On Tuesday, the Cal Poly Panhellenic Council voted for two organizations to join Cal Poly sorority life over the next three years, with sorority Alpha Gamma Delta coming in Winter 2016 and women’s fraternity Delta Gamma coming in Winter 2018.
Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator Travis Roberts will send the organizations a formal invitation to join the campus that they can accept or reject. Panhellenic should hear back from the groups in about a week, according to Roberts.
Roberts expects both organizations will accept their invitations, he said.
The need to extend sorority life stems from large class sizes. For Fall 2014 Recruitment, each sorority chapter had a pledge class quota of 83 girls, but almost all chapters had a larger class than that. Sororities became concerned that they couldn’t manage all of the new members and that the following years would be the same, according to Roberts.
“I’m glad that we voted for both of these groups,” Roberts said. “I’m glad that the community is in favor of reducing class sizes. I think that’s our main concern as the advisors — making sure our women feel safe and comfortable in their organizations. So I’m very happy with this vote.”
With large numbers of members, problems start to arise when events roll around and the sororities need to plan and reserve rooms with the intention of having the entire chapter in one space, said Roberts.
“We have seen a lot of women interested in going through recruitment, so that’s another reason why we’re interested in extending,” Roberts said.
In July 2014, administration noticed women were registering for recruitment at a higher frequency than previous years. When sorority members returned to campus for the school year, they became concerned with the amount of potential new members as well and approached administration about the possibility of extending, according to Roberts.
“In the past years, there have been a lot of growth and interest for joining Panhellenic sororities and greek life in general,” Panhellenic President and business administration junior Kristen Henry said. “By having more houses, it’s more options for people to join and take the stress of having enormous pledge classes off of the houses that are already here.”
The organizations will be joining campus by stacking, which is when two organizations join campus within a few years of each other. The National Panhellenic Conference rules there needs to be at least two formal recruitments between each sorority’s installations to allow time for the first group to become established on campus, Roberts said.
“I think that these organizations are going to be a great asset to our community, and I don’t think they’re going to be competition at all,” Roberts said. “I think they’ll fit in because their mindset is that they want to have that Panhellenic community and Panhellenic spirit, and I think that both groups will have that.”
When the groups come during the winter, they will hold an informal recruitment that involves weeks of interviews to establish the colony. The chapter’s headquarters will be in charge of this recruitment. The group of girls they put together will be able to participate in formal fall recruitment with the rest of the sororities, according to Henry.
Delta Gamma and Alpha Gamma Delta were specifically chosen through a mutual process. The National Panhellenic Council then sent a newsletter to all 26 national sororities regarding Cal Poly’s wish to extend. Three sororities — Delta Gamma, Alpha Gamma Delta and Kappa Delta — sent applications to Cal Poly, which the extension committee reviewed. Invitations to visit campus were then extended to all three organizations, but Kappa Delta denied the invitation.
Delta Gamma and Alpha Gamma Delta gave presentations to the Panhellenic Council, extension committee and administration in Fall 2014. The extension committee debriefed after that presentation and decided it was interested in inviting both groups to join Cal Poly greek life. The committee presented a proposal to Panhellenic that passed by a majority vote on April 21.
“We were really impressed by their presentations when they came to visit. I think they’ll make a really good fit and I’m excited for what they’re going to bring to the whole community,” Henry said.