Sorority looks to become a charter

The sorority, now a full-fledged member of Panhellenic Council, is looking for a home.

Alpha Epsilon Phi has accomplished a longtime goal. It is now a full member of the Panhellenic Council. Now, to establish themselves in the greek community, they are looking to get a house and a charter. In December, the Panhellenic Council voted to approve Alpha Epsilon Phi, a Jewish-interest sorority. As for when it will receive its charter and become an official chapter, Rachel Campbell, a traveling educational consultant, said the processing time can vary. âÄúIt depends on what is going on on the campus and what the campus wants to see for them to become an official chapter,âÄù she said. Campbell has been working with the women at the University of Minnesota to help the sorority establish itself. She said much of the process of receiving a charter comes through formal recruitment and philanthropy work. Jen Baddin, the sorority colony president , said the women hope to receive their charter within a year. âÄúThe majority of girls in the house are juniors,âÄù she said. âÄúA lot of them really want to see us get the charter before this class graduates.âÄù Many of the colony founders were formerly Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi members, a similarly named Jewish-interest sorority established at the University in 2003. After about five years, the women decided to disaffiliate from the small national sorority and form a colony of a larger national sorority with the same goal, Alpha Epsilon Phi. âÄúWhen we moved to Alpha Epsilon Phi, that was important to us because that was the underlying goal,âÄù Baddin said. âÄúIt was to have a place for Jewish women to be together and have peers that they can be sisters with. We never wanted to change that, because that was our mission; that was their mission.âÄù Though the sorority has emphasis on Jewish values, it does not reject or discriminate against members because of their religion. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi has nine chapters nationwide, four of which are in California. Alpha Epsilon Phi has 102 chartered chapters nationwide, as well as being a member of the National Panhellenic Conference. Baddin said a benefit of the change has been a better known name âÄî more girls have mothers or grandmothers that were a part of Alpha Epsilon Phi or have heard of it. As Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi, the chapter was an associate member of the Panhellenic Council. Now, as Alpha Epsilon Phi, the colony is a full member, with full voting rights. The colony can also take part in formal recruitment. âÄúWe have a stronger voice in the greek and sorority community,âÄù Baddin said. Currently, the colony has 21 members. The maximum amount of members for a house at the University is 75. âÄúThe way that the formal bidding process works, we will be able to adjust so that they get a pledge class thatâÄôs appropriate to their size and other chapters arenâÄôt affected as well,âÄù Sarah Shook, Panhellenic president, said. Because Alpha Epsilon Phi is so small, they do not have a house yet, but Baddin said it was a major goal of theirs. âÄúPriority number one is to be a strong united group,âÄù Baddin said. âÄúPriority number two is finding a house.âÄù Shook said having a house for a small chapter is doable âÄî for a price. âÄúIt would be expensive with their small size,âÄù Shook said. However, growing membership and purchasing a house is only one of many goals the women have. Member Lizzy Pauker said, however, that itâÄôs âÄúnever been about one goal at a time.âÄù âÄúWe are just so excited by the opportunity that we have been given,âÄù Pauker said. âÄúItâÄôs about getting more involved in the community and re-chartering and looking into the possibilities in the house.âÄù