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Kappa Alpha Theta to begin rush in fall

@ByName:By Irene C. Kuo

MIT needs another sorority because the existing three are getting too large, said Sallie Israelit '91, president of the Panhellenic Council. She expressed hope that the size of the three groups, each of which has about 90 sisters, will eventually decrease after Kappa Alpha Theta comes on campus.

"When a sorority is that big, it is difficult [to maintain cohesiveness] without housing," she noted.

In 1989, 254 women attended sorority open houses, up from 212 in 1988. Ninety-nine bids were extended in 1989, compared with 56 in 1988 (when there were only two sororities).

"We don't want the number of women pledging sororities only one half the number rushing," Israelit said.

Kappa Alpha Theta and Sigma Kappa, the third sorority installed at MIT, were chosen two years ago by the InterFraternity Council Expansion Committee to join the school's Panhellenic Council. At that time, the committee decided that Sigma Kappa should join first.

"The two sororities were chosen because they have strong nationals and were felt to be in tune with the feeling at MIT," Israelit said.

Marcia Bond, executive director of Kappa Alpha Theta's national organization, would like a pledge class of 80 sisters next spring because "it is easier for a group to form if it is the same size as the others on campus." Women from all four classes may rush, Blair-Sheets stressed.

IFC President Miles Arnone '91 doubted that such a large pledge class would lower selectivity. "The women who join Kappa Alpha Theta probably do not fit the Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, or Sigma Kappa molds. It's not as if Kappa Alpha Theta is dredging the [pool of women]."

Although all three existing sororities hope to be housed someday, Neal Dorow, advisor to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, denied that the intent of recruiting another sorority was to eventually house more upperclasswomen off-campus.

"Only sixty percent of Alpha Phi's national chapters are housed," he noted. "The Greeks were not developed with the concept of housing. They are not just a place to live."

Kappa Alpha Theta was founded in 1870 at DePauw University in Indiana. The organization is a women's "fraternity" because the word "sorority" was not coined until much later, and it is the oldest women's group of its kind. Kappa Alpha Theta has nearly 140,000 members belonging to 117 college chapters in the United States and Canada.