By Meg Anderson
Furman Panhellenic recently voted to add an additional sorority to Furman’s campus. The council voted to establish an Extension Exploratory Committee this past fall, which includes students, staff, and alumnae from each sorority currently active at Furman.
The vote passed in January to pursue an extension following a motion made by the committee in October.
“The administration has known for a few years now that adding another sorority would be in Furman’s near future,” said Cameron Smith, Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Greek Life.
In recent years, Furman sororities have become increasingly popular. The average chapter size has grown from 109 in 2010 to 142 in 2014, with nearly 70 percent of female students choosing to “Go Greek.” While beneficial to Greek life at Furman, larger new member classes have also created complications, such as new member classes not fitting on the sorority halls.
Smith said she believes that the addition of a new sorority will help spread out the new members and make the “sorority experience congruent with the overall student experience Furman offers.”
The Panhellenic Council has not made any decisions as to which sorority will join the six already on Furman’s campus. According to Smith, sororities interested in trying to establishing themselves on campus, or “colonizing,” will notify Furman’s Panhellenic by mid-April of this semester.
Three sororities will be invited to present on campus next fall, and one will be invited to form a colony. The colony will do an informal recruitment in 2015, following the formal recruitment for the six sororities already established on campus. The following year, the new sorority will be allowed to participate in formal recruitment.
“We’re excited for the new group to come,” Smith said.
“It will mean increased Panhellenic pride, more women interested in potentially joining a sorority, and a new organization to complement the six National Panhellenic Council [sororities] we currently have on campus.”