For the first time in more than two decades, Southeast Missouri State University will add a new sorority — Alpha Phi — with plans for the new Greek organization to be on campus when the fall 2016 semester begins.
The local Southeast Panhellenic Conference on Tuesday approved a recommendation from the extension committee on Monday, to select Alpha Phi after three sororities competed for the chance to colonize at Southeast. Campus-wide presentations were held April 19-21 during which presentations were given by Delta Zeta, Alpha Omicron Pi and Alpha Phi.
“All the sororities that presented did an excellent job during their visit,” said DeAnte Smith, director of Greek Life. “They made it extremely challenging for the extension committee to make a decision on which sorority to make a recommendation to the Panhellenic community. The committee and community were extremely impressed on the level of collaboration Alpha Phi wants to have with the other sororities from the very beginning.”
Smith said Alpha Phi has seven alumnae living in Cape Girardeau who have already committed to serving as advisors to the chapter.
“I am excited about the amount of support that the organization will have available,” he said. “In addition to the seven alumnae who live in Cape Girardeau and will serve on the advisory board, the organization is hiring a full-time staff member to move to Cape Girardeau and live here for one full academic year to lead the organization.”
Alpha Phi also was selected for their realistic and honest responses to the expectations of their organization in the beginning.
“That also was viewed favorably by members,” he said.
Conversations with Alpha Phi will take place over the summer to schedule an official start date, which could be as early as move-in day on Aug. 18, Smith said.
Once at Southeast, Alpha Phi may take up to 106 women – the current Panhellenic house total. That number will be re-evaluated within three days after fall recruitment ends to assess the average Panhellenic sorority chapter size, he said.
Greek Life officials plan to have conversations with Residence Life on future housing availability for the chapter.
“The organization is aware that there may not be housing available immediately but definitely will be interested in having a chapter designated space when it becomes available,” Smith said.
He said he hopes Alpha Phi’s transitions to campus smoothly as it takes root at Southeast.
“The entire community wants this to be successful,” Smith said.
Since expansion in Panhellenic has not occurred since 1994, Southeast doesn’t “exactly have recent precedence on ways to support a new Panhellenic sorority,” he said. “However, I have already had conversations with the Alpha Phi’s director of extension on resources available at Southeast to get them started on the right path.”