This semester, Delta Phi Epsilon will open a new chapter at MIT and become the seventh sorority on campus. Its recruitment will begin after MIT’s existing six sororities hold their bid nights.
Lyndsey Karp, Coordinator of New Chapter Development at Delta Phi Epsilon’s international headquarters, encouraged potential new members to go through formal recruitment for MIT’s existing sororities first.
“If they don’t find their right fit through formal recruitment, Delta Phi Epsilon will be recruiting after,” she said. “You’ll see us tabling on campus and holding information sessions as soon as September 10, and we will be continuing our recruitment until the end of September.”
Recruitment will be run by staff members from Delta Phi Epsilon’s headquarters, local alumni and alumni volunteers, and volunteers from chapters in the nearby area. They hope to recruit a chapter “of comparable size to other sororities on campus” — roughly 100 members.
These members will ideally consist not only of freshmen, but upperclassmen as well.
“We’ll be offering membership to women of all ages,” Karp said. “A lot of times juniors and seniors don’t think they can join a sorority, but colonizing a new sorority is the perfect time for older students to get involved.”
Delta Phi Epsilon hopes to acquire housing for its future members soon. Five of MIT’s six (now seven) sororities have houses.
“We are currently exploring options for housing in the area, and we want to have housing for our founding women as soon as possible,” Karp said.
Given that MIT is considering options for an on-campus FSILG village, the sorority’s current plans to find housing could be disrupted.
“Until that discussion is really serious, we’ll be exploring housing similar to the other sororities on campus,” Karp said.
If MIT moves forward with the plan, however, Delta Phi Epsilon would “enter the conversation” to determine how to fit the sorority into an on-campus village.
The search for a new sorority began in September 2014, when the MIT Panhellenic Council voted unanimously to open the campus to extension. Delta Phi Epsilon applied to be considered as an addition, presented against two other sororities, and were ultimately selected in mid-March 2015.
According to an email sent out at the time, Delta Phi Epsilon was chosen “because of the close alignment between their values and the values of MIT as well as their strong emphasis on their members and their development.”
“We’re a nonsectarian sorority that believes in diversity,” Karp said, including “diversity of thought, diversity of background, diversity of what [members] are interested in.”
“A lot of our values and our mission would be relevant to any woman at MIT who wanted to develop into the best version of herself, and who wants a supportive group of women who will help her reach her goals.”
Delta Phi Epsilon was founded at New York University Law School in 1917. The organization currently has 106 active chapters, including one at Concordia University in Canada, making it an international sorority. Notable alumnae include U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Judith Rodin, who became the first female president of an Ivy League school during her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.
The sorority’s main philanthropic contributions are to the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Its motto is “to be rather than to seem to be,” and its mascot is the unicorn.