The University of Minnesota greek community will see some new faces in the coming years.
Just before spring break, the University Panhellenic Council announced Chi Omega will join the greek community this fall, with Phi Mu set to join sometime between 2015 and 2017.
The chapters were chosen based on a number of factors, and University administrators plan to work closely with Chi Omega through a special recruitment process.
Chi Omega was chosen because of its leadership program, financial stability and marketing plan, said PHC spokeswoman Reed Mosimann.
“They have a chapter at every one of the Big Ten schools except for the University of Minnesota, so we saw a great opportunity for them to flourish here,” Mosimann said.
A strong concentration of alumni in the area — more than 1,100 within a 25-mile radius — also
contributed to the decision. Mosimann said alumni can help build a sorority by attending events, for example.
Matt Levine, program director for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said prospective Chi Omega members could be students excited by the idea of starting something new.
“We have a lot of students who are incredibly driven in the idea of starting their own organization,” he said.
The University will help Chi Omega gain membership through a different recruitment process and reserved space at the under-construction 17th Avenue residence hall, Levine said.
Chi Omega will participate in the first round of recruitment Sept. 1- 2, he said, but then will sit out for a week. After formal bidding ends for the other sororities, Chi Omega will then start its own recruitment.
Women who drop out of formal recruitment because of scheduling issues or who haven’t found the right fit would be eligible for Chi Omega, Levine said, as will any other women interested in joining greek life on campus.
“They’re going to want a nice healthy balance of women to represent the organization,” Levine said.
Based on how successful Chi Omega is in the next couple of years, Levine said Phi Mu will be invited to come to campus between 2015 and 2017.
“Chi Omega is the start of what I am hoping are several extension processes in the future,” he said.
Chi Omega left the University in 1989 and looked to recolonize now because of the type of students on campus, said Amanda Getschman, director of extension for Chi Omega.
“It is a very reputable institution; the academic reputation and the strength of the students were very impressive to us,” she said.
Phi Mu had a chapter on campus from 1925-70. The organization wanted to return to the University because of its history as well as its impression of the students, said Jessica Winkles, extension director at Phi Mu.
“The students seem to be very involved on campus, very driven and very committed to their academics,” she said.
Chi Omega is discussing using the 17th Avenue residence hall as its meeting space until it finds more permanent housing, Getschman said.
Sorority representatives plan to come to campus during Spring Jam to promote the chapter.
“We’re just so excited to be given the opportunity to come back to campus,” Getschman said.