By Madeleine Thompson
A proposal to establish a new sorority, Kappa Sigma Alpha, was rejected seven to five in a vote by Greek Council on Monday, Dec. 3. Adriana Olivares 15 and Karina Cruz 15, both of whom rushed sororities last year but did not pledge, are the leaders of the group, whose proposal they hope to put to a vote again next week. If approved, they plan to begin the process of becoming nationally affiliated, which typically takes at least a year and would make Kappa Sigma Alpha the only national sorority on campus.
Because Kenyon just has more women than men, we wanted to create another option for women who didnt feel like they fit in with the other sororities, Olivares said.
The 12 girls interested in joining are already involved in diverse activities, clubs and sports that Olivares said would separate them from the three sororities already on campus.
Rekha Mohan 15, a Kappa Sigma Alpha hopeful, looks forward to the opportunity to be in a national sorority. I always wanted to be in a sorority, Mohan said. One of the reasons I wanted to come to Kenyon was that out of all the liberal arts colleges, they actually had sororities. When I rushed I felt like … I personally didnt really fit with any of them, so Im excited to have one that we can build from the ground up.
A national sorority differs from a local sorority in that dues are typically higher, members are held to stricter rules and its alumni base is more extensive. Once Kappa Sigma Alpha has started on campus and upheld national sorority standards, representatives from nationalsororities will visit the campus to determine whether they are willing to support Kappa Sigma Alpha. As of now, Olivares and Cruz are hoping a sorority with headquarters nearby like Kappa Kappa Gamma in Columbus will adopt them.
One of the challenges involved will be gathering enough members to become national and then maintaining the number necessary to stay that way around 45-50 women. Kenyon is a small school, and were going to need a lot of girls to become national, Olivares said. Kenyons first sorority, now known as Theta Delta Phi, was part of national sorority Delta Gamma until its membership dropped to six women and it no longer met national requirements.
With [being] national comes a lot of benefits that were all very excited about, Cruz said. But then again [the national organization] also has their own ideas as to what this sorority should look like. Were going to have to be a bit flexible to make sure we not only fulfill Kenyon requirements but fulfill the ideas we have of ourselves and the ideas of the national sorority.
Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Christina Mastrangelo and President of Greek Council Andrew Tint 13 worked with Olivares and Cruz to get their idea off the ground. I think … [Greek Council members] felt like they needed to do a little more in terms of creating an identity, Tint said. They also unfortunately went two weeks after the new fraternity, Sigma Phi Tau, which is [also] working with national, who helped them out a lot.
Olivares cited Mastrangelo as one of their biggest supporters, saying, Shes all for it. I think shes pretty excited about it.
President of Phi Kappa Sigma Tommy Brown 13 voted yes to the sororitys proposal at the meeting on Monday. From strictly an organizational perspective there was no reason for us to not vote in favor, Brown said. It doesnt hinder any of our own interests, but I think theres a pretty widely accepted sentiment among sorority members that Ive spoken with that theres concern in those groups of them getting too big.
Tint added that with the recent addition of a fraternity, it was likely that fraternity members were more eager to have a new sorority. He cited the huge division between eight fraternities and only three sororities which is actually a gap that we want to close.
Olivares and Cruz met with members of Kenyons current sororities to discuss their intentions and received a welcoming reaction, according to Cruz. It was very nice to have them give us advice at the end, Cruz said. Thats something that were really looking forward to, just collaborating with them. … But change is hard to deal with. Tint added that he and Mastrangelo are hopeful the group will have its plans together within the next few weeks. Id be pretty shocked if they were not accepted the next time, Tint said.