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Greek life reaches next step in expansion

Photo+by+Matt+Serafin%2Fmatthew.serafin%40marquette.edu
Photo by Matt Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Photo by Matt Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Photo by Matt Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

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Photo by Matt Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Photo by Matt Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Marquette’s fraternities and sororities will soon decide which Greek organizations can establish a colony on campus.

This process – called extension for sororities and expansion for fraternities – allows the groups’ governing bodies, Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council, to add new chapters to Marquette’s Greek community.

Both the IFC and Panhellenic Council expansion committees voted for the Greek finalists in early March.

The IFC Expansion Committee selected four fraternities out of a group of 14 that applied to establish a colony at Marquette. The four are Delta Tau Delta, Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Psi and Delta Upsilon.

The catalyst for the fraternity expansion is a three-man interest group interested in establishing a new organization on campus. The group is made up of Thomas Schick, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, Jason Kurtyka, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Matt Walker, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. The three met with potential organizations as they came to campus for in-person presentations.

“Last week was a very exciting, very enjoyable week for the gentlemen of the interest group,” Schick said. “It’s been a lot of fun, personally, to have these conversations with men who are passionate about Greek life and who are passionate about improving and expanding Greek life.”

Three of the fraternities visited last week, with the last one touring Wednesday. Schick said the interest group was “unbelievably impressed” with representatives from the finalist fraternities during the visits.

He also said one of the primary differences between the four groups is their approaches to colonization, which is the first step in establishing a new fraternity chapter on a campus. He said each group offers differing levels of support for the interest group during the colonization process.

“One group in particular might be more hands-off and let the men on the ground shape it the exact way they want, while other chapters have definitely stressed that they want to send a lot of men and employees to help in the process,” Schick said. “And we feel that both are beneficial.”

The IFC Expansion Committee will deliberate in the coming days to decide which group it will invite to campus. According to Corey Lansing, the assistant dean for student involvement and the Greek system advisor, the decision will be almost entirely up to the interest group, pending IFC approval.

Unlike IFC, the Panhellenic push for extension is born out of necessity rather than a specific interest group. Over the past five years, sorority participation at Marquette grew substantially. From 2009 to 2013, the total number of women in each sorority increased by an average of 55.

To sustain and increase this growing interest in sorority participation, Panhellenic voted in October for extension.

At the beginning of March, Panhellenic selected three sorority finalists from the 12 national organizations that applied. Alpha Gamma Delta, Gamma Phi Beta and Kappa Delta will visit campus next week to meet with Marquette Greek community leaders.

Panhellenic Extension Committee Chairwoman Mary Maruggi, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she believes the most important factor in making a final decision is the prospective groups’ abilities to fit in with the Marquette community.

“It’s always a big part of coming to a Jesuit university of how the organization themselves lives out the Jesuit mission and Ignation ideals,” Maruggi said. “I think that will be a big influence to people.”

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