Contributed by Arlena Clayton

 

The national sorority of Alpha Xi Delta is turning over a new leaf at Miami, re-establishing the university’s chapter after it was suspended eight years ago.

In May of 2010, members of Alpha Xi Delta’s Zeta Nu chapter attended a spring formal hosted by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Soon afterward, the private event coordinator for the center at the time, Rhonda Miller, wrote a letter to Miami University detailing the intoxicated and disorderly conduct of the sorority members and their dates, which included vomiting, smoking and damage to museum property.

“Never again will the Freedom Center host Alpha Xi Delta Sorority for any event,” Miller wrote.

Miami suspended the chapter, which had until then existed since 1980, for two years, but 2012 came and went without any efforts to re-establish it. Alpha Xi Delta, a 125-year-old sorority with 130 chapters and over 175,000 initiates nationwide, is one of 12 Greek organizations currently listed on Miami’s website as an unrecognized organization.

Now, with all members involved with the incident gone from Miami and from the sorority, Alpha Xi Delta is ready to start again.

“All the women that were in the chapter are also moving forward and on to different chapters in their lives,” said Leah Becker, an educational leadership consultant for the national organization of Alpha Xi Delta. “Much like them, Greek life at Miami is also heading into a new chapter…We wanted to give the university and ourselves time to be able to come back in a really positive way.”

Becker and fellow educational leadership consultant Arlena Clayton, who have been working on behalf of Alpha Xi Delta in Oxford since last summer, said that they have not been hindered by any lingering bad reputation while doing research and recruitment work. After so much time, many do not even know about the 2010 incident.

“We haven’t run into it at all,” Becker said.

Alpha Xi Delta will participate only in the first round of recruitment in the spring, which is called Welcome Round. After regular rush is over, women who did match with a sorority or withdrew from the process midway will then be the main subject of Alpha Xi Delta’s recruitment during February. As a new chapter, they are looking for pledges of all year levels to be founding members and take on leadership roles.

“I didn’t want to be in a sorority [at first],” said Tayler Smith, a junior who attended one of Alpha Xi Delta’s information sessions last week, and who had never rushed before. “But then I thought maybe a new chapter would be a better fit for what I wanted out of a sorority.”

Clayton and Becker tabled in Armstrong over the past two weeks and will continue to do so in January as rush season approaches. They are confident that this time, the fate of the chapter will be different, especially since they will have more support from fraternity headquarters.

“We’re just really excited to create something totally different and new,” Clayton said.

The chapter will regain official recognition by the university and the Panhellenic Association once recruitment is completed in the spring.

arwinejk@miamioh.edu

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