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Motion to Bring New Sorority Voted Down

By May K. Tse
Staff Reporter

The idea of bringing a sixth sorority to MITby extension has been under discussion since last term, but the idea was finally voted down by members of thePanhellenic Association last month.

"A meeting to discuss extension to a new sorority on campus was held last term on May 13, and one was held this term on September 4. The actual vote took place on September 12, but the motion was denied," said Panhel President Laura L. DePaoli '97.

The vote was done by a written secret ballot, with one representative from each of five MIT's five sororities voting. In order for the motion of extension to pass, four out of five Panhel delegates needed to vote in favor of it, but the count fell short.

"I was not really surprised, because no one really said anything at the September 4 meeting," said Lauren B. Klatsky '97, president of Alpha Epsilon Phi. The lack of interest is in part due to the slower rush experienced this fall as compared to last fall.

"There are several pros and cons. On the whole, it was felt that now was not a good time, because interest was not high enough,"said Christina A. Ildebrando '99, Kappa Alpha Theta's Panhel delegate.

The motion to bring a new sorority onto campus was first made last year, after unusually high number of women rushing.

"As the number of women coming to MITincreases, pledge class sizes increase," Ildebrando said. "A new sorority would give more options so more people can find a group they're happy with, plus it would decrease the number of those with no bids."

"Anyone who wants a bid should get a bid. If chapters grow too large and a lot of girls don't get bids, this isn't what we want. A new sorority would give another option,"said Julie A. Townsend '98, Alpha Chi Omega's Panhel delegate.

Poor rush affected vote

This year's rush results might have affected the voting that denied the extension.

"In light of how rush went this year, Ifeel that the delegates voted accordingly," said Julie J. Muyco '98, Panhel executive vice-president.

"There was some concern [among the sororities] that the number of pledges was lower than last year's,"Klatsky said.

"If there's a new sorority, and the number of women rushing does not increase, then all the sororities will be hurt, including the newest one,"Ildebrando said.

Another drawback is that "smaller pledge class sizes would bring about concerns for those who need to fill sorority houses," said Jeanette E. Chian '98, Alpha Phi's Panhel delegate.

Alpha Phi and Alpha Chi Omega are the only two that currently have houses, and Sigma Kappa is in the process of getting one [see story, page 17].

"It seems like the trend of high numbers from last year was a fluke. This year seemed a lot different. If we had a rush like last year again, then Ithink it'd be time for a new sorority,"said Tara L. Fernando '97, president of Sigma Kappa.

There was agreement as to when that time would be. "The right time for a new sorority will be when pledge classes are consistently larger, and everyone has a comfortable number of sisters,"Chian said.

For the moment, any discussion of a new sorority is closed, but if a member of Panhel makes a motion of this type again in the future, Panhel will reopen the discussion and once again look into the issue.

"The earliest time [Panhel will discuss an extension again] may be next year, but my guess is that it won't be that early," DePaoli said.