Marquette Panhellenic Association votes to open for extension

Photo by Matthew J. Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu
Photo by Matthew J. Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

The Marquette Panhellenic Association, which represents all sororities on campus, voted Tuesday to open Marquette to future Greek extension 3 to 2. According to Panhel, in Tuesday’s meeting, a simple majority was needed for the vote to pass.

Each regular member of the association voted while the three associate members did not because they are not members of the National Panhellenic Conference.

Now, an extension committee will review applications from organizations wishing to establish a new colony on campus, which would add another sorority. After selecting three, Panhellenic will vote in the spring on which organization to bring to campus. Panhellenic President Mary Maruggi, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences; Kim Jeffrey, graduate assistant for student involvement and Greek life; and Corey Lansing, assistant dean for student involvement will join members and advisors from all the sorority chapters on campus to form the extension committee.

The process toward extension began in May when the Panhellenic Association voted to form an exploratory committee to investigate extension at Marquette. During the summer, the committee reviewed statistics and discussed the status of Marquette’s Greek community. In September, the committee recommended that the Panhellenic Association open for extension.

“Based on the growth that all of the sororities exhibited throughout the last five years, it showed that sororities are growing so fast, the chapters are getting larger, new members weren’t getting the right attention because there are so many potential new members coming into the chapters,” Jeffrey said. “We thought they would have a more holistic experience if we brought a new chapter on.”

Involvement in sororities at Marquette grew in the past five years. One way the Panhellenic Association measures involvement is through total, or the average number of women in each chapter on campus. The last three fall semesters, total grew from 65 in 2011 to 81 in 2012 to 94 this semester.

“Total was not adjusted as it should have been in previous years,” said Katie Doherty vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Association, a senior in the College of Communication.  “But in the past year we have adjusted it three times, which shows how much the sororities have grown.”

The Panhellenic Association also expects very high recruitment participation this year, based on past trends and an interest list that is longer than normal. This year, planning and preparation for recruitment was adjusted to accommodate more than 400 women.

“Last year, the registered number was 303,” Maruggi said. “None of the numbers that we’d say for anything in the future are concrete in any way shape or form.  The reason we are trying to plan for a bigger recruitment is because our interest list and our participation by freshmen in the fall semester has increased.”

The Panhellenic Association already incorporated the addition of a new chapter next year into its current recruiting efforts. However, if a new chapter is allowed to colonize in the spring, it will not participate in formal recruitment until spring 2016.