The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is “thinking big.”
OFSL Director Scott Reikofski said he has been interested in expanding the Greek community for several years, and OFSL has been taking steps within the recent past toward this goal. Their next step is supporting the colonization of Penn’s ninth sorority, Alpha Delta Pi.
According to Alpha Delta Pi Growth and Development Manager Jennifer Dickinson, the sorority will officially begin colonizing in spring 2014, but will hold informal marketing and outreach events next fall.
College junior and Panhellenic Council President Jessica Stokes said in an email that while ADPi will not participate in formal recruitment in spring 2014, they will be able to recruit in both the fall and spring of the 2014-2015 academic year.
Dickinson expects that the chapter of ADPi will be installed on campus before the end of the spring 2014 semester, since their colonization process typically takes eight to 12 weeks.
Reikofski said the sorority will hold an information event at Open House during the first round of formal recruitment next year, and Dickinson said they will begin recruiting new members shortly thereafter in January 2014. ADPi is hoping to attract students of all class years who are leaders on campus, are interested in their philanthropy, the Ronald McDonald House, and who are generally, “well-rounded women excited about the opportunity to go Greek,” Dickinson said.
A few years ago, Panhel started working toward “extension”, the process of colonizing more chapters on campus, according to Stokes.
“The way that extension works for National Panhellenic Council chapters is that after an official vote to open campus for extension, all Panhellenic chapters have the opportunity to contact the school and submit materials,” she said. “Groups are then reviewed and selected to come to the campus for presentations. Five chapters came to campus in the fall of 2010 to present, two of which were ZTA and ADPi.”
In late October 2010, the Panhel Extension Committee chose Zeta Tau Alpha to come to campus first and planned for Alpha Delta Pi to come next in 2013, Stokes said. Reikofski said this method of selection is called “stacking.”
Since then, OFSL has stayed in contact with Alpha Delta Pi after each round of recruitment in order to determine the best time for both Penn and the sorority to begin colonization efforts. Reikofski said they have known for about a year or a year and a half that ADPi would come to campus next year.
“ADPi has been chosen to come to this campus because we know we have the necessary resources to support them. Recruitment registration numbers have been consistently rising and with the success of ZTA’s re-colonization we are confident that they will see success as well,” Stokes said.
College senior Alex Enny, former vice president of recruitment and extension for Panhel, was a member of the Extension Committee last year that sought the final approval of all the sororities once Alpha Delta Pi had already been chosen to colonize. She said that all of Penn’s sororities were on board with the colonization, and she thinks bringing another chapter to campus will help “foster deeper and more manageable relationships within the houses.”
The presence of Alpha Delta Pi will give students another option and will help reduce the size of each pledge class, which is currently around 50 women, she said.
“It’s impossible to get to know two hundred other women, and I think the larger the sororities are, the more of a disconnect there is,” Enny said.
Further expansion of the Panhellenic community at Penn is also likely in the coming years.
“We have hopes for expanding to a 10th sorority by 2018, but nothing has been decided yet,” Stokes said. “Phi Sigma Sigma was a chapter that left the campus in 2010 and signed a ‘recolonization agreement’ with Panhel.” They may be considered for recolonization in the next couple years, she added.
Reikofski added that he would eventually like to have about 14 sororities on campus.
He also said that four or five other fraternities have expressed interest in establishing a presence at Penn, and that more Multicultural Greek chapters are likely to come to campus soon.
But Dickinson said Alpha Delta Pi has already recognized the success of Greek life on campus, and they hope to be, “a complement to the strong Panhellenic community at Penn.”