A new sorority will be joining Troy University’s Greek community.
Throughout the month of September, Alpha Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta, and Alpha Omicron Pi sororities visited the campus to tour, meet with Greek representatives and deliver presentations.
Due to the growth in the Greek system, as well as the university’s efforts toward student population growth, the Panhellenic council began the process of selecting a new sorority about two years ago.
According to Barbara Patterson, Panhellenic Advisor, a year-long process ensued, which resulted in a request for an extension from the university and from the national sororities represented on Troy’s campus. An extension is when an organization will be added to the already established Greek community on a campus.
Notices of an extension were sent out to all national Panhellenic organizations not currently represented on Troy’s campus, allowing interested groups to respond and visit.
The three that visited expressed interest by sending packets to the committee. Those three were then invited by Panhellenic as part of the selection process.
An extension committee was established consisting of a representative from each current sorority on Troy’s campus, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, and Phi Mu.
The purpose of the committee throughout the selection process was to interact with the prospective women, collaborate with other members and cast her vote on who she thought would be the best addition to the Troy’s Greek system.
“They were already really knowledgeable about what we had going on, knew our campus and wanted to join in and be friends with everyone,” said Allie Southerland, a junior marketing major from Panama City and representative for Alpha Gamma Delta on the extension committee.
Each visiting sorority spent time on Troy’s campus and interacted with extension committee members, Panhellenic delegates and council, as well as the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and National PanHellenic Council (NPHC) members.
During the presentation, about ten additional women from each sorority were invited to participate in the discussion. Following the visits, the extension committee decided on which sorority would be invited back to Troy.
Riley Jacks, a junior human services major from Oxford, representing Chi Omega for the extension committee, said that Troy’s Greek life is different than other universities.
“Greek life here at Troy is very different from other Greek life and it’s something special,” Jacks said. “We are hoping for someone who can join in on our Panhellenic family, but also challenge us to push ourselves more. We want to help them grow and want them to help us grow.”
Extension committee members ranked each prospective sorority for first, second and third in categories such as history of the organization, administrative and volunteer support structure, policies, scholarship/academic programs, new member process, leadership development, GPA requirements, community service programming, financial obligations for chapter members, colonization timeline and housing support.
Allie Stephens, a junior biomedical sciences major from Pell City and a representative of Kappa Delta on the extension committee, said that the sororities’ philanthropies gave her pause.
“One trait that stuck out to me is that the philanthropy wasn’t really close to ours or any other sorority on campus,” she said.
Extension committee members, Panhellenic officers and delegates completed the evaluations after consulting with IFC and NPHC officers.
After the extension committee made their recommendation, representatives presented it to her respective organization who had the opportunity to vote and voice their opinions on the given recommendation.
The Panhellenic council will announce the final decision for the new sorority on Thursday, Oct 6.
Alpha Chi Omega visited on Thursday, Sept. 1.
According to Alpha Chi Omega’s website, “Alpha Chi Omega is an organization about you: unique, talented, genuine women looking for a fund and meaningful way to enhance your college experience.”
The group was founded at Depauw University, and its mission, principles and benefits are focused on four key elements: “friendship, leadership, learning and service.”
Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy is centered on Domestic Violence awareness.
“On top of helping to support the philanthropic causes of our fellow Panhellenic organizations, Alpha Chi Omega members are dedicated to raising awareness and educating others about domestic violence,” the organization’s website said.
Gamma Phi Beta came to Troy on Thursday, Sept. 8.
According to Gamma Phi Beta’s website, “Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, one of the 10 oldest women’s organizations in North America and the first to be called a ‘sorority,’ was founded November 11, 1874, at Syracuse University in New York.”
Its mission is to “inspire the highest type of womanhood,” and its vision is to “build confident women of character who celebrate sisterhood and make a difference in the world around us.”
Gamma Phi Beta’ philanthropy is “Building Strong Girls.”
“Our philanthropic mission is to provide experiences and resources that build spiritual, mental and social resiliency in girls,” the website said.
Alpha Omicron Pi came to Troy on Thursday, Sept. 15.
According to Alpha Omicron Pi’s website, service, scholarship and leadership are the organization’s main values.
“Alpha Omicron Pi’s greatest strength is our members,” it said. “Unique as individuals, yet bound together by the common bond of friendship.”
The sorority’s motto is to “exceed the expectation.”
The first chapter was founded at Barnard College in New York City and its philanthropy is the Arthritis Foundation.
“AOIIs exhibit their commitment to be servant leaders as they participate in a project that raises funds for AOII’s philanthropy, arthritis, and partnership with the Arthritis Foundation,” the website said.
Patterson said the new sorority will be beneficial to Troy.
“I think it will be very exciting and a great addition to campus,” Patterson said. “It will be one that certainly help meet the needs of more students and beneficial for the whole Greek system.”
Victoria Killingsworth, a junior nursing major from Alabaster and a representative of Phi Mu on the extension committee, said she hopes the new sorority will reassure new members.
“The new sorority will provide a sisterhood for women who may not have originally wanted to be involved in Greek life and offer them leadership roles their first year in the sorority,” Killingsworth said.
The new sorority will participate in the recruitment process fall 2017, but it will drop out before Bid Day.
According to extension committee members, the new sorority will spend time recruiting and advertising during the fall semester of next academic year and will be seeking upperclassmen for leadership positions.
Those with interest in the organization will be given first priority.