New co-ed society to join Interfraternity Council
April 22, 2010, 5:23 am · Updated April 22, 2010, 12:00 am·
Delta Phi, or St. Elmo Club, will no longer be the only co-ed fraternity on campus.
Wednesday night, the Interfraternity Council voted to allow Alpha Delta Phi Society to join its organization.
Alpha Delt Society is a literary society that traces its origins to Alpha Delta Phi, an all-male fraternity founded in 1832. In 1992, the organization split into an all-male fraternity and a co-ed society.
According to Alpha Delt Society New Chapters Chair Governor Thomas Clark, the society is a “young organization” with five chapters — at Columbia, Brown, Wesleyan and Stanford universities, as well as the University of New Hampshire — and two affiliates, at Penn and Harvard University.
College and Wharton freshmen Megan Schoenberg and College freshman Genevieve Deutch, who co-founded the Penn chapter, contacted the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs in February and have since assembled a pledge class of eight freshmen and one sophomore.
According to Deutch, the society has been contacted by prospective members almost every week and will continue to recruit new members in the fall.
Schoenberg said 75 to 80 percent of Alpha Delt Society members “never intended to join a Greek house.” The society aims to fill a void where an academically-focused, co-ed social society belongs, she explained.
Schoenberg compared the reason why she didn’t want to join a sorority to “why I personally didn’t apply to Wellesley [University].”
Excluding a gender in a social organization “is like excluding a race — it doesn’t lead to any kind of progress of thought, of intellect,” she said. “It’s unrealistic, because the world is co-ed.”