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  #1  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:23 AM
jejunestar jejunestar is offline
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Advice on bringing a new sorority (colony?) to my Midwesten university campus

So my best friend and I are interested in trying to bring a new sorority to our campus (if I'm correct, that would be a colony? Sorry, I'm not 100% sure on terminology), but we are not 100% positive on how the process works.

We attend a large university in the northern Midwest, where greek life is a lot more laid back then in the South, but is still a pretty big part of our campus' social culture. We have 7 sororities and...I wanna say 13 or 14 fraternities, but I'm not positive.*

We both went through formal recruitment last fall, and accepted bids from sororoities...and while we both enjoyed the pledging experience, we both chose to drop before initiation, and ended up taking a year off school. Although we both love the girls in the sororities we pledged, they just didn't feel quite right in the end.

We are returning to our university in the spring as sophomores, and we both still really want to be a part of greek life- but we discussed it and we really feel like, although all of the sororities already at our school are great, none of them are right for us- so we thought bringing a new sorority (colony?) to our school might be the answer.

We know plenty of other students who are also interested in a potential new colony at our school, who like us are interested in greek life but don't fit into any of our current houses (which all have very distinct qualities). We have good friends in pretty much all of the sororities and fraternities on our campus who are willing to support our efforts, so it's not like we'd be going into it as a new sorority that no one would want to mix with. We also have pretty solid knowledge of the greek system and we know what we want in a greek organization.

We also have a sorority in mind that we would specifically like to colonize on our campus, especially because that sorority has a philanthropy that is incredibly important to us both personally, but also because we have seen various other chapters of this sorority and they seem to embody our values really well. (I don't know if I should mention which sorority ut is that we are looking at or not, will that help with answering questions?)

We do know that we will have to talk to our school first to allow another sorority colony on campus, but can anyone tell me if there is a way to ask for this sorority specifically to be the one we bring on campus, or will it be out of our control? What do we need to do to get this all started, how long does the process take, and what will it be like? I'm interested in hearing if anyone has experience with this!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:40 AM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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No, you should not contact them directly. They will simply refer you back to the NPC process for extension. It is a prescribed process and none of the NPC groups will circumvent it. Your school will have to go thru a process to see if extension is warranted. If it is, they will vote to proceed and notify NPC that the campus is open. Interested groups will file packets with the school's PH office and possibly make a visit to decide if they want to pursue it further. Then the school's PH will pick the groups they want to come and make a formal presentation. After the presentations, the school's PH votes on the group they want and the group has the opportunity to accept or decline. Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:49 AM
sigmagirl2000 sigmagirl2000 is offline
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Not to mention, there would be no guarantee that you and your friend would be selected to be colony members even if this did all happen. The new colony members would be chosen by the national organization that would be colonizing -if it got to that point.

Is it a NPC group you were hoping to bring to campus or another type of sorority? That would change the answers you've gotten if you are talking about a non-NPC sorority.
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2015, 11:17 AM
jejunestar jejunestar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigmagirl2000 View Post
Not to mention, there would be no guarantee that you and your friend would be selected to be colony members even if this did all happen. The new colony members would be chosen by the national organization that would be colonizing -if it got to that point.

Is it a NPC group you were hoping to bring to campus or another type of sorority? That would change the answers you've gotten if you are talking about a non-NPC sorority.
It is an NPC group that we're wanting to bring to campus- but thank you for clarifying this; we were under the impression that if we were involved with petitioning the school for expansion and such, we would also get to be a part of the process in some way.

So it sounds like as much as we want to be part of a NPC group, maybe we should look into starting some sort of local sorority instead? Those work a bit differently, right, and we would have more control over the process, right?
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2015, 11:59 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Well, no. The sorority has to want to come to your campus in the first place. If it decides your campus is not somewhere it wants to be, you can't do anything about that.

How large are the chapters on your campus? What is total? Where in the social pecking order does the chapter you left fall? Did you leave on good terms?

