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Alpha Phi sorority starting in spring

The sorority will kick off its public relations campaign on campus in the spring of 2015 before recruiting its first members in the fall, said junior Emily Beaty, president of the Panhellenic Council.

Megan Bouche, Alpha Phi’s director of collegiate extension, said she is excited about starting a new chapter at UNC and feels Alpha Phi will make a great addition to the University.

“The camaraderie and inclusiveness of the Carolina experience is something that is very important to us. The school spirit, the Carolina way and the honor code, all those pieces attribute to why Alpha Phi is the right fit at UNC,” she said.

UNC will host the 161st chapter of the sorority, which was founded in 1872 at Syracuse University.

Panhellenic Council sororities are required to own a house, Beaty said, and until Alpha Phi secures one, the group will likely hold chapter meetings in the Student Union.

The group is deciding whether it will need to construct a new building or live in an existing house, said Brittney Bahlman, a coordinator for the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement.

“It really depends on what they find in our beautiful but limited downtown Chapel Hill,” she said.

Beaty said she has already toured some existing houses, but the final decision lies with Alpha Phi.

“They are responsible for finding a property, and they probably — we don’t know if they’ll have a house ready for next fall,” she said.

Alpha Phi will have space to conduct its open house round during fall 2015 recruitment, even if it has not yet found a house, Beaty said.

In 2013, the Panhellenic Council decided to add one new sorority in response to the growing number of students joining the Greek community.

The existing sororities became too large, which can be a social hindrance, Beaty said.

The average number of members in Panhellenic Council sororities, 180, makes it hard for all members to interact, she said.

“It is hard to know 180 people,” she said.

Both future students and transfer students have already shown interest in the sorority, Bahlman said.

“We have heard from a lot of potential students who are interested in joining the sorority next fall, but also from a large number of transfer students who are already in Alpha Phi at other institutions,” she said.

Beaty and Bahlman said adding a new sorority could also lead to new Greek life experiences on campus.

“Maybe instead of running a 5K, maybe they will do something different for our campus,” Beaty said. “It will be a fresh exciting experience for Greek and sorority life on campus.”

Bahlman said the council is excited for Alpha Phi’s arrival on campus.

“They will offer their colonization class the opportunity to be creative and really build an organization from the ground up,” she said.

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Bahlman said her office and the Panhellenic community were both excited for Alpha Phi’s arrival on campus.

“We know they are going to bring great things to UNC.”