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The Panhellenic Council is one step closer to adding an eighth sorority to campus next spring.

Out of 18 National Panhellenic Conference sororities not already at Penn, 12 submitted packets to the Panhel extension committee and are currently under review, according to Stacy Kraus, Panhel advisor and associate director of programming at the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. The committee will evaluate the packets and choose which sororities will be invited to make presentations on campus.

The number of 18 sororities not already on campus does not include Phi Sigma Sigma, which closed its Penn chapter at the end of last academic year.

Kraus was unable to provide the list of sororities that submitted packets, but explained that each member of the extension committee — made up of presidents and representatives from each Penn sorority — looks through all of the packets. Each committee member is also assigned one or two prospective sororities on which she must become an “expert,” Kraus said.

At the committee’s meeting, each member will lead the discussion on her assigned applicant.

“There is of course a lot of interest from groups to come to Penn,” Kraus wrote, adding that the level of enthusiasm is from Penn’s reputation of having an “outstanding” Greek community.

“Twelve groups submitting packets is great and offers the fraternal community a chance to make the best possible choice,” she wrote.

According to Kraus, the deadline for prospective groups to submit packets was Aug. 20. Presentations for selected groups will be held between Oct. 4-15 and will be open to both sorority-affiliated and -unaffiliated members of the community. Kraus said between three and five groups will be invited to campus to present.

The question of adding another sorority to campus was originally brought to Panhel’s attention in April 2009 following an increase in recruitment. Last September, however, the majority of sorority presidents voted against an extension.

The idea of extension was revived after sororities experienced a record eight-percent increase in rush registration this spring. Sororities saw an average increase of five women per new pledge class last semester.

The extension committee was formed in March with the aim of researching and evaluating relevant statistics regarding recruitment, and voted to add the new sorority in April. In May, the committee voted to add the new sorority to campus in 2011 rather than in 2012. The decision followed the announcement that Phi Sigma Sigma would close.

In May, Kraus told The Daily Pennsylvanian that the new sorority will recruit women from all four classes. She said she anticipates that the sorority will seek an “even mix of freshmen, sophomores and juniors.”

About 28 percent of undergraduates at Penn are involved in Greek life. As of this year, OFSA advises 50 student groups, encompassing the Interfraternity Council, the Multicultural Greek Council and Panhel.

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