Panhellenic Council debates adding ninth sorority

By Rider Farris | Reporter

Baylor’s Panhellenic Council is considering expanding to include a ninth sorority. The council is in the early stages of the process and does not yet know when, or if, an addition will be made.

Matt Burchett, director of student activities, said in an email interview that the process of adding a sorority is long and complex and has to be guided by the policies found in both the department of student activities and the National Panhellenic Council. The council is collecting data and holding discussions related to the expansion.

“We intend for any new chapter to align with the mission and expectations of the university and the Baylor Panhellenic Council,” Burchett said. “Additionally, any new organization joining the Panhellenic Council will be offered any amenities currently extended to other member organizations, including a suite in Stacy Riddle Forum.”

The first step in the addition of a new sorority is the formation of a Panhellenic Exploratory Committee, consisting of a student and adviser representative from each of the eight current Panhellenic sororities. These individuals will work with the Baylor Panhellenic Executive Board throughout the data collection process to determine the need for an addition. The committee has been formed and has begun an initial assessment of Baylor’s readiness for a new chapter.

“We anticipate the Panhellenic Council will hold a vote at the end of the spring semester, after which additional committees would be formed to complete next steps in conjunction with the Student Activities extension policy,” Burchett said.

Kappa Delta, Baylor’s former ninth Panhellenic sorority, was removed from campus in 2010 due to low membership. Although no national sororities have officially been chosen to replace the Kappa Delta slot, Burchett said a new addition would not affect the formal recruitment process.

Bellville sophomore Kayla Joslin, the Panhellenic Exploratory Committee representative from Alpha Chi Omega, said the addition of a ninth Panhellenic sorority would add to the diversity of Baylor’s Greek life on campus. She said a new sorority would allow a new group of women to find their home within Baylor’s Greek community.

“I think adding another sorority would have a positive effect on current Greek life,” Joslin said. “It would allow for less competition and more support for one another.”

After first being instated, the new sorority would appear for only Open House Day during the formal recruitment process. This means they would be able to express and describe their organization to the potential new members without being able to extend bids. The sorority could later extend bids through continuous open bidding following the conclusion of formal recruitment.

“The Panhellenic community regularly assesses the needs of the existing chapters and its members,” Burchett said. “The extension process provides opportunities for a full analysis of recruitment and retention trends, chapter sizes and potential growth opportunities within the community to evaluate impact on current and future organizations in the Council.”