Every fall, hundreds of Belmont women head to recruitment meetings, hoping to find sisterhood. This year, they’ll have another Greek-letter society to consider.
Kappa Alpha Theta, founded in 1870, will join Belmont’s growing number of Greek organizations.
The number of Belmont students in fraternities and sororities has steadily grown, and last year’s group of students was the largest ever. The membership increase and the continued community feeling of readiness led to discussions that eventually brought Kappa Alpha Theta to Belmont.
At the beginning of the process, Belmont sent a notice nationally, with the hope of generating interest. Ten out of the 23 national sororities sent back a packet for consideration.
The Panhellenic council, along with the Extension and Exploratory committee, used a list of traits wanted in a sorority to narrow down the decision.
“Kappa Alpha Theta just stood out as an awesome sorority that excelled in all areas,” said Abby Robinson, a senior and member of the selection committee. “The alignment of values was a major part of the decision.”
A major part of Kappa Alpha Theta’s values is based on building the whole woman, not just the social aspect found in many other organizations, Robinson said. The group’s drive to create strong and capable women is in alignment with the other sororities’ missions as well as Belmont’s core ideals.
Coordinator of Student Affairs Sarah Rochford believes that Kappa Alpha Theta’s mission provides a good fit within the Greek community.
“The most important fact was congruence with the mission at Belmont University,” Rochford said. “We wanted a faith based organization, strong nationally and a nice complement to our other sororities.”
Like all the current sororities on campus, Kappa Alpha Theta holds high academic standards for all members. The Vanderbilt chapter, the only other active chapter in Tennessee, has an average GPA of 3.8.
At the fall recruitment, a variety of different students are needed to help get the chapter off its feet. The sorority is looking for “well-rounded” students of all grade levels.
To help the chapter during its first two crucial years, Kappa Alpha Theta’s national headquarters has sent two consultants, Katie Wilkerson and Janice Jamison, to help teach the ropes and maneuver the red tape.
“It’s so helpful and takes a lot of pressure off of the Panhellenic Council,” Robinson said. “Most sororities just wait until the chapter is up and running, then just leave. But Kappa Alpha Theta is good about sending someone for help.”
This venture into continued growth of the Greek community has been received as “really positive” and proof that they are “doing something right,” Robinson said.
“We are really excited about Greek life getting stronger, extending to more students and encouraged with the increase in opportunities.”