This is the second segment of a four-part series on changes in Greek life at University of Richmond. You can read the other pieces here.
Kappa Delta will select women this semester with the official recruitment weekend starting on Friday Sept. 25 and commencing in bid day on Sunday Sept. 27, but the process of bringing the sorority to campus started more than a year ago.
In the spring of 2014, Richmond’s Panhellenic Council began looking into extension, the process of bringing a new sorority onto campus, said Meg Pevarski, assistant director for Greek life. Before a community can go through extension, it must first conduct thorough research to be sure the campus and community can sustain an additional chapter.
“We want to make sure nationally that a community engages in [extension] because it’s the right time,” Pevarski said. “So part of what the committee had to prove or provide evidence around was that, not only did we have the numbers, but we were consistently growing, and so while the university isn’t consistently growing, Greek percentages and numbers around our pledge class sizes, or new member class, sizes have been going up, and so it’s really the right time.”
Ultimately, a sixth Panhellenic chapter would help to lower chapter sizes which would better allow them to foster smaller communities with stronger bonds, Pevarski said.
Farrah Coltrain and Hannah Ranowiecki are serving as Kappa Delta’s leadership development consultants for this academic year. Both women moved to the Richmond area where they have been meeting with women on campus who expressed interest in Kappa Delta, meeting with campus organizations to seek out any referrals and tabling in Tyler Haynes Commons as part of their big “PR period,” Coltrain said.
There will be information sessions later on this month which will be advertised on Kappa Delta’s social media, she said.
Coltrain and Ranowiecki will run Kappa Delta’s first recruitment with the help of five other Kappa Deltas including national council members, national volunteers and local advisers. Coltrain said she is hoping to have collegiate members from both the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary for recruitment weekend to discuss what Kappa Delta means to them and how it has impacted their lives.
“We are hoping that any woman who is even remotely interested will be able to come out,” Coltrain said. “I know as a founding member myself I had never considered it, and it took a lot of convincing to become part of it.”
Pevarski added that Kappa Delta offers a unique opportunity to junior and senior women who may not have considered going through traditional recruitment before.
Coltrain said she is most excited for bid night later on this month as it will be “a great coming out to the Greek community” and their first time with the new member class.
The Panhellenic community has been supportive during the entire process by inviting Coltrain and Ranowiecki to its Greek leadership retreat right before school started. Each chapter has reached out with support, Coltrain said.
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Members of Kappa Delta’s founding class will be paired with members of other Panhellenic sororities in a Panhellenic big sister program shortly after bid day in order “to mentor them and show them the way around Greek life and what it means to be Greek here at UR,” Coltrain said.
The new member period will start right after bid day lasting for six weeks until initiation and installment on Nov. 8. Kappa Delta’s national president and vice president will fly to campus for the ceremony where they will present the new sorority’s president with its charter, Coltrain said.
The new chapter will have philanthropic and social events this semester as well. Coltrain said she hoped to work with the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, one of Kappa Delta’s national historic philanthropies.
The founding class will then go through spring recruitment operating just like the five other Panhellenic sororities.
Contact reporter Ellie Potter at email@example.com
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