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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
After months of work and research by interested students, the Dartmouth Office of Residential Life and the Panhellenic Council have agreed to allow a new chapter of the national sorority Alpha Phi to join the Dartmouth Panhellenic community. The College administration approved the addition on Friday, March 3, and the sorority's national organization accepted the invitation the same day.
"Last spring, when I asked the Board of Trustees to end the moratorium on establishing new Greek organizations, I hoped that we would be able to attract an outstanding sorority to campus," Dean of the College James Larimore said. "I'm very proud of my colleagues and our students for their efforts over the past few months because Alpha Phi will be a wonderful addition to the College's Greek system."
A group of 10 Dartmouth students interested in forming a new campus sorority worked with the College's Coed, Fraternity and Sorority (CFS) System in selecting a national organization that would provide the best fit for Dartmouth. According to Megan Johnson, assistant director of CFS administration, "Alpha Phi had amazing alumni support in the area and that is a really big deal, especially for a brand new organization. They have a strong emphasis on national philanthropy and a strong emphasis on sisterhood development. We all felt very strongly that this would be an ideal match for Dartmouth."
Martin Redman, dean of residential life, helped shepherd the campaign through the College's approval process. "Alpha Phi's tradition of supporting women both during their undergraduate years and as alumnae, and this organization's strong local ties, make it an excellent addition to the Dartmouth community. This addition to the current sorority system was approved to provide additional leadership and social opportunities for our undergraduate women. I am thrilled that Alpha Phi has accepted our invitation to establish a chapter at Dartmouth and I look forward to beginning the work of creating a successful and enduring chapter here," said Redman.
Lauren Orr '08, who formed part of the student interest group that led the campaign, said she felt it was "very important to establish connections with women on the campus, and since a lot of the social scene takes place in fraternities, we wanted a place where women could make connections. Starting the Alpha Phi chapter was a way of making it my own experience." Now that the new sorority has been established, Orr said she's "really looking forward to recruiting and reaching out to the campus."
The new sorority will be present on campus starting in the Spring 2006 term, at which time it will be designated as a "colony". A representative from the national organization will be on campus to assist with recruiting and to familiarize founding members with the national programming and requirements to become a full-fledged chapter. At the same time, CFS and representatives from the national organization will be working with the Office of Residential Life to meet the sorority's needs when it achieves chapter status in the Fall 2006 term.
Alpha Phi was founded in 1872 at Syracuse University, its mission to provide a network of support for women seeking higher education at a time when they were discouraged from doing so. It has been a national sorority since 1881. Megan Bouché, associate director of marketing and extension for Alpha Phi's national organization, said, "Like Dartmouth, our roots are in the northeast, and the other key piece is that many of our values - scholarship, innovation - are things both organizations hold very dear."
The sorority has a number of existing connections to the Dartmouth community and several members have agreed to serve on the local chapter advisory board, including Traci Nordberg, Dartmouth's chief human resources officer, Vicki Waggaman, associate director of individual and class giving, and Professor of Physiology Mary Niblock.
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