Butler University is discussing the possibility of bringing a new sorority to campus.
Becky Druetzler, director of Greek life, said increasing women’s recruitment numbers show a need for another sorority.
“We wanted to potentially have something ready this semester,” Druetzler said. “But this is a very long process, and we have to first figure out housing and know when it would be available.”
Butler’s Panhellenic Association created an exploratory team comprised of Panhel officers and delegates whose goal is to evaluate the need for another sorority and different options.
Panhel delegate and exploratory committee member Tai Vogel said, so far, the committee has mostly been crunching numbers.
“We definitely found that there is a need for another sorority,” Vogel said. “Women’s Greek life has continued to increase over the past few years, and pledge classes are growing by about 10 girls each year.”
This year’s women’s recruitment showed very high numbers of participation, with 52 percent of freshman girls going through recruitment.
Housing is the main issue slowing down the process of adding a new sorority.
The Panhellenic board must vote on the proposal, which will then be given to the Board of Trustees.
“The trustees only meet three times a year,” Druetzler said. “It could be a while before we can move forward with housing.”
Druetzler said parking also needs to be defined for a new sorority house.
Druetzler and Vogel both confirmed a new sorority will not live in the old Tau Kappa Epsilon house.
“The university has a contractual agreement with TKE, similar to what happened when Phi Delt was shut down some years ago,” Druetzler said. “They need to be able to potentially buy the house back, so in the meantime we can’t house a sorority there.”
Druetzler said rumors of specific sororities trying to come to campus are false.
“This is a mutual selection process,” Druetzler said. “First, we will contact the National Panhellenic Conference after our proposal is put to a vote, and then the sororities contact us.”
Druetzler said it is against e NPC rules for a university to contact specific sororities first.
“If we don’t think the interest is great or that we’ve found a good match for our campus, we can always withdraw our offer,” Druetzler said.
Druetzler said the increase in women’s Greek life is becoming somewhat of a national trend.
“A lot of schools are starting to experience sorority upswings,” Druetzler said. “But whenever you decide to expand, it’s important to be very cautious and intentional.”
With the addition of a new sorority shortly after the shutdown of TKE, sororities and fraternities on campus would no longer be equal. Campus would have eight sororities and six fraternities.
“People want to see pairs,” Druetzler said. “But when the girl to guy ratio on campus is already 1.5 to 1, it makes mathematical sense that we would have more sororities than fraternities.”
Vogel said as a student in the Greek system, she believes the addition of a new sorority would be beneficial.
“It will be good for the community to have something new,” Vogel said. “Maybe some of the girls who didn’t or otherwise wouldn’t go Greek will be attracted to the idea of a clean slate.”
Freshman Kaylie Ricks, a new member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said she thinks a new sorority is needed on Butler’s campus.
“The pledge class numbers are just getting so big,” Ricks said. “Also, I know of a few girls who were dropped from every house during recruitment, which wasn’t the case in the past. There’s just so many girls that recruitment is much more intense.”
Druetzler said there is still a lot of work to be submitted and a lot of details to be decided.
“Once we figure out what needs to be done on our end, the headquarters of the new house would need to organize consultants, figure out recruitment and make sure that coming to Butler works for them at the larger level,” Druetzler said.
This process is new to all involved, Druetzler said.
“We haven’t done anything like this since Alpha Phi came to campus in 1967,” Druetzler said. “Bringing Tri Delta back was much easier since they had already existed on campus. We didn’t need to figure out housing in that situation.”
Druetzler said she would like to keep working on this process and exploring the options for the university.
“I would definitely like to vote on this and have some further conversation,” Druetzler said. “This is all about timing, so if it’s not the right time, that’s OK. But we definitely have the desire for more sorority options on campus.”