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When Zeta Tau Alpha colonized on campus, the Panhellenic sorority attracted more than just freshmen looking to experience sorority life. Seniors and juniors also chose to join Zeta with less than three semesters left at Penn.

College junior and Zeta’s Sisterhood Chairwoman Pauline Nguyen said around five seniors joined Zeta last spring, including many student athletes who could not rush their freshman year due to athletic obligations.

“Many of the upperclassmen who decided to rush wanted to fit in the experience before graduating,” she said.

College senior and Zeta President Cristina Virgilio wrote in an email that many juniors and seniors took on leadership positions within the sorority.

While they will only experience Zeta at Penn for less than two years, the sorority’s alumni network extends beyond graduation, she added.

After they graduate, students who joined Zeta will have access to the third-largest National Panhellenic Conference network, Virgilio said. The alumni network can help students with job placement, career advancement and relocation assistance.

College senior Camille Frausto, who joined Zeta during her junior year, plans to take advantage of the network after graduation.

Frausto chose to participate in rush events because it was a new sorority on campus that could provide a “unique experience.”

“I never considered rushing a sorority as a freshman or sophomore,” Frausto said.

While she never felt a “sudden urge” to join a sorority during her junior year, Frausto was attracted by Zeta.

“Nobody expects to be best friends with the sorority, but it’s just an alternative way to meet new people … I do not regret joining,” Frausto added. “Plus, there are networks all over the country. It’s helpful to get jobs.”

Traditions within well-established sororities such as formal big-little relationships will take time to develop at Zeta, Frausto said, since the seniors joined at the same time as the freshmen.

“Many sororities have tight-knit pledge classes, yet in our case we all experience it for the first time. We are all in each other’s pledge class,” Frausto said.

“Membership in Zeta Tau Alpha extends well beyond college years; it lasts a lifetime,” Virgilio wrote in an email, “As a result, our collegiate members have only just begun to experience what ZTA can offer them.”

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