Greek life’s Panhellenic (PHA) will have two new additions next year, in the form of sororities Kappa Kappa Gamma and Alpha Epsilon Phi.
Kappa Kappa Gamma was invited to start a chapter at Cal Poly after PHA decided greek life needed another sorority due to high interest, while local Jewish-interest sorority Alpha Epsilon is joining the national sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi to become a full-fledged member of PHA, PHA president and business marketing senior Heather Hays said.
“We’re really, really excited to have them coming,” Hays said. “They’re interested in Cal Poly with the caliber of students that we have.”
PHA originally called for applications from national or international sororities interested in establishing a chapter at Cal Poly, a process called extension, Hays said.
After sorting through the applications, the extension committee selected two sororities to present, and Kappa Kappa Gamma was chosen to join PHA and establish a chapter at Cal Poly.
Kappa Kappa Gamma’s emphasis on academics and community building was a strong factor in the sorority’s selection, Hays said.
“They were very enthusiastic about our community and really showed how they could be a perfect fit,” Hays said.
Kappa Kappa Gamma will be working with PHA next fall to recruit and organize, and will officially begin operating in January 2013.
The sorority will be looking for Cal Poly women that maybe never felt drawn to greek life before, but feel as if they want to get involved now, Hays said. Part of the goal of inviting Kappa Kappa Gamma to campus was to reach out to new women.
“They’re looking for a sort of woman who maybe haven’t been discovered yet,” Hays said.
Kappa Kappa Gamma will be recruiting women from all grade levels as well to have a solid leadership base, Panhellenic adviser Renoda Campbell said. The sorority doesn’t have a base of members at Cal Poly yet, so they’re looking for “instant leaders” to help guide the sorority, Campbell said.
“Because they are looking for a well-rounded sorority, they are not just looking for students that are freshmen, but they are looking for sophomores, juniors and seniors,” she said.
Starting fall quarter, PHA and Kappa Kappa Gamma will be using papers, posters and possibly even buttons to help advertise, Campbell said
Alpha Epsilon Phi, the other national sorority joining PHA next year won’t need large-scale recruitment efforts. The national sorority is letting local sorority Alpha Epsilon join its ranks, so it has a ready-made base at Cal Poly, Campbell said.
Joining the national sorority is a big step for the local Jewish-interest sorority, founded in 2007, whose larger aspirations were reflected in its name, Campbell said.
“(Alpha Epsilon) always had the hopes of becoming a national organization,” Campbell said.
Those hopes were realized May 25, when Alpha Epsilon was pinned into the national organization. The moment was emotional for both Alpha Epsilon’s members as well as the rest of PHA, Hays said.
“Not only were the girls in the house, but also the Panhellenic board, were all in tears when we found out,” Hays said.
Alpha Epsilon spent five years organizing, applying and contacting Alpha Epsilon Phi before being pinned into the sorority last Friday, sociology junior and Alpha Epsilon president Rachel Seidman.
The final push in winning Alpha Epsilon Phi over were letters from mothers and grandmothers of Alpha Epsilon members, many of whom are Alpha Epsilon Phi alumni themselves, Seidman said.
“When they got all these letters from other sisters saying how much we wanted this, that really pushed them over,” Seidman said.
The admission to Alpha Epsilon Phi means that local Alpha Epsilon will become a full-fledged member of PHA as well, Seidman said.
In the past, Alpha Epsilon was allowed to participate in Panhellenic events as an associate member because the group was technically a club, Seidman said. Now, Alpha Epsilon Phi will officially be represented on the board.
Despite its newly-minted national status, Alpha Epsilon Phi does not plan to change its recruitment methods or mission, Seidman said. The sorority plans to stick with the Jewish-interest identity that got the members where they are, Seidman said.