Greek life’s fresh faces settle in

Many students may have noticed a few new Greek letters wandering around campus, whether they are on T-shirts, sweatpants or handbags.

That’s because the sorority Alpha Xi Delta is beginning to find their place in the University’s large Greek system.

After being invited back by the University, He…Many students may have noticed a few new Greek letters wandering around campus, whether they are on T-shirts, sweatpants or handbags.

That’s because the sorority Alpha Xi Delta is beginning to find their place in the University’s large Greek system.

After being invited back by the University, Heather Haroff, educational leadership consultant for Alpha Xi Delta Inc., started the process of beginning a new chapter.

“It was a lot of PR,” she said. “We wanted to make sure everyone on campus, from the staff to the rest of the Greek community, knows Alpha Xi Delta is back.”

The sorority had about a year between the time they were invited back and the time recruitment began. Everything from advertisements on campus buses to yard signs at other Greek houses were used to get the word out.

“The bus ads were great because a lot of non-Greek students were able to see them,” Haroff said. “The yard signs were also helpful because we personally delivered them which gave us a chance to talk to other Greeks and explain who we were and answer any questions.”

Multiple challenges, such as housing, come with colonizing a new sorority.

“It was quite a process just to secure the house,” Haroff said. “There aren’t a lot of options at Illinois for Greek housing just because of lack of availability.”

Alpha Xi Delta, with help from the sorority’s national housing corporation leaders, reached an agreement with Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and have leased their house for three to five years.

When the time finally came to start recruiting, there were multiple efforts to get girls interested.

“They really stressed the fact that with Alpha Xi Delta was an opportunity for a new beginning, ” said Jamie Sullivan, an Alpha Xi Delta member and freshman in LAS. “They brought in girls from other campuses across the country to talk to us and explain what it really meant to be AZD.”

The attempt seemed effective as girls began to respond.

“It was just a lot of hard work,” Haroff said.

“We had over 400 girls interested, which made organizing and events difficult because of the big numbers.”

When the time came to invite members to join, the hard work really began to pay off, Haroff said.

“I had this project from the beginning, and it was great to see so many excited faces on Bid Day,” she said. “It was a really long time coming.”

After recruitment, all the organizing and effort was far from over.

“We just jumped in and got to work and tried to catch up,” said Kristen Viscum, president of Alpha Xi Delta’s Kappa chapter at the University.

The new members of the colony went on to create their own bylaws, academic guidelines and ideas for social events.

“We all had to figure out our roles,” Viscum said. “We needed to figure out what was expected of us as an officer and as a member.”

The girls weren’t alone, though.

“Panhellenic and the Greek community have really welcomed us,” Viscum said. “We definitely appreciate it. They offered great advice and support.”

But the responsibility of the new chapter included more than just logistics. As a new sorority on campus, the girls had the ability to establish their own reputation.

“We have so many different types of girls, all with amazing and different personalities,” Vascum said. “I really hope that people won’t stereotype AZD.”

And the new sorority challenges don’t stop there.

“You really want to create a sorority that girls want to be in,” according to Sullivan. “You don’t always want to be known as the new kids in town.”

Despite all of these issues, the rewards for the girls have been many.

“Seeing the acceptance of us by the Greek community and seeing the group of girls really come together, bond and realize their potential has been a major reward,” Sullivan added.

And it’s fairly safe to say the girls of Alpha Xi Delta aren’t going anywhere soon.

“There’s a lot more to look forward to,” Haroff said.