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-   -   Tri-Delta closing at University of Arizona (http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=238023)

NYCMS 11-09-2017 11:37 AM

Tri-Delta closing at University of Arizona
 
Sad to report that Tri-Delt is closing its Arizona chapter in May 2018.

Now here's a question I have for my Greek sisters with more knowledge of re-colonizing than me.

The press release announcing the closing seems to indicate that Tri-Delt nationals will look to reorganize and perhaps open again down the road. But this chapter has folded already one (either in the late 80's or early 90's) and then re-colonized so this is the second time to be closed. I think they only waited four years after the first closing before re-colonizing which, in my opinion, is too soon, too many students still remember a weak chapter. The times I've seen a chapter successfully re-colonize is when they're waited longer.

So here's the question: how many times does a national re-colonize before calling it a day at that school? To my knowledge Tri Delta has struggled for decades to make quota, going back to at least the 70's.

Here's the press release:

https://www.tridelta.org/news/operat...ended-arizona/

clemsongirl 11-09-2017 12:55 PM

So your question about multiple recolonizations got me wondering, and I (cursorily) glanced at irishpipes' list to see which chapters had recolonized at least twice. And then, of course, I got entirely too in-depth with it, like all the other research projects I do:P There's some precedent for it even at Arizona, with AXO coming back and taking quota plus I think every year since they recolonized in 2013:

University of Alabama Sigma Kappa Alpha Omega 1932-1943/1988-1995/Colony Fall 2018

University of Arizona Alpha Chi Omega Beta Lambda 1930-1969/1980-2008/2013

University of Arkansas Phi Mu Alpha Beta 1923-1933/1978-1995/2012

University of Connecticut:
Delta Zeta Gamma Beta 1943-1972/1980-2014/Colony Fall 2017
Alpha Epsilon Phi Alpha Xi 1944-1970/1976-1983/2007

George Washington University Alpha Epsilon Phi Alpha Gamma 1930-1937/1959-1970/1985

Florida State University:
Sigma Sigma Sigma Rho 1920-1935/1960-1990/1992-1998 (I think I remember a poster on here saying they'd actually recolonized the chapter five times?)
Alpha Omicron Pi Alpha Pi 1928-1939/1949-1980/2013

University of Illinois:
Alpha Xi Delta Kappa 1905-?/1983-1995/2008
Phi Mu Delta Beta 1921-1939?/1946-2011/2016
Phi Sigma Sigma Theta 1923-1975/1975-2011/2013
Sigma Kappa Theta 1906-1941/1946-1968/1975-2016

University of Michigan:
Alpha Omicron Pi Omicron Pi 1921-196?/1978-1993/2017
Sigma Kappa Alpha Mu 1924-1934/1955-1971/1984

University of Minnesota Phi Mu Zeta Eta 1925-1935/1946-1970/2016

Mississippi State University Alpha Delta Pi Epsilon Eta 1966-1983/1985-1988/2013

University of Missouri Sigma Kappa Epsilon Mu 1968-1973/1990-2004/2012

Adelphi University Delta Phi Epsilon Lambda 1926-1937/1958-1971/2011

Syracuse University Delta Phi Epsilon Gamma 1921-1923/1949-?/2014

Duke University Alpha Phi Beta Nu 1935-1970/1994-2001/2003

Kent State University Sigma Sigma Sigma Alpha Beta 1925-1947/1975-1981/?

Miami University (OH):
Alpha Sigma Alpha Alpha Alpha 1914-1936/1950-?/1992-2000
Alpha Epsilon Phi Alpha Kappa 1940-1980/1986-2004/2007 (Did not participate in FR)

Ohio State University:
Delta Phi Epsilon Sigma 1928-?/1948-1987/1990-2001
Phi Sigma Sigma Rho 1928-1938/1947-1952/1952-1958/1974-1977


Oregon State University Alpha Omicron Pi Alpha Rho 1926-1935/1946-1992/2014

Pennsylvania State University Sigma Sigma Sigma Beta Upsilon 1954-1969/1989-1992/1994-2013

San Diego State University Delta Zeta Gamma Omicron 1950-1973/1989-1995/2007

Stanford University :
Pi Beta Phi California Alpha 1893-1897/1905-1944/1978
Alpha Phi Kappa 1899-1944/1978-1993/2011

Shepherd University (WV) Sigma Sigma Sigma Beta Delta 1945-1948/1960-1985/1988

University of Wisconsin Alpha Xi Delta Theta 1905-1972/1980-199?/2015

clemsongirl 11-09-2017 01:01 PM

So, what these chapters tell me is that multiple recolonizations are usually done at schools with:
-large and prestigious Greek system
-flagship university or similar prominence
-old chapters
-lots of opening and closure of chapters

My theory is that when the prestige and alumni support of having a chapter at a particular campus is greater than the cost of recolonizing again, national orgs will recolonize. Unfortunately for Directional State U, once a chapter has been closed twice it's not coming back again. The exception here is Shepherd University, and I have a friend who went there so I'll have to ask him if he knows any history of that chapter.

