Widgets Magazine

Alpha Phi selected as new campus sorority

The Stanford Inter-sorority Council (ISC) voted Tuesday night to introduce a new chapter, Alpha Phi, to campus, increasing the number of Panhellenic Sororities to seven.

Alpha Phi was selected in a 4-2 vote over Delta Gamma by each of the six current Panhellenic sororities on campus. The ISC noted in its recommendation of Alpha Phi that it was a chapter with “an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the unique Greek community on the Stanford campus, as well as willingness and excitement to assimilate to the environment already established here.”

The decision to add a new sorority was a response to increased interest during rush. Currently, about 16 percent of undergraduates join a fraternity or sorority, according to the Stanford Common Data. Among sorority members, about 87 percent are affiliated with one of the six current Panhellenic sororities: Alpha Epsilon Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi.

“More and more girls have decided to rush in recent years, which has meant bigger pledge classes and more girls who don’t get bids at all,” said Anna Martinelli ’11, outgoing president of Chi Omega. “Stanford doesn’t like the idea of girls not getting into sororities, and a new sorority means smaller pledge classes and fewer girls disappointed at the end of the year.”

“It’s a particularly big issue for housed sororities,” said Brittany Wheelock ’11, president of ISC. “There isn’t enough room, so seniors can’t live there, though they should be able to.”

The decision to extend the Panhellenic sororities on campus was made last spring, according to Amanda Rodriguez, Greek program advisor for Residential Education. The announcement was made public to all National Panhellenic Conference organizations in May, and Stanford received 12 applications from interested sororities.

ISC sought to add a sorority that had values in line with the Greek community on campus.

“Stanford has a very unique Greek community, which is more similar to areas in the North and places like Brown or Columbia, as opposed to the South,” Wheelock said. “Stanford is more focused on academics and sports, and Greek life comes second.”

Martinelli echoed Wheelock, saying they were looking for a sorority that emphasized having well-rounded students and didn’t ask its members to “sell their souls to the organization.”

In addition, the sorority would have to be willing to be un-housed. Currently, three of the six Panhellenic sororities are housed, and a new chapter would not immediately get housing.

With these criteria in mind, the sororities narrowed the applicants to two options, Delta Gamma and Alpha Phi.

While the majority of the Panhellenic sororities were excited by the prospect of lowering pledge class numbers, there were concerns that bringing a new sorority on campus might hurt the growth of Alpha Epsilon Phi. AEPhi is a relatively new chapter on campus, founded in 2007, and currently has 37 members.

However, AEPhi supported the decision to start the extension process. Lisa Abdilova ‘11, president of AEPhi, emphasized that the chapter was not overly concerned with numbers.

“A new ISC chapter promotes Greek life, and AEPhi is in full support of that,” she said via e-mail.

Rodriguez also stressed that the ISC worked closely with AEPhi to ensure their concerns would be addressed.

“There have been on-going conversations with Alpha Epsilon Phi leadership before we explored extension and throughout the extension process,” said Rodriguez via e-mail.

She also stressed that Alpha Phi, as a new sorority with its own character, would potentially attract students who may not have originally have been interested in joining a sorority, and thus would not detract from the number of students seeking to joining AEPhi.

The Alpha Phi national headquarters will be notified today of the ISC’s decision. If it accepts the offer, Alpha Phi will send representatives from other chapters in the area to help with recruitment during spring rush.

  • bobo

    STOP DELETING MY COMMENTS! This is unacceptable. I made a post and then around 30 minutes later, Ellie Titus, the current editor in chief deletes them without warning. This has happened continuously over the last couple of weeks whenever I post anything critical about an article.