Sorority chapter to return to campus after 40 years

There are no plans for further sorority debuts after Phi Mu returns to the U next fall.

Keaton Schmitt

A sorority set to join the University of Minnesota next year could potentially be the last campus newcomer for a long time.
 
When Phi Mu returns next fall to the University after a decadeslong hiatus, its debut will likely bookend a recent spurt in new sorority chapters on campus. Two years ago the Panhellenic Council, which oversees the majority of sororities on campus, approved the addition of Phi Mu and Chi Omega.
 
From fall 2011 to fall 2012, the new greek member class nearly doubled, Levine said, which largely motivated the 2013 extension. Before Chi Omega returned to the school in 2013, the University had not approved a sorority in 30 years.
 
Sororities are often added to the University in sequential groups, in a process called “stacking,” where a certain number of organizations are approved at the same time, said Matt Levine, director of the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life. Phi Mu completes the current stack , he said. 
 
There are no plans to undergo the monthslong process of adding more sororities to the University after Phi Mu opens its doors, Levine said 
 
Phi Mu’s original campus chapter was founded in 1925 but shuttered after a general downturn in greek membership about 40 years ago, said April Roberts, the director of extension for Phi Mu.
 
The sorority hopes to reconnect with the many Phi Mu alumni who live in the Minneapolis area, Roberts said.
 
Roberts said the sorority, one of the oldest in the country, is looking for a house in the area.
 
In April, Phi Mu employees and members will come to the University to promote interest and give information on how to join the new sorority, Roberts said.
 
Akila Pai, president of the University’s PHC, said the greek community has been growing overall over the past few years and the council is looking forward to the 
addition of a new organization.
 
Many sororities begin recruiting new members in the first few weeks of the semester.
 
The number of members in PHC sororities on campus grew by more than 150 from spring 2014 to spring 2015, according to FSL data.
 
“We’re not just inviting a new opportunity for students, but we’re inviting alumni back who maybe haven’t had that connection to the institution,” Levine said.