It's clearly possible for a group to come back a third time and make it; most of the chapters on here who had quota numbers had made or exceeded it. I do think it requires a lot of soul-searching on the part of nationals to figure out what went wrong in keeping that chapter open and what they're going to do differently this time. There's a famous quote attributed to Einstein that says "Insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results."

LaneSig 11-09-2017 01:41 PM

Phi Mu has been at the University of Arkansas three times.

IM (IFC guy) O- looking at the dates, it would appear that groups that waited a longer period than 4 years have been the most successful when recolonizing. (Not always the case, but sometimes.)

Also, when did RFM begin to be implemented? That could also affect the success of a recolonized chapter in the long run.

ASTalumna06 11-09-2017 02:49 PM

My question is: why were some of these chapters closed in the first place?

If you look at the chapters below, each of them has a recolonization that occurred within 2 or 3 years of them closing. Why did they close? Was it a "The chapter will close in 2003 but will have the opportunity to return to campus in 2006" type of situation? Are these closures due to numbers or risk management?

Either way, a chapter returning to campus within a few years of closure is likely in for an uphill battle. It means that seniors were freshman or sophomores when the chapter closed, and current students (both Greek and non-Greek) remember what happened and saw it first-hand. It's much more likely that rumors will fly, tent talk will be harsh, and some upperclassmen will continue to hold negative feelings about the sorority (or fraternity) that are hard to shake.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clemsongirl (Post 2446815)
Florida State University:
Sigma Sigma Sigma Rho 1920-1935/1960-1990/1992-1998

University of Illinois:
Phi Sigma Sigma Theta 1923-1975/1975-2011/2013

Mississippi State University Alpha Delta Pi Epsilon Eta 1966-1983/1985-1988/2013

Duke University Alpha Phi Beta Nu 1935-1970/1994-2001/2003

Miami University (OH):
Alpha Epsilon Phi Alpha Kappa 1940-1980/1986-2004/2007 (Did not participate in FR)

Ohio State University:
Delta Phi Epsilon Sigma 1928-?/1948-1987/1990-2001
Phi Sigma Sigma Rho 1928-1938/1947-1952/1952-1958/1974-1977


Pennsylvania State University Sigma Sigma Sigma Beta Upsilon 1954-1969/1989-1992/1994-2013

Shepherd University (WV) Sigma Sigma Sigma Beta Delta 1945-1948/1960-1985/1988


clemsongirl 11-09-2017 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaneSig (Post 2446820)
Phi Mu has been at the University of Arkansas three times.

IM (IFC guy) O- looking at the dates, it would appear that groups that waited a longer period than 4 years have been the most successful when recolonizing. (Not always the case, but sometimes.)

Also, when did RFM begin to be implemented? That could also affect the success of a recolonized chapter in the long run.

I added them, thank you! If anyone sees any other groups I missed, you have about 22 hours before I can't edit the post anymore.

From this presentation that Julie Johnson, the NPC delegate for Kappa Delta and Panhellenics chairwoman, has online here, it looks like it was piloted in 2003 and then rolled out everywhere over the next couple years. Only a few groups have closed again after that time.

NYCMS 11-09-2017 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaneSig (Post 2446820)
Phi Mu has been at the University of Arkansas three times. IM (IFC guy) O- looking at the dates, it would appear that groups that waited a longer period than 4 years have been the most successful when recolonizing. (Not always the case, but sometimes.) Also, when did RFM begin to be implemented? That could also affect the success of a recolonized chapter in the long run.

RFM began in 2003 as a pilot on 10 campuses, then implemented wide-spread in the following few years which means Tri-Delt at UA was under RFM for many years. Not sure how many years between Tri-Delt's closing and re-colonizing but I think it was about 4 years. Just not long enough to "break" up the image of a weak chapter, no wonder many chapters open and close and close again if re-colonized too fast; I don't understand a national's thinking on that.

I got curious about Arizona's chapters re: founding dates/closures. The majority of strong houses were founded in 1920's - Pi Phi, Gamma Phi, Kappa, Theta, Chi O, DG and Alpha Phi. No surprise, usually the chapters founded earliest are the strongest. Tri-Delt was founded in 1946. Other chapters founded in the 40's were Alpha Epsilon Phi (still there, but smaller house), ADPi - which did well but closed at some point and has re-colonized; and AOPi - no longer there.