Quote:
we have seen various other chapters of this sorority and they seem to embody our values really well. (I don't know if I should mention which sorority is that we are looking at or not, will that help with answering questions?)
This is an often used fallacy/excuse for trying to bring on a new chapter. The women in those chapters at other schools aren't going to be at your school. Unless interest in sororities has plummeted due to hazing or other issues across all the chapters, a new group is not going to radically change who rushes - and even if it does initially, it's not a sustainable model. It doesn't matter if the ABC chapter at Other U. is full of Reese Witherspoons if your campus is solely comprised of Kat Von Ds. Reese Witherspoons are not going to magically appear because a new sorority is there.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2015, 12:43 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
Reese Witherspoons are not going to magically appear because a new sorority is there.
This just cracked me up. I needed a good laugh this morning. Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2015, 12:53 PM
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AZTheta AZTheta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jejunestar View Post
It is an NPC group that we're wanting to bring to campus- but thank you for clarifying this; we were under the impression that if we were involved with petitioning the school for expansion and such, we would also get to be a part of the process in some way.
No, I'm sorry but I need to disabuse you of that notion. That's not at all how it typically works. Although the search function here on GC isn't ideal, you should be able to skim and search enough to read about some colonizations and about NPC expansion/extension. The NPC website also has some information as do individual sororities' websites. That may help you understand a little better.

sigmagirl2000 and 33girl asked you some pertinent questions; answering those may clarify your situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jejunestar View Post
So it sounds like as much as we want to be part of a NPC group, maybe we should look into starting some sort of local sorority instead? Those work a bit differently, right, and we would have more control over the process, right?
That's entirely up to you. Your answers thus far have come from NPC alumnae.
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2015, 01:37 PM
jejunestar jejunestar is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
Well, no. The sorority has to want to come to your campus in the first place. If it decides your campus is not somewhere it wants to be, you can't do anything about that.

How large are the chapters on your campus? What is total? Where in the social pecking order does the chapter you left fall? Did you leave on good terms?



This is an often used fallacy/excuse for trying to bring on a new chapter. The women in those chapters at other schools aren't going to be at your school. Unless interest in sororities has plummeted due to hazing or other issues across all the chapters, a new group is not going to radically change who rushes - and even if it does initially, it's not a sustainable model. It doesn't matter if the ABC chapter at Other U. is full of Reese Witherspoons if your campus is solely comprised of Kat Von Ds. Reese Witherspoons are not going to magically appear because a new sorority is there.
Most chapters are around 100-150-ish members. The sorority I rushed was lower-top/upper-middle tier (3rd out of the 7). I did leave on good terms- I still have a good relationship with a lot of girls in the sorority and hang out with a lot of them regularly.

I know that obviously the people who are at my school will not change, but considering the number of girls who rush and drop during the pledging process (which is quite a few) because they're looking for something different, as well as a big decline in the top two houses due to repeated hazing issues, plus the fact that there is a pretty big difference between even upper middle and lower middle tier sororities, i feel like there is definitely a niche where a new sorority could fit in and have plenty of interest, especially with the upper tier sororities losing their reputations a bit.

I mean basically, we know the girls who would be interested in this, it's not like we're hoping our campus will magically have a different kind of girl there. we just want a place for those of us who would fall somewhere between the upper and middle tier sororities that currently don't have a fit (because the previous sorority i pledged would be that bridge, except that they are basically the stoner house, that's their thing, and they're not doing much to bridge the gap between the tiers at all)
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2015, 02:49 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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If there are a lot of people not completing rush and dropping out during pledgeship, and this is happening to ALL the groups, then adding a new sorority would be like having a baby to try and save a bad marriage. Quit thinking about things like tiers (saying "upper middle tier in a system with 7 groups is ridiculous) and take a good look at how you conduct rush and how you interact with the pledges and with each other. In other words, BE PANHELLENIC.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2015, 04:13 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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The reasons you are giving are not normally ones that would convince a new group to come to campus. You and your friends need to have a serious talk with your Greek Adviser. I think your ship has sailed.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2015, 06:29 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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QFP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jejunestar View Post
So my best friend and I are interested in trying to bring a new sorority to our campus (if I'm correct, that would be a colony? Sorry, I'm not 100% sure on terminology), but we are not 100% positive on how the process works.

We attend a large university in the northern Midwest, where greek life is a lot more laid back then in the South, but is still a pretty big part of our campus' social culture. We have 7 sororities and...I wanna say 13 or 14 fraternities, but I'm not positive.*

We both went through formal recruitment last fall, and accepted bids from sororoities...and while we both enjoyed the pledging experience, we both chose to drop before initiation, and ended up taking a year off school. Although we both love the girls in the sororities we pledged, they just didn't feel quite right in the end.

We are returning to our university in the spring as sophomores, and we both still really want to be a part of greek life- but we discussed it and we really feel like, although all of the sororities already at our school are great, none of them are right for us- so we thought bringing a new sorority (colony?) to our school might be the answer.

We know plenty of other students who are also interested in a potential new colony at our school, who like us are interested in greek life but don't fit into any of our current houses (which all have very distinct qualities). We have good friends in pretty much all of the sororities and fraternities on our campus who are willing to support our efforts, so it's not like we'd be going into it as a new sorority that no one would want to mix with. We also have pretty solid knowledge of the greek system and we know what we want in a greek organization.

We also have a sorority in mind that we would specifically like to colonize on our campus, especially because that sorority has a philanthropy that is incredibly important to us both personally, but also because we have seen various other chapters of this sorority and they seem to embody our values really well. (I don't know if I should mention which sorority ut is that we are looking at or not, will that help with answering questions?)

We do know that we will have to talk to our school first to allow another sorority colony on campus, but can anyone tell me if there is a way to ask for this sorority specifically to be the one we bring on campus, or will it be out of our control? What do we need to do to get this all started, how long does the process take, and what will it be like? I'm interested in hearing if anyone has experience with this!

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jejunestar View Post
Most chapters are around 100-150-ish members. The sorority I rushed was lower-top/upper-middle tier (3rd out of the 7). I did leave on good terms- I still have a good relationship with a lot of girls in the sorority and hang out with a lot of them regularly.

I know that obviously the people who are at my school will not change, but considering the number of girls who rush and drop during the pledging process (which is quite a few) because they're looking for something different, as well as a big decline in the top two houses due to repeated hazing issues, plus the fact that there is a pretty big difference between even upper middle and lower middle tier sororities, i feel like there is definitely a niche where a new sorority could fit in and have plenty of interest, especially with the upper tier sororities losing their reputations a bit.

I mean basically, we know the girls who would be interested in this, it's not like we're hoping our campus will magically have a different kind of girl there. we just want a place for those of us who would fall somewhere between the upper and middle tier sororities that currently don't have a fit (because the previous sorority i pledged would be that bridge, except that they are basically the stoner house, that's their thing, and they're not doing much to bridge the gap between the tiers at all)
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2015, 10:18 AM
DaffyKD DaffyKD is offline
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Lets see if this ancient brain of mine has this straight:

1) You received a bid from a sorority who want YOU.
2) You dropped out of the sorority who wanted YOU but YOU did not want THEM.
3) You and 1 friend, who also received a bid and dropped out, now want to petition a specific sorority to come on campus so you can join them and maybe drop them too.
4) You don't know if your campus is open for expansion.

OK, if I'm on the right track (which I THINK) I am, lets look at some things:

1) There needs to be a need for another chapter on campus
2) Panhellenic receives notice that the campus plans to expand
3) All sororities who currently are not on your campus can decide if they want to present at that particular campus
4) Sororities send expansion package to campus Panhellenic who review all of them
5) Campus decides to extend invitation to their top choice sorority. The one you want may or may not be in the running at this point.
6) Sororities prepare a presentation and then each one comes to the campus to make a presentation to the current campus Panhellenic members.
7) Current campus Panhellenic vote for their choice to colonize. Your specific sorority may or may not be the one selected.
8) A time for colonization will be set. Could be the next semester, could be in another 24 months.
9)You are still in school, you are getting closer to graduation every day.
10) You may have graduated by the time the sorority starts to colonize
11) Sorority recruits their new member/charter class. You may or may not receive a bit.
12) Sorority probably will learn that you dropped out of a chapter. They need members who are COMMITTED to helping the new chapter grow. They need reliable, hard working women. You have already proven you are not a committed member.
13) Life does not revolve around you, your friends or anyone else. You had a chance to be part of Greek life. Sorry, you need to live with the consequences of your choices.

DaffyKD-- who has been a committed member of my sorority for almost 45 years.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:48 PM
Sororitysock Sororitysock is offline
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Total is 79 at your school. Everyone made at least quota (34) this last recruitment, and quota was actually down by one since last year. A chapter closed due to low numbers as recently as 2007. This is not a campus where expansion is warranted at all, particularly to satisfy the wants of a couple of young women who decided to pack it up because they couldn't find anyone they had anything in common with among hundreds of other young women.
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:29 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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Rainbows pooping unicorns. You are thinking sorority membership is the magical union where everything is perfect and the girls in YOUR sorority are completely in sync with you at all times in all issues. They are not so much friends as mythical creatures who are perfect in all ways.

You were in a sorority where you had and still have friends. They were not good enough (being mid-tier), so you want to start another sorority chapter that meets these mythical standards. Let me tell you how colonies work, almost every time. A colony comes on campus and girls go bonkers trying to get in. Somewhere between, oh, half and most of the girls get in and they're elated. Then they get down to business and a good chunk of the girls drop out because it turns out being a colony member is hard AND there is none of that unicorn poop ANYWHERE. So then some of these girls who were very carefully selected are gone and the ones left have a sense of reality. But they probably aren't the prettiest or most "fun." And the reputation of the new chapter starts to suffer at least a smidge. So this new chapter that so many girls were just desperate to get in? Now they are mid-tier at best, and probably solidly in last place. And when next year's rush comes around, the new girls who didn't hear anything about how AWESOME it would be in the colony only see "that new house" that doesn't rush quite right and they come off as a little needy. And I heard that they take everyone in colony rush. And they take half of quota.

Now to be clear, being part of a colony can be highly rewarding. But those girls have to have a pretty thick skin because probably for the rest of their collegiate experience they are not going to be in the cool sorority on campus. The successful ones don't care, appreciate their friends and enjoy the great times that they absolutely do have. But if they are focused on being the top of the heap, they are not going to be happy. Or if you expect your friends (because let's remember, it's friendship at the basis of sorority membership) to be perfect and sing and clap every time you approach, then there is no way sorority membership and colony membership in particular is going to make you happy.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2015, 03:29 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jejunestar View Post
Most chapters are around 100-150-ish members. The sorority I rushed was lower-top/upper-middle tier (3rd out of the 7). I did leave on good terms- I still have a good relationship with a lot of girls in the sorority and hang out with a lot of them regularly.

I know that obviously the people who are at my school will not change, but considering the number of girls who rush and drop during the pledging process (which is quite a few) because they're looking for something different, as well as a big decline in the top two houses due to repeated hazing issues, plus the fact that there is a pretty big difference between even upper middle and lower middle tier sororities, i feel like there is definitely a niche where a new sorority could fit in and have plenty of interest, especially with the upper tier sororities losing their reputations a bit.

I mean basically, we know the girls who would be interested in this, it's not like we're hoping our campus will magically have a different kind of girl there. we just want a place for those of us who would fall somewhere between the upper and middle tier sororities that currently don't have a fit (because the previous sorority i pledged would be that bridge, except that they are basically the stoner house, that's their thing, and they're not doing much to bridge the gap between the tiers at all)
This entire post made me cringe.

Please re-read what you wrote, especially the last sentence I emphasized. Your entire argument for bringing a new sorority on campus is because you need a group to fit into a certain made up, superficial tier? I hope you didn't plan on using that argument to petition the school to bring a new sorority to campus.

For your own sake, drop the tier mentality and look at these women for who and what they are. I know you're still in school, so this may not be obvious now, but tiers are stupid and meaningless. Each of those women in the chapters at your school have found sisterhood, and the "tier system" can't touch that.

Why do you truly want to bring a new sorority on campus? Are you looking to fit into a certain rank, or are you looking for sisterhood? If it's the latter, it already exists on your campus. And if you think that bringing a new sorority to school will automatically make that chapter loved by all and at the top of the pecking order, then you obviously haven't done enough research.

Please reevaluate your reasons for wanting to take this on. I'm sure you don't have any ill intentions, but you may be a little misguided. Clearly you now know that bringing a new NPC to campus is a huge undertaking. And starting a local sorority isn't going to have the same "feel" as an NPC (so if that's what you're going for, don't move forward on this, either). If you truly want to be a part of a sisterhood while in school, your best bet is taking a second look at the existing sororities on campus. But please, if you do so, give them all a fair chance and don't think about tiers.
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