WKU women are now being offered a way to find their niche in the new sorority coming to campus, Alpha Xi Delta.
“This is another opportunity to make the women on campus feel like they belong,” said Charley Pride, director of Student Activities and Organizations.
Due to a growing attraction to Greek life, WKU opened campus to a new extension in hopes of meeting the increased interest, Pride said.
“Greek life is flourishing here,” said Becky Wilbanks, Educational Leader Consultant for Alpha Xi Delta and a key element in the sorority’s establishment at WKU.
The sorority is going through colonization — a process by which Greek organizations establish a new chapter, Wilbanks said.
“We start with a foundation (the girls) can build on,” said Wilbanks.
A booth at Downing University Center kicked off the sorority’s informal recruitment earlier this week.
Last week, Alpha Xi Delta gave a presentation at the “Go Greek” night of formal sorority recruitment but did not participate in the rest of the week, Pride said.
Any woman interested in joining Alpha Xi Delta had to withdraw from the formal recruitment process, said Kristen Smith, a graduate assistant for the Student Activities and Organizations office.
Although 256 women were placed in a sorority on Sunday, 157 women withdrew from the process before bid day, Smith said. There are a variety of reasons people withdraw from the process, including deciding that Greek life isn’t for them or not enjoying the process. Alpha Xi Delta was also another factor this year, she said.
Wilbanks does not think failure will be an issue, although, according to Panhellenic rules, a chapter must have an average of 120 members.
“We’ve got around 100 names so far,” she said. “We’ve got girls who never considered a sorority.”
The new chapter looks for women who show leadership skills, involvement in school and effectiveness in balancing their academic and social lives.
“That quality of woman is here on campus,” Wilbanks said.
Though the sorority is participating in an informal recruitment process, Alpha Xi Delta offers essentially the same things as any other sorority, said Wilbanks. It offers the social opportunities as well as a chance to thrive academically.
The sorority also has a philanthropic outreach.
In 2009, Alpha Xi Delta chapters on campuses across the nation raised about $500,000 for Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to research for an autism cure.
Wilbanks is hopeful that the WKU chapter will be just as successful.
“Women get the chance to start a new legacy,” she said.
Any interested women can still sign up. Recruitment kick off begins at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 in DUC room 305, and bid day will be on Sept. 18.
“We’re inspiring women to realize their potential,” Wilbanks said.