Delta Zeta and AXO founded in the 1950's, but DZ is no longer there and AXO has re-colonized twice. Sigma Kappa came on board in the late 1970's and to my knowledge has done well. I think Phi Mu was there, but closed in the 1970's.

What's interesting is how a chapter becomes a struggling chapter when sororities founded much later - like Sigma Kappa - succeed. I guess by then the image of a struggling chapter is so embedded that it's hard to turn it around whereas if a new chapter comes on board with great support, it can be more appealing to PNM's.

My question is this: when a re-colonized chapter starts struggling again, what can national do that really will turn things around? To my knowledge, Tri-Delt struggled for decades re: quota and recolonizing didn't change things or didn't change them enough.

clemsongirl 11-09-2017 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ASTalumna06 (Post 2446821)
My question is: why were some of these chapters closed in the first place?

If you look at the chapters below, each of them has a recolonization that occurred within 2 or 3 years of them closing. Why did they close? Was it a "The chapter will close in 2003 but will have the opportunity to return to campus in 2006" type of situation? Are these closures due to numbers or risk management?

Either way, a chapter returning to campus within a few years of closure is likely in for an uphill battle. It means that seniors were freshman or sophomores when the chapter closed, and current students (both Greek and non-Greek) remember what happened and saw it first-hand. It's much more likely that rumors will fly, tent talk will be harsh, and some upperclassmen will continue to hold negative feelings about the sorority (or fraternity) that are hard to shake.

Taking Illinois Phi Sigma Sigma as an example, because two years is a really short amount of time to wait, I found these two news articles about them:

https://dailyillini.com/news/2005/04...es-a-comeback/

https://dailyillini.com/uncategorize...-recolonize-2/

The first one is from 2005 but says they've been a colony since 2004, which sounds like a reorganization or recolonization of the chapter? The article says they also closed due to low numbers in Fall 2004 so it's not really clear what's going on. I also appreciate that they say the women in the colony advertised on "thefacebook.com" :D

In the second one, it sounds like they wanted to recolonize as soon as the lease a fraternity had signed for their house was up and they had time to prepare it. I imagine at a school like Illinois, part of the motivation might be "if we don't take this opportunity when we get it, we get bumped to the back of the line for recolonizations". Phi Mu also closed that year and didn't return until 2016.

Plus, the second article mentions that their national president was an alumna of this chapter. That probably didn't hurt.

ETA: this demonstrates that the concept of being "open" or "closed" isn't always as simple as we'd like it to be...

Sciencewoman 11-09-2017 03:33 PM

As detailed as Irishpipes's list is, there are also "immediate recolonizations" (which used to be known as reorganizations) that may not have made the list. I don't think those are done anymore, because they usually don't work well and they create bitter feelings. However, if a chapter had a physical house and they didn't want to lose it, it was probably worth a try.

In those efforts, the current members would all be given alum status (and sometimes an opportunity to be interviewed by the national reps and remain active with the newly reconstituted group), and then nationals would recruit a whole new "clean slate" group of PNMs the next semester. Sigma Kappa did this at Maryland when I was there, and it worked great. That would have been 1984, I think. Both my chapter of initiation (Michigan) did this, and so did Maryland. Both times, the chapters eventually closed for real and they've both sucessfully recolonized after 10-15 year hiatuses. None of these intermediary reorganizations appear in Irishpipe's thread, and I know of 2-3 more with other groups at Michigan that aren't noted either.

Does anyone remember the big brouhaha a few years ago when Delta Zeta tried to reorganize at a school in illinois or Indiana due to low numbers and there was a big media spash because disgruntled members who were given alumnae status publicly complained about the process?

I think RFM has helped, and staying off for 4+ years helps, too.

clemsongirl 11-09-2017 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sciencewoman (Post 2446826)
As detailed as Irishpipes's list is, there are also "immediate recolonizations" (which used to be known as reorganizations) that may not have made the list. I don't think those are done anymore, because they usually don't work well and they create bitter feelings. However, if a chapter had a physical house and they don't want to ose it, it was probably worth a try.

In those efforts, the current members would all be given alum status (and sometimes an opportunity to be interviewed by the national reps and remain active with the newly reconstituted group), and then nationals would recruit a whole new "clean slate" group of PNMs the next semester. Sigma Kappa did this at Maryland when I was there, and it worked great. That would have been 1984, I think. Both my chapter of initiation (Michigan) dit this, and so did Maryland. Both times, the chapters eventually closed for real and they've both sucessfully recolonized after 10-15 year hiatuses. None of these intermediy reorganizations appear in Irishpipe's thread, and I know of 2-3 more with other groups at Michigan that aren't noted either.

