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After a grueling rush process that required candidates to study the Harvard social scene and mingle with members of the Panhellenic Council, Kappa Kappa Gamma (Kappa) will come to campus in the fall as Harvard’s third sorority.
In a decision announced last Sunday, Harvard’s Panhellenic Council chose Kappa from more than 25 sororities to join Delta Gamma (DG) and Kappa Alpha Theta (Theta) in Harvard’s burgeoning Greek scene.
According to DG President Hannah E. Kenser ’04, Kappa was chosen because of its strong national reputation and resources.
The large number of successful Kappa chapters nationwide was also a factor in the decision, according to Thayer S. Christodoulo ’04, president of Harvard’s Panhellenic Council, a coordinating body for campus sororities.
Such national strength is important for Harvard, since Greek life has been weakly supported here, according to Theta President Jesse L. Maki ’04.
The search for a third sorority began this winter when Harvard’s Panhellenic Council decided that there were not enough sororities to accommodate the rising interest in Greek life on campus.
While more than 120 women went through the rush process this year, DG and Theta accepted only about 20 people each, according to Christodoulo.
“We have all these great girls we have to turn away and the goal of the Panhellenic [Council] is to increase Greek life and women’s social outlets on campus,” said Maki. “It means more girls are turning to Greek life as a social option.”
Present members of DG and Theta said they do not see the addition of a third sorority as competition. Rather, they said they are optimistic that the new sorority will enhance Harvard’s Greek scene.
“Bringing a third sorority is going to strengthen and unify the sorority system,” said Christodoulo.
In the fall, Kappa will recruit about 10 to 20 women, Christodoulo said.
The addition of Kappa is particularly important because it changes the dynamics of Harvard’s sorority system, according to Kenser.
“The existence of three sororities will be a great start to the cooperative spirit that really comes when you have more than two groups vying for the same group of girls,” said Kenser.
Kappa’s coming coincides with plans for a new “Greek week,” which is slated to take place the week before recruitment next year.
The recruitment process will also become more structured, according to Kenser.
In search of a new sorority, Harvard’s Panhellenic Council contacted the National Panhellenic Council, an umbrella organization for 26 international women’s fraternities and sororities.
More than 25 sororities sent information to Harvard’s council, which picked three sororities to make presentations on campus: Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, and Kappa.
While the choice was difficult, the decision was almost unanimous, according to Maki.
“Because all three sororities were great, it shows that if Harvard wants to bring more sororities in the future, we would have a lot of wonderful options,” Christodoulo said.
A representative of the national Kappa sorority plans to move to Cambridge to help found the Harvard chapter, according to Christodoulo.
Current sorority members say Kappa will receive a warm welcome from Harvard’s current Greek community.
“Theta and DG are both equally committed to supporting Kappa,” Maki said.
—Staff writer Faryl W. Ury can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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