Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Panel Votes To Let Zeta Tau Alpha Join NU Greek

By Sarah SumadiThe Daily Northwestern

If none of Northwestern’s sororities suits the tastes of Northwestern women during formal rush, they’ll have one more choice coming later this year when Zeta Tau Alpha becomes NU’s 12th Panhellenic sorority.

Zeta will begin recruitment in February, immediately after formal rush.

The Panhellenic Association and the Northwestern administration began looking for a new sorority after formal recruitment last January in order to accommodate a rising number of women rushing, said Dominic Greene, director of fraternity and sorority life.

“More and more women are participating in recruitment every year, and we wanted to make sure there’s enough room for everyone to be placed into a house,” said Greene.

A sorority is allowed to have up to 130 women after rush, and most chapters got close to that number last spring, Greene said.

“At the current rate of recruitment, chapter houses (and) dining and meeting space can’t support extra women,” he said. “When chapters get too large or overcrowded, the experience isn’t as good.”

The Panhellenic Extension Committee carried out a nationwide search for a new sorority and narrowed the field to three finalists in October, said McCormick junior Jessica Frey, a member of the committee. They recommended that Northwestern invite Zeta to campus, a plan approved by William Banis, vice president for student affairs, on Dec. 5.

Zeta’s strong national resources and its recognized philanthropy partner – the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation – eventually made them the chosen group, Frey said.

“I’ve seen one of their colonizations before, and they really support their new chapters,” Frey said.

After formal sorority recruitment concludes in January, a team of Zeta Traveling Leadership Consultants – recent graduates who work for the sorority – will embark on an extensive public relations campaign to spread the word about the group on campus and sign up women for recruitment, said Karen Mills, Zeta’s Extension Director.

Zeta national officers, local alumnae and collegiate Zetas from nearby campuses will host a “colonization recruitment” during the week of Feb. 12. Much like formal recruitment, potential new members will attend open house parties where women can learn more about Zeta’s philanthropy.

Mills said that Zeta’s goal is to pledge about 100-125 women, the size of an average chapter at NU. She stressed that they were looking for women from all years.

“So many women think that because they missed rush as freshmen, it’s over,” Mills said. “But with a ‘colonization recruitment,’ we’re looking to pledge all classifications of women.”

After their rush this winter, Zeta will continuously invite women to join the sorority informally until January 2008, when they will participate in formal recruitment with the other 11 Panhellenic sororities.

Zeta established a chapter at Northwestern in 1923, but it closed in 1969 because membership declined, Mills said.

“Several sororities at Northwestern closed their chapters because of the decline of Greek membership during this turbulent period of history,” said Mills.

Official housing arrangements have not yet been made, but Greene said Zeta will move into a house in the sorority quads within the next two years.

“First, we have to make sure Zeta meets their membership goals, and since many members will already have housing plans by late winter quarter, we don’t want to put a lot of pressure on new members to fill the house immediately,” Greene said.

Zeta might move into the former Alpha Delta Pi house, Greene said, although plans aren’t definite. ADPi – the most recent sorority to recolonize in 2000 – was forced to close in June because membership was declining, but Greene said NU began looking to add another sorority in January 2006, several months before ADPi closed.

Reach Sarah Sumadi at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Panel Votes To Let Zeta Tau Alpha Join NU Greek