TCU’s Panhellenic Council has begun the process of bringing new sororities to campus, the first of which is slated to arrive in fall of 2012, Panhellenic Adviser Jordan McCarter said.
The proposal to invite more sororities to TCU passed Wednesday with a vote of 9-2, with each of the 11 current sororities allotted one vote, McCarter said.
Potential new sororities are currently being encouraged to apply through the Panhellenic application process.
“We plan to make a decision by the end of the school year on which of those, who apply, we would like to invite to campus for presentations,” she said.
According to McCarter, sororities that are selected would come to campus to present shortly after next year’s fall recruitment, and the first new Panhellenic organization will be added in the fall semester of 2012. McCarter also said the council hoped to bring a second new sorority to the university, but the timeline for that had not yet been established.
Adding a new chapter would help current sororities maintain a more manageable size, McCarter said.
“Our chapters are very large for a type of institution like TCU, especially one that prides itself on close relationships,” she said. “It’s just difficult to manage that many people.”
McCarter said participation in Greek life has increased dramatically over the past few years, and is expected to keep rising.
“The amount of people we have is too big for the number of chapters we have,” she said.
In 2008, 580 women started the recruitment process, McCarter said. Last year, there were 720. She said over two years, a jump of 150 people is enormous.
“One new member class is [usually] between 45 and 50 people,” she said. “To add…150 more people, that’s like three new sororities right there. That’s a huge increase in people.”
McCarter said the new chapter would be able to define their own recruitment practices.
“We really won’t know how they will come on the campus and recruit until we make the decision of which chapter it is,” she said.
Hayley Lyddon, a sophomore psychology major and president of Kappa Alpha Theta, said she saw adding a new sorority as a good way to get more incoming freshmen involved in the Panhellenic system.
“It will give all the girls more opportunities to participate in Greek life,” she said. “I think it’s really exciting for TCU just because we’re expanding so much. It’s a great opportunity for Panhellenic as a whole.”
Lyddon also said that bringing new sororities to campus was unlikely to affect Theta’s recruitment process.
“There are so many girls going through recruitment, it all works out OK,” she said.
Caroline Cauley, a freshman member of Delta Delta Delta, said having more options for recruits would only help students going through the process.
“I think that the girls that come in will just have more of an opportunity to find the sorority they’re meant to be in,” she said. “It’s a new way to bring more diversity to the Greek system.”
Cauley emphasized the role she hoped current Greek organizations would play when the new chapter came to campus.
“I think [the Greek community] is going to be positive and welcoming to the new sororities coming in,” she said. “We’re going to be really helpful to them and show them how the process works.”