Does anyone remember the big brouhaha a few years ago when Delta Zeta tried to reorganize at a school in illinois or indiana due to low numbers and there was a big media spash because disgruntled members who were given alumnae status publically complained about the process?

I think RFM has helped, and staying off for 4+ years helps, too.

That was DePauw Delta Zeta, and I think that's a great cautionary tale of why reorganizations don't always work. There's a Wikipedia article with more details about it online.

I suppose there's different levels of closure: there's closed and gone and no members for 4+ years, closed and no members for less than four years, close down for a year or two and come back with all the same members (a couple sororities at UConn did this with mixed results), make all the current members go early alum and recruit a whole new chapter, pull out of recruitment and have a "colonization" but keep the current members.

I suppose it comes down to how badly a sorority wants to be on that campus, how difficult it is to recolonize if you're gone more than four years, and whether a new group can overcome the previous reputation of the chapter or if they need to wait for that to go away before they try to return.

jolene 11-09-2017 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clemsongirl (Post 2446829)
That was DePauw Delta Zeta, and I think that's a great cautionary tale of why reorganizations don't always work. There's a Wikipedia article with more details about it online.

I suppose there's different levels of closure: there's closed and gone and no members for 4+ years, closed and no members for less than four years, close down for a year or two and come back with all the same members (a couple sororities at UConn did this with mixed results), make all the current members go early alum and recruit a whole new chapter, pull out of recruitment and have a "colonization" but keep the current members.

I suppose it comes down to how badly a sorority wants to be on that campus, how difficult it is to recolonize if you're gone more than four years, and whether a new group can overcome the previous reputation of the chapter or if they need to wait for that to go away before they try to return.

Always wondered how that conversation goes. Eek!

33girl 11-09-2017 04:34 PM

I can't remember exactly when our Miami-Ohio chapter closed before recolonizing in 1992, but I'm pretty sure there were sisters from the closed chapter still on campus. Hot mess ensued. I think we learned our lesson from that one and I can't think of a recolonization we've done since then (except IU, which is always the exception to everything ever) where the living alumnae were younger than Social Security age. It sucks because AA is one of our 4 reorganization chapters and very important in ASA, but you gotta know when to throw in the towel. I don't think all the Risk Mgmt kerfuffles at Miami in recent years have helped either.

33girl 11-09-2017 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jolene (Post 2446836)
Always wondered how that conversation goes. Eek!

It doesn't go well. The PSS chapter on my campus did it my freshman year. The recolonization did work out okay, but there were LOTS of hurt feelings.

I think the only time an immediate recolonization (imo, when you get all new members, it's a recolonization even if it's immediate, because the group has the same level of knowledge a colony would) can work is when all the current members TRULY are done and fried after years of trying, even with full HQ support, and have requested the closure. They have their memories and relationships and are happy with that, but they don't want the stress of having to rush anymore. (Speaking of DePauw DZ this is supposedly what they wanted to do.) That way the sorority does not "move their feet, lose their seat."

aephi alum 11-10-2017 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clemsongirl (Post 2446829)
I suppose there's different levels of closure: there's closed and gone and no members for 4+ years, closed and no members for less than four years, close down for a year or two and come back with all the same members (a couple sororities at UConn did this with mixed results), make all the current members go early alum and recruit a whole new chapter, pull out of recruitment and have a "colonization" but keep the current members.

I've also seen a chapter where a reorganization was done and some of the current members were made to go early alum while others were kept on as actives. I believe the national office pretty much ran that chapter's next recruitment. AWKWARD.

dukedg 11-10-2017 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ASTalumna06 (Post 2446821)
My question is: why were some of these chapters closed in the first place?

If you look at the chapters below, each of them has a recolonization that occurred within 2 or 3 years of them closing. Why did they close? Was it a "The chapter will close in 2003 but will have the opportunity to return to campus in 2006" type of situation? Are these closures due to numbers or risk management?

Either way, a chapter returning to campus within a few years of closure is likely in for an uphill battle. It means that seniors were freshman or sophomores when the chapter closed, and current students (both Greek and non-Greek) remember what happened and saw it first-hand. It's much more likely that rumors will fly, tent talk will be harsh, and some upperclassmen will continue to hold negative feelings about the sorority (or fraternity) that are hard to shake.

I'm 99% sure that Alpha Phi at Duke was a reorg. That's what I remember anyway, so I think the dates on IrishPipes' list may be confusing. I graduated right before, but my sister was on campus during that entire time and I don't think students there would have said Alpha Phi was closed at all during that period, but they did have the current members go alum and then start over.


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