenic Conference is notified of the chosen sorority and the process of deciding the best-suited is executed and finalized.