Phi Mu alumnae reflect on decision

Story by Kyle Davis

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When the announcement was made the Zeta Alpha chapter of Phi Mu would be closing May 22, the news affected more than just the 14 active members.

Martha Harris, Baker University Phi Mu alumna, knew closing the chapter was a possibility, but it did not make the news any easier to hear.

“I was very sad. I guess I wasn’t completely surprised, I mean, it’s not like we didn’t know it was a possibility, but yes, absolutely, very sad,” Harris said.


<strong><a href=""> Phi Mu to close in May</a></strong> Phi Mu to close in May

<strong><a href=""> Greeks show solid sorority support</a></strong> Greeks show solid sorority support

Although the chapter’s number of members has been low for several years, it was not always that way.

Harris graduated in 1979 and the next year the chapter had to rent a second house for members to live in because the house was over capacity.

Harris credits having nicer living options on campus as a possible answer to lower greek numbers throughout the campus.

“There weren’t as many choices, and so, maybe sororities looked more attractive, and I think there are plenty of things now, with the (Horn and Markham) apartments and the (New Living Center), that there’s something that feels much less like living in a freshman dorm,” Harris said.

The chapter is in the process of appealing the decision to close to their national headquarters, but Director of Student Life Brett Bruner is not worried about the odd number of chapters on campus next year if the decision to close is upheld.

Bruner said the Panhellenic Council is preparing for a three chapter recruitment or a four chapter recruitment in the fall.

“Our college Panhellenic Council is moving forward with having game plans ready for hopefully, and ideally, if the appeal is successful, our recruitment will look like it has been in the past,” Bruner said. “But, they are making plans in case the appeal is not successful.”

Cheryl McCrary, a Phi Mu alumna at BU, said probably 80 percent of the students were involved in greek life when she was a student, and it saddens her to see numbers have decreased for involvement in greek life.

“Right now, if 100 or more girls don’t go out for recruitment, we can’t support four houses, and maybe it could have been any house,” McCrary said.

Harris would like to see the Zeta Alpha chapter re-colonized in the future if its doors close May 22.

“I came as a 17 year old and left as a somewhat more mature, wise person from all the things that I lived with and learned,” Harris said. “It was an amazing experience for me and a lot of other folks, and we’ll hope that we can get that back in the future.”