Plans to bring another sorority to campus are on hold while the TCU Panhellenic Association focuses on strengthening its existing chapters.
Members of the Panhellenic Council voted unanimously late last month to put off bringing Phi Mu to campus until fall 2016 because the Panhellenic community still needs to grow, said Margaux Hebert, Panhellenic president.
“Phi Mu will be added fall of 2016 because our Panhellenic community feels that we need to make our existing organizations stronger before we add another chapter,” Hebert said.
The Panhellenic extension process began in 2011, said Katelin Rae, coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Phi Mu was originally planned to be added next fall.
“Because we would like to keep our pledge classes at a comfortable size, we need to expand,” Hebert said. This would decrease the number of women released during the recruitment process.
Hebert said more than 990 women went through recruitment this year, a record number.
With the growth of TCU’s student population, Panhellenic has struggled to find spots for every woman going through recruitment.
“Since this extension process has began in 2011, we’ve now seen almost 500-600 women that have withdrawn from the process over the years,” Rae said. “So by having a group colonize, that’s opening opportunity for Panhellenic membership.”
To fight those statistics, Panhellenic added the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority in fall 2012 and plans to bring in Phi Mu fall 2016. Though AOII was successfully added to campus as planned, Phi Mu is a different story.
Austin Seewald, vice president of recruitment operations, said Panhellenic decided it still needs more time to prosper during recruitment and achieve a high return rate of women whom the chapter bonded with.
“We may need a little more time to recruit members for our community before adding a new chapter to our campus,” Seewald said.
AOII is the newest chapter on campus. The amendment to the proposed date will ensure that AOII will have a third year to experience recruitment before the addition of Phi Mu.
TCU students could see Phi Mu on campus as early as spring of 2015. Phi Mu alumni will visit TCU to become familiar with the campus and build relationships with the students, said Seewald.
Once fall 2016 rolls around, Phi Mu will only participate in the first round of recruitment.
“Continuous open bidding will be frozen for a short time while Phi Mu has time to recruit members for a colonizing class,” Seewald said.
It won’t be until fall of 2017 that Phi Mu will participate in all rounds of formal recruitment.