With more than 270 women accepting sorority bids this fall, Panhellenic Council [PHC] has once again questioned the need for an eighth sorority.
Two years ago, greek life members, councils and university administration discussed the addition of an eighth sorority to campus, and the need for another sorority was deemed unnecessary and dismissed.
Now, two years and a record-breaking recruitment later, PHC and its advisors are re-opening the debate.
Every year, PHC establishes a Panhellenic “total”. Total is the number of members each sorority is responsible for having each year. This past year, total was set at 95 members per chapter house.
Each sorority can exceed total, but having a chapter membership number under total presents a problem.
Houses under total participate in informal recruitment activities to raise their membership numbers up to the established total number.
Interim Director of Panhellenic Council Tom Coy said that the current proposal is to raise total from 95 members per chapter house up to 105 members per chapter house. This proposal will be brought back to each chapter by the sorority president, voted upon and then brought back to PHC for a final vote.
“This increase is reflective of our growing chapter sizes,” Coy said. “[It] allows for parity across the board, which can hopefully lead to successfully extending another chapter to campus.”
Just as in the case of the newest fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, PHC must be able to prove the need and the opportunity for success of the new chapter. Raising the total for each sorority chapter is the first step of the journey toward Panhellenic expansion.
“I think it would be exciting to continue to expand, grow and flourish as a greek community,” said PHC President Ellie Silver. “It is possible that adding a new chapter would encourage each Panhellenic woman to strive just a little more to emulate her chapter’s values in daily life.”
Coy said that Bradley greek life is definitely beginning the process of looking at Panhellenic expansion, but that the addition of a new chapter still appears to be two years out.
“We want to be cautious in preparing the Panhellenic information so that we get the best possible national organizations to apply to come to our campus,” Coy said. “We also want to be cautious that our community is in a stable situation so that we can add another chapter, without harming any of our current chapters.”
The sorority presidents held an official meeting to discuss the raising of chapter total. So far, many of the presidents said they agree with the proposal to raise total.
“It is going to be a lot of work to recruit so that every chapter is at 105, but as a greek community we are capable of doing so with collective efforts,” said Kappa Delta President Brianna Blackshire. “If we can achieve this, we should be able to see a new chapter on campus soon and be able to maintain chapters around 100 women.”
Gamma Phi Beta President Liz Steinhaus said she agreed with Blackshire.
“I believe setting quota to 105 will help sororities work together to have all houses reach that total, and therefore encourage the addition of a new sorority on Bradley’s campus,” Steinhaus said. “I want to see all chapters grow and succeed, so I feel that bringing total to 105 will help this goal play out.”
The presidents of each sorority will bring the proposed vote to their chapters to decide on. The presidents will reconvene and represent their chapter’s vote on the proposed total on Sunday.
“It is not about adding another chapter to campus, it is about adding a high caliber National Sorority that would be competitive from the start,” Coy said. “A new chapter is going to have to navigate how they will handle not having a house, alumni and advisors. We need to make sure we find a new sorority that can address all of those concerns.”