Phi Mu to close in May

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Phi Mu to close in May

Story by Kyle Davis

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The Zeta Alpha chapter of Phi Mu sorority at Baker University will be closing in May.

Phi Mu National President Kris Bridges said in a statement Tuesday the chapter will “suspend operation” May 22. Current, initiated members of the sorority in good standing will become alumnae members when the chapter closes May 22 and will be eligible to move into residence halls or apply to live off campus.

Bridges said the chapter had been struggling with membership and the house has not been at capacity for several years. The chapter has 14 members this semester and the national headquarters has been working closely with the chapter for several years.

“This was not an easy decision for the national Fraternity to make; the chapter’s devoted members, alumnae, advisers and the area and national officers who have worked with the chapter are all to be thanked for their time and their efforts,” Bridges said in the statement.

Members of the Zeta Alpha chapter announced the decision to close to the greek community at a meeting Monday in Mabee 100. All fraternity and sorority members received an email from Director of Student Life Brett Bruner Monday about a meeting to “discuss a matter that affects the entire greek community.”

The chapter learned about the decision March 23.

“I think there was really great turnout, and I think that the support in the greek community is definitely wanting to know how they can best support the chapter,” Bruner said.

The chapter also announced it is appealing the decision, with the process taking about two months to complete. The national headquarters will appoint someone to act as an appeal agent to help the chapter get the appropriate materials together.

Although the chapter will be closing, if the appeal is not granted, an opportunity still exists for Zeta Alpha to return to Baker’s campus. The Baker University Panhellenic Council, which governs all the National Panhellenic Conference sororities on campus, and the national headquarters of Phi Mu will sign an agreement that states if the university decides it wants to add another sorority, Phi Mu will be given the first opportunity.

“I also think for our greek organizations, it gave a sense of reality of what a national organization can do,” Dean of Students Cassy Bailey said. “We become so removed from our national organizations perhaps when we live in Baldwin City. We forget that they can come in.”

Members of the Zeta Alpha chapter of Phi Mu were contacted but declined to comment.