The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday March 25th

Panhellenic Council votes against adding new sorority this fall

The Panhellenic community has seen increases in the last few years — both in the number of women rushing and the number of women matched to a sorority.

These numbers are expected to continue to increase next year, but the number of sororities on campus will remain the same.

On Feb. 17, the Panhellenic Council failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to approve the addition of a new sorority.

Panhellenic Council President Rachel Brown said the question of expansion came up because most sorority chapters are at or over the recommended number of members, which is 165.

“Some chapters wanted to wait off a few years and build up the chapters that we have,” Brown said. “We have seen growth in spring recruitment, and they wanted to see where we could go with that.”

Caitlin Durr, vice president of recruitment, said the Panhellenic community will continue to accommodate the increasing recruitment numbers.

Jermisha Dodson, coordinator of fraternity and sorority life for the Dean of Students Office, said that in 2012, 711 women rushed and 98 percent of those women were matched with a sorority. This was an increase from the 670 women that rushed in 2011, with a 95 percent match rate.

“There will be no disadvantage whatsoever for women going through recruitment this fall or impact on fall recruitment because of the outcome of the vote,” Durr said.

“The outcome of the vote reflects what is best for our chapters and our community right now.”

To prepare the chapter delegates for the vote, an exploratory committee was formed in November and met twice a month.

The committee — which consisted of advisers, former Panhellenic executive board members, former chapter presidents, house directors and an Interfraternity Council alumnus — gathered statistics from a five-year period surrounding this issue, and presented that information to the council. These statistics included totals on chapter membership and recruitment.

The chapter delegates then consulted with their National Panhellenic Conference advisers to come to a decision on the vote that was best for their chapter.

Durr said this decision will be considered again in the future.

Dodson also said she expects to see the proposal on the table again.

“We are excited to see our recruitment numbers continue to grow in the future and give women the opportunity to join a sorority,” Dodson said.

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