New sorority to start recruiting members in the fall

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    Alpha Omicron Pi, a new Panhellenic sorority, will begin to recruit members in the fall, Carrie Youell, the director of extension for AOII, said.

    She said the group’s interest in TCU stemmed from the university being committed to creating positive membership and campus life experiences, and valuing its students and their education.

    “We felt like that was a good fit for Alpha Omicron Pi, and it’s somewhere that we wanted to be a part of,” Youell said.

    AOII staff will attend the formal Panhellenic recruitment in the fall to support the existing Panhellenic community, Youell said. Following formal recruitment, executive board members, staff and alumnae will advertise throughout campus to recruit the first members of AOII at TCU, she said.

    This first group of women, also known as colonizing members, will be from all years, not just freshmen, she said.

    Potential members would have the opportunity to attend events like information sessions and “build-a-panda night,” Youell said. Exact events and details about recruitment would be discussed this spring, according the TCU Fraternity and Sorority Life website.

    The people who heard the AOII presentation and visited with the AOII women who came to TCU felt that the group is committed to its own mission and values, which align very closely with the mission of TCU, Shannon Sumerlin, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said.

    Students had expressed overall excitement about the expansion, because it would bring more opportunity and would allow for a rejuvenation of the community, Sumerlin said.

    The number of people involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life has increased significantly, she said.

    Panhellenic new member classes have increased from 49 to 64 women in the past three years, she said. Large chapter sizes have caused some women to feel that they have lost the personal touch of having a real familiarity with all of their sisters, she said.

    In a press release, Sumerlin said the Panhellenic extension would work to reduce the average chapter size of 187 women, and create an experience more reflective of the personal TCU experience.

    Sophomore Minyoung Lanty, a sophomore early childhood education major, said adding a new sorority allowed people to get even more involved.

    “I like being involved in school, and I am just a transfer, but I would love to try it out,” Lanty said.

    According to a Dec. 9 press release, the Panhellenic Extension Committee started discussing extension in the spring of 2011.

    Interested National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups submitted information packets which were then reviewed by a committee, according to the TCU Fraternity and Sorority Life website. NPC groups were narrowed down by the committee then present on campus.
    Gamma Phi Beta was the last Panhellenic extension in 2007.