SLU students might begin to notice a little more black and gold down West Pine in the coming weeks. This is because as of Sunday, Sept. 22, Kappa Alpha Theta will be the newest sorority to hit SLU’s campus.
Spurred by a continual increase in the number of women SLU finds interested in joining Greek Life each school year, the Panhellenic Council at SLU decided it was time to expand. “I started hearing that ladies didn’t even know everyone in their chapters,” said Colleen Drazen, Program Coordinator for the Student Involvement Center. “That was when we starting talking about adding a new chapter. SLU is a place that people come to find close connections and communities. Sororities are supposed to align with that.”
An exploratory committee, overseen by Drazen, looked into 12 national sororities that were interested in coming to SLU. They narrowed the search down to three potential options, inviting each to come to campus to give their pitch to a new committee comprised of representatives from each of SLU’s existing sororities, the extension committee. Ultimately, the extension committee then chose Kappa Alpha Theta as the best addition to Saint Louis University, and Kappa Alpha Theta accepted the invitation.
“Kappa Alpha Theta just stood out,” said Drazen. “The extension committee knew Kappa Alpha Theta has a strong national reputation and a strong commitment to philanthropy. We knew they would fit in line with our current organizations.”
Kappa Alpha Theta’s National Grand Council was thrilled when asked to charter at SLU. When choosing where to colonize, Kappa Alpha Theta is very selective, searching for universities that are academically prestigious with outstanding students that can make outstanding sorority women, said Ashley Freeman, one of the Educational Leadership Consultants (ELC) representing Kappa Alpha Theta here at SLU.
Theta, as they are more commonly known, began their pursuit for new members when Freeman and partner ELC Margaret Burke arrived in St. Louis on August 21. Since the beginning of the school year, Freeman and Burke have been spreading the word about Theta’s colonization and sparking interest in students. Freeman and Burke will be working at SLU for the entirety of the school year to help the newest Theta chapter get up and running.
Freeman was very enthusiastic about the success Kappa Alpha Theta has seen thus far. Though the measurement of basic interest right now has been focused on quantity, Freeman emphasized that when choosing women, their focus will be completely on quality.
“We don’t have one specific number we are shooting for; we just want as many girls as we can find that align with the values and mission of Theta,” said Freeman.
This weekend is the most important weekend thus far in launching SLU’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. After their kickoff event on Friday, Sept. 20, Freeman, Burke and other area alumni will interview all interested women this Saturday, Sept. 21. These interviews will allow them to select women for their charter pledge class, who will be celebrated on their first bid day this Sunday, Sept. 22. Kappa Alpha Theta will officially be an established panhellenic organization at SLU.