The Tufts Greek community will this fall welcome a fourth sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, after years of discussion about bringing a new chapter to campus.
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone explained that the introduction of another society will give women on campus more chances to participate in Greek life.
“The sororities have been … saying that they’d really like to be able to add another sorority and have more opportunities for women on campus to join and really find their fit,” McGlone said.
McGlone added that the growing size of sororities was another major factor in the decision to establish a new organization. On-campus chapters, which held an average of 129 members this past year, no longer fit the number of recruited students comfortably, she said.
Panhellenic Council (PhC) President Jaime Morgen explained that sororities often struggle to find meeting places on campus that can accommodate the chapters.
“We have an assurance bid program [that ensures that every student who rushes will receive a bid], so we thought that adding a sorority is the best way to make sure there is a space that is big enough,” Morgen, a senior, said.
Alpha Phi President Madeline Kern hopes the new sorority will create more recruitment opportunities for female students, as there had been three sororities compared to 10 fraternities on campus.
“We’ve been wanting to extend because we want to even [the number of fraternities and sororities] out,” Kern, a senior, said.
In order to choose the new sorority, student representatives from the three active sororities and other campus groups formed an “extension committee” in November, Morgen said.
McGlone said that the committee reached out to the National Panhellenic Conference, an umbrella organization that provides support for sororities, and invited the 26 groups affiliated with the organization to visit Tufts and introduce their society.
Ten national chapters applied and Tufts narrowed it down to four, who gave full-scale presentations about why they would benefit the university. After discussing the presentations, the committee unanimously voted to bring Kappa Alpha Theta to Tufts.
Sarah Gannon, president of the Alpha Omicron Pi chapter on campus, said that Kappa Alpha Theta seemed to be the best fit for the university.
“They had really done their research about how they were going to integrate themselves, not just as Kappa Alpha Theta but as Kappa Alpha Theta at Tufts,” Gannon, a senior, said.
McGlone added that Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropic programs and educational initiatives are different from those of the other sororities on campus.
According to McGlone, two educational leadership consultants (ELCs) – recent college graduates who were active members of Kappa Alpha Theta at their schools – will aid in the formation of the new Kappa Alpha Theta chapter. The ELCs will select around 100 members – all sophomores, juniors and seniors – by the end of September to form the charter class. The newly formed sorority will then take part in formal recruitment in the spring.
“Once they have those  people, they will be educating them on what it means to be Kappa Alpha Theta, what it means to be a sorority and what it means to be a sorority at Tufts,” McGlone said.
Morgen said that the Panhellenic Council will help the ELCs navigate the Tufts community and raise awareness about the new sorority.
Kern and Gannon expressed similar intentions, explaining that all three current chapters plan to aid Kappa Alpha Theta in recruiting new members.
McGlone added that the extension committee has approved Alpha Gamma Delta to come to Tufts in one to three years.
“Our current agreement with them is that we will be assessing our community once a year and that when the Panhellenic Council is ready to support another sorority, they will bring them on campus,” McGlone said.
Morgen was enthusiastic about the new sorority and its potential effect on campus life.
“I’d just like to say how excited all three chapters are to welcome a new group to our organization,” Morgen said.