This month's guest blog was authored by Alicia Palmisano, Beta Epsilon, National Vice President-Extension, and Jennifer Kreiman, Alpha Nu, Director of Growth and Outreach.
On a campus level, the Proper Authority (the Campus Panhellenic Council’s Extension Committee, or if one does not exist, the University) decides that it would like to add a sorority. This can be a lengthy process but leads to a fully informed decision. The Proper Authority then informs National Panhellenic Council.
Notification to the NPC organizations primarily happens via a memo called the Extension Bulletin. The Extension Bulletin contains information on the campus, the Fraternity/Sorority Community on the campus, the timeline for the extension process, and the information the Extension Committee would like to receive from groups interested in opening a chapter.
When Theta Phi Alpha receives an Extension Bulletin, we begin to research, identifying the campus’ connection with our Strategic Extension Parameters. Some of the parameters that Theta Phi Alpha considers include:
- if the campus is home to a closed chapter;
- the location of the campus in relation to our chapters, alumnae associations and alumnae base;
- the ability of the campus to sustain a chapter of thirty-five or more members; and,
- total on the campus.
This research and a recommendation is provided to Grand Council. Once a decision has been made to apply, an application is created. Theta Phi Alpha’s application includes:
- our history;
- our volunteer and staff structure;
- organizational statistics;
- academic and financial obligations;
- membership and leadership development programs; and,
- our national philanthropies.
We also provide information on our success at campuses that have similarities– the type of institution, the location of the campus, enrollment, total, etc., - and a list of alumnae who have indicated they are interested in serving on an Advisory Board.
The Extension Committee reviews the applications received, then issues invitations to conduct presentations to several groups, usually two to four. Based on these presentations, the Extension Committee issues an invitation to open a chapter.
Why can’t we be on more big campuses?
Theta Phi Alpha is strategic in our extension endeavors. To help find the best matches, the Grand Council and the Director of Growth and Outreach have constructed a strategic priority list that helps guide our decisions.
We give priority to campuses that are home to closed chapters, but we also have certain geographical considerations, such as the distance of our closest chapter and adequate local alumnae support. Extensive research is done on the campus culture and whether or not there is an existing Panhellenic Council. Enrollment, graduation rates, and housing stipulations are a few of the many variables that are considered. We want to find campuses that are not only a match for Theta Phi Alpha in terms of standards, ideals, and vision, but are willing to engage in a partnership to help the new emerging chapter thrive.
The health of our emerging chapters is of vital importance. We have a comprehensive Emerging Chapter Program that continues to be improved to help guide the new members through the journey. We strive to ensure that our emerging chapters have the resources to bridge the gap between the emerging chapter process and chapter operations of a fully installed chapter.
How can YOU help Theta Phi Alpha grow?
Now is the time for you to help create a legacy for Theta Phi Alpha. Your behavior, your image, how you show the world who Theta Phi Alpha is, has immeasurable value on our extension efforts. You and your chapter should strive to always reflect favorably on Theta Phi Alpha and fraternity and sorority life. The saying “Perception is Reality” is especially true for Greek Life.
We value your help as an alumnae in our extension efforts as well. Alumnae can help our efforts by donating your time, talents, and treasure. Be willing to answer the call, when the need arises, for alumnae support for the new emerging chapters. The health of those chapters is directly affected by local alumnae support.
We all have a part to play. Theta Phi Alpha longs to add another link to our chain.
Where will we go next?