A new sorority is coming to Quinnipiac in the form of Kappa Alpha Theta, known simply as ‘Theta.’
As the two other sororities on campus, Alpha Chi Omega and Phi Sigma Sigma, began busting at the seems with interested students, it became clear to the university’s Panhellenic Council that it was time to expand the Greek community at Quinnipiac.
“Our recruitment numbers were at the point where our chapters could not hold the amount of women who were interested,” said Danielle Bruen, a senior marketing major and the president of the Panhellenic Council. “We knew that we wanted to grow our Greek life, but the council was never organized enough to actually go through with the process until now.”
According to Bruen, bringing a new sorority to campus is a very long and difficult process.
In the fall of 2005, the voting members of the Panhellenic Council met to start the extension process by sending out packets of information to the National Panhellenic Conference, which governs all of the sororities in the country. There are 26 total chapters in the conference and 16 submitted information in response to Quinnipiac’s requests.
“Choosing a chapter isn’t just a case of eeny-meeney-miney-mo,” said Cara Jenkins, the assistant director of the Carl Hansen Student Center and Leadership Development. “The voting members (of the council) narrowed the 16 chapters down to three, which would all come to campus to give presentations on their chapter.”
Members of the voting committee included Bruen, Sarah Grady, the Panhellenic VP of Recruitment, the chapter presidents of Alpha Chi Omega and Phi Sigma Sigma, an additional representative from each sorority and each existing sorority’s advisor.
The committee followed a detailed set of criteria and eventually selected Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Alpha Theta as the final three sororities. Representatives from each sorority came to campus on separate occasions to present themselves and explain why they would want to be a part of the Quinnipiac Greek community.
Jenkins explained that voting members took into account which of the sororities took the time to get to know the university and personalize how their values would be a good fit for Quinnipiac.
It was Theta’s policy for their new colonies and their ability to invest in the chapter financially that eventually pushed them ahead of Alpha Delta Pi. As the university’s Greek community continues to expand, Jenkins said they will remain interested in Alpha Delta Pi.
“It was like splitting hairs between the two,” Jenkins added.
Bruen agreed, acknowledging Theta’s extended support for the new chapter.
“Nationals sends two consultants to our school for a full year and then after a year they send one consultant for another year,” Bruen said. “Theta has a history of being successful when bringing on new chapters to different campuses. We liked their ideals and meaning behind their sorority.”
The two Theta representatives currently at Quinnipiac are Erin Tallent and Bekah Hazen, recent college graduates who will live in Hamden for the entire academic year overseeing the new Theta chapter.
“We will ensure that the new chapter receives all of the support and guidance it needs,” Tallent said. “In addition, an extensive advisory board, comprised of alumnae members in the area, will be created to provide long term support to the chapter.”
Information sessions for potential founding sisters began last week and one-on-one interviews will be conducted this week between Tallent and Hazen and the 80+ interested women at Quinnipiac. The official kickoff will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 13 and, according to Jenkins, formal bids will be handed out by Friday.
The selected women will then begin a six to eight week education process during which they will learn about Kappa Alpha Theta. They will receive their official charter for the Eta Xi chapter in November. Theta will be a part of the Greek community’s formal recruitment process during the spring semester.
Theta’s philanthropy is CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) which, according to Tallent, “was created in order to ensure that the neglect and abuse some children experience in their homes doesn’t become abuse and neglect at the hands of the judicial system.” The Theta Foundation gives an annual grant to National CASA and the Eta Xi chapter will hold an event to raise funds for local CASA chapters. Theta chapters are also present at the University of Connecticut and Yale University.
“This is not just joining any other organization or club on campus,” Bruen advised potential new members. “This will be about starting a new tradition and making a new mark at Quinnipiac. These women should expect to put in lots and lots of time to be educated about their sorority and learn how to run their own sorority. This is an experience of a lifetime.”
For more information on Kappa Alpha Theta, check out www.kappaalphatheta.org.