There will be some new Greek letters on campus in the coming years as a chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority returns next fall and the University considers adding two additional sororities.
Due to a record number of students during registration for recruitment and with the quota limiting 62 recruits per pledge class this year, a committee made up of representatives from each campus sorority decided to extend the sorority community and invite three more organizations to join.
In addition to Gamma Phi Beta, chapters of Alpha Omicron Pi and Kappa Delta may find their way to campus in the next four years.
The process of looking for new sororities began in Winter 2012. The committee accepted packets of information from national sorority organizations that were interested in joining the University community and narrowed the applicants.
While Alpha Omicron Pi and Kappa Delta have been invited to join campus, whether or not they will join depends on if the Greek community feels it’s ready for new additions when the time comes for the chapters to join.
The committee wants to ensure the growing number of new members experience the same tight-knit community previous generations shared without being overcrowded, said LSA senior Emily Goor, the president of the Pan-Hellenic Council.
Although Gamma Phi Beta is joining next year, the sorority has a long history with the University, going back to 1882, when it was brought to campus. One of its founders, Frances E. Haven, was the daughter of a University professor and six of their national presidents were members of the University’s chapter. Upon hearing of the chapter openings, Goor said the sorority seemed really excited to jump on board.
While the addition of Gamma Phi Beta has been met with excitement, it has caused a logistical problem for the University’s chapter of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.
DPhiE has been renting Gamma Phi Beta’s former house for three years from the national sorority. With its return next year, DPhiE needs to find a house by the end of their current lease in 2015.
The sorority has already begun its search and has a few leads; they also may bring in the help of a realtor. DPhiE is looking for a home near their current location and sees this move as an opportunity to grow and further expand the sorority.
This is not DPhiE’s first move. Before they moved into Gamma Phi Beta’s house, they rented out the University chapter of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house, until ZTA returned to campus.
During this first transition, the sorority had one of its largest recruitment years. The organization has continuously grown and the quota has gradually risen to accommodate the popular demand for Greek life, according to Tiffany Neal, the assistant executive director of DPhiE housing.
Neal added that moving could actually be beneficial to welcoming new members.
“DPhiE is now the largest it has ever been in the history of being on campus at the University of Michigan,” Neal said. “So, we just see this as an opportunity.”