Jessica Branks, News Writer • email@example.com
The historic Zeta Phi Social Sorority has been re-chartered at Emory & Henry, and will be accepting new pledges this coming Spring. Zeta Phi was originally founded in 1935, and it existed until 1940. While the original constitution of the organization is not on record, the new sisters of Zeta Phi have tried to capture the spirit of the sorority as it existed in the 1930s.
The sorority’s re-chartering is the result of two years of research and work by the current members. Senior Ashley Bostian, the president of Zeta Phi, said “it was really important to us that we could re-charter a local sorority, because that’s historically important to Emory, but also to us.” They found Zeta Phi by looking through past yearbooks and newspaper articles.
Zeta Phi’s mission, Bostian said, is “authenticity through bravery and benevolence. The sisterhood of Zeta Phi is anti-hazing and focused on inclusivity.” Bostian said the sorority was created in response to an imbalance between the number of fraternities and sororities on campus. There are currently eight active fraternities and six active sororities, excepting Zeta Phi.
Bostian said, “we wanted to equal out that number and give a home to women on campus who have the same morals and ideals as us.” She added that “membership is given without regard to race, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation and gender.”
The re-chartering process has been neither easy, nor brief. After finding Zeta Phi and making the decision to choose it as the basis for the new chapter, the re-founding members set to work writing a new constitution and finding as much information about the sorority as they could.
This included seeking out members of Zeta Phi from the 1930s. Martha Candler Gilliam, one of the original members of Zeta Phi, graduated from Emory & Henry in 1941, and passed away in June of this year. Her daughter passed on stories and writings about her mother’s experiences in Zeta Phi to the new founding members. Bostian said that “it felt very real to us” because of this experience.
The research for the rechartering culminated in a presentation before the Emory & Henry Greek Council, which gave them a positive recommendation, followed by another presentation before the student Senate. The sorority was officially recognized in accordance with Senate Bill #415, which puts them into a one-year probationary period. During this time,
the organization will have to follow a set of requirements including community service hours, and monthly reports to the SGA and Greek Council.
Zeta Phi will be able to give out bids in the Spring semester. Bostian said that “Zeta Phi really stands for being kind to people, and so we want girls who are going to be unique, inspire creative ideas… for us we want women that are not only going to be kind throughout their sorority, but kind to everybody.”
Currently, the sorority’s members include Ashley Bostian, Liberty Sheppard, Melanie McAmis, Brittany Shampine, Katie Graves and Nina Wernick.