Kappa Alpha Theta (Theta) will join the Panhellenic Council next academic year as the fifth sorority on campus, four years after University officials revoked the sorority’s charter at Hopkins following a series of disciplinary infractions.
The sorority will operate “completely distinctly” from any offshoot groups of the former chapter, Coordinator of Greek Life Rachel Drennen said.
Drennen cited this year’s high recruitment numbers behind the decision to expand Hopkins’s Greek community.
“The Panhellenic Council voted after recruitment this year to bring a new chapter to campus. [The Council] wanted to provide as many opportunities as possible for women to join Greek organizations,” Drennen said. “We had decided back in 2009 that when we needed to do so, we would reach out to Kappa Alpha Theta.”
It was in 2009 that the Panhellenic Council first revoked Theta’s charter on campus, prompting a tension between sorority members and University administration.
“I remember it being a hostile relationship,” Rachel Ryan, a Theta sister who graduated from Hopkins in 2011, said. “We were all disappointed that we had lost the organizational structure to what was essentially our social network.”
The sorority’s national headquarters granted Ryan and other members in good standing “early alumni status.”
As a result, they are able to “still utilize resources provided by Kappa Alpha Theta to alumni,” Drennen said.
The last students affiliated with the sorority — those who were freshmen when the chapter’s charter was revoked —graduated from Hopkins last year.
The new chapter will operate under the Panhellenic Council Constitution.
All unaffiliated female students, including those who are involved in organizations that emerged in direct aftermath of Theta’s disbandment, are eligible to join, Drennen said.
For some, however, recent history still looms.
“I don’t necessarily think enough time has lapsed where people interested in joining Greek Life wouldn’t know what Theta once was. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was still a reputation surrounding the sorority,” Ryan said. “So I’m interested to see what sort of girl it attracts — I’d be beating around the bush if I said each sorority didn’t have a reputation.”