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Panhel Delays Vote On New Sorority

By May K. Tse
Staff Reporter

The Panhellenic Association decided last Thursday to postpone the vote on bringing a new sorority to campus until next fall.

"The vote was rescheduled due to the fact that more time was needed to discuss the issues at hand," Panhel President Laura L. DePaoli '97 said. "There are many issues to consider in making such a large decision."

Some important issues under consideration are "how [the new sorority] will affect current sororities at MIT, whether there is enough interest to support a sixth sorority on campus, [and] when is the best timing for the group" to start, DePaoli said.

"More time is needed for the [existing] sororities to convene and discuss matters," she said.

The idea of bringing a new sorority to campus was first brought up early this spring. The reason behind the idea was that as more women come to MIT and rush, the size of pledge classes have risen to the point where "they're a little too big," Panhel Vice President for Rush Shirley H. Hung '98 said. "Bringing a new sorority onto campus can alleviate that problem."

"Panhel wants to provide each woman at MIT with the opportunity to become part of a sorority if they so choose," Depaoli said. "With the increased interest in sororities at MIT, we want to ensure that we can continue to provide women with" those opportunities.

These reasons brought up the discussion of an extension, the method by which sororities like Sigma Kappa and Kappa Alpha Theta came to campus, DePaoli said.

Extension could bring new sorority

In order to begin the process for settling a new sorority, Panhel will have to contact the National Panhellenic Association and file for an extension. National Panhel would then inform national sororities of its intent to extend a sorority at MIT.

"After considering applications from interested national sororities, several would be chosen to interview or present at MIT to an extension board, [made up of] representatives from the five sororities on campus and advisors," DePaoli said.

"A sorority would then be chosen by the MIT Extension Committee and then decisions for their rush schedule would be made," she said.

If the vote goes through, then Panhel will start the process of extension, but "since there's no point in rushing it, we're going to postpone the decision until the fall when questions can be answered,"Hung said.

The official vote will take place after this fall's rush, with delegates from each of the five current sororities voting on the issue. Atwo-thirds vote is needed to pass the motion.

If the vote goes through, representatives from National Panhel will rush for a founding class based on the schedule determined by Panhel, Hung said.

If the new sorority is extended, its rush probably still will not begin earlier than the fall of 1997, but Panhel must decide on whether to pass the extension first before they decide the timeline.