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Miami Panhellenic reviews new sorority selection for fall

By Krista Savage, News Editor

Miami University is adding a new sorority next year to support the growth of Greek life on campus.

This week, three new sororities were presented to the Miami Panhellenic community in order to be considered for admittance to Miami's campus next year. The sororities are Sigma Delta Tau (SDT), Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri Sig) and Phi Sigma Sigma (Phi Sig).

Miami's sorority involvement has increased 25 percent over the past five years. In 2010, 734 women accepted bids to sororities and, this year, 970 did so - the most Miami has ever seen.

Miami's goal is to keep its membership per sorority around 150 students in order to ensure adequate housing. Right now, the average is 198 people to a sorority, with the largest at 232 members.

Twenty-six sororities are nationally recognized for potential membership on Miami's campus, 16 of which are currently members. Once approved to add a new member organization to Greek life, the extension committee sent a notification of interest out to the remaining 10 sororities not recognized on Miami's campus.

Interested sororities submitted proposals, which were reviewed by Miami's Panhellenic board. They finalized these three to present on campus.

"When selecting a sorority to arrive on campus, we look at which ones would be the best fit to our climate and culture," said Colleen Blevins, associate director at the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. "How can we partner with them, and what do they have to offer?"

Scholarship opportunities and funding are important details when determining what the sororities stand for.

"The biggest thing we look for is dedication to our women," Blevins said. "We don't want them to just be committed for next year, but we're looking for a sorority that will last for the next 100 years."

Each of the three organizations hosted an introductory event this week. The events were open to the public and the representatives spoke about their sororities' history, strengths and goals.

The first to present was Sigma Delta Tau Tuesday in MacMillan Hall.

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The presentation covered a brief history of the sorority, as well as its achievements and goals for next year. SDT values academic success by offering scholarships and awards to its members, including the Prevent Child Abuse America award.

SDT was founded in 1917 at Cornell University in New York. The Alpha Chi chapter of SDT was formerly at Miami, but retired in 1963 due to low membership.

Tri Sig gave the second presentation Wednesday in Wilks Theater.

Tri Sig was founded in 1898 at Longwood University in Virginia. Its values include high ethics and experience. Friendship and loyalty are also expressed in its mission statement. Tri Sig was a member of Miami's Greek life in 1993, and hopes to return to campus and engage through informal recruitment in spring 2016.

The final presentation was given by Phi Sig Thursday in Wilks Theater.

Serving as one of the first sororities to allow religious individuality, Phi Sig was founded in 1913 at Hunter University, in New York City.

First-year student Maddie Colliver went through formal recruitment in the spring and did not finish the process, but is considering going through the process again next year.

"I think bringing new sororities is a really unique experience," Colliver said. "… I would be interested in joining a new one and creating a positive reputation."

The extension committee will meet at the end of this week and present to the Panhellenic board. Miami's new sorority will be selected by the end of next week.