Photo by Ashley Hopes
By Sarah Knepp, For The Miami Student
Miami University's Greek community lost one of its chapters last week.
After more than 30 years on campus, the Zeta Iota chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD), a women's sorority, officially lost its charter at Miami and will no longer be recognized as an on-campus Greek organization after a decision from its international headquarters.
According to junior AGD member Bethany Brown, during a meeting between AGD international authorities and members two weeks ago, the sisters were informed their chapter was no longer going to receive any funding or even exist in the eyes of their headquarters.
This left a lot of members in shock. Many said they knew their chapter's continually low numbers were raising red flags at the national level, but they didn't expect such sudden and harsh action.
"I think a lot of us were aware of the possibility of having our chapter shut down, but we didn't think that it was going to happen that day," said Angie Riffle, a sophomore member.
The news also left a sense of confusion and sadness among AGD members.
"We were really upset by the news," Brown said.
However, unlike other Greek chapters that are disbanded for violating national or university standards, AGD's disbanding was the result of poor retention rates within the chapter.
"We've had a size issue going on since 2006," Brown said.
In order to remedy this problem, the chapter, with the help of its international headquarters, decided they would participate in informal recruitment rather than formal recruitment this spring.
"Going through formal recruitment was unhealthy with our chapter size," Brown said. "We were trying to figure out a different solution."
This attempt stopped when nationals made the announcement that the chapter would no longer be able to do any forn of recruiting for new members, period. This decision is one that some members do not support.
"I personally disagree," Riffle said. "I think a lot of us, especially the younger pledge classes, were prepared to do whatever we needed to get our numbers up and change AGD's reputation for the better."
In terms of logistics, the disbanding of AGD means the women of the chapter will no longer be able to hold events that are registered as "chapter" events. They also will no longer be able to use their suite, located in Minnich Hall on Central Quad.
Because the AGD chapter here was disbanded for low numbers and not for violating rules or receiving an infraction, the members are still in good standing with AGD nationals and the university.
"We received Alumna status," Brown said.
Although the ladies of AGD won't be able to have "chapter" events anymore, they still have opportunities to get involved with their sorority.
"We can get involved outside of Miami's campus, by helping out chapters in Dayton or Cincinnati," Brown said. "I'm looking into doing that."
Miami's chapter of AGD may not be recognized as a collective group anymore, but members said their bond remains strong.
"We're still sisters, which is what being in a Greek organization is all about in the first place," Riffle said. "Not being recognized by the university does not change any of that. The name may be gone, but we're still here."