An exploratory committee, created by the Panhellenic Council in spring 2017 to investigate the possibilities of adding another National Panhellenic Council (NPC) sorority chapter to campus, recently released a report that advised against adding another NPC chapter.
Last year, discussions took place about interest in forming a multicultural sorority chapter on campus. Since multicultural Greek organizations don’t fall under the NPC umbrella, there is still a possibility of opening a multicultural Greek group on campus.
Daniel Ayala, Advisor to Greek Life at Lafayette, explained that the Exploratory Committee process only evaluates NPC groups, so multicultural organizations are a separate piece of the social life puzzle that “we are still exploring.”
In the past five years, the vast majority of women that have gone through the recruitment process were matched with their first-choice sorority, according to the report. Additionally, the committee writes that since not all chapters have met quota every year and that not all chapter houses are full, there shouldn’t be another sorority added.
However, interest in a multicultural group remains.
“If there were multicultural organizations on campus I do believe that you’d see a higher rate of students of color engaging with Greek life,” Nina Milligan ’20 said.
Ayala said that while it is possible to track minorities involved in Greek life on campus, no consistent effort has been made to do so.
“Over time I think all of our Greek organizations fundamentally recognize that the college is…increasing in size and we are diversifying here…It would be incumbent upon every chapter to think ‘Are we creating the most inclusive, welcoming environment for all of our students regardless of their background?'” Ayala said.
“More recently we’ve been trying to push the diversity aspect of Greek Life,” Amanda Baildon ’19, the outgoing president of the Panhellenic Council, said.
Incoming Panhellenic Council president Jordyn Marlin ’20 said she hopes to take a survey of current Greek culture to help move Lafayette sorority life toward diversity.
Marlin, Baildon and Ayala met with Dean of Students Chris Hunt and Director of Intercultural Development Liliana Madrid last Thursday to talk about what that shift may look like. Baildon and Ayala both said they felt that Greek expansion and inclusivity were issues to be revisited repeatedly moving into the future.
They also mentioned that Greek life worked with Kaleidoscope, a group of social justice peer educators, to put together a program called Social Justice 101 that focused specifically on issues of language and awareness. This program was run at the all-sorority meeting at the beginning of the year so every chapter could include its messages into their recruitment processes.
“There are a lot of opportunities for Greek life that aren’t being met…We could be doing more philanthropy, and more career…and alumni [events],” Baildon said.
“Multicultural Greek life would also connect Lafayette students to other students of color and organizations across the country,” Milligan said.