Panhellenic awaits vote deciding inception of new sorority chapter

The Greek community may be expanding soon, but Panhellenic won’t know for at least another week.Panhellenic agreed Wednesday to postpone the vote to bring a new sorority chapter to campus during its weekly meeting in the Student Center.

The agenda for the meeting was supposed to include a formal vote from chapter presidents and all 10 chapter delegates. However, Panhellenic moved to postpone the vote another week in order to have more time to decide how to vote, said James Parker, assistant dean of Campus Life.

Panhellenic elected a committee this semester to research and put together a report about the potential for inviting a new sorority to campus, said Clare Edwards, Panhellenic president.

Adding another chapter is “a big leap of faith,” Edwards said. “We can’t know what will happen until it happens, but other schools have had good experience with it,” she said.

Panhellenic dedicated last week’s meeting to discussing the possibility of adding a new sorority and had decided they would vote on the issue yesterday.

Parker said moving the vote back a week was needed so the chapters could make informed decisions.

“I think the motion will pass,” Parker said. “But I think they just wanted some extra time to clear up confusion and make the best decisions.”

Kelly Paton, Panhellenic vice president of management, said the women may be reluctant to pass the motion because of a fear of the unknown, but the primary concern surrounding the vote is how adding another chapter will affect next summer’s recruitment.

Chapters are worried that the number of members entering each sorority would decrease, Paton said.

“There’s a lot of concern about hypothetical things like not knowing what will happen, but we wouldn’t have made the proposal to extend if we thought it would be something to harm chapters,” Paton said.

Edwards said adding a new sorority means more people will be involved in Greek life, and it will give other chapters incentive for a renewed sense of pride.

When Sigma Kappa was added at TCU in 1998, Edwards said, it was an exciting time, according to alumnae she has spoken with.

If Panhellenic votes to add a new sorority next week, invites will then be extended to various chapters based on specific criteria such as how well a chapter will fit in with the Greek community and how strong chapter alumnae bases are in the region, said Edwards.

Panhellenic does not have a specific chapter in mind, she said.

The committee that researched the proposal presented its recommendations at Panhellenic meetings and to its national office, Edwards said.

She said she is hopeful the vote will pass because a lot of hard work has gone into the process.

“We’ve done the research,” Edwards said. “We have all the requirements, but it’s up to the chapters now.