WKU considers inviting a new sorority to campus

Lashana Harney

A new sorority chapter might find its home on the Hill as WKU’s Panhellenic Association is in the midst of a campus extension process.

Three sororities are being considered for an invitation to join campus in the fall: Alpha Sigma Tau, Gamma Phi Beta and Delta Zeta. 

Alexandria Kennedy, coordinator of Student Activities and Greek Affairs, said the three sororities were invited to campus for tours and presentations. 

“They tour,” Kennedy said. “They meet some student activity staff… They get to check out Meredith [Hall]… and some sorority housing. They have lunch with the Panhellenic Executive Board. Then they have a break, and then they have an open presentation for anyone on campus to attend.” 

After the final sorority visits campus, Kennedy said, the extension committee— made up of representatives from each sorority on campus— will meet to discuss which sorority to suggest to the Panhellenic Council. 

“The extension committee just makes a recommendation to the women on the council,” Kennedy said. “Then they vote to approve that recommendation or strike down that recommendation.”

If the council approves the recommendation, a new sorority will colonize on the Hill in the fall semester. 

Kennedy said WKU is the perfect place to start a new chapter. 

“Western Kentucky University is an incredible campus filled with Greek tradition,” Kennedy said. “It gives that organization a chance to really experience that Hilltopper pride.”

Kennedy said WKU’s Greek organizations are doing well, so it seemed like the right time to invite new organizations to campus. 

“We couldn’t bring a new sorority to campus if a [WKU chapter] sorority is struggling,” Kennedy said. “Our Greeks are in a really great spot right now, so we are going through the extension process.” 

Kennedy said there are several factors that go into the decision making process. 

One important factor is advising support. 

“Whatever chapter joins now will have never been on WKU’s campus before, so we want to know if we will have some great advisors,” Kennedy said.

Another factor is sisterhood. Kennedy said the extension committee wants to know what sets the organization apart from other members of the National Panhellenic Conference. 

Kennedy said inviting a new chapter to campus attracts women who might not otherwise be interested in Greek life.

“They’re those well-developed and well-rounded women who maybe never thought sorority was an experience for them,” she said, “so it gives us an opportunity to really bring quality women to those organizations, but also get to meet even more quality women we might not have otherwise met, if we didn’t have the extension process.”

Elizabeth Owen, president of Alpha Xi Delta, said a new sisterhood on campus gives the opportunity for more women to join the Greek community. 

“I think it’s a great opportunity that a new sorority will be joining Western’s campus,” she said. “About four to five years ago, we were new on campus and we had a lot of support from other sororities. I think this will be a great time for us to help other sororities.”

Each potential sorority holds different values in its creed. Alpha Sigma Tau notes “permanence and loveliness” as the group’s ideals, according to its website. Gamma Phi Beta promotes “loyalty that means adherence to all true and noble things.” For Delta Zetas, a “crusade for justice” tops their creed. 

However, Owen said there will be times of competition.

“In recruitment we are competing against each other, but in the essence we are all a Greek community and it’s a philanthropic event, to give back to Western’s campus is what we’re here for,” Owen said. 

Kennedy said it’s important that whatever sorority comes to campus jumps right in. She said the current sororities are involved in various programs and activities.

“That new sorority needs to be able to get in there, get in the dirt and do it with them,” she said. “We don’t want a sorority that is just going to sit in the background for a few years and then decide they want to get into it. We want somebody to be involved right from the very beginning.”

The National Panhellenic Council will decide which chapter to invite to campus on April 13. 

“We’re really excited for whatever sorority it is to come to WKU,” Kennedy said. “We’re excited to be able to offer the organization an experience they’ve never had because they will have never been here before.”