A new year brings new additions to Cal Poly’s Panhellenic life. Jewish-interest sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi will officially be recognized for the first time this year and new sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma will also be added to the list of Cal Poly’s Panhellenic organizations.
The long-awaited addition
Formerly known on Cal Poly’s campus as Alpha Epsilon — a Jewish-interest local sorority started in 2007 by students — the sorority was waiting for Cal Poly’s Panhellenic (PHA) to want another organization on campus,Alpha Epsilon Phi President and sociology senior Rachel Siedman. That moment came last year when PHA chose to accept Alpha Epsilon Phi into the group said.
Cal Poly Greek Life Adviser Renoda Campbell played a large part in helping Alpha Epsilon Phi become a Cal Poly sorority, according to Siedman. Campbell worked with Alpha Epsilon and took the steps to make them nationally recognized, as well as helping them with the necessary paperwork, Siedman said.
“When (Campbell) said we could take another sorority, all the other sororities were unanimous in saying they can take this on,” Siedman said.
This national recognition is a big step for Alpha Epsilon Phi, which currently has 30 members and is looking to expand.
Alpha Epsilon Phi will hold informal recruitment this weekend, according to third-year vice president of recruitment Leah Yukelson. Alpha Epsilon Phi will not participate in this year’s formal recruitment because it wants to better familiarize itself with its new title and obligations. The sorority is keeping its process the same this year, but plans to be a part of Panhellenic’s formal recruitment next year.
“We are hoping the national name will help girls recognize us,” Yukelson said. “We are hearing girls say their aunts and moms are in it, which is exciting because this is the first year we’ve heard that, and its exciting that we can have legacies.”
The new members who join Alpha Epsilon Phi this week will be part of the sorority’s founding chapter — Yukelson said these new members will learn the values and interests of Alpha Epsilon Phi together.
The process of becoming a chapter takes approximately six to eight weeks, Yukelson said. The group will be considered a colony until they undergo a traditional Panhellenic recruitment.
“It’s a transition time,” Yukelson said. “Alpha Epsilon values are very much in line with Alpha Epsilon Phi’s values. This quarter is when we are going to start embracing Alpha Epsilon Phi and what they stand for.”
The new sorority on campus
Another sorority Cal Poly will see soon is Kappa Kappa Gamma, a nationally recognized sorority with 138 chapters in the United States and Canada. It is also one of the oldest recognized sororities — its charter date (or date of creation) is Oct. 13, 1870. It was chosen to be represented by PHA last year, and will start recruitment in the winter.
Though its recruitment won’t officially begin until winter quarter, Campbell said the sorority’s marketing plan should be evident on campus starting Oct. 8. Campbell said Kappa Kappa Gamma has been planning its marketing plan since the group was accepted to be a part of Cal Poly’s Greek Life last year.
According to Campbell, Cal Poly students have recently shown a great interest in rushing sororities, leading to more rushees than many sororities can manage. Kappa Kappa Gamma should help to alleviate this, Campbell said.
“We are bursting at the seams, we need Kappa Kappa Gamma to come and help reduce that,” Campbell said.
Overall, Campbell said she feels the addition of two new sororities to Cal Poly’s campus will ultimately benefit the school’s greek life.
“Bringing these two sororities will allow for our greek life to thrive,” Campbell said. “Alpha Epsilon Phi will share Jewish culture, and Kappa Kappa Gamma is a strong organization.”