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Sigma Kappa sorority joins UA Panhellenic

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CW/ Austin Bigoney

CW/ Austin Bigoney

CW/ Austin Bigoney

Rylie Curry, Staff Writer

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The first round of sorority formal recruitment this year included a new The University of Alabama Panhellenic Association chapter on campus for young women to visit and potentially join.

Sigma Kappa is undergoing an extended recruitment process to create a new chapter at The University of Alabama. Sigma Kappa participated in the first round of open houses during formal recruitment but dropped out afterward to begin a re-establishment process, which includes intersessions, personal visits and additional events throughout September until their official bid day on Sept. 23.

Currently, members of the Sigma Kappa extension team are doing personal visits with each potential new member, and events are being hosted each week for those interested in learning more about it.

Amber Wesoloski, a junior majoring in biology and member of Delta Gamma, said she thinks a new sorority on campus will be good for Panhellenic.

“I’m excited for a new sorority to come to campus,” Wesoloski said. “Expanding is great for the community and the Panhellenic.”

Efforts to bring Sigma Kappa to the University began two years ago after Panhellenic opened for extension in 2016.

Following extended research, meetings with campus professionals and several campus visits, Sigma Kappa officials gave a presentation and participated in meetings on campus in spring 2017. After that, Sigma Kappa was invited to join Panhellenic.

Meghan Miller Thul, national vice president for extension of Sigma Kappa, said a variety of factors led to the decision to bring Sigma Kappa to the University.

“Through our research, Sigma Kappa felt it was a good time to join the community and was excited about the opportunity to come to campus,” Miller Thul said. “The women we met were a driving factor in our decision making… We knew that Sigma Kappa had something valuable to offer these women, and that we would also benefit from having women like this as members.”

Sororities took smaller pledge classes this year, but Kathleen Duffy, assistant director of the office of sorority and fraternity life, said this was not in order for Sigma Kappa to have a pledge class.

“We didn’t intentionally set a lower number; we just had fewer women go through the recruitment process this year,” Duffy said. “Many women dropped out of the recruitment process as they were interested in rushing Sigma Kappa.”

Any woman who did not receive a bid through formal recruitment is eligible to join any UA chapter that remains open for continuous bidding throughout the year, including Sigma Kappa. Duffy said women who participated in formal recruitment are not guaranteed to receive a bid from Sigma Kappa.

While a house has not yet been built nor is construction under way for Sigma Kappa on campus, it does have its own house on sorority row since it’s using the former Alpha Delta Pi house, which is where the first round of recruitment was held. This house is utilized as a swing space for sororities to use while they are building new houses.

Duffy said the sorority hopes to build a house within the next three to five years.

Miller Thul said Sigma Kappa’s four primary values set them apart from other sororities on campus: personal growth, loyalty, service and friendship. Its philanthropic focus is on gerontology, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease research.

“Our members will live these values on campus and in their lives,” Miller Thul said. “Sigma Kappa will be similar to the groups currently on campus in terms of participating in campus traditions, having very high academic standards, being social with others on campus and providing a home away from home for our members.”

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Sigma Kappa sorority joins UA Panhellenic