This post was written by Hatchet reporters Elizabeth Konneker and Elise Zaidi.
Kappa Alpha Theta will be the newest sorority on campus.
Panhellenic Association President Rebecca Connolly said the new chapter will be coming to campus sometime between Thanksgiving break and the end of fall semester.
She said the association unanimously selected Kappa Alpha Theta because of their dedication to values like philanthropy, mental health, diversity and inclusion, leadership and development.
Kappa Alpha Theta has multiple programs addressing mental health, including an internal awareness program for recognizing mental health symptoms and a 24-hour hotline for sisters, Connolly said.
Connolly added that the chapter provides a confidential online screening tool where users can self-test their mental health and learn about available resources, which will be open to everyone on campus.
“Mental health is something that we have been talking about a lot as a University, not just within the Greek life community. So for us it was really cool to bring in an organization that was not just going to contribute to Panhellenic or just contributes to Greek life, but was really looking to be part of an entire GW community,” Connolly said.
Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropy will also be the first on campus to support Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization dedicated to volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children, Connolly said.
She added that the new sorority’s national headquarters has a group dedicated to including everyone interesting in joining the Greek community.
“The headquarters really trains chapter advisors to be mentors, and they do not believe in telling their chapters what to think or how to do things as long as it’s in line with their values, which is in line with our values,” Connolly said.
Kappa Alpha Theta was chosen out of three finalists. Connolly said that while both Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Chi Omega were considered strong organizations, they were edged out by Kappa Alpha Theta’s values.
Greek life and Panhel leaders first said that they were considering bringing a new sorority chapter to campus in January, and the three finalists had open presentations on campus last month. Extension committee members attended each presentation and then had a round table discussion with each candidate to ask more pointed questions, Connolly said.
“We came to a unanimous decision about inviting Kappa Alpha Theta so that was really nice,” Connolly said. “I think it’s good that we’re all on the same page and it also speaks volumes about our community. Even though we’re different chapters we’re all working towards the same vision of Greek life.”
Connolly said the new chapter will hold recruitment during the spring semester. The chapter can include up to 162 women, who will be chosen through the traditional selection process.
“Theta is looking for everyone from freshmen to seniors, so even if you are a senior and in your last semester you can still join a Greek chapter and be able to come back to GW and have that international network of alumni and sisters around the country,” Connolly said.
After a bid day in the spring, the new chapter will meet with leadership consultants, choose their officer positions, sign a charter and become a full-fledged chapter, Connolly said.
“We are switching over to a deferred recruitment process, which is why we were so interested in having Theta recruit during the spring semester,” Connolly said. “We also felt that fall is kind of crazy time. We felt that as a community we could be more supportive to them by recruiting in the spring.”
Freshmen will no longer be able to join a Greek organization until they earn 12 credits on campus starting next academic year, in a switch officials said will help students better adjust to University life.
Connolly added that unless there is a vacancy on campus, it is unlikely Kappa Alpha Theta would be moved into their own housing for spring